short haired german shepherds

5 Interesting Facts about Short Haired German Shepherds

German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is one of the most popular dog breeds in America, and most of us have seen them in films, dog parks, and working dogs. However, you may not have realized, but these dogs have different lengths.

There are Short-Haired German Shepherds and Long Haired German Shepherds. Below, we will dive in to understand more about the short-haired German Shepherd, its differences and similarities from the long-haired German Shepherd and most importantly, some interesting facts about this breed.

What Is a Short-Haired German Shepherd?

A short-haired German shepherd is another term for a standard German Shepherd dog (GSD), and it is the most common and hence the coat length you imagine when you hear of a GSD dog. Their coat is short compared to other breed varieties, and a dominant gene causes these coats, while the long-coated gene is recessive.

Short-Haired German Shepherds are the dogs you see working with the police, army and even herding, and they are distinguished with their short to medium length hair. Read on to learn some interesting facts about this breed.

Interesting Facts About Short-Haired German Shepherd

  1. They Served in Both World Wars

German Shepherds were used in World War I by both Germans and the Allied Forces to carry messages, distribute food, as rescue dogs, Red Cross dogs, personal guards and sentries as they carried ammunition. In addition, they led the blind and wounded soldiers to safety. For medical treatment and in 1917, a dog named Filax of Lewanno was honored as a war hero after leading 54 soldiers to safety in Westminster.

After the war, the soldiers were impressed with the breed’s capabilities, and by the time the Second World War came, German Shepherds had a crucial role to play on both sides. Both the Germans and the United States employed them for World War II. The US military set up dog training centers and deployed them in War Dog Platoons to work alongside the soldiers on the battlefield.

Later, in the Korean and Vietnam wars, the US Military used the German Shepherds again on the battlefield and in military installations.

  1. They Come in Eleven Recognized Colors

This is an exciting fact as most of us think of black and tan colors when we hear of German Shepherds, but the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 11 colors as the standard.

Most of these color combinations are common, even though there are some rare ones with undesirable colors such as blue, liver and white. These colors are considered serious faults by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and dogs with these colors may register but cannot compete in conformation classes at dog shows.

However, these German Shepherds with undesirable colors can compete in agility and obedience classes since the competitions don’t involve conformation evaluations. All the German Shepherd breed colors include:

  • Black
  • Black and tan
  • Bi-Colored
  • Black and red
  • Steele Blue
  • Black and Cream
  • Sable
  • Liver
  • Gray
  • White
  • Panda
  1. They are the Third-Smartest Dogs

If you have or have ever been around a German Shepherd, you know how smart they are but did you know that they are the third most intelligent dog breed in the world? Border Collies and Poodle compete with them in the brain department, but it’s not apparent, and you would never know it.

According to Stanley Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs,” German Shepherds learn a new task only with five repetitions and respond to commands appropriately about 95% of the time. Their smartness explains why they are popular as police dogs.

  1. They Go by Several Names

The Short-Haired German Shepherd, also popularly known as a Standard German Shepherd or GSD, is also referred to using other names.

In Germany, they are called Deutscher Shaferhund, as they were the “Shepherd Dog.” During the US World War, I and II, both Europeans and Americans pushed to get rid of the German part of the name because of its association, and so the dog became known as Alsatian, mainly in Europe. Years later, both the Europeans and Americans again restored the original name, and now its official name is German Shepherd.

  1. German Shepherds are Known as Mouthy Breeds

Just as their name ShepHERD, they use their mouths as appendages because of their herding heritage. The GS mouthing behavior is natural, so you should expect them to mouth and chew anything that can fit inside their mouth, but this doesn’t mean you should allow them to.

What was a cute small puppy may get more powerful as it grows, and you should train your dog when they are young? Train them not to chew furniture or bite your hand is essential with this breed and instead, teach your short-haired German Shepherd to channel those instincts appropriately and safely.

What are the Differences Between the Short- and Long-Haired German Shepherds?

  • Short Haired GS has a coat of about an inch, whereas the Long Haired GS coat can go up to two inches or more in length.
  • Short Haired German Shepherds have a double coat, consisting of an outer coat and undercoat. An undercoat or a guard coat covers its medium-length coat. On the other hand, some long-haired German Shepherds have an undercoat usually about two inches in length, but for all other long-haired GS, they only have a single-layer coat with no undercoat.
  • The Short Haired German Shepherds are more suitable for working outside thanks to the double coat that is waterproof and protects them from cold.
  • Since they are great at working, the short-haired German Shepherd will likely behave distant to strangers.

How to Groom a Short-Haired GSD?

Short-haired German Shepherds have a dense coat that is shed regularly, and therefore weekly brushing is advised to maintain their good looks and cut down on the shedding around your house. You should brush your dog religiously, especially during the heavy shedding period, like when seasons change. However, you should avoid bathing your GSD if not necessary to avoid drying out their coat.

In addition to regular brushing to stop your dog from shedding, you should ensure your GSD nails are trimmed. Long nails risk breaking, and they also affect your dog’s gait, which can lead to severe foot pain for your dog. Also, regularly brush their teeth and clean their ears to ensure the best shape and prevent fleas.

Do Short-Haired GSDs Make Good Pets?

Generally, German Shepherds of any hair length make good pets, and they can be good companions if they are matched with the right family. However, this breed has its own needs, which may work better for some families more than others because the GSD is a large dog and can be demanding.

They need a job or regular exercise to satisfy their physical and mental needs. Therefore, they can be perfect for a hiker or a jogger and for families that can keep them busy with daily backyard play, activities and walks.

However, the Short-Haired German Shepherds are not the best breed for inactive or less active owners as they may find him overwhelming, and because they need a high activity level, they are not the best for apartment life.

In addition, Shepherds are also “Velcro dogs,” as they prefer staying with their families most of the time. Therefore, they can quickly experience separation anxiety, especially when left alone over long periods, and it’s advisable in such cases to get a doggy walker or doggy daycare.