The short haired German shepherd is a variation of the breed with a shorter, sleeker coat than the standard German shepherd dog. While most German shepherds have longer fur, the short haired variety has shorter fur over a dense undercoat. Short haired German shepherd puppies have a distinctive appearance but share the intelligence and versatility of any German shepherd. Here are 10 key facts about these interesting pups:

Their Origins

Short haired German shepherds originated from breeding the traditional German shepherd with dogs that carry the recessive gene for short fur. By selectively breeding dogs with this recessive trait, breeders were able to produce German shepherd puppies with the shorter coat. They are recognized as purebred by kennel clubs.

Their Shorter Coat

As the name implies, short haired German shepherds have shorter fur covering their dense undercoat. Their hair is approximately 1-2 inches long over most of the body and may be slightly longer around the neck. The coat lies flatter and closer to the body than the coat of a standard German shepherd.

They Shed Less Than Standard German Shepherds

Due to the shorter length of fur, short haired German shepherds typically don’t shed as heavily as their longer haired counterparts. Their shorter coats require less frequent brushing to keep loose hair under control. Vacuuming is needed less often as well.

They are Well-Suited for Warm Climates

The shorter fur of the short haired German shepherd means they are more heat tolerant and adaptable to warm climates than German shepherds with longer coats. Their coats still provide protection from the elements but don’t cause them to overheat as quickly in high temperatures.

They Have the Same German Shepherd Temperament

Aside from the coat differences, short haired German shepherd puppies have the same temperament as any other well-bred German shepherd. They are self-assured, loyal, highly intelligent and bond closely with their family. With proper training and socialization, they make excellent working, sport and companion dogs.

They Need Just as Much Exercise

Don’t think that just because of the shorter coat, short haired German shepherds require less exercise. They still need at least 30-60 minutes of vigorous activity every day to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Fetch, jogging, agility training and hiking are great outlets for their energy.

They Excel at Dog Sports and Work

The athleticism, trainability and protective instincts of the German shepherd make them a top choice for many types of work. Short haired German shepherds possess these same qualities that allow them to excel at dog sports, as police dogs, service dogs and search and rescue dogs among other roles.

Their Grooming Needs Are Lower

Short haired German shepherds only need occasional brushing to keep their coats looking sharp. During shedding season or times of heavier shedding, more frequent brushing may be needed. Their shorter coats also make bathing and drying them faster and easier. Overall, grooming needs are less than for the standard German shepherd.

They Prone to the Same Health Issues

Like all German shepherds, short haired German shepherds are prone to health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and digestive issues. Reputable breeders will test breeding dogs to reduce chances of these issues. Always ask for proof of health testing on parents.

They Need Early Socialization and Training

Proper socialization and training is crucial for any German shepherd to be a well-adjusted companion. Short haired German shepherd puppies should be socialized to new sights, sounds, people and animals as early as 7-8 weeks old. Obedience training provides mental stimulation and reinforces the bonding between dog and owner.

The Unique Short Haired German Shepherd

With their shorter coats, excellent working ability, trainability and loyalty, short haired German shepherds are a great alternative to the standard long haired variety. Their shorter coats make them well-suited for warm areas. When properly trained and exercised, these intelligent, protective pups make wonderful family dogs and working companions.