Long-haired German Shepherd

When you delve into "origins" of German Shepherds' standard, it becomes clear long-haired German Shepherds appeared in the standards of a century-old. There were two categories of dogs' hair: wire-haired shepherd, today is more known as standard; "shaggy" shepherd, which can now be called "intermediate." Shaggy sheepherd was distinguished by the presence of feathering on the ears, forearms and lumbar part of the body. Also, thick "culottes" and bushy tail with abundant hair.

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Finally, long-haired German Shepherds which have been banned for a long time because of a standard. They had soft hair and very light underhair. Frequently, these dogs didn't have any underhair. During a hundred years the standard was changed many times. Finally, only "classic" Shepherds became acceptable, that is short-haired dogs. Long-haired shepherds were culled, the breeding of the dogs wasn't permitted and they weren't allowed to take part in dog-shows.

However, the chances of the birth of standard long-haired couple puppies are quite high - about 80%. Why is this happening? It all depends on the genes, so we have to advert to genetics. Naturally, in a simplified form.

A-gene controls the absence of long hair, B-gene is responsible for its existence. Each gene has an allele. If the dog has two genes in an allele, that are equally applicable to a character, so it is homozygous for this trait. If there are two genes in one allele, which are applicable on a character in different ways, such subject is heterozygous. Thus, it turns out that there are three possible genotypes and four combinations between them: AA – shorthaired shepherd homozygous, AB – short-haired shepherd heterozygous, has a long-hair gene in recessive state, and finally, BB –long-haired shepherd homozygous.

Therefore, if there is a mating between two homozygous short-haired shephards, the puppies will be only short-haired. If there is a mating between two heterozygous dogs (AB), we get this: AB + AB = AA + AB + AB + BB. That is 50% of the puppies will inherit "data" of short-haired homozygous and the others will be homozygous long-haired. Of course, this formula is very simplified because there are many factors which influence future offspring. Genetic laws are also sometimes violated.

Despite the fact that until December 2010 long-haired shepherd dogs have been banned in standard, they have their own circle of admirers. These dogs are beautiful, have the same characteristics as the "classic" representatives of the breed. The admirers of the long-haired dogs have ensured that at the end of 2010 the standard of the breed was changed. Now, long-haired dogs are acceptable for breeding and they can take part in dog-shows.