Hairless German Shepherd – Everything You Need To Know

A hairless German Shepherd is an adorable dog born without hair. They are rare dog breeds with genetic mutations that cause them to be hairless. Though infrequent in German Shepherds, Alopecia causes this phenomenon in German Shepherds. It is an autoimmune disease of the hair follicles that doesn’t let it grow. 

The German Shepherd is known to be furry. The gene responsible for hair growth causes the dog to have less natural oil that keeps it warm. This can lead to common cold and other infections. That is why these dogs need proper care to stay happy and healthy.

Hairless German Shepherd Pros and Cons

Very affectionateIntolerant to extreme climatic conditions
Highly energeticRequires proper care

Hairless German Shepherd Basic Information

  • Name: Hairless German Shepherd
  • Size: Medium to large
  • Origin: Germany
  • Height: Males: 24 to 26 inches & Females: 22 to 24 inches
  • Weight: Males: 65 to 90 pounds & Females: 50 to 70 pounds
  • Coat: Hairless
  • Color: Black, tan, solid black, and solid sable
  • Energy: Medium
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Group: Herding Group
  • Activities: Agility, Herding, Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Tracking
  • Barking Level: Frequent
  • Shedding Level: Normal
  • Litter Size: 6 to 10 puppies
  • Lifespan: 9 to 13 years

German Shepherd vs. Hairless German Shepherd – A Comparison

FeaturesGerman ShepherdHairless German Shepherd
Height24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
Weight65-90 pounds (male), 50-70 pounds (female)65-90 pounds (male), 50-70 pounds (female)
Size LargeLarge
GroupHerding Herding 
Breed TypePurebredPurebred
Children CompatibilityHighHigh
Family CompatibilityHighHigh
Pets CompatibilityWith SupervisionWith Supervision
Barking LevelLow to MediumLow to Medium
Shedding LevelHighHigh
Grooming NeedsAverageAverage
Overall HealthHighHigh
Complication in BreedingNoNo
Exercise NeedsHighHigh
ActivitiesAgility Training, Obedience Training, and SwimmingAgility Training, Obedience Training, and Swimming
Litter Size6-10 puppies6-10 puppies
Life Span12-14 years12-14 years
Other NamesAlsatian Wolf Dog, Berger Allemand and Deutscher Schäferhund

Hairless German Shepherd Personality

Hairless German Shepherds bear the same personality as a regular German Shepherd. They have erect, triangular ears, almond-shaped eyes, a black snout, and a smooth topline that is hairless and wrinkled. They are squarely built with a thin, hairless tail. Their fore and hindquarters are strong, ready to run. Their nails are prominent. When Alopecia is genetic, it has no treatment. Autoimmune disease can affect a dog’s coat and cause the dog’s hair to fall in patches. Unfortunately, you can’t cure this condition, but some treatments can help manage the symptoms.

Some dog breeds are more genetically vulnerable to losing fur, including:

  • German Shepherds
  • American Hairless Terriers
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Chinese Crested
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Whippets

Dogs with this genetic trait can have hair loss all over the body, while others may lose hair on certain parts of their bodies, like tails or ears.

Friendliness Overview

Affection level High
Family-friendly High
Kid-friendly High
Pet-friendly Low
Stranger -friendly Low

Adaptability Overview  

Good for apartment living Medium
Good to new owners Medium
Sensitivity level High
Tolerates being alone Low
Cold-tolerance Low to Medium
Heat-tolerance Low to Medium

Hairless German Shepherd Temperament

Hairless German Shepherds are rare and fantastic dogs to breed with his loving, sweet, and sensitive disposition. They are just like the regular German Shepherds. Hairless German Shepherds are loyal, playful, full of energy, mischievous, and like to perform any assigned job.

Hairless German Shepherd Training

Like any other German Shepherds, Hairless German Shepherds are highly trainable dogs. They are brilliant, and so they may learn basic commands very quickly. However, they have a high tendency to mouthiness and prey; thanks to their herding instincts, they should be trained on a leash during the early training sessions. Hence early socialization and training are essential for these dogs to behave like well-bred dogs. Thus, pet owners should teach them not to do unlikely activities from the beginning.  

Benebone Wishbone Durable Dog Chew Toy for Aggressive Chewers
Buy at Amazon

Trainability Overview

Easy to train High
Intelligence High
Mouthiness tendencies High 
Barking and Howling tendencies Medium to high 
Prey drive High
Wanderlust tendencies Low

Hairless German Shepherd Exercise Needs

Hairless German Shepherds are very active dogs and love to chase smaller breeds. These dogs can be taken for walks for an hour twice a day to exert their energy correctly. Some enthusiasts who have shared their experiences mention that they take these Hairless German Shepherds for walks for up to 3 to 3.5 miles. They have also tried other physical activities like throwing tennis balls to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

The pet owners of Hairless German Shepherds might be wondering if their pets can be taken out; it is good to take them because their skin needs to sweat and breathe. 

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy level High
Exercise needs High
Intensity High
Playfulness High

Hairless German Shepherd Grooming

Pet parents with a Hairless German Shepherd can prevent the loss of fur by regularly grooming the coat and feeding them the correct diet and nutrition. Pet owners should groom them appropriately with regular baths and brushing sessions. 

Grooming stimulates blood circulation to the skin, keeps their skin healthier, and away from infections. You should groom them every 3 – 4 weeks, which takes about 2 hours. Due to the lack of fur, it will take more time for this dog to mature completely than other dogs. Therefore, they do not have “dog odor” like other dog breeds. 

You will have to brush their teeth daily since the lack of fur can make their gums more prone to tartar build-up. Clean their eyes and ears regularly to avoid infections.

Arm & Hammer for Pets Tartar Control Kit
Buy at Amazon

Angel’s Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes
Buy at Amazon

Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse
Buy at Amazon

Grooming Overview

Easy to groom High
Drooling tendency Low
Amount of shedding High

Hairless German Shepherd Health

Hairless German Shepherds are prone to ailments seen in any other German Shepherd dog. However, Alopecia is a specific illness seen in these Hairless German Shepherds. Alopecia is a condition where the dog suffers from partial or complete hair loss. This can be caused by mites, ringworms, or other fungal infections. In the case of dwarf German Shepherds, Alopecia can be due to hormonal imbalances. Hair loss or bald spots can have several different causes besides Alopecia. If you notice it in your German Shepherds, ensure to get it checked out as soon as possible with your local vet. It can range from simple allergies to some severe underlying health conditions.

Most German Shepherds are generally healthy dogs. However, a responsible breeder will screen their stock for health complications such as Degenerative Myelopathy, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, and elbow and hip dysplasia. In addition, German Shepherd Dogs can experience bloat, sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus. Pet parents should educate themselves about its symptoms and what to be done to prevent such conditions. 

Degenerative Myelopathy is a progressive spinal cord disorder, specifically the part of the cord that carries information to the brain regarding the hind legs. Dogs with DM behave as if they don’t know their back legs and cannot move them well. The disease progresses to a case where the dog cannot walk. Most of the time, there is no cure, and the dog is put to rest. However, in a few rare cases, the condition is related to a lack of vitamin E or B12. If this is the case, vitamin supplements might uphold the situation.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is a pancreatic genetic disease in which the cells that produce digestive enzymes are damaged. As a result, the dog cannot digest and consume food. The first signs are gas, weight loss, loss of appetite, and change in stools. Next, the dog becomes lean and very hungry. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is diagnosed with a simple blood test, and treatment is simple as the pancreatic enzymes are added to the dog’s food. With proper medication guidance, most dogs recover.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: Commonly called bloat, this is a life-threatening disease that affects large, deep-chested dogs like German Shepherds. If they are fed one large meal a day, eat fast, drink large volumes of water after dinner, and exercise vigorously after eating, hairless German Shepherds suffer from GDV. 

Bloat occurs when the stomach is swollen due to pressure with gas or air and then twists. The dog cannot vomit to get rid of the excessive air in its stomach, and the average remit of blood to the heart is impeded. Blood pressure falls, and the dog goes into shock. Without prompt medical attention, the dog can expire. Suspect bloat if your dog has a swollen abdomen, is drooling excessively, and is retching without throwing up. They also may be restless, lethargic, depressed, and weak with a rapid heart rate. Getting your dog to the vet as soon as possible is crucial.

Elbow Dysplasia: This is a heritable disease common to large-sized dog breeds. It’s caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow, causing joint loosening. This can lead to painful lameness. Your vet may recommend medication to control the pain or even surgery to correct the problem.

Elbow Hygroma: An elbow hygroma is a fluid-filled (usually yellow to red) swelling occurring over the elbow joint. This problem is commonly seen in short-haired, large breed dogs such as German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, mastiffs, and Great Danes. These dogs frequently lay on hard surfaces, such as tile, hardwood floors, or concrete which repeatedly causes minor trauma to the dog’s thin skin over a bony prominence. They can grow about two inches in diameter. Regardless of size, hygroma is generally non-painful. However, your dog may experience pain and discomfort if allowed to become large enough to the point of ulceration and abscessing. Your dog will probably not show any signs of illness or distress unless the hygroma becomes infected.

Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is an abnormality of the hip joint where the socket portion does not entirely fit the ball portion, resulting in an ascending risk for joint dislocation. Hip dysplasia may occur at birth or in early life. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. Some dogs exhibit discomfort and lameness on one or both rear legs. The Orthopedic Foundation does x-ray screening for hip dysplasia for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program. Dogs who suffer from hip dysplasia should not be bred.

Allergies: German Shepherds may suffer from various allergies, from contact and food allergies to pollen grains. If your pet is scratching, licking at their paws, or rubbing their face, suspect that they have an allergy and take them to the vet.

Bleeding Disorders: Hairless German Shepherds are prone to a bleeding disorder. After several diagnostic tests, the surgery is performed depending on the type.

Hyperadrenocorticism is caused by the malfunction of adrenal glands that produce excessive steroid hormones. The condition develops gradually and may be ignored, but one should be aware of the symptoms to prevent necessary damage. Symptoms include increased appetite, drinking, and urinating than usual.

Cancer: The hairless German Shepherd has a higher life expectancy than the other breed, so they are prone to cancer as they grow older. Cancer can be cured by surgical removal of tumors and chemotherapy. However, it is essential not to ignore the symptoms and diagnose them earlier.

Anal Gland Problems: The area around the anus becomes inflamed or develops sores. Hairless German Shepherds are more prone to this long-term disease. Symptoms include constipation, bleeding, licking of the area, straining or apparent pain when defecating, and smelly discharge around the rectum. Treatment includes lifelong medications and surgery.

Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus is a common disease among dogs. In diabetes, the dogs cannot metabolize blood sugar, causing increased drinking, eating, urination, and weight loss. Treatment includes medication and insulin injections.

Cataracts: It is a common cause of blindness in older Hairless German Shepherds. The lens of the eyes becomes cloudy and opaque. Treatment might require surgery for good results.

Pannus is a disease in which the inflammatory cells penetrate the cornea (the clear part of the eye) and darken when exposed to ultraviolet rays, causing blindness.

Epilepsy is of three types—reactive, secondary, and primary or idiopathic epilepsy. Reactive seizures are caused by the brain’s reaction to metabolic problems like low blood sugar, toxin, or organ failure. Secondary attacks are due to a brain tumor, trauma, or stroke. If the above condition is not present, the disease is primary or idiopathic epilepsy. The signs of seizures begin as early as six months and three years of age.

Dental Disease: It affects 80% of pets by age two. It causes tartar build-up on the teeth, infection of the gums and roots, and in extreme cases, loss of teeth and damage to the kidneys.

Infections: Hairless German Shepherds are prone to certain bacterial and viral illnesses such as rabies, parvo, and distemper. The viral infection can be prevented by vaccination based on the dog’s age.

Parasites: Hairless German Shepherds can be infested with worms, bugs, fleas, and ticks that can get into their systems through unclean water, contaminated soil, or being bitten by an infected mosquito. It can also be transmitted to you and your family. Symptoms include discomfort, pain, and even death.

Obesity is a significant health condition in Hairless German Shepherds. Excess weight can cause joint problems, back pain, digestive disorders, and heart disease. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to prevent this lifestyle disease.

Spay or Neuter: In spay, the ovaries or uterus in females is removed, and in neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are removed. It is done to eliminate the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decrease the likelihood of certain types of cancer.

National Breed Club Recommended Health Tests for German Shepherd

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation

Health Overview 

Overall health Medium to high
Weight gain tendencies Low to medium
Size Medium to high

Hairless German Shepherd Diet and Nutrition

Your Hairless German Shepherd will need up to two cups of dry dog food twice daily, depending on the dog’s age, size, activity level, and other factors. As they are prone to bloating and stomach torsion, avoid giving one large meal a day and having the dog swallow it down. Make sure your dog has access to clean freshwater. Observe your dog’s weight and address any overweight issues early. Obesity will reduce your dog’s life. Discuss nutritional needs with your vet to get instructions for feeding schedules and dog food types for a healthy lifestyle.

Hairless German Shepherd Living Condition

Hairless German Shepherds will do fine in an apartment if properly exercised. They are comparatively inactive indoors and do best with a large yard. They can not tolerate extreme climatic conditions. 

Adding a Hairless German Shepherd to Family

Things to Remember Before Breeding a Hairless German Shepherd

  • The floor should have carpet spread to retain heat in the dogs.
  • It would take longer for this dog to fully mature than other breeds because of its lack of fur.
  • Hairless German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic dogs, so they cannot be around people with allergies.
  • They don’t have “dog odor” like other dog breeds, making them suitable for apartment living and keeping in an office.
  • One main advantage of these dogs is they don’t have shedding periods and no fur to clean up.
  • Hairless German Shepherds may be susceptible to the common cold or heat strokes due to a lack of fur.
  • They are unsuitable for icy climatic conditions. It is hard to keep them warm with too many clothes on. Moreover, they may suffer from the breaking of their skin. 

Cost of a Hairless German Shepherd Puppy

The cost of a Hairless German Shepherd Puppy is $900 to $2500.

Hairless German Shepherd Videos

Hairless German Shepherd Puppy

Hairless German Shepherd Images

Leave a Comment