Updated: Feb 15, 2022
Many clients ask us what the difference is between a smooth and plush coated Shiloh Shepherd. I typically go over the pros and cons of each and ask what their lifestyle is like, because there are more grooming requirements for plush coated Shilohs. Both coats will blow during the year, but the plushes must have their loose undercoat removed at regular intervals to keep the fur from matting. Many people will say that only the smooths shed through out the year, my experience is that both will shed through out the year if not routinely brushed or raked. After my Shilohs and I spend a day romping in the Pacific Northwest's wet and muddy wintery conditions, I really appreciate my smooths. My plushes take longer to free the mud from their coats during their after-play showers. And, if I am lazy that night and put them all to bed prior to hosing off all the mud, my smooths have had a lot the dirt on their dog beds or crates, not on their bodies; whereas my plushes are one big cakey, dried muddy mess. Plush coated Shilohs as they age, develop long fur around their pads and toes, this will need to be trimmed back and is a necessity if you live in snowy areas, otherwise snow will attach itself to the fur and be uncomfortable and hard packed on their feet.
Both coats will do equally well in cold conditions. When Gunny and Hanna (both smooths) came from New York to my facility at one year of age, it was in the middle of winter and both Shilohs had a wonderful, thick undercoat. Because Seattle's winters are much more mild, after that first winter their coats never came in thick like that again. Mother Nature allows the coats to develop to accommodate the climate. To help stay cool in warm climates, both plush and smooth need grooming to remove all loose undercoat, they also need constant fresh water and cool places which to relax.
Here is another fact that many people are unaware of: every three generations, a smooth must be bred back into the line, otherwise the next generation will lose the undercoat. What is the purpose of an undercoat you may ask? The purpose of the undercoat is to keep them cooler in summer and warm in winter. The top coat with the tougher guard hairs protect the Shiloh from the sun's rays and insect bites. In summer, your dog will shed the soft undercoat, hence the need for lots of brushing and raking.
If you are trying to decide whether you should get a plush or smooth coated Shiloh Shepherd, consider your lifestyle and time and energy for grooming.
Below you will see some examples of smooth and plush coated Shilohs.
Asia above and below. Smooth.
Opal above, Asia's daughter, a smooth.
Aslan above, a plush.
Saber 2 above, a plush.
Stormi above, a smooth.