I have two long stockcoats. The only thing I can't do with them because of their coats is conformation showing. I don't find that they shed any more than my previous two standard coat shepherds. In fact, the longer outer coat seems to keep the undercoat in place until I brush it off instead of falling off all over the house. When I do brush them it's quite the mess, but I have a Dyson vacuum which takes care of that.
But I don't brush them any more often than my previous dogs either, but depending on where you live and what you do with your dogs, a coatie could require more care. It doesn't snow here, and we live in an urban/suburban area, not out in the country. We go to off leash parks and they swim in the ocean and SF Bay, and on wet muddy days they get pretty dirty. But when we go to the beach, most of the sand falls off in the car or their garage pen which is where they go to rest and dry off when we get home, and the other park has a dog washing business in the parking lot, so we can rent a tub and wash off the mud.
The only advantage to a longcoat is stunning beauty (
) and that people tend to be less afraid of them, probably because they don't look like the traditional shepherd that most people are used to seeing. Often people we encounter have no idea what they are, or think they are a mix of some sort. They love people and look cuddly, so socialization is easy - they are people magnets, lol!
Gabby is a long stock coat as well, and I agree, less recognizable. People always ask if she's a collie/shep mix. I don't have a terrible problem with shedding and never paid much attention to the undercoat, but now that you mention it I suppose it is kept in place until brushed out. My DH tolerates my love for the breed but is much more a retriever man (he likes a happy-go-lucky, floppy eared look), but I catch him just sitting and staring at Gabby and he'll mutter,"she really is a pretty dog."
I've never really taken much liking to the long coat until i became a member of this board. I too thought they looked like mix bred sheps, but now when i see pics of them, i have to wipe the drool off my keyboard! We're definatley considering a longcoat next time we decide to add to our family.
i have had both. i would have one now but there was a miscommunication between the GF and i. i thought she didn't want a long hair/coated dog so we went with the show dog. coated or not coated it's your preference. they're both wonderful dogs but how could they not be, they're German Shepherd Dogs.