• What is The Difference Between Alsatian and German Shepherd?

    Choosing a canine companion can be exciting, but at the same time, it can be perplexing too.

    Various dog breeds capture our hearts & amongst them, Alsatians and German Shepherds are the ones who stand out due to their loyalty, intelligence, and versatile skills.

    People often confuse these two breeds due to their striking similarities and shared history.

    Therefore, this "What is the difference between Alsatian and German shepherd" guide will delve deep into the distinct feature of both Alsatian and German Shepherds by shedding light on their origin, characteristics, and more to help you make an informed decision & choose a loyal companion that best suits your lifestyle.

    So without further adieu, let's get started.

    what is the difference between alsatian and german shepherd,  German shepherd vs Alsatian difference

    Why are German shepherds called Alsatians?

    German Shepherds (GSD in the short form) are called Alsatians due to a historical association with Alsace Lorraine, a region on the German-French border. 

    During World War I, anti-German sentiment led to the change in names, and the breed was temporarily referred to as Alsatians in many English-speaking countries. 

    Dog lovers adapted this term to distinguish the breed, emphasizing their loyalty and intelligence, despite the fierce battle context. 

    The original name, German Shepherd Dogs, was later reinstated, but the Alsatian term persists in some regions.

    Alsatian Overview

    The Alsatian, also called "Alsatian wolf dog" originates from the region of Alsace in France.

    This majestic breed has a rich history, with their lineage dating back to the 19th century, where a German cavalry officer named "Captain Max von Stephanitz" played a crucial role in shaping their development.

    These dogs were initially bred for herding and guarding live stocks & their menacing wolf like appearance left a long lasting impression.

    Alsatians are medium to large dogs exuding an air of nobility & a confident demeanor that highlights their intelligence & steadfast loyalty.

    They carry a well proportioned body covered in dense double coats available in various shades of color like black and tan, sable, or solid black.

    Over the years, Alsatians have evolved themselves as a military and police dog excelling in the roles of search & rescue and also as a beloved family pet.


    1. Distinct Appearance

    Their wolf-like appearance makes them look intimidating, making them an excellent choice as guardian and watch dogs.

    2. Heritage

    Their unique historical significance adds to their element of intrigue to its persona.

    3. Loyalty and Intelligence

    Their loyalty and intelligence makes them excel as devoted family companions & in various training endeavors.

    German Shepherd Overview

    Now who does not know the German Shepherd?

    This breed needs no introduction as they are famous for their exceptional work ethics and unwavering devotion. 

    Like Alsatian, German Shepherds have a Germanic origin & a history dating back to the 19th century where the same man "Captain Max von Stephanitz" played a pivotal role in crafting German Shepherd dog breeds.

    Originally bred for herding, these dogs started gaining popularity due to their intelligence, courage & agility, making them an invaluable asset in various fields.

    German Shepherd's have a well developed physique with expressive face, alert ears that showcases sense of duty, vigilance and a body covered with double coats ranging from black and tan to sable and even all-black. 

    They are known to adapt themselves to any of the roles, be it herding, guide dogs, search and rescue partners and even as the esteemed members of households around the globe.


    1. Versatility

    There is hardly any match for the adaptability and versatility of German Shepherds, which enables them to excel in fields from police work to therapy assistance.

    2. Wider Range of Coat Colors

    German shepherds are available in a broader spectrum of coat color variations, allowing for more personal aesthetic preferences.

    3. Global Recognition

    Their widespread recognition and popularity means all the resources, training and support you need will be readily available.

    What is the Difference Between Alsatian and German Shepherd?

    Let's have a look at Alsatian and German Shepherd difference using the following table:



    German Shepherd


    Alsace region, France



    Medium to large

    Medium to large

    Height (Male)

    24 - 26 inches (61 - 66 cm)

    24 - 26 inches (61 - 66 cm)

    Height (Female)

    22 - 24 inches (56 - 61 cm)

    22 - 24 inches (56 - 61 cm)

    Weight (Male)

    77 - 85 pounds (35 - 39 kg)

    65 - 90 pounds (29 - 41 kg)

    Weight (Female)

    55 - 70 pounds (25 - 32 kg)

    50 - 70 pounds (23 - 32 kg)


    10 - 13 years

    9 - 13 years


    Confident, loyal, intelligent

    Intelligent, loyal, versatile, confident

    Work Roles

    Police, search and rescue, guarding

    Police, military, service, herding


    Highly trainable

    Highly trainable


    Global recognition

    Highly popular worldwide

    Exercise Needs

    Regular exercise and mental stimulation

    Regular exercise and mental stimulation

    Health Considerations

    Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, allergies

    Hip dysplasia, elbow 

    dysplasia, allergies

    Alsatian vs German Shepherd: Which One is Better?

    The ultimate decision depends on factors like your lifestyle, preference and what you are expecting from your canine companion.

    Opt for Alsatian if you want a breed with unique heritage and distinctive appearance or German Shepherd if you are looking for versatile & widely recognized breed which can fit themselves to various roles.



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