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American vs. European German Shepherds: What’s The Difference?

Comparing the American German Attend vs. European German Attend afore you accept one of the two? Both curve are of the aforementioned brand but appear with their own altered differences. Acquisition out what's altered and what's agnate amid them!

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Aftermost Updated: May 17, 2021 | 9 min apprehend

American and European German Shepherd Sitting

The American German Attend and the European German Attend are both the aforementioned breed. The loving, loyal, and hardworking German Shepherd that we all apperceive and love. But because they accept developed up on altered abandon of the pond, they are hardly altered from one another.

We appetite to be bright that these dogs are of the aforementioned breed. Abundant like the American vs. English adaptation of the Labrador, all dogs that abound up and are bred from altered banal can backpack altered traits. With that actuality said, not all breeders accede on the brand differences amid localities, and our appraisal actuality is based on our analysis and experience. Every dog is different, and every dog can accept a altered temperament, depending on their parents.

Although the differences amid the European and American German Shepherds are subtle, some of them ability aloof amplitude you to accept one over the other. It ability be their size, their assignment ethic, their health, or their amount that ability argue you either way. And, actuality in this guide, we are activity to booty you through their differences and similarities. So, let’s get beeline bottomward to the similarities and differences amid these two German Attend lines.

Breed Comparison

American German Shepherd

  • Height 22-26 Inches
  • Weight 55-90 Pounds
  • Temperament Protective, Loyal, Intelligent, Confident
  • Energy Actual High
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 10-12 Years
  • Price $1,000 and Up

European German Shepherd

  • Height 21-26 Inches
  • Weight 50-85 Pounds
  • Temperament Protective, Loyal, Intelligent, Confident
  • Energy Actual High
  • Health Aloft Average
  • Lifeaspan 10-12 Years
  • Price $1,500 and Up

Breed History

German Shepherds at the Lake
German Shepherds accept a actual continued and different history.

The German Attend Dog is additionally accepted as the Deutsche Schäferhund in Germany. He comes from a band of herding dogs, which assorted from commune to district. During the 19th Century, a army administrator fabricated it his mission to actualize the ultimate herding dog. By ancestry the best of the best, he created the German Attend that we all apperceive and adulation today.

Not alone was he proving to be a fantastic herding dog, but we bodies bound came to apprehend that he was careful and loyal. And this is why he is now one of the best accepted choices of basset for the aggressive and badge services beyond the world.

He became accepted in America in the 20th Aeon acknowledgment to his newfound celebrity cachet as a blur brilliant in the brand of Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart. Because of his popularity, his citizenry in America boomed. And over time, although the European band and the American band are the aforementioned breeds, they became audibly different. It’s additionally important to apperceive that we are not referencing the Eastern European Shepherd or the Dutch Attend which is an absolutely different Attend band altogether.

Different abundant that their brand standards are now altered too. The American German Attend is adapted by the American Abode Club (AKC). And the European German Attend is adapted by the German Attend Club of Germany (GSCB). There are German Attend breeders in the Affiliated States that breed alone from European lines. This agency it’s accessible to accept a European pup in the Affiliated States. You don’t accept to go across to do it.


American and European German Shepherds Outside
European German Shepherds accept a added angular face and arch than the American German Shepherd.

The best cogent aberration amid the American German Attend and the European German Attend is their appearance. The American is the better one of the two, with a best body. His rear end slopes added than his European cousin, admitting the European has a abundant straighter topline. The American German Attend has a beyond set of basic and weighs a little bit added than the European too.

The American German Attend has a abate and bastard head, compared to the European German Shepherd, which has a beyond and added angular head. Abounding call the European’s arch as similar to a wolf’s head.

When it comes to their coat, their covering breadth and arrangement are the same, and either band can accept a beneath or best coat. Their best accepted covering blush is black and tan, and both can accede the added abnormal German Attend colors, such as solid black, white, and more rarely blue. The alone aberration actuality is, is that the American German Attend is usually lighter in color.


American and European German Shepherd Dogs
American German Shepherds and European German Shepherds accept agnate temperaments.

When it comes to their personality, the capital aberration amid the American German Attend and the European German Attend is that the European aberration is about happier back accomplishing a job. This is acceptable because they were agilely bred as alive dogs, in both the aegis and herding fields. Compared to the American, who is now added frequently begin as a ancestors pet, and he is not put through his paces as much as the European.

This agency that if you are afterwards a alive dog, you ability be bigger alive with a European German Attend breeder, rather than a accepted German Attend breeder. On the added hand, if you are attractive for a German Attend with the sole purpose of him actuality a ancestors pet, the American German Attend is the bigger choice. He is slightly beneath protective, and potentially the bottom aggressive breed alternative if not appropriately exercised.

Because the American German Attend is beneath work-oriented and beneath protective, he is additionally beneath focused on his adept or his primary caregiver. Instead, he is about added airy with the absolute ancestors and much beneath intense. And this is addition acumen why he would accomplish a bigger ancestors pet compared to a European German Shepherd.

The actual aspects of their personalities are appealing abundant the same. They both accomplish accomplished ancestors watchdogs and bouncer dogs if you charge them to be. The American and European German Shepherds are both above with strangers, and alike afterwards accepting to apperceive someone, they will never be ever affectionate with them. Both variations of the brand are huge fun and adulation to bundle up with their ancestors in the evening.


American and European German Shepherds Getting Exercise
Both brand variants will crave a cogent bulk of circadian exercise.

Because the European German Attend is the crammer and the American German Attend is the calmer version, you can assumption which one needs added exercise. Yes, you estimated it right, the European German Attend needs a bit added exercise than the American.

On average, an American German Attend needs about 60 account of exercise a day. The European German Attend will charge amid 60 and 90 account of acute exercise every day. In accession to that, he will additionally charge more alternate comedy throughout the day to accumulate his able academician ticking. The American is added fractional to an afternoon catnap compared to the European German Shepherd. If you accept the European variation, this agency added interactive German Attend dog toys and added alfresco time.

This is not to say the American doesn’t charge dispatch throughout the day, because he does. If you are an alive ancestors attractive for an appropriately alive basset to accumulate up with you, the European would be the bigger advantage for you. Equally, if you and your ancestors are attractive for an alive dog who also has an off-switch every now and then, the American pooch is your best choice.

As they both crave brainy stimulation throughout the day, you will charge to advance in a bassinet abounding of boxy toys that he can accumulate himself active with. Active German Shepherds, be that American or European can become ambiguous and destructive. So, it’s best to accumulate them preoccupied.


German Shepherd Dogs Training Together
Training both variants of the German Attend can be a challenge.

Both the American and the European German Shepherd charge aboriginal and constant socialization for them to transform into affable pooches. Careful dogs can bound about-face into overprotective dogs if they are accustomed to be. Socialization teaches them how to collaborate with added dogs and bodies confidently, and after activity fearful. So they both charge acute training from an aboriginal age.

Again, they are both acquiescent and calmly trainable, artlessly because of how loyal they are and their alacrity to please. But, back it comes to training, the European German Attend can be quicker to aces up commands. This is because he is the added acute workaholic, and his academician is active to acknowledge to and assignment with bodies that bit more.

Thankfully, because they are both so acute and trainable. You don’t necessarily accept to be an accomplished dog buyer to alternation either aberration of the breed. All we would say is that the European German Attend can be added intense. They about will advance abundant bigger in a alive environment. This agency they can be added adamant at times, which can be arduous to alternation them while walking on a harness, or added alive activities.


Healthy German Shepherd Dogs
Both variants of the German Attend brand are about healthy, with European curve active hardly longer.

As you can see in the blueprint above, the American German Attend has a beneath lifespan back compared to the European German Shepherd. The American usually lives amid 7 to 10 years and the European lives amid 10 to 12 years. This is because the GSCB is accepted to be abundant added acrimonious back it comes to ancestry practices and bloom apropos to awning for. Over time, this has meant that the European bloodline is healthier.

The European German Attend is still decumbent to hip dysplasia. But because his topline is straighter and his affiche is added balanced, he is beneath acceptable to advance it. The angled aback of the American increases the adventitious of hip dysplasia, and American breeders are acceptable added acquainted of this, as able-bodied as the charge to brand this affection out of the bloodline. Overall, the European band is convalescent for sure.

Degenerative myelopathy is additionally addition bloom affair in both German Attend lines. This is a action that is accepted to affect the academician and the spine, which eventually leads to complete accident of rear mobility. Both curve are afflicted by this aloof as abundant as the other, so this is article to accumulate an eye out for.


German Shepherd Dogs Waiting on Food
Either brand variants will be convalescent back arresting high-quality dry dog food.

Both the American German Shepherds and the European German Shepherds will do able-bodied on a high-quality kibble. Both variations of the brand charge dog aliment created for the German Shepherd’s comestible needs. Attending for a abrade that has abundant protein, energy, and sustenance to accord them the ammunition they charge throughout the day.

Also, be abiding to augment them a abrade that is life-stage appropriate. This is decidedly important during puppyhood, as he needs added ability and accurate nutrients for advantageous development.

Always chase amalgamation instructions, and augment them according to their age, size, and activity levels. On average, anniversary German Attend band will absorb about three to four cups of aliment a day. Of course, if he is a alive Shepherd, he will charge abundant more.


Long Coated German Shepherds
The breadth of your German Shepherd’s covering is added important than the brand variant.

The American German Attend and European German Shepherds are similar back it comes to their admonishment regime. It all depends on whether he is a short-haired or a long-haired array of the breed. If he is short-haired, he will alone need brushing already a week. And if he is long-haired, he will crave abrasion two to three times a anniversary to get rid of asleep beard and dirt.

Regardless of whether they accept a abbreviate or continued coat, you can apprehend that they will afford the same. But with a accomplished Shepherd, it will be added noticeable. They will shed moderately throughout the year and heavily during the address season. So, if address dog breeds aren’t for you, neither the American nor the European will fit in able-bodied with your family.

Puppy Prices

German Shepherd Puppies Outside
Both American and European German Attend Dogs will amount arctic of $1,000 as puppies.

American German Attend puppies from a acclaimed agriculturalist start from about $1,000 and upwards. Understandably, there are abounding added American German Shepherds in America. As European German Attend breeders in America are abundant rarer, and because they accept to acceptation accomplished specimens from Europe in the aboriginal place, their prices are higher. Expect to pay at atomic $1,500 and up for a European German Shepherd.

Some altercate it is a amount account advantageous because the European curve are healthier. But you charge to bethink that they are additionally abundant added acute and charge added exercise, attention, and socialization training. Alive out what you appetite in a dog is a added important application than price.

Whatever band you adjudge to pick, aloof be abiding to work with a acclaimed breeder who will do their absolute to aftermath advantageous and blessed puppies. Abstain puppy mills and arrant breeders at all costs, because it will alone amount you added in the continued run.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the American German Attend and the European German Attend are actual similar because, ultimately, they are the aforementioned dog breed. But because they accept been brought up alone and absolute by altered registries, they are hardly different. If you alive in America, the European German Attend is added big-ticket artlessly because he is abundant rarer.

Their actualization aberration is the better giveaway, with the American German Attend actuality the anytime so hardly beyond of the two. The American German Shepherd’s aback is added sloped, acceptation that he is added acceptable to ache from hip dysplasia too.

When it comes to personality, the European German Attend is added intense. They may additionally be hardly harder workers, depending on their parents. And although they are both family-friendly, the American German Attend is the bigger advantage for a archetypal family. The differences amid the two will usually advice a ancestors adjudge amid the two lines. So the catechism is, are you batting for the American aggregation or accepted appear the European clan?

Leave a Animadversion



Baronial 15, 2021 at 9:05 am

I acquired a 2-month-old West German Attend changeable puppy about 1 ages ago. I am home abounding time, so I accept the time to alternation her. I accept noticed and apparent how cool active, busy, demanding, an “wild” this dog brand is, causeless to say it needs connected attention, aberration and comedy time, until she wears out, or you do. It is a absolute challenge, commitment, and responsibility, indeed.

One charge accept the time and backbone to appropriately alternation these special, admirable alive dogs; never a addled moment. One charge admeasurement and account claimed timing, so one can get adapted blow synchronized with the dog’s own time, break consistently alert, aware, and alert as these dogs consistently are also.

Overall it is a absolute pleasure, challenge, and contentment to own and alternation such intelligent, active, and loyal dogs. I would never accord it up, or affliction it, but one charge be accessible and up to the big challenge!


Kelly Wilson

Baronial 15, 2021 at 6:44 pm

Sounds like an alarming puppy, Isaac! Acknowledgment for endlessly by to allotment your acquaintance with our readers!


Paula Gattone

June 23, 2021 at 6:39 am

I am absorbed 100% to European German Shepherds. I accept had 6 of them. My 1st backpack of 3 I accomplished to Schutzhund III. They lived 10,12, & 13 years. Again I alone adopted, as they retired, 3 Badge K9s. My 1st a Badge With a Bark.

Then addition Narcotics K9. My 3rd adoptee was an Explosives Apprehension Dog. My Schutzhund training with my 1st backpack was with Schutzhund/ K9 Trainers & Clubs.

So I do Tracking, Obedience, & Aegis in their languages. I use mostly German. These 3 lived to 11,13,&14 years. I aloof absent my aftermost one aftermost month. Abundance were atramentous with red legs & my aftermost one, an all atramentous costly coat. I'm not accessible yet but either addition European German Attend or Maligator.


Kelly Wilson

June 23, 2021 at 9:45 pm

Sounds like you've had some amazing pups, Paula! It's adamantine to go amiss with any of these breeds. We accept a acquaintance that owns a Maligator, or "hair missle" as he brand to alarm him. Abundant pups if you can administer the energy! Acceptable luck with your abutting dog!


Jeffrey C Leese

April 4, 2021 at 8:41 pm

My one German Shepard's cage is beneath than my other. The one with the beneath cage is declared to be of accurate German coast from Germany. Bright aback on her mother's side. Is this why its beneath and her appendage is beneath it this additionally why its still the appropriate length?