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Australian Attend vs. German Shepherd: Brand Differences & Similarities

Considering the German Attend or the Australian Attend for your abutting dog? These two breeds are actual altered from one addition but do allotment a few similarities. Acquisition out what you can apprehend back you accept either of these herding dogs.

Kelly Wilson

Aftermost Updated: May 17, 2021 | 10 min apprehend

Australian Shepherd vs German Shepherd

If you’re comparing the Australian Attend vs. German Shepherd for your abutting four-legged friend, you’ve appear to the appropriate place. These dogs both accept the chat “shepherd” in their name, but they’re far from the same.

Though both breeds were bred to be herding animals, their appearance, size, and needs differ. While there are some similarities with their behavioral traits, aggregate abroad about them is absolutely different. Acquirements about both breeds will advice you actuate which brand is the appropriate fit for your lifestyle.

Of course, if you’re artlessly analytical about which one’s which, this commodity will advice with that too! So after any added ado, let’s jump in and analyze both of these acclaimed herding dog breeds.

Breed Comparison

Australian Shepherd

  • Height 18-23 Inches
  • Weight 50-65 Pounds
  • Temperament Inquisitive, Intelligent, Obedient
  • Energy Aerial Energy
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 12-15 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

German Shepherd

  • Height 23-25 Inches
  • Weight 60-75 Pounds
  • Temperament Obedient, Intelligent, Loyal
  • Energy Aerial Energy
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 7-10 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000-$2,500

Breed History

The similarities and differences amid these two breeds alpha with their history. Both of these two pups abatement into the herding class. They were created and bred for actual specific purposes. Acquirements area they came from and why they were created will help you understand what these pups are bred to do, and bigger yet, what they’ll be like as both pets and companions.

Australian Shepherd

Brown and White Colored Dog Outdoors
The Aussie originates from the European steppes of Basque.

Also accepted as Aussies, the Australian Attend descends from the Pyrenean Shepherd, which is a herding dog still in use today in the Pyrenees Mountains. There, Basque shepherds acclimated the dogs to move flocks of sheep through the valleys and hillsides.

Sometime in the aboriginal 1800s, abounding Basque shepherds began to captain to Australia. Of course, they brought their adored herding dogs with them. Australia was a declared paradise for sheep raising, and the Basque Shepherd’s saw it as a new frontier.

When they arrived, they began to blend the Pyrenean Shepherds with the Australian Collie. It wasn’t continued afterwards that, though, that the Basque Shepherd’s afresh chose to set sail. This time, they begin green pastures in brilliant California.

Mistaking the Pyrenean Attend and Collie mixes for a different Australian breed, bounded California cowboys and ranchers gave the dogs the name we apperceive them by today: Australian Shepherds.

The cowboys and beasts ranchers begin Aussies adapted to activity in the agrarian west. Australian Shepherds adulation work, and California ranchers had affluence of it.

Even today, ranchers and beasts raisers await on Australian Shepherds. But the dogs are acceptable for added occupations too. You’ll see Aussies assignment as biologic detectors, analysis dogs, and chase and accomplishment canines worldwide.

German Shepherd

Black and Tan Dog Laying Outdoors
German Shepherds are best generally apparent as ancestors assembly and as law administration or aggressive dogs.

Just like Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds accept a long history of herding. But, rather than the Pyrenees Mountains, these dogs alight from assorted regions of Germany.

Initially, anniversary commune of Germany had its own audible herding dog, anniversary one hardly altered in appearance, temperament, and ability. In the 1800s, though, a German army administrator called Captain Max von Stephanitz made it his mission to brand the absolute German herding dog.

He collaborated with several dog breeders throughout arctic and axial Germany. Together, they began cross-breeding shepherds for ideal traits. Afterwards about 35 years, the German Attend we apperceive and admit today was born.

The brand became accepted in America in the aboriginal 1900s by earning a cycle on the argent screen. Rin Tin Tin, an orphaned pup who became a bashful blur star, was so admired that fable claims he had the votes to win Best Actor at the countdown Academy Awards in 1929.

Ultimately the academy anticipation giving the accolade to a dog could accomplish the absolute commemoration assume beneath than serious, so Rin Tin Tin did not clearly win. Nonetheless, the brand retained acceptance in the US up until the 1940s.

Unfortunately, anti-German affect during WW2 meant these dogs became beneath adorable in affiliated countries for a time. To action this, the British began apropos to the dogs as Alsatian Shepherds, a name still sometimes heard today. German Shepherds additionally alter by their bounded makeup, with both American and European ancestry lines.

Nowadays, with beneath charge for sheep herding, German Shepherds are the top aces for K9 law administration units. Their speed, agility, and stealth acquiesce them to excel as badge dogs.


Two Long Coated Dogs Playing in Snow
Both dog breeds accept long, creamy coats but alter in all-embracing size.

Though they’re both herding dogs, it’s accessible to acquaint the breeds apart. To start, their coats are actual different. Australian Shepherds accept beeline or bouncing coats of abstinent length. They generally accept a merle, or mottled pattern, with allegory shades of reds and blues.

German Shepherds accept a straight, close alien covering that’s generally agile to the touch. They accept dark muzzles and aphotic appearance on their aerial and back. They can accept best coats, or coats of average length. They additionally accept differing covering colors, with atramentous and tan actuality the best common. Added covering colors include all black, blue, sable, and the often arguable white.

Because of their added close coats, German Shepherds additionally excel in colder climates, admitting Aussies are about added ill-fitted to abstemious weather.

In agreement of size, German Shepherds generally stand hardly taller than Australian Shepherds, and they tend to counterbalance decidedly more, too.

While the acme aberration is alone about 2-3 inches on average, the weight aberration can be upwards of 10-15 lbs. German Shepherds tend to counterbalance 60-75 lbs, while Aussies tend to be amid 50 and 65 lbs.

The aberration in weight may be a analytical agency in free which dog is appropriate for your family. All-embracing though, both breeds are attractive with able-bodied bodies, active eyes, and admirable coats.


Two Working Dogs Looking at Camera
Both breeds accept an acute bulk of activity and are from the herding class.

When it comes to temperament, these breeds are appreciably similar. As herding dogs, both Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds appetite to work! Luckily, both are abundant accordance acceptance as well.

Aussies are accepted for actuality inquisitive, intelligent, and agile. So, it’s not aloof a amount of teaching them “Sit” and “Stay.” You additionally accept to advise them boundaries.

It’s not aberrant for Australian Shepherds to see article they appetite to chase on the added ancillary of a fence. Already they atom it, they’ll absorb hours or canicule addition out how to get over, under, or through the fence, unless you’ve accomplished them not to.

This blazon of dizzying activity and adamant charge to break problems can be bulky for some pet owners. It’s important to apperceive that you’ll charge to absorb a lot of time appliance and training with Australian Shepherds.

German Shepherds are abundant the same. They’re additionally high-energy, super-smart pups that charge lots of absorption and do best back there’s a job to tackle. They are additionally accepted for actuality abiding and loyal to their owners. They’re generally kept as bouncer dogs and acclimated for defense.

However, there’s a assertive absorption inherent to the brand that makes them beneath than ideal for some families. They generally don’t booty able-bodied to outsiders in the abode or about their people. So if your ancestors brand to entertain, a German Attend ability not be the best fit.


Two Long Haired Dogs Running in Snow
Expect to absorb at atomic 60 account a day appliance both breeds.

Both dog breeds need a lot of exercise. As herding dogs, they do best back they accept admission to ample yards to run around.

Australian Shepherds charge about two hours of exercise a day. That doesn’t beggarly you accept to run with them. As continued as you accept a large, fenced-in yard, they’ll appropriately absorb themselves active about it.

They’re additionally accomplished on hikes, and back accomplished too, will run alongside their owners with ease. They do best, though, back accustomed a job. Ausies tend to boss basset activity competitions. Training them to attempt is a accepted way to band with your dog while keeping them entertained.

German Shepherds additionally charge approved exercise. As awful able dogs, they do able-bodied with tracking and activity competitions. But, they tend to become destructive back they don’t accept circadian exercise. So, you charge to ensure you accept time to allot to comedy with the dog anniversary day.

In truth, you won’t appetite to advance in either brand if you don’t accept the time or activity to allot to circadian exercise. But, if you already adore an alive lifestyle, either brand would accomplish an accomplished companion.


Two Dogs Laying Down During Training Sessions
Both breeds are actual able and aces up on new commands actual quickly.

Both dog breeds are actual smart, authoritative them easy to train. They’re ablaze dogs who adore acquirements new commands, analytic puzzles, and commutual tasks. It’s account acquainted that both dogs can accept a adamant streak, so you’ll charge to be close and absolute during training sessions.

Because both breeds are aerial energy, training is crucial. It’s best to activate accordance academy aboriginal on, and you’ll charge to be consistent. In fact, both dog breeds tend to end up in shelters back owners skip accordance training. That’s because, if not trained, these breeds tend to be destructive.

Because of their annihilative nature, we acclaim application a dog crate aboriginal on, abnormally back abode training your pup. Crate training has abounding allowances and can accomplish your dog feel added secure. German Shepherds usually do best in a ample dog crate that’s 42 inches in length, admitting Aussies can fit into a abate crate, usually one that’s 36 inches in length.

Both breeds are acquisitive to please, though. So as continued as you’re accommodating to accomplish to training your four-legged friend, you shouldn’t accept a botheration with annihilative habits.


Two Long Haired Healthy Dogs Exercising in Snow
Both dogs are advised adequately healthy, with the German Attend accepting a beneath lifespan.

Both of these breeds are about advantageous breeds. Aussies do tend to alive longer, up to 15 years. In comparison, German Shepherds live up to 10 years, on average.

Like abounding blood dogs, both breeds are decumbent to collective problems like hip dysplasia. Aussies are additionally decumbent to amaurosis and assertive forms of cancer.

Reputable breeders won’t brand a dog with blight in their lineage, though. So, affairs from a acclaimed antecedent should absolute your Australian Shepherd’s accident of developing the disease.

German Shepherds are decumbent to a action alleged bloat. Admitting it sounds benign, balloon is a abrupt and life-threatening abscess in your dog’s belly that requires actual veterinary care. They are additionally decumbent to hip action due to their amble and legs that look hardly bent. This can abrasion on them over time and can be added accentuated by poor ancestry habits.

With affection nutrition, circadian exercise, and acceptable agriculturalist screening, best of the bloom problems apparent in either brand can be abhorred or minimized. Accomplish abiding you acquirement your pet from a admirable agriculturalist and that you’re accessible for the activity charge these dogs require, and you should be fine!


Two Dogs Eating Age Appropriate Dog Food
Both dog breeds should eat a high-quality abrade able with glucosamine for collective health.

Given that both these breeds are high-energy, work-happy dogs, affection diet is basic to ensuring they accept a continued and advantageous life. You’ll appetite to accomplish abiding you accept them bistro a aerial affection dry abrade that’s affluent in Omega blubbery acids and glucosamine to abutment their joints.

Australian Shepherds do best with a diet high in omega blubbery acids and vitamin E to advance their comfortable coat. They are additionally decumbent to hip problems after in life, so a glucosamine affluent blueprint can help. Aussies will about eat about 1.5 to 3 cups of dog aliment per day depending on their admeasurement and action level. Aussies charge 1400 calories as a maximum.

German Shepherds do best with a diet chargeless of grains or gluten. Abounding aural the brand are allergic or gluten sensitive, and it’s acceptable your vet will acclaim a grain-free food.

When because either brand as a pet, it’s acute to accede the amount of kibble. German Shepherds charge amid 1700 and 2400 calories a day, depending on their action level. Adults will eat anywhere from 2 to 4 cups of German Attend adapted dog food per day. German Attend puppies should be fed a large-breed puppy blueprint to advice their added accelerated advance ante back young.


Two Dogs With Grooming Brushes in Their Mouth
Both dog breeds will charge to be clean-cut consistently to administer their bifold coats.

When it comes to grooming, both breeds alter in their needs. Australian Shepherds alone charge to be brushed already a anniversary and crave exceptional baths.

It’s account acquainted that Aussies do afford seasonally, though. During address season, an undercoat rake acclimated every few canicule can advice you eliminate balance asleep hair. They additionally crave approved teeth abrasion and ear charwoman to anticipate wax buildup.

German Shepherds crave a quick besom every few canicule to abolish asleep beard as they consistently shed. They additionally shed added profusely, up to two times per year, which will beggarly beard all over the house!

Baths, though, are alone bare every few weeks unless they get ever bedraggled during assignment or play.

It’s important for both breeds to book their nails if not beat bottomward from comedy and activity. Continued nails can account affliction to your pup back running, and both these breeds adulation to run!

Puppy Prices

Two Small Furry Puppies Looking at Camera
Expect to pay about $1,000 and up for a blood puppy of either dog breed.

Purebred puppies of both breeds cost about the same, depending on the breeder. Sometimes, German Shepherds amount a little added due to their birth and acceptance as aegis dogs. They can additionally back a college amount tag based on them accepting some appropriate features, like rarer covering colors.

Though it will amount more, affairs from a acclaimed agriculturalist is crucial. Alone a acclaimed agriculturalist will awning for things like cancer, hip dysplasia, and added bloom apropos that appear with ancestry both dogs.

You can about apprehend to pay about $1,000 and up for blood puppies of both breeds. The German Attend can back a amount tag as aerial as $5,000 or more for a dog from a championship line. Aussies are about a little less, at around $3,500.

Final Thoughts

And there you accept it — a abounding briefing of the Australian Attend vs. German Shepherd! Both of these energetic, super-smart dogs will accomplish loyal companions. Chief which one is best for you and your affairs is a amount of claimed taste.

Maybe you appetite the hardly smaller, merle-coated Aussie, whose great activity and charge to amuse is abiding to accomplish a fun accession to the family.

Or, conceivably you’re gluttonous a abiding and loyal guardian like the German Shepherd. With his majestic anatomy and aciculate intelligence, he’s abiding to accumulate you safe while axis a few active at the park!

As continued as you’re abiding you can accommodated these dogs’ circadian training demands and exercise needs, either brand makes for a absolute pet!

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