When the GSD lovers talk about the dog’s breeds, they are always suspicious that the Alsatian and the German Shepherd belong to the same breed or they are different. When you research these two dogs, you will get two contradictory statements. Some would say that they are the same and some consider it a different breed.

Then what is the reality of the Alsatian vs German Shepherd?

Alsatian dog

Most people thought that they are different breed dogs and these people broadly give arguments about their statement and insisted to prove themselves right. But the reality is contrary to it. Yes, it is true.

It will shock you. I am also shocked when I realized that both dogs belong to the same breed with a different name.

Then why are they called by different names? What is the background of this mystery? They are called by different names in different regions of the world.

Origin of term German Shepherd

sable GSD

The words German shepherd belongs to Germany. Firstly, this breed was known by the name of “Deutscher Schaferhund“. But later on, this name is exchanged with German Shepherd.

Firstly, the breed of German Shepherd was observed in the late nineteenth century. At that time, this dog was bred for working purposes. This breed is used for protection purposes because of its intelligence.

Origin of term Alsatian Dog

The origin of the breed Alsatian is Alsace-Lorraine, a region at the border of Germany and France. During world war I the word German Shepherd is taken off by the British.

Due to the conflict with Germany, the British did not want to use the stigma of the word “German”. They exchanged this name with “Alsatian wolf dog”. But later word wolf dog is removed and it just remains the name Alsatian.

At the end of world war II, the British again decided to give back its original name to this breed. They again declared its official name as the German shepherd.

Similarities and Differences between the Alsatian and the German Shepherd

Alsatian VS German Shepherd

As described, there is no distinct difference in these dogs but some people make them different from each other on the basis of some arguments. Now we will see similarities and differences in them in depth.

GSD & Alsatian Similarities.

Alsatian and German Shepherd is also known as GSD. As described earlier, both belong to the same breed. So, they are similar to each other. Both have the same body size, characteristics, body coat, color, and face-cuts. Both dogs are considered intelligent.

Due to this character, they were used in world war I and II for security purposes. Both are loyal, brave, and courageous. Mostly when you visit a seller who sells this breed. He will make a huge difference in both of them.

Beware of this type of seller, there is no reality in their arguments. It is all for increasing the price of dogs. In short, the reality is that both are the different names of the same breed.

Differences between Alsatian and GSD.

As we know both are different names of the same breed but some dog lovers distinguish them on the basis of some reasons. They consider the origin from which they belong and many other things.

Following are the major arguments that are given by them. On the basis of them, they prove their arguments right.

How both are different (quick summary)?

  • Both have different names but the same breed.
  • This breed is known by different names in different regions of the world. Some regions called it German shepherd and others called Alsatian. But there are also some countries in which both names are known. In these areas, people believe that they belong to a different breed.
  • The name Alsatian has come from Alsace-Lorraine. (Border area of Germany and France). While the German Shepherd belongs to Germany.
  • German Shepherd term is used by Germany. while Alsatian is used by the British (Because they are the worst enemy of Germany so they changed the name).

Characteristic of Alsatian vs German Shepherd Dogs.

When someone thinks about keeping a dog. Many choices come to his mind. Many people give him suggestions of different dogs but the German shepherd or Alsatian is one of the great dogs in many aspects compared to others.


If you numbered the dogs according to their intelligence, the German Shepherd should be at the top of your list. It is one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs. They have the ability to adjust themselves in any type of environment. Moreover, they have the ability to understand the behavior of humans. If you have this breed, you must observe when you call him by his name, he runs toward you. This breed can also understand your gestures.

Additionally, they easily fit themselves with kids and family. The average age of this dog is 14 years. So you can enjoy it for a long time with the company of a German shepherd.


Due to their intelligence, temperament, and health, it is good for protection purposes. Many people trained it for security purposes at home.

Variant (Sub-breeds) of German shepherd and Alsatian

There are many other variants of Alsatian or German Shepherd. These variants must have different characteristics. Some people also use these breeds to prove that German Shepherd and Alsatian are different. But they do not know these are variants of them.

East European Shepherd

East European Shepherd is a breed of German Shepherd. This breed is resistant to cold environments. They bear extremely cold weather. They are mostly found in the Soviet Union.

King shepherd

King shepherd is a breed of the German shepherd that is found in the United States. They breed a German shepherd to remove the abnormalities found in his body.

Shiloh Shepherd

It is also bred in the United States. The purpose of this breed is to enhance the temperament of a German shepherd, for large body and neck size; for the strong hip.

White Shepherd

white german shepherd

White shepherd is also bred in the US. Germany does not accept this breed. But the US and Canada are working on this breed. They formed a breed club for the breeding of this type.

White Swiss Shepherd dog

This breed was done in Switzerland. The breeding of the first dog was done in America and then it was imported to Switzerland. In 2003, Switzerland declared them a new breed.