Breed Information

The Difference Between American and European German Shepherd

American German Shepherd vs European German Shepherd

Owning a German Shepherd is not as simple as just paying for one. You have to choose the German Shepherd breed to have.

It is about choosing the right one that will fit your needs and lifestyle. This is true, especially when choosing between an American or a European German Shepherd.

One difference between these two breeds is the price. Despite being smaller, European GSDs are more expensive than their American counterparts.

European GSDs are also best suited as working dogs while American GSDs are better as family dogs. Pedigree believes that this is because European GSDs were bred to be a working dog in the first place.

The European German Shepherd

In his Youtube video, Rocadog explained that the European German Shepherd is a mix of the classic German Shepherds and native Russian dogs.

The goal was to produce large and cold-resistant dogs to help the Russian police and the military.

European GSDs are regulated and documented by the German Shepherd Club of Germany. The German Shepherd Club of Germany worked hard in preserving this breed, ensuing that each breeding process will produce a great European German Shepherd in terms of working temperament and physical attributes.

The European German Shepherds are also called East-European Shepherds. Wikipedia described it as “extremely loyal and a devoted pet to its owner’.

Here are some facts about the European German Shepherd.

Size

A female European German Shepherd can grow up to 28 inches tall and can weigh up to 110 pounds. A male European German Shepherd can grow up to 30 inches tall and can weigh up to 130 pounds. It is larger than a regular German Shepherd but smaller than compared to an American German Shepherd

Appearance

A European German Shepherd has a wolf-like head. It also comes with a long neck and thick collar fur. Its back is wide, strong, and long as well as its loins. When excited, its long tail with thick fur is erect. When it walks, it trots and doesn’t skid.

Teeth

It comes with powerful jaw muscles and full teeth that can give a scissor-cutting edge bite.

Temperament

It is calm, quiet, active, attentive, and confident. It focuses on its owner and its commands, putting it on active defense position all the time. It needs regular exercise to channel its energy. It is suited as a working dog and is highly recommended as a police dog or a guard dog

Health

Just like its predecessor, a European German Shepherd is at risk of developing dysplasia (hip and elbow) and ear infection

Lifespan

A European German Shepherd can live up to 14 years

The American German Shepherd

The American German Shepherd is regulated by the American Kennel Club or AKC. This breed was bred for show hence they are called show line dogs. It possesses the intelligence and power of a real German Shepherd.

According to TheHappyPuppySite, the American German Shepherd breed is at risk of suffering from nervousness and anxiety, a condition uncommon to GSDs. This breed is not recommended to first-time pet owners.

Here are some facts about the American German Shepherd.

Size

A female American German Shepherd can grow up to 24 inches tall and can weigh up to 70 pounds. A male American German Shepherd can grow up to 26 inches tall and can weigh up to 90 pounds. American German Shepherd dogs grow in full hence they are often seen bigger than the European German Shepherd

Appearance

This breed comes with a short to medium coat. Having a medium coat is more ideal especially since it is a family dog. It also comes with a finer and bigger head. It comes with a steep slope on its back and angled rear legs.

Temperament

The temperament of American German Shepherd is harder to predict yet most still show intelligence

Health

Just like its ancestors, American German Shepherd are also at risk of developing dysplasia

Lifespan

An American German Shepherd can live up to 14 years

The Differences Between American German Shepherd and European German Shepherd

Would you go for an American German Shepherd or a European German Shepherd? To help you make a decision, here are the unique differences between these two breeds according to Allshepherd.

Size

A European German Shepherd is smaller than compared to an American German Shepherd but has more muscles

Back Appearance

A European German Shepherd has a straight topline while an American German Shepherd has a slope back

Hock

A European German Shepherd has longer hock as compared to an American German Shepherd

Color

A European German Shepherd has a darker color as compared to an American German Shepherd. It is often seen in red and black color. For American German Shepherds, their normal coat is black or tan according to Eurodeja.

Endurance and Power

A European German Shepherd has more endurance and stability being a working dog as compared to an American German Shepherd.

Temperament

European German Shepherds are easier to train because it was bred as a working dog according to Animals.Mom.me

Registration

Before you can register a European German Shepherd, it should pass the different tests (endurance and herding performance) set by the German Shepherd Club of Germany.

An American German Shepherd can be registered easily at the American Kennel Club if both of its parents are registered American German Shepherds

Use

A European German Shepherd is bred and trained to become a working dog (police dog or patrol dog) while an American German Shepherd is bred to become a family dog or a therapy dog

Adaptability to cold weather

A European German Shepherd can adapt and tolerate cold weather as it was bred to survive the coldness of Russia as a patrol dog.

An American German Shepherd can tolerate warm and cold weather but cannot survive extreme weather conditions according to Dogell website.

Health

with its slanted body, American German Shepherds are more prone to having hip dysplasia because of its slanted body. It is also at high risk of developing allergies and bloating.

A European German Shepherd has a lower risk because of its straighter and more balanced posture. The strict breeding and training policy of the European German Shepherd also ensures that each European German Shepherd is healthy and genetically free of any diseases

The Popularity of the European German Shepherds

The European German Shepherd is less popular because of its use and price. Most dog owners are looking for a family pet that they can bring home to their kids and the European German Shepherd is not a family dog. There are very few breeders of European German Shepherd, making it a pricey pet to have.

Besides, the strict standardized breeding regulations set by the German Shepherd Club of Germany make it more difficult to breed a European German Shepherd.

The Popularity of the American German Shepherds

An American German Shepherd pup costs around $500 in the US. At this price, you can have a family dog that can serve as a guard dog too. This is a lot cheaper than compared to a European breed that costs $1200 up to $5000.

For its look and price, the American German Shepherd is one of the most popular breeds of house dogs that you can find in the US.

Maintenance cost, the need for a big place to keep up with its active life, and family changes (such as having a baby) make it one of the most abandoned dogs in a shelter too.

Is A German Shepherd Breed the Right for You?

Regardless of the differences between an American and a European German Shepherd, these dogs are still from the same breed – the classic German Shepherd. Before choosing a type of German Shepherd, ask yourself first – is it the right breed for you?

If you will get a German Shepherd, you should have the following:

  • Active outdoor lifestyle to match your dog’s activeness
  • Large space at home to let it play and run around
  • Basic knowledge on how to raise a German Shepherd as this is not an ordinary dog, not a toy dog that you can just leave on your sofa while you do your stuff
  • Money for vaccinations and its food, and medical needs. Remember that German Shepherds are at high risks of having some hereditary medical conditions

What Are Your Other Breed Options?

There are two advantages of owning a German Shepherd, this breed is loyal and intelligent. However, if you think you don’t have what it takes to care for one especially its price, you can still raise similar breeds.

One breed similar to German Shepherds is the Border Collies. It is an energetic and intelligent dog too. It is a bit smaller than a GSD but as cute.

You might also want to reconsider other breeds of German Shepherd such as the German Shepherd Husky or the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Last Words About Choosing Between American and European German Shepherd

Raising a German Shepherd is like raising a child. You have to teach and train it at an early age to tame it and to curve its aggressive behavior. This is regardless of the type or breed that you have.

In the ned, what’s important is to get a dog that fits your lifestyle and a dog that you can easily care for.

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