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11 Dog Breeds Like the German Shepherd

Updated on December 26, 2015
A King Shepherd are bigger and more muscular than German Shepherds, but they are also more friendly and intelligent.
A King Shepherd are bigger and more muscular than German Shepherds, but they are also more friendly and intelligent. | Source

Looking for a Dog Like a German Shepherd?

German Shepherd is one of world's most recognized and popular breeds. The breed is known as Alsatian in Great Britain and parts of Europe. They are intelligent working dogs and their devotion, courage, and intelligence are unmatched.

German Shepherds are very strong and energetic. Their front legs and shoulders are muscular and thighs thick and sturdy. They are tall, about two feet, two inches, and their body structure is rectangular. German Shepherds are among the best police and military service dogs. They are also excellent herders, search and rescue dogs, and drug detectors. They are loyal and faithful companions.

These qualities make them popular. Some people, however, would like a dog like a German Shepherd but with various other traits, including:

  • bigger and more powerful
  • less hairy and doesn't shed
  • smaller in size and more suitable for apartment life
  • lower maintenance in terms of physical exercise and suitable for an inexperienced owner
  • less aggressive, good with strangers, kids, and other pets
  • cool and calm, but bigger in size
  • can handle freezing temperatures
  • can handle warm weather
  • longer or shorter life span

For these specific requirements, investigate other breeds that look like German Shepherds. Read on to find out the many breeds to consider and their specific qualities.

Belgian Shepherd vs German Shepherd

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Source
Source

Belgian Shepherds are originated from Belgium and are also known as the Belgian sheepdog or Chien de Berger Belge). These medium-to-large-sized herding dogs are very intelligent and quick learners. They are strong and energetic dogs and do well in tracking, obedience and search operations. These qualities make them, excellent watch dog or police dogs.

Belgian shepherds need daily walk and exercise, if getting sufficient exercise- they will do well in apartment. They need a firm owner and not recommended to inexperienced or weak owner. They are good with children if trained and socialized at early stage but they are reserved to strangers and other pets.

Belgian vs. German Shepherd

 
German Sheperd
Belgian Shepherd
Origin
Germany
Belgium
Height
55-65 cm
56-66 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
20-30 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Herding, AKC Herding
Life Span
9-13 years
10-14 years
Coat
Long, rough, wired hair.
Moderately long double coat with ruff fur.
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Solid black, black with white patches on neck and chest
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCBG, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APBI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA

King Shepherd

Source

King shepherds are giant shepherd dogs. They were developed by, American dog breeders Shelley Watts-Cross and David Turkheimer. They used American, European German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamutes and Great Pyrenees to create this breed and Official breed club was established in 1995.

King shepherds are bigger than German Shepherd and more powerful and muscular. They are comparatively less aggressive and very intelligent and quick learners. They are intelligent, powerful, loyal and less aggressive than German shepherds.

King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
King Shepherd
Origin
Germany
USA
Height
55-65 cm
64-81 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
34-68 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Herding
Life Span
9-13 years
10-11 years
Coat
Long, rough, wired hair
Long, rough, weather resistant hair
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Multiple varieties of sable
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
ARBA, AKSC, WWKC, ERBDC, SKC, APRI, DRA

Dutch Shepherd

Source

Dutch Shepherd dogs are herding dogs bred by Dutch farmers and shepherds to adapt to tough conditions. Dutch Shepherds are among the best shepherd dogs and most competent at herding, agility, obedience, and guarding. They are great companions who are very loyal and protective of their owner and family.

They need training early-on as well as regular physical and mental exercise, or they can become destructive and stubborn.

Dutch Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
Dutch Shepherd
Origin
Germany
Netherlands
Height
55-65 cm
55-62 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
23-32 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Herding
Life Span
9-13 years
12-15 years
Coat
Long, rough wired hair
Three types: short, long, wired
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Various gray/silver with dark tan stripes
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
CKC, FCI, UKC, NKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, AKC/FSS, ACA

Shiloh Shepherd

Shiloh Shepherd

The Shiloh Shepherd is a rare dog and not recognized by any major kennel club, this breed is still under development and need recognition. Shiloh shepherd look very similar to the German shepherd but they have Alaskan malamute in their blood line. So, they are bigger in size and have better hips. Shiloh shepherds got their first official breed club, International Shiloh Shepherd Registry Inc. (ISSR) in 1991.

Shiloh shepherds are intelligent and energetic dogs, They need lot of exercise and open space to run and play, if not getting sufficient exercise then this breed can become destructive and aggressive. But if they get sufficient exercise, they will do okay in an apartment.

Shiloh Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
Shiloh Shepherd
Origin
Germany
USA
Height
55-65 cm
71-76 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
36-59 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Herding
Life Span
9-13 years
12-14 years
Coat
Long, rough, wired hair
Long, rough hair
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Wide range, including tan with two or three other colors
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
TSSR, NSBR, SSBA, ARBA, APRI, NKC, ISSR, DRA

Bohemian Shepherd

Source

The Bohemian Shepherd, or Czech Sheepdog, is a medium-sized dog also known as Chodský pes, Czech Sheepdog, Bohemian Herder, and Chodenhund. This breed is not recognised by the FCI or other major kennel clubs outside of Czech Republic. Bohemian Shepherds have been allowed at Danish kennel club shows since 2013.

This dog is very similar to a German Shepherds but is more friendly and less aggressive. Bohemian Shepherds are smaller in height and less muscular than German Shepherds. Furthermore, they are low maintenance and have no any major health issues. Very few dogs of this breed are available, as modern breeding for this dog was only started in 1984.

Bohemian Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
Bohemian Shepherd
Origin
Germany
Czech Republic
Height
55-65 cm
42-55 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
16-25 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Companion
Life Span
9-13 years
 
Coat
Long, rough, wired hair
Long, thick fur with rich undercoat
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Black, brown, and tan with yellow shades
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
DRA

Byelorussian Shepherd

Source

Byelorussian or East European Shepherd

Byelorussian Shepherds are very intelligent shepherd dogs and are more popular outside of the West. They are also known as Byelorussian Ovcharka, Vostochnoevropejskaya Ovcharka, VEO, and East-European Shepherds.

These dogs are bred to work in freezing temperatures. The first ones were bred in 1930 by crossing a German Shepherd and native Russian breeds, including Laika or Owtcharka-type dogs.

Byelorussian Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
Byelorussian Shepherd
Origin
Germany
Russia
Height
55-65 cm
62-76 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
30-60 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Herding, Guarding
Life Span
9-13 years
Up to 13 years
Coat
Long, rough wired hair
Long, rough coat
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Shamrock with mask, Zonar-grey, Zonar-red, black
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
N/A

Northern Inuit

Source

This is an unrecognized, crossbred dog developed in the UK as a domestic, dog-like wolf. They were bred by cross German Shepherd, Siberian Huskies, and Inuit dogs. This dog has a medium build and is very similar in shape and appearance to a wolf.

The Northern Inuit dog is a non-aggressive and friendly dog, but they need to be trained early-on or they can become stubborn and determined.

Northern Inuit vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
Northern Inuit
Origin
Germany
England
Height
55-65 cm
63.5 -76.2 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
25-38 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Herding
Life Span
9-13 years
 
Coat
Long, rough, wired hair
Short, dense, double coat
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Pure white, black, or sable with or without white face mask
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
DRA

Belgian Tervuren Shepherd

Source

Belgian Tervuren Shepherds are members of the Belgian Shepherd family of dog breeds from the village of Tervuren in Belgium. AKC has recognized them since 1960 under the name Belgian Tervuren. At first look they appear very similar to German Shepherds, but Belgian Tervurens are square-proportioned dogs and smaller than German Shepherds. Tervurens are energetic, intelligent, and active dogs suitable for outdoor life. They are great dogs for herding, obedience, agility, tracking, search and rescue or protection work.

Belgian Tervuren vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
Belgian Tervuren
Origin
German
Belgium
Height
55-65 cm
53.3 - 62.2 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
27-34 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Herding, AKC Herding
Life Span
9-13 years
12-14 years
Coat
Long, rough, wired fur
Dense undercoat, long and straight outer coat with black tips
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Rich fawn to russet mahogany or shades of gray with black tips. White patches on chest, neck, and toes are acceptable.
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
ABTC, CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, AnKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR

Carpathian or Romanian Shepherd

Source

These dogs originated in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. They are also known as Ciobănesc Românesc Carpatin, Romanian Shepherd, Romanian Carpathian Shepherd, Câine Ciobănesc Carpatin, Carpathian Sheepdog, Carpatin, Romanian Carpatin Herder, and Rumanian Carpathian. They are bred to be strong, quick-moving, and smart enough to fight a wolf or lynx, immobilize a wolf or wild boar, and serve as a reliable working dog.

Carpathian or Romanian Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
Carpathian/Romanian
Origin
Germany
Romania
Height
55-65 cm
60-73 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
23-29 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Flock Guard
Life Span
9-13 years
12-14 years
Coat
Long, rough, wired hair
Rough, abundant, straight fur
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Fawn to mahogany with black markings
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
FCI, NKC, ACR, DRA

American Alsatian

This is a large-breed American dog that looks very similar to a German Shepherd. American Alsatians, however, are much bigger and powerful than German Shepherds and are great family companion dogs. They are extremely calm and quiet. Like German Shepherds, these dogs are also loyal to their owner and family members, but they are less aggressive and friendlier dogs overall. They are good with children and other pets, remain aloof to strangers, but never become aggressive. American Alsatians require average physical activity and exercise. They are very suitable for apartment life and do not tend to bark, dig, or jump fences.

American Alsatian vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
American Alsatian
Origin
Germany
USA
Height
55-65 cm
61-71 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
34-55 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Non-Sporting, Therapy
Life Span
9-13 years
12-14 years
Coat
Long, rough, wired hair
Long, rough hair
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
Black, brown, silver, white
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
NASR, NAAC

American Alsatian Pups

Panda or Phenom Shepherd

Source

Panda Shepherd dogs are very intelligent and energetic. They are always keen to learn and crave a challenge. They are piebald German Shepherd from a single GSD bloodline and a spontaneous mutation and have no White German Shepherds in their ancestry.

Top 10 Shepherd dogs Like GSD

Panda or Phenom Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

 
German Shepherd
Panda/Phenom
Origin
Germany
Piebald breed
Height
55-65 cm
55-65 cm
Weight
22-40 kg
25-40 kg
Group
Herding, AKC Herding
Herding
Life Span
9-13 years
Up to 13 years
Coat
Long, rough, wired hair
Short and thick
Colour
Black with tan, sable, or black sable. White, blue, and liver colour are considered a fault.
40 percent pure white with black and tan, red, silver, or sable
Recognition
CFC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
DRA

© 2014 ARADHYA

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    • profile image

      Obdulia 2 weeks ago

      German

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 2 months ago

      Hello Brandie,

      Given link doesn't work

      The webpage at https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t34.0-12/16... might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

    • Brandie Vizzier profile image

      Brandie Vizzier 2 months ago

      Can you you please tell me what shepherd this is?

      https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t34.0-12/16...

    • profile image

      mile 2 months ago

      i ilke it

    • profile image

      Pam Phillips 2 months ago

      You have a picture of a Harzer Fuchs listed as a Chodsky pes, the Harzer is a German Breed the CP is Czech breed, also you have listed as recognised by DRA I am not sure who this is. They are recognised with the CMKU, Polish KC, Slovakian KC, all the Nordic countries such as Finnish, Swedish, Dainish KC etc, plus Switzerland and they are now in approximately 22+ countries world wide, I have owned this breed since 2008

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 2 months ago

      Thanks Tom,

      And wish you a very happy new year!

    • profile image

      Tom Craten 3 months ago

      Thank you very much, Aradhya.

      Hope you have a Happy New Year!

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 3 months ago

      Acc. to me , NAIDs are the best possible replacement for Bohemian Shepherds in USA. But larger in size.

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 3 months ago

      Hello Tom,

      As i can understand, these dogs can be good for your search.

      - American Coon Hounds

      - American Fox Terriers

      - Native American Indian Dogs

      Also, I am not sure if you can find "Bohemian Shepherds" in US. Because they are not reg. with AKC an not easily available outside to their native region.

    • profile image

      Aradhya 3 months ago

      Hello Tom,

      The, Basset fauve de bretagnes are an excellent but rare breed dog, usually people consider they are playful and friendly dogs, and size and appearance like a Cocker Spaniel but they are hardy dogs and have the mentality of *** and also more popular as "Brittany Basset". They are really unique dogs in all the way, So it's difficult to find the same replacement.

      The Bohemian Shepherd, or Czech Sheepdog dogs are definitely an excellent breed. But I am not sure, how suitable they will be for your need and also I am not sure- if you can find them in US, because they are not rec. by AKC. So, my in general comments are,

      If you like similar dog like Bohemian Shepherds, then - Native American Indian Dogs (NAIDs) are the better alternate. But they are bigger in size.

      And acc to me - If I need to select, A dog have similar mentality like, basset fauve de bretagne and

      "I would like a breed that has more obedient characteristics, or at least one that would adhere to a closer territoriality with its master."

      - Then other options "in USA" are,

      1. American Coon Hound (Please explore, the have diff. variations, sub-breeds)

      2. American Fox Terriers

      3. Native American Indian Dog (NAIDs)

      Hope, this info. can help you o find more options.

      Thanks!

      -

    • Tom Craten profile image

      Tom Craten 3 months ago from Baltimore

      Thank you for this site - I'm finding it most useful. I've been looking for a replacement for my beloved Briq (basset fauve de bretagne), who I needed to put down almost two years ago. We would take epic walks together, several times a week, through dense forests, water sheds, urban & rural neighborhoods, etc. The only problem I had with him were the two times I lost him for over three hours each time. Both because he picked up a scent of a deer, and that instinctive drive totally took over. Exhausted, he would eventually find me, but I'm well aware I was extremely lucky. I would like a breed that has more obedient characteristics, or at least one that would adhere to a closer territoriality with its master. The Bohemian Shepherd has gotten my attention, and curious to hear any additional comments you may have for this breed. Additionally, as my Briq was a rare breed to find, any leads to breeder sources would be appreciated. I live in Baltimore, Maryland. Thanks again..

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 7 months ago

      Hello Tessa,

      Thanks for your comment, I will correct if needed.

      But you can see the reference (Picture source) that's taken from site. Where they are listed under same breed.

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 7 months ago

      Hello Michelle,

      Its great to know about your new experience and interesting notes.

      I like to see the picture of them if possible :) ..

    • profile image

      Tessa 7 months ago

      Hello, I would just like to say, that the upper picture you have of bohemian shepherd is wrong, it is not the breed. In this breed the only allowed coloring is black and tan/the tan can be a little lighter sometimes, but not brown etc... Do some research before you post....

    • profile image

      Michelle 8 months ago

      Great to see all the different breeds of Shepherds, I noticed they all have similar traits, I have a five month old puppy, he has a totally different temperament to the female shepherd that my friend owns, both German lines.. They all look similar but develop there own personality quickly.. As long as they are loved and given regular care and excercise, treated with patients and respect you can't go wrong beautiful loyal friends and companions for life.. The wolf is a majestic intelligent and strong animal, that has always captivated the interest of man, that I feel is what a shepherd is..

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 9 months ago

      Hi Ruth,

      I agree no dog is exactly similar to wolf, but some dogs that look like a wolf.

      Somoyed look similar to white wolves, like white Himalayas wolves.

    • profile image

      Ruth 9 months ago

      I was wondering why you didn't show the black Belgian Shepherd as a look alike for a wolf.

      Some of those you did show were way off the mark.

      No one would ever mistake a Samoyed for a wolf nor a Husky.

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 10 months ago

      Hi Cathie,

      I wont say it will not look like a GSD, that may be and may not be. You can observe pups from same litter can be entirely different.

      They can be very similar like any one from their parent or can inherit mixed personality.

      But i believe a wolf/dog mix should resemble a GSD with low content.

    • profile image

      cathie 10 months ago

      Shauna: thinking about getting a dog, don't know much about them but your comment about a cat resembling a lion is way off. I have a bengal which is a domestic house cat mixed with the asian leopard cat.. a high content will sometimes resemble a domestic cat and low content def, aside from the markings. So you're saying a wolf/dog mix will not resemble a GSD even with low content? Really?

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 15 months ago

      Well that looks coincidence, but will will look how to improve and to satisfy them.

    • profile image

      ShawnWashingerASOalphaTeamTMI 15 months ago

      Go figure, it's all women complaining about how the article is written & dissecting it

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 15 months ago

      Hello Shauna,

      As you mentioned about Belgian shepherd pictures, i will replace that with correct order. Though I agree a wolfdog can go worse than pitbull but that not necessary, its also depends upon their grooming and training. Also they are not a stable breed and you can observe pups from same litter can have different characteristics. So this article can be taken only for the dogs that have similar appearance but not for the characteristics or behavior.

    • profile image

      Shauna 15 months ago

      Your belgian shepherd vs german shepherd picture is messed up. The bottom left dog is a black german shepherd and the top right dog is a belgian.

      Also, most wolfdogs do NOT look like german shepherds. The only wolfdogs that look even similar to german shepherds are low content wolfdogs that have been heavily mixed with german shepherds. A high content and even a mid content will not resemble a german shepherd any more than a house cat resembles a lion.

      If someone has a dog that looks like a german shepherd that they are claiming is a wolfdog, it is either a very low content or they are either lying or were lied to by the breeder. Misrepresentation and mislabeling of wolfdogs is even worse than pitbulls.

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 16 months ago

      Hi greeneyedblondie,

      Most of the wolf hybrids and some shepherds look like German shepherds.

      Though they all have their own, different behavior and strength.

    • greeneyedblondie profile image

      greeneyedblondie 16 months ago

      I didn't know there were so many dogs that looked like German Shepard and that there were other kinds of Shepard dogs.

    • profile image

      Gsd breeder 19 months ago

      OK, I understand that its meant to show the differences but whoever wrote this forgot to add that there are 2 types of GermanShepherds working and shoreline and that a German Shepherd body is not always big muscled it just depends on which type of had you have. Also when they put Belgian shepherd vs GermanShepherd they put a black GermanShepherd on the Belgianshepherd side and a Belgian terviuren on the GermanShepherd side.....Please if somebody is going to make an information chart make sure to write true and whole facts

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