10 Dogs That Look Like The German Shepherd Breed

Just like human beings have siblings and doppelgangers, some dogs can look very much alike that one wonders if they are siblings or probably somehow belong to the same breed. The German Shepherd dog breed (GSD), also popularly known as the Alsatian dog, is probably the most prized by many dog lovers and parents all over the world. The GSD is a potpourri of all the good things you’ll love in a dog, all rolled up in a nice bundle of fur. It is a lovable dog that provides both companionship and protection for its family and it is probably, or one of the most intelligent.

Proven across several quarters, the GSD is one of the most fearless dogs in the world making it the ideal working dog for most police departments, and para-military and military formations all over the world. The German Shepherd dog has its roots and origin in Germany and belongs to the family of herding dogs, bred specifically for sheep herding. The problem with the early breed of the GSD was that they were not uniform or standardized in any way, varying from one region to another.

Towards the end of the 1880s, Captain Max von Stephanitz – a German Calvary officer, and several other lovers and breeders of the GSD decided to standardize the breed, thereby making it uniform and consistent all over Germany. Their efforts resulted in the breed that we know as the German Shepherd dog all over the world today but many other breeds have already garnered a certain resemblance to the purebred.

General Characteristics Of The German Shepherd Dog Breed

The GSD is one that gives the impression of an alert, agile, strong, and fearless dog at first glance, and it not only portrays these attributes, but it also lives them daily. The head is masculine and well-chiseled for both sexes, and the ears point upwards when on alert with a muscular neck. The body of the breed is long, muscular, and sloping towards the hindquarters, while the shoulders are straight and muscular.

The GSD usually has a thick double coat, with a popular color of brown and black. The male is usually around 24 – 26 inches tall, with the female about 2 inches shorter. An average male would weigh about 65 – 90 lbs, while the female weighs in at 50 – 70 lbs. Barring any health complications, the GSD is expected to live and provide companionship for up to 10 years.

Dog Breeds That Look Just Like The German Shepherd Dog

There are quite a few dog breeds that could easily be mistaken for a German Shepherd at first glance, and we would look at some of them below.

1. Belgian Malinois


The Belgian Malinois or Mal for short is one of the dog breeds that most people consider to have the closest look to the GSD. They are both of the same height, and weight, and have a few other physical features that are about the same. The major differences between a GSD and a Mal are their color, torso, or body, as well as the fact that a Mal can live up to 16 years.

They are both loyal, alert, fearless, and very intelligent dogs that are easy to train and loved by both police and military formations as K-9 partners. Both dog breeds are also working dogs. The Mal loves to train side by side with its owner and will not survive in a home devoid of exercise and training.

2. Belgian Tervuren

German Shepherd Dog look alike

The Belgian Tervuren will surely be mistaken for a GSD at first glance. It has almost the same color, coat, ears, slightly slanting torso, etc, just like the German Shepherd dog, and their personalities are almost identical.

One would only begin to notice a few differences between both dogs when the Tervuren is at close quarters. First, Tervurens have a more chiseled head structure and their colors aren’t as deep as that of the GSD.

3. The Groenendael


You could call the Groenenael the black German Shepherd dog and you would be very right. Also known as the Belgian Sheepdog, the major differences it has from the GSD are their color and the shape of their heads.

The two dogs are about the same height, shape, and weight, have the same fore and hindquarters, as well as pointed ears. They are both intelligent dogs that can be easily trained and they provide great companionship to their owner and family.

4. Northern Inuit Dog

German Shepherd Dog look alike

The Northern Inuit dog is a crossbreed of some unknown Northern American dogs mixed with the German Shepherd Dog, Samoyed, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Malamute.

Apart from the color differences between the two dogs, the Inuit has probably the same gait and intelligence as the German Shepherd dog.

5. The Carpathian Shepherd Dog


The Carpathian Sheperd is a large dog breed that originated from the Carpathian mountain in Romania. It was bred originally to herd cattle and protect them from bears, wolves, and others.

Asides from the color differences, the Carpathian Shepherd only seems marginally bigger than the GSD and has a thicker coat.

6. Alsatian Shepalute Dog (American Alsatian)


The Alsatian Shepalute dog or American Alsatian is a large dog breed that was created by Lois Denny – a dog groomer and trainer, and it has its roots in the United States. It was created by mixing the German Shepherd dog with Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Sheperd, Mastiff, and Alaskan Malamute.

Not only does the breed have a similar name to the GSD, but the American Alsatian dog also shares many similarities with it. The breed bears a great resemblance to the GSD, except for the fact that its color is a bit paler and the body mass is a bit larger than the GSD. This American version, however, is considered stronger than the GSD but still makes good family dogs.

Though they appear big and powerful, the American Alsatian dog is generally calm and coordinated around strangers and is good with kids. They hardly turn aggressive towards a stranger, often choosing to remain indifferent. Also, average physical activity is enough to keep this breed happy.

7. Bohemian Shepherd Dog


The Bohemian Shepherd Dog alias the Chodenhund is considered a predecessor of the GSD – although there is no proof of this, they still have a very close resemblance. The origin of these dogs dates back to the 14th century.

The Chodenhund also has a brown and black coat color, but black is the predominant color, unlike the GSD where the reverse is the case.

8. King Shepherd


The King Shepherd dog breed will most likely be taken as the big brother of the German Shepherd Dog any day. They look very much alike, except that King Shepherd is taller, a bit longer, and weighs more than the GSD. The dog breeds that went into the development of King Shepherd explains the large size but it is surprisingly less aggressive than the GSD.

All in all, King Shepherd is intelligent, powerful, and loyal, just like the German Shepherd dog.

Read Also: Dogs That Look Like Pit Bulls: 10 Breeds You Might Mistake For A Pit Bull

9. Shiloh Shepherd

German Shepherd Dog look alike

Not a breed you would easily see in many homes, but the Shiloh Shepherd is one of the kinds that have a striking resemblance to the German Shepherd dog. The Shiloh Shepherds are intelligent dogs that respond to training and work well as therapy or service dogs. If you are considering getting one, know that this breed needs a lot of exercise and plenty of room to expend excess energy every now and then.

Asides from the color that differs from the usual GSD fur, the Shiloh Shepherd has major similarities to the German Shepherd. From the well-sculptured head to the pointy ears and muscled body, the two breeds have a lot in common. However, the Alaskan Malamute in the Shiloh Shepherd makes the breed a bit bigger than the GSD.

10. Dutch Shepherd


Popular among Dutch farmers and shepherds, this breed is used as herding dogs because of their tough ability to adjust to any condition. Aside from being good at the herding task they were bred for, the Dutch Shepherd dog breed is also obedient, and active, as well as serves as an excellent guard dog.

In addition to sharing similar physical features with the GSD, this breed also shares traits like being a loyal and protective member of any household that adopts it.

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