Alsatian and german shepherd dogs – differences and distinguishing features – pets – nigeria hip labral tear surgery recovery

A very common question among dog lovers around the world is whether the Alsatian and the German Shepherd dogs are one and the same, or are they different. If you take a straw poll, I am pretty sure you are going to get contradictory answers. This is hardly surprising considering the fact that they look so alike. So, what is the truth then? The truth is they are the same dog with only different names.

There seems to be a raging debate among dog lovers for quite some time now, with many claiming that they are different, as different as apples and oranges and are bred for different purposes. Some claim that there are structural differences between the dogs, others say that it is the size and color, while even others wants to stress on their places of origin. The proponents of the last theory say that Alsatian originated in Alsace in France while the German Shepherd in Germany.


During the world war, both sides were employing the German Shepherd in their ranks to attack, surprise and outmaneuver their opponents. The German Shepherd being a big working dog with high intelligence and a natural propensity for training was considered to be of great value by the armed forces and was therefore hotly pursued. However, the British were loath to using the name “German Shepherd” as the Germans were their arch-enemy and they (the British) didn’t want to associate with the Germans in any way, at least symbolically in this case. So, they coined a new name for the German Shepherd, Alsatian, which somehow some people has come to refer to as a different dog breed.

The Americans, however, had no such hangovers and the name German Shepherd was widely used. Once the war was over, the British also decided that the name Alsatian has outlived its usefulness and went back to its real and trusted name, the German Shepherd. This short anecdote should be enough to clear all your lingering doubts about the German Shepherd and an Alsatian and prove that they are the same thing.

It was because of the relentless campaign by the breeders that in 1977 the Alsatian finally got back its original name, German Shepherd Dog. Today the German Shepherd Dog or Alsatian, as you would like to call it, is among the most popular dog breeds in the world. In the US it ranks as high as number two in the popularity stakes while in the UK it is constantly ranked in the top five. The German Shepherd is also known as GSD.

@OP, some. People also call it POLICE DOG, cos it is used extensively in the US police though they also use other breeds such as Belgian Malnois (I hope I got the spelling well), which is a slightly smaller version of German Shepherd Dog. Personally, I love German Shepherd Dog more cause it is a General Purpose Dog. It can be trained to perform any task (sniffing, bomb detections, lead the blind, search and rescue, guard a territory, etc), unlike other breeds that have only one function (mostly guard), or a combination of few functions. police dog could be any dog once its been used by the police. Mostly, the notion of calling a Gsd police dog is because its usage in the force is high. Belgian malinois is used more by the military cos its very ferocious and more aggressive compared to the German shepherd. Gsd ranks third in intelligence after border collie and poodle, they are very active and sensitive. My best breed of dog. Re: Alsatian And German Shepherd Dogs – Differences And Distinguishing Features by okikiosibodu( m): 11:24am On Jul 17, 2016

yes boss, we are on the same page. But I don’t know why most people esp breeders don’t like going for Gsd, maybe because of the low price its been sold for. But believe there are still expensive gsds around. Some go for 150k or thereabout, depending on the purity. I wanted to import one recently, it was too much, about 4000dollars. The cheapest I saw was in Ghana, 1,050 dollars

But to be candid with you, what pulls money one those dogs, are mostly pedigree (proper documentation of ancestry) with details of ancestors registered in the governing dogbreed’s associated. This ensures that the dog has no mix or diluted gene along its lineage, and it also ensures dogs conform with the breed standard. Getting appraisals for your dogs has some financial implications, same as getting their documents. Breeders somewhat spread this costs to dog buyers, hence the high prices. A pedigree Rottweiler for example, could cost about 300k, but one witout papers that pass the test of the eye, could go for 50k. So you as a canine lover that have no intention of breeding, will rather go for the 50k one (from a Miller) than the 300k own (from a breeder), ’cause you can’t spot the difference. That’s one of the reasons we need enlightenment in Nigeria. A whatsapp group I joined on whatsapp, is serious working towards getting Boerboels in Nigeria appraised, so that people can start patronising local breeds for pedigree dogs and avoid the stress of importation. Once again, a pedigree German Shepherd Dog’s puppy can go for 150k, while a non-pedigree can go for 25k. With proper documentation, you can tell if their is a particular disease, ailment, etc peculiar to the lineage, you can identify a distinguishing feature in the lineage, you can spot what needs to be improved on (structure-wise, health-wise, etc), you can determine what the offspring of the lineage has, that you need for your Dam/ stud to improve in their offsprings, etc. In short, it helps you plan properly on your breeding programme

Note: pedigree does not necessarily mean hybrid or diluted breed, it ensures documentation of ancestry and proves that the ancestry are pure breeds. Even if a dog has the exact qualities of a pedigree dog or even has better structures than a pedigree dog of its breed, its ancestry will be tagged unknown ’cause no document to back it up. Pardon my lengthy post

But to be candid with you, what pulls money one those dogs, are mostly pedigree (proper documentation of ancestry) with details of ancestors registered in the governing dogbreed’s associated. This ensures that the dog has no mix or diluted gene along its lineage, and it also ensures dogs conform with the breed standard. Getting appraisals for your dogs has some financial implications, same as getting their documents. Breeders somewhat spread this costs to dog buyers, hence the high prices. A pedigree Rottweiler for example, could cost about 300k, but one witout papers that pass the test of the eye, could go for 50k. So you as a canine lover that have no intention of breeding, will rather go for the 50k one (from a Miller) than the 300k own (from a breeder), ’cause you can’t spot the difference. That’s one of the reasons we need enlightenment in Nigeria. A whatsapp group I joined on whatsapp, is serious working towards getting Boerboels in Nigeria appraised, so that people can start patronising local breeds for pedigree dogs and avoid the stress of importation. Once again, a pedigree German Shepherd Dog’s puppy can go for 150k, while a non-pedigree can go for 25k. With proper documentation, you can tell if their is a particular disease, ailment, etc peculiar to the lineage, you can identify a distinguishing feature in the lineage, you can spot what needs to be improved on (structure-wise, health-wise, etc), you can determine what the offspring of the lineage has, that you need for your Dam/ stud to improve in their offsprings, etc. In short, it helps you plan properly on your breeding programme

Note: pedigree does not necessarily mean hybrid or diluted breed, it ensures documentation of ancestry and proves that the ancestry are pure breeds. Even if a dog has the exact qualities of a pedigree dog or even has better structures than a pedigree dog of its breed, its ancestry will be tagged unknown ’cause no document to back it up. Pardon my lengthy postyou have made sense!