These 10 dogs look like a German Shepherd dog - GSD Colony blog post

Top 10 similar dog breeds to German Shepherd dog

Have you ever heard that someone calls other dogs a German Shepherd, even if they are not German Shepherd dogs? We are, at least a hundred times… Is it really that hard to distinguish a German Shepherd dog from other dog breeds? People who are not familiar with this dog breed can easily make this mistake.

How to recognize a German Shepherd Dog?

German shepherd dogs are popular for their wonderful coat color (there are different coat types of GSD), by their size, intelligence, big ears, and size. 

They are a very friendly (yes, they are, if you are a good hooman) dog breed, and many families decide to get a German Shepherd dog as their first dog. 

This is what the average German Shepherd looks like:

German Shepherd dog in the forest

Now, let’s see which dog breeds are most similar to the German Shepherd. Let’s start with the most obvious one.

1. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois sitting on the ground in nature - Similar dog to German Shepherd

The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: smart, confident, hardworking.

The average height of this dog breed is 24-26 inches (60-66 cm) for males and 22-24 (56-60 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 60-80 pounds (27-36 kg) for males and 40-60 pounds (18-27 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of Belgian Malinois is around 14-16 years.

Why do people think that Belgian Malinois is a German Shepherd?

The average person who doesn’t have any knowledge about these two dog breeds will probably say that these two dogs are the same, and we can't blame them for that! There are really great similarities between a German Shepherd dog and a Belgian Malinois.

Their height, weight, body shape, and behavior are very similar, and for a non-dog lover person, it’s very difficult to recognize a German Shepherd between these two breeds.

Short overview of Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a powerful, fast, smart, and highly energetic dog. If you decide to get one of these dog breeds, you MUST pay a lot of attention to this dog breed. Belgian Malinois requires a lot of time for training, and you must be patient, and you should never punish your dog. If you treat your Belgian Malinois the right way, you will build an unbreakable bond, and you will get a truly best friend.

How can you recognize a Belgian Malinois from a German Shepherd?

-Belgian Malinois have a shorten coat
-Belgian Malinois is a higher energetic dog
-German Shepherd is a larger dog (for 10% approximately)


2. White Swiss Shepherd

White Swiss Shepherd lies on the ground in forest - Similar dog to German Shepherd


The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: Intelligent, confident, courageous.

The average height of this dog breed is 24-26 inches (60-66 cm) for males and 22-24 (56-60 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 65-85 pounds (30-38 kg) for males and 55-75 pounds (25-34 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of a White Swiss Shepherd is around 12-14 years.

Why do people think that White Swiss Shepherd is a German Shepherd?

The White Swiss Shepherd (also known as Berger Blanc Suisse) is an absolutely beautiful dog breed with a gorgeous dog coat. The main reason why people call White Swiss Shepherd a German Shepherd, is because of their coat and similar body shape.

People think that White Swiss Shepherd is the same as a White German Shepherd, however, there are differences between these two breeds of dog. The biggest difference between these two dog breeds is in their behavior.

Short overview of White Swiss Shepherd

White Swiss Shepherd (or Berger Blanc Suisse) is a powerful, medium-sized dog with a white coat and dark skin. They are smart, easy to train, and very friendly dogs. The first stud dog of what became the White Swiss Shepherd Dog was an American dog born in 1966, that was imported to Switzerland. They are also a very loyal and family-friendly dog breed, and most families decide to get this dog breed because of these beautiful characteristics.

How can you recognize a White Swiss Shepherd from a German Shepherd?

-White Swiss Shepherd is a smaller dog breed
-There is no different coat color of White Swiss Shepherd, only white
-Their eyes are generally darker when you compare to German Shepherd

3. Belgian Tervuren

Wet Belgian Tervuren sitting on the beach - Similar dog to German Shepherd


The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: Intelligent, courageous, alert.

The average height of this dog breed is 24-26 inches (60-66 cm) for males and 22-24 (56-60 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 55-75 pounds (25-34 kg) for males and 45-60 pounds (20-27 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of Belgian Tervuren is around 12-14 years.

Why do people think that Belgian Tervuren is a German Shepherd?

The German Shepherd dog (GSD) looks almost the same as a Belgian Tervuren. Their similarity is amazing, and that is why a big number of people often cannot find the differences between these two breeds of dog. Belgian Tervuren has pointed ears and nose, like a German Shepherd, and that’s because these dog breeds are developed to do almost the same job.

Short overview of Belgian Tervuren

The Belgian Tervuren also referred to as a Terv, is a medium-sized, hard-working dog. The biggest prons of this dog breed are that anyone can easily train them (of course with a lot of practice and repetition). They are also a perfect choice as a family dog.

How can you recognize a Belgian Tervuren from a German Shepherd?

-Usually, Belgian Tervuren has a longer coat.
-Belgian Tervuren is more energetic than the German shepherd.
-German shepherd is larger and heavier than a Belgian Tervuren.
-German shepherds can be more intelligent than Belgian Tervurens.

4. Groenendael

Black Groenendael running in the forest - Similar dog to German Shepherd


The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: Intelligent, confident, courageous.

The average height of this dog breed is 24-26 inches (60-66 cm) for males and 22-24 (56-60 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 55-75 pounds (25-34 kg) for males and 45-60 pounds (20-27 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of Groenendael is around 11-13 years.

Why do people think that Groenendael is a German Shepherd?

This dog breed is also very similar to the German Shepherd. Most people think that Groenendael is the same dog as the black-coat German Shepherd dog. Their body shape is almost the same, and the main difference between these two dog breeds is not in their look, but in their behavior.

Short overview of Groenendael

Groenendael is a medium-sized, long-haired dog breed. They are a perfect choice for new dog owners, or for families that are getting their first dog. Groenendael is a smart dog breed, and you can easily teach them commands. Unlike German Shepherds, they have only one coat color, black.

How can you recognize a Groenendael from a German Shepherd?

-Groenendael is a more friendly dog breed.
-German Shepherd is a larger dog breed and heavier dog breed.
-Unlike German Shepherd, Groenendael has a low tendency to bark

5. Byelorussian Shepherd (East European Shepherd)

East European Shepherd in the forest - Similar dog to German Shepherd



The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: Intelligent, strong, courageous.

The average height of this dog breed is 26-28 inches (66-71 cm) for males and 24-26 (61-66 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 85-105 pounds (38-47 kg) for males and 75-95 pounds (34-43 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of an East Europe Shepherd is around 10-12 years.

Why do people think that an East European Shepherd is a German Shepherd?

German Shepherd and East Europe Shepherd are basically “twins”. East Europe Shepherd was developed by selectively breeding from the old-style German Shepherd lines to local dogs, reportedly including Ovcharkas and Laikas, to produce a larger dog that was capable of performing in and withstanding some of the harshest environments of the former USSR. Their body shape is identical, only in this case, the German Shepherd has a smaller body.

Short overview of East European Shepherd

East Europe Shepherd is a large dog breed, with pointed ears and nose. They usually appear in black-tan coat color with brown eyes. They are also high-activity dogs, and you should play, train or walk with them for at least 120 minutes per day. If you want to protect your property or to get a smart guardian dog, then East Europe Shepherd is a perfect choice for you!

How can you recognize an East European Shepherd for a German Shepherd?

-German Shepherd is a more friendly dog breed.
-German Shepherd is a more intelligent dog breed.
-East European Shepherd is not the most dog-friendly dog.
-East European Shepherd is larger and heavier than German Shepherd.

6. Shiloh Shepherd

Shiloh Shepherd puppy running - Similar dog to German Shepherd


The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: Intelligent, confident, very friendly.

The average height of this dog breed is 28-32 inches (71-81 cm) for males and 26-30 (66-76 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 100-130 pounds (45-58 kg) for males and 90-110 pounds (40-50 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of Shiloh Shepherd is around 9-14 years.

Why do people think that Shiloh Shepherd is a German Shepherd?

Shiloh Shepherd has a very similar color of dog coat and long hair as a German Shepherd. People know that the German Shepherd is a “big dog” and often because of this, they can’t make a difference between these two dog breeds. This dog breed also has pointed ears and a nose.


Short overview of Shiloh Shepherd

The Shiloh Shepherd is an intelligent companion dog who responds well to training. Their gentle personality makes them excellent service dogs, therapy dogs or family dogs. As a German Shepherd, they are also very energetic dogs, and if you want to have a happy Shiloh Shepherd, you must work with them at least for 2 hours. The Shiloh Shepherd is a combination of a few dog breeds, but the main two dog breeds are Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd.

How can you recognize a Shiloh Shepherd for a German Shepherd?

-Shiloh Shepherd is a less energetic dog.
-Shiloh Shepherd is larger and heavier than a German Shepherd dog.
-Shiloh Shepherd is a more friendly dog, unlike the German Shepherd, which is more of a working dog.

7. Bohemian Shepherd

Bohemian Shepherd dog flying in the air with dog disc toy in mouth - Similar dog to German Shepherd



The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: friendly, devoted, intelligent.

The average height of this dog breed is 20-22 inches (50-56 cm) for males and 19-21 (48-53 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 41-60 pounds (19-27 kg) for males and 37-53 pounds (17-23 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of a Bohemian Shepherd is around 12-15 years.

Why do people think that Bohemian Shepherd is a German Shepherd?

This dog breed also has a similar coat color as most German Shepherds, black & tan. When you compare a German Shepherd to a Bohemian Shepherd, you will notice that a German Shepherd is a large dog breed, but, because of so much similarity between those dog breeds, sometimes it’s really hard to make a difference.

Short overview of Bohemian Shepherd

The Bohemian Shepherd is also known as Chodenhund or Chodský pes. This beautiful dog breed has pointed ears and a nose like a German Shepherd. The Bohemian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog with black & tan coat color. Bohemian Shepherd is also a high-energy dog breed, but also a very good family dog.

How can you recognize a Shiloh Shepherd for a German Shepherd?

-German Shepherd is larger and heavier than Bohemian Shepherd.
-German Shepherd is a more intelligent dog breed.
-Bohemian Shepherd is a more friendly dog breed.

8. American Alsatian

American Alsatian dog running in the forest and jumping over the down wood - Similar dog to German Shepherd


Image source

The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: friendly, lively, intelligent.

The average height of this dog breed is 25-28 inches (64-71 cm) for males and 24-27 (61-69 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 80-120 pounds (36-54 kg) for males and 75-100 pounds (34-45 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of an American Alsatian is around 12-14 years.

Why do people think that an American Alsatian is a German Shepherd?

Because sometimes is really hard to make difference between these two dog breeds. Seriously. These two dog breeds are almost identical. American Alsatian has the same body structure, the same dimensions, head shape, pointed nose, and ears, and some of them, have the same color of dog coat.

Short overview of American Alsatian

American Alsatian is relatively a new dog breed. American Alsatian was developed in 1987 by a resident of southern California Lois Denny. It was created by breeding a German shepherd, Anatolian Shepherd, a Pyrenean dog, Alaskan malamute crosses, and a Mastiff dog. This dog breed is a perfect choice for a family dog, because of its loyalty and very friendly temperament.

How can you recognize an American Alsatian for a German Shepherd?

-American Alsatian is large and heavier than German Shepherd dogs
-American Alsatians have a lower energy level.
-German Shepherd is a more intelligent dog.

9. Dutch Shepherd

Dutch Shepherd running in the nature - Similar dog to German Shepherd



The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: lively, athletic, intelligent.

The average height of this dog breed is 22-25 inches (64-71 cm) for males and 21-24 (61-69 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 50-75 pounds (23-34 kg) for males and 40-65 pounds (18-29 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of a Dutch Shepherd is around 11-14 years.

Why do people think that Dutch Shepherd is a German Shepherd?

The main reason why people think that Dutch Shepherd is a German Shepherd is because of the very similar body structure of these two dog breeds. They have pointed ears and noses, long tails, but in this case, the Dutch Shepherd has a different dog coat from the German Shepherd.

Short overview of Dutch Shepherd

Dutch Shepherd is a very intelligent dog with a great trainable nature. This dog breed is also good family good because of their ability to make friendship with other pets and their loyalty. Dutch Shepherd is also a very energetic dog, and you need to work, play, or training with them for at least 60 minutes per day.

How can you recognize a Dutch Shepherd for a German Shepherd?

-German Shepherd is large and heavier than Dutch Shepherd.
-German Shepherd is usually a more protective dog.
-Dutch Shepherd is more independent.

10. King Shepherd

King Shepherd sitting on the ground in the forest - Similar dog to German Shepherd

The main characteristics of this breed of dog are: brave, confident, intelligent.

The average height of this dog breed is 27-31 inches (69-79 cm) for males and 25-27 (64-69 cm) for females.

The average weight of this dog breed is 90-150 pounds (40-68 kg) for males and 75-110 pounds (34-50 kg) for females.

The life expectancy of a King Shepherd is around 10-12 years.

Why do people think that King Shepherd is a German Shepherd?

The similarity between these two dog breeds is really amazing. Some would say that King Shepherd is a just bigger German Shepherd, but the main difference between these two dog breeds is not in their look, but in their behavior. They have basically the same coat color, and that’s why is difficult to make a difference between these two dog breeds.

Short overview of King Shepherd

King Shepherd is a German Shepherd mixed with other breeds, including the Shiloh Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute, or Great Pyrenees. They are great family dogs, because of their playful and friendly temperament. King Shepherd is also a great guardian dog. They love to train and play with people, and recommended activity time for them is 60-120 minutes per day.

How can you recognize a King Shepherd for a German Shepherd?

-King Shepherd is larger and heavier than German Shepherd.
-German Shepherd is a more intelligent dog.
-King Shepherd is a more friendly dog.

Conclusion

Are these only dog breeds that look like a German Shepherd? Absolutely not. These were our top 10 dog breeds that look like a German Shepherd. 

Although there are so many similarities between these dog breeds, each dog breed is unique and beautiful in its own way. 

We hope that you’ve enjoyed and learned something new in our blog post. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write below!

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