American German Shepherd vs. European German Shepherd

January 17, 2023

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Deciding which type of GSD you want as your furry baby for the rest of their lives is a life-changing decision for both you and the pet. Hence, it is critical to choose the right breed. American German Shepherds and European German Shepherds are of the same breed, but have unique differences. And it is helpful to have additional breed information when deciding between an American German Shepherd vs a European German Shepherd before adoption. 

European German shepherd vs American: Similarities

Be their size, work ethic, health, or price that might convince you either way. But before we delve deep into the American line German shepherd vs. German line, it is crucial to establish that both breeds are loving, adorable, loyal, and hardworking. However, since they have grown up on different sides of the pond, they are slightly different. 

American German Shepherd vs European German Shepherd: Differences

This article discusses the difference between American German Shepherd v/s European German Shepherd and your ideal choice per your needs and lifestyle. 


The origin of a German german shepherd and an American german Shepherd varies. The German Shepherd originated in Germany in the late 1800s. Germany's most intelligent, responsive, and obedient local shepherd dogs were bred to create what is now known as the European German Shepherd. They are the most purebred German Shepherds.  

As for the American German Shepherds, the USA exported the first dogs in 1906. Since then, the breed has grown enormously in popularity and is now one of the most preferred breeds of dogs. 


European German Shepherds are relatively less heavy, with an average weight of 70-90 pounds, than American German Shepherds, who weigh up to 110-130 pounds. 


The European GSD is intelligent, loving, calm, attentive, active, quiet, and confident. They focus on their owner's commands, putting them in an energetic and robust defense position at all times. They need regular physical and mental activity to channel their energy. These GSDs are also suited as working dogs and make for excellent police or guard dogs. 

American German Shepherd's temperament is relatively harder to predict, but they are brilliant and loving dogs.


American German Shepherds are more prone to hip dysplasia due to their diagonal bodies and are at a higher risk of developing allergies and bloating. They risk suffering from nervousness and anxiety, a condition unusual to GSDs. Hence, American German Shepherds are not recommended for first-time pet owners.

On the other hand, European GSDs are less predisposed to dysplasia because of their straighter and balanced posture. The rigid breeding and training policy for European GSDs guarantees their health and shields them from genetic diseases. 


The European German Shepherd Dogs are raised to develop working abilities. This line of GSDs is the source of well-trained, intelligent, loyal and strong German Shepherd Dogs involved in the military, police, and rescue jobs. European German Shepherds make for excellent working and family dogs, while American GSDs are better as family or therapy dogs. 


The lifespan for both American German Shepherds v/s European German Shepherds is up to 14 years. 

Buying costs:

One difference between American German Shepherd vs. European German Shepherd is the price. Despite being smaller, European GSDs are more expensive than their American counterparts

Before we end, let us quickly clarify the difference between a European Shepherd vs. German Shepherd.

While the East European Shepherd looks very similar to a German Shepherd, the East European is larger and more built than the German Shepherd. The East European has a bigger head, long upright ears held high, bright, curious large brown eyes and a thicker coat than their counterpart.

Choosing a GSD with TopShepherd

When we breed German Shepherds, we intend to make them great family dogs with friendly and affectionate traits and ensure that their strengths don't remain muted. Our dogs live great with families as much as they will be in any service. Our puppies won't ever shy away from their responsibilities and will protect you with their life.

Our German Shepherds are purebred, trained, and registered with AKC. We shelter only the absolute best GSDs that are naturally bred. We have over 27 years of experience breeding and training GSDs. Get guaranteed champion bloodlines imported directly from Germany as your companions and protectors.

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