GSD vs Alsatian: Difference and Comparison

Dogs are considered the descendants of wolves. A wolf distinguishes them from its tail. The dog is the domesticated variant of a wolf.

The origin of Dogs is believed from the extinct wolf only. Modern Grey Wolf in the modern world is considered as the living descendant of dogs.

Human beings domesticated dogs first. They are the first species to be used by hunter-gatherers some 15,000 years ago for agriculture.

Because of their association with humans, dogs have been able to thrive as domestic individuals. There are two types of dog breeds called GSD, i.e. German shepherd dog and Alsatian dog.

Key Takeaways

  1. GSD (German Shepherd Dog) is the official breed name, while Alsatian is an alternative name used historically in the United Kingdom.
  2. Both terms refer to the same breed of dog, known for its intelligence, loyalty, and versatility.
  3. The use of the name Alsatian has diminished in recent years, with GSD becoming the more universally recognized term.

 GSD vs Alsatian 

The German Shepherd (GSD) is a large and muscular breed known for its intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. The Alsatian, also known as the Alsatian Wolf Dog, is a breed that is very similar to the GSD in appearance but with a thicker coat and a straighter back.

GSD vs Alsatian

GSD are Old German Shepeherding dogs. They are called the traditional dogs of Germany used for herding purposes. German herdsmen only have given GSD its name.

It is also called a landrace that has developed itself based on its surroundings. It consists of working strains of another dog. Modern GSD is the type that has evolved from the Old German shepherd Dogs.

Now they have developed into a standardised breed. Earlier, GSD was used for protecting sheep and herding them from wild animals.

Alsatians are considered the most intelligent dogs. They are bred specifically for this purpose. They are used in the military as watchdogs because they are likely to bark.

If another breed is mixed with Alsatian, then it is considered the second most dangerous on earth. These characteristics make them more desirable for guard, search, and police dogs.

Alsatians are capable of learning new things very quickly for different kinds of tasks. They can also interpret the instruction better than the other breed.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGSDAlsatian
OriginGermanyAlsace-Lorraine region
WarBefore the world war called GSD.After world war called as alsatian
VariantsCow-dogs, sheep-dogs, South-german Type, East or central German type, reddish sheep-dogs, etc.King shepherd, white shepherd, Shiloh Shepherd, White swiss shepherd dog, etc.
ColourYellow, Black, White Reddish, etc. Black, Tan, silver, red-black, etc.
PurposeUsed as herding and protecting cattle.Used as guard dogs for patrolling, tracking criminals, etc.

What is GSD?

GSD are a very old breed found in Germany. Before the 1890s, they were used only to protect and herd sheep from wild animals. GSD was bred individually so that it could work more efficiently.

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No efforts were made to make the breed of GSD standardised or to enhance the creation of its breed. Finally, in the year 1899, a special and new formal breed was established named Society for the German Shepherd Dog.

Working Shepherd dogs were selected for this purpose. They were trained, and then it became the modern GSD, aka German Shepherd Dog.

Many German herdsmen continued to work their shepherding Dogs like in earlier times. They didn’t give them cross-breeding so that it could give them better results. So they were called Old Shepherding Dogs.

There were different variants of GSD. For example, since the creation of the Society for GSD, the long-hair variants of GSD were not accepted.

It was only in the year 2009 that rule changed. Modern GSD is very different from the old German shepherding Dogs of the 19th and 20th centuries.

GSD has some standards, like they should have the capability to herd cattle and sheep. But no standards for their physical appearance were mentioned.

It was also forbidden to crossbreed GSD with another breed of dog. GSD has been classified into subgroups according to its region, coat types, and other features.

german shepherd

What is Alsatian?

Alsatian Dog’s sizes range from medium to large size. The height of the Alsatian breed ranges from 60-65 cm in males. Alsatian dogs are not tall, but they are longer in size.

Alsatian raises their head when they are excited, and their neck and head are lowered when they are walking at a fast pace or stalking something. Alsatians have a double-layered coat.

They come in two kinds, medium and long. Alsatians are considered very active dogs in the modern world. They are a very fast learner and always curious to know about. So they are considered excellent for guard purposes.

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Sometimes they can become very protective of their family and their region. They can become a nuisance if they are not trained and socialized properly.

Alsatians are very obedient to their owners. Like a normal dog, it cannot become friends with a stranger. It takes some time.

The main purpose of alsatian Dogs is that they are used to track criminals, for patrolling, detecting and holding suspects. In the second world war, they were also used as messenger dogs and rescue dogs.

After the end of the second world war, when the UK kernel opened registration for alsatian, the number increased from 56 to 8000. It has become one of the most popular dogs around the world.

After the world war, the population of alsatian decreased due to conflict with the Germans. But after that, its population increased. According to a survey, it is the second most popular breed.

alsatian dog

Main Differences Between GSD and Alsatian

  1. GSD has an origin in Germany, as the name indicates. Britishers gave the Alsatian name as they were found in the Alsace-Lorraine region.
  2. Before the world war, they were referred to as GSD, i.e. German shepherds. After the end of the world war, due to conflict between Germany and the rest of the world, its name was changed to Alsatian.
  3. Variants of GSD include Cow-dogs, sheep-dogs, South-german Types, East or central German types, reddish sheep-dogs etc. Variants of Alsatian include King shepherd, white shepherd, Shiloh Shepherd, White swiss shepherd dog etc.
  4. Colours of GSD include Yellow, Black, White, Reddish etc. Colours of Alsatian include Black, Tan, silver, red-black etc.
  5. The purpose of GSD was to herd and protect the cattle from the attack of wild animals. The purpose of Alsatian was as guard dogs for patrolling, tracking criminals, detecting etc.
Difference Between GSD and Alsatian

Last Updated : 21 June, 2023

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