10 Cute Dogs That Look Like German Shepherds

German Shepherd dogs are the second most popular dog breed in The United States for a reason. They are intelligent, loyal, and visually stunning. Because of their beautiful appearance, many are curious about other dogs that look similar.

Maybe you need a smaller dog breed for your home or perhaps you want a dog that sheds a little less. Either way, you are going to fall in love with each of these dogs that look like German Shepherds.

4 Types of German Shepherds

Before moving on to completely different dog breeds, let’s review the variations of German Shepherds. These are the five appearance types of GSDs based on their coat patterns.

If you have only seen the most common saddle coated version of the German Shepherd, you might be interested in the other variations. This is useful for those who are narrowing down their German Shepherd dog search.

Saddle Coat German Shepherd

Saddle Coat German Shepherd

Also known as the black and tan German Shepherd, the saddleback GSD is primarily tan with a saddle pattern of black fur that runs down their back. A variation of this pattern is referred to a blanket back, where the black covers more area of the dog’s back.

White German Shepherd

White German Shepherd

Since white fur genes are recessive, the white German Shepherd is on the rare side. A GSD with this color often has two parents who are also completely white.

Black German Shepherd

Black German Shepherd

Like the white German Shepherd, black German Shepherds are also rare. According to the American Kennel Club, only 6.8% of German Shepherds have an entirely black coat.

Sable German Shepherd

Sable German Shepherd

Sable coat GSDs are characterized by their primarily black fur with a sprinkle of liver, red, gold, parti, white, and/or blue. Their fur can have a camouflage appearance.

Looking for German Shepherd Dog mixes? Check out this list of adorable GSD mix breeds.

10 Dogs That Look Like German Shepherds

Here is a list of some dog breeds commonly mistaken for German Shepherds. Many share similar physical traits such as large pointed ears, masked faces, and brown coloring.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Life Span: 10-14 years

Weight: 55-75 lbs

Temperament: Intelligent, Protective, Obedient, Trainable, High Energy

Coat: Medium, Double-coat

Group: Herding

The Belgian Malinois is a medium-sized dog breed that originates from Belgium. These dogs are often used in military and police work due to their very high intellect, athletic capabilities, and desire to work.

If you have plenty of energy to take this dog out for long daily exercise sessions, they can be an excellent workout buddy. Be prepared to go outdoors a lot!

Carpathian Shepherd / Romanian Shepherd

Carpathian Shepherd / Romanian Shepherd

Lifespan: 12-14 years

Weight: 70-100 lbs

Temperament: Aloof, Loyal, Devoted, Brave

Group: Flock Guard

Coat: Rough, Straight

The Carpathian Shepherd dog originates from the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, where they were used as livestock guardians. These loyal dogs require plenty of early socialization in order to live balanced lives.

Laekenois Shepherd Dog

Laekenois Shepherd Dog

Lifespan: 10-12 years

Weight: 44-66 lbs

Temperament: Active, Watchful, Protective, Lively, Energetic

This Laekenois Shepherd dog is another Belgian dog with a similar appearance to the German Shepherd. It has a similar temperament and body to the Belgian Malinois.

Groenendael

Groenendael

Lifespan: 13-14 years

Weight: 44-66 lbs

Temperament: Active, Affectionate, Intelligent, Loyal

The Groenendael is a medium-sized herding dog that originates from Belgium. It looks most like the black colored GSD.

Bohemian Shepherd

Bohemian Shepherd

Lifespan: 9-13 years

Weight: 35-55 lbs

Temperament: Attentive, Courageous, Active, Balanced, Intelligent

Group: Companion

Coat: Long, Thick Undercoat

The Bohemian Shepherd breed originates from the Czech Republic Territory and dates all the way back to the 1300s. They served several purposes such as guard and herding dogs.

Belgian Tervuren Shepherd

Belgian Tervuren Shepherd

Lifespan: 12-14 years

Weight: 44-66 lbs

Temperament: Loyal, Protective, Intelligent, Energetic, Alert

Coat: Long Straight fur with Dense Undercoat

Group: Herding

The Tervuren breed comes from Belgium and look very similar to German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. They typically have long coats and a black mask on their faces.

Dutch Shepherd

Dutch Shepherd

Lifespan: 11-14 years

Weight: 65-67 lbs

Temperament: Alert, Reliable, Obedient, Affectionate

Group: Herding

Coat: Short or long

The Dutch Shepherd breed is a herding dog that was used by farmers as helping dogs. They are resilient and highly intelligent dogs that are eager to please and learn.

Berger Blanc Suisse

Berger Blanc Suisse

Lifespan: 12 years

Weight: 55-88 lbs

Temperament: Attentive, Aloof, Energetic

The Berger Blanc Suisse, also known as the White Swiss Shepherd Dog, is a breed from Switzerland. It is a descendant from the white German Shepherd dog, and looks very similar in appearance as result.

Northern Inuit

Northern Inuit

Lifespan: 12-14 years

Weight: 55-110 lbs

Temperament: Gentle, Calm, Dependable, Loyal, Aloof, Intelligent, Watchful

Group: Herding

Coat: Short, Dense With Double Coat

The Northern Inuit Dog was developed in the 1980s in the United Kingdom. This breed was created with the purpose to look like a wolf. The background of the Northern Inuit Dog has a highly debated background. However, most agree that it stems from the German Shepherd, Malamute, and Siberian Husky.

American Alsatian

American Alsatian

Lifespan: 9-13 years

Weight: 49-88 lbs

Temperament: Intelligent, Curious, Alert, Watchful, Obedient

Group: Non-Sporting, Therapy

Coat: Long and Rough Hair

The American Alsatian was developed in California during the 1980s. The purpose of this breed was to create a dog that resembled a Dire Wolf. The American Alsatian is also known as the North American Shepalute.

Looking for a Dog Similar to the German Shepherd?

Many awesome dog breeds look like German Shepherds, which is why loads of people consider getting them as alternatives. While German Shepherds have very admirable traits like strong intelligence, eagerness to please, and upbeat personalities, they aren’t the best dog breed for everyone.

German Shepherds Are Too High Energy for Some Households

German Shepherds are often used as police dogs and military dogs for a reason; They are VERY active. If your household is a laidback type that prefers to cuddle on the couch at home, a German Shepherd dog may not be the breed for you.

German Shepherd Mixes for a Calmer Dog

Unfortunately, many dogs that look like German Shepherds are extremely energetic sheepdog breeds. If energy level is your main concern, your best bet may be to look for a German Shepherd dog mixed with a calmer breed. Even then, it is important to get to know your potential adopted dog as personalities vary quite a bit.

Adopt an Elderly German Shepherd Dog

Still set on a German Shepherd dog? No worries, it’s understandable! If it is your dream dog ownership experience to have a GSD, consider adopting an older dog. They are much calmer and easier to handle. Check your local German Shepherd dog rescue for information on available dogs. Your future dog is already eternally grateful!

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10 Dogs That Look Like German Shepherds

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