In addition to the different types of German shepherds commonly known, two other types of German shepherds can also be distinguished: the European and the American and although at a genetic level they are practically identical, they have some differences between them. Keep reading this article and you will discover the characteristics of both, the differences in their physiognomy, their temperament, the food they need and finally, some differences when it comes to training them.
Characteristics of both breeds
Let’s start with the general characteristics of the American and European German Shepherd such as weight, height, life expectancy, energy level and a reference to the price at which both one and the other can be obtained. You will surely notice that the differences are not very big. from one dog to the other.
American German Shepherd
El pastor alemán americano por lo general adopta las siguientes características:
- Its height ranges from 55 to 66 cm.
- They usually weigh between 25 to 41 kilograms.
- His temperament is like that of any German Shepherd (Protective, intelligent, faithful and confident in domestic life).
- American German Shepherds, like European ones, are very energetic, they need to be in constant movement to be happy.
- Their health is at the average level for the breed, and can reach up to 12 years of age.
- The price of the American German Shepherd on the market ranges from $1,000 and can go up to more.
European German Shepherd
The characteristics of the European German Shepherd are the following:
- The European German Shepherd usually measures between 53 and 66 cm in height.
- The weight of a European German Shepherd ranges between 22 and 38 kilograms.
- About his temperament we can say that he is the same as any German Shepherd breed.
- Like the other specimens of their breed, they have a lot of energy.
- The health of the European German Shepherd is better than that of the American.
- Their life expectancy is 10-12 years.
- The price of a European Shepherd is usually around $1,500.
Differences in the appearance of the European and American German Shepherd
One of the most important differences between both German Shepherds lies in their appearance characteristics. The American German Shepherd is the larger of the two since its body is much longer since the rear part of its body is more inclined than that of the European, while in the European you can see a straighter upper line.
However, the head of the American German Shepherd is smaller and appears more round, unlike the European one, whose head is larger in size and has an angular appearance. Some say that the head of the European German Shepherd is quite similar to that of a wolf.
If we look at the appearance of their coat, both the density and texture generally do not change, although this is not a certain science and depending on each dog, you can see that their coat is shorter or longer. Normally the colors of their coat are a combination of black and tan, which can also be black, white and finally blue, although the blue color is more difficult to see in this dog breed.
Regarding their ears and snout, we can say that they usually have the same characteristics in both the American and the European.
Differences in the behavior/temperament of the European VS American German Shepherd
Although we have previously said that the temperament of these two German Shepherds is not significantly different, we can say that the European German Shepherd usually has a happier life when it does some type of work, since these dogs are quite energetic and need a lot of activity.
Experts believe that this slight difference between the European and American German Shepherds is because when they were first created they were designed for work and guarding, although it is also important to say that the American German Shepherds have not been tested enough. for these tasks just like the European.
As advice if you are looking for a German Shepherd for work, we would recommend that you opt for a German Shepherd from Europe, although if you prefer it as a family pet, the American could be a better option, but both dogs are perfect for family life if they are gives good upbringing and education.
The reason why we recommend an American Shepherd as a pet is because since they have not been bred for protection or work, their temperament is usually less intense and they will appear to your family much more relaxed. In general, both are protective, faithful, affectionate, secure and very very intelligent.
Differences in diet
Feeding a German Shepherd or any other dog breed, as we could also say in the case of humans, is very important for them to stay healthy, happy and have a longer life expectancy.
The ideal would be for both of them to feed on feed designed for their breed and age. It must also be said that they are quite fanatical about croquettes and they will always be a good option if they contain proteins, provide them with energy and therefore be enough for them. Let them last the rest of the day or until their next meal.
Normally it is recommended that a dog eat twice a day but this dog breed, assuming that they exercise enough as recommended, could necessarily consume 3 to 4 plates of food a day.
Differences in their training
Regarding the training of this breed of dog, it is recommended that at an early age they socialize with other animals or rather other dog breeds to educate them, since socializing with other dogs will help you teach them how they should behave and that they gain confidence with them and also with humans.
One aspect to emphasize is that the German Shepherd breed is quite easy to train because they are generally very obedient, however, the European German Shepherd is faster when it comes to learning than the American one.
We tell you that you don’t have to be an expert to correctly train your German Shepherd, but you do need to do it the right way.
Differences in physical exercise
In a previous section and in this one we want to emphasize that any German Shepherd we are talking about needs a lot of physical activity because this makes them happier, although it is said that the European German Shepherd requires more exercise than the American one.
If you ask any veterinarian who is an expert in this breed, generally an American German Shepherd needs at least 60 minutes of exercise a day while the European can reach 90 minutes of exercise each day. It is also recommended that while they are not exercising they have a toy available to distract themselves and their brain is active.
At this point, if what you are looking for is a German Shepherd that also rests from time to time and does not require so much daily exercise, the best option is the American.
Differences in the health of the European and American German Shepherd
An American German Shepherd usually has a much shorter life expectancy than the European one since they reach a maximum of 10 years of life and the European one can reach up to 12 years.
If you know this breed you will know that they are very prone to hip dysplasia, in the case of the European they are less likely to develop it than the American due to the inclination of their back. If you do not want your dog to suffer from this disease, it would be best to get a German Shepherd bred in Europe.
Last but not least, there is another disease that would be myelopathy that affects both one and the other and damages their brain and spine, so it will be vital that you provide both of them with the best care and attention. , since prevention is better than cure.
Differences in price
If you are thinking of purchasing a new German Shepherd puppy, whether American or European, you are most likely wondering what its price is and in this regard you should know that an American German Shepherd can cost you from $1000, in fact being the cheaper of the two, people usually opt for it.
And if you are thinking of buying a European German Shepherd, you could buy it for as little as $1,500.
Although in Spain they range between €800 and €1200, we would say that it depends on whether they have to import what is from another country or not and it is also taken into account that the European German Shepherd is healthier than the American one.
To finish with this article we want to give you our recommendation on which German Shepherd is right for you and for this we will mainly tell you that like any other pet they need attention, they need good nutrition and good care and in this specific case they require a lot of exercise. So we recommend you opt for the European one.