Have you ever heard of a dog breed called the American Alsatian? If you haven’t, is nothing to be ashamed of. There are plenty of people, even those that consider themselves die-hard dog people, that weren’t even aware this breed existed. When you first lay eyes on one, you’re probably going to think that you’re looking at a very young German Shepherd that hasn’t quite filled out or grown to his full height yet. While it’s true that they do resemble them in a number of different ways as far as their physical traits are concerned, it’s important to realize that this is an entirely different breed unto itself. In addition, there are a number of important differences between the German Shepherd and the American Alsatian. Most of those differences are related to temperament. There’s no doubt that the German Shepherd is a great breed, but if you’re looking for a dog that is a little easier to deal with, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience handling dogs, the American Alsatian might be a better option for you. Below are 10 things about this particular breed that are important for you to know ahead of time.
1. They’re often mistaken for German shepherds
At first glance, they do indeed look very much like a German Shepherd. While they’re not the same breed, they have so many similar physical traits that it’s almost impossible for someone with an untrained eye to tell the difference between them, especially from a distance. For people that are in the know, these dogs are not quite as tall as the German Shepherd and typically weigh a little less as well. Obviously, they have different breeding with different bloodlines. Generally speaking, this is a case of basing the breed of a dog solely on a quick glance without really taking the time to examine its features more in-depth.
2. They come in a variety of different colors
The predominant color for this particular breed of dog is silver and sable, although they do come in a variety of other colors, including black and sable, silver, gold and cream. Although it’s extremely rare, you will see a dog of this breed that is occasionally white or solid black.
3. Their eyes are usually very unique
They are known for their eyes, which are typically a very light brown in color, sometimes even yellow. As opposed to having the soulful eyes of a German Shepherd, this breed has a more wolf-like stare with eyes that practically glow, even in broad daylight.
4. This is a strong breed with great intelligence
This is a dog that has a large bone structure and it’s also very muscular. This makes the dog extremely strong physically and that physical strength can be matched only by the dog’s level of intelligence.
5. They make great family pets
These dogs are fairly easy to deal with, even for inexperienced pet owners. They don’t have a tendency to display some of the less desirable traits that many other dog breeds are known for and they work well with families that have small children, older family members, and even other pets.
6. They’re rarely aggressive
This is where you’re likely to notice the biggest difference between them and the German Shepherd. It isn’t that German Shepherds are aggressive or dangerous if they’re handled properly; as a matter of fact, the exact opposite is true. However, German Shepherds have a very high prey drive and this dog is virtually the polar opposite. It’s a dog that you could practically put a bird or a rabbit right next to and if anything, the dog might cuddle it as opposed harming it.
7. They’re easy to train
Coupled with their intelligence, their desire to please and their calm demeanor makes them easy to train, even if you’ve never trained a dog before.
8. They don’t tend to suffer from separation anxiety
These dogs are very loyal, but they don’t tend to get overly excited when they’re left alone for a while. It makes it less likely that they will become destructive out of fear, especially when compared to some other dog breeds.
9. They’re relatively quiet
This is certainly another difference that German Shepherd owners will recognize. Shepherds bark, a lot. These dogs hardly ever make a sound so if you hear one barking, you know it’s something you should investigate further.
10. They’re relatively healthy
These dogs are not really predisposed to a lot of health problems. The biggest thing you have to watch out for is hip dysplasia, which is something that you should be aware of in any large dog breed.