Australian Shepherd vs German Shepherd
German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd have a lot in common. Both breeds were developed to help with herding livestock and that occupation required German Shepherds and American Shepherds to be trainable to a high level and besides following commands, these working breeds needed to be able to make independent decisions in different situations that herding dogs may encounter while herding their sheep or other livestock. Herding breeds such as German Shepherd and American Shepherd also require a lot of energy as herding is a very active occupation. Australian Shepherd and German Shepherd are active dogs that need an opportunity to be busy and active all day, every day in order to stay mentally and physically healthy. Both breeds need to be around their owners most of the day keeping themselves busy with walking, playing, participating in obedience, tracking or other sports that involve dogs. Aussies and German Shepherds are versatile breeds that can be trained not only to be successful herding dogs, but also as therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, even guide dogs for the blind.
In appearance German Shepherds are larger in size than Standard Australian Shepherds. While full size Aussies typically reach up to 65 pounds in weight, German Shepherds can reach up to 95 pounds in weight. In height, Australian Shepherds reach up to 23 inches while German Shepherds can reach up to 26 inches. German Shepherds may differ in size, especially when comparing European and American bloodlines but the difference is not as significant as that between different sizes of Australian Shepherds. Australian Shepherds come in three sizes that include Standard (the largest type), Miniature Australian Shepherd and the smallest type which is a Toy Australian Shepherd. Australian Shepherds are more versatile not only in sizes, but also in coat colors when compared to German Shepherd breed.
Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds have relatively high grooming needs, specifically shedding management. Brushing these breeds regularly is a must to keep the coat healthy and environment more or less free from the dog's hair. Both breeds feature a double coat that produces a significant amount of shedding. Potential owners need to have a strategy to manage the heavy shedding especially during fall or spring seasons when shedding tends to be at peak. People with asthma or those sensitive to pet related allergies need to make sure their allergy or asthma is not aggravated around either of these breeds prior to making the final commitment to own one.
Australian Shepherds or German Shepherds are not for everyone. These working dog breeds require a lot of time and commitment from their owners. Not only do these dog breeds need to be around the owner most of the day, but they require a lot of exercise, at least a couple of hours of walking or running during the day and an occupation. Aussies and German Shepherds need a job to do during the day, otherwise they may exhibit and develop various behavioral problems from excessive barking to damaged furniture, floors and so on. Aussies and German Shepherds are not suitable for an apartment living in a big city. These dogs need a lot of space to run and exercise during the day, which is close to impossible to achieve unless you have a dog park nearby where you are planning to spend most of your day with the dog. If you believe that you have the time and energy to be a full time Australian Shepherd or German Shepherd owner, check with other owners of these breeds to get a good idea about what it's like to own one. Novice dog owners may be surprised at how much time and energy raising a puppy takes.
Comparison between Australian Shepherd and German Shepherd dog breeds.
Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix
German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix dogs inherit temperament and appearance from their parents and may resemble both, German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd dogs. Since both of the breeds are herding dogs that are active and easily trainable, the hybrid between Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds inherits the eagerness to please the owners and high energy that needs to be channeled in a constructive way by the owners. Strong work drive is present in both breeds and half Aussie half German Shepherd dog will display that quality. Some half German Shepherd half Australian Shepherd dogs may be more protective than others, because German Shepherd breed was designed to be protective. Not all Australian Shepherds share that quality, with some Aussies being more protective while others more laid back in that respect. The mixed offspring may or may not possess protective personality, depending on which temperament the puppy inherited from the two different breeds.
When it comes to size, half Australian Shepherd half German Shepherd dogs can be from medium to large size. There are size variations in Australian Shepherds and if one of the parents was a miniature Australian Shepherd rather than standard size Australian Shepherd and another parent is a German Shepherd, the size of the puppies may be smaller since Mini Aussies are smaller than Standard Australian Shepherds and there's more of a chance that puppies will be smaller in size.
Half German Shepherd half Australian Shepherd dogs can have different coat colors and length of the coat, and regardless of the color of the coat, potential owners can expect plenty of shedding since both breeds are known for above average shedding.
Image of German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd mix.
Australian Shepherd vs German Shepherd: Grooming
Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds have similar grooming needs. Both breeds feature a thick double coat that produces plenty of shedding and needs regular brushing. Brushing is probably the most time consuming grooming ritual and needs to be done regularly to maintain healthy coat and manage shedding. Australian Shepherds have a longer coat and may need to have the coat trimmed especially around the hind legs and on the back while German Shepherds do not need to be trimmed. Dental care includes brushing the dog's teeth daily with a canine toothpaste. Aussies and German Shepherds need their toenails trimmed every couple of months or so.
Grooming an Australian Shepherd
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd: Lifespan
German Shepherds have an average lifespan of 9 to 12 years while Australian Shepherds live on average from 12 to 14 years. Although some German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds live longer than expected, typically larger dog breeds such as the German Shepherd have a shorter life expectancy and there's no surprise that Aussies have a longer life span in comparison to German Shepherds. Many factors contribute to a dog's life span and include dog's genetics, general health, diet and lifestyle. Active, happy dogs that get a healthy and well balanced diet and have an active lifestyle tend to stay healthier well into the old age. Start taking good care of your pet's health from the moment you bring the puppy home. Brushing the dog's teeth regularly and handling any health issues in a timely manner all contribute to a longer and happier life of your pet.
Australian Shepherd vs German Shepherd: size comparison
When comparing sizes of Aussies and GSDs, the German Shepherds are larger and heavier than Australian Shepherds. While German Shepherds can reach up to 26 inches in height and up to 95 pounds in weight, standard size Australian Shepherds are up to 23 inches in height and in weight can reach up to 65 pounds. In addition, Australian Shepherds are more versatile in size and there are three size variations that include the largest of the three - Standard Australian Shepherd, Mini Australian Shepherd which is smaller than the standard and the smallest type which is Toy Australian Shepherd. Miniature Aussies are up to 18 inches in height and Toy Aussies are up to 14 inches in height.
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd: Shedding
Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds produce an impressive amount of shedding, especially during fall and spring seasons. Both breeds have double coat that needs regular brushing. Using a deshedding tool such as Furminator deshedding brush can significantly help to manage the heavy shedding. If you own either of these breeds, the importance of having a pet friendly vacuum cleaner is difficult to overestimate. Living with either an Australian or German Shepherds means seeing a lot of dog hair on furniture around the home and all over the floors. Carpeted surfaces can be even more difficult to keep clean and investing in a good vacuum cleaner is a must for owners of these breeds.
Managing the shedding includes regular brushing and it is best to take the American Shepherd or German Shepherd outdoors to brush out all the dead hair from the dog's coat. There will be a lot of dog hair flying around and brushing the dog indoors will definitely result in a lot of mess and clean up will take extra time. Start brushing your dog's coat from the neck down, carefully removing any mats or tangles that may form around the dog's ears or around the dog's legs. Brushing dog's coat regularly helps to remove any dead hair and to keep the dog's coat healthy and beautiful.
Difference between German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd: Price
The price for American German Shepherd dogs and for Australian Shepherds starts at around $500 per dog and prices depend on factors such as the dog's age, training level, temperament and even coat colors. Dogs with well known pedigree may cost considerably more. Show dogs are also more expensive. If you choose to adopt a German Shepherd or an Australian Shepherd, check with local dog shelters as these breeds may be available for adoption.
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd: Temperament
As most herding dog breeds, German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds are dogs with high working drive, very active and highly intelligent. German Shepherds may be more protective of their owners although both breeds are naturally suspicious of strangers and need proper introduction before accepting new people in their circle of friends. Both breeds are alert of their surroundings and get bored very quickly when left with nothing to do. GSDs and Australian Shepherds need a job to do as their energy is looking for an outlet and when left bored, these breeds will try to keep themselves busy with things that may not be approved by their families. For example, a bored Australian Shepherd may quickly turn your home into a complete mess, trying to stay occupied while you are at work. This behavior stems from lack of constructive energy outlet and owners need to be prepared to spend lots of time with their high energy dogs, exercising them, keeping them busy by doing various sports and activities that involve dogs to keep their pets active and mentally and physically stimulated during the day. City dwellers who decide to own one of these breeds may be very surprised to find that the dog is not happy staying indoors most of the time. Various behavior problems may start to appear if the dog doesn't get the right amount of exercise and is bored. Excessive barking, destroyed home furniture and chewed up shoes are just some of the signs that the dog is bored and is not getting enough physical and mental stimulation during the day. These breeds are not suitable for apartment living or for living in a city. With limited space to run these breeds may turn destructive and cause many problems for their owners.
Australian Shepherd versus German Shepherd: Country of breed origin
German Shepherd breed originated in Germany.
Australian Shepherd breed originated in Western USA.
Good with kids: German Shepherd dog vs Australian Shepherd
Both breeds can be challenging to keep as family pets for several reasons. While German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds can be good with kids, families with young children may not have the amount of time that each of these highly active dogs require. Not every family can dedicate enough time to spend a few hours just walking a dog, but having a demanding pet such as the German Shepherd or Australian Shepherd need to be trained and just like children they need lots of attention and time from their families. For families who live in a large home with a big fenced backyard and where at least one of the adults can spend most of the time with the dog outdoors actively training and exercising the pet, either of these breeds may be suitable.
Families with working adults and with small kids may find it difficult to properly take care of Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds. These dog breeds were originally developed as working dogs rather than pets and have unique needs that working families with small children may not have the time or energy to attend to. Australian Shepherds, for example, may have a strong herding instinct that may kick in around running kids. In that case the dog may try to "herd" the kids and occasional nipping may happen, which can be rather unpleasant for children. This natural behavior is not a sign of intentionally bad dog behavior - Australian Shepherd is simply doing what is natural for the herding breed. Parents of young kids need to be very selective when choosing the best family dog breed and it is important to have a full understanding of the dog breeds that you are considering as making the wrong choice can lead to painful consequences for everyone involved. Another factor that families with kids need to consider when choosing a family pet is how much shedding to expect from the breeds they are considering. Both, German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd produce a lot of shedding and families with children who have pet related allergies should take that into consideration as some kids may be allergic to the allergens that most dog breeds naturally produce such as dander or even saliva of the pet. Neither the Australian Shepherd or German Shepherd breeds are hypoallergenic.
German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds compared: Companion dogs
Australian Shepherds as well as German Shepherds are good companions for people who are experienced dog owners and who have a lot of energy and time to dedicate to the dog. Highly active breeds such as the German Shepherd or Australian Shepherd do best as companions for people who have a purpose for their dogs, such as herding or doing agility training or even tracking. These breeds are wonderful companions for an active person who likes to spend hours outdoors working with a dog. People who are looking for a great farm dog with large properties where a dog can get a good exercise as well as suitable occupation may find German Shepherds or Australian Shepherds breeds as suitable as these dogs need a large territory and a job to do during the day to stay happy and mentally and physically fit.
People who have full time jobs and live in an apartment with not much time to dedicate to a family pet should not consider either a German Shepherd or an Australian Shepherd. These breeds are not suitable for people with low energy who don't have the time or desire to spend hours outdoors walking the dog or training the dog or just keeping the dog busy doing something constructive as these breeds need to be busy during the day. Apartment living is not suitable for German Shepherds or for Aussies. These breeds need at least a large fenced yard where the dog can get plenty of exercise and training during the day. A lonely, neglected and bored GSD or Aussie will develop various behavioral issues if kept in unsuitable environment.
Good with other dogs: Australian Shepherd compared to German Shepherd
German Shepherds as well as Australian Shepherds that received enough socialization during puppyhood and early adulthood get along fine with other dogs. In some cases males can get aggressive towards other male dogs. Start socializing your GSD or Australian Shepherd early on to get your pet comfortable around other dogs. Introducing a puppy to other friendly dogs and letting them play and run around can help build your dog's confidence around other canines.
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd: Intelligence
Herding breeds including German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd are among the most intelligent dog breeds. The level of intelligence varies from one dog to another even within the same breed. German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds have herding history and these dogs developed not ability to quickly adjust to changing situations, but also to make independent decisions and solve problems that may arise during challenging situations. Herding requires a dog to exercise its mind as the dog has to constantly adjust to the changing dynamic of the herd - some sheep may not follow and in many cases the dog needs to be able to make the best decision about keeping the situation under control. Sometimes dogs have to work in pairs during herding and it takes cooperation between these dogs to get the job done. These constant mental challenges gave Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds a chance to develop their intelligence. As a result both breeds are exceptionally smart and require not only physical exercises but must receive plenty of mental stimulation during the day. These versatile breeds are able to succeed in a wide array of skills, including tracking, agility, search and rescue and even as guide dogs for the blind. Potential owners need to be able to occupy the dog's mind to bring the best out of these smart breeds.
German Shepherd compared to Australian Shepherd: Trainability
German Shepherd dogs as well as Australian Shepherds are highly trainable and can be trained to a high standard. Both breeds strive to please the owner, which helps during training. Obedience training should start early on and positive training techniques work best for these intelligent breeds. Australian Shepherd owners may experience difficulties during training mainly because Aussies may have trouble focusing - their minds are constantly working and they may be too busy to pay attention for a long time. But this challenge can be overcome by staring obedience training in a quiet environment with as few distractions as possible. Work on developing the ability to focus on you in your dog. Reward the dog when your pet makes eye contact with you - Australian Shepherds need to learn how to focus first in order to be successful in any training. Make focusing on you a rewarding experience and your dog can learn any command with ease after that. German Shepherds, in comparison tend to be more focused than Aussies during training at the beginning but both breeds are very trainable and have great potential to learn. Always use positive training with both breeds. Rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior is an effective way to train your dog good manners.
German Shepherd versus Australian Shepherd: Barking
Australian Shepherds tend to bark more than German Shepherds but both breeds tend to bark a lot. Barking is a way for dogs to communicate and express their feelings. Australian Shepherds tend to bark from excitement or surprise just like German Shepherds, but German Shepherds are more protective of the two breeds and may bark if they notice a stranger approaching their territory, for example. If something unusual is happening, both of these breeds will try to get the owner's attention by barking.
German Shepherds vs Australian Shepherds: Exercise needs
Active herding breeds were developed to run all day long without getting tired and that is exactly the case with Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds. These high energy breeds have lots of energy and owners need to be able to provide these dogs with plenty of exercise every day that may include a few hours of walking, running and playing outdoors. German and Australian Shepherds that don't get enough exercise start looking for ways to use their energy in other ways. Behavior issues in dogs often stem from lack of sufficient exercise when the dog may start digging the yard and destroying home furniture because they have to apply their energy in some way. If you are considering one of these breeds, be sure you have the time and energy to be able to spend lots of time outdoors exercising your active dog, whether it's a German Shepherd or an Australian Shepherd.
German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds are great at tracking where the dog can use the sense of smell, engaging both mental and physical energy on this type of an activity. Australian Shepherds especially may enjoy fetching activities and frisbee or fetching balls is something your Aussie is sure to enjoy.
Health issues: Australian Shepherd and German Shepherd compared
Both breeds are at risk for joint issues that include hip and elbow dysplasia. Australian Shepherd breed may be prone to eye disease. Breeders should test breeding stock for genetic diseases to minimize the possibility of offspring developing genetical health problems. Owners of young German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd puppies should be careful with the young pup's developing ligaments and high impact exercises that include jumps should be avoided until the dog completes physical development to minimize the risk of joint problems later in life. Overweight dogs are also more prone to developing joint problems. Keeping a dog in healthy weight, combined with healthy diet and active lifestyle are effective ways to keep your pet in good health.
German Shepherd versus Australian Shepherd: Dog behavior issues
Some of the behavior issues for GSDs and Australian Shepherds include excessive barking, destroying furniture, pulling on the leash, digging and most behavior problems stem from inadequate amount of exercise, boredom and loneliness. Leaving either of these breeds alone for long periods of time can result in many unexpected behaviors such as digging in the backyard or chewed up couch. Active breeds such as German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds aren't meant to stay indoors all day long - these working breeds need a job to do during the day to stay busy and help avoid development of undesirable behaviors. Australian Shepherds may be prone to chasing anything that moves, from small animals to cars and that behavior can be dangerous. Owners need to be mindful of this tendency of the breed and shouldn't allow the dog run in open areas where there are many cars or other things that the dog may start chasing. It is best to only let the dog off the leash in a fenced area where it is safe.
German Shepherd vs. Australian Shepherd: Popularity
Full Size Australian Shepherd takes 17th place if 193 in popularity ranking in the United States. In comparison, German Shepherd ranks 2nd place in popularity of 193 dog breeds in the United States of America. German Shepherds are more popular in the United States.
Difference between German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd: Loyalty to the owner
German Shepherds just like Australian Shepherds are very loyal dogs and they tend to follow the owners from one room to another when indoors. German Shepherds are more protective and is more suitable as a guard dog. Both breeds love their owners unconditionally and make suitable companions for families who have a lot of time and energy to dedicate to their intelligent and loyal pets.
German Shepherd compared to Australian Shepherd videos
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd video
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherds: apartment dogs
Neither of the two breeds are suitable for apartment living. German Shepherds and standard size Australian Shepherds are active, high energy dogs that require a lot of space to run and stay busy during the day. The most suitable environment for either of these breeds is a farm or home in the suburbs with a large fenced yard and a suitable occupation. Australian Shepherds are natural herding dogs and can easily learn to herd livestock while German Shepherds can also serve as protection dogs as they are naturally alert and territorial. Owners of these breeds need lots of time to dedicate to their dog every day providing enough exercise, grooming, training and enjoying the highly intelligent and loyal dog.