9 Dogs Similar to German Shepherds (Looks And Temperament)

German Shepherds are considered one of the finest breeds of dogs. They are incredibly hard-working and will be happy to do any job you ask of them. They are beautiful and muscular and rank extremely high on the intelligence factor.

The German Shepherd is loyal and confident and also makes a wonderful family pet. There are so many different breeds of dogs similar to the German Shepherd in several ways, so your choices are not limited when selecting the perfect dog.

What are Common Personality Traits in the German Shepherd?


The personality of the German Shepherd can be slightly aloof. They’re not usually aggressive if well socialized, but they don’t make friends easily.

They can be a little standoffish at first, but once a German Shepherd has your heart, they are very loyal. They are protective of family, and their aloofness makes them a great choice for a watchdog.

Very Intelligent

Not surprisingly, the German Shepherd is one smart dog, and they thrive on having a job to do. This highly trainable breed is commonly used as a police dog due to its intelligence.

They can be easily trained to do almost any job. Other than police dogs, they make excellent service dogs along with brave rescue dogs.

Easily Bored

Like many dogs, German Shepherds do not do well if they are left alone for long periods. They need companionship, along with exercise, to stimulate their sharp minds. If left alone, they can easily become bored and agitated.

If a German Shepherd isn’t getting enough exercise or enough affection, they will find a way to express their frustration. They will easily resort to excessive barking and chewing anything they can get their mouths on. 

Need Socialization

Almost every breed of dog needs socialization, and they need it early. They need to be exposed to many different people, sights and sounds, and different experiences. This is crucial if you want your German Shepherd to grow up to be a great dog.

Interested In Training Your German Shepherd?

If you haven’t trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your Shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases, it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your german Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)

What Dogs are Similar to German Shepherds?

The German Shepherd is an amazing, smart, and loyal dog. But not all dogs are perfect, especially purebred dogs.

Perhaps you are looking for a dog that is similar to the German Shepherd but bigger and stronger, or maybe you want something a little smaller in size and more adaptable to city life.

German Shepherds require a lot of grooming, and perhaps this turns you off. Are you looking for a dog that is less hairy and maybe doesn’t shed as much?

These dogs also do much better with an experienced owner, so if you aren’t totally confident, you may do better with a dog that is a little less aggressive and better around strangers and other dogs. This dog can also be pretty intense, so maybe a more relaxed dog is better for you.

Or maybe you are looking for a dog that can adjust well to different climates. The German Shepherd also isn’t known for its longevity, so maybe a dog with a different life span is better for you.

Labrador Retriever

These sweet, lovable dogs are one of America’s most popular breeds. They are extremely friendly and high-spirited, and they thrive on affection. They make amazing family dogs as well as they tend to love everyone. 

The Labrador has many similarities to the German Shepherd but also things that set them far apart. When it comes to grooming, the Labrador will require less time at the groomer. Their coats are smoother, and they don’t shed as much as a Shepherd.

These dogs are a little less aloof than the Shepherd and tend to make friends easily. They may be a better choice if you aren’t an experienced dog owner. 

But Labradors are like the German Shepherd in many ways, as they are very intelligent and are well suited for police work or service dog work. They are used often as drug-sniffing dogs and can be found in airports all over the country. 

They are also easily trainable and want nothing more than to please you. Labradors tend to live a few years longer than a German Shepherd as well but can still be prone to health problems. 

Doberman Pinscher

These powerful dogs are tall and sleek and have an array of excellent qualities. They have a short-haired coat which will call for less grooming than a German Shepherd. 

Along with their stunning physique, they are incredibly smart and noble. They, too, make excellent police dogs as well as watchdogs. They are fearless and will proudly protect you and your family. 

Like the German Shepherd, they can be a bit aloof at first but will gladly become wonderful companions. They do need to be trained early on and would be best with a strong, confident handler. 

(Find out what dogs are similar to Doberman Pinschers.)

Belgian Malinois

This smart and confident dog is like the German Shepherd in many ways. Belgian Malinois are all-around worker dogs and will form a beautiful bond with their handler. While not as popular as the German Shepherd, the Malinois is just as smart, with a strong desire for work. 

They are almost exactly the same size, but the Malinois does tend to live a few years longer than the Shepherd. The Malinois makes an excellent police dog as they are known for their keen detective work and amazing smarts. 

When it comes to children, the Belgian Malinois is best being supervised around them. This also goes for other dogs. 

Their grooming needs will be roughly the same as the Shepherd’s, so expect to spend a fair amount of time at the groomers. 

Belgian Sheepdog

Even less popular than the Malinois, the Belgian Sheepdog is still very much like the German Shepherd. These dogs are extremely trainable and make phenomenal herding dogs. They are above average intelligence, and like the Shephard, they are built for plenty of work.

These dogs also desire a loving human and are not fond of being left alone for long periods of time. Like the Shepherd, they make excellent watchdogs but would be better with supervision around children.

When it comes to grooming, the Belgian Sheepdog does require quite a bit of maintenance as their coats are long and bushy. They also shed easily like the German Shepherd.

Their activity level is generally the same, and they live about as long as a Shepherd.


These powerful dogs are an excellent working breed like the German Shepherd and are eager to please. They make excellent watchdogs and will give their life to your family. They are loyal and loving and observe the world around them with self-assuredness.

They can be aloof like the German Shepherd, but it is part of their demeanor as the ultimate protector. They tend to be a little bigger than a Shepherd and much stockier, but unfortunately, they don’t live as long.

Like the Shepherd, they do well with children, but early socialization is a must. When it comes to other dogs, it is best to avoid interaction unless they are well supervised. They do not require as much grooming as the German Shepherd and may shed a bit less as well.

The Rottweiler is also not a huge barker but will alert you to any danger.

Bohemian Shepherd

Like the German Shepherd, the Bohemian Shepherd is smart, fast, and athletic. They welcome almost any job or activity you give them, which makes them very versatile. They make exceptional agility dogs, and much like the German Shepherd, they thrive on work.

They have been used as rescue dogs, service dogs as well as nose tracking dogs.  This dog loves to be with his family and is highly devoted to children, and does fairly well with other pets as well.

Because of their thick coat, they do well in cold climates and may even prefer them as heat can bother this breed.  But what differentiates them from the German Shepherd is that they are not heavy shedders and require little grooming.

They are easily trainable like the German Sheperd but may do better being couch potatoes as they love their lounge time with family more than anything.

Related Articles

What Dogs Look Like German Shepherds?

When it comes to looks, German Shepherds are beautiful animals with coats of many colors. They can be black and tan, gold or a deep red, or solid black or white.

Some of the other trademarks of the Geman Shepherd are his pointed ears, his long powerful stature, and deep loving eyes.

Several breeds look much like the Shepherd with a few differences as no dog is exactly the same. 

Belgian Malinois

This dog is commonly mistaken for the German Shepherd as they look very similar, but there are some differences. The Malinois has shorter hair and usually has a fawn coat with a black muzzle. They are very similar in size and weight to the Shepherd.

Jules, Castro Valley dog park | Jules is a 16-week-old Belgi… | Flickr

White Swiss Shepherd Dog

These gorgeous dogs are descended from White Shepherds, which are German Shepherds with white coats which started in the 1960s. The White Swiss Shepherd is all white and looks almost exactly like a German Shepherd in stature.

50+ Free Swiss Shepherd Dog & Dog Photos - Pixabay

King Shepherd

These dogs look almost exactly like a German Shepherd, except they literally come in King size. They can weigh up to 150 pounds! 

The AKC does not officially recognize this breed as they are believed to be a mix of Great Pyrenees, Malamute, and Akita. But they almost certainly resemble the German Shepherd.

File:King Shepherd.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Bohemian Shepherd

The Bohemian Shepherd has the same black and tan trademark coat as the German Shepherd, and they also have the same big brown eyes. They are a bit smaller with a calmer personality, but they look almost the same, and it would be easy to mix the two up.

File:Bohemian Shepherd Chodsky 2.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Alaskan Malamute

A true working dog, the Alaskan Malamute, resembles the German Shepherd in that their thick coats are an excellent protectant against harsh temperatures. They have the same hair length and require grooming like the Shepherd and have an abundant amount of energy.

Alaskan-Malamute Malamute - Free photo on Pixabay


The German Shepherd has and will remain one of the most popular dog breeds. But as you can see, there are several different choices when it comes to choosing a similar breed. Whether you are choosing for personality or looks alone, the many breeds of dogs are endless.

It’s up to you to decide which is most important to you. Is it intelligence or strength? Is it purely on looks, and are you willing to forgo certain personality differences?

Whatever your reasoning may be, rest assured that you have a plethora of choices before you.