Alsatian Dog vs. German Shepherd

by Jane Meggitt Google
    In the United Kingdom, German shepherds are often referred to as Alsatians.

    In the United Kingdom, German shepherds are often referred to as Alsatians.

    Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    The German shepherd and the Alsatian dog aren't different breeds. Although German shepherd is the formal name for dogs registered with the American Kennel Club or Britain's Kennel Club, residents of the British Isles and European countries often refer to these dogs as Alsatians. That's because the breed was common in France's Alsace region, during a time when the area was part of Germany.

    German shepherds were first developed in Germany in the late 1800s. By the early 20th century, the dogs were imported to America and were well-known elsewhere in Europe. Two world wars pitting the United Kingdom against Germany gave the name "German" a bad connotation in Britain, so people of those generations usually referred to the breed as Alsatians. One common misconception is that long-haired members of the breed are German shepherds, while the short-coated variety are Alsatians. Both types are registered as German shepherds.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, her work has appeared in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!