American Alsatian Dog Breed Traits & Facts

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

*The American Alsatian Dog is not the American Shepherd’s American counterpart. He is a purebred German Shepherd Dog that is a distinct breed from the German Shepherd Dog HTML1. He has been cleverly engineered by one American woman in the late 1980’s who bred him to be a large dog solely used for companionship purposes. He is truly one of the most gentle and loving canine giants.

The American Alsatian is often mistaken for a German Shepherd Shiloh Shepherd

,, or even a King Shepherd .. You can see why this is so common. Although each breed has a similar appearance (they were all originally bred from a German Shepherd), the main differences between them are their size and coat. He is not a guard or barking dog and will not prevent any intruders entering your home. This breed is not suitable for those looking for a larger, more protective German Shepherd-like dog. If you’re looking for a cuddle bug that is affectionate and devoted to the entire family, this breed may not be right for you. Let me now introduce you to the American Alsatian.

American Alsatian


Understanding the American Alsatian is essential in order to fully appreciate his life and his journey. He is from America and he was born at the Schwarz Kennels Oregon.

In 1987, a woman called Lois Denny began the Dire Wolf Project. Lois Denny has always been fascinated by dogs and wolves. However, she soon realized that the wolf/dog hybrid dog was not a good choice for many families. She wanted a dog who looked like a Dire Wolf, but was gentle and affectionate. So she set out to make him.

Dire Wolves are now extinct, but fossils dating back hundreds of thousands of years ago show that he was a little larger than the grey wolf that we know today. First, she mated a German Shepherd with an Alaskan Malamute in order to achieve a larger dog just like the Dire Wolf. The Alsatian Shepalute was born at this point. However, these puppies weren’t exactly what she wanted.

She then bred the English Mastiff and the Great Pyrenees into the line to make them larger, and then she added the Anatolian Shepherd and the Irish Wolfhound into the mix for their extra height. She then selected only the most gentle and healthy puppies to breed the next generation American Alsatian.

He is a purebred American Alsatian dog, having over five generations. He is not yet recognised by any major kennel clubs .. He does have his own breed club, called the National American Alsatian Breeders Association (NAABA). His club claims that he is one of the few large dogs that are bred solely for companionship. If this appeals to your interest, read on to learn more about him.


This loyal dog is the only large dog to be bred for companionship. You will receive a lot affection from him. He is a gentle giant and will always be there for you.

He isn’t focused on one caregiver like the German Shepherd and so he loves all his family members. He will snuggle up to you and share your lap.

While forming strong bonds to his human pack is an amazing quality, it can lead to trouble when it comes time for him to be left at home. He does not like to be left at home at all, and if he is left for more than a few hours, then he will become anxious and worrisome, which often results in destructive behaviors. He should be with someone who will be home most of the day.

Lois Denny had another goal for the American Alsatian: to create a quiet dog that rarely barks . He is a calm and peaceful pup who enjoys being with his family. He would make a great family dog if you’re looking for a calm, loving dog. However, if you want a dog that is more proactive and alert, the traditional German Shepherd or another dog with the same temperament, might be a better choice. The American Alsatian is not a good guard dog.

Size & Appearance

The American Alsatian is a larger dog than the German Shepherd. The male American Alsatian should measure up to 32 inches tall, and the female should measure up to 28 inches tall, from paw to shoulder.

The male American Alsatian should also weigh no less than 90 pounds, and the female no less than 85 pounds. To put that into perspective, the male German Shepherd weighs between 65 and 90 pounds, so the largest German Shepherds are the same size as the smallest of American Alsatians.

The American Alsatian wanted to appear more wild than domesticated. His appearance is a mix of a German Shepherd, an Alaskan Malamute and a hybrid of both.

Overall, he is described as looking like a wolf of yesteryears, so expect heads to turn when you are walking him in public. He is more than twice his height and has a strong chest.

His eyes are usually light amber to brown which gives him his wolfy look. However, his other features, such as his nose, eye rims and lips, should be dark brown or black. His ears are triangular and have a rounded tip. He should be alert most of the time.

His length should be between 4-6 inches and a maximum of 7-8 inches. It should not extend past his hocks. The Schwarz Kennels outline his full breed standard, so check this out for more detailed information.

Coat & Colors

The American Alsatian breed standards describe him with a double-layered coat that changes in the summer and winter seasons. His winter coat should have a thick, coarse, long-lasting coat. It should be thick and wooly with a longer length around the neck.

As the weather warms up, his winter coat will be shed ‘. His undercoat is almost gone and the coat becomes shorter. He will be a darker color due to his lighter fur.

The American Alsatian comes in a variety of colors. However, the most desired color coat is the Silver sable, which is silver with black tips. Tri sable is also available in golden sable and tri sable. A wolf-like color is more desirable than solid colors.

Exercises & Living Conditions

The American Alsatian will require around 60 minutes of exercise a day, so he will need to be placed with an active family. When he’s older than two years old, he would love to go for walks in the woods or to run a few errands. Interactive games can be a great way for your dog to release their energy. They also serve as a bonding activity between you and your pup.

Despite his activity levels, he is relatively docile in the home and loves nothing more than an afternoon snooze on the sunbed with his master or to act as a hot water bottle for the children of the family while they read books.

He is very gentle and affectionate with children, and because of his calm demeanor in the home, he is suited to living with children of all ages. To avoid any bumps, make sure you teach your children the right behavior and keep an eye on them.

He is also great with other animals, as long as he is socialized early as a pup, and so he makes a great addition to a multi-pet household. He is not easily intimidated by other animals and has little to no guarding instincts. He should therefore be open to accepting other animals joining his animal family. All animals are unique, but a controlled meet and greet should resolve any issues.

Due to his large stature and love of lounging on the couch, he should be moved into a larger home with plenty of space. He is not suited for apartment living, even though he is quite calm in the home.


This intelligent dog will do anything to please his master. He is easy to train, as a little praise can go a long way. He will not be food-oriented and will instead be interested in pleasing you. Verbally praise him often.

Unlike his German Shepherd cousin, his guarding tendencies shouldn’t cause any problems with overprotectiveness. This should not be a concern for you. he, along with all the reasons discussed in this section, is suitable for first-time owners .

He will still need to be socialized with other puppies early on in his life so that he can become a confident and well-mannered dog.

The American Alsatian is more susceptible to separation anxiety than other dogs. Crate training is a great way to ease his anxiety. This helps teach that the crate is a safe place, so when you leave, he will find comfort there. This also stops him chewing on furniture or other household items.


The American Alsatian is a generally healthy dog, and his lifespan is around 12 to 14 years, which is much longer than his German Shepherd relative, who lives on average four years less than him.

The American Alsatian is prone to suffering from Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, which is an abnormal formation of the affected joints which will eventually cause pain when walking and crippling arthritis. All NAABA-registered dogs must submit their hip and elbow scores.

Another bone-related illness is Panosteitis, which is where the bones become inflamed in his legs, and again this can cause pain when walking.

Additionally, some American Alsatian owners have reported that their dogs suffer from epilepsy, which is where the pup has a fit because of a burst of electric activity in the brain. Although epilepsy is not common in American Alsatians, it is something you should be aware of so that your dog can be treated if they do.


The American Alsatian will eat 3 and 3 1/2 cups of food each day .. You should feed your American Alsatian high-quality food that is designed for large and extra-large dogs. Discuss any nutritional concerns with your Veterinarian as they will be your best contact for all questions regarding your dog’s health.

Large breeds of dog are more susceptible to stomach bloat . You should ensure that you give your dog high-quality food in two separate sittings and not just before or after exercise. Bloat is a life-threatening condition, and if you suspect that he has associated symptoms, take him to the Veterinarian immediately.

While the American Alsatian does not eat, it is vital to monitor his treat intake as the extra weight he will undoubtedly gain will adversely affect his elbows and hip joints which are already stressed.


The American Alsatian will need brushing once a day in winter to keep his hair and skin manageable. To keep his hair from falling out during warmer seasons, you’ll likely need to brush his coat at least once per day. You could end up covered in fluff.

As mentioned previously, their entire undercoats will disappear during the shedding month. He may look thin suddenly as his coat will likely be thinned.

This breed requires very little grooming other than daily brushing. Check your dog at least once per week for any abnormalities.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

As it currently stands, the NAABA has only certified two American Alsatian breeders. This is the original Schwarz Kennel, and the second DireWolf Dogs in Vallecito, Washington.

While there may be more breeders out there, who may be equally as ethical and reputable, it is important to do your research and to meet the breeders and their puppies in person. It is a wise decision to first consider these breeds, as they are rare and the NAABA recommends them.

Be wary of unscrupulous breeders who offer the American Alsatian at a lower price, for they are likely to be just selling you a German Shepherd who is probably unhealthy and hasn’t had the best start to life.

The average price of an American Alsatian puppy from a reputable breeder is between $1,800 and $3,000. The Schwarz Kennel provides tips when buying an American Alsatian puppy.

The breed is still rare and there are often waiting list for puppies. You should submit your name as soon as you are certain that he is the right breed for you. A 6 month wait is common according to the Schwarz Kennel puppy information webpage.

Rescue & Shelters

It’s unlikely you will find an American Alsatian at Rescue Kennels. This is due to three reasons.

First, are so few around , that it is unlikely you will find one.

Second, puppy purchase contracts outline that if an owner decides to give up their puppy, they are to surrender them back to the breeder first.

Third, they will likely be labelled a German Shepherd in rescue homes as very few people can distinguish the difference.

For the best chance of finding an American Alsatian in a rescue shelter, you should research your local German Shepherd rescue center, as they also house German Shepherd mixes.

As Family Pets

  • The American Alsatian is a gentle giant who craves affection.
  • He is a very sociable dog who craves human interaction throughout the day.
  • He needs to be placed with a family who can spend most of the day with him.
  • The American Alsatian would benefit from crate training.
  • Because of their size, you should have space in your home for an extra-large crate.
  • He needs to be placed in a large house that has a large backyard.
  • He requires around 60 minutes of exercise a day.
  • Because of his exercise requirements, he should be with an active family.
  • The American Alsatian is a gentle dog who is docile in the house.
  • Because of his docile nature, he is suited to families with children of all ages.
  • He is friendly and with little to no guarding tendencies.
  • He can do well in a multi-pet household as long as he’s socialized early.
  • His coat is very fluffy, and his undercoat completely de-sheds during shedding season.
  • He is not suited to families with dog allergies and requires regular deshedding.

Final Thoughts

He may look like a larger, more wild German Shepherd, but he’s nothing! His top priority is quiet cuddles by the fire with his loved ones. Don’t expect anything less of him.

If you believe that the American Alsatian is your match made in Heaven and ticks all your boxes, then what are you waiting? Register now to be on the waiting list for your American Alsatian and begin your long-lasting love affair.

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