East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd: Differences, & Comparison


In the guide below, we compare the East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd dog breeds.

We outline what the main differences between them might be, and provide other important information on each breed.


(NOTE: the information in this guide is general information only. It is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. See a qualified vet or animal expert for an expert opinion in regards to your pet/s)


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd: Differences, & Breed Comparison


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Origin/History

German Shepherd

German Shepherds were first bred in Germany around 1899.

They were bred from different Shepherd breed dogs in Germany at the time (reportedly a sheep type dog, and also a service type dog), with the intention of having ideal working dog traits and working ability.

GSDs as a breed belong to the ‘herding dog’ category.

Today, GSD’s are used in a range of working fields, compete as show dogs, and are also pets & family dogs.


East European Shepherd

The East European Shepherd is also known as the Vostochno Evropeiskaya Ovcharka, VEO, or EES

It may have been created with specific breeding programmes between the 1930’s and the 1950’s

One report indicates that it was first bred in Ukraine, before being bred in Russia too (and other Soviet regions)

Various reports indicate that it was crossbred between German Shepherds (that were imported into Ukraine from Germany in the 1920’s), and dog breeds local to Russia, such as East Siberian Laikas, Ovcharkas, as well as other local dog breeds.

They were specifically bred for military work, police work, and protection and guard dog work

They were also bred to be able to withstand the extreme cold, and even freezing conditions in places like Russia

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the breed was named and a breed standard was developed 

As of today, the dog is popular in Soviet countries, and various other kennel clubs recognize the breed


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Size

German Shepherd

German Shepherds might be classified as a large breed of dog

Males might average 24-26 inches in height (60-65 cms), and 66-88 lbs in weight (30-40 kg)

Females might average 22-24 inches in height (55-60 cms), and 49-71 lbs in weight (22-32 kg)


East European Shepherd

East European Shepherds might be classified as a large size breed of dog, and are larger than German Shepherds

Some reports indicate they show significant sexual dimorphism, with males being significantly larger than females

Males might average 26-28 inches in height (66-71 cms), with some being up to 29 or 30 inches

Females might average 24-26 inches in height (61-66 cms)

The breed overall might range between 75-132 lbs (34-59 kg) in weight


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Lifespan

German Shepherd

German Shepherds might have a lifespan of around 9-13 years on average

Although, some reports indicate some GSDs may even live up to 15 years of age


East European Shepherd

An estimation of the East European Shepherd’s lifespan might be between 10-14 years.


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Popularity

Every year, the American Kennel Club publishes a list of the most popular dog breeds based on dog registration data.

The 2021 list shows:

– German Shepherds as the 4th most popular dog breed

– The East European Shepherd does not feature on the list


Of course though, this is only one rankings list, from one organisation, in one country.

Other lists in other locations may look different.


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Appearance, Features, & Colors

German Shepherd

German Shepherds might commonly be known for the following appearance and physical features:

– Black and tan, or sometimes black and red coat color and saddle pattern (although other colors exist too)

– Erect ears/ears that stand up

– An angulated back and dropped hips (although body shape differs between the individual lines of GSDs)

– Generally medium length hair/plush coat, with a double coat (although, short and long haired GSDs exist too)


Having said that though, different German Shepherds have different physical features and appearances.

You can read about the different variations in German Shepherds, such the different lines, colors, and coat lengths/types here.


East European Shepherd

East European Shepherds might commonly be known for the following appearance and physical features:

– May be more of a black and cream color, than a black and tan, or black and gold color like German Shepherds. Also comes in solid black.

– Naturally pointed/upright ears

– A similar looking body to a GSD, but, has a thicker and bigger body overall

– Some have a straighter (less angled) back than a GSD

– Generally a medium length, thick, double coat. Part of their thick coat might be for insulation and protection from the cold


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Temperament

Ultimately, a dog’s personality or temperament might be influenced by a range of factors, with genetics and breeding being key factors

So, this is why the temperament and personality of individual dogs don’t always match the general temperament descriptions found online

However, a generalized description of the temperament of each dog breed, according to either parts of the standard for each breed, or, what they were originally bred to be, might be:


German Shepherd

Intelligent, obedient and easier to train, loyal, confident, protective, and may be slightly aloof (without being aggressive)

May have the general temperament of a working breed dog or herding dog

Read more about what temperament GSDs were originally bred for, and what some breed standards outline for temperament and personality in this guide


East European Shepherd

Versatile, hard working, durable and tough, confident, obedient, intelligent, and protective

May have the general temperament of a working dog

Some reports indicate their temperament may be similar to a Doberman’s


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Intelligence

Intelligence testing for dogs can test for different things, and can also have limitations.

So, intelligence rankings for different breeds might be viewed as a guide only, and not definitive

One online ranking indicated that German Shepherds rank as the 3rd most intelligent dog breed

We could not find East European Shepherds listed on any dog breed intelligence ranking lists, and this may be because their intelligence may not have been officially measured at this point in time


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Bite Force

The bite force of different dog breeds might be a generalized measurement only, and not definitive or comprehensive.

We list some of the reasons for this in a separate guide.

However, when referencing one ‘strongest dog bite force’ list, where bite force is expressed in psi (pounds of force per square inch), the bite force of each of these two breeds might be:

– German Shepherds might have a bite force of 238 psi

– The bite force of East European Shepherds is not listed 


East European Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Cost/Price

The cost to buy a specific breed of dog depends on the country it’s bought from, along with a wide range of other factors.

Some general information on buying each breed though might include:


Buying From Breeders

According to different online information at the time of publishing this guide, the general cost to buy each of these breeds from breeders in the US might be:


– German Shepherd

Anywhere from $800 up to $10,000+ (for the highest quality dogs), with the average for a regular puppy potentially being around the $800 mark


– East European Shepherd

There isn’t a lot of information available online on the cost of East European Shepherds

Some reports indicate that they may range in price from around $900 to $1500



Buying from a breeder may not be the only option to own each of these dog breeds.

Adopting or rescuing may be other options too.

The cost to adopt or rescue a dog can be significantly cheaper than buying from a breeder in some instances, although there’s usually still a basic cost to adopt/rescue a dog.



Buying a dog that is being re-homed might another option to buy a dog.

The cost for rehomed dogs can vary.


More Information On German Shepherds

It’s worth noting that some of the information in the guide above about German Shepherds comes from our ‘German Shepherd Breed Information Guide‘, which also has additional information about the German Shepherd breed.



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