In the guide below, we compare the German Shepherd vs the Australian 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)
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd: Differences, & Breed Comparison
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd – Origin/History
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.
Despite the name, Australian Shepherds were not developed in Australia
They were bred in California (in the US) during the 19th century (reportedly sometime around 1840), from working Collies that were imported from Australia (and potentially New Zealand too)
Other reports indicate that these Collies descended from parts of Europe before that
They were bred as, and are classified as herding dogs and working dogs
Today, Australian Shepherds are used as working dogs across different applications, in dog sports and dog competitions, and as pets and family dogs.
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd – Size
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)
Australian Shepherds might be classified as a medium size breed of dog
The breed might average between 20-23 inches in height (51-58 cms), and 35-70 lbs in weight (16-32 kg)
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd – Lifespan
Although, some reports indicate some GSDs may even live up to 15 years of age
An Australian Shepherd might have an average lifespan of anywhere between 9-15 years.
German Shepherd vs Australian 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 Australian Shepherd as the 12th most popular dog breed
Of course though, this is only one rankings list, from one organisation, in one country.
Other lists in other locations may look different.
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd – Appearance, Features, & Colors
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.
Australian Shepherds might commonly be known for the following appearance and physical features:
– The main coat colors might be different variations of merle mixed with white on the chest, face, and legs, along with red and also black
– Naturally floppy ears
– A solid body that is built with a low centre of gravity, and a fluffy tail
– Generally a straight or wavy medium length, double coat. Some have longer coats
German Shepherd vs Australian 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:
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
Hardworking and obedient for some activities, alert, curious, energetic, and loyal
May have the general temperament and drive of an all around working dog and herding dog
German Shepherd vs Australian 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
The same ranking report indicated that Australian Shepherds rank as the 42nd most intelligent dog breed, although, they may be most capable at herding as an activity specifically
German Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd – Bite Force
The bite force of different dog breeds might be a generalized measurement only, and not definitive or comprehensive.
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
– Australian Shepherds are not listed
German Shepherd vs Australian 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
– Australian Shepherd
Anywhere from $600 up to $3000 (for the highest quality dogs), with the average for a regular puppy potentially being around the $700-$1000 mark
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.
TheDailyShep.com are not veterinarians, or animal professionals/experts. Information provided is for informational purposes only – it is not a substitute for professional or qualified advice.
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