How Many Different Types Of German Shepherds Are There?



How many different types of German Shepherds are there? Well, that depends who you ask.

If you ask a breed purist they might say there are 5 lines, but if you ask a potential new German Shepherd owner, they might tell you there are many more to choose from.

We’ve put together a full list to satisfy both parties.

Below you can find the list of all the types and possible combinations of German Shepherds that exist within the breed, along with clarifications of some types of GSDs that sit outside the breed or are anomalies.

Let’s look at the full list now…


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)


How Many Different Types Of German Shepherds Are There?


German shepherds can be categorised mainly by lines.

Technically, there are really only 5 types of German Shepherds within the breed – which are the different lines.

German Shepherds in general have a pre disposition to be short/medium haired (plush coat), and a particular color depending on the line.

However, there are other variations in genes like color, coat pattern and coat length that change the appearance from dog to dog.

Unregulated breeding over the years, and genetic anomalies give us German Shepherds that can look very different to one another within the same line e.g. a solid white long haired American Show Line GSD.

In particular with the colors, it’s worth noting there are different coat patterns too, that can change the coat appearance.

The full list of combinations and variations of German Shepherds is mostly as follows:


Coat Color

Coat Pattern

  • Saddle back pattern
  • Blanket back pattern
  • Bi color pattern
  • Solid pattern
  • Sable pattern
  • Panda pattern

Coat Length

  • Short haired (including medium hair/plush hair)
  • Long haired

Genetic Anomalies


Which Dogs Are Confused As German Shepherds, but Are Not Part Of The Breed?

Many of the Shepherd breeds and variations can be confused as being part of the German Shepherd breed.

One such example of this is the King German Shepherd.

This is a mix breed that was created by mixing Shiloh Shepherds (a mix of American/European German Shepherds and Alaskan Malamutes), American Line German Shepherds and Great Pyrenees dogs.

Other mix breeds are sometimes confused as being part of the German Shepherd breed too.


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The information is based on either our own thorough research, and/or own experiences, as a means of free speech.

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You should always consult your own veterinarian, animal expert, or health care professional and follow their advice before making decisions on all matters.


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