The name “Alsatian” and “German Shepherd” were at a time confused to mean two different breeds.
But, did you know they are the same breed? So why German Shepherds are called Alsatians?
German Shepherds are called Alsatians because the British were at war with the Germans during the World War and didn’t want to have any association with them.
The German Shepherd name was originally named by the Germans so the British changed the name immediately to Alsatian.
Why are German Shepherds called Alsatians?
This happened in the past where German Shepherds were called Alsatians during a time.
It mainly happened during World War 1 and World War 2.
It was very prominent during World War 2. German Shepherds were called Alsatians because European countries didn’t want any dog name associated with the Germans.
So, anything related to the Germans was changed. Thus, the German Shepherd dog’s name was changed to Alsatian.
Is there a difference between the German Shepherd and Alsatians?
A German Shepherd and Alsatian are the same dog. There is no difference between the two at all.
They just go by the same name Alastian because, during World War 2, the allies which were made up of Great Britain, the USA, China, and the Soviet Union were against Germany, Italy, and Japan.
At the time, the Germans were the ones who named the dog, German Shepherd.
However, Great Britain saw Germany as their enemy so they didn’t want any association with it at all.
Even though they were called Alsatian instead of German Shepherd, the name Alsatian caught on and spread.
The name Alsatian comes from the German french border area of Alsace Lorraine
After the widespread of the name, people began to think it was a different breed.
However, this is far from the truth; it is, in fact, the same breed with no differences at all.
How did the breed regain back the German Shepherd name?
After the war was over, the breed was imported to the United States.
Because the Americans weren’t as furious with the Germans as the Britains, they called the breed German Shepherds again.
Also, when Great Britain made peace with the Germans, they adopted the original name changing from Alsatian to German Shepherd again.
Also, many breeders started campaigns to change the German Shepherd name back and they succeeded in doing so for most countries such as the USA, Australia, and most other countries.
Soon, the change began to spread across many well-known organizations about dogs and the German Shepherd’s name was restored.
When did the German Shepherd officially become a breed?
It happened in 1919 when the English Kennel Club gave the breed a different register.
Because they weren’t very spread and well known at the time, only 54 dogs were included.
However, this changed in 1926 where many German Shepherds exactly a number of 8,058 were registered; they became very popular.
The history of German Shepherd
In the 1850s, Europe was working toward standardizing the breed.
It was a popular practice to breed dogs where people believed that doing so would preserve their traits in herding and being working dogs.
Therefore, the Phylax Society was formed. The organization’s goal was to create a standardized dog breed across the country.
However, after three years, it was disbanded. Many members had different opinions about why to breed a German Shepherd.
Some thought only to bred them for their appearance while others bred them focusing on them becoming working dogs.
While the Phylax society wasn’t here anymore, it inspired many people to practice standardizing the breed independently.
One of these people was a man named Max von Stephanitz.
He thought that German Shepherd’s should be bred to become working dogs; appearance wasn’t that important.
In 1899, during a dog show, Max von Stephanitz saw a dog who he thought was really unique.
So, he purchased the dog named them Horand von Grafarth.
He admired in this special dog their intelligence, strength, and loyalty which he saw was a great combination for a working dog.
Max von Stephanitz founded then the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde which translates to the Society for the German Shepherd Dog.
Horand von Grafarth was registered as the first German Shepherd dog ever.
Through methods of breeding, the German Shepherd spread and populated many areas.
However, throughout history, the German Shepherd’s popularity has risen and fallen a lot.
Mainly, after World War 2 there have been many countries that didn’t like German Shepherd.
But after a time, specifically in 2009, the breed gained back popularity.
Today, it ranks in the list of top popular breeds in the world.
Are German Shepherds part wolf?
German Shepherds aren’t a part wolf. Even though, their appearance resembles that of a wolf. Appearance can be deceiving.
However, they are descendants of wolves like all dogs are.
If you want to know more about are German Shepherd part wolf and the German Shepherd Wolf mix, check Are German Shepherds Part Wolf?
What is the German Shepherd in today’s times like?
Today, German Shepherds are very loved. In fact, they are really popular around the world. Regardless of the time where they weren’t that
Also, many dog parents raise German Shepherds. However, they require lots of training and attention.
They are very active and require daily exercise both mentally and physically.
Why the modern German Shepherd is criticized?
The modern German Shepherd is criticized because they didn’t comply with von Stephanitz’s ideology which was that they must be bred primarily to become working dogs and any defects should be eliminated.
Careless breeding has brought diseases and other defects that hurt the German Shepherd as a breed.
Consequently, the breed suffered from genetic problems such as hip dysplasia, weakness of temperament, missing teeth, and bent or folded ears which never fully turn up when reaching adulthood.
What is the temperament of a German Shepherd?
A German Shepherd is happier when they have a job or role that they do. They always need to have something that they do so they don’t become bored and frustrated.
Mainly, because they are full of energy and need ways to burn it so they have to have an outlet whether its exercise or being a working dog.
They are very fearless and will jump into danger to save people.
However, they are aloof at first when they meet someone new; they take time until they form friendships.
They are highly adaptable and strong to fit in any situation. They can learn quickly anything and easily trained.
Top 5 facts about German Shepherds
1.) They love to have a job and role
As Germany became more industrialized, Max von Stephanitz saw that the need for German Shepherds declined.
So, German Shepherds were trained to work with police and other service dogs to have a place in the working force.
Since they have been bred for intelligence and athletic abilities, they worked in many different roles where they also worked as guards and messengers.
Today, German Shepherds have lots of energy and need to have a role to do so they don’t get bored and use up their energy.
2.) They are really smart
German Shepherds are very smart. They are considered the third smartest breed in the world.
They understand commands very quickly.
They only understand a command after only five repetitions and in some cases understand the command given to them for the first time 95 % of the time.
3.) Some can be affected by dwarfism
In this rare condition, a German Shepherd stays young like a puppy all their life. They don’t change in size, fur, and appearance.
Even though they may look adorable, this condition comes with a whole set of health problems that will do more harm to your dog.
4.) The most common color is tan and black or red and black
Besides these colors, German Shepherds also come with many other colors such as black, gray, sable, blue, black and silver, and liver.
They also come with either short, medium, or long coats. Their coat comes in different coat lengths because that’s how they are born.
5.) German Shepherds are very protective of their loved ones
German Shepherds are very protective and loving of their loved ones.
They will be there to protect them against any threat or danger.
Their nature is very balanced and loving protecting the people that they love even at all times, they may sacrifice themselves to protect people close to them.
In conclusion, the German Shepherd breed has evolved throughout history.
They have been called Alsatians and people have been confused whether they are the same breed or not.
However, they are the same breed and it was just a confusion during the time because of the British when they changed their name to Alsatian due to not wanting to have any association with the Germans.
Today, they are known as German Shepherd and are really popular around the world. They are really admired for their outstanding abilities and intelligence.
Being one of the top smartest breeds in the world, they can learn practically anything.
Share your opinion. Which name do you prefer Alsatian or German Shepherd?