Dogs That Look Like German Shepherds

Dogs That Look Like German Shepherds

The German Shepherd is one of the world's most popular and recognizable dog breeds. Known for their courage, loyalty, and versatility as working dogs, German Shepherds make great companions thanks to their intelligence and protective nature. If you love the German Shepherd look but want to explore similar breeds, this article is for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Belgian Shepherds are medium-sized herding dogs closely related to German Shepherds
  • King Shepherds are massive shepherd dogs bred from German Shepherds and other giant breeds
  • Dutch Shepherds are herders bred for tough conditions, living 2-5 years longer than German Shepherds
  • White Swiss Shepherds have the German Shepherd look with a beautiful white coat
  • Northern Inuit Dogs resemble a wolf-German Shepherd mix despite having no wolf ancestry

Breeds With German Shepherd Heritage

King Shepherd

Image by thesprucepets

The King Shepherd is a crossbreed between German Shepherds and larger breeds like the Alaskan Malamute and Great Pyrenees. These massive dogs can weigh up to 150 pounds! While still highly intelligent like their German Shepherd ancestors, King Shepherds tend to be less aggressive, more friendly family companions suited for active households.

Shiloh Shepherd

image by dogtime

Developed by crossing German Shepherds with other breeds, the Shiloh Shepherd looks very similar but is usually larger with a more relaxed temperament than the classic German Shepherd. Their longer coats do require more grooming. Shiloh Shepherds make energetic yet gentle family dogs.

Panda Shepherd

image by germanshepherds

The Panda Shepherd is a rare variety of purebred German Shepherd with a unique black and tan spotted coat pattern, resembling a panda bear. These striking dogs can still serve as working dogs for police, military or service roles thanks to their German Shepherd intelligence and athleticism.

Other Shepherd Breeds

Belgian Shepherd

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This family of four shepherd breeds from Belgium includes the Malinois, Tervuren, Laekenois and Groenendael varieties. Belgian Shepherds are very similar in size and energy levels to German Shepherds, making skilled herding and working dogs. The Malinois is perhaps the most well-known Belgian variety.

Dutch Shepherd

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Bred by Dutch farmers and shepherds to thrive in harsh conditions, the Dutch Shepherd is an agile, intelligent herder focused on their work. While strong-willed, they are usually calmer than German Shepherds. Their shorter coats also shed less, and Dutch Shepherds tend to live 2-5 years longer.

White Swiss Shepherd

image by weenect

As the name suggests, the White Swiss Shepherd has the German Shepherd look in an elegant all-white coat. These dogs are highly intelligent, loyal companions who do well in dog sports and make great therapy dogs thanks to their patience with children.

Spitz-Type Shepherding Breeds

Siberian Husky

image by britannica

While smaller than the standard German Shepherd, the iconic Siberian Husky shares the tall, pointy ears and lean, athletic build. Huskies were bred as sled dogs but make affectionate family pets with proper exercise.


image by britannica

The powerful Japanese Akita is a larger spitz breed often mistaken for a German Shepherd variation. Akitas have thicker coats and more triangular faces than German Shepherds but are similarly loyal, territorial guard dogs.

Other German Shepherd Look-Alikes

Northern Inuit Dog

image by wisdompanel

Don't let the wolf-like looks fool you - the Northern Inuit is actually a dog breed, not a wolf hybrid. Bred from German Shepherds, Huskies, and other spitz types, these dogs resemble a low-wolf mix but make gentle family companions.

Czechoslovakian Vlcak

image by fandom

Closely related to German Shepherds, the Czechoslovakian Vlcak is another breed with a purposefully wolf-like appearance achieved through breeding German Shepherds with working line Carpathian Wolfdogs.

Kunming Wolfdog

image by spotpet

A rare breed created in China by crossing German Shepherds with other mastiff-type dogs, the Kunming Wolfdog is larger and fluffier than standard German Shepherds. These dogs were originally bred as guard dogs and military dogs.

East-European Shepherd

image by easteuropeanshepherds

Also called the Byelorussian Shepherd, the East-European Shepherd combines German Shepherd ancestry with Russian breeds like the Laika to create a very large, muscular dog capable of withstanding freezing temperatures as a working dog.


Are German Shepherd mixes good family dogs?

German Shepherd mixes like the King Shepherd can make great family companions, as crossbreeding often moderates some of the German Shepherd's protective territoriality. However, early socialization and training is still essential for any large shepherd-type dog around children.

What dog is most similar to a German Shepherd?

The Belgian Shepherd varieties like the Malinois and Tervuren are arguably the most similar purebred dogs to German Shepherds in appearance, energy levels and trainability as herding dogs. The Dutch Shepherd is also extremely alike while typically having a calmer temperament.

Are mixed German Shepherds healthier?

Crossbreeding German Shepherds with other breeds like in the Shiloh Shepherd can potentially introduce hybrid vigor and make the offspring healthier by increasing genetic diversity compared to purebred German Shepherds. However, this depends on the specific breeding stock used.


While the iconic German Shepherd will always be a popular choice, there are numerous other breeds that share their wolfish looks, energetic personalities and versatility as working dogs. From the massive King Shepherd to the elegant White Swiss Shepherd, there is a German Shepherd lookalike suited for almost any active household. With their intelligence and loyalty, these German Shepherd-like breeds make wonderful companions for owners who can match their exercise needs and provide consistent training.