German Shepherd vs. Australian Shepherd: Breed Comparision



These breeds share both similarities and differences in their size, appearance, behavior, and so on. Learning about both the Aussie and GSD will be helpful to know which breed is a perfect fit for you according to your lifestyle.


GSD Vs. Aussie: Appearance

Height & Weight

Aussies are more miniature in size and weight than the sturdier German Shepherds when we talk about appearance. German Shepherds (also known as GSD) measure from 22 to 26 inches, whereas Australian Shepherds (also known as Aussies) measure 18 to 22 inches from paws to shoulder.


As can be expected, the weight of Aussies is less than the GSD. German Shepherds weigh between 50 to 90 pounds, while Aussies weigh between 40 to 65 pounds. Female Australian Shepherds and GSDs are smaller than males.


Ears & Tail

The GSD has standing and pointed ears, whereas Aussie has floppy ears. The German Shepherd has fluffy and longer tails, while the Australian Shepherd standard typically has a cropped tail, although not all are born that way.


Colors: Fur and Eyes

Both Australian and German Shepherds have a kaleidoscope of colors. The fur colors of the Australian Shepherd come in red merle, black and red, blue merle with or without any markings. Additionally, the German Shepherd coat comes in 15 varied colors, with black and tan colors being the most recognized.



Another difference is their eye color. German Shepherds have mainly brown eyes, whereas the eye color of Australian Shepherds can vary vastly. The Aussie is one of the few dogs that can have two different colored eyes. They might have a combination of blue, amber, green, hazel, or brown eyes and may also show more than single color in the same eyes.



GSD vs. Aussie: Temperament


The Australian Shepherd and German Shepherd both have powerful and robust working roots that influence their temperament. They both can be aloof, but they will be intelligent, energetic, and alert. Both breeds will form a strong bond with their family and alert them with caution if they sense any unfamiliar activities that may cause a threat.


The best part is that both breeds are great for kids, as long as they are socialized appropriately. Even so, both breeds can show natural herding instincts around tiny toddlers. They may start nipping at their heels to round them up or get frustrated or irritated if the family prevents them from being together in the same room. This is why early training and socializing is imperative.


Studies show that both are higher in aggression for strangers and lower than average for owner-related things. You can train and socialize your puppy from the moment they become part of your family to reduce their risk of aggression towards other animals, family members, or strangers.

Always keep in mind the instincts of these breeds. (Ever wonder why dogs instinctually don't like certain people? Read why, here)


Aussies have strong herding instincts and will try to herd small kids, other dogs, or other pets of your house. They may start barking, chasing, or nipping at heels, so you should carefully supervise their interactions.



Whereas German Shepherds can also show some herding instincts, they are known more for their strong guarding instincts. Hence, it is essential to monitor your dog's interactions with others, especially with unfamiliar people, and have kids or other dogs with them. Again, socialization will help your dog with such problems as it may eradicate their innate drive.


GSD Vs. Aussie: Training


When there is a discussion about German Shepherd vs. Australian Shepherds training, you can easily say that they are both highly trainable. Having intelligence and an eagerness to please, both the GSD and Aussie are effortless to train. (Want to train your dog like law enforcement? Read our article here on how to do just that!)


They both have a high amount of energy, so they require plenty of daily exercise to stay fit, both mentally and physically. If exercise is ignored with these breeds, they will show undesirable behaviors like chewing, digging, or barking. Both breeds are active and quickly learn when they are given consistent training. The owner's responsibility is to keep training sessions short and exciting as puppies can lose their interest.



The German Shepherd is famously known as service dogs, therapy dogs, police and military operations task dog, etc. Without high trainability, this breed would not excel at these roles.


The Australian Shepherd has been known to help in avalanche rescues. They have a portable size that allows rescue personnel to carry the dog to the avalanche site. Australian Shepherds also tend to be the breed leaders in dog agility competitions. Again, without high trainability, this breed would not excel at these roles.


Sometimes, the Australian Shepherd may observe some difficulties while training because they may have focusing issues due to their constantly working minds. However, you can solve it by obedience training sessions in a quiet place.


The rule of thumb: The GSD and Australian Shepherd love rewards. It's common for owners to reward them for their positive behavior and ignore bad behavior while training.


Gsd vs. Aussie: Lifespan Expectancy


Several studies show the average life expectancy of different dog breeds. But it is essential to remember that these figures are based on average lifespan. Your pet dog may live longer or shorter depending on their healthy and regular caring lifestyle.


Generally, the GSD has a lifespan range of 9 -12 years, whereas Australian Shepherds have 12 - 14 years of average lifespan.


Many factors impact the lifespan of a dog, such as diet, general health, lifestyle, and genetics. Happy and active dogs with a balanced diet will have a healthy and energetic lifestyle, increasing their lifespan.


Gsd vs. Aussie: Shedding Concerns


Aussie and German Shepherds are abundant shedders, particularly during the spring and fall seasons. Both have a double coat that requires regular washing. You can manage the heavy shedding by using a standard de-shedding brush. Living with the GSD or Aussie may mean that you will see dog fur on the furniture and frequent fur tumbleweeds. (Read our article here on how to care for dogs with double coats)



Gsd vs. Aussie: Expected Cost


Both Australian and German Shepherds' cost varies depending on the factors such as geographic location, pedigree, coat colors, temperament, and age. You can expect the price of Australian Shepherd puppies in between $600 to $3000, whereas German Shepherds are in the range of $500 to $5000. (Read our article that goes into further detail on the German Shepherd price tag, whether from a breeder or shelter)


Gsd vs. Aussie: Who's the Best Guard Dog


GSD and Aussies are loyal dogs who follow their owners from one room to another at home. Both breeds love their owners unconditionally. It makes them suitable companions for families who have a lot of time and energy to spend with their intelligent and loyal pets. German Shepherds, however, are more protective and make a better guard dog than Australian Shepherds.


German & Australian Shepherd Mix Breed


The mixed breed of Australian and German Shepherds can be expected to inherit the best of both breeds. They will be intensely loyal and a valuable guard dog for your home. The height of this crossbreed may range from 20 to 23 inches having a medium-length double coat. Their coat and eye color combinations could widely vary between each puppy within the litter.


In Conclusion


Both of these are super intelligent and energetic dogs that make loyal partners of their owners. If you want a smaller, merle-coated dog having endless energy, then Aussie is the perfect fit who can add fun to the family. Or, if you are seeking a loyal and highly active pet, then a German Shepherd will be the right choice to make. With his sharp mind and majestic form, he ensures your safety too. And if you want the combination of both, then a Crossbreed dog will work well for you as the best watchdog for your family and kids. Apart from all discussion, you must provide the training and exercise to your pet according to their need, making them obedient and an excellent addition to your family.



Welcome to the Pack!

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