14 Dogs That Look Like German Shepherds

dogs that look like german shepherds.

German Shepherds are an excellent choice if you want a dog that’s powerful, majestic, and elegant in appearance. However, there are several dogs that look like German Shepherds and could easily be mistaken for this breed.

The GSD is one of the most renowned dogs on the planet and is frequently used in law enforcement, rescue operations, and guardians for the home. They’re devoted, intelligent, protective, and loving.

Many breeds are similar to GSDs, and that’s what we’re going to show you today — just how many dog breeds that look like German Shepherds there really are.

1. Belgian Malinois

dogs that look like german shepherd belgian malinois.

These dogs have the most German Shepherd like breeds characteristics of any on this list! They’re nearly identical! As the name implies, they hail from Belgium. 

The Belgian Malinois has been utilized by police and military forces for years. However, they also make excellent companion animals if offered adequate exercise. It takes a considerable amount of time to bond with the Malinois, but it's totally worth it. 

In our opinion, they are the breed the most similar to a German Shepherd.

2. King Shepherd

dogs that look like german shepherd king shepherd dog.

David Turkheimer and Shelley Watts-Cross, two American dog breeders, created the King Shepherd dog breed. They used Great Pyrenees, European German Shepherds, and Alaskan Malamutes to create this one-of-a-kind canine with wolf-like intelligence.

These giant dogs are larger than the GSD and are more powerful, as well as muscular in build. This German Shepherd look alike is loyal but not aggressive, making them excellent watchdogs or family companions.

3. Shiloh Shepherd

dogs that look like german shepherd shiloh shepherd.

The Shiloh Shepherd is a relatively new breed, dating from the 1970s. They’re one of the dog breeds similar to German Shepherds, but are slightly larger — the average weight is 100 pounds, and with fuzzy coats.

However, it won’t be easy to find one at your local shelter because they are rare. This dog is a super smart animal with such an easygoing nature that makes it ideal for therapy work in addition to rescue and search missions.

4. Dutch Shepherd

dogs that look like german shepherd dutch shepherd.

Dutch Shepherds look similar to German Shepherds or wolves, some say they’re even hyena-like — thanks to their markings. In Dutch Golden Age portraits of sheep-herding villages, these dogs were mostly delegated with the safeguard of flocks on occasions when thefts were prevalent. 

Highly trainable and obedient, yet also extremely lively — the Dutch Shepherd is a natural at agility training or any activity that burns off that energy. Providing mental stimulation is also another must.

5. Bohemian Shepherd

dogs that look like german shepherd bohemian shepherd.

The Bohemian Sheepdog, also known as the Czech Sheepdog, is a medium-sized breed that’s well-natured and suited to family life. 

As the name suggests, the Bohemian is a working dog, which means they like to keep busy. Hence, you’ll need to offer this breed plenty of exercise to prevent boredom kicking in — and naughty behavior. 

The Bohemian Shepherd is a less aggressive and much more amiable dog breed, like the German Shepherd. It’s also smaller in comparison to the GSD. And, their black and tan fluffy coat requires little maintenance.

6. Eastern European Shepherd

dogs that look like german shepherd eastern european shepherd.

This tricolor, former Soviet Union breed, also known as the Belarusian Shepherd, was bred to be a guard dog.

Nowadays, this innately calm and self-assured canine makes a great protective four-legged friend. But this dog that looks like a german shepherd does have some downsides. Socialization is a must to train properly — the Eastern is an alert dog and will bark at just about everything around them. Plus, they’re a dominant breed, so you’ll need to be firm but fair.

And, ensure you don't consider leaving this smart pup alone for too long, they’re extremely adept at figuring out how things work.

7. Belgian Tervuren

dogs that look like german shepherd belgian tervuren.

The Tervuren Shepherd is a descendant of the centuries-old Belgian Shepherd family. This vibrant and intelligent dog flourishes in the great outdoors, which makes them ideal herders.

Although they’re working canine companions, now they’re just as content playing with the family. Smart, but requiring a lot of mental stimulation — otherwise they misbehave — they also thrive on positive reinforcement. This has to be one of the most similar dog breeds that looks like a German Shepherd — from size, coat, and overall appearance.

8. Northern Inuit Dog

dogs that look like german shepherd northern inuit dog.

Northern Inuits are a relatively new dog breed that originated in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. They're a cross between a German Shepherd, a Husky, a Malamute, and a wolf crossover. And, yes, they have wolfish looks and character.

The Northern Inuit is typically very sociable but takes some effort to train. Because their appearance and attitudes are equivalent to that of wolves, early training is essential to prevent future issues.

9. American Alsatian

dogs that look like german shepherd american alsatian.

This large breed dog that looks like a German Shepherd is called an American Alsatian. They were created with the intention to mimic an extinct wolf from California.

These dogs are stronger and larger than their European cousins. However, with the right temperament, they can make excellent family companions.

While they’re perceived as a difficult-to-handle breed, contrary to popular belief, American Alsatians have a great relationship with kids. In fact, you'll mostly see them playing alongside children in playgrounds or running around the yard.

10. Panda Shepherd

The Panda Shepherd is the rarest of all dog breeds and deserves a mention. These pups have a hereditary mutation that leads them to be white with black spots rather than brown or yellow like the majority of shepherd dogs.

Despite being not a completely separate breed, but instead a very rare color variation, these incredible dogs exhibit intellectual prowess and devotion similar to any other German Shepherd.

11. Laekenois

dogs that look like german shepherd laekenois.

The Laekenois (also known as the Belgian Shepherd) has a distinctive coat that distinguishes it from other breeds. The hair isn’t smooth, it has a rough, tousled appearance —  and they’re slimmer than the German Shepherd. 

They tend to be more gentle and loving than their German Shepherd cousins. The Laekenois makes an excellent family dog that can also serve as your watchdog when needed.

12. Groenendael

dogs that look like german shepherd groenendael.

Even with a brindle coat, the Groenendael is a breed of dog that looks like a German Shepherd.  A dog with an astute demeanor and extremely obedient, but be cautious, this pup can be overprotective.

And the best of all? They have a lot of energy that never runs out — certainly a four-legged friend for an active family. However, the Groenendael shouldn’t be left alone for prolonged periods — they can suffer from separation anxiety and become easily nervous.

13. White Shepherd

dogs that look like german shepherd white shepherd.

The White Shepherd looks a lot like its cousin — the German Shepherd Dog. These dogs have been subjected to far more inbreeding compared to any other breed. All of this hasn’t resulted in serious health issues for the White Shepherd, but it has resulted in an intriguing coloration — white! 

White Shepherds are not particularly fond of other dogs. They are, however, very intelligent and highly trainable pooches.

14. Caucasian Shepherd

dogs that look like german shepherd caucasian shepherd.

Finally, the Caucasian Shepherd. This large dog resembles the German Shepherd in certain ways. They can weigh up to 220 pounds and are widely regarded as one of the most vigilant breeds around, making them ideal for protection — particularly if you have children.

The problem is that they can be skeptical and wary of strangers, so they should be introduced to new friends gradually and closely monitored by you at all times.


The list of dog breeds that look like German shepherds is vast, and new hybrids appear on a daily basis. Many of them can be traced all the way back to the German breed or its descendants, making them ideal candidates for a home companion.

In this article, we discussed the top dogs that look like German Shepherds. We hope you find the right one for you.

Breeds That Look Like German Shepherds FAQs

What Breed of Dog Looks Like a German Shepherd?

The Belgian Malinois is a dog breed that looks like a German Shepherd. The Malinois is a medium-sized Belgian dog with a short and fawn-colored coat. They are among the four purebred Belgian sheepdogs shown in the United States since 1959.

What Dog Looks Like a German Shepherd but Is Bigger?

The Northern Inuit is a large breed of dog that looks like a german shepherd and a wolf. Amidst its sturdy looks, the Northern Inuit is known to be a delicate and devoted family dog.

What Dog Looks Like a German Shepherd but Is smaller?

Bohemian Shepherds are smaller in stature and have less muscle mass than German Shepherds. They are a smart, energetic, fast, and athletic breed that eagerly embraces just about any activity presented, making the breed quite adaptable.

Do Police Use German Shepherds?

The most widely used breeds for service include:

  • German Shepherd. 

  • Dutch Shepherd. 

  • Belgian Malinois. 

  • Bloodhound. 

  • And, the Retriever family.

Induced by intense drive, attention, nimbleness, and compact structure, the Belgian Malinois has become a favorite for both military and police work in recent years.