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American Alsatian Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Personality & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

American Alsatian

Height: 24 – 28 inches
Weight: 75 – 120 pounds
Lifespan: 9 – 13 years
Colors: Silver sable, golden sable, black silver sable, tri-sable, tri-sable golden grey, silver, and cream.
Suitable for: Families, couples, singles
Temperament: Family-oriented, loyal, watchful

The American Alsatian is a recent purebred dog created by crossing the German Shepherd with the Alaskan Malamute along with a few other breeds, including the English Mastiff, Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Sheppard, and the Irish Wolfhound. Bred to look like the now-extinct Dire Wolf, the American Alsatian is a giant breed with plenty of fur, and each breed contributes to the overall look. These breeds also help give the dog their pleasant temperament. Selective breeding then refined the breed into its modern form.

Since 1988, the American Alsatian has had three official names beginning with the title North American Shepalute. In 2004, it became known as the Alsatian Shepalute, and finally, in 2010, it became the American Alsatian. The name changes were the result of concern over the name sounding too much like a crossbreed.

Divider 1American Alsatian Puppies


There are very few American Alsatian puppy breeders, so expect to pay high prices for these pups. You may also have to put your name on a long waitlist. This crossbreed is not yet accepted by kennel clubs for participation in competitions, and though a breed standard exists, it is difficult to obtain breeding rights.

It is also unlikely that you will find an American Alsatian in a local shelter, so you will have little choice but to wait until one becomes available from a reputable breeder. You can always visit a dog shelter and ask if there are other mixed dogs that resemble the American Alsatian, or you can visit the puppies at the shelter and might just fall in love with your future furry friend.

3 Little-Known Facts About the American Alsatian

1. American Alsatian is a low energy dog.

2. The American Alsatian was developed by a single breeder, Lois Denny.

3. The American Alsatian was developed to look like the Dire Wolf, an extinct, large wolf known to inhabit North America.

The parent breeds of American Alsatian
The parent breeds of American Alsatian: Left – German Shepherd (Anna Dudkova, Unsplash) | Right – Alaskan Malamute (Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the American Alsatian 🧠

The American Alsatian is a calm, quiet dog. They enjoy being with the family and like to play with children and other pets. They tend to remain aloof around strangers, making them great watchdogs, but they never become aggressive. It’s an alert breed that will investigate the quietest sounds, and they learn quickly.

American Alsatians are not barkers, and they stay calm even when threatened. You will need to be the one to initiate play or they will lie around all day and gain weight, which can lead to several health problems.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The American Alsatian is a great family pet because they like to stay home and lie at one of the family members’ feet. They don’t bark a lot but will alert you of any danger, and they’re so calm they’re rarely bothered by thunderstorms or even fireworks. They won’t jump on family members or visitors, and they tolerate children well.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The American Alsatian is so calm and relaxed that they’re rarely bothered by other family pets, even when the other pet is the aggressor. They’re friendly and will snuggle up to other pets if they allow it. They will also allow most small animals to pass through the yard and are friendly with other dogs in the home.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning an American Alsatian

Food and Diet Requirements 🦴

The American Alsatian is a large dog, so it’s going to require plenty of high-quality food. Any 100-pound dog is likely to suffer joint problems later in life, so it is important to feed them food high in glucosamine and omega fats. These ingredients will help prolong the onset of joint problems and help reduce swelling and pain when it has set in. Foods fortified with antioxidants and probiotics are also beneficial to your dog’s health. Get food with a meat listed as its top ingredient that does not contain any chemical ingredients, and spread the food out over several meals to aid digestion.

american alsatian
By: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock

Daily Exercise Requirements 🐕

The American Alsatian is a relaxed dog that likes to lie around the house. They will rarely get up without coaxing even if you’ve been gone for several hours, but they will still need to get an hour of activity per day. Walking is the best choice since they are often slow and hesitant to do much more, and you can expect some resistance even to a walk.

Training 🦮

The American Alsatian is very intelligent and learns very quickly. They will pick up on commands like house training, shaking hands, speak, play dead, and other tricks easily but will resist learning tricks that require too much activity due to their laid-back nature. Positive reinforcement in the form of praise will help your dog learn faster, but they won’t need as many treats as other breeds.

Grooming ✂️

The American Alsatian has a course, dense outer coat. It repels dirt and stays odor-free but sheds heavily, especially in early summer, and will leave large piles of hair around your home. To keep the shedding under control, you’ll need to brush your dog every other day most of the year, and every day during the shedding seasons. You will also need a vacuum cleaner for the large piles of hair. Your pet will also need regular tooth brushing and nail clipping.

American Alsatian 3
Left: German Shepherd (Pixabay) | Right: Alaskan Malamute (Pixabay)

Health and Conditions ❤️

The American Alsatian is such a new breed that it’s not yet known for certain what health problems you can expect. However, several health problems run in more than one of the parent breeds, and we will talk about those in this section.

Minor Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia – Hip dysplasia is a skeleton condition usually seen in large dogs but can affect any breed. It occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint do not form correctly. The bones do not move smoothly in the incorrectly formed joint and wear out much quicker than they should, which causes pain and reduces your pet’s ability to bear weight on the back legs. Weight reduction, activity restriction, and anti-inflammatory medications are usually the treatment prescribed for hip dysplasia.
  • Elbow Dysplasia – Like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is a condition where the elbow joint does not form correctly, causing the bones to wear down quickly. There are different types of elbow dysplasia, but they all result in cartilage damage, osteoarthritis, and lameness. Weight management and medication may help, but sometimes surgery is needed. Many dogs can successfully manage elbow dysplasia and live happy lives.
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat – Bloat is a condition that affects many large, deep-chested dogs and is often experienced by the German Shepherd, one of the American Alsatian’s main breed components. Bloat is a condition where the stomach fills up with air and, in some cases, can twist upon itself, causing damage to the stomach lining. Experts are not sure what causes bloat, but many believe it stems from the dog eating too fast, so many recommend several small meals throughout the day instead of a single large one. Your pet can die from bloat, so it’s important to immediately take your dog to the vet if you notice signs, including an enlarged stomach, salvation, restlessness, and whining when you press on their belly.
  • Enlarged Heart – An enlarged heart is a condition where a dog’s cardiac muscle walls lose the ability to contract properly and pump blood efficiently, leading to poor circulation and increased blood pressure, which causes that condition to progress further, creating a deadly cycle. Males are slightly more susceptible to the enlarged heart, and signs include coughing, loss of appetite, episodes of weakness, and fainting. In some cases, medication and a proper diet can help alleviate the signs and slow its progression.

Divider 5Male vs. Female

The male American Alsatian is more susceptible to the enlarged heart and is slightly larger in height and weight than the female. It’s a little more protective of family members and serves as a better watchdog, while the female enjoys the company of children a little more, and you will often find them laying by the children or at the bottom of your feet.

Divider 3Summary

The American Alsatian is a fantastic overall pet. They’re quiet and relaxed, get along with children and other pets, all while remaining cautious of strangers and providing protection from danger. They will require plenty of maintenance and will still make a mess out of your home with their shedding fur. You will also find yourself begging and pleading with them to get the exercise they need each day, but they make great companions and have a long lifespan. It’s well worth the price and the wait to obtain one of these puppies.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over our in-depth look at this rare breed and have convinced you to seek out a reputable breeder. If we have helped you and you think it can be helpful to others, please share this guide to the American Alsatian on Facebook and Twitter.

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