American Alsatian

Canis lupus

Last updated: March 18, 2023
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Shepaluteprez / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License / Original


American Alsatian Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

American Alsatian Conservation Status

American Alsatian Locations

American Alsatian Locations

American Alsatian Facts

Calm, friendly, and loyal
Common Name
American Alsatian

American Alsatian Physical Characteristics

  • Black
  • Gold
  • Cream
  • Silver
Skin Type
66-88 pounds
24-26 inches

American Alsatian as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Cold climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
$1,800 to $3,000
Dog group
Male weight
66-88 lbs
Female weight
49-71 lbs

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The American Alsatian was bred to look like the extinct dire wolf and to be an excellent companion.

The American Alsatian was developed in California in the 1980s to be great companion dogs that look like the extinct dire wolf. These dogs are tall and are about 25 to 32 inches in height. They weigh about 100 pounds and their lifespan is around 9 to 13 years on average.

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First known as the North American Shepalute, these dogs are known to be intelligent, friendly, and calm. They are bred to make great companions for individuals and families alike.

These impressive dogs were bred from an Alaskan Malamute and a German Shepherd, creating a strong and dependable breed. In fact, that combination of these names is why they were originally called a Shepalute. Later, other large breeds were introduced into the mix – resulting in the beautiful, calm, friendly American Alsatian we know today.

American Alsatian dogs have to be regularly groomed. However, they do not require a lot of exercise, making them ideal pets for families that may have a smaller yard or no yard at all. They are known to be strong dogs and have a muscular build with long muscles. Their noses are always black and their ears have slightly rounded tips.

3 Pros And Cons Of Owning An American Alsatian

A look-alike of the dire wolf, this dog is extremely intelligent which makes it easier for the owners to tame and train them as they are able to quickly pick up and obey commands.
Can get lonely.
As stated above, American Alsatians can bond very well with their owners. However, that also has a flipside because when left alone, loneliness can trigger a lot of aggressive behaviors in these dogs.
Great watchdogs!
If your purpose of keeping a dog is also having a watchdog, then this could be a great breed to go for. American Alsatians are known to make great watchdogs.
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance dog, this might not be the best option to consider. These dogs shed a lot of hair and need regular grooming.
American Alsatians are known to bond well with their owners and are known to be very loyal to them.
Prone to many health issues.
American Alsatians, just like German Shepherds, have a lot of health issues which can be a problem for the owners.

Size And Weight

These are known to be strong, muscular dogs and have long muscles. They are tall dogs and are about 25 to 32 inches in size. They are known to weigh about 100 pounds on average.

Height24-26 inches Tall22-24 inches Tall
Weight66-88 lbs. fully grown49 to 71 lbs. fully grown

Common Health Issues

Since this breed is barely three decades old, American Alsatians still have health issues that they inherited from their parent breeds – German Shepherds and Alaskan Malamutes. One of the biggest health issues that these dogs often suffer from includes hip and elbow dysplasia. This condition causes the hip bones to form improperly, causing pain.

These dogs have sometimes experienced epilepsy, like one of the original pups from the breed. However, they are at no higher risk for this condition than other breeds.

Panosteitis, which involves inflammation around the long bones in the Alsatian’s leg, is also common. Often referred to as growing pains, this problem can cause limping while the animal walks. It often occurs in young puppies of larger breeds, due to the stature that they will eventually have.

Here are some common health issues that these dogs suffer from:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Arthritis
  • Panosteitis
  • Seizures
  • Sheath Problems
  • Limping


These dogs make great companion dogs and are equally great with both adults and children. American Alsatian dogs are very loyal and are also accepting of other pets. They are great and playful with the kids of the family.

These dogs are known to be a look-alike of the dire wolf (which was the point of their species) and are always mindful of strangers but are never aggressive or fearful of them. They are calm, loyal, and intelligent and pick up training commands quickly. They are known to be able to respond to minimalistic sounds.

How To Take Care Of An American Alsatian

Just like any other pet, the American Alsatian also has certain needs that the owner has to take care of. After all, the breed only had its first generation in 1987, as breeders changed it even more with the use of the Great Pyrenees, the English mastiff, and the Anatolian Shepherd. Therefore, it is necessary to know what needs to be done to take care of the American Alsatian dogs.

The Best Dog Food For American Alsatians

American Alsatian outside

The American alsatian needs a diet with a lot of protein and fat because of the nutrient content.

©Shepaluteprez / CC BY 3.0 – License

These dogs’ diet often includes a lot of proteins and fats because those are the nutrients that they need the most. Mostly, an adult food blend should be used to feed your American Alsatian. These dogs should be fed two times a day.

Their diet could include meat, eggs, and gravy. Puppies can be fed the same. However, instead of two times, they should be fed 4 times a day as their stomachs are smaller and they take longs to digest food. They can only digest smaller quantities of food at one time.

American Alsatians’ protein and fat requirements make raw/freeze-dried dog food an optimal choice for this breed.

Therefore, at A-Z Animals, we say the best dog food for American Alsatians is Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Meals Grain Free Recipe Dog Food.

Rather than legumes and grains, this minimally processed dog food is made of an impressive 85% meat and organs for a heavy dose of healthy protein and fat. The other 15% is non-GMO fruits and veggies. So you know your American Alsatian is getting and effectively absorbing all the vitamins and minerals they need for long-lasting, full-body health.

Try out Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Meals Grain Free Dog Food for your American Alsatian, available on Chewy or Amazon.

Best Freeze-Dried Beef Recipe
Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Meals Grain Free Recipe Dog Food
  • This recipe features animal-based protein and vitamin-rich fruits and veggies to give your best bud’s bowl a total upgrade.
  • Compared to traditional processed kibble, this raw recipe was freeze-dried to allow for better digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Designed to be a complete and balanced meal for your furry friend.
  • The paw-sitively delicious ingredients aim to support strong muscles and bones as well as improve coat and skin health.
  • Made in the USA with no artificial colors, preservatives, grain, corn, wheat, soy or legumes.

Check Chewy Check Amazon

Maintenance And Grooming

American Alsatians need a lot of grooming, especially in the seasons when they shed a lot. You would need to brush your dog’s fur twice a week. Their coat also accumulates dirt which would also need to be removed regularly.

However, they need to be bathed only occasionally so that shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, you would also need to check their ears for any kind of dirt and would also need to regularly clean them with a warm wet cloth.


It is relatively easier to train an American Alsatian because these dogs are highly intelligent and love to please their owners. They pick up commands very quickly and go a long way if you keep pleasing them verbally. They are not bred to be working dogs, but their loyalty and intelligence make them easier to train than some other breeds.

For individuals that have the time to train their pets themselves, there are many instructional videos online that cater to this specific breed.


These dogs are energetic but do not need too much exercise. These dogs can thrive best on about an hour of exercise each day. It can also accompany you on your regular everyday walks. However, the dogs might not be very excited about the hiking trip uphill.


The puppies need to be taken care of the same way you would take care of an adult American Alsatian. However, the puppies need to be fed about four times as compared to the twice serving of the adult ones because they have smaller stomachs and can digest only a small amount of food at one point.

American Alsatian puppies

Puppies have small stomachs and can’t digest as much food at one time.

©Shepaluteprez / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

American Alsatians And Children

These dogs are great with children and are very playful around them. American Alsatians are loyal and calm and behave great with the kids in the family. They are also great family companions.

As friendly as they may be, it is possible that rough play may not be best for younger and shorter children. The American Alsatian is rather large, so they should be supervised to ensure that their weight doesn’t overpower the child.

Dogs Similar To American Alsatians

If an American Alsatian is not the right match, several other breeds are relatively similar. Check out these options below.

  • English Mastiff: These dogs, like the American Alsatians, are tall and muscular and also have long muscles. They have often also been used to breed the American Alsatian dogs.
  • Anatolian Shepherd: These dogs make great watchdogs and are known to be very intelligent just like the American Alsatians.
  • Irish Wolfhound: These dogs are muscular and are tall-standing dogs like the American Alsatians. They are usually imported from Turkey.

Famous American Alsatians

Due to the loyal and courageous nature of the American Alsatian, it may be surprising that these dogs have not been found in more movies and television shows. While the breeds that have gone into the American Alsatians – like the malamute and the English mastiff – have found their way into the hearts of the public through media, the most famous American Alsatians have to be the dogs who played the dire wolves on HBO’s Game of Thrones. The actress, Sophie Turner, adopted the dog who played her character’s pet, Lady, after the show ended.

Here are some popular names for your American Alsatian pets

  • Sheba
  • Lady
  • Duke
  • Buddy
  • Sasha

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

Melissa Bauernfeind was born in NYC and got her degree in Journalism from Boston University. She lived in San Diego for 10 years and is now back in NYC. She loves adventure and traveling the world with her husband but always misses her favorite little man, "P", half Chihuahua/half Jack Russell, all trouble. She got dive-certified so she could dive with the Great White Sharks someday and is hoping to swim with the Orcas as well.

American Alsatian FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does American Alsatians cost to own?

These dogs usually cost around $1800 to $3000. Additional costs can go up to $1500 annually.

Is American Alsatians good with kids?

The American Alsatians are great with kids and are often very playful around them.

How long do American Alsatians live?

The lifespan of this animal is around 10 to 13 years.

Are American Alsatians herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

American Alsatians are Carnivores, meaning they eat other animals.

What Kingdom do American Alsatians belong to?

American Alsatians belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What phylum do American Alsatians belong to?

American Alsatians belong to the phylum Chordata.

What class do American Alsatians belong to?

American Alsatians belong to the class Mammalia.

What family do American Alsatians belong to?

American Alsatians belong to the family Canidae.

What order to American Alsatians belong to?

American Alsatians belong to order Carnivora.

What type of covering do American Alsatians have?

American Alsatians are covered in Hair.

What is the scientific name for the American Alsatian?

The scientific name for the American Alsatian is Canis lupus.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

  1. Perfect Dog Breeds, Available here:
  2. Dear Canine, Available here:
  3. Animalso, Available here:
  4. National American Alsatian Breeder's Association, Available here:
  5. Dog Breed Info, Available here:
  6. Love Your Dog, Available here:

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