28 Questions to Consider Before Getting A American Alsatian
By Sviat Oleksiv | Updated on September 25, 2021
The American Alsatian is a gentle giant, the breed may resemble a wolf but they have a wonderful temperament that makes them a great companion. The American Alsatian was developed to be a companion dog and is quite different from the German Shepherd and other similar breeds. This is not a guard dog and is not a dog that is going to stop intruders but is a breed that is happy to chill out with you on the sofa and give you lots of affection. When getting a dog it is essential to find out about their specific needs so you can decide if they are a good fit for your family, lifestyle and home. This guide answers the common questions about American Alsatians.
1. Is the American Alsatian a cross breed?
Yes, the American Alsatian was originally bred from a German Shepherd and Alaskan Malamute. Other dogs including the English Mastiff, Antolian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees and Irish Wolfhound were also introduced into the breeding of American Alsatians. The breed has a wolf-like appearance but has a gentle and friendly temperament.
3. Are American Alsatians good for first-time owners?
Yes, American Alsatians are loyal, affectionate and easy to train. They do not have guarding tendencies like German Shepherds and are easy to handle, making them suitable for first time owners.
4. What Does An American Alsatian Look Like?
The American Alsatian was bred to look similar to a wolf rather than a domestic dog. The breed has a large stature with a broad head, deep chest and heavy-set bones. The American Alsatian has brown - amber eyes similar to a wolf and triangular ears that stand alert with rounded tips. They have a straight tail that is short-medium in length and large feet. In the winter the American Alsatian has a thick, coarse coat.
5. Do American Alsatians make good family pets?
Yes, American Alsatians are excellent family pets. They have been bred to be companion animals and love to snuggle and be by their owners' side.
6. Are American Alsatians good with children?
Yes, they are gentle around children and are suitable for living in homes with children of all ages. American Alsatians are friendly and affectionate.
7. Are American Alsatians friendly?
Yes, they are calm and friendly dogs that are very people-orientated. American Alsatians are usually very approachable and social.
8. How big are American Alsatians?
This is a large dog breed. The males are slightly bigger than the females and stand at 63 - 71cm and weigh 36 - 55kg. The females are 61 - 69cm tall and weigh 34 - 45kg. These dogs are fully grown by the time they are around 3 years old.
9. How much exercise does an American Alsatian need?
Despite their large size, American Alsatians aren’t particularly high energy. They need to be walked for at least an hour each day. American Alsatians are well suited to all families and can make good running partners too. When not exercising, this breed loves to play interactive games to burn off additional energy.
10. Do American Alsatians shed?
Yes, and they shed heavily once or twice a year during warmer seasons when they don’t need as much fur to keep them warm. During this period of heavy shedding expect to find fluff absolutely everywhere. Don’t worry, the heavy shedding should be finished in around a month. After shedding an American Alsatian may look a lot thinner but this is just because of how thick their winter coat is.
11. How much grooming does an American Alsatian need?
These dogs need to be brushed every other day to keep their coat in good condition. Their coat naturally repels dirt and doesn’t smell so it shouldn’t get dirty but brushing helps to keep it free from knots and old, dead hair. During warmer seasons when they shed their coat heavily daily brushing will be needed to keep control of the shedding.
12. Do American Alsatians bark a lot?
No, these are quiet dogs who rarely bark or whine. Breeders have chosen American Alsatians that do not bark much for breeding so most of these dogs are quiet and calm. Unlike many dog breeds, American Alsatians won’t respond to loud or unfamiliar noises by barking.
13. Are American Alsatians intelligent?
Yes, the American Alsatian is an intelligent dog that is eager to please their owner. They respond well to praise and attention and only need light correction to get them on the right track when training.
14. Are American Alsatians easy to train?
Yes, these dogs are fast learners and respond more to praise than food. This gentle giant is a people-pleaser, they want to make their owners happy.
15. How long do American Alsatians live?
On average, American Alsatians live for 12 - 14 years.
16. Are American Alsatians good with other dogs?
Yes, these dogs are friendly and get along well with other dogs.
17. Are American Alsatians good with other pets?
Yes, American Alsatians will get on with other animals as long as they have been well socialised as a puppy. They are a good choice of dog for multi-pet homes.
18. Are American Alsatians good watchdogs?
No, unlike the German Shepherd, American Alsatians are not good guard dogs. Thanks to their calm and friendly nature, this breed is more of a companion or therapy dog than a watchdog.
19. Are American Alsatians good with strangers?
Yes, they are friendly with everyone. American Alsatians are not aggressive at all, they are approachable but can be aloof at times depending on how they are feeling.
20. Do American Alsatians have a high prey drive?
No, this is not a dog that will run after small animals or catch a scent and disappear during walks. The American Alsatian does not have a high prey drive.
21. Are American Alsatians playful?
This breed will play if they are encouraged to but they will rarely initiate play themselves. American Alsatians are very calm and laid back dogs that don’t need too much exercise. They will play fetch and other interactive games and are happy to keep kids entertained too.
22. Can American Alsatians live in an apartment?
This breed is large which means they are better suited to being in a larger home. However, as the American Alsatian is a very adaptable dog that isn’t that active or high energy when inside they don’t need a huge amount of space to be happy. Ultimately, they are big dogs so they do need enough space to accommodate their size. Therefore they can live in a large apartment as long as they have enough physical and mental stimulation each day and have access to a garden or go for regular walks.
23. Can American Alsatians be left on their own during the day?
These dogs can handle a short amount of time on their own but when left for more than a couple of hours American Alsatians can become anxious. Separation anxiety can be an issue for this breed so take this into consideration. They are best suited to homes where someone will be at home with them for the majority of the day.
24. Do American Alsatians like water?
This breed can overheat during hot weather so may take to water to cool down. Some American Alsatians like to swim while others may prefer to find shade rather than get wet.
25. Are American Alsatians aggressive?
No, this breed is never aggressive. They can be aloof at times but they remain calm and quiet. The American Alsatian is completely different to the German Shepherd which is known for being tough, protective and, at times, aggressive.
26. What health issues are common in American Alsatians?
This breed is prone to suffering from hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, panosteitis and epilepsy. As they are a larger breed they are also more at risk of bloat if they eat too much food or eat immediately before or after high intensity exercise.
27. Are American Alsatians healthy dogs?
Overall, American Alsatians are healthy dogs. There are a couple of health issues they are more prone to suffering from than other breeds but overall they are hardy and healthy.
28. Is the American Alsatian a good choice for allergy sufferers?
No, the medium length fur of this breed sheds and the breed is not considered to be hypoallergenic.
29. How much do American Alsatians cost?
American Alsatian puppies cost £1500+. As this is a rare breed that is difficult to find in the UK, there may be waiting lists for puppies. Food and insurance costs will add up to around £140 on average each month.
The American Alsatian is a large breed that loves to be part of the family. They are friendly, gentle and affectionate dogs that will be by your side at all times. This is a breed that forms strong bonds with their family and gets on well with everyone. If you are looking for a large dog that is easy to train and has a laid back personality, the American Alsatian could be a great choice.