German Shepherd vs Pitbull – How Do They Stack Up?

german shepherd vs pitbull concerned in the german Shepherd v Pitbull debate ? There are some keystone differences between these two impressive breeds ! GSDs have a long function history, and as a solution they are frequently easier to train. But, due to an insalubrious previous career as fighting dogs, many regions still prohibit Pitbulls. Plus, the GSD ’ s long coat needs more sustenance than any of the Pitbull types.

But what other factors should you consider when choosing between these two breeds ?

Choosing Between a German Shepherd vs Pitbull

These two long-familiar andiron breeds have massive reputations, but how do they compare against one another ? The German Shepherd is a very popular breed, but both of these breeds have had controversy surrounding them in the past. In this article, we will be covering everything from disposition to health issues in these two breeds to find out once and for all which is the better breed as a kin pawl. so let ’ s see what we can find out !

German Shepherd vs Pitbull History

A good depart steer in comparing these breeds is to look at their respective backgrounds. It can give us a big estimate of what we can potentially expect to see in the modern dogs. How do the german Shepherd vanadium Pitbull origins compare ?

History of the German Shepherd

The german Shepherd traces its ancestry spinal column to late nineteenth century Germany. Back then, there were many different forms of herding dog that varied across Germany ’ mho districts. A german Cavalry Officer known as Captain Max von Stephanitz decided to cross some of these breeds in an try to create the perfect herd dog. After some years, Stephanitz succeeded in developing an incredibly intelligent frank that not alone excelled in herding but many early disciplines. They were named the german Shepherd, and they were the first of the advanced engender we know well today. Nowadays, the german Shepherd is normally used by both police and military forces. however, the breed besides finds itself as a very popular companion chase.

History of the Pitbull

As for the Pitbull, it ’ randomness important to realize that the term refers to a few different breeds. What breeds fall under the Pitbull name is national to some debate, but most agree that the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier all fit into this class. While each Pitbull breed has their own history, they each partake an inauspicious background of being forced to take separate in blood sports. They were bred to fight other dogs, or in some cases, larger animals such as bears. Spectators would bet on the consequence. This barbarous practice was outlawed across Britain in the mid-18th century, however, it wasn ’ thymine until 1976 that dog fight was outlawed across all states in America. Despite their beastly past, Pitbulls find themselves leading fulfilling lives as company dogs with the right love owners. german shepherd vs pitbull

German Shepherd vs Pitbull Appearance

german Shepherds and Pitbulls are significantly unlike breeds when it comes to their forcible appearance. however, there are some similarities, such as the fact that they are both very well-built and strong dogs. Let ’ s expect foster and see how german Shepherd five Pitbull compare on appearance.

Height and Weight

The german Shepherd normally reaches heights of 22–26 inches. A healthy specimen of the breed should weigh around 50–95 pounds. As for Pitbulls, it can vary depending on which particular breed you are looking at. On one end of the plate, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has an average acme of 14–16 inches and an average burden of 24–38 pounds. At the other end, American Pit Bull Terriers reach sizes closer to the german Shepherd : 17–21 inches. however, they weigh significantly less, with an average weight of 30–60 pounds.

Physical Traits

As for the physical characteristics of each breed, the german Shepherd should have a black facemask, erect trilateral ears, and a bushy stern that is set preferably low with a slender bend. Pitbulls will vary by engender, but they all share some traits, namely, a square head and compact soundbox. They should have a deep, broad breast and a muscular neck.


There is a significant remainder in the coats of these two breeds. german Shepherds should have a double coat. Their knocked out coat should be very dense and coarse with neat or slenderly wavy hair. In most cases, their coat will be medium length and lie close to the soundbox. however, shorter and longer hairy german Shepherds are besides potential, albeit more rare. Pitbulls normally have very short coats that are very close to the skin. Their hair’s-breadth may be rigid or smooth to the touch.

German Shepherd Color

As for what colors you may expect in either breed, both have a big number of possibilities ! The most coarse colors seen in the german Shepherd include :

  • Black
  • Black and tan
  • Gray
  • Sable
  • Blue
  • Red and black
  • Liver
  • Black and silver

Pitbull Color

In the diverse Pitbull breeds, you can expect to normally see the following coat colors :

  • Red
  • Fawn
  • Black
  • White
  • Blue
  • Liver

Pitbulls normally have white patches on their thorax, legs, and face alongside these infrastructure colors.

German Shepherd vs Pitbull Temperament

The disposition and personality of the german Shepherd and the Pitbull is something many are concerned about. This is ascribable to the fears that these two breeds may be aggressive and, therefore, dangerous dogs. But how true is this ? Is either breed truly dangerous ? Let ’ s take a detail front.

Aggression: The Stats

In two studies from the 1970s, german Shepherds were second base only to mixed breed dogs as the breed most frequently reported as being involved in bite attacks on humans. however, a 1991 review of those studies explains why ranking dog bite statistics by breed is not aboveboard. first, german Shepherds might be responsible for a big proportion of bites plainly because a large proportion of dogs are german Shepherds. german Shepherds have systematically ranked among the most popular pawl breeds for decades, and if only 0.1 % of GSDs are involved in pungency attacks in one year, that ’ s still a distribute of dogs. If in the lapp class, 0.1 % of the little-known Otterhound breed sting person, the number of bites would be far smaller. But it ’ s impossible to fully flesh out pawl pungency statistics with this kind of information, so we never get the broad picture.


moment, because they are then well known, witnesses and victims might misidentify other black and tangent dogs as german Shepherds. however, both the Pitbull and the german Shepherd have been involved in bite attacks that have caused austere injuries. It was besides found that 42 % of dog-bite-related fatalities in the years 1979–1988 were reported to be Pitbulls, while german Shepherds made up 15 % of the sum issue. again, we ’ rhenium missing lots of information here, but what we can see is that Pitbulls are significantly more dangerous when they do attack and are linked with higher unwholesomeness rates. This is likely because Pitbulls have incredibly potent yack muscles and bite with extraordinary force. due to this, the Pitbull is actually banned or under rigid conditions in many countries due to concerns over its aggression.

Is Either Breed Inherently Aggressive?

nowadays that we have seen the stats, it ’ randomness slowly to come to the termination that these breeds have the potential to be aggressive and dangerous. But does this think of that every member of each breed is an aggressive cad ? far from it. The breed of any given dog is but one indicator of electric potential aggression.

Factors Affecting Aggression

There are many more factors at play, some of which could arguably play a much more important character in the development of aggression. The environment a cad grows up in, how they are cared for, their train or miss thence, all can have a huge impression on a chase ’ s personality as it matures. There are batch of Pitbulls who are lovely, friendly dogs despite their ill-famed reputation. similarly, many german Shepherds are loving, affectionate dogs.


Of course, you should not discount the fact that these dogs have the electric potential to be dangerous. You must take as much worry as possible to buy the breed from a good breeder and train them arsenic thoroughly as possible while they are distillery young. Both breeds may not make for a good option for families with peculiarly young members, due to the potential risks. But at the end of the day, both breeds contain cover girl dogs who have never shown an snow leopard of aggression. They deserve a find, a much as any early chase.

Other Potential Temperament Issues

Both breeds can be aloof with strangers, so they require careful socialization from a young old age to ensure they grow up to be polite and friendly dogs. The german Shepherd and the Pitbull may besides take share in destructive behaviors when they are bored. They can besides tend to be identical exuberant when young. It ’ s crucial to keep them by rights exercised and mentally provoke every day. Check out this article on good toys for dogs with strong jaws that like to chew. The Pitbull has a strong mind of its own and will require a knowing owner to keep them under restraint.

Since Pitbulls were used for pawl fights, they are more likely than german Shepherds to display aggression toward other dogs.

Which Breed Is Better?

indeed which breed is the better fit for families, based on their temperament ? We would say the german Shepherd is best for most families. They are easier to control and perceptibly less dangerous than some Pitbulls. additionally, they are free from much of the dangerous andiron legislation that affects the Pitbull. however, this doesn ’ thyroxine mean the Pitbull is a suffer cause, but they might be better suited to an experience owner who is will to put in the extra fourth dimension to raise them.

German Shepherd vs Pitbull Training

Thorough train from a young age is key to ensure that both the german Shepherd and the Pitbull mature into well-behaved adults. socialization is significant to ensure that the natural wariness toward strangers that both breeds possess does not develop into negative traits such as aggression. obedience education is key to keeping these powerful breeds well behaved. As for which of the two breeds is easier to train, that award goes to the german shepherd ! They are eager to please their owners and pick up fresh commands quickly.

Training Guides

If you require help in training your german Shepherd or Pitbull, check out our guides on the subject below !

German Shepherd vs Pitbull Exercise

Both the german Shepherd and the Pitbull are energetic dogs that require a commodity amount of exercise daily to stay burst and felicitous. A good-sized daily walk and some outdoor bid in a safely argue area is normally enough for both breeds. however, it ’ south important to be careful when they are distillery puppies, specially in the lawsuit of the german Shepherd. While they are inactive developing, it is a adept idea to avoid arduous exercise, as it can damage their growing joints. Keep this in beware, and keep their walks and play sessions shorter while they are even maturing.

German Shepherd vs Pitbull Health

unfortunately, both the german Shepherd and the Pitbull are at risk for unplayful health conditions. Before you choose either engender over the other, you must take into consideration the health risks each breed faces.

The Health Problems of Both Breeds

In the case of the german Shepherd, health conditions prevalent within the breed include :

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Bloat
  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy

As for the Pitbull, it depends on what breed you are looking at. The american Pitbull Terrier is at an promote risk for hip dysplasia, retinal dysplasia, and congenital affection disease. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is at risk for ancestral cataracts, elbow dysplasia, and a familial condition known as L2HGA which can cause dementia, seizures, and wobbly walk. finally, the American Staffordshire Terrier can run into problems with hypothyroidism, cranial cruciate ligament disease, and cerebellar degeneration.

Which Breed Is Healthier?

indeed german Shepherd volt Pitbull, which is healthy ? As you can see, both are at risk for hard health conditions. It ’ sulfur significant to note that the german Shepherd is at a much higher risk of joint problems than the Pitbull. They besides have a much shorter life with an average life anticipation of 7–10 years, much lower than the Pitbull ’ mho average life of 12–14 years.

Mortality Studies

A study that looked into the mortality of diverse breeds in a dataset contain over 350,000 dogs. It was found that the german Shepherd had a significantly higher percentage of mortality when compared with early purebred breeds. This could be due to bad breeding practices, leading to a much higher rate of dangerous health problems. For this cause, we would say that the Pitbull is the healthier engender. however, they are not without their own problems. careless, many of the conditions outlined above have a genetic basis. consequently, it is identical important that you purchase any puppies of either engender from trustworthy breeders.


When it comes to grooming, the Pitbull is normally very easy to deal with due to their shortstop coats. A simple brush each workweek normally serves them well adequate ! however, german Shepherds tend to have longer coats. not only that, they are ill-famed shedders ! Most of the time, they will require a brush two to three times a week, but this may become a daily matter during shedding seasons. Keep in heed that proper grooming extends to their nails and teeth excessively ! Both breeds need regular shave of the nails and brush of the tooth. The Pitbull is decidedly the easier breed of the two to groom.


As for eating, both breeds do well on high-quality frump food. Be certain to work with your veterinarian to ensure your german Shepherd or Pitbull is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

Which Breed Makes a Better Pet?

so at the end of it all, which breed is the better pet ? german Shepherd vanadium Pitbull ? unfortunately, there is no true solution when it comes to these two breeds. It comes down to what you are looking for in a class dog.

Let’s Recap

The german Shepherd is the easier to control of the two. On top of this, they are more easily trained and obedient. however, the Pitbull is the fitter of the two breeds and has a coat that is much easier to maintain than the german Shepherd. We would say that the Pitbull makes a better choice for families who are looking for a smaller, easier-maintained frank. Owners will need to be in an sphere that allows them to be kept and have some have handling strong-minded breeds. german Shepherds make a better match for families who are less know and are looking for a more easily trained engender. They should have space for a big dog in their home and be prepared to take a lot of time and manage searching for a healthy lineage of this breed.

Tell Us About Your Experiences!

Which breed do you prefer ? Do you have anything to add ? Let us know below !

Other Great Guides

If you ’ ve loved our german Shepherd vanadium Pitbull argue, we ’ ve got some other great guides you ’ ll delight. Take a expect at some of them below :

References and Resources

Battaglia, CL, Bloat and the Risk Factors Breeding Better Dogs Hedhammar, A, et alabama, Canine hip dysplasia : cogitation of heritability in 401 litters of german Shepherd dogs Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1979 Remy, D, et aluminum, Canine elbow dysplasia and primary coil lesions in german Shepherd dogs in France Journal of Small Animal Practice, 2006 Clemmons, RM, Degenerative myelopathy The Veterinary Clinics of North America. Small Animal Practice, 1992 Battaglia, CL, Bloat and the Risk Factors Breeding Better Dogs Beaver. BV, Clinical classification of canine aggression Applied Animal Ethology, 1983 Wright, J, Canine aggression toward people. Bite scenarios and prevention Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice, 1991 Bini, JK, et alabama, Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs Annals of Surgery, 2011 Baack, BR, et aluminum, Mauling by pit taurus terriers : case report The Journal of Trauma, 1989 Gough, A, et alabama, Breed Predispositions to Disease in Dogs and Cats John Wiley & Sons, 2018

References and Resources Continued

Rodarte-Almeida, ACV, et aluminum, Retinal dysplasia in american scar bull terriers – phenotypical characterization and breeding study Veterinary Ophthalmology, 2014 Oliveira, P, et alabama, Retrospective Review of Congenital Heart Disease in 976 Dogs Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 2011 Ackerman, LJ, The genic connection : A Guide to Health Problems in Purebred Dogs American Animal Hospital Association, 2011 Bell, J, et aluminum, Veterinary Medical Guide to Dog and Cat Breeds CRC Press, 2012 Witsberger, TH, et aluminum, Prevalence and risk factors for hip dysplasia and cranial cruciate ligament insufficiency in chase Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2008 Boge, GS, et alabama, Breed susceptibility for common surgically treated orthopedic diseases in 12 pawl breeds Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 2019 Short, AD, et alabama, Exonic mutations in the L2HGDH gene in Staffordshire bull terriers The Veterinary Record, 2010 Olby, N, et aluminum, Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration in Adult American Staffordshire Terriers Journal of Veterinary Medical Internal Medicine, 2008 Bonnett, BN, et alabama, Mortality in over 350,000 cover swedish dogs from 1995-2000 : 1. Breed, Gender, Age and Cause-specific Rates Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 2005

Free Training Tips

Get Pippa ‘s loose pawl training tips delivered to your inbox

source :
Category : Dogs and Cats