Shiloh Shepherd vs German Shepherd

What is the Difference Between a Shiloh Shepherd and a German Shepherd?


The Shiloh Shepherd breed is the result of 30 years of type breeding to get back to the old world style shepherd dog, with soundness, temperament, and health intact. Using five different specific American, German, and Canadian lines of German Shepherd Dogs, the “Shiloh look” has been achieved. In the 1980s, a Malamute/GSD/White Shepherd cross was added to the Shiloh bloodlines to help reduce pelvic angulation, increase bone, and reduce genetic disorders, among other things.

In the process for selecting for these characteristics, the Shiloh Shepherd also has become bigger than their GSD predecessors.

Shiloh Shepherd

Height: The Shiloh Shepherd breed standard height for mature males is a minimum of 28″ and for mature females a minimum of 26″.

Topline: The Shiloh Shepherd is a nearly square build, with a height-to-length ratio of 9:10. When in a show stack, the Shiloh Shepherd has a nearly level topline.

Coat: Shiloh Shepherds come in both plush and smooth coat varieties. A variety of coat colors, including the traditional black/tan, sable, solid black, and solid white are acceptable.

German Shepherd 

Height: The American-style German Shepherd Dog has a preferred height for mature males at 24″ to 26″ and mature females 22″ to 24″. There are no height disqualifications for the breed.

Topline: The American-style German Shepherd has a more rectangular build, with a height-to-length ratio of 8.5:10. Because of the longer coupling and greater angulation, the GSD when in a show stack has a topline that drops noticeably from withers to croup.

Coat: The GSD has both coat varieties, however, the plush coats are considered a serious fault in the show ring. Diluted colors and white are also disqualified.

Health Testing

Shiloh Shepherd

Health Testing … the Hallmark of this breed. Breeding the best possible candidates is the pride of a Shiloh breeder.  Many go above and beyond the minimum requirements of their registry.

Shiloh Shepherd registries set strict health testing requirements for breeding registration.

German Shepherd (American)

While it is not uncommon for a German Shepherd breeder to at minimum do hip x-rays, it is not required.


Shiloh Shepherd

The Shiloh Shepherd has been bred to have a medium to medium-soft temperament, being calm and friendly, great with kids, and yet can be an excellent protection dog. It is NOT recommended for aggression work. Shilohs can  be good at hearding and seach/rescue.

German Shepherd (American)

The American-style German Shepherd has a wide range of temperaments and must be selected carefully for any work or living arrangement requiring a particular temperament. It is currently used for types of police work and guard dog situations.


Shiloh Shepherd

Shiloh Shepherds should be registered with one of the breed-only registrars (TSSR, NSBR, WSSBA, ISSA, or ISSR). These registrars have strict health testing, DNA for parentage, and temperament requirements before breeding papers are issued.

German Shepherd (American)

American-style German Shepherds are registered with AKC (American Kennel Club). All puppies from a registered sire and dam qualify for registration. There are no requirements to step up to a breeding registration.


Country of Origin: United States
Group: Herding

Life Span: 9-14 years
Color: a wide variety of colors, see Appearance
Coat: smooth (short) & plush (long)

Grooming: regular brushings & baths required
Shedding: typical of your average dog; smooth coats seem to shed more than plush coats
Height: males no less than 28″ & females no less than 26″
Weight: 85-125lbs

Trainibility: high; intelligent, but typically easy going
Activity Level: daily exercise is required
Best Home: indoors with access to yard

Good with Children? yes, with early socialization
Good with Pets? yes, with early socialization