American Pitbull Terrier vs. German Shepherd: Race comparison

It is fair to say that both the American Pit Bull Terrier and German Shepherd Dog have a reputation for being tough canines, but both love and love their close family and are loyal to the end. If you are looking for a dog best friend who will always be by your side or under your feet, then this is it look no further than these two.The Pitbull Terrier is more of a sociable type who is the life and soul of any party, while the German Shepherd is a bit more independent and likes to sit and watch everyone at the party, keep a quiet distance, and make sure everyone is there on their best behavior.

In this article, we’re going to look at both of them. Differences and similarities between the two races to find out which one suits you and your lifestyle better. So without hesitation, let’s take a closer look at the differences and similarities between the American Pit Bull Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog.

Race comparison table

Pitbull terrier
German shepherd dog
18-21 inches (M)
17-20 inches (F)
24 – 26 inches (M)
22-24 inches (F)
36-65 pounds (M)
30-50 pounds (F)
Up to 65-90 pounds (M)
Up to 50-70 pounds (F)
Loving, energetic, loyal
Smart, confident, brave
High energy
Above-average activity
Above average
2-3 times a week
12-16 years
7-10 years
$ 800 +
$ 1,000 +

Racial stories

To really understand a dog and understand its needs, it is important to get some insight into its history, and the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier and the German Shepherd is very different.

American pit bull terrier

Pitbull terriers were used during the world wars.

The origins of the American Pit Bull Terrier began in England, where Bulldogs and Terriers were bred together to create powerful and nimble attack dogs. They come from long lines of Molossian dogs and Share this lineage with the Caucasian Shepherd and other races. In America it is larger and more powerful dogs were bred together In order to cater to greater numbers of attack dogs and over time, these larger dogs were called American Pit Bull Terriers. These dogs were trained to viciously attack other dogs for sport, but to Stop fighting when the people enter the ring. This is where their wild and people-loving labels come from.

During the world wars, the pit bull was terrier used as a mascot for the American Army and it was used in recruitment posters because they wanted to recruit brave, loyal and determined soldiers, that is exactly what the Pit Bull Terrier is. He’s not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but he is the most common breed in rescue shelters across America. So there is an abundance of pit bull terriers. There are four races commonly referred to as pit bulls in the United States.

German shepherd dog

German shepherd dog runs in the snow
German shepherds are renowned service dogs.

The German Shepherd Dog comes from Germany and he was originally a shepherd for his master’s livestock, but it soon became apparent that he made an equally great watchdog for his people, and has been that ever since the world’s most recognized protection dog. Not only does he make a great working dog in the police and army, but he also makes a great family dog.

In 2019, the AKC rated him a 2nd most popular dog breed in America. It is also quite famous as only 3 dogs have ever been given a star on Hollywood’s Walk of FameTwo of them were German Shepherds, one of them Rin Tin Tin and the other strong heart (and for those of you who are wondering, the other dog was the famous collie dog, Lassie).


German shepherd against pit bull appearance
German shepherds and pit bulls look very different.

The Pit Bull Terrier and German Shepherd Dog look very different, but because of how they look, many people steer clear of them on the sidewalk. Pit bulls are often confused with other breeds like the American bulldog or the Dogo. So make sure that when looking at a pit bull, you compare the actual breed to a German Shepherd.

The Pitbull Terrier is much smaller and more compact 17 to 21 inches tall and weighs 30 to 65 pounds. Because of their short fur, they appear very muscular compared to the German Shepherd, whose coat is much longer, and although it is much larger, you cannot really see any of its defined muscles. The German Shepherd is much bigger 22 to 26 inches and weighs heavier between 50 and 90 pounds.  So if you’re looking for a smaller pooch, the Pit Bull Terrier is probably a better choice!

The coat of the German Shepherd can be of medium length or length long length, depending on whether he is short-haired or long-haired, but the Pit Bull Terrier’s coat is very short and smooth to the touch. The pit bull terrier Coat comes in red and just about any other dog color you can think of, while the most common German Shepherd color is usually black and brown, or completely black. Sometimes he’s athletic Solid colors like white or even blue.


German shepherd versus pit bull temperament
Both the GSD and the APBT can watch out for strangers.

Both the Pitbull Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog are one of the most faithful and eager to please dogs, and very affectionate with their close family so they are very similar when it comes to this aspect of their personality but this is about as far as their similarities go. Because they are both so loyal to their masters, they both tend to suffer from separation anxiety and hate being alone for long periods of time. Despite their bad reputation, they both have to be with families who can spend quality time with them. They are both known to have a reputation for being more aggressive than other races.

The Pitbull Terrier is much more sociable than the German Shepherd and he loves to be everyone’s best friend. Because of this, he surprisingly makes one of the worst watchdogs. However, if he felt that his family was in real danger, he would undoubtedly protect them. However, the German Shepherd is a very suspicious guy Who doesn’t like it when strangers enter his master’s property. So if you’re looking for a strict watchdog who won’t take a poop, the German Shepherd is the dog for the job! It can take him a while to warm up around strangers. So don’t expect him to be everyone’s best friend.

In addition, the German Shepherd is known as a one-man master, While he respects every family member as part of the pack, in his eyes there will only ever be one true pack leader. However, the pit bull terrier accepts anyone as his master as long as he is taught to do so from an early age. So he doesn’t have any family favorites. So if you want to give him the most goodies and scratches on his stomach that day, he will be the recipient of the most cuddly toys that night!


GSD ABPT exercise comparison
Both breeds need regular exercise on a daily basis.

These guys are known to be pretty similar in terms of their daily exercise needs. Both require approximately 1 hour of exercise per day In order to keep them physically stimulated and healthy, they both need to be placed with active families who can offer them this. Otherwise, these mighty dogs will get restless and bored, and that’s not good for everyone! you are both smart canines It is therefore recommended that you change your exercise routine and offer them different activities during the week, such as exercising. B. brisk walks, jogging, swimming in the lake, or a game of frisbee and fetch. Otherwise, they run the risk of getting bored.

The German Shepherd is more independent again, so he likes to undress to sleep during his cool time or to join his master for an afternoon on TV. German shepherds are less intense than the pit bull when it comes to exercise. Pitbulls need more dog toys at their disposal that can withstand the abuse to keep you busy. Interactive games like tug of war If you play with the tube on a warm day it will be happy and busy and act as a bonding session for both of you.


Both the Pit Bull Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog need early socialization, but for slightly different reasons. The Pit Bull Terrier needs to be mixed with other dogs just because they are known to show fear of aggression with other dogs if they are not socialized. If he is well mixed with others then he is a cute and sociable guy and you won’t have any arguments in the dog playground! The protective tendencies of the German Shepherd Dog towards its family members mean that it has to recognize that strangers do not necessarily mean danger and that most other people and animals mean no harm, as otherwise it is known to be overcautious.

Fortunately, however, they are because they are both eager to please their master both a dream to train and as long as you are consistent and use positive reinforcement training, you’ll be getting them seated and pawed in no time! Make sure the entire family is involved in their training and that the same command words are used to avoid confusion. Both see everyone as part of the package that creates a happy family dynamic.


The average lifespan of the Pit Bull Terrier is 12 to 16 years, while the lifespan of the German Shepherd is much shorter 7 to 10 years. Health is an important factor, not just for financial reasons, but also to know how many years you and your best friend will be together.

Both the Pit Bull Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog suffer from this Hip dysplasia, and the German Shepherd Dog also suffers from additional Elbow dysplasia. The pit bull terrier is more prone to Skin allergies, with grass allergies being the most common, but this can be relieved with medication and quality nibbles. He’s also prone to Cerebellar abiotrophyThis can affect his mobility as well as his cognitive functions caused by damage to a specific part of his brain. The German Shepherd is prone to this Degenerative myelopathyThis is a progressive disease of the spinal cord that affects his mobility in his hind legs, and he often has one sensitive digestive system which can be alleviated with a high-fiber diet.


The adult pit bull terrier needs less food compared to the adult German Shepherd Dog simply because he’s smaller and will need something 2 ½ cups of food a day while the German Shepherd needs between 3 and 4 cups of food a day. Of course, every dog ​​is different and some are more sedentary or energetic than the average dog of their breed. Hence, you need to assess your dog’s individual needs and lifestyle.

Similarly, these two guys who are energetic muscular dogs will do well on one high protein diet This will give them the energy to keep them up and maintain their muscle mass throughout the day. So feed them both high-quality snacks that provide them a minimum of 25% protein, but if you can, feed them nibbles that offer more in the 30% protein region.


The Pitbull Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog are very different in terms of their grooming. This is an important factor to consider when considering inviting any of these guys into your home. The pit bull terrier has a short and smooth coat that just needs a quick brush once a week.

If you have a short-haired German Shepherd that realistically has medium-length fur, you have to brush him at least 2 to 3 times a week but if you have a long-haired German Shepherd then ideally you have to brush him every day. So, if you don’t think you can settle for the German Shepherd’s coat, the Pitbull Terrier is a better option for dogs. Aside from their fur, their grooming needs are the same.


The Pitbull Terrier’s starting price is significantly cheaper than that of the German Shepherd, and this is simply due to supply and demand. The price for a puppy from a reputable breeder is on average $ 900 for a Pit Bull Terrier, while the German Shepherd Dog will cost $ 1,250. Remember it is important to work with a reputable breeder and to avoid puppy farms at all costs, otherwise, you are likely to have an unhealthy pup who has not had the best start in life.

Remember that many states deal with them Breed-specific legislation. This applies to both the Pit Bull Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog. So be sure to read your local laws to determine if you are financially affected, including in other areas such as housing and insurance.

On the flip side, you should really want both breeds, which are common in rescue shelters simply because their owners underestimate their needs Think of adoption as an option. The Pitbull Rescue Center lists adoptable pit bulls (and others) Pitbull mixed dogs) across the country and the American German Shepherd Rescue Association lists adoptable German Shepherds.

Final thoughts

Overall, the Pit Bull Terrier and German Shepherd Dog are similar in their love for their people, and both are some of the most loyal canines around. Not only does that make them really obedient, but with these guys, you know you have a friend for life. They can get even more interesting when they mix together.

The pit bull terrier is more sociable and friendlier with strangers. For this reason, he is happy that everyone is in his house, while the German Shepherd is much more reserved and cautious towards strangers. Both properties are suitable for the right family home. Now all you have to do is decide which pooch is better for you and your lifestyle. However, you need to know that every dog ​​is just as lovable and loving as the other so that everyone is a winner!

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