Previously the Alastian Shepalute, this rare large breed companion dog has been known as the American Alsatian since February 2010. This calm breed enjoys a daily walk and thrives as a therapy dog due to its quiet nature, even though it was developed through the selective breeding of these purebred dogs: Great Pyrenees, German Shepherd, English Mastiff, Alaskan Malamute, and the Anatolian Shepherd. The development of this breed was perfected over a time span of twenty years, and finally recognized as an official breed in 2000.
Although this breed sports females up to 100 pounds and males up to 120 pounds, the American Alsatian was bred specifically to be a family companion. They are loyal dogs that enjoy children and other pets, but act aloof with strangers and have a low prey drive. Despite their size, the American Alsatian does not require large amounts of space and will adapt to most living situations. One unique trait is that this dog is not easily alarmed by loud noises, like storms or fireworks, and they rarely bark.
The breed generally lives to 12-14 years old, and has not had enough time as a breed to establish a trend in health problems. While arthritis was reported in two dogs, epilepsy was reported in another in 2009.
Perhaps the most unique trait of this dog is that it was bred to look like the extinct Dire Wolf, which is known as the largest member of the canid family to ever live. It comes in a variety of colors, including gold, silver, black sable (rare), or cream, with silver being the most desirable. White is also a rare color in the American Alsatian. The body of the dog is longer than it is tall, and it has wolf-like facial expressions. The ears stand tall and it is thick and strong from the nose through the neck.
If you like the idea of having a large and calm family dog, the rare American Alsatian might be the dog for you. Check local shelters or rescue groups and let them know you are interested in this type of dog, or contact the National American Alsatian Breeder’s Association for more information on the breed, Alsatian dog standards, and other important facts about this newer breed.
This article was written by My Pet Saving’s contributor Melissa. She has a master’s degree in creative writing, owns several pets and runs her own online pet magazine. To learn more about this author check out the contributor profile page.