Alaskan Shepherd Breed Info – Complete Profile With Pictures

The Alaskan Shepherd is a popular crossbreed amongst large dog owners thanks to its impressive parent breeds, the Alaskan Malamute and the German Shepherd.

They are fiercely powerful dogs with a working history, but they are also incredibly friendly and loyal to their owners.

Their stubborn personalities can make them sometimes difficult to handle but owners of Alaskan Shepherds will be rewarded with a lifetime of love and companionship.

Considering adopting an Alaskan Shepherd? Keeping reading for our guide on everything you need to know about the wonderful breed.


alaskan shepherd fact sheet

In a hurry? Here’s a quick roundup of everything you need to know about the Alaskan Shepherd.

Average Lifespan: 10-13 years

Average Heights: 21-25 inches

Average Weight: 60-130lbs

Coat Appearance: Dense, thick, medium length and brown/grey in colour

Eye Colour: Brown (most common), hazel, blue

Activity Level: Very High

Grooming Frequency: Weekly

Typical Temperament: Loyal, stubborn, intelligent, affectionate, independent

New Owner Friendly: No

Alaskan Shepherd Appearance

The Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd are generally very similar in size and build so it’s unsurprising that the Alaskan Shepherd looks like both parent breeds.

They will have a large, muscular build with pointed ears and a long, plumed tail that curls upwards.

Their eyes will be almond-shaped and usually brown, although they can have hazel or blue eyes depending on their parents.

Alaskan Shepherd Size

Male Average Size: Height = 23 – 25 inches, Weight = 70 – 130lbs

Female Average Size: Height = 21 – 24 inches, Weight = 60 – 120lbs

Alaskan Shepherd Coat Color

What is harder to pre-determine is the markings and colourings that an Alaskan Shepherd’s coat will have.

The colour of their coat can vary greatly between the two dogs with some appearing greyer like an Alaskan Malamute and having browns and reds like the German Shepherd.

Regardless of the colouring, their coat will be very dense. Their fur is usually quite thick and straight, taking after their parent breeds, and will be medium to long in length.

Alaskan Shepherd Grooming

Much like both parent breeds, Alaskan Shepherds need regular grooming to keep their coats looking healthy and in good condition.

They have a very dense double coat that sheds heavily, especially when they are blowing their coat which usually happens once or twice a year.

As a result, Alaskan Shepherds will need a grooming session at least once a week to remove loose hairs and keep their coat looking shiny and healthy. Daily or twice-daily grooming will be necessary during coat-blowing season.

We recommend prospective owners invest in a good deshedder tool, along with a slicker brush and a pin brush in order to be well equipped for grooming.

Alaskan Shepherds only need bathing with shampoo occasionally, for example once a month, as their double coat is designed to stay naturally clean.

In between baths, their undercoats should be checked for any debris that may have gathered whilst outside.

Alaskan Shepherds are not a hypoallergenic breed and therefore, they are not suitable for owners with allergies. As with all dogs, their nails will need to be trimmed regularly and their teeth should be kept clean with dental chews or otherwise.

Alaskan Shepherd Temperament

Alaskan Shepherd stood in the snow

The Alaskan Shepherd is a loyal and affectionate breed. They are known for becoming attached to their owners, viewing them as the ‘pack leader’ of the home. They are very intelligent dogs and benefit from being trained to learn commands and tricks.

Their intelligence does mean that they can become restless and bored if they are not given stimulation, which can sometimes lead to anxiety and destructive behaviours such as chewing.

Much like the Alaskan Malamute, the Alaskan Shepherd is a stubborn breed and they enjoy their independence just as much as they enjoy company.

They will happily walk all over their owners if they are allowed to and owners need to be as strong-willed as their dogs to prevent any destructive or dominant behaviours from developing.

For that reason, we do not recommend the Alaskan Shepherd to first-time dog owners.

Whilst Alaskan Shepherds are very friendly towards humans, they can be aggressive to other dogs and pets within the home. They should be socialised with other dogs at a young age to prevent aggression in later life.

The breed is suitable to live with children, but they should always be supervised when around young children due to their large size and build.

Alaskan Shepherd Health

Note: If you have any health concerns about your dog, please speak to a registered vet.

The expected lifespan of an Alaskan Shepherd is 10 to 13 years.

As with all dog breeds, the Alaskan Shepherd is prone to certain health problems in their lives. The main health concerns to look out for are:

Obesity – Both the Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd are prone to obesity caused by overeating.

Canine Hip Dysplasia – A skeletal condition that’s common in large dog breeds and causes the hip joint to deteriorate over time.

Chondrodysplasia – an abnormal growth of cartilage that results in disproportionate dwarfism, sometimes seen in the Alaskan malamute.

Degenerative Myelopathy – a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs that can eventually result in the inability to move the hind legs, more commonly seen in the German Shepherd.

These are all typical concerns of large dog breeds.

Don’t be put off though, every dog breed has some major health concern that they are prone to, especially as they get older.

There is no guarantee an Alaskan Shepherd will get these problems, but it is a good idea to be aware of them if you’re considering adopting the breed.

As the owner of an Alaskan Shepherd, there are several health tests you can ask for at the vet to ensure their health is on the right track.

Booking them in for these tests on regular occasions (once yearly for example) can help to identify any of the above-mentioned health problems early.

The recommended health tests for an Alaskan Shepherd are:

  • Elbow and hip evaluation
  • Cardiac examination
  • DNA test for von Willebrand disease
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation

If you are adopting an Alaskan Shepherd puppy, make sure you have them vaccinated against preventable diseases and regularly worm and flea them.

Alaskan Shepherd Exercise Needs

Both the Alaskan Malamute and the German Shepherd were bred to be working dogs and as a result, require a lot of daily exercise to keep them occupied.

It should be no surprise, therefore, that the Alaskan Shepherd is also a high-energy and high-endurance breed.

The average Alaskan Shepherd will need around 60 minutes of activity a day but this will typically decrease with age.

Alaskan Shepherds love the outdoors so having a large yard for them to run around is essential. They should also ideally live somewhere close by to parks or long walking trails to help fulfil their daily exercise needs.

As previously mentioned, Alaskan Shepherds are highly intelligent breeds and they need plenty of ways to keep their mind stimulated throughout the day to prevent them from getting bored.

This can be in the form of teaching commands or through playing with toys.

Before engaging in rigorous activity with an Alaskan Shepherd, consider the current climate.

This is because their thick double coats can cause them to overheat quickly if they exercise when it is too hot outside.

In Summary

By now, you should know everything you need to know about the wonderful Alaskan Malamute German Shepherd mix. If you still have any questions though, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Own an Alaskan Shepherd? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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4 thoughts on “Alaskan Shepherd Breed Info – Complete Profile With Pictures”

  1. My 10 year old girl was a Humane Society rescue and I am so proud to announce this when very frequently asked. She is gorgeous with her long, full shiny coat and flowing tail. Very high maintenance with grooming which could ideally be done daily. Affectionate, obedient, intelligent (she knows many tricks and commands via voice and hand signals),never barks unless she wants to play (NOT a great watchdog…too friendly) and I would clone her if I could. I truly could not want a better pet.

    • Hi Mary,

      Thank you for sharing your experience of owning an Alaskan Shepherd, she sounds like a truly wonderful dog. You have every right to be proud of rescuing her – we hope more people will be inspired to do the same!

      -The Malamute Mom Team

    • Hello Mary,

      We had dog named Dooley that we believe was a Malamute x German Shepherd.
      He was a rescue dog and lived to a grand old age of 14. He was very gentle, loyal and protective of our children who he grew up with. I will share a photo of him with you via your email address below.


  2. My boy is a 5 year old Alaskan Shepherd but with a twist! He’s 1/2 Malamute, just 1/4 GSD and the other 1/4 being Tibetan Mastiff. He’s just as described here though! As loyal and affectionate a dog as I have ever known, incredibly clever and VERY independent and headstrong! he will listen to me, but no one else stands a chance when he has an idea of what he wants to do in his head!

    I’ve had him since a pup and he was very well socialised as I was a professional dog walker when he was young and he’d come out on all the walks with me. Now though he has become a bit of a peace keeper! The first sign of confrontation between any dogs and he’s there breaking it up! Anyone else’s Alaskan Shepherd’s like to do this?!


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