DireWolf Dog Standards


The Breed Warden, Breed Founder, and Breed Master will not award any dog with a championship title if the dog does not most closely follow the standards of the breed.  In other words, each dog is not judged in comparison to other dogs in the ring, but solely in comparison to the standards and the points associated with them.  The American Alsatian standards are not a set of far-reaching ideals, but a blueprint for how the American Alsatian is and should remain.



General Appearance

The American Alsatian is a large Dire wolf looking dog that stands calm and alert.  He possesses thick, dense bone, a broad stature, and an impressive head.  His look includes that of a gentle intelligence with a bit of secrecy in his slanted yellow-eyed stare.  He is powerfully heavy; aware of his surroundings; well muscled and calmly alert.  He is well balanced and longer than he is tall. Exhibiting a unique combination of a wolf-like appearance and a calm, gentle disposition, his soundness of mind and body gives the impression of stability and loyalty.




The American Alsatian is fearless and bold but never hostile, moving slowly in a sleek manner sniffing the air currents.  He is self-confident, poised and inquisitive, but may possess a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate friendships.  He should never be timid or nervous, but hold a more solid and laidback temperament of curiosity.  He should be approachable, quietly standing with confidence and willingness.  


Developed solely for companionship, he is not a working or herding dog and does not possess high prey drive or the extreme willingness to work or do work.  He does possess a strong desire to be close to his master. Therefore, he cannot and does not wander or roam. 


As a puppy, this breed is clownish and loving with a tendency to get as close to his owner’s body as possible even leaning into his master to be sure of his master's attention and presence. 


Sound: The American Alsatian has a deep and low pitched guttural tone.  Barking is infrequent.  They do not have a tendency to whine.  A high-pitched bark is undesirable.  


Serious Faults: Elaborate barking for no reason and/or a high-pitched, yippee, amplified vocalization is a serious fault.



Size, Proportion, Substance

Size-- The height at the highest point of the withers should be no shorter than 26 inches in males and 25 inches in females.  Dogs may reach as tall as 30 inches in males and 28 inches in females.  The weight should appear heavy due to the large bones, with a minimum weight of 90 pounds in males and 85 pounds in females. 


Proportion-- The length of the American Alsatian is longer than tall.  He is a balanced dog with a solid structure.  The overall length of this breed is to be measured from the chest bone to the tip of the tail.


Substance—The American Alsatian is a dog of considerable substance, which is determined by a broad back, chest, and thigh area, heavy bone, and strong muscle. 


Serious Faults: Small or thin bones, a shallow chest, and/or a thin chest or rump are serious faults. 




The Head of an American Alsatian is very broad and large sloping slightly from between the yellow eyes down to the deep black nose, closely resembling the wolf of yester-years.  The head is of distinctive importance, as it is this head that holds the wolfy yellow-eyed stare. The head is broad and deep, never thin or small in proportion to the body.  The skull is longer than the muzzle.  This head must rest on a large, short, thick neck and must be held parallel with the ground almost on a level with the shoulders and the back. The American Alsatian should have a short coat of hair on the head and face. The coat should begin to lengthen as it starts down the neck to the shoulders where the hair is the longest.


Skull-- The skull is measured from the point of the stop to the far most point of the occiput. From the occiput to the stop should be 6 to 8 inches.  The skull is broad and should allow an extended hand between the ears.  From the broadest part of the skull around the head closest to the throat should be 18 to 22 inches.  It is slightly rounded, never domed, gradually narrowing and flattening as it approaches the eyes.  The stop should slope gently from the eyes down to the muzzle. 


Muzzle-- His muzzle should be large and thick, the lips should be close fitting and deep black in color with large white teeth.  From the stop between the eyes to the front teeth should be 4.5 to 6 inches.  The upper and lower jaws should be broad with his large teeth closing in a scissors bite.  The total muzzle should be slightly shorter than the head is deep.  The circumference of the muzzle should be between 11 to 13 inches.


Eyes-- His eyes are an almond shape, medium to small, and set obliquely.  Light eyes are preferred with colors ranging from yellow to light brown that gives him the unique wolfish stare.  The eyes should have a look of deep black eyeliner around the eye and out from the outer corners of the eyes.


Ears-- His ears are triangular in shape and slightly rounded at the tips.  They are set wide apart and set on the outside back edges of the skull.  The ears are wedge-shaped, erect and small in comparison to the head as well as tipped with deep black hairs to form an outline around the ear.  When alerted his ears turn forward.  When shamed his ears will turn sideways and lay back along the sides of the skull.   From the inside of the skull to the tip of the ear should not be more than 5 inches in length.


Teeth-- 42 in number, 20 upper and 22 lower, the teeth are strong and large and come together in a scissors bite in which part of the inner surface of the upper incisors meet and engage part of the outer surface of the lower incisors.  The jaw should never be over or undershot.


Serious Faults: A large round eye is a serious fault, as is a small, refined head, dark eyes, or a long narrow muzzle.



Neck, Topline, Body

Neck-- The neck is robust, well muscled, strong and powerful.  It is short in length and thick in circumference. The carriage of the head is forward and in line or slightly higher than the shoulders, never held high with extended reach or propulsion. 


Topline-- The topline is level from the back of the withers to the croup.  The back is solid, broad, and muscular.  When gated, the back should remain level, with the dog seeming to float across the ground. 


Body-- The chest is broad. The rib cage is well sprung and of sufficient depth to reach below the elbows. The back and loin are broad and strong.  The tail is an extension of the body and comes out from the top of the croup.  The impression is solid and well-built. 


Serious Faults: long neck, relaxed sway back




Shoulders-- The shoulders should be slightly sloping, wide apart, heavy and muscular without any tendency to looseness of shoulders.  The shoulders are well muscled, and lie close to the body.  They may be slightly more pronounced and therefore slightly taller than the straight level of the topline. 


Forelegs-- The leg bones are straight to the pasterns, which are short and strong being bent only slightly.  The black coloring may extend upward from the pads into the leg.  The forelegs are heavily boned and set wide apart because of the width of the chest.  When walking or trotting, the forelegs should not come together in the middle of the body, but should fall straight down as much as possible to be in line with the shoulders.


Front Feet-- The feet are large, heavy, round and slightly splayed or wide with well-arched toes.  The pads on the bottom of the feet are black as well as thick and tough.  They should have black toenails.  The American Alsatian is sure footed even when stalking. The imprints of this breed’s feet are huge and spread out well to carry the heaviness of this dog.  The imprint can be measured as wide as 7 to 8 inches.


Serious Faults: Any indication of unsoundness in legs or feet standing or moving is to be considered a serious fault.




The American Alsatian is broad and powerfully muscled through the thighs.  The rear assembly is powerful, muscular, and heavily boned. Viewed from the rear, the legs are straight and parallel. Viewed from the side, the thighs are broad and fairly long. His stifles are moderately bent.  His hocks should be set wide apart. 


Rear Legs-- The legs of the American Alsatian must indicate an unusual strength and tremendous propelling power.  They are broad and heavily muscled through the thighs.  When viewed from the rear, the hind legs come straight down from the hips to the ground.


Hind Feet-- The feet are very large and wide with compact toes, well-arched pads, thick and tough.  He is sure footed even when stalking. The pads of the feet are always dark in pigmentation.  The imprints of this breed’s feet are huge and spread out well to carry the heaviness of this dog.


Tail-- The tail should only reach down to the hocks, never sweeping, curling or long.  Shorter is more acceptable than longer.  The tail should be wide at the root, tapering to the end.  The tail should be well furred, hanging down when at rest and not curved.  The tail should never hide under the body or between the legs in a gesture of fear or discomfort.  He may carry his tail high when excited yet never curling tightly and never curled over the back.  A straight tail is the ideal. 


Serious Faults: Any indication of unsoundness in legs or feet standing or moving is to be considered a serious fault. 




The outer coat is moderately coarse and thicker during the winter months.  It should not be too long, but moderately dense, slightly oily and slightly woolly with thicker fur around the neck.  The coat is shorter and thinner during the summer months as the undercoat almost entirely sheds out.  The coat becomes thick and woolly again during the winter months.  The head, inner ears, face, legs and paws should be covered with short hair.  Plush coats are acceptable as long as such a coat does not deter from the look of the wolf and this breed. 


Serious Faults: Faults in coat include soft, silky, too long outer coat, too woolly and/or curly. 



Color and Markings

The American Alsatian varies in color, but the silver sable is the most desirable.  Colors are as follows: silver sable, gold sable, tri sable showing both gold and silver, black silver sable, or cream.  Noses always remain black and the skin should be dark in pigmentation.  Ears are outlined in black as well as the tip of the tail.  Muzzles can be white or cream.  Dark muzzles lighten with the years, but the nose should always remain black no matter the color of the muzzle.  The color of the dog should never, ever be judged over character, temperament or conformation!


Serious Faults: A white spotted muzzle is a serious fault, as is excessive white spotting causing the skin to remain pink.




The rear legs should have drive, while the forelegs should track smoothly with good reach, but never a high step.  In motion, the legs move straightforward. The fast walk is smooth and the top line hardly moves, but glides along with the dog.  The dog’s head should be in line with his body or slightly higher, but never jetting and pulling the owner with unleashed energy.  The gait should flow with a sense of caution or hunting, yet never nervous or afraid. Even while trotting or gaiting in a ring this breed shall always be aware of his handler/owner and movements or noises around him. The propulsion should come from the hindquarters while the front takes the thrust, balance and coordination. 




Scale of points

General appearance and intelligence....15


Coat and color.........................................2
Total  points                                        100


We put these points up on our site in order for you to understand how we choose dogs per standards.  If a breeder has two dogs and one is huge but more prey oriented and the other is small but has great temperament, we should always choose temperament over size. 


Note: The scale of points can change depending on what breeders need to emphasize in their stock.  If, for example, the American Alsatian as a whole starts to possess a smaller size, but the feet are well developed and large per standards, the points could change to reflect our need to more closely look at size.




Standards are extremely important.  They are the road map that guides the way for the breeder to follow.  It is a breeder's never-ending job to come as close to the standards as possible.  Without the standards, we have no direction or purpose.  The standard also includes a point system that tells us what are the most important aspects of our dog breed.   

The American Alsatian is a companion dog selectively bred out of the working and herding dog breeds.  In the development of this new breed, pups that exhibited traits of the working or herding dogs were not desired. 


Only certain pups were selected to continue in the breeding that exhibited the desired traits of a family companion dog.  Absolutely no hyper, whining, or barking qualities were tolerated.  All puppies that whined and barked were not bred. 

Selective breeding such as this begins to form a different character than that of the dogs that were used in the beginning of the breeding program.  This character can be found in the standards of the breed.  Please read through them carefully and you will begin to 'see' the dog we are breeding for.  Remember, the MOST important quality is first health, then a companion dog personality.  We worry about looks LAST!  We are not interested in shows or winning prizes to stick on our walls.  We want the best companion dog we can ever breed.  That is our responsibility and we are extremely serious in this quest.  We will not compromise our values for anyone.