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Country of Origin, History of White German Shepherds
The White Shepherd is descended from the German Shepherd Dog. The gene that makes them white is a natural allele in the total color genetic makeup. This has been chosen and bred for so that there is little mixing of dog breeds or lines. They are pure in the United States just as they are in Europe and in Canada.
Breed Selector Tool - is the White German Shepherd the right breed for you?
Is the White German Shepherd the right breed for you and your family?
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Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your White German Shepherd's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper training methods.
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White German Shepherd Calorie Calculator
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A General Appearance of the Dog
White Shepherds look just like normal German Shepherds except that they are totally white. White Shepherd Dogs are well-proportioned, muscular yet trim dogs with pricked (stand up) ears. It is agile and quick. The noble-looking White Shepherd is well-balanced, longer than it is tall. He has almond-shaped eyes with a lively, intelligent expression. His bushy tail hangs down.
The White Shepherd is a trotting dog who moves smoothly and rhythmically, covering a lot of ground quickly. Its stride is long, quick, and easy. The hindquarters seem to deliver a power thrust that propels the front end forward. The dog can easily spring from its hindquarters, jumping up or forward to quite a distance.
The White Shepherd is totally white or cream colored.
There are three coat types: rough (relatively short with undercoat), long rough (longer with undercoat), and long-haired (without undercoat).
The White Shepherd Dog coat is relatively short with an obvious undercoat. This is quite waterproof. Some dogs are born with long coats which usually, though not always, are devoid of undercoat. Such coats are more difficult to groom, but many pet owners seem to like the long-coated version. The normal coat is dominant to the long version, so there are three kinds of coat: normal, normal but carrying the long coat gene, and long. About 10% of the pups are born long-coated.
Males: 24-26 inches
Females: 22-24 inches
Weight: 75-90 lbs
Temperament of the Dog
White Shepherds love to be close to their families and are very loyal and protective of their families. They are very eager and alert. They have a high capacity for learning and love to learn. They are obedient and cheerful and very seldom show any stubbornness because they are eager to please.
White Shepherds should not be left alone for long periods of time. They must be thoroughly socialized and firmly obedience trained from an early age and throughout their lives. A very firm yet loving attitude is necessary with a Shepherd throughout its life. Normally, Shepherds are not barkers but will bark as a warning of perceived danger.
The White Shepherd Dog does not give affection lightly; it is also known as a "one-man" breed for its tendency to display serious loyalty and fidelity, especially to its owner or main caretaker. He is a bold and punishing fighter if he needs to be.
White Shepherds are used for guard work and search and rescue because they are fearless, direct, calm, confident, and intelligent. Aggression and attacks are usually a result of poor breeding or poor adjustment, handling, or training.
If you start young and teach your puppy its order in your "pack" (all members of the family have to be Alpha), problems with training will be minimized. However, White Shepherds tend to have more dominant personalities than some breeds. Classes are extremely helpful. A White Shepherd Dog that thinks it's the Alpha member of the pack can be difficult to handle or have as a family member.
White Shepherds love jobs. They are used as guard dogs, in police work, to sniff out drugs, as guides for the blind and deaf, in search and rescue, and for military work. As a family dog, your White Shepherd will enjoy obedience, agility, flyball, tracking activities, and schutzhund. Alsatians regularly win advanced obedience and field trials.
Research carefully before getting a White Shepherd. Get to know both parents and any other relatives to make sure of the personality. Unfortunately some breeders are offering shy and nervous Alsatians for sale. These dogs should be avoided at all costs as they can be dangerous. Also, assess the diseases in the lineage.
Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?
A White Shepherd can be kept in an apartment, but much prefers living where he has a fenced yard for exercise. He will enjoy a brisk, long walk each day – or, after he is a year old, he can job or go with you when you bike or rollerblade. If he is underexercised, he will become destructive (especially as a youngster). He can be outdoors a large part of the day as long as he has sufficient time with his family.
Are they suited to homes with kids?
A well-bred White Shepherd will do fine in a household with children, especially older children. He will need daily exercise and some activity to keep his mind busy. Children should be taught how to handle the dog and not to hit or yell at him.
How Active is the Breed?
The White Shepherd is very active throughout his life; however, he is fairly quiet when indoors. He will need daily exercise and some activity to keep his mind busy. Some kind of daily, active exercise is necessary. Many enjoy catching balls or Frisbees®.
How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?
White Shepherd puppies will be pretty rambunctious. Outdoor play and some training (like obedience) will help to keep his body and mind busy. He will enjoy a brisk, long walk each day – or, after he is a year old, he can job or go with you when you bike or rollerblade. If he is underexercised, he will become destructive (especially as a youngster).
All three coat types are shed throughout the year with heavy shedding in spring and fall. Weekly brushing is a must with daily brushing during the spring and fall.
Hereditary diseases include hip and elbow dysplasia (OFA certification of good on both parents is essential), blood disorders, digestive problems, malabsorption syndrome, degenerative joint disease, epilepsy, chronic eczema, eye inflammation, skin and coat problems and allergies. Autoimmune diseases like Lupus are beginning to show up in White Shepherds.
Unfortunately some breeders are offering shy and nervous Alsatians for sale. These dogs should be avoided at all costs as they can be dangerous.
Breeding the Dog and any Cautions
You will want to have your dog’s hips and elbows certified before breeding.
Litter Size: 8 – 10 puppies are common for White Shepherds.
Life Span: The life span of the White Shepherd is about 12 years.
National Breed Clubs
US – American White Shepherd Association – www.awsaclub.com
Other Recognition: WGSDCV, FCI, UKC, NKC, AWSA, APRI, WSSDCA
The White Shepherd is registered as a White Shepherd with the American White Shepherd Association (AWSA) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).
The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognizes it as a Berger Blanc Swiss, the same name the White Swiss Shepherd Dog Club of Australia (WSSDCA) uses. Other clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) do not recognize the White Shepherd as a separate breed and call the white color a disqualification.
Group: Herding Group
AKC Popularity Ranking: Not recognized by AKC
Also Known As: American White Shepherd, Canadian White Shepherd, Berger Blanc Swiss
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How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.
3 dangerous mistakes that most White GSD owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.
The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.
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A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.
How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.
Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.
One hidden psychological trigger that all White German Shepherds have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.
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