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White Shepherd Dog – Beautiful, Smart, Well-Balanced and Confident

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Ein weißer Schäferhund trägt ein Wurfspielzeug.

A shepherd with radiant white fur? An albino, a freak of nature? No – the unusual fur colouration of the White Swiss Shepherd is no accident. For four decades, the white variant of this shepherd was frowned upon as a mistake by breeders, but remains popular with fans of the dog abroad. That’s how the White Shepherd became a breed unto itself.


Exile overseas

The white colour of this dog used to be very practical: that way shepherds could tell the difference between their animals and wolves in the dark. As the systematic breeding of the German Shepherd began at the end of the 19th century, white and light-coloured dogs were also represented in the breed. In 1933, however, the white colour in German Shepherds was declared an exclusion criterion for breeding. A genetic defect was suspected in connection with colouration. In the USA and Canada, no-one was interested in this new standard and people continued to breed this beautiful white animal. This maintained the breed and, since the 1970s, it has become widespread in Europe again as well. The applicable breed standard was formulated in 2011.

Nature and character of the White Shepherd

You simply have to love it as a dog with a lot of heart and affection. Its character is both well-balanced and confident. A White Shepherd is initially reserved around strangers, but at the same time is neither fearful nor aggressive. The White Shepherd is characterised by considerable intelligence and a love of learning. It can be trained just as easily as its darker cousins. But the magic words are, as always: love, patience and a treat at the right moment. The White Shepherd’s well-balanced nature, in combination with its love of work, intellectual abilities and desire to please humans, make it one of the best candidates for dog professions: as a guard dog, seeing-eye dog or (avalanche) rescue dog, it will find a fulfilling task.

Training and keeping a White Shepherd

As the owner of a White Shepherd, you should have plenty of experience with dogs so that you make a convincing pack leader and can enforce basic obedience through your confident presentation. A White Shepherd is not well-suited to living in a home unless it has enough freedom outdoors or in the garden. It is therefore not a good idea to keep this nature-loving dog in the big city. This large, agile animal loves exercise – beside its owner, if at all possible. The clever White Shepherd makes an unbeatable team alongside its human family that goes far beyond a pragmatic relationship between owner and pet. The dog can find meaningful activity in any dog sport. You can especially delight your dog with games that allow it to make use of its nose. You will have a well-balanced animal at your side, if you also take it along when cycling, jogging or horseback riding, or if you give it a chance to play in the water.

Ein weißer Schäferhund rennt durch eine Schneelandschaft.

Caring for a White Shepherd

You could well think that the dog is a magnet for dirt, but that isn’t the case. Despite its snow-white fur, its care is not too onerous. A White Shepherd must be regularly brushed. During shedding, you should plan grooming into your daily routine in order to remove the loose undercoat. Like all shepherds, the White Shepherd also tends to develop hip and knee dysplasia. Responsible breeders try to avoid these hereditary weaknesses.

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Newsletter White Swiss shepherd

White Shepherd (Berger Blanc Suisse)
Herding dogs and trailing dogs
Males 60 to 66 cm at shoulder height – females 55 to 61 cm at shoulder height
Males 30 to 40 kg – Females 22 to 35 kg
muscular, streamlined, slightly sloping croup and tail
mid-sized, almond-shaped, dark to medium brown, slightly diagonal
upright ears, tilted slightly forward
Coat and colour
thick undercoat, short or long coarse fur; white colour
Special features
considered from 1933 as a mistake in the colouration of the German Shepherd, an official breed since the 1970s
strong nerves, self-confident, yet humble and well-tempered, lively
comb regularly, daily during shedding
tendency towards dysplasia of the hips and knees, inflammation of the cornea and ears

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