BREED DESCRIPTION & INFORMATION

White Shepherd Dog
WSCC, RB Grand Ch., UKC Ch,
Sandhill's Iceman Of Furrari, HC, CGN, OFA, DNA'd
"Ice Man"

Photo courtesy of Furrari Kennels

Breed Registries:


Note: The all-breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.

* — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Note: The White Shepherd Dog is recognized and registered as a German Shepherd Dog under the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and the Kennel Club [U.K.] (KC). However, because the colour white is a disqualification by the CKC and AKC, they are not eligible to be shown in the conformation ring. The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognizes the White Shepherd as a separate breed and the breed, known as the "Berger Blanc Suisse" or "White Swiss Shepherd Dog" is provisionally accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (F.C.I.)


Height:

Male — 25 inches (64 cm) at the shoulder
Female — 23 inches (58 cm) at the shoulder

Weight:

Male — 75 to 85 lbs. (34 to 39 kg)
Female — 60 to 70 lbs. (27 to 32 kg)

Breed Profile:

The White Shepherd is a direct descendent of the German Shepherd Dog. The White Shepherd was recognized by the UKC in 1999 and the F.C.I. recognized the breed as the "Berger Blanc Suisse" in 2002. The colour white in German Shepherd Dogs was one of the original colours found in the breed. The developer of the breed, Max Von Stephanitz, owned several White German Shepherd Dogs and one of the first GSDs imported into the United States carried the gene that produces the white coat colour. In 1968, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) made the colour white a disqualification in the German Shepherd Dog Breed Standard. After the GSDCA and the German Sieger Verein disqualified the colour, many countries followed their lead, including Canada.

Today, the White German Shepherd Dog is still recognized and registered as a German Shepherd Dog under the AKC and the CKC. However, because the colour white is a disqualification, they are no longer eligible to be shown in the conformation ring. Because of this and because many German Shepherd Dog breeders will not breed to the white dogs, White Shepherd clubs in North America have been pursuing the goal of breed separation, in hopes of attaining the proper recognition that these dogs deserve. Through careful study of the breed worldwide, it has been determined that there is a sufficient gene pool to support a separate breed.

The Breed Standards developed for the White Shepherd Dog are very similar to that of the Breed Standards for the German Shepherd Dog except, of course, colour. According to the UKC Breed Standard, the ideal coat colour is a pure white. However, colours ranging from a very light cream to light biscuit tan are acceptable. Skin colour should be pink to grey, with grey preferred. The nose, lips, eye rims, and pads must be fully pigmented and black in colour. Albinism is a disqualification.

Like the German Shepherd Dog, the White Shepherd is well known for his intelligence and faithfulness. He shares the same versatility and is known as a family companion, Guide Dog, Police Dog, Search and Rescue Dog, Drug and Bomb Detection Dog, Herding Dog, and Tracking Dog to name a few.

The White Shepherd's physical characteristics are also similar to that of the German Shepherd giving an impression of strength, agility, and balance. He should be well-muscled, alert and appear athletic and fit. There should also be a distinct difference in males and females whereby the dog is definitely masculine and the bitch, feminine.

He has a distinct personality with a direct and fearless expression. He is self-confident and with a certain aloofness, he does not make immediate or indiscriminate friends. He is however approachable, quietly standing his ground. Any signs of a lack of confidence or nervousness are not typical of the breed. The ideal Shepherd is a working animal with a reliable character that possesses a high degree of beauty and nobility.

The White Shepherd's double coat is weather-resistant with the outer coat being of medium length, dense, straight and close lying. The undercoat is short, thick and fine in texture. The ideal coat colour is a pure white but may vary from light cream to a light biscuit tan.

Health Issues

German Shepherd Dogs, as with other breeds, are susceptible to certain health problems, some of a genetic nature, others viral. If you are considering the adoption of a German Shepherd puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

Only Natural Pet Store

Breed Standards

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre
  • Schutzhund — The German Shepherd Dog is the most common breed involved in the sport of Schutzhund. Schutzhund training concentrates on obedience work, tracking and protection. This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes details on the sport as well as listings of Schutzhund clubs and associations.
  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.
  • CTS German Shepherd Dog The German Way - Basic Training, Conditioning And Handling DVD
    Published by Canine Training Systems; 1998 DVD Edition; Duration: 85 mins.
    How to show your German Shepherd successfully, including: the organization, procedure and strategy of an SV-style show.

Training Tools & Equipment
Choose from a wide variety of items from Dogwise.com



Additional Information

  • Federation Berger Blanc Suisse Internationale (The International Federation for the White Swiss Shepherd Dog) — The worldwide platform for all breeding clubs and breeder groups of the White Swiss Shepherd Dog that are acknowledged by the FCI. Their goal is the international support of the White Swiss Shepherd Dog (WSSD/BBS). They achieve this by uniting all associations which specifically engage in the health and character of this breed.
  • The White Shepherd Genetics Project
  • Genetics of Coat Color in Dogs — A brief review of the genes controlling dog coat colors and patterns.
  • GSD vs. WGSD - It's not a black or white issue!
  • Before You Adopt a German Shepherd Puppy...Things You Need to Know
  • GSD Pedigree Database
  • The German Shepherd Dog Breed Betterment Registry — This Registry was created in an attempt to gather comprehensive health information which will enable breeders to make more informed breeding choices.
  • Herding Dogs — A developing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website which includes training and general information about Herding/Stock Dogs; listing of Stock Dog Clubs and Associations; listing of upcoming shows and events; and more.
  • Schutzhund — The German Shepherd Dog is the most common breed involved in the sport of Schutzhund. Schutzhund training concentrates on obedience work, tracking and protection. This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes details on the sport as well as listings of Schutzhund clubs and associations.
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More