White German Shepherd: Ultimate Guide with Fun Facts and Pictures

Have you ever seen a white German Shepherd? White German Shepherds are not as common as other German Shepherds but they aren’t exactly rare either. They make good family dogs, they herd and protect, and they are loyal and intelligent, just like other German Shepherds. With their white coat color they are highly distinctive.

Most people are not very familiar with the white German Shepherds which occasionally appear in AKC litters. And most people don’t know that White Shepherds, registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC), come from white German Shepherds that are barred from being shown at dog shows by AKC. AKC registers white German Shepherds and they are allowed to participate in performance events but their white color is considered a disqualifying fault in the show ring. This doesn’t stop the white dogs from being very popular with everyone who sees them!

If you’re interested in a white German Shepherd or a White Shepherd, there are some things you should know before you make the decision to get one.

Here you will find what we think is the best white German Shepherd guide around. We’ll look at the history of these dogs, answer some common questions, and provide you with six facts you should know before you even think about getting a white German Shepherd.

Let’s get started.

An Introduction To The White German Shepherd and the White Shepherd

If you know anything about German Shepherds (or even if you don’t), then you know that they were developed from continental herding dogs in Germany in the 1890s. A man named Max von Stephanitz finalized the appearance of the German Shepherd Dog in 1899. The recessive gene for white coat has always been present in the breed. A white herding dog was the grandfather of the dog acknowledged as the foundation of all contemporary German Shepherd bloodlines. White coats only became a disqualification in the breed in 1933, after the Nazi Party took over the breed club in Germany when they were taking over many things in the country. They (erroneously) believed that the white dogs were causing the other coat colors to become paler. The breed standard remained unchanged after the war, with white coats a disqualification.

In 1959, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) followed and adopted the colored breed standard of the German breed club which made white coats a disqualifying fault. Starting in 1968, white German Shepherd Dogs were barred from competing in conformation at AKC dog shows in the U.S. AKC-registered white German Shepherds can still compete in performance events.

Over the years, breeders of white German Shepherds in the U.S. and Canada made various attempts to form their own clubs with limited success. In 1999, the American White Shepherd Association (AWSA) established the United White Shepherd Club (UWSC). This is a United Kennel Club-affiliated parent club. UKC welcomed them and officially recognized the White Shepherd as a breed. UKC also recognizes the original German Shepherd Dog breed and its conformation standard which includes both white and colored dogs.

You can see the official UKC breed standard for the White Shepherd here. It’s similar to the German Shepherd standard though there are some differences besides the breed’s color.

Today the White Shepherd is able to compete in obedience, rally, tracking, flyball, and agility. They also enjoy herding. And they can compete in UKC conformation shows.

Note that if you are looking for information about White Shepherds or white German Shepherds online, they should not be confused with the White Swiss Shepherd Dog (Berger Blanc Suisse). The White Swiss Shepherd Dog is recognized and registered by the FCI and is mainly found in Europe, even though they are descended from U.S. and Canadian white German Shepherds that were exported to Switzerland in the 1970s.

White German Shepherd Pictures:

What’s it like owning a White Shepherd?

White Shepherds share many traits with white German Shepherds and German Shepherds, in general. They are confident and brave. When necessary, they are alert and protective. They are friendly and affectionate with their families. Expect these dogs to be reserved and watchful with strangers.

According to many sources, White Shepherds have been bred to have a slightly softer, more mellow temperament than other German Shepherds. Expect these dogs to be a little more sensitive than the traditional German Shepherd and not quite as gungho.

White Shepherds love to spend time with their families. They like to run and play games. They are highly intelligent and easy to train. They are large, active dogs so they require a lot of daily exercise. With good early socialization they can adapt to many different situations and fit into different kinds of social events.

White Shepherds do have a good work ethic, as do German Shepherds. They like to have a job. They are herders by nature but if you can spend time doing some regular obedience training or making some therapy visits with your dog, he would probably enjoy doing these things and feeling useful.

White Shepherds should have a steady, stable temperament. They shouldn’t be either timid or aggressive. Getting a puppy out to socialize him when he’s young can help build his confidence so he’ll be calm and reliable as an adult.

As with German Shepherds, White Shepherds are loyal dogs and can be protective of children and young animals.

Owners say that some White Shepherds can be a little whiny. They can moan and groan and even howl to try to get what they want. They can be very vocal. They are also very clever. Otherwise, they make wonderful companions whether you are single or have a family. They are playful and fun-loving with those they know. White Shepherds are joyful dogs and people who have them adore them.

White Shepherd puppies will chew on things so make sure you provide your puppy with lots of safe toys and chews. Otherwise you can expect him to chew on your furniture and tear up your pillows! This is a large breed so it can take a long time for a White Shepherd puppy to teethe and for his bones to grow. He may continue to act like a puppy at times for up to 18-22 months.

German Shepherds, in general, can be destructive in the house if they are left alone a lot or if they become bored so it’s important for White Shepherds and white German Shepherds to get plenty of exercise and to do things with you that keep their minds engaged. If your dog can be active and spend good quality time with you, he’s more likely to sleep peacefully when you can’t be home with him.

White German Shepherd and White Shepherd Pictures

When you see photos of White Shepherds and white German Shepherds you can see why so many people are devoted to these beautiful dogs. They can be breathtaking.

Basic White Shepherd Information

In this section, we will provide some basic answers to the common questions people ask (or should ask) about White Shepherds and white German Shepherds.

Do White Shepherds Shed?

Definitely, yes. White Shepherds, like white German Shepherds and German Shepherds in general, do shed. They have a weather-resistant double coat. The outer layer is dense, straight, and even harsh. The undercoat is short, thick, and fine in texture. They have a bit of a ruff at the neck, especially in the males. The result is a dog that usually has a long, stiff coat that sheds a lot. Oh, and as hot weather approaches, you can expect extra shedding. Make sure you own a good vacuum cleaner if you are thinking about getting one of these dogs!

On the bright side, White Shepherds don’t shed quite as much as German Shepherds. The White Shepherd’s undercoat isn’t quite as thick as the German Shepherd’s undercoat in most cases so they shed a little less.

Brushing your White Shepherd or white German Shepherd often can help keep the shedding to a minimum.

Regular baths can also help loosen dead hair so it’s easy to remove with brushing; but be careful that you don’t bathe your dog too often since this will remove natural skin oils which protect your dog’s skin.

How Big Do White Shepherds Get?

According to the UKC breed standard for the White Shepherd, the ideal height and weight for the White Shepherd at maturity is 25 inches tall and 75-85 pounds for males; and 23 inches and about 60-70 pounds for females. Dogs can be and inch up or down in height.

The UKC breed standard for German Shepherds calls for male dogs to be 24-26 inches; and female should be 22-24 inches. No weight requirements are given.

AKC lists the German Shepherd Dog as 24-26 inches for the male and 22-24 inches for the female. Males weigh 65-90 pounds; females weigh 50-70 pounds. This includes white German Shepherds even though they cannot be shown in conformation.

So, you can expect most White Shepherds and white German Shepherds to be very large dogs, especially the males.

How Easy Are White Shepherds To Train?

White Shepherds and white German Shepherds are both exceptionally intelligent. German Shepherd Dogs are rated as the third most intelligent breed of dog, behind Border Collies and Poodles. They are very easy to train if you are consistent in your commands and train regularly each day.

The German Shepherd Dog Club of America has some excellent short articles on training a German Shepherd puppy. Their advice can easily be applied to a White Shepherd puppy. Using consistency and practice in your training works for any dog. Rewarding positive behaviors is always good advice. And so on.

Things that White Shepherd puppies need to learn at home include:

  • House training
  • Bite inhibition
  • Rules of the home/manners (What is and is not allowed in your home such as not jumping on people, whether they can get on furniture, not chasing the cat, etc.)
  • Basic obedience including walking on a leash, coming when called, etc.
  • Grooming

These are all important things for a puppy to learn. House training is huge. Soiling in the house is one of the biggest reasons why dogs are dumped at shelters. This is the very most basic thing that a dog needs to learn if he wants to keep his home.

Most dogs will master these basics. White Shepherds and white German Shepherds are very smart. They should learn these things rather quickly. They are usually very eager to please you. If you have any problems with your puppy/dog, try finding a local trainer or canine behaviorist who can help you. You can often find basic training classes at local pet stores. Pet stores often offer classes for puppy socialization, too, such as puppy preschool or puppy kindergarten. These classes are great for young puppies so they can play with other puppies, meet friendly people, and build confidence. Many of these classes also teach you and your puppy some basic obedience lessons. They can be a lot of fun.

Your puppy will need to learn to let you groom him, too. Fortunately, White Shepherds and white German Shepherds don’t require any clippering or the use of scissors or other equipment. Your puppy should learn to stand quietly while you brush him. You do need to trim his nails on a regular basis. If you start trimming nails when your puppy is young – and you don’t do anything to hurt him while you’re doing his nails – there’s no reason why this shouldn’t go well. Just remove a tiny bit of nail with each trim so you won’t risk cutting too much. If you use a nail grinder you should introduce it early if possible. It doesn’t hurt your puppy but the noise can be alarming at first. Let your puppy get used to it slowly. Be sure to reward your puppy when you do nails or whenever you do any kind of grooming so it becomes something he looks forward to.

Don’t forget to clean your puppy’s ears or at least check them regularly. Shepherds can have some ear problems occasionally.

Do White Shepherds Suffer From Any Common Health Issues?

In terms of health, since they share a common heritage with German Shepherds, White Shepherds (and white German Shepherds) can have the same problems with hip and elbow dysplasia that are seen in German Shepherds. Degenerative joint disease and allergies are also found in these breeds. Degenerative Myelopathy is also seen.

If you are interested in a White Shepherd or a white German Shepherd, talk to the breeder about the health testing they do and the results.

What Is The White Shepherd’s Temperament Like?

White Shepherds are loyal and playful with their families; reserved and watchful with strangers. They make excellent companions and family dogs. There is some suggestion that White Shepherds may be slightly more mellow than German Shepherds but they are still courageous, alert, and intelligent.

How Expensive Are White Shepherds?

If you’re wondering is a White Shepherd rare, the answer is not particularly. You can easily find them from respected breeders online. As for price, one site we checked stated that the current median price for a White Shepherd puppy in the U.S. was $900. For one breeder we checked, the price for a pet puppy on a non-breeding contract was $2000. According to one site, puppies were available for $3200 and up.

For these prices, you need to make sure breeders have health-tested the parents of the puppies for at least hip and elbow dysplasia and that they offer a reasonable guarantee for the puppy’s health.

If you want a pure white German Shepherd and you’re wondering how much it costs, we found breeders selling AKC white German Shepherd puppies from $500-1000. They are not rare either.

How Long Does A White Shepherd Live For?

According to the information we found, White Shepherds live around 12-14 years.

6 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A White Shepherd Puppy

  1. White Shepherds are not albinos and they do not have red eyes. Their eyes are brown, the darker the better. Occasionally, very rarely, a White Shepherd or white German Shepherd is born with blue eyes but it’s unusual. The ideal coat color for the breed is pure white but the coat can actually range from very light cream to a light biscuit tan. Their skin color ranges between pink and gray – gray is preferred. Their nose, lips, eye rims, and pads are all fully-pigmented and are black in color.
  2. White Shepherds do not look exactly the same as German Shepherds in white. They are a slightly square-built dog without as much slope to the topline.
  3. White Shepherds tend to have a longer coat than German Shepherds.
  4. White Shepherds are good watch dogs but they are more likely to alert you when someone is approaching instead of acting aggressively – though this will depend on training and socialization.
  5. White Shepherd puppies can be very boisterous. If you have small children or seniors in your home, these big, rollicking puppies can accidentally knock someone over. They do calm down as they get older.
  6. White Shepherds are barkers! They are vocal, whether they are barking, whining, or howling to let you know what they think. This is something to consider if you have neighbors who live close to you.

Conclusion

Beautiful, intelligent, eager to please, and slightly more mellow than the traditional German Shepherd. That’s what you have in the White Shepherd. Developed from the white German Shepherd in recent years, many people have fallen in love with these gorgeous dogs. Other people prefer the white German Shepherd which still relies on traditional German Shepherd bloodlines. Whichever dog you like, you can’t go wrong. They both make wonderful companions.

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