The White German Shepherd has had a very long history, filled with
misconceptions and discrimination. For too long, this colour has
been seen as faulty, in comparison to their coloured counterparts.
The white coat was not always considered a fault; in fact, it was
one of the original colours of the German shepherd dog, and a very
important part of creating the breed itself.
It is a well established fact
that whites have been in the German Shepherd Dog breed, ever since
the start of when the breed was developed. The first ever German
Shepherd Dog, Horand von Grafrath (owned by Captain Max von Stephanitz,
creator and founder of the breed), had a white sheep dog as a grandfather
During the early days in establishing
the German Shepherd Dog breed, Horand von Grafrath was extensively
line bred and inbred on to concrete in his type and qualities. This
inevitably passed on his grandfather’s white gene to his progeny,
who in turn, produced whites. In order to produce a white dog, both
coloured parents must carry the recessive gene for white coat, so
obviously whites appeared at the very start of the breed without
much of a fuss being made.
The Nazi Party took over all aspects
of the Verein fur Deutsche Schaeferhund (SV – German Shepherd
Dog Club) and aimed to further standardise the breed, which included
the outcast of whites. They said that the whites were to blame for
all weaknesses in the breed, such as poor health, temperament and
trainability. As with many ‘scientific’ proclamations
made by the Nazi Party, this was also incorrect. The whites were
also blamed for albanism, deafness, and colour fading of the standard
colour shepherds coat, which is not the case at all and has been
proven wrong by many scientists, geneticists and breeders. When
bred to other colours, whites can produce all colours in the breed,
even solid black and sable, as white is a masking gene for the dogs
true genetic colour.
Breeders of the standard coloured
German Shepherds were instructed to drown any whites that were born
in litters. It was (and is still) a very taboo thing for a white
to be born, and many breeders still do hide the fact that their
lines have produced white.
status in Australia
What is the breed ACTUALLY called?
White Shepherd, White German Shepherd Dog, Berger Blanc Suisse or
White Swiss Shepherd Dog?
There are several people breeding
White German Shepherd Dogs, White Swiss Shepherd Dogs or White Shepherds.
This confuses so many people and prospective puppy buyers, as it
is just not clear what the breed is, or what the correct name should
There is no such breed existing
or recognised in Australia as the White Shepherd. Sometimes, people
use the name White Shepherd as a generic name that is quick to describe
the dog. Only imports with Export Pedigrees carrying the stamp of
the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) are to be referred
to as White Swiss Shepherd Dogs (translation: Berger Blanc Suisse).
The Australian National Kennel
Council (ANKC) ceased registrations of litters of white German Shepherds
in 1995, even though there was no official ruling at that time for
them to do as such. In 2005, they made it a rule not to issue Main
Register pedigree papers for dogs whose colours are disqualifications
within breed standards (ANKC regulations Part 6, The Register &
Registration 6.2). This means, in ALL BREEDS accepted by the ANKC,
colours that are not acceptable in the show ring/Breed Standards,
will only be issued limited register pedigree papers, which means
they cannot be bred with and offspring registered. If a white is
born in a litter of registered coloured dogs, they may be registered
on the Limited Register.
White fanciers have lobbied the
ANKC for about 20 years now to also have whites in Australia treated
equally and also for breed separation (both which have proved continuously
The ANKC have ruled that whites
bred in Australia from Australian stock are NOT a separate breed
to the German Shepherd Dog, nor are to be called White Swiss Shepherd
Dogs. These dogs must also fulfil further registration rules, which
can be found on the ANKC website. Anyone claiming to own a White
Swiss Shepherd Dog in Australia, must have an imported White Swiss
Shepherd Dog with an FCI or ANKC affiliate kennel club pedigree
with no dogs in the pedigree being registered as German Shepherd
For a direct Breed Standard comparison
between the (White) German Shepherd Dog and the White Swiss Shepherd
There is no official Parent Breed
Club for White Swiss Shepherd Dogs, nor will one be accepted, due
to the lack of ANKC registered numbers within the breed. There are
currently (01.07.09) only four White Swiss Shepherd Dogs registered
with the ANKC in Australia.
between the Clubs in Australia
Grooming should also be regularly, with a vigourous brushing to
remove any dead or loose hairs. No trimming is required and bathing
should only be done as needed. This is a shedding dog but the more
you groom it, the less it will shed.
they are very much a working dog and like to be active, regular
walks and runs are needed. The young pup should be exercised with
some discretion to avoid long-term damage to still soft and forming
joints. As the dog ages, it will require longer walks but must first
have the solid bone structure established.
For Diet and other general dog health information Health/Nutrition