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White German Shepherd Dog Breed Fact Sheet

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Group 5: Working Dogs

Energy Level: Moderate - high

Original Function: sheep herding, guarding, police dog

Temperament: Well balanced temperament, steady of nerve, self assured, absolutely free and easy, and (unless provoked) completely good natured, as well as alert and tractable.

Characteristics: He must have courage, combative instinct and hardness, in order to be suitable as companion, watch, protection, service and herding dog.

Recommended for: Active people & families. Dedicated handlers.

Lifespan: around 13 years

 

Height: Males: Height at the wither 60 cm to 65 cm (23.62 inches - 25.59 inches)
Females: Height at the wither 55 cm to 60 cm (21.65 inches - 23.62 inches)

Weight: Males: Weight 30 kg to 40 kg. (66.14 pounds - 88.18 pounds; Midrange = 77 pounds)
Females: Weight 22 kg - 32 kg (48.5 pounds - 70.55 pounds; Midrange = 59.5

Colour: White

Coat: Straight dense & harsh. Soft undercoat.

General Appearance: The German Shepherd Dog is medium sized, slightly elongated, powerful and well muscled, the bones dry and the overall structure firm.

 

Background

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 named Greif.

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.

Breed 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 be.

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 unsuccessful).

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 Dogs.

For a direct Breed Standard comparison between the (White) German Shepherd Dog and the White Swiss Shepherd Dog, click here

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.

Differences between the Clubs in Australia

Grooming- 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.

Exercise- 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.

Health-
For Diet and other general dog health information Health/Nutrition

 

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Breeders

 

Other information on this breed

Websites:

White German Shepherd Dog Alliance of Victoria
http://www.wgsdcv.org.au

Clubs:



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