Last Updated on September 20, 2023
Quick Summary: The United Kennel Club in America was the first to recognize White Shepherds as a breed in their own right in 1999. White Shepherds have gained popularity since then. The white gene is a recessive gene, meaning that a white pup would have to inherit the white gene from both parents. The white German Shepherd has a very subtle difference in temperament compared to the standard German Shepherd breed. They are headstrong pups, so if you plan to crate train or train with a harness, make sure you have the appropriately sized harness and crate for a German Shepherd to make training easier on you and your dog in the long term. It is often said that all white dogs are more prone to health problems, but this is not true for the White German Shepherd. He is considered a generally healthy dog, and it would appear that there are no major health concerns other than Elbow and Hip Dysplasia. Their lifespan can be anywhere from 7 to 10 years.
The White German Shepherd is an exceptional-looking dog. This rare variation of the standard breed has a complicated history. They are highly sought-after despite this. After the ongoing denigration, fanciers have stepped in to defend the white German Shepherd.
In the hopes of protecting their genes and establishing their own breed status, they purposely bred them. Breeders gave the name White Shepherds to the white German Shepherds after three generations of breeding them. They are one and the same dog. These puppies are simply purer lineage White German Shepherds.
Some kennel clubs recognize him as a breed. Others do not recognize him as a breed and just state that he is a white German Shepherd. The Black German Shepherd Dog will be treated the same way. The White German Shepherd will be called the White German Shepherd throughout this article, except where specifics are needed. They are the same dog.
Their white coats are a rare color, and they are considered collector’s dogs. He is still highly sought-after despite being considered a fault of some of the top kennel clubs worldwide. White German Shepherds are great family pets, regardless of their name or color. This breed is sweet, gentle, and protective. You’ll get a lot of attention at the dog park because of their striking appearance. Let’s explore their past, controversy, and more.
- 1 Breed History and Background
- 2 The Reputation of the White GSD
- 3 White Genetics Explained
- 4 Registration for the White German Shepherd
- 5 Appearance and Size
- 6 Temperament and Personality Traits
- 7 Health and Lifespan
- 8 Reputable Breeders and Puppy Prices
Frequently Asked Questions
- 9.1 How rare is the White German Shepherd?
- 9.2 Are White German Shepherds good family dogs?
- 9.3 Are White German Shepherds more aggressive?
- 9.4 Are White German Shepherds recognized by the AKC?
- 9.5 Do White German Shepherds have blue eyes or pink noses?
- 9.6 What causes a White German Shepherd’s coat?
- 9.7 Why are White German Shepherds disqualified?
- 10 Conclusion
Breed History and Background
The journey of the German Shepherd began in northern Germany as a herding animal. Each area had their own herding dog, and in the 19th Century, the best dogs were bred to create the German Shepherd that we know and love today. The first recorded German Shepherd, born in 1895, was called Horand von Grafrath.
His grandfather Greif was a white Thuringian shepherd. The white gene is derived from Greif. White German Shepherds have been born in litter since then. They can be bred intentionally or sporadically through gene carriers. Scientists and dog lovers have been trying to learn more about the genetics of dogs.
The Reputation of the White GSD
Since 1933, most notably during the World Wars, the Nazi state tarred the white German Shepherd’s reputation. They mistook him for an albino puppy. After being misinterpreted, he was later identified as having faulty genes. He was falsely claimed to be the cause of all diseases. They were therefore exterminated from the gene pool. This claim is not supported by science, but white German Shepherds cannot compete in many conformation shows. Many breeders still disapprove of this breed.
Since the German Shepherd’s establishment in 1895, white fanciers have purposefully bred and refined the breed to protect them from being eliminated entirely. Although white German Shepherds were initially a natural color variation, some people consider them to be a distinct breed. This is still a topic of much debate in the community. Some people favor White Shepherds, and others simply refer to them as the same. There are also classic breeders who prefer to refer to them as White German Shepherds.
The United Kennel Club (UKC) in America was the first to recognize White Shepherds as a breed in their own right in 1999. White Shepherds have gained popularity since then. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has stated that the German Shepherd, currently the 2nd most popular dog in America, is the only label that will cover the white-colored pup. It is impossible to determine this pup’s popularity because the AKC doesn’t recognize them as a distinct breed.
White Genetics Explained
The white gene is recessive, meaning that a white pup would have to inherit the white gene from both of his parents. He will always be white if he inherits this recessive genetic from both his parents. He will most likely be one of the recognized colors if he inherits this recessive genetic from only one parent.
The recessive gene can be compared to an on/off switch. If both parents are white, it will act like an off-switch to all color options, and the entire litter will be white. If two non-white dogs produce litters, it is possible to have small numbers of white pups. However, this can only happen if both parents carry the gene.
A common misconception is that white German Shepherds are albino. A genetic defect can make a dog albino. This causes colorless hair, pale features such as pale skin, and pink eyes. Albino Shepherds are a breed that exists, just like every other dog breed. This breed is white and often has dark eyes and black characteristics.
His coloring does not indicate any health issues Many breeds can have pigmentation-related health issues such as deafness. This can happen in breeds like the English Bull Terrier or Dogo Argentino. The white German Shepherd is a color and has no association with any other breed characteristics or health issues. It is similar to the long-coated German Shepherd.
Registration for the White German Shepherd
Many dog owners around the world like to register their pets with kennel clubs for a variety of reasons. You could gain official certificates and be eligible to participate in local competitions. You can also earn recognition titles like therapy dogs or search and rescue dog status. There are 2 ways to register your white German Shepherd.
First, you can register him with the AKC as a German Shepherd. If your German Shepherd is purebred, you will register him as such. The AKC does not consider the color to be a defect. You will be disqualified from competing at conformation shows. He can still compete in obedience and herding events. German Shepherd fans prefer the traditional colors to the breed. White German Shepherds are believed to be discriminated against when performing tasks.
You can also register him with the UKC as White Shepherd. White Shepherds are recognized by the UKC as a distinct breed. They allow him to compete unhindered in conformation shows. They are eligible to compete in any other event that is related to this class. To be considered third-generation, however, you will need to be able to prove your eligibility to register as such.
It’s a personal opinion about which kennel club to register your puppy. The AKC is often considered the best kennel club. However, regarding the white German Shepherd, dependent on your reasoning for joining a kennel club, there are clearly limitations to joining the AKC. If conformation is important to you, then you should register your dog with the UKC. If you are looking for the AKC’s kudos, then you might consider a German Shepherd that is darker in color.
Appearance and Size
White German Shepherd males will weigh between 65 and 90 pounds. German Shepherds with white coats will measure 24 inches to 26 inches in height from paw to shoulder. Females will weigh between 50 and 70 pounds and measure 22 to 24 inches in height. White German Shepherds can sit comfortably in the middle, but they can’t deviate from his breed standards by more than 2 inches.
White German Shepherds have long, erect ears and a long tail. Often their eyes are dark brown or black. They are strong and powerful, and their height is greater than their length. White Shepherds can be registered in any way you wish. They have the same appearance characteristics as German Shepherds. The only difference between the two depends on whom you register him.
White German Shepherds have double-coated fur. The undercoat is dense and smooth, while the outer coat is thick and straight. The double coat protects him from the elements and keeps him warm. While pure white is preferred, any color from cream to light biscuit will be accepted. His skin should be gray, although pink is acceptable, not because of albinism. His nose, lips, and eye rims, as well as his pads, should be black.
Because of his fluffy white coat, he is often mistaken for the rarer Berger Blanc Suisse. The Berger actually looks like a white Belgian Malinois, which also looks like a German Shepherd in some ways. This guy is a relatively new breed, and again, he is not recognized by the AKC, but he is by the Federation Cynologique Internationale, which is a Europe-based kennel club. Both dogs are thought to have the same ancestors and almost look identical. Parallels have also been drawn with the white Siberian Husky and the German Shepherd Husky mix, the Gerberian Shepsky.
Temperament and Personality Traits
This an important point to make before we get into discussing their temperament. The owner can train Shepherds to do anything they want. German Shepherds are great dogs and can be trained to do everything from companionship to police work. To realize their full potential, it is essential to train them properly.
It is worth noting that the overview below is based on our research, but it is important to remember that temperaments can change from one dog to another. Although we can make generalizations, there will always be variations in each breed and each color variant.
White German Shepherds are confident and courageous dogs who will defend their families until the end. This trait is why German Shepherds are often used as service dogs. However, it is rare for white German Shepherds to be used in this capacity. His almost angelic, white fluff is too adorable. He doesn’t seem intimidating despite his size.
For this reason, the white German Shepherd has a very subtle difference in temperament compared to the standard German Shepherd breed. Because he’s been refined to be used more as a companionship dog than a guard dog, some of those stronger tendencies have been lost along the way.
However, he could be a useful guard dog. He’d make a better natural guard dog than a traditional colored puppy. The white German Shepherd is smarter and more social than the traditional colored pup. They are also thought to be slightly less intense.
He will make a wonderful family dog if he is properly socialized as a puppy. The white German Shepherd is known to be very affectionate with their immediate family. He is also friendly with others who are invited into his pack by his master. He loves cuddling and playing with all pack members who give him their attention. Not only this, but he is gentle with small children and other household pets and is known to be adaptable if another animal is brought into the pack.
The German Shepherd Dog is a headstrong pup, so if you plan to crate train or train with a harness, make sure you have the appropriately sized harness for a German Shepherd, and the right sized dog crate to make training easier on you and your dog in the long term.
Health and Lifespan
It is often misunderstood that all white dogs are more prone to health problems. This is not true for the white German Shepherd. He is considered to be a generally healthy dog, and his lifespan is, on average, 7 – 10 years.
German Shepherds are often affected by Elbow or Hip Dysplasia. This is an abnormality in the formation of the hip and elbow that can cause severe pain and even crippling arthritis. White-coated Shepherds are not any different. This is a common disease that can develop in older dogs. The White Shepherd Genetics Project has thoroughly studied the specific lineage, and it would appear that there are no major health concerns other than Elbow and Hip Dysplasia.
Reputable Breeders and Puppy Prices
The cost of a German Shepherd puppy is, on average, between $1,000 and $1,500. White German Shepherd puppies are more expensive than the other breeds. These uniquely colored pups cost upwards of $1000. Although this price is reasonable for purebred dogs, it is because this particular bloodline is still relatively new.
Despite all the controversy, you have two options: a traditional German Shepherd Breeder that may be solely focused on the color white or a German Shepherd-specific Lineage enthusiast.
Buying your pup from a reputable breeder is the best way to ensure his health. Regardless of their allegiance to the classic White German Shepherd or specific lineage view of the White Shepherd, a good breeder will always introduce and show you to the parents, as well as provide you with health certificates.
Suppose the specific shepherd lineage has piqued your interest. In that case, the American White Shepherd Association lists reputable breeders by state and should be your first port of call when looking for a pup of your own.
Frequently Asked Questions
How rare is the White German Shepherd?
White German Shepherds are very rare. These dogs are rare, but you can still find them at a breeder who specializes in the color. If you get your White GSD puppy from a breeder who has White-coated parents, it is more likely that the puppy will have a white coat.
Are White German Shepherds good family dogs?
They make great family dogs if they are socialized and raised properly at an early age. It is important to socialize your dog with children and other pets as soon as possible. They will become great pets once they are integrated into the family and will be part of the “family pack .”
Are White German Shepherds more aggressive?
White German Shepherds do not have a higher level of aggression than other GSD colors. The aggression of a German Shepherd depends on their upbringing and whether or not they have been raised with aggressive parents. We recommend that you research breeders before purchasing a puppy.
Are White German Shepherds recognized by the AKC?
The AKC does not recognize White German Shepherds. They were barred from competing in 1968, but they can still compete in performance events. This color is not recognized by most GSD breeders as a true German Shepherd breed.
Do White German Shepherds have blue eyes or pink noses?
If your dog has albinism, it may have blue eyes and pink nostrils. This color combination is also possible if your dog has a husky Shepherd mix. The Siberian Husky’s blue eyes will be passed on to the husky shepherd mix. The White German Shepherd is not able to have pink eyes or blue eyes outside of these situations.
What causes a White German Shepherd’s coat?
The White German Shepherd’s coat is a result of genetics. Although most GSD breeders won’t recognize the White GSD as a specific variant of the color, the White GSD is inherited from their parents. This color is more common now that both parents are white.
Why are White German Shepherds disqualified?
They are disqualified because, in 1959, white-coated pups were not included in the German Shepherd Dog Club of America color standards. This led to the disqualification of white-coated pups in major AKC events.
While there have been some questions about this amazing pup’s history and genetic makeup, it is clear that they make wonderful family companions if properly trained. Your white GSD will cost you a bit more. People will pay more for a puppy they like, especially if it is rarer.
No matter your opinion on the white German Shepherd controversy, one thing is certain: he is a majestic-looking creature. He is a doggy’s dream, with his appearance as a snowy-looking wolf hybrid and one of the most beloved canine personalities in the world.