Whenever people encounter or perhaps stumble upon the White German Shepherd, one popular question almost always follows: is this dog an albino? While there are many albino dogs, the White German Shepherd is simply not one of them. The only distinct difference between the White German Shepherd and a regular German Shepherd, is of course their color. With their soft and plush outer coat, and their lovable personality, these dogs tend to be a favorite among many, but is he actually ideal for your lifestyle? Let’s take an in depth look into the major details that make the White German Shepherd the dog we all want to take home.
History and Background
The earliest records of White German Shepherds date back to 19th century Europe, where they were recognized but not very popular. In the early 20th century however, these dogs were specifically bred to increase the population of German Shepherds that were already present, but they were later excluded as they were thought to have been inferior to their colored counterparts. It wasn’t until 1959 that White German Shepherds were embraced by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, and though they were barred from entering any competitions, they were still being bred regularly.
The late 20th century saw the advent of many other dog associations being formed specifically for white dogs, and the White German Shepherd became priority for the White Shepherd Club of Canada. These clubs and associations have worked tirelessly for the White German Shepherd to be recognized as a dog in his own breed but unfortunately they remained unsuccessful for a very long time. Today, the White German Shepherd is recognized by the United Kennel Club both as a breed in its own right, and also as a member of the German Shepherd Breed. Despite being historically restricted from participating in competitions and events, White German Shepherds are just as intelligent as regular Shepherds, and excel in many competitions and events today.
White German Shepherd Characteristics and Personality
One distinct personality trait of the White German Shepherd is that they are very self confident dogs. They are very graceful with their movements, and they stand tall and ready to lead in almost every circumstance. They are also protective of their owner, and tend to be friendly with familiar faces, but a bit more alert and defensive with strangers. They normally do not attack or growl at strangers, but tend to observe the interactions of the person with their owner, to help determine whether that person is to be trusted.
All White German Shepherds are highly intelligent and brilliant which makes them very easy to train in comparison to a lot of other breed of dogs. Because of tis, they need activities that keep them both mentally stimulated and physically challenged to participate in, and their eager to please mentality makes them do their best at whatever task they are given. They do have a tendency to become a bit whiny, and sometimes maybe even howling occurs, but all this can be reversed by training and socialising your dog, and helping them to understand what is accepted behaviour, and what is downright loud and annoying. Overall, White German Shepherds are intelligent, affectionate and playful pups that will add joy and a lot of character to your home.
Appearance and Physical Attributes
The white German Shepherd has a pure white, weather resistant, thick, medium length, double coat. There are also some have that have an off white, cream or light biscuit tan, but no other variations are accepted. They normally have brown or golden eyes, along with dark noses, ideally being black. While the males are distinctly and significantly quite larger than the females, both still tend to be medium to large in size, and walk with a powerful and muscular stride.
On average, male White Shepherds stand taller and are normally more sturdy than female Shepherds, standing an average 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder, and weighing an average 75 to 85 pounds. Females on the other hand, generally stand 22 – 24 inches tall and weigh on average, 60 to 70 pounds. Males tend to walk a bit more manly and over confident, and have a rougher coat than the females who tend to walk gracefully, and softer, more fine coat.
Grooming and Maintenance
A common attribute of all german Shepherds is that they shed, a lot. You’ll get used to seeing white fur all around, and it tends to get worse when the winter season begins. To control this problem, try to brush your dog’s fur every day to get rid of excess fur, dirt and other pollutants. Also ensure not to over bathe them, and when you do take them to get washed up, ensure you use a dog shampoo to prevent any irritation or inflammation. Overbathing will only cause them to lose important natural oils that there body produces, resulting in them shedding even more hair than before. Apart from the shedding, grooming is a breeze. Simply ensure that the nails are trimmed regularly, and that the ears are cleaned to prevent ear infections from developing.
Health and Lifespan
German Shepherds normally live up to 11 years, and it is the same for White Shepherds. They are generally healthy, but need to be checked for health issues or conditions that can develop overtime. A bi annual trip to the veterinarian will be sure to highlight any developing diseases or health issues, buty German Shepherds generally have quite a list of health conditions that their breed specifically are prone to developing. These are:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Allergic Reactions (can be airborne, from certain foods and even pests like fleas)
- Digestive Issues
- Dwarfism (describes a condition where the dog doesn’t grow to its full potential, but rather its height is stunted by short legs, caused by abnormal growth and development of the bones and cartilage)
- Eye Issues
While the White German Shepherd is sure to turn many heads when you step out with him, he may be the best pet you’ll ever have. He’s obedient, clever and playful, so think twice before letting this pup pass you by.