The White Shepherd, also called White Swiss Shepherd dog or Berger Blanc Suisse, is a young breed of dog descended from the German Shepherd. Except for the white color, it combines the same excellent characteristics as the German Shepherd.
He is intelligent, sporty and family-friendly. As befits a real German Shepherd, he is a real workhorse that loves nature and the run.
Origin of the White Swiss Shepherd Dog
The White Shepherd has always been very popular with shepherds. Due to its white color, it could already be easily recognized from afar. The distinction between wolves was also easier. At the beginning of the 20th century, the German Shepherd was specifically bred for the first time. In the first years of breeding, there were very different specimens with different forms on the outside.
In the first litters, there were not only dogs with black-brown fur, as they are known today from the German Shepherd, but also White Shepherd Dogs. There were also differences in the length of the coat. So there were both stick-haired and long-haired dogs.
However, the respective appearance was not important to the breeders at the time – the focus was on the dog’s performance for work. Thus, it only happened after some time that the German Shepherd was also bred specifically according to appearance. For example, it was assumed that the white specimen could contain any genetic defects in the genetic material, which would lead to hereditary diseases.
This assumption was not unfounded. Because many animals with completely white fur have these gene mutations. This then ensured that the “white” was removed from the standard of the German Shepherd in 1933. Fortunately, however, this was still bred in other countries such as the USA and Canada.
However, in 1968, the White Shepherd was also excluded from breeding in the two countries. In Switzerland, an opposite path developed in the 1960s. There, a new and healthy pedigree of white shepherd dogs was bred by means of imports from the USA and Canada.
Appearance of the White Swiss Shepherd Dog
The appearance, especially the body shape, is of course very similar to the German Shepherd due to its origin. The Berger Blanc Suisse is a medium to large dog with white fur. There are both variants with stick-haired and long-haired fur. The physique is strong.
He is not an albino, so he has brown or dark brown eyes. The white fur comes from the pedigree of the shepherd dog from herd protection dogs, which have had a white fur for over many centuries.
The weight of the White Swiss Shepherd can vary slightly depending on the size. A male weighs between 30-40 kg and a bitch weighs between 25-35 kg.
According to the standard, the crossing of long-haired or stick-haired animals is allowed, if not desired. This is intended to ensure the most lively genetic pool possible. What is not desired in breeding, however, is the formation of a strongly sloping back line, which falls at the expense of the dog’s health.
This trend was made in the German Shepherd due to an alleged beauty feature. As a result, the susceptibility to disease in the hind legs area increased and the mileage of many animals decreased. The standard thus tries to avoid this wrong development with the White Shepherd.
The character of the White Shepherd represents the perfect companion and friend for humans. Just like with the German Shepherd, he can score points with his enormous performance and strong willingness to work. Coupled with the extraordinary intelligence of the dog, it is perfect for challenging activities or joint sports.
In order to survive as a guard/protective dog, rescue dog or guide dog, he also has the best qualities that such a dog can only bring with him.
The joy of learning and the will to please man can hardly be slowed down by a White Shepherd. He is neutral or friendly towards other dogs and people. In addition, he is difficult to irritate and is usually calm in his behavior and towards others.
Posture and nutrition
A white shepherd does not place high demands on his husbandry. Due to its size and urge to work, you should of course have a correspondingly large home. The bond with his owner and the family is very important to him. So you should bring enough time to actively spend with the dog.
Berger Blanc Suisse is a dog that loves movement and always challenges its owner to experience new things. He should always be given new tasks in order to further promote his intelligence.
In order to meet the needs for exercise and sport of the dog, it is of course advantageous to live in rural areas or at least near large parks that are accessible to dogs. Regular employment and sufficient exercise are therefore the main factors that an owner of a White Swiss Shepherd should meet.
He is ideal as a family dog. He loves his fellow human beings and the security in the family. In the right education, he always behaves exemplary towards other people as well as in the public environment.
As far as nutrition is concerned, the White Shepherd does not place any special demands. However, with regular exercise and activity, he will definitely have a good calorie requirement. The exact nutrition strategy can vary depending on the size and weight of the dog. In case of doubt, the right breeder or veterinarian gives helpful tips and recommendations.
The White Shepherd is calm and very eager to learn in its nature. These characteristics make him a very well-educating dog. In addition, he is the perfect dog for further training. His urge for activity and the search for new challenges make him a perfect partner of man. The White Shepherd is not used successfully as a rescue or guide dog for nothing.
The will to obey his master and receive new instructions is particularly pronounced in this breed. The close bond with the owner and loving education are immensely important for the White Shepherd. For proper guidance on education, attending a dog school is of course recommended.
Shepherd dogs are generally rather undemanding when it comes to care. Although Berger Blanc Suisse could apparently be very susceptible to dirt due to its white coat, the care is rather uncomplicated. Regular brushing of the dog, especially during the time of his coat change, makes sense.
Otherwise, depending on the amount of dirt and the development of odor, occasional washing or cleaning with a damp cloth is advisable.
Health and typical diseases of the White Swiss Shepherd Dog
The White Swiss Shepherd is a robust and fit dog in itself, but various breed-typical diseases can also occur in it. These include various eye diseases, malignant hyperthermia, hip dysplasia and other diseases typical of German Shepherd dogs.
Serious breeders try to rule out possible hereditary diseases as much as possible even before breeding by having the respective parents checked closely. However, not every disease can be ruled out even then.
In general, the White Shepherd is still considered a healthy and resistant breed of dog.
The life expectancy of a seriously bred Berger Blanc Suisse can range up to 12 years. With enough love and movement through the holder, he will have a fulfilled life into old age.