Do you love dogs? Are you looking for some information about the Swiss White Shepherd?
You have landed on the right page! Here I will discuss all about the Swiss White Shepherd dog. So, keep reading.
Did you know that the Swiss White Shepherd is the calmer and shy version of the German Shepherd? And that they are also called the Berger Blanc Suisse?
Originated in Switzerland, the Swiss White Shepherds were popular as herding dogs. What sets them apart from the German Shepherds are their coats and temperament. Let me confess; I LOVE their coats. It is beautiful, straight, and has a pretty cream or white color. When it comes to its length, it is generally medium to long.
This dog breed is very loyal to its human family. Also, they are pretty much protective. And did I tell you how intelligent they are? This makes them perfect for training. If you are planning about getting one, know that they are really energetic, and because of that, they need a lot of exercise. This means you need to take them to regular walks apart from making them do other exercises.
The Swiss White Shepherds always remain alert, which I found to be a very good characteristic. But this can make them wary of strangers.
Do you have kids at home? If so, then this dog breed can be their good companion.
The Kennel Club has recognized the Swiss White Shepherd dog in the UK. This has made this dog breed gain a lot of popularity there.
If you want to adopt this dog breed, then I suggest you talk to a good breeder who has all the knowledge about the pups as well as their parents.
Want to know more about this dog?[wpdatatable id=36]
Before I give you more information about the Swiss White Shepherd, let me first let you about its history and how it came into existence.
So, there is a similarity between the story of the Swiss White Shepherd and the German Shepherd. Of course, until the recent past.
This dog breed belongs to the Mammalia class. There was a series of cross-breeding between the Horand Von Grafrath male and the successive generations of his offspring. The intention was to create a line of obedient, large, and energetic guardian and herding dogs. The lineage of Horand was documented extremely well. And let me tell you, he carried genes for the white-colored coat from one of his many grandfathers. This means all these German Shepherds of the early times often sported the color white to at least some degree. And at that time, it was seen as a standard feature.
But then, in Germany, in the year 1959, the parent club of German Shepherd declared that each all-white dog would be considered an albino. Along with the declaration, they banned the breeding and registration of all dogs with more than fifty percent white markings. This practice and belief were spread to a greater portion of the world before the introduction of DNA and different other techniques that could prove that this theory is wrong. Because of this, the number of Swiss White Shepherds went down in many countries. The United States and the United Kingdom are the two few countries to continue recognizing them.
Then came the year 1967, when Agatha Burch, a Swiss national, started a deliberate breeding program in order to select all-white dogs. As her first two examples, she used a female dog named White Lilac and a male dog named Lobo. The new offshoot gained recognition from the Federation Cynologique Internationale as a breed in its own right in the year 2011. And the name that was given to it is Swiss White Shepherd. Finally, in the year 2017, in October, the UK Kennel Club granted its pedigree status.
What Does the Swiss White Shepherd Look Like?
The Swiss White Shepherd falls under the medium to large breed dog category. They have toned muscles with harmonious lines. The elongated rectangular outline and the sloping hind limb stance make it look a lot like the German Shepherd.
And did I mention how powerful they are?
They have a long, wedge-shaped, wolf-like head. Their eyes are almond-shaped and are dark brown. The eyelids, lips, and nasal cartilage have all the black pigmentation needed. And it is in great contrast to the beautiful white color of the coat. This watchful and intelligent dog breed has triangular-shaped large ears that are directed forward and held direct.
This dog breed’s back and neck are long and strong, with prominent arching over the muscular loin and withers. The White Swiss has a deep but narrow chest and extends to the back. It gives it a great capacity. And did I say that their lean abdomen is well tucked?
They have long, bushy tails. Their rear end is sloped through the thighs and hips.
Coming to their coat, it is very dense throughout and slightly wavy. If it is a male Swiss White Shepherd, it can be about 58 to 66 cm tall and 30 to 40 kg in weight. And when it comes to a female Swiss White Shepherd, it can be anywhere between 53 and 61 cm in height and around 25 to 35 kg in weight.
How Trainable Are They?
The Swiss White Shepherd is a popular choice when it comes to working roles. This gives you some idea about how trainable they are, isn’t it?
However, if you want to be a successful trainer and train this breed the way you want, they must recognize your dominant position. You have to be assertive and full of confidence with a strong personality. That will make your dog obey you and learn what you teach them.
But, let me remind you, don’t resort to corrective or harsh approaches. That can be counterproductive with this extremely intelligent breed. They will dig their heels in and be uncooperative if they feel that you do not appreciate their efforts.
#1. Temperament and Character
Swiss White Shepherds resemble the well-known German Shepherds in a lot of ways. They are a very alert and attentive dog breed, and very little escapes the attention of the White Swiss. Besides, they are highly clever and are very active dogs. By nature, they are less shy than the German Shepherd. Hence, they make great watchdogs, and since they put up a good show to prevent intruders for ranch or farm owners, they prove to be the perfect companion.
This dog breed loves to be with your family. However, if you leave them alone in the home or lock them from outside for quite a long duration, they will not take this for good. In general, Swiss White Shepherds adore being the center of the family and can’t bear to be left alone. Therefore, they have been found to be whimpering and moaning horribly if left outside or alone for any period of time. White Swiss Shepherds are happy to welcome other animals into their family pack, although they can get aggressive with other canines they don’t know well.
Although, at times, they find it difficult to adjust to strangers, the majority of the time, they are quite laid back and do warm up to strangers after they have been properly introduced to the strangers by their owners, and they sense no impending danger.
Do you have dogs of some other breeds at home and still want to get a Swiss White Shepherd?
You can always do that without any worry. This dog breed accepts other dogs as well as pets as part of their family with open hearts. But, if they don’t know any dog that well, they can be aggressive in the first place.
If you are thinking of getting a Swiss White Shepherd, you need to know about the common health issues this breed can face. After all, prevention is better than cure. And to tell you the truth, if you want to reduce the number of occurrences of these health issues, then the best approach would be to pay attention to responsible breeding.
Needless to say, careful breeding is by far the best way to lower the prevalence of these issues. Hence, we recommend that before buying this dog, look out for necessary credentials, either from the breeder or from your veterinarian.
Some of the major health issues that a Swiss White Shepherd is susceptible to are ligament rupture, epilepsy, elbow dysplasia, allergy, hemophilia, pancreatic insufficiency, and megaesophagus.
This is the reason I’m telling you to ask whatever questions you have in mind about the dog’s health to the breeder. Also, tell them to show you veterinary certificates. If the breeder doesn’t cooperate with you or refuses to give you all the dog’s health details, look for another breeder.
What are the health issues this medium to large breed dog can face?
Keep reading to know!
This is one kind of neurological abnormality that causes intermittent seizures. The severity of this can vary a lot. But the pattern of the episodes is somewhat similar in all dogs.
2. Elbow Dysplasia
In the elbow joint, when there is an inherited deformity of growth, it is known as elbow dysplasia. Because of this, one or more of its bony components tends to misshapen. And when it happens, it causes lameness and pain, and the abnormal wear forces lead to early arthritis in these dogs. Of course, you can go for elbow replacement surgery, but that is an expensive and invasive affair.
3. Cruciate Ligament Rupture
This problem occurs mostly in older and adult dogs. So, what does it actually mean? Well, it is the degeneration of ligament that is mainly responsible for stabilizing the joint of the knee. And this causes hind limb lameness. It needs surgical repair.
Intolerance to many foods and skin allergies are common in Swiss White Shepherds, as they are sensitive to diet changes. You can look for itching, diarrhea, vomiting, and skin redness symptoms. If your dog suffers from any of these symptoms, you need to manage the symptoms by identifying and eliminating the responsible allergens whenever it is possible.
This occurs when there is a loss of muscle tone in your dog’s esophagus. The latter is the slim tube through which food passes to their stomach. This leads it to become dilated and flaccid. This condition can often be seen in pups when they wean as congenital deformities. However, it can also happen to senior dogs for several reasons, for example, an autoimmune disease. The treatment for this disease can be challenging, especially if the pup is young.
6. Hip Dysplasia
If there is a growth deformity in both or one of the hip joints, it is known as hip dysplasia. Most often, it is caused because of genetic influences. When your pup is around six months of age, the signs of lameness start to become prominent. And in case the condition is severe, your dog may need hip replacement surgery.
This dog breed can have many disorders of the clotting cascade. Generally, they are hereditary. And they can make the affected pups predisposed to prolonged or heavy bleeding situations after getting injured.
8. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
The pancreas gland sits just alongside your dog’s stomach and small intestine. When the levels of digestive enzyme secretion from this gland decrease, it reduces the ability of the dog to digest essential nutrients. This manifests as emaciation despite a ravenous appetite, foul-smelling feces, and poor coat quality. You can treat his health issue easily with vitamins and supplemental enzymes. But you need to care for it for a long time, and in most cases, it is lifelong.
The Swiss White Shepherds are heavy shredders. And so, you need to brush their thick coat regularly. But if you don’t do this, it will form clumps quickly. If there is any kind of dirt, it shows up quickly on them – all thanks to their super white coat color. Because of this, you need to give these dogs regular baths. Make sure that you use a gentle shampoo specially formulated for dogs. It should not dehydrate or damage their hair and skin.
#4. Activity and Exercise Levels
As I already told you, this dog breed is a working breed, and so, you need to keep them active and busy. For example, you can give them the job to cart groceries from your local supermarket. This will keep them fit and happy. You need to make them exercise moderately to intensely every day for at least one or two hours, without fail.
White Swiss Shepherds are quite an agile and athletic dog breed, and they need regular exercise and regular activities to enable them to live a long, healthy, and happy life. These dogs need to be trained from a young age which improves their social skills.
Otherwise, they tend to become bored and are often wary around strangers, but if properly trained, they can be excellent companions. So, it is recommended that a white swiss shepherd requires two to three walks daily as they need a good amount of exercise to stay healthy.
How Long Does This Dog Breed Live?
If a Swiss White Shepherd is healthy, it can live for about eight to twelve years. There are two kinds of threats for this domestic dog breed, one is diseases, and the other is injuries.
So, always make it a point to look out for injuries when they are exercising or playing.
How Do the Swiss White Shepherds Reproduce?
Generally, expert breeders breed this dog at their homes. Therefore, the breeders who do this have great knowledge about this dog breed.
Are you planning to breed this dog at home?
Then I would tell you to do so under the proper supervision of an expert breeder or vet. Before you choose your female and male dogs for breeding, there are two things you need to pay attention to. First, you need to check for diseases. Make sure they are free from any disease; otherwise, it can be carried forward to the next generation. Secondly and lastly, check if the dogs have any issues with negative temperament. This dog breed is generally loyal, protective, lively, intelligent, shy, and extremely energetic. So, if any breeding pair has any issues with negative temperament, then the chances are that their next generation will inherit them too.
Now, if the breeding pair neither has any disease nor negative temperament, then there are some more conditions that you need to meet. Both the breeding dogs should be at least two years old. Coming to the female breeding dog, they need to have had at least four heat cycles before you take them for breeding. Once they mate, the gestation period is approximately sixty-one to sixty-three days long. After that period, they give birth to six to eight puppies.
How Many Dogs of This Breed are There in the World?
The exact number of these dogs is unknown. These are domestic dogs, and expert breeders mostly breed them at the breeder’s house or the owner’s house. They are bred according to their demands in society. This makes it difficult to calculate the population of this dog breed.
What is the Conservation Status of These Dogs?
Under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’sNature’s Red List, the status of conservation of this dog breed is not evaluated. However, they have gained a lot of fame in a number of countries. Therefore, if I talk about the present time, I can safely say that this dog breed is not endangered, and their population is not facing any threat.
How Fast Can They Run?
The Swiss White Shepherds fall under the pedigree dog breeds.
It is the White Shepherds that they came from. And the White Shepherds descended from the German Shepherds.
Both these dog breeds – White Shepherd and German Shepherd – can run quite far and fast. So, the Swiss White Shepherds can run pretty far and fast too. The exact speed is unknown. A Black German Shepherd is able to run at 30 mph. So, you can get an idea from this.
What Does This Dog Breed Eat?
The diet of these dogs depends on mainly three factors – size, energy level, and age. As a result, their feeding habits keep changing throughout their lives – when they are puppies and become adults and seniors.
When they are puppies, you need to give them meals several times a day in small amounts. But when they enter adulthood or senior years, you should feed them twice a day. There should be a gap of twelve hours between two meals.
White Swiss Shepherd dogs come in medium to large sizes and have high energy levels. This means you need to make them exercise and play a lot. So, when you give them food, it should be well-balanced with the right amounts of carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, and good fats.
Can They Be Good As Pets?
The Swiss White Shepherds can make excellent pets. And they are great around kids too. Because of their large size, sometimes, they can be a minor issue around babies or kids who are younger. But they are excellent around kids who are toddlers or a bit older. So what I’m trying to say is that they are good family dogs.
They are protective and loyal towards you and your human family and not aggressive. However, they are not so friendly when they meet strangers, so you need to introduce them to lots of animals and dogs from a very young age.
Are you willing to invest a lot of time to exercise and play with them on a regular basis?
If your answer is “yes,” then this dog can prove to be an excellent pet for you!
What is The Cost of This Dog Breed?
Do you want to adopt a Swiss White Shepherd?
Then you may look in the dog shelters at your locality first. Who knows, there might be dogs that can actually benefit from your help there. But if you can’t find one, you can go to the home of a good dog breeder who breeds these dogs.
Once you find what you were looking for, ask the breeder about the history of that puppy’s parents first. Knowing their history is extremely important if you want to be a parent to a healthy dog. A puppy of this breed is normally priced around USD 3000. But, of course, the price can be a bit higher too.
Swiss White Shepheard Dog: FAQs
Yes, despite being temperamental, Swiss shepherds are intelligent dog breeds with total loyalty to their owners. Besides, despite their bulky appearance, they are quite friendly towards children and are very protective towards them. Moreover, they can be trained accordingly and can be excellent guard dogs. So, if you own a farm or a ranch, you will definitely like to own a Swiss shepherd.
The cost of a Swiss shepherd puppy depends on a number of factors like gender and genetics. On average, a Swiss shepherd puppy costs around 1,300 dollars but can also cost more.
At the surface level, both Swiss Shepherd and White Shepherd look quite similar. Both of these dog breeds have their unique pointy ears, and typical shepherd faces. But the upright stance of a Swiss Shepherd is more prominent than that of a White Shepherd.
Besides, the hip angulation of a Swiss Shepherd is also less than that of a typical White Shepherd. Lastly, the difference lies in the temperament of these two dog breeds. Swiss Shepherds are comparatively calmer than White Shepherds.
To begin with, Swiss Shepherds are amazing guard dogs. They are quite friendly and protective towards children, and hence if the owner has a family consisting of young children, they are a perfect choice.
They are sensitive towards their surroundings and reflect upon the same. So, it is important that they are treated kindly. Please remember that harsh scolding will have a negative impact on the demeanor of your Swiss Shepherd.
Additionally, they are a very intelligent breed and are always eager to learn. So, it is important that you train them accordingly. Also, they are quite loyal to their owners, but the owners need to display leadership qualities over them.
Lastly, they are not too friendly towards other dogs and hence should be trained to increase their social skills.
The aggressiveness of a white shepherd is a common misconception that many people end up falling for. But the truth is contrary to this. White shepherds are quite friendly and loyal, and at times, they can be quite skittish or even timid.
Although, like many dog breeds, white shepherds also require timely training and early socialization to be able to build confidence toward unknown people.
Irrespective of breeds, all dogs need regular exercise to live a healthy and fulfilling life. The amount of exercise that a dog needs depends on physical factors like age. White shepherds are no exception, and it is recommended that if you own one, you need to get your doggo at least an hour of exercise each day.
Some argue that the ideal amount of exercise should be between 60 to 90 minutes. In an ideal situation, the exercise should comprise brisk walking, long-distance running, and off-leash playing in a dog park or other similar places.
Beauty, along with brains, is not everything you get with the Swiss White Shepherd dog. However, their gentle and protective nature makes them perfect as family dogs. But as they can suffer from separation anxiety, make sure that you give them early socialization training. This will improve their skittish behavior.
Are you looking for a dog breed that will impress your guests and make you stand out in the crowd?
Swiss White Shepherd is the name! As this breed is comparatively rare and new in the US, know that they are going to make heads turn when you take them on walks!
So, what is your take on the Swiss White Shepherds? Let me know in the comments![wpdatatable id=4]
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.