White German Shepherd – All You Need to Know

white german shepard

White German Shepherds are not as common as other German Shepherds but they are not exactly rare either.

They make good family pets, they herd and protect, and they are extremely loyal and intelligent, just like standard German Shepherd breed.

With their white coat collar, they are highly distinctive and the second most registered breed according to the American kennel club.

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In this article, we will discuss some facts about White German Shepherds.

white german shepherd

History of the White German Shepherd

White German Shepherds are originally from European farms where they were valued for their obedience and loyalty as herding dogs. The white-coated dogs blended in with the sheep, making it easier for farmers to spot wolfs and coyotes.

White German Shepherds are direct descendants of Max Von Stephanitz’s German Shepherd. White fur has been considered a fault since the 1930s and is still not recognized or accepted as a type of German Shepherd.

white german shephards

Since White German Shepherds pups only occur if both parents carry a recessive white gene, this magnificent breed is extremely rare. What is even rarer is a White German Shepherd with a long coat.

Characteristics of the White German Shepherd

In this section, we are going to take a look at what makes the White German Shepherd a separate breed, what its temperament is like, and how long it should be expected to live.

Appearance

As recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC), the White German Shepherd typically has a white colored coat, but sometimes it may also be of the color light cream, nude pink, or black. The most striking features on their body are brown or gold eyes and dark-colored noses.

german shepherd white

The male White German Shepherd is typically larger and heavier than the female one. According to the breed standard of the United Kennel Club, it stands at a height of 24-26 inches against that of 22-24 inches in females. The weight of males is 75-85 pounds whereas that of females is 60-70 pounds.

Coat

What sets the White German Shepherd apart from any other German Shepherd is that it has a long coat. As compared to the typical German Shepherd dog’s coat, the White German Shepherd has a less dense coat. This means that it does not shed as much fur, even during the shedding season of spring and fall.

If you are looking to get a German Shepherd but are not prepared to handle intense shedding, then the White German Shepherd will be the perfect choice for you.

white german sheperds

Color

As the name suggests, White German Shepherds have a coat that is white in color. This is what makes them distinctive among the German Shepherd dog breed. Because of this feature, they appear to be similar to their wolf ancestors.

pure white german shepherds

Contrary to what is more commonly known, the white color comes from the recessive gene and only impacts the fur or coat color. It has no impact on the pigmentation of their skin or eyes.

Temperament

White Shepherds have a calm disposition but will react accordingly to protect their pack. They may only become aggressive when provoked and mistreated.

They watch over the family and are not afraid to protect small children if necessary. White German Shepherds are playful, fun-loving, and friendly.

They make great pets if they live the right lifestyle with the right family dynamics. They need active families who love the outdoors. They need a family with time dedicated to training.

They also make great family companions for children. They are loving dogs who will lovingly watch over and play with children of all ages.

Since White German Shepherds are large breed dogs, they need space to move and be active. A small apartment may not be ideal. Houses with backyards are preferable. But as long as you take this breed on daily walks, he will have enough exercise to be content.

white german shepherds

Most German Shepherds are outgoing, have strong personalities, and can be dominating. A White German Shepherd, however, is not typical of the same nature.

They are often aloof and observant when strangers are around. White German Shepherds can be almost skittish or shy around strangers. With proper socialization, they can become self-assured and confident.

This breed of German Shepherd is known for being a barking breed. If you are not ready to hear some barking, you may not want to invest in a White German Shepherd.

They love to share their voice and for someone who likes quieter dogs or lives close to neighbors that it may irritate, a White German Shepherd may cause some mischief. They can be trained, somewhat, to tone down their barking, but they are dogs after all.

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Lifespan

A White German Shepherd lives for anywhere between ten and fourteen years. In extreme cases, a White Shepherd could pass away as young as seven years or as old as sixteen years.

With an excellent exercise routine, persistent training, proper diet, and regular checkups, a White German Shepherd is likely to live longer.

Things to Know When Owning a White German Shepherd

Now that you are considering owning a White German Shepherd, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when it comes to their training, exercise, grooming, eating habits, and health conditions.

white german shepard

Food & Diet Requirements

Given the size of the White German Shepherd dog, its diet should also be plentiful. Their intake should be rich in all the essential carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

It is recommended that you feed them 1500 calories every day which can be split into three meals. For younger puppies, it is essential to provide three meals a day but this can be cut down to two meals for older dogs.

pure white german shepard

However, you should look at the back of the dog food packet for exact details based on your dog’s weight. High-quality kibble or dog food for German Shepherd is the preferred option for feeding your White German Shepherd dog.

Exercise

White German Shepherds are known to be very active and energetic dogs who need plenty of exercise time. Physical activity keeps them happy as it provides them with the mental stimulation that they need.

Some of the things that they love doing during playtime include playing fetch, running, jumping in the air, or engaging in a game of tug-of-war or frisbee.

all white german shepherd

If you are someone with a busy schedule and are not ready to spend a lot of time with your pet, then the White German Shepherd may not be the ideal dog for you.

This is because if they are not provided with the right amount of exercise, their energy is spent elsewhere which can be destructive at times. This can also happen if they do not have any human interaction for long periods of time.

Training

White German Shepherds are exceptionally intelligent. German Shepherd dogs are rated as the third most intelligent breed of dogs behind Border Collies and Poodles.

They are very easy to train if you are consistent with your commands and train regularly each day. Using consistency and practice in your training works for this dog very well.

It is recommended that you train your White German Shepherds at a young age so that they learn quickly.

Rewarding positive behaviors is always good advice. This can include yummy treats or even verbal praises. This provides the White German Shepherd puppies with the external validation they need and encourages them to perform well.

white shepherd

On the other hand, White German Shepherds can be stubborn. This means that it is never a good idea to exercise negative reinforcement by scolding or punishing them.

A good recommendation is to let them run around and exercise their limbs for a good amount of time before moving to a training session.

They are also known to be sound detectives so you can add excitement to your training by hiding treats and urging them to sniff them out. This makes the session all fun and games, which they will love.

Grooming

Owning a White German Shepherd means getting used to having your house littered with white hair in several places: your furniture, your clothes, your floor, and your carpets or rugs.

This is because although they shed less than an average German Shepherd, their thick coat is still known for shedding all year round. This condition worsens when the weather warms up and it is time for them to release their winter coat.

white german shepards

So, it is probably a good idea to invest in a good vacuum cleaner if you are planning to own a White German Shepherd. Brushing two to three times per week can reduce the shedding of their dense fur.

You might also want to give them fewer baths – only when they get dirty – so that the natural oils of their skin are not removed. In case that happens, they will shed more.

Another important aspect of their grooming is regular brushing so that there are no gum diseases or dental decay.

You can also give them dental chews that will assist in the process of teeth cleaning. It is also important that you trim their nails and clean their ears to prevent any sort of ear infections.

A great idea to make sure that your White German Shepherd is not scared of the grooming process is that you start out young. Rest assured grooming is going to be a regular part of their lives so it will only make things easier for you when you are trying to trim the nails of a heavier dog later on.

Male vs Female

white german shepherd puppy

Sex differences are readily apparent in the White German Shepherds. The male breed’s frame is often much larger than its female counterpart.

When it comes to the temperament of German Shepherds in general, female Shepherds are sweeter, gentler, and friendlier, hence more compatible family companions. They also have a more tolerant behavior around strangers than male German Shepherds.

On the other hand, male German Shepherds have a more territory-oriented mindset. As dog owners, it can be annoying when male Shepherds mark their territories by urinating. They are prouder, more confident, and have more overbearingly strong personalities.

white shepard

White German Shepherd Health Issues

Many people mistakenly believe this breed of German Shepherd is a flaw in the dog’s genetic line, which will lead to different genetic health-related issues. In fact, this line of the breed is only susceptible to the same health issues and risks that the traditional German Shepherd can develop.

When it comes to medical conditions, White German Shepherds are known to face a few threats during their lifespan. As potential dog owners, it is important that you are aware of these threats.

Hip Dysplasia

white german sheperds

This is one of the most common and painful dysfunctions that is found in White German Shepherd dogs. Hip dysplasia is basically an abnormal formation of the hip joint that leads to grinding of the joints. In serious cases, this leads to lameness and excruciating pain for the dogs.

In a majority of cases, hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition. When purchasing a White German Shepherd puppy, it is recommended that you check that the parents of the dog are clear of hip dysplasia. This helps in ensuring that the condition is not inherited by your pup.

However, it is important to note that hip dysplasia is a condition that can develop at any stage in your dog’s lifecycle. Therefore, it is a good idea to start giving your White German Shepherds joint supplements after they have crossed the one-year mark. In fact, this will even help get rid of other joint dysfunctions as well.

Arthritis

white german

When it comes to joint conditions, arthritis is another commonly found condition in White German Shepherds. It is a condition that refers to the general degeneration or simply wear and tear, of the dog’s joints.

Commonly, arthritis causes the breakdown of joints over time, along with inflammation and pain. Hence it can cause your furry friend a lot of unease and requires you to be especially careful around them.

This condition is also best treated by starting joint supplements once they are above one year of age.

However, it is best to consult your pet’s vet before going ahead with these supplements. Once started, they can potentially prevent the breakdown of your White German Shepherd’s joints over time.

Gastric Bloat

white shepherd dog

If you have a dog with a deep chest, this is another common and fatal condition that your dog might face. Gastric bloat is when the contents of your dog’s stomach are trapped because the stomach twists on itself. This also stops regular blood circulation.

Retching without vomiting, abdominal pain, laziness, weakness, collapsing, pale gums, and distended abdomen, are some of the most common symptoms of gastric bloating.

If this condition is not treated, it can be deadly for your White German Shepherd. Hence it is important to get urgent and immediate medical assistance if any of the above-mentioned symptoms are displayed by your dog.  

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Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (CDM)

When the nerve cell degenerates and no longer fires, it leads to a disease of the spinal cord called CDM. This, in turn, leads to paralysis of the hind limb.

Unfortunately, it is a very common disease among White German Shepherds and it is always recommended to watch their limping or any changes in their stride.

white german shepherd

Other Diseases

The White German Shepherds are also known to be associated with other common health problems. These include food allergies or those resulting from fleas. The white color of the dog is sometimes associated with deafness.

Some other conditions include elbow dysplasia, malabsorption syndrome, and eye diseases. In rare instances, they can also develop Lupus and Congenital Spine Disease.

How Much Do White German Shepherds Cost?

white blue german shepherd

Since they are a rare color of White German Shepherd, breeders will often charge for white puppies. A puppy with a good bloodline and health certifications could cost anywhere between $750 and $1500.

Beware of puppy mill breeders who charge high prices for an ill-treated or unhealthy White Shepherd dog.

Final Thoughts

White German Shepherds are playful, fun-loving, and friendly. They are originally from European farms where they were valued for their obedience and loyalty as herding dogs. They have a calm disposition but will react accordingly to protect their pack. They watch over the family and are not afraid to protect small children if necessary.

White German Shepherds are exceptionally intelligent hence they are very easy to train if you are consistent with your commands and train regularly each day.

When it comes to medical conditions, White German Shepherds are known to face hip dysplasia, arthritis, gastric bloat, canine degenerative myelopathy,  food allergies, deafness, elbow dysplasia, malabsorption syndrome, and eye diseases. In rare instances, they can also develop Lupus and Congenital Spine Disease.

White German Shepherds are known to be very active and energetic dogs who need plenty of exercise time. Physical activity keeps them happy as it provides them with the mental stimulation that they need.

With an excellent exercise routine, persistent training, proper diet, and regular checkups, a White German Shepherd is likely to live for 7-16 years.

Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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