Self-confident, alert, poised, and always eager to perform the different roles it gets assigned to by its master, the white German shepherd has all the qualities of the German Shepherd Dog save for its coat color.
In fact, the general consensus among dog enthusiasts that it’s virtually the same breed as the GSD. Only the United Kennel Club still regards it as a different breed from the GSD.
Over the next few minutes, we will try to explore as much as we possibly can about the white German Shepherd, from its description, training, feeding, temperament, exercise, and everything other pertinent issues that a dog owner should know about.
Abbreviated as the WGS, the white German shepherd looks every bit identical to the standard German shepherd in all aspects except its course and coat color. These dogs are medium-sized as well as muscular and have low-set tails and trademark erect ears like most Shepherds.
On average, an adult male WGS is about 24-26 inches tall, with females being around 22-24 inches. A healthy adult male or female WGS will weigh 77-85 pounds on average while its white coat is often stiff to touch, long, and can at times sport a feathered appearance.
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What Is It Like to Own a White German Shepherd?
Bear in mind that White German Shepherds have many traits in common with regular German Shepherds. They are not only brave and confident but if need be, they can also be protective and alert. These bloodlines are affectionate and friendly with their families, but they can be watchful and reserved with strangers on average.
According to several sources, White German Shepherds were bred to have a softer, mellower temperament compared to other German Shepherd varieties. In fact, they are a little more sensitive compared to traditional German Shepherd. They also like spending time with their families and they like running and playing games.
Not only are they easy to train, but they are also highly intelligent. These dogs are large and active, meaning that they require lots of exercise daily. With proper socialization early on, the WGS can adapt to any environment and fit into any social structure.
We should also point out that these pooches do have a tremendous work ethic, just like other German shepherd dogs. Herders by nature, these dogs like to have a job to do at all times. As to their temperament, it can be considered both steady and reliable. In fact, these dogs are neither timid nor aggressive. To build their confidence and ensure that they grow up as reliable and calm adults, make sure to socialize them from an early age.
Like the standard German Shepherd, WGS dogs are loyal and tend to be very protective of young animals and children. Some owners have also reported that WGS can be a bit whiny at times. Apart from moaning and groaning, they even howl to try and get anything they want. In this regard, it should be said that they are vocal and very clever.
Apart from that, they are wonderful companions whether you have a family or live by yourself with nobody but the dog as company. Also, they are fun-loving dogs, especially around people they know, playful even.
Training a White German Shepherd
The White German Shepherd, like its colored cousin, is quite biddable. For this reason, it is a lot easier to train, although you must use the right methods of training. Even more important, you need to apply the Roper principles which German Shepherd Dogs are famed for paying attention to.
Before you can start training this dog breed on agility, tracking, or obedience, it is important that you begin with housetraining it. This will lay the foundation of rules which are to be observed by every other pet in the home. While things like where to eat, pee, and sleep may seem ordinary to us humans, for these animals, it establishes a sense of order.
Like the standard GSD, the White German Shepherd is highly intelligent and enjoys being trained to perform a specific task. It can be a great source of happiness for this dog even just teaching it how to recall. But their intelligence notwithstanding, it’s still important that you keep the training periods short and highly interesting. This will keep your furry friend highly motivated at all times.
Feeding & Diet
The WGS needs no special diets, but note that you should feed it more frequently than you do other dogs though in smaller portions. This prevents the development of bloat that can cause more life-threatening conditions such as gastric dilatation-volvulus. Some White German Shepherds may also exhibit allergies, which is why you buy a limited ingredient diet. Preferably, it should contain a novel carb and novel animal protein contents.
For a 75-lb male WGS, you should feed it around 1,500-1,600 calories a day divided into two to three meals. This, of course, is a mere recommendation based on your dog’s weight. It also assumes that your dog is neutered already and lives a normal life. Should your dog have other health conditions, you may need to modify the caloric requirements to fit its activity levels. However you feed your dog, just make sure that you do not rely on cup portions. Always strive to learn how to calculate your dog’s nutrient requirements instead.
It goes without saying that White German Shepherds are extremely active dogs. After all, they are shepherd hounds by nature. The main reason they were bred in the first place was to herd the flock and at the same time protect them against intruders. When not herding, they will often be seen running in clear open spaces by virtue of their behavior. They also play with kids, jump, and even run through imagined obstacle courses to maintain strength, speed, and agility. These dogs also love playing fetch so make sure you incorporate these practices into the dog’s daily activities.
As its parents, you need to spare some time to take your hound for dog walking. One idea is to bring it to the park and then let it loose so that it plays and runs free. All that a White German Shepherd needs is one maybe two hours of exercise on a daily basis to retain its health and high spirits. If your dog cannot use excess energy through more positive things like exercising, it can easily use the energy for more destructive behavior like barking, digging, scratching, and disruptive chewing.
A White German Shepherd will generally live exceptionally peacefully with the other pets as well as other dog breeds in the same household, more so if it was raised with them. That said, know that the dog retains its great herding qualities, which include protecting its herd or flock. Therefore, when a stranger comes by, the WGS will naturally exhibit its natural protectiveness. While it will not necessarily show aggression or bite, it will stay aloof and be reserved from them. Meanwhile, it will be very attentive to the behavior of strangers, as it determines whether they are friends or foes.
However, when among its family, the WGS is loving, loyal, and affectionate. In this respect, it tends to form fantastic relationships with the children and their families and rarely mind getting roughhoused by them. That said, always supervise small kids when they play with larger dogs because even puppies can be a bit heavy. It is also recommended that you socialize the WGS at the earliest possible opportunity to give it a more even overall temperament.
If you don’t give your White Shepherd as much attention as they need you to, expect problems to quickly arise in no time. If you fail to socialize the puppies thoroughly, you run the risk of them becoming extremely timid and shy when in the company of other animals. Also, they are no strangers to defensive biting any time they feel they are threatened in any way. Shepherds can also be very aggressive at times, more so towards same-sex dogs. You wouldn’t like an aggressive White shepherd. It’s like dealing with a rebellious teenager, but with sharper teeth.
Grooming & Shedding
German Shepherds are famed for being heavy shedders, which explains why they are often referred jokingly as German Shedders. The White German Shepherd isn’t any different as it sheds quite a lot. Because of this, it is not advisable to get the WGS if you or a member of your family suffers from pet dander allergies. Long-term, you will need to brush the WGS’s coat daily or every other day.
As with any other dog, it is extremely vital to care for your White German Shepherd’s teeth using the right toothpaste and toothbrush. You will also need to inspect and clip its nails at least once a month or anytime you hear them scrap your floor. Also, make sure to meticulously inspect the ears for any signs of discharge or inflammation and then clean them once a week or so.
Known Health Problems
Bloating is a serious problem among German Shepherds, irrespective of whether they are colored, white or black. Another common issue is hip and elbow dysplasia.
Flea-bite and food-related allergies are always problems that WGS parents need to be familiar with. Other diseases that the WGS are susceptible to include epilepsy, malignant hypothermia, degenerative myelopathy, heart disease, hock walking, and Von Willebrand’s disease.
When young, WGS requires proper attention and will demand constant entertainment. It’s at this time that you need to teach them how critical it is for them to listen to your commands. Know that young White Shepherds tend to be extremely pestilent when bored. They will be consistently overexcited, the more reason to exercise with them until their tongues start sticking out.
It should also be said that White Shepherds tend to be very loud and will demand to be constantly talked to. This isn’t surprising, especially because their intelligence makes them easily understand a lot of situations their human master is in.
There are also potential legal problems should you decide to adopt any Shepherd. Because they look a bit threatening, they are prohibited in certain areas. Also, it’s not easy to find a rental apartment if you have a mightly WGS as your pet. People who dislike dogs can easily be intimidated by Shepherds and if your pooch even as much as barks, you could easily be in for a lawsuit in some places.
White German Shepherds can happily live outdoors or indoors, provided you provide them with a hefty dose of human interaction and daily exercises. They love it when you give them an area they consider their own, whether they live with you inside the house or outdoors.
Ideally, you should provide them a dog house that’s sufficiently large for an adult dog to stand and freely turn around in. this should be in a safe and shaded area preferably at the back of your yard. Make sure to give them plenty of fresh water to drink because they are very energetic by nature and require constant hydration.
Who are White German Shepherds for?
In general, German Shepherds are for people who:
• Lead an active lifestyle, especially if you love physical activities and outdoor sports.
• Have experienced in caring for, owning, and socializing dogs, especially a GSD
• Know the implications of failing to properly train and socialize dogs
• Are ready to set sufficient resources and time for grooming of the dog and veterinary needs
Not recommended for:
• People with allergies
• Lethargic or sedentary families
• People who do not like training and socializing dogs
The White German Shepherd shares many characteristics with the traditional German Shepherd. Originally a hunting dog, these pooches can be very protective of the animals or people they are tasked to keep an eye on. They are intelligent, alert, and always ready to carry out instructions and commands.
Should you choose to keep this type of dog, you will likely grow to understand what a wonderful companion such a dog can be. What’s more, these dogs can live both indoors and outdoors, don not require special diets, and are adept to living in various environments.