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Berger Blanc Suisse

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Is the Berger Blanc Suisse right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): White Shepherd Dog; American White Shepherd; White German Shepherd Dog; WGSD; Berger Blanc Suisse

The basics:
The White Shepherd is a descendant of the German Shepherd Dog and, as far as some registries are concerned, it's a color variation of the GSD, not a distinct breed. However, it was fully accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (F.C.I.) in 2011. If it's important to you to own or show a registered purebred, you will have to see if the Berger Blanc Suisse is accepted in your country.

Since it was produced by line-breeding to bring out a recessive gene for the white color, the dog does have some GSD personality traits. They are smart and can be trained as service dogs for rescue or medical alert, and they also enjoy being trained to perform all sorts of games and even tasks like hauling a cart or herding. They may look a little impractical, but they can actually make a fine farm dog. The best owner has previous experience in training large dogs and enjoys working with the animal to give it something interesting and/or meaningful to do.

Appearance / health:
According to the United Kennel Club revised 2008 standards, "The White Shepherd is a medium-sized, well-balanced, muscular dog, slightly longer than tall, with a medium length, pure white coat, erect ears, and a low-set natural tail that normally reaches to the hock and is carried in a slight curve like a saber. The outline of the White Shepherd is made up of smooth curves rather than angles. Gender differences are readily apparent."

"Ideal coat color is a pure white. Colors ranging from a very light cream to a light biscuit tan are acceptable but not preferred. Skin color is pink to gray, with gray preferred. Nose, lips, eye rims, and pads are fully pigmented and black in color. In judging the White Shepherd, temperament, overall quality and movement are considered more important than coat color alone."

A good brushing performed daily will keep hair shed in the home to a minimum. Wet bathing should be limited to only once or twice per year in order to avoid depletion of skin oil. The White Swiss Shepherd Dog is a constant moderate shedder as well as a seasonally heavy shedder.

An unexercised dog is a destructive dog and can develop restless behavioral issues. She was bred to be a working dog and, at heart, she still is a working dog. She will enjoy vigorous activity, particularly when it involves some type of training.
The White Shepherd, like the German Shepherd Dog is susceptible to:

  • Keratitis
  • Chronic eczema
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Digestive ailments
  • Flea allergies
  • Blood disorders
  • Congenital heart disorders
  • Panosteitis
  • Gastric torsion (bloat)

Behavior / temperament:
The White Shepherd is an intelligent and responsive dog with a solid temperament that is known for his courage and loyalty. His behavior should be consistent, calm in his confidence, and non-aggressive. Though he is always warm and friendly with family, he will be initially reserved with strangers but will warm quickly to them once he no longer sees them as a potential threat. Because the White Swiss Shepherd Dog is always hyper-aware of their surroundings, he may sometimes see a threat where non exists; early and extensive socialization, particularly if it involves obedience training, will greatly improve his social skills and help him to more rapidly determine if a situation or person is a threat or not. This early socialization prevents him from becoming overly guarding as an adult.

The White Swiss Shepherd Dog is said by many to have the intelligence of a 7 year old child; this makes him immensely trainable if he is properly trained and handled. His owners need to be confident in their abilities to be alpha in his world. The breed is dependent upon his people for companionship and should never be isolated for long periods of time; in other words, he is an inside dog despite his size. The White Shepherd will thrive as a member of an active family, particularly if given a job to do. The breed is not recommended for the novice owner.

The breed is rated very high in learning rate and is ranked high in both obedience and problem solving skills. With proper handling and an informed trainer, the White Shepherd can be easily trained with consistency and utilizing the positive reward system. However, due to his extreme intelligence, he will try to come up with ways to avoid what you want of him and try, instead, to train you.

Because they are a natural watch dog and guard dog, you can expect them to be barkers, though they typically do not bark unless they perceive a threat to their family. Appropriate socialization training that begins during puppyhood will help them to better judge which situations require their barking and which do not.

wonderful

wonderful companion dog, kissyhuggy dog, gentle nature, friendliest dog, white coat

challenging

dense coat, good breeder, grooming needs, daily brushing

interesting

good muscle tone, consistent training, Proper exercise

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