White German Shepherds are known for their plush white coats, high intelligence, and athletic bodies. These dashingly beautiful canines are bred from German Shepherds and carry many of the same characteristics.
Their temperament, personality, and physical appearance are almost identical to what you see in a standard German Shepherd dog, yet they also carry the recessive white-furred coat gene.
You can expect a white GSD to have the same loyal and friendly personality as any differently colored German Shepherd dog. These pups are very family-oriented and have a strong desire to be part of a pack. White GSDs will quickly learn to love every member of their family and will engage in all sorts of fun games.
Caring for a white German Shepherd dog is not too different from caring for the typical black and tan German Shepherd. Both of these dogs require a great deal of grooming and have high energy levels.
But, there is plenty more you need to learn about these animals. So, if you are ready to take on one of these majestic white beings, read on to discover what makes them so irresistible!
GSDs started as valued European farm animals. It comes as no surprise, as these working dogs were excellent at herding animals as well as being intensely obedient and loyal.
Many early herdsmen preferred white coated dogs such as the Great Pyrenees, the Kuvasz, the Polish Tatra Mountain dog, and the white German Shepherd as the white dogs blended into the flocks of sheep, making it easier to spot dark European wolves.
The German Shepherd breed first came to be in 1889 at the hands of Captain Max von Stephanitz. His first dog, Horand von Grafrath, was the genetic basis for the German Shepherd dogs we know and love today. Also, he was the first registered dog of this breed.
It was Captain Max von Stephanitz who said, “The coloring of the dog has no significance whatsoever for service.” However, the Nazi party didn’t see it that way, and in 1933, discrimination against the white German Shepherd began.
The German Nazi party took it upon itself to continue breeding the German Shepherd dog. So, after thirty-six years of being at the helm of the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany, von Stephanitz gave up and left the club in 1935.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, influential members of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America endorsed the mandate for “breed purity” and started eliminating all dogs with the white gene from the gene pool.
• Size – 22 to 26 inches
• Weight – 60 to 85 pounds
• Coat – short, medium, or long double coat
• Lifespan – twelve to fourteen years
• Color – white
• Shedding level – high
• Intelligence – high
• Socialization – socializes happily with people and other animals
• Temperament – intuitive, social, alert, friendly, and protective
• Destructive behavior – can get destructive if neglected or bored
• People skills – natural desire to please
• Good with children – yes
• Activity levels – very high energy levels
White German Shepherd puppies
Some people think that all white dogs are albinos. However, this is far from the truth, and a white German Shepherd is certainly not an albino puppy. A white GSD gets its white coat from a recessive gene that can be expressed in typical German Shepherds we come across every day.
All German Shepherds are classified as herding dogs, and white ones are no exception. As you might have deduced from their name, these pups were bred to help farmers tend to their sheep and other livestock. Nowadays, these workaholics are more commonly employed as service dogs for people with disabilities and as police dogs.
This particularly beautiful variant of the German Shepherd dog is mostly known for its snowy white coat. They are incredibly loyal to their families and show a strong desire to please. These loving companions are never shy when it comes to meeting a new friend.
White German Shepherds are highly intelligent and energetic dogs that need plenty of activity. They need an outlet for their high energy levels; otherwise, they might become restless or destructive. Caring for one of these wonderful pooches should be a family team effort.
Is the white German Shepherd a separate breed?
Well, technically speaking, it isn’t, but it is recognized as a separate breed. This sure sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Let us explain.
As we briefly mentioned above, the recessive gene responsible for the white coat color of these dogs has always been present in the original genetic makeup of the German Shepherd breed. This means that white GSDs descended directly from German Shepherds.
However, since the 1930s, the white GSD has been considered a fault and was yet to be recognized and accepted as a dog of this breed.
White Shepherd enthusiasts began forming their own breed clubs and registries for these dogs in the 1970s.
Eventually, in 1999 the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the white German Shepherd as a separate breed.
The standard German Shepherd breed is the second most registered according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Differences between a white German Shepherd and a standard German Shepherd
The only thing you will instantly notice as different is obviously, the color of their coat. A white German Shepherd will look much different than any other German Shepherd color out there.
Apart from this pretty significant difference, there are a few minor ones. So, let’s take a look at what these dogs have in common and what separates them.
What is the same?
• Erect ears
• Large, muscular build
• Weight is up to 88 pounds (40 kg)
• Height is up to 26 inches (65 cm)
• High shedders (grooming is very important)
• Loyal, protective, intelligent, and energetic
What is different?
• Cream or white in color
• Usually come with longer fur, which can be a bit stiff to the touch
• Some white GSDs don’t have a double coat
• White GSDs are not recognized within the current breed standard
All white German Shepherd: appearance
Photo from: @sylvie__schroeder
As per the above-mentioned United Kennel Club (UKC) official breed standard for these pups, a white-colored German Shepherd dog should have a lean, muscular build while remaining agile enough to perform activities.
All of the physical attributes of a white German Shepherd should be proportionate to one another, with a curved angle between the fore and hindquarters. They may come with dark colors around the nose, eyes, and paw pads, but never on the fur. Their ears should be erect and always alert.
When it comes to their size, males should be between 24 and 26 inches tall and weigh between 75 and 85 pounds. On the other hand, females should stand between 22 and 24 inches and weigh between 60 and 70 pounds.
The white German Shepherd dog breed can come with a short, medium, or long-length double coat. The coat can be a stunning snowy white or darker cream color. A slight rusty tinge is acceptable for dogs descended from red German Shepherd dogs.
Their eyes should be dark brown or black, and their nose should be black. Most of the white GSDs come with a snow nose, a black nose that turns grey during the winter months.
A pure white German Shepherd will come with a thick double coat for protection against harsh cold climates. The outer coat should have straight, fine fur with no waves or curls.
Keep in mind that shedding is to be expected with any double-coated breed; however, dogs with short or mid-length coats will typically shed much less and need less brushing.
White German Shepherd dog: personality and temperament
If you have spent some time around a standard German Shepherd, you know how great these dogs can be, and you can rest assured that its white counterpart will have a very similar personality.
White GSDs are very close to their roots as pack animals. Once this dog identifies your family as its pack, it will be loyal to everyone in it, including children and other pets.
After all, this is a vigilant, confident breed known to develop a protective attitude toward its family. Although they can be a bit aloof around unfamiliar people, it should not come to the point of skittishness.
With one of these pups in your household, you will have a highly focused and serious worker. But, they will never be too shy to show their wild side, so make sure your new puppy has plenty of outdoor space to run around. After a long day of work and play, your bed is usually their favorite place to cozy up and settle down.
Your new white German Shepherd puppy might be loud and chatty, but once it reaches adulthood, it will know when it’s best to be quiet. It will only bark when it wants to alert you to something suspicious. Also, you might run into some teething difficulties with your GSD, but it should pass in a month or two.
When all is said and done, these dogs are puppy class superstars, ready to get along with everyone they come across.
Is the white GSD good for families?
A white German Shepherd is an excellent family dog. Because these pups are so loyal, they will want to protect you and your family from anything harmful, making them excellent watchdogs and guard dogs.
However, you will need to set aside time and effort to train them from an early age to understand that not everything they see is a threat; otherwise, you are in for a barking fest that might last for hours!
As working dogs, these pups need lots of mental and physical stimulation, so they are the perfect companions for people who are outside a lot. Because it is a large dog, a white GSD needs a good amount of space.
This mostly comes down to having a backyard that it can run around in. Your white German Shepherd will not do very well in a small apartment as it will feel like it is being cooped up and may turn to destructive behaviors.
Bear in mind that these pups do come with a naturally high prey drive. This means you should be careful when introducing one to children for the first time. With that being said, when given the proper socialization, a white
German Shepherd loves children and will even take your kids under its wing.
A white German Shepherd will learn to love everybody in your family in no time. This includes other pets, children of all ages, and even elderly members of your household.
Give each of your family members a special role in caring for and interacting with your newest addition, and your dog will grow comfortable with everyone in the house. Their patient nature makes them an excellent addition even for families with young children.
Caring for a solid white German Shepherd
When it comes to caring for one of these white pooches, it helps if you have had some experience with a German Shepherd of any coat color before. White GSDs can be a little high-strung, but they are usually more manageable than typical German Shepherd dogs.
Sedentary and older people will have trouble keeping up with a white GSD puppy as they need somebody to run and play along with.
These canine athletes are packed with boundless energy. Their daily exercise needs match those of an active human being.
A white German Shepherd loves long hikes and runs, and it will even go mountain climbing with you if that is your thing. It will be perfectly satisfied with one long sixty-minute walk a day and some playtime on top of this.
Your pup will need another hour of off-leash play in addition to its walks. A white GSD will enjoy just about any of the classic canine games, such as fetch and tug of war and, it will keep you on your toes in a game of tag.
Grooming and shedding
Your white German Shepherd’s grooming needs will depend on its coat type and shedding frequency. Short and medium-length coats only need brushing once a week, but you will need to brush a long-haired dog every day.
Occasional trips to a professional groomer can help a white German Shepherd look its very best, but these should only occur once or twice a year. Similar to Siberian Huskies and other dogs that look like German Shepherds, too much bathing will wash out the protective oils in their fur.
Dogs with large ears, such as your white German Shepherd, will accumulate lots of wax and dirt over time. Make sure to use a damp cotton ball or cloth to clean out your dog’s ears. Never use a Q-tip for this task!
If your pooch enjoys a lot of running around, its nails will wear down naturally, and you won’t need to trim them much.
Feeding and diet
Every dog’s diet should match its activity level. The same goes for your white German Shepherd.
Meat and raw ingredients should make at least ninety percent of their diet. Your pup’s food should be low carb and low fat, with no grain fillers or additives. Healthy fats can come from pork, eggs, and other natural sources.
As these canines are quite active, they will need up to four cups of dog food a day, at two cups per serving. While almost every dog will like people’s food, keep in mind that most of it is just empty calories that they don’t need. So, no matter how much it begs, do not be tempted to throw table scraps to your fluffy white pooch.
With that being said, certain human foods are safe and beneficial for our furry friends. As long as they don’t contain hazardous ingredients and you give them in moderation, they can improve your dog’s digestive and immune system over time.
Foods such as Brussels sprouts, edamame, plantains, jasmine rice, and basil are perfectly safe for your white canine companion to munch on. If you add some of them to your dog’s diet, and it likes the taste, you can continue giving it in small amounts.
However, make sure you are on top of your dog’s allergies, as dogs can be allergic to certain foods and ingredients. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before adding anything out of the ordinary to your white German Shepherd’s dish.
Pure white German Shepherd: health problems
Purebred dogs such as the white German Shepherds are generally less healthy than German Shepherd mix dogs. But, this doesn’t mean that these dogs will suffer from any or all of the following health issues:
• Hip dysplasia
• Elbow dysplasia
• Bloat or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)
• Degenerative disc disease
• Thyroid issues
• Bladder stones
Apart from the issues we mentioned above, one of the most serious genetic disorders that can affect all German Shepherd dogs is degenerative myelopathy (DM). This disease is similar to multiple sclerosis in people.
Also, if you neuter your male GSD too early, it may suffer from cranial cruciate ligament tears later on. A cranial cruciate ligament tear is a knee rupture that causes extreme pain, lameness, and impaired mobility.
If you are like most dog owners (or owners to be), you care for your doggie immensely. Enrolling your pooch in a pet insurance plan could save you from the possible hundreds or even thousands of dollars in vet expenses.
How to train a white German Shepherd
When it comes to training, you are in for a treat. This is one of the most trainable breeds in the dog world because they are natural learners. You should begin a dog training program as soon as you bring it home.
Be sure to give your pooch enough time to process your commands. White German Shepherds will quickly lose interest if you raise your voice or repeat a command too much. When your white puppy learns to associate the commands you give it with a hug or a treat, it will know exactly what it needs to do to earn that cherished reward.
The best way to approach training one of these pups is to incorporate outdoor play into the training regiment. Teach your new furry friend to heel, stay, and sit while the two of you are out for a walk. You can cater to your pup’s intelligence with a pretend dog show.
Set up a miniature running, jumping, and walking course in your backyard. Practice giving your pooch basic commands as you teach it to maneuver through each one. Training requires a great deal of cooperation between you and your doggie. If you are unengaged and distant, your white GSD will get bored and behave obnoxiously.
Make sure you ignore nuisance barking and other types of unwanted behavior. Your new furry companion needs to understand that it is not the way to get your attention.
Socialization is a walk in the park for these friendly pups. White German Shepherds want to make as many new friends as they can, be that animals or people. Take your pooch around the block to meet your neighbors and to the dog park to play with other pups.
German Shepherd dogs are not known to be aggressive by nature. However, there are situations when even the gentlest and most caring dog lashes out. This is why early socialization is important for every puppy to become a well-behaved dog in adulthood.
How long do white German Shepherds live?
You can expect your white GSD to be a part of your life for around twelve to fourteen years. Compared to the typical German Shepherd dog, which lives for ten to thirteen years, this is slightly longer.
Smaller dogs such as Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus have a longer lifespan than larger dog breeds, and, although it is uncommon, you can come across a twenty-year-old Chihuahua. On the other hand, giant breeds such as Great Danes live for only around seven years.
So, given the size of a white German Shepherd, its life expectancy of twelve to fourteen years is quite good.
White German Shepherd price
You can expect to pay between $750 to $1500 for a white German Shepherd. This is around the same price you would pay for a standard black and tan German Shepherd.
Just make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder who knows what they are doing. If this is a bit too steep for your pocket, you can always check our local shelters and rescue groups to see if there are any white German Shepherds that need a home.
White German Shepherd puppies for sale: where to find them
Unfortunately, similar to black German Shepherds, some white German Shepherd breeders are in it just for the money. As these dogs are pretty rare, breeders tend to charge more for a white GSD puppy.
This is why it is very important to search for a responsible, reliable breeder and know how to recognize one. A reputable breeder will be able to provide you with all the details on the puppy’s parentage, its vaccinations, and any health issues.
Also, responsible breeders will want to meet with you and ask questions about your experience as a dog owner, your lifestyle and activities, and why you think you would be a good match for their white German Shepherd puppy.
To locate a trustworthy breeder, you can check out The American White Shepherd Association. This is the largest white Shepherd dog club in the United States, and it provides links to white GSD breeders all over the US and
Canada, all of whom are members of the club.
While searching for your white GSD, you might come across other white dogs such as the white Siberian Husky or white Swiss Shepherd (Berger Blanc Suisse). Make sure you get to know these two breeds as well, as you may end up liking one of them more than the white German Shepherd.
White Swiss Shepherd vs. white German Shepherd
The Swiss Shepherd, also known as Berger Blanc Suisse or Weisser Schweizer Schäferhund, comes from Switzerland.
This dog breed is currently not recognized by the American Kennel Club but is accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in Europe.
The Berger Blanc Suisse originates from the German Shepherd breed, which creates a lot of similarities in both breeds’ characteristics.
Their size and structure are the same as a standard German Shepherd. The white German Shepherd and white Swiss Shepherd are almost identical in appearance. The only noticeable difference at first glance is in their stance.
Swiss Shepherds stand more upright, while their German counterparts have a more severe angulation. The Swiss Shepherd’s coat is heavier on the neck and slightly longer than a traditional German Shepherd’s.
While the outer coat may vary between long and short, these dogs will always come with a weather-resistant undercoat. The coat color is ideally as white as possible. The demeanor of Swiss Shepherds is generally more relaxed, and they have a more gentle personality compared to the white German Shepherd.
As most traditional shepherd breeds, the white Swiss Shepherd is highly loyal, athletic, intelligent, and loves to keep busy. It excels in therapy work, search and rescue, sports work, and as a service dog. These dogs are not typically the go-to choice for police or protection work, but they will protect their families without a second thought if necessary.
Can a white German Shepherd produce standard colored puppies?
Yes! The only way to get pure solid white offspring is to breed two white GSDs. However, if a white German Shepherd is bred with a colored GSD, they will have colored puppies. What proportion depends on whether the colored German Shepherd also carries the recessive white gene.
If the non-white dog doesn’t carry the white gene, all of the puppies will be colored. But, given that we cannot know what pattern or color a white GSD is masking, it is hard to determine what colors the puppies will be when bred with a standard-colored German Shepherd.
Black and white German Shepherd
Unfortunately, black and white German Shepherds are truly a rare sight. The closest you can come to this color combination is by getting a panda German Shepherd, which usually comes with black, white, and tan markings, similar to that of a Border Collie.
The only way to get a black and white GSD is to breed a black German Shepherd with a white German Shepherd.
However, the most common coat colors you get from this mix are solid black, dark sable, black and tan, white, silver sable, and in very rare cases, black and white.
White German Shepherd Husky mix
The Gerberian Shepsky, as it is also referred to, is a striking blend of Siberian Husky and German Shepherd. This mixed breed pup weighs from 35 to 90 pounds and stands between 20 and 26 inches tall. It is usually a loyal, intelligent, and active dog that requires plenty of exercise and daily grooming.
Compared to some other designer dogs, such as the Labradoodle or the Cockapoo, mixed breed puppies of German Shepherds and Huskies still have a low profile, but that doesn’t make them any less great!
The most striking pups of this mix inherit the bright blue eyes of their Siberian Husky parent and the coat color of their German Shepherd parent. So, to put it simply, a white Gerberian Shepsky would be a breathtaking sight!
White German Shepherd Lab mix
The German Shepherd Lab mix, aka the Sheprador, is the result of crossing a German Shepherd with a Labrador Retriever (to state the obvious).
As these breeds are around the same size, the mother can be either dog as long as the father is smaller. This will ensure against any difficulties in the birthing process.
As with most designer dogs, you can’t really be sure what you will get when two different breeds come together. The Sheprador may come with the Labrador’s floppy ears or the German Shepherd’s pointed ears.
You can expect your Labrador German Shepherd mix to stand between 22 and 25 inches and weigh fifty to eighty pounds. You can get a more precise estimate by looking at the size of the parents.
The coat color depends a lot on the color of the Labrador parent: whether they are black, yellow, or chocolate. As a rule, the darker the Labrador Retriever parent, the darker the coat of the offspring.
However, when you breed them with a white German Shepherd, the resulting offspring can come in a striking white coat color.
White German Shepherd with blue eyes
White German Shepherds can come with blue eyes; however, it is a very rare occurrence. Blue eyes in GSDs are caused by a genetic mutation in the bloodline, as the majority of these dogs will come with brown eyes.
In some breeds, blue eyes can indicate that something is wrong with your pet. But, the German Shepherd breed is one of the few where blue eyes are relatively common. So common, in fact, that a sub-breed is recognized for these blue-eyed dogs, and they are known as blue German Shepherds.
All German Shepherd puppies are born with blue eyes, which usually darken by nine to twelve weeks of age. By that time, the natural color of your GSD puppy’s eyes will replace the blue.
But, there are cases where an adult German Shepherd’s eyes turn blue, and it usually isn’t a good sign. Several health conditions cause a dog’s eyes to appear blue.
Glaucoma can make eyes appear cloudy blue, and cataracts cause the lens of the dog’s eye to become cloudy and appear hazy blue in color. Both conditions can result in blindness if left untreated.
White German Shepherd: conclusion
So, if you’ve read through this article, you now know the truth about this magnificent breed. And, if you skipped some of the parts, here is a quick recap:
• White German Shepherds are recognized as a separate breed to the standard.
• The most notable physical difference is the white coat, which is usually longer and may not be double.
• The white color is caused by a recessive gene that hides the true color pattern.
• White German Shepherds are almost identical to the standard black and tan German Shepherds in terms of lifespan, temperament, and health.
• Even though completely white, this breed can produce colored German Shepherd puppies.
White GSDs are loyal and friendly. Genetically no different from the standard black and tan variety, these pups are just as alert, protective, and loving.
They are excellent working dogs, and your white German Shepherd will make a great dog as well as a cuddly couch potato whenever you need it.
You will be amazed by what these plush white geniuses can learn. Their tricks and games are sure to keep you and your family entertained every day.
Keep in mind that grooming, socialization, and regular exercise are a must. These dogs may be slightly time-consuming, but with a bit of effort, you will get the best dog you ever had!