All About The Berger Blanc Suisse (White Swiss Shepherd Dog) With Pictures


Berger Blanc Suisse

The Berger Blanc Suisse is a relatively new dog breed that was originally bred in Switzerland and has been officially recognized by the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale), a global federation of several national kennel clubs.

They are recent descendants of German Shepherd Dogs, but with a recessive gene that gives them an all-white coat, just like the White Shepherd breed.

Also known as the White Swiss Shepherd dog, the Berger Blanc Suisse was bred separately and tends to have firmer and more level backs than their White Shepherd counterparts and a much calmer temperament.

Just like the German Shepherd, the Berger Blanc Suisse is intelligent, eager to please their owners and enjoys being in the thick of the family action.

But what really sets the Berger Blanc Suisse apart from the rest? Keep reading to learn more about this unique breed and discover what makes him a great addition to any household.

Hopefully, the White Swiss Shepherd dog facts and general breed information in this article will help you determine if this is the right dog for you.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Some Quick Facts About the Berger Blanc Suisse

Group: Herding, Working
Other Names: White Swiss Shepherd dog, Weisser Schweizer Schäferhund, Pastore Svizzero Bianco
Size: Medium to Large-sized dog
Good Watch Dog: Yes
Average Weight: Males: 66-88 pounds, Females: 55-77 pounds
Average Height: Males: 24–26 inches, Females: 22-24 inches
Lifespan: 12 to 13 years
Apartment Living: No
Ideal for: Active Individuals and Families with children, Experienced dog owners, Homes with multiple pets, Spacious homes
Coat: Medium to Long Length, Thick, Straight White Coat
Coat colors: Pure White
Suitable for first time owners: No
Trainability: Easy
Hypoallergenic: No
Shedding: High
Grooming Needs: You need to brush your him 2 to 3 times per week to to reduce the amount of pet hair he sheds around your house
Energy Levels: High
Exercise Needs: At least 60 to 90 minutes of exercise every day is required
Tolerance to being left alone: Low, should not be left alone for more than 4 to 6 hours
Feeding and Diet: 2.5 to 3.5 cups of high quality dog food each day, divided into two or three meals
Maintenance: High
Possible Health Issues: Bloat, Degenerative Spinal Stenosis, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Degenerative Myelopathy, Von Willebrand Disease, Allergies, Megaesophagus, Dermatitis, Epilepsy
Temperament: Intelligent, Gentle, Friendly, Loving, Independent, Wary of strangers, Strong willed, Affectionate, Energetic, Protective, Alert, Loyal
Cat Friendly: Yes, especially when they have been introduced to each other at a young age (Early Socialization is Must)
Dog Friendly: Yes, But Proper Socialization Is Recommended
Kid Friendly: Yes, Early socialization is required
Litter Size: About 8 to 12 puppies
Barking Tendencies: High (can be controlled by proper training)
Price: $1,300 to $ 4,000

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Other Names for the Berger Blanc Suisse

Here are some other names for this breed of dog:

  • White Swiss Shepherd Dog
  • Weisser Schweizer Schäferhund
  • Pastore Svizzero Bianco

The History of the Berger Blanc Suisse

Although they are believed to have the same roots as the White Shepherd dogs and German Shepherd Dogs, the FCI has recognized it as a separate breed.

Unlike their German cousins, the White Swiss Shepherd doesn’t have a well-documented history. This is mainly because of the great popularity of the German Shepherd breed, which was first registered in 1889.

There were only a few documented cases of the breed in the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, they were at the brink of extinction because of the misconception that the White Swiss Shepherd had diluted the preferred dark color of the GSD’s gene pool.

Berger Blanc Suisse dog

Following those documented cases, the story of this breed took quite a while to come back to life, but the German Shepherd breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908.

Nonetheless, the German Shepherd was also at the brink of extinction during the First and Second World Wars due to their connection to Germany.

When the GSD was originally bred, all coat colors were accepted, but white was barred at the start of the twentieth century. That’s how the White German Shepherds were separated, leading to the establishment of the first White Shepherd Club in the US in the 1970’s.

However, their popularity increased and spread to a number of European countries, including Switzerland, Denmark and Germany. As such, the White Shepherd dog began to gain the recognition of breed clubs in various European countries.

White Swiss Shepherd in autumn

Lobo, a white coated dog born in America in 1966, was the first White Shepherd to be accepted and registered in Switzerland. Other countries followed suit and they included Austria, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and the Czech Republic. The FCI officially recognized the breed in 2011, with the KC following suit in 2017.

Berger Blanc Suisse Appearance

The White Swiss Shepherd dog is a medium-sized herding dog that very much resembles its cousin, the German Shepherd Dog – but there are some startling differences.

This strong and well-muscled dog is fairly longer than he is tall with a thick tail and a heavy, wedge-shaped head.

The Berger Blanc Suisse is unlikely to have the sloped back that’s typical of modern-day German Shepherd dogs because the development of the White Shepherd had started before the sloping back was favored.

They have almond-shaped eyes that are normally brown, often with black or dark rims. According to the breed standards, White Swiss Shepherd Dogs have a black nose. However, UKC standards state that the White Shepherd breed includes dogs with cream or pink noses as well.

Like their German Shepherd cousins, the White Swiss Shepherd dogs have medium to large triangular-shaped ears that stand straight like those of a regal arctic wolf.

Two white Swiss Shepherdd

Berger Blanc Suisse Size, Height and Weight

How big does a White Swiss Shepherd get?

Large dogs usually take longer to reach full physical and mental maturity than smaller dog breeds, and the Berger Blanc Suisse is no different.

Females tend to mature much faster than male puppies, although it can take them up to 3 years to reach full physical and mental maturity.

By 8 weeks, a Berger Blanc Suisse puppy will weigh around 9 to 15 pounds.

A full-grown Berger Blanc Suisse dog reaches a height of approximately 22 to 26 inches and weighs anywhere between 55 and 88 pounds.

Berger Blanc Suisse Coat & Coat Color

Another striking feature of the White Swiss Shepherd breed is their thick, white coat.

The Berger Blanc Suisse coat is white in color and dense throughout. It can be long or medium in length, with some waviness being accepted by the breed standards.

Behavior & Temperament

The Berger Blanc Suisse has the potential to be a wonderful family pet. They are friendly, loving and affectionate dogs who are known to make great family companions. They are also intelligent and energetic dogs that are would suit experienced dog owners.

An active family is the best fit for the Berger Blanc Suisse breed because they require long walks and quality playtime with their owners to help prevent boredom and weight gain.

They are also good guard and watchdogs because they are protective in nature. However, they are not as aggressive as their German Shepherd counterparts.

Due to their great guarding abilities, they are sometimes used in search and rescue missions and as police dogs.

White Swiss Shepherd dogs are also good with kids and are usually protective of them due to their herding instincts.

White Swiss Shepherd Dog Facts

However, proper training and early socialization is a must. Otherwise, their herding nature can easily become an issue if the dog starts nipping at the back of your children’s heels.

It is important to remember this does not mean the dogs are aggressive in any way. Nipping the heels of animals is a natural behavior among many dog breeds; it helps to get the animals moving to where they are wanted.

Berger Blanc Suisse and cats also get along well with each other, especially when they have been introduced to each other at a young age.

Getting along with other household pets shouldn’t be a problem with this dog as well. Early socialization can help ensure this dog does not fear humans or other animals.

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Training

The White Swiss Shepherd dog is a very intelligent breed that is quite easy to train. Moreover, this breed is not known to be independent or strong-minded but it is strongly recommended that you start housetraining and general training early.

As with other breeds, obedience training is important for this breed too, and you should teach your puppy basic commands, such as “come”, “sit”, and “stop”.

These dogs generally tend to enjoy virtually every challenge you throw at them, whether it’s teaching them new tricks and commands or completing an obstacle course during agility training.

In addition to obedience and agility training, these dogs can also be taught a wide range of dog sports, including herding, rack and Flyball.

 

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Since the Berger Blanc Suisse is known to be quite sensitive, it’s extremely important to use lots of positive reinforcement methods to help encourage your pup during training.

Positive reinforcement may include yummy treats, praise words, belly rubs, petting, or his favorite toy. Otherwise, harsh or punishment-based methods are sure to stress him out.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, socialization at a young age is vital to helping a Berger Blanc Suisse puppy gain confidence while combating fearful behavior and herding tendencies.

While Swish Shepherds are friendly in nature, early socialization by introducing your puppy to different kinds of people, animals and situations will help him know what a potential threat is and what is not.

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Exercise Requirements

The Berger Blanc Suisse is an energetic and active dog, and while they are comparatively less athletic than their GSD parents, they still require 60 to 90 minutes of physical exercises each day. This should include long walks and vigorous play sessions each day.

While running and walking are always recommended, this breed is also very intelligent and they need mental stimulation as well.

Keep in mind that the intelligence of the White Swiss Shepherd dog along with its curiosity can make this dog quite anxious and destructive if they do not get some form of mental stimulation.

Therefore, it’s important to provide your Swiss Shepherd with plenty of interactive dog toys to help keep him occupied and mentally stimulated. Other recommended activities include herding activities, competitive obedience and agility training.

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Grooming Requirements

As we’ve mentioned above, the Berger Blanc Suisse has an all-white coat that is designed to survive in the harsh Swiss winters. While this is one of the most beautiful dogs you can ever find, you need be aware of its shedding tendencies.

If you want to have a Berger Blanc Suisse puppy, you can expect him to shed heavily throughout the year, and not just twice per year during major seasonal changes. Therefore, you will need to invest in a heavy duty vacuum, brush and time. Expect a lot of shedding with this dog. Brushing at least twice a week will help reduce the shedding.

Since the White Swiss Shepherd is not hypoallergenic, the breed is ideal for families with no allergies.

Eyes and ears should also be checked and cleaned regularly to help prevent infections. Periodic flea treatment is important as well.

Bathing and nail trimming should also be done from time to time. Get a high quality dog shampoo for keeping your dog’s coat clean and healthy while making bath time a pleasant experience for both you and your pup.

 

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Feeding Information

The Berger Blanc Suisse is a working dog breed, which means that he has tons of energy. For that reason, it is strongly recommended that you feed your Swiss Shepherd a high quality dog food that has been specifically formulated for active dog breeds. This will help ensure that your pup’s energy and nutritional requirements are met.

The Berger Blanc Suisse needs to eat 2.5 to 3.5 cups of dry dog food each day, split into two meals. High-quality dry dog food along with a healthy homemade diet is necessary to help maintain optimal health.

It’s also recommended to add fish oil to your dog’s diet. Not only does it help make their coat look great, it also boosts their overall health.

Apart from food, you should ensure your Berger Blanc Suisse has access to fresh water to keep him hydrated.

Lifespan

The average lifespan of the Berger Blanc Suisse breed is around 12 to 13 years.

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Berger Blanc Suisse Health Issues

There are several health problems that anyone considering getting a White Swiss Shepherd puppy should be aware of.

It is common knowledge that prevention is better than cure, and the best way to reduce the risks involved is by going through a reputable breeder.

The most common White Swiss Shepherd health issues include:

Bloat: accumulation of gas in the stomach, causing it to severely twist or contort.
Degenerative Spinal Stenosis: this condition is characterized by an abnormally narrow spinal canal, leading to nerve damage.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy: disintegration of the retina, leading to loss of vision or blindness.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: irregular growth of the elbow or hips, leading to loss of mobility and severe pain or discomfort.

 

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Degenerative Myelopathy: a progressive spinal disease that affects both rear legs and eventually results in complete paralysis.
Von Willebrand Disease: a genetic disorder caused by defective or missing protein that helps the blood to clot.

As you can see, this breed is prone to a number of serious health problems, so it is important to check the health history of the puppy’s parents and have regular vet checkups done to ensure your pooch stays healthy.

How Much Does a Berger Blanc Suisse Cost?

The Berger Blanc Suisse price is quite high because most breeders in the US import parent stock from Europe.

The cost of Berger Blanc Suisse Puppies from reputable breeders varies from $1,300 to $4,000 USD depending on their parents’ pedigree, working line or show lineage.

Therefore, you should do thorough research in order to find reputable Berger Blanc Suisse breeders near you.

Apart from the cost of buying a puppy, you want to factor in food costs, vet fees and pet products like the MidWest Folding Crate for Large dogs and the Furhaven Orthopedic dog bed from reputable retailers like Amazon.

 

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Finding Healthy Berger Blanc Suisse Puppies for Sale

Since the Berger Blanc Suisse is susceptible to a number of serious health concerns, it’s important to shop around before choosing a puppy.

Go prepared with a few questions about the medical history of each parent dog. Your breeder should answer all of your questions to ensure the puppy is the right fit for you.

You want to visit the breeder at their premises for a chance to meet each parent dog and to check the conditions where the puppies are produced. A reputable breeder will agree to your visit without any worries.

If you would like to acquire a well-bred Swish Shepherd puppy that has already been registered, chances are you will end up on a wait list.

Very few puppies are produced and registered every year, so make contact with them as soon as possible.

Berger Blanc Suisse for Adoption

It can be difficult to find a reliable rescue group that is dedicated to the White Swish Shepherd because they are sometimes mistaken for the White German Shepherd.

However, a few shelters play a role in keeping this breed’s pedigree alive and well across Europe and the United States. These include Dances with Wolves Ranch and Berger Blanc Suisse US.

Is the Berger Blanc Suisse the Right Dog for You?

If you’re still on the fence and need more information before committing to a White Swiss Shepherd dog, check out the answers to the following frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a White Swiss Shepherd a German Shepherd?

No. Although they share the same ancestors, the White Swiss Shepherd and the German Shepherd dog are separate breeds. While they are both herding breeds, what sets the two apart is breed classification and appearance.

The main difference is the coat color. While the Swiss Shepherd comes in white only, the German shepherd is normally black and tan, all black or all white.

Therefore, the White Swiss Shepherd is a different breed from the White German Shepherd. They also have different breed standards.

 

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Is The Berger Blanc Suisse Dog Easy To Train?

Yes. Berger Blanc Suisse dogs are easily trainable. In fact, they enjoy training sessions and pick up new commands quickly.

Why does my Berger Blanc Suisse dog bark? Do Swiss Shepherd dogs bark a lot?

This is a vocal breed, so it may not be the best choice for you if you’re looking for a quiet breed. Reasons for Weisser Schweizer Schäferhund barking may include fear/alarm, boredom, separation anxiety, seeking attention, protection or compulsive barking.

Is Berger Blanc Suisse Suitable For Apartment Living?

No. White Swiss Shepherd dogs do not make good apartment dogs. They are active and energetic dogs that need plenty of space to play and run around to burn their exercise.

Are Berger Blanc Suisse Good With Strangers?

Yes. They are stranger-friendly dogs, especially if they have been socialized with different kinds of people and situations.

Are Berger Blanc Suisse Dogs Good With Children?

Yes. These dogs get along well with young children. They also enjoy being surrounded by kids.

Are Berger Blanc Suisses Cat-Friendly Dogs?

Yes. Berger Blanc Suisses and cats get along well with each other. However, early socialization is vital.

Are Berger Blanc Suisse Dog Friendly Dogs?

Yes. white Swiss shepherd dogs are the best choice if you want to add more dogs to your family. They are best dog friendly dogs around.

Are Berger Blanc Suisses Good For First-Time Owners?

No. White Swiss shepherd dogs are not the best choice for first time dog owners because of their stubborn personality.

Can White Swiss Shepherd Dogs Be Left Alone?

No. These dogs do not tolerate being left alone for long hours – 4 to 6 hours is the maximum. As with most breeds, these mixes can become bored if left alone for too long. They need to get plenty of attention from their owners and family.

Are Berger Blanc Suisse Dogs Hypoallergenic?

No. This breed is not hypoallergenic. In fact, they are heavy shedders and thus, unsuitable for allergy sufferers.

Are White Swiss Shepherd Dogs High Maintenance?

Yes. Their exercise and grooming needs are high. Also if left alone for too long they can become mischievous and destructive.

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Maria

Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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