The Shiloh Shepherd – Everything You Need To Know

What is a Shiloh Shepherd?

The Shiloh Shepherd is a fairly rare breed of dog that has been around for just a few decades.

They are descendants of German Shepherds and are very similar to them in appearance – but they also have some important differences.

Many Shiloh breeders and lovers say that these pups make even better family dogs than German Shepherds.

The Shiloh Shepherd is also said to be easier for their masters to handle than most working Shepherd breeds.

However, Shiloh Shepherds have some special needs that you need to know about before you rush and add this dog to your household.

Keep reading to view pictures and learn more about Shiloh Shepherd breed. Hopefully, this guide will help you determine if this dog is the right fit for you and your family.

What is a Shiloh Shepherd?

The Shiloh Shepherd is a large sized dog that looks and acts almost the same as the German Shepherd.

This is largely because the Shiloh dog is based primarily on the German Shepherd. The malamute and some other breeds were later on added for genetic diversity in a process known as outcrossing.

The Shiloh is known to be loving, loyal and intelligent, making him a great choice for those who are looking for a reliable working dog or family pet.

They are also friendly and protective of their owner and territory.

The Origin of the Shiloh Shepherd Dog

As we’ve already mentioned, the Shiloh Shepherd is a fairly new breed. In 1974, a woman named Tina Barber began crossing German Shepherds with the aim of emphasizing the best traits of a large dog that is loyal, smart and reliable.

? Her main aim was to ensure that these dogs had good hips and good health. Hip dysplasia is a very common health issue in German Shepherds and other large dogs and one of her main priorities was to get rid of this condition.

In the 1980’s, these dogs were reported to be significantly larger than their German counterparts. They were also said to have a calmer and more balanced temperament.


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Soon afterwards, Barber and her team of breeders started crossing those dogs with two other mixed breeds to further emphasize the characteristics that they desired most.

Their first selection was a white Shepherd (malamute). The second mix was said to be a “Texas Woolie” – the Wurttemberg bloodline of German Shepherds.

In 1989, the Alaskan Malamute was also used (these dogs were known for their large size and strong hips). The early 2000’s saw the introduction of an American-Canadian White Shepherd to ensure genetic diversity. A Czech wolf dog was introduced to the line in the mid 2000’s, also for genetic diversity.

The International Shiloh Shepherd Registry (ISSR) was founded in the year 1991 with the aim of registering and regulating the breed.

As of now, the Shiloh Shepherd has not yet been officially recognized by the AKC as a standardized breed. This implies that the Shiloh breed is currently being considered for AKC recognition.

ALSO READ: Your Complete Guide to the Czech German Shepherd

But what were the Shiloh German Shepherds bred for?

Shilohs are well-rounded dogs known for their intelligence and even temperaments. They are gentle, loving and loyal dogs.

The Shiloh Shepherd is not an aggressive dog, and might not be good at bite work. They are usually protective of their family and home, but their large size and huge barks are usually more than enough to deter intruders.


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Shilohs make good service and therapy dogs. Their impressive intuitiveness allows them to play key roles as seizure and diabetes alert assistance dogs. The dog also takes part in popular dog sports, including agility, tracking, obedience training, trick training, and even dock diving.

Even though Shilohs have such great abilities, they are truly some of the most charming dogs around and they enjoying being in the company of their loved ones.

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What’s the Difference Between a Shiloh Shepherd and a German Shepherd?

Now that you know where the Shiloh came from and what they were bred for, let’s compare them to their ancestor, the German Shepherd.

Here, we need to tackle three different things: genetics/breeding objectives, appearance and personality.

Let’s take a look at genetics first, since it has a significant impact on the other two things.


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Shilohs are primarily German Shepherds, but other breeds (Malamute, Sarplaninac, Canadian White Shepherd and more) were added. These days, dog breeders have realized that mixing different dog breeds is important for the health of the puppy.

Moreover, the breed creator, Tina Barber, had different objectives than the GSD breeders. She wanted a calmer and friendlier dog that could make a good family pet rather than a working dog.

She created a unique program known as LMX to boost the health of the dog’s hips. Constant development over the years has set these characteristics into the Shiloh Shepherd.

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most Shiloh Shepherds are larger than German Shepherds of the same sex. Barber’s breed standards suggest two inches more than the GSD in height.

The Shiloh also has smaller ears and more wolfish appearance. Their body is not as long as that of German Shepherds. Additionally, Shilohs have a long plush coat, unlike in GSDs where the coat is not always long.


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Behavior and temperament:

Since Shilohs were bred to be more family friendly, they are generally calmer and much easier to handle than most GSDs.

Although high energy Shilohs do exist and some Shilohs are capable of performing challenging tasks like search and rescue, this is not a working breed.

The aim of the breeders was to create a calmer, friendlier and talented family dog. Since Shilohs are generally softer than GSDs, they are easier to train.

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The General Appearance of a Shiloh Shepherd

Shilohs look similar to German Shepherds. They have either a plush or smooth coat.

Smooth-coated Shilohs have a dense double undercoat, which makes them best suited to colder climates.

Plush coated Shiloh Shepherd look larger than their smooth-coated counterparts, due to the thicker, more feathery coat.

Shilohs also have the look of a lion’s mane around the neck due to the plushness.


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The plush coat is composed of fine hairs that can easily tangle or mat. For this reason, they need more frequent grooming than their smooth-coated counterparts.

Shilohs come in a range of colors. The most common one is a two-shade appearance like the German Shepherd, normally black with a beige, cream, tan or reddish color.

Although very rare, it is also possible to find a full black Shiloh Shepherd or a solid white Shiloh Shepherd.

Shilohs are designed to have stronger backs than their German counterparts. They have a thick tail with a small curve.

ALSO READ: Are There Any Risks In Choosing A Blue German Shepherd?

Shiloh Shepherd Size, Height and Weight:

Male Shilohs stand between 28 and 32 inches tall and weigh around 140 to 160 pounds when full grown.

Females are somewhat smaller at 26 to 29 inches tall and weigh around 100 to 120 pounds at maturity.

Shiloh Shepherd Behavior and Temperament

Shilohs are generally calm and not aggressive. They are known to be loyal and friendly dogs. They are considered to be less territorial than other Shepherd dogs.

With proper training and socialization, the Shiloh Shepherd dog will adapt quickly to almost any environment.

The breed standards describe the Shiloh Shepherd as a strong and intelligent dog. The Shiloh dog has a big heart and plenty of love to give to his owner and family. He enjoys taking part in family activities and loves being in the company of his loved ones.


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The social skills of this even-tempered dog allow him to adjust to different living environments. They are calm, alert and brave, and generally make great watchdogs.

These dogs are designed to friendly and get along well with other members of the family. Proper socialization of the Shiloh dog should allow him to get along with cats and other animals at home.

Remember, love and affection is vital for any dog. When you love your Shiloh Shepherd, he will love you in return. Your Shiloh pup will be an integral part of your family. So shower your beloved dog with plenty of love and affection.

More importantly, make sure to spend some quality time with your pup to establish a strong bond with him.

Are Shiloh Shepherds Good With Kids?

Although it is important to monitor any interactions between small kids and large dogs, the Shiloh Shepherd dog is normally good with children.

It is still advisable to teach your kids how to interact with a large dog and use your due diligence when introducing your large breed dog to strange children.

ALSO READ: 5 Signs Of A Jealous Dog And How to Deal With It

Shiloh Shepherd Puppy Care Tips

In many ways, you can take proper care of your Shiloh Shepherd dog as you would with any other large herding breed dog.

Shiloh Shepherds are generally easy to maintain, but there are a few things you need to consider.


Shilohs are very intelligent and are known to excel in roles such as obedience competitions, agility training and search and rescue. Shiloh Shepherds are quite easy to train since they are smart and eager to please.

Training any dog can be a challenging task, but it still very important to train your puppy immediately you bring him home.

Here, we’ll provide some helpful information about how to properly train your Shiloh puppy, so keep reading and enjoy training with your beloved pet.

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1. Housetraining:

Housetraining a puppy or full grown Shiloh is a very important issue and every single tip is critical.

The first step in training a Shiloh Shepherd is to housetrain him. Some people consider this a challenge and some see it as a hassle.

No matter the breed of dog you are dealing with, potty training a puppy is one of the best things any dog owner can do. If you think all you need for this is old newspapers, then you’re in for a rude shock.

A puppy will not be able to gain full control of his bladder until he is 4 to 5 months old. Since puppies are developing and growing at a rapid rate, they tend to eat more. This means puppies need to eliminate more frequently than adult dogs do.

After each meal, drink, play or nap, take the pup to a selected spot and remain there until he eliminates. Once he does that, praise him and offer him a treat. Then take him to his crate.

Repeat this procedure each day until he makes it a habit to do his business there.

Remember, consistency, patience and clever use of treats and praise will make you the proud owner of a well housetrained Shiloh dog. Don’t expect instant results. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed.

2. Crate training:

Crate training can be a great way to ensure the safety and well being of your Shiloh Shepherd puppy. It makes it much easier to monitor your puppy and prevent him from having full access to the home where he could get in trouble.

The crate must be large enough for the puppy to sit down, stand up and turn around comfortably.

3. Obedience training:

This is another very important training for all dogs. There are five different obedience commands that you can use with your dog: Come, Stay, Sit, Down and Heel.

Every Shiloh Shepherd pup should learn these five basic obedience commands since they help you to successfully train your dog to behave properly.

4. Behavioral training:

As with any dog, behavioral training is vital for your Shiloh Shepherd. Ideally, pups should receive proper training as young puppies, but adult dogs also require training to correct any behavioral issues.

Once you identify common behavioral problems such as jumping up on people, aggression, incessant barking, chewing and mouthing, food guarding, etc, try to stop them by training your puppy accordingly.

In some cases, a pup’s behavioral problems may require the assistance of a professional dog trainer.

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5. Socialization:

Although Shilohs are generally good with children and other animals, they still require socialization training from a young age. This will help create a strong relationship between people and your Shiloh.

If you start training and socializing your Shepherd as soon as you bring him home, he will become confident and comfortable around a wide range of people, and other pets.

Exercise Requirements:

Shilohs are considered to be gentle giants. As such they are not hyper active and will do fine in an apartment if you meet his exercise needs. These dogs are quite inactive indoors and require a sizeable yard where they can play and run around.

Providing your Shiloh Shepherd dog with enough exercises is a great way to keep him happy and healthy. If you do decide to get this dog, then prepare to take him out on daily walks and hikes.

Shepherds are smart dogs, and they also need mental stimulation to remain happy. Give your Shiloh some interactive dog toys while indoors to boost mental stimulation.

Proper physical activity and mental stimulation will also help your dog to avoid boredom and destructive habits around the house.

ALSO READ: 5 Ways To Make Your Dog Smarter

Grooming Requirements:

? “Do Shiloh Shepherds shed?” The short answer is yes. If shedding is the deal breaker, the Shiloh might not be the best dog for you.

Nonetheless, the two coat varieties shed differently and have different grooming demands.

The shorter, smoother coat sheds throughout the year. The smooth haired Shiloh will blow the coat twice per year, during which time, you will love the vacuum. Nonetheless, this coat is easy to maintain. It needs only regular brushing to keep it looking good.

The long, plush coat does not shed a lot, but it still blows coat twice per year. The long coat will hold loose hairs, so you should brush it thoroughly to prevent mats or tangles.


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Shilohs only require occasional baths, which is remarkable given the amount of time you need to spend vacuuming. Otherwise, you should use deodorizing wipes for dogs in between baths to help keep his coat looking nice.

You also need to brush their teeth daily. Dental disease is a very common problem in Shilohs, so proper dental care is important for your dog. If you want to buy a Shiloh puppy, then prepare to brush his teeth each day, making their routine training an easy process for you.

Further Reading: Top 10 Best Bones to Clean Dogs Teeth

Feeding Information

Feeding is an integral part of your dog’s life. Therefore, give high quality dog to your Shiloh Shepherd dog. Your dog should be fed dry dog food along with a proper combination of fruits, vegetables, canned food, cottage cheese, cooked eggs and fresh water.

Shiloh Shepherd puppies that are 4 to 8 weeks require three to four meals per day. Feed Shiloh pups that are 9 months to one year old around two meals per day. Sometimes full grown Shilohs need two light meals. It is your duty to learn your dog’s eating habits and ensure he gets all the nutrients he needs to thrive.


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Moreover, it is important to choose a dog food that has been specially formulated for large breeds of dogs. Shiloh Shepherds are normally large in size. This means that they have different nutritional requirements than smaller breeds of dogs do.

It is also advisable to choose a food that is prepared with joint support supplements, including glucosamine, chondroitin and omega-3 fatty acids.

Additionally, it is important to select a recipe that contains probiotic supplements since these can prevent many of the digestive issues Shilohs are prone to.

Shiloh Shepherd Health Problems

Like other dogs, Shiloh Shepherds are at risk for the health problems that affect their parents. Nonetheless, there’s no way to accurately predict a dog’s health since every dog is different.

Many of the issues that affect Shilohs are predictably the same ones that affect German Shepherds.

For instance, both German Shepherds and Shiloh Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia. Nonetheless, they tend to suffer from this health issue less frequently than GSDs do. This is partly because of the efforts of Shiloh breeders who purposely sought to enhance the hip structure of this breed.

Another serious health issue is bloat, which is often life-threatening.

Fortunately, Shiloh Shepherd breeders have worked hard over the years to prevent the occurrence of some of these health problems through strict genetic selection.

Shiloh Shepherd Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of a Shiloh Shepherd is around 12 to 14 years.

Finding Shiloh Shepherd Puppies for Sale

If you are convinced this is the right dog for you, you can either contact breeders in order to buy a Shiloh puppy or look to adopt one through a rescue center.

When trying to find Shiloh Shepherd puppies for sale, make sure you do your homework first.

Make sure that you are satisfied with the health and personality traits of both parent dogs, and that the breeders are pleased to answer any questions that you may have.

You should also ask for medical records to ensure both parents have good elbow and hip scores.

The price of Shiloh Shepherd puppies will vary from one breeder to another, but the most important thing is to check for parental health records and temperaments.

Additionally, you’ll want to use the Embark Dog DNA Test Kit to confirm the health and parentage of your new puppy.


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Shiloh Shepherd Price

Prices for Shiloh Shepherd puppies can be very high. You will need to do a lot of research to find reputable Shiloh Shepherd breeders to buy from.

You’ll most likely have to pay around $1000 for one of these adorable puppies.

ALSO READ: The Miniature German Shepherd – The Truth About This Mythical Dog

Shiloh Shepherd Rescue

Reputable breeders are available across the country. Search to find out if there’s one near your home! You might also want to find a puppy or adult dog through a Shiloh Shepherd rescue.

Since this is a fairly rare breed of dogs, you will need to search around to find a Shiloh puppy or adult dog listed for adoption.

In case you have decided to adopt a dog, please fill free to check these websites:

– International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club.
Shiloh Shepherd Rescue & Rehome.

Is a Shiloh Shepherd Right for Me?

Shiloh Shepherds are wonderful dogs who will make an excellent addition to the right family. They are very similar to the German Shepherds since they are intelligent, loving and protective of their family – but they also have some clear differences.

For instance, Shilohs are normally more laid back and they have lower energy levels compared to their German counterparts. They are also slightly larger than German Shepherds and their body frame is quite different too.

So, if you want a gentle, intelligent and easily trained dog, and you have enough space to accommodate a large dog, the Shiloh Shepherd can be a good choice for you!


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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