How Does The White German Shepherd Differ From Other, “Normal” GSDs?

White German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular and wide-reaching dogs in the world, mostly because of its potential as both a working dog and a family pet. They have proven themselves to be great companions in many situations, and it doesn’t hurt that they are also quite good looking dogs too.

The looks of a dog are one of the top reasons for choosing some cuter pups over others, and there will be some dog lovers that are immediately drawn to pictures of White German Shepherds.

The question is, is this White German Shepherd any different, or indeed any better, than the “normal” GSD?

The following guide to this White Shepherd will provide some of the best White German Shepherds info on many important topics.

We will start with that white coat. How did this white colour come about, how much of a rarity is this dog and is the coat any more difficult to care for than that of the other GSDs. Then we will look at some of the more general information on their care and personalities to see how these dogs differ from standard pups – if at all.

How long do White German Shepherds live, do they have special health or behavioral issues to watch out for?

Finally we will look at the different options for buying and adopting these dogs. How much is a White German Shepherd and are they worth any extra cost?

What is the origin of these White German Shepherds?

In order to understand more about these dog, we need to know a little bit about the White German Shepherd history.

They were bred from paler, white-coated GSD lines in the US and Canada, which essentially means that it really is just a GSD with a different coat. The same happened in Switzerland with the White Swiss Shepherd, although this is now classed as a separate breed. This US white dog was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1999. They are still seen as great working dogs and family dogs, with many used for herding.

[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]Are White German Shepherds rare? Not especially, there are less of them than other types of GSD, but they have increased in number. Also, they are a popular alternative for many dog lovers. The rise of Ghost, the wolf-dog from Game of Thrones, probably hasn’t hindered their popularity either. [/thrive_text_block]

White German Shepherd HistoryImage Source: Clever Fox Canine Training and Behaviour

What do we call these dogs?

The name of White German Shepherd dogs is sure to vary depending on the region that they are bred in. Because of this north American history, there are sure to be many that use the name American White Shepherd or White Canadian Shepherd instead. Over in Europe, there are some referred to as White Swiss Shepherd.

Some may use the term White Alsatia, although this is not that common. Others will tend to abbreviate to White Shepherd Dog, White GSD or simply just WGSD.

Why are some German Shepherds white?

Any GSD lover will tell you that there are different coat colors and these animals can vary greatly due to color genes and pigmentation.

There are many that have the standard brown coat and black markings, others that are lighter or darker and some that are pretty much black. Here we are looking at a very different solid White German Shepherd that was bred via a recessive gene. There is the potential for black and white German Shepherd dogs or white and off white dogs, but here we are focusing on the animal deliberately bred for its white coat.

The questions over the origin of this white coat lead to some important considers about albino v white dogs.

[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]There are some people that may automatically assume that a white version of a GSD is an albino because albinos tend to be pure white too.

This is an issue because albino animals tend to have more health risks and can struggle in the sun. There will be some dogs out there with albinoism, but a true White GSD is not one of them. These dogs simply have less pigment in their fur, whereas albino animals lack the ability to make pigment. [/thrive_text_block]

A great way to tell the difference between a white and albino German Shepherd is by looking at their eyes. Albino animals tend to have pink eyes and wont be able to create the deep colors of other dogs. Also check the skin on the pads, nose and ears.

WGSD PuppyImage Source

What else do new owners need to know about the coats of these White American Shepherds?

Issues with the coat type of the WGSD go beyond the color and amount of white in the fur. There are also some differences seen in the length of the coat. You are more likely to find a long haired dog than a short haired White German Shepherd. this adds to their pretty look and helps to make them that little bit more distinctive from the standard GSD.

Also White long haired German Shepherd dogs don’t always have that double coat that we often see with the GSD.

This is important when it comes to shedding and grooming. There are few concerns with the shedding habits here than with typical GSD dogs.

[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””] White German Shepherd shedding is still moderate to heavy in terms of hair loss, and you will have to deal with those long hairs on the carpet and furniture.

However, the lack of a double coat in some dogs mean no thick fluffy undercoat to lose in a massive blow out. This isn’t enough of a bonus for some that know the potential headache of cleaning up after a GSD. But, it does save on grooming time in the long run. Regular brushing will help here too.[/thrive_text_block]

On a related note, remember that a White German Shepherd that plays in the mud will not stay white for long. You could find yourself bathing these dogs to maintain the purity of the coat fairly often.

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Other important physical characteristics with these animals

There are some White German Shepherd traits that mean that they immediately look different to their standard cousins.

They don’t tend to have the slopping back of the GSD and have a much more square frame. This neat look is accentuated by the slightly curving tail and erect ears.

While some buyers may be on the look out for a White German Shepherd with blue eyes, similar to those of a husky, the eyes do tend to be darker.

Another issue with the frame of the dog is the White German Shepherd size: so when do German Shepherds stop growing?

[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]Male White German Shepherds are expected to reach up to 85 lbs in weight and a height of 25 inches.

Females are much smaller, with 70 lbs as their maximum weight and a height of 23 inches. They are often a little lighter than other Shepherd dogs, but are not small dogs by any means. [/thrive_text_block]

All White German Shepherd

What does this all mean when it comes to showing an all White German Shepherd?

Because this is a pure breed with some interesting differences to the standard GSD, there are sure to be some questions over the ability to show these dogs.

They are a recognized breed and can be shown, however, there are some important AKC White German Shepherd guidelines here. They are looking for a flat top line with less angulation in the hips and shoulder, they are also happy to allow white dogs with either the long coat or short, double coat.

If your pup meets these requirements, there should be no reason why they cannot do well in shows. That is as long as they are well trained of course, something that we will discuss further later.

The WGSD diet

As you would expect with a dog of this size, the diet of a White German Shepherd dog is pretty strong with a need for a balanced diet of protein, vitamins, minerals and all the good stuff to keep them trim.

There are choices out there in terms of the best type of food, with some choosing to go the gourmet route and others trying to save money. With this in mind, some owners may choose to turn to helpful guides such as the Dog Food Secrets e-book to help them with their GSD’s food choices. This resource is great for all those that want to provide healthy, nutritious meals with ideal portion sizes.

What about the exercise regime for a German Shepherd White?

Like all dogs of this size and demeanour, White GSDs have high exercise requirement and energy to burn. They love to run around and can maintain a pretty good pace, this is why you will see many GSD dogs running alongside owners as they jog or cycle.

White German shepherd dog Running

In addition to these high intensity walks and trips to the dog park, it is important that all of these white pups have the chance to run around and play in a yard. Games of fetch will burn off treats and those last drops of energy in the evening, while strengthening your bond.

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What are some of the key health issues with the WGSD?

[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]Many new owners will be pleased to know that the White German Shepherd life expectancy is usually between 12-14 year, much like other GSDs, but this will of course vary depending on the health of the animal. Those that are well looked after could surpass the top end, others may not reach this age bracket. [/thrive_text_block]

The problem is that the White German Shepherd health problems are often much the same as the typical GSD.

All GSDs are at risk from hip and elbow dysplasia and it is important to get these white dogs checked even with their different shape. Some are also prone to fleas or food allergies – again this needs to be checked and monitored by the vet. There are also some white dogs that develop malabsorption syndrome and eye diseases.

Here is a lovely video showing 4 months old white GSD puppy named “Chester”:

The White Shepherd temperament

There are some interesting reports from owners about the White German Shepherd personality and the way that it differs from that of the standard GSD.

While it is easy to assume that this dog wouldn’t have that different personality from other Shepherd dogs, there are those that say that they are much more gentle and laid back. This is great news for those that like the look of GSD dogs but are worried about the potential for aggression, dominance or other hard-to-handle traits.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]There are many that fall for the White German Shepherd temperament because they are sweet dogs that can still be loyal, loving playful family pets. This playful side increases the need for fun playtime and great games.

The only issue here is that a sweeter side can also make them a little more sensitive than the “tougher” GSDs. [/thrive_text_block]

This leads us to some of the important White German Shepherd problems to look out for.

Firstly, this sensitivity could mean that they are a little more timid. This White German Shepherd behavior could be a problem around other animals or strangers. As a result, it is important that they are socialized from an early age to help them to build up courage and confidence.

There are also those that note that these WGSDs can be quite vocal compared to other dogs. There are some that are a bit whiny when they want something or start “talking” to you to get attention. Also, those that do not get the physical activity and mental stimulation that they need may get a little destructive around the house.

white gsd behavioral issuesImage Source

Training White German Shepherd puppies

As with all new pups, appropriate training is a must to ensure that they are happy, well-behaved members of the family.

The sooner you start, the easier they will learn. Socialization training is clearly essential here, as is training against excessive vocalisation and destructive traits.

[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]The good news here is that White German Shepherd training shouldn’t be too difficult to master because of the intelligence of these dogs. They are smart enough to pick up important commands, mellow enough to follow without getting upset and loyal enough to want to please.

This ability to learn, willingness to please and playful nature is why many White Shepherds do so well in agility and obedience trails. They can trained for agility courses, general obedience, herding demonstrations, flyball and much more. [/thrive_text_block]

Anyone that continues to struggle to train their White GSD pup may benefit from one of the top online resources. These training aids are a great alternative to expensive classes and allow you to work with your dog in your own time, and in a more comfortable environment.

The best guides are Doggy Dan the online dog trainer and the Secrets to Dog Training online program, both of which have a broad range of topics presented in easy to follow steps. With these new approaches, you could find that your pet has that all important lightbulb moment in training and progresses much faster.

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Providing the right home for White American Shepherd dogs

These issues with the temperament, exercise needs and other aspects of care lead to some important questions about the ideal home life and living environment for these dogs.

There is no doubt that these animals make great family pets, but they need to have the space to play and to be by themselves when needed.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]Many owners find that these dogs like an area of the home they can call their own. This could be a reliable corner of the living room with their bed and toys or even a well-made kennel in the yard. They are tough dogs so kennel life can be pretty well as long as they have adequate shelter, food, water and mental stimulation. [/thrive_text_block]

How much are White German Shepherds?

If this living situation sounds ideal and you are still keen to brings a White American Shepherd into the home, it is time to look at breeders and the White German Shepherd price.

Different breeders will charge different amounts for these dogs depending on the availability in that region and the line of the dogs. Where they are more of a rarity, they could be little more expensive.

Also, don’t forget that the White German Shepherd cost extends to more than just their initial price tag. There are also the ongoing costs involved in their healthcare and upkeep. Their food bills and medical bills may be high due to their diet and the risk of health problems.

Then there is the cost of all those toys and treats to keep them happy and active and the grooming tools for dealing with the coat. Never underestimate the full cost of looking after one of these beautiful animals for 12 years or more.

white german shepherd facts

It is crucial that all hopeful owner find good breeders for pure White German Shepherds. These specialist animals need to come from good stock and a respectable breeder. Just because they say that they have a White German Shepherd for sale doesn’t mean that they are necessarily telling the truth.

[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]Remember that issue above with the white dogs versus the albino GSDs. There is always the chance that some breeders are trying to pass off an albino dog as a rare white one to get better money for a pup that might not otherwise sell. Also, look out for those trying to pass off White German Shepherd mix dogs as white pure breeds, for example a White German Shepherd Husky mix. Although attractive, they are not the pure dogs that you are looking for and the Husky genes could cause some behavioral issues down the line. [/thrive_text_block]

This is why it is so important that all buyers really take the time to look at puppies, their parents and the paperwork for all puppies for sale.

Then there is always the option of looking for White German Shepherd puppies for adoption.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]If the idea of going to breeders is off-putting, perhaps you may feel more comfortable looking for a white dog in a shelter.

There are animals of all different breeds and colors that are given away to shelters and there is a good chance that some will have a healthy, loving White Shepherd dog in need of a good home. This is also a great way of finding an adult White German Shepherd, in case the idea of raising and training puppies is a little daunting. [/thrive_text_block]

white german shepherds info

Once you have found your new companion, you need to start thinking of a suitable name

If you have a rescue dog, there is a good chance that they already have a name assigned at the shelter, so it may be best to stick with it so as not to confuse the dog.

With puppies, the world is your oyster in terms of White German Shepherd names. You can go for something cute, something mythical or something that reflects that pure white coat. Just be aware that if you are a Game of Thrones fan looking to call it Ghost, you may have more than one dog return to you in the dog park due to the popularity of the name.

What have we learned?

The aim of this guide was to provide White German Shepherd facts to get a better idea about this dog.

Are they any better than a standard GSD or white and black German Shepherd? While it is true that there are some of the same White German Shepherd health issues and shedding concerns, there are also the benefits of the chance of a single coat, the improved top line and the more mellow personality. There is a lot to love with this dog and it is clearly quite a different animal to the typical GSD.

Is the White German Shepherd right for you? The long White German Shepherd life span, grooming needs and living requirements mean that this dog wont suit all families, especially inexperienced ones.

However, there are many positive traits for those willing to put in the time, effort and money to raise them correctly. The white coat can be a blessing not a curse with this mellow, playful and attractive dog.

Featured Image: Pinterest


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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