White German Shepherd - Rare Color Or A Fault
The white German Shepherd, or a White Shepherd, is an unrecognized variety of the German Shepherd breed known worldwide. They are loved for their intelligence, working ability, protectiveness, and incredible trainability. There have been many controversies when it comes to German Shepherds and the white color because their original German standard strictly bans this coat color within this breed.
White German Shepherds have been a part of the breed since its beginning, and when the careful breeding of the German Shepherds started, the white color was banned. To save white-colored Shepherds, many of them were exported to the US and Canada, where they gathered many followers and enthusiasts fighting for this breed.
If you are interested in the white German Shepherd, here are the things you should know about them.
White German Shepherd origin
The origin of the white German Shepherd is the same as the origin of the black, or black and tan German Shepherds. This color has always been a part of their genome, and in the 1930s, it was added to the GSD standard that the white color is considered a serious fault that will cause them to be disqualified, and their bloodline should not be passed on.
The creator of the German Shepherd breed, Max von Stephanitz, considered the white color of “his” breed to being faulty, so when the original GSD club wrote the breed’s standard, they decided that this color shouldn’t be a part of that standard. Later, Stephanitz himself debunked that claim in the book he wrote called “The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture,” where he stated that the color makes no significant change to their working ability or character. However, the tradition remains, and the White Shepherd is still not considered a full part of the breed.
White German Shepherds are often confused with the White Swiss Shepherd - a different breed that shares ancestors with the modern-day GSD.
Albino German Shepherd or just white?
There is a vast difference between albino dogs and white-colored dogs. The color might be considered part of the breed, but albinism is a severe genetic “fault” that is never acceptable in any breed, even in the entirely white breeds like the Samoyed. In white German Shepherds, the color comes from the recessive genes that block their actual color to make a mark, while albino dogs have a lack of pigmentation not only in their coats.
If you know what to look for, spotting the difference between white and albino dogs is not difficult. The most significant difference can be seen in their eyes, skin, and coat colors. Albino dogs can be born within any breed, and dogs are not the only species capable of producing albino offspring. Albino dogs are rarely bred, and breeding clubs are trying to keep the bloodlines as healthy as possible, and albinism doesn’t fit that description.
Check out this article about all recognized German Shepherd colors.
Albinism is connected and results in the light sensitivity of both eyes and skin. Albino German Shepherds can have difficulties seeing during bright sunny days and can be especially prone to skin cancer. That is the main reason albino German Shepherds are not allowed to breed and receive a breeding license.
Owning a white German Shepherd
Suppose you are interested in owning a white German Shepherd. In that case, you should know that these dogs are not considered a part of any breed or accepted as a separate breed in any major cynology associations. The US’s governing cynology body, the American Kennel Club, doesn’t allow white German Shepherds to participate in any dog shows. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale, a cynology union with over 90 member countries (including Germany, which is the native country of the GSD), does not allow white GSDs as a part of the breed or to be included in dog shows.
There are cynology associations that accepted the white German Shepherds as a separate breed, but those associations do not have the influence or reputation like the associations mentioned above.
That means that having a white German Shepherd will mean you will never become a participant in national or international dog shows, but if you are looking for a loyal pet, this could be the right choice. Owning a white GSD is different from owning a black German Shepherd or a black and tan one. They are still incredibly intelligent, great workers, loyal, gentle, affectionate to their families, and rather energetic.
White German Shepherds will also need training from the earliest age, which is the only way you can control a puppy’s development. Make sure you invest enough time into their training sessions and teach your white German Shepherd puppy basic commands as soon as possible. The second part of getting one of these puppies is making sure they get properly socialized. These dogs can be protective, and if that part of their character isn’t carefully developed, they can become overly protective and react to situations that don’t require them to respond.
Buying a white German Shepherd
When buying any puppy of any breed, the process should look reasonably similar. First, you should find a reputable, responsible breeder that is taking good care of their breeding dogs. You will have to check with them if they have any white Germans Shepherd puppies for sale, and if not, ask them when they are planning on having the next litter. Talk to the breeder and make sure you ask them for advice about this breed. Ask them to tell you directly all the pros and cons of owning an unrecognized breed.
Choosing a white German Shepherd puppy is an exciting process. It is always a good idea to go for a puppy that has a medium temperament. A white GSD puppy that isn’t too shy and doesn’t try to dominate other puppies from the litter. Again, ask the breeder for advice so you can make the best possible decision for you and your family.
World Dog Finder team