THE WHITE GERMAN SHEPHERD
In 1890, in an attempt to create a superior herding dog with an elegant appearance, Capt. Max von Stephanitz stabilized a breed that would become one of the most valued dogs in history. From its German farm dog roots, the German Shepherd Dog has become extremely well-known and popular world-wide for it's talents as sentry, police dog, tracker, search and rescue dog, and guide dog for the blind, to name just a few. German Shepherds are loyal family dogs and fearless guardians of the home that excel in obedience work. These highly intelligent, affectionate dogs make excellent companions. Their dense, double coat requires regular, thorough brushing, and these large dogs need plenty of outdoor exercise. Training at an early age is recommended. White Shepherds are selectively bred for their beautiful snowy white coats and physical stature, striving for a Shepherd that closely resembles the original dog; less angular than today's breed.
The White German Shepherd is often misclassified as another breed or as a mix by shelters and rescue volunteers resulting in this beautiful breed not being given the recognition it deserves as a separate and valuable breed unto itself. Since many workers, shelter volunteers and even some Veterinarians have never been exposed to White Shepherds, they cannot identify them when local or state laws require that specialty breed groups be contacted before being put to sleep. Many times White German Shepherds are classified as a Husky, Jindo, Akita or Samoyed mix. More progressive Veterinary hospitals and Shelters have created a distinct category in their record keeping systems to properly designate this breed. As more of the pet care and the general public are educated to the value and distinction of this magnificent breed, more of these beautiful animals are being adopted and their lives saved by caring families who appreciate this breed's unique and classic German Shepherd qualities.
The white gene, which expresses itself in the gorgeous white coat color, is what's called a "recessive" gene. Contrary to some beliefs, this "recessive" white gene is not linked to poor health, temperament or any other part of the dog's genetic code or personality traits. Traditional German Shepherds can carry this white gene, however it may not be expressed in the coat color. To obtain a white German Shepherd puppy from traditional German Shepherds, BOTH parents would need to carry the recessive white gene. Much like the extraordinarywork of famous Las Vegas White Tiger breeders, Sigfried & Roy, the same genetic rules apply to breeding White German Shepherds. When a White Shepherd is bred to a traditional Shepherd that does not carry the white gene, none of the offspring will be born with a white coat, however they will be carriers of the white gene. If these offspring who carry the white gene are bred to a White Shepherd, chances are that some of their puppies will be born with the beautiful white coat color. White German Shepherds bred to another White Shepherd will always produce white puppies!
Many of the misconceptions about the White German Shepherd's coat color were adopted before the age of modern genetic research. Conventional wisdom once assumed that because their coats were white, they must be "albinos" and therefore owners could expect to encounter a myriad of health problems with these dogs. Modern genetic research has proven these ridiculous theories to be untrue, however, even today these misconceptions have been hard to correct. It was once thought that breeding a traditional German Shepherd to a White German Shepherd would result in causing the puppies coats to be "diluted" or become "pale", which of course is completely untrue. But thanks to the tireless work of breeders and owners of these fabulous Shepherds, the barriers of ignorance about this breed are being broken down through education and by use of the Internet to showcase this breed to the global community.
The White German Shepherd has a distinct personality just as his counter-part, the traditional German Shepherd does, noted primarily by high intelligence, fearless confrontation without overt hostility, unmatched devotion to his master & family, self-confidence and a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate acceptance of others. These dogs can be approached by strangers, however, as with any pure bred German Shepherd, this breed will stand its ground and is quite capable of defending itself and its family from any perceived threats. The White German Shepherd is no "shrinking violet", and should only be considered as a pet by families who are both socially and physically equipped to take on the responsibility of such an intelligent and discerning animal. You should also be prepared to accept unlimited compliments and questions about what an extraordinary dog you have!