They have a well-balanced, cheerful, tranquil and at times serious personality. They also exhibit confidence, courage, faithfulness, and obedience. White GSDs, like all other colors, exude self-confidence and are great guard and herding dogs as well as an excellent family pet.
White GSDs tend to have a well-poised demeanor, but if a situation arises that requires their protective services they will react in an instant.
The White German Shepherd is a beautiful and often misunderstood breed. I am here to put a few things straight, and I think the best way to do that is by putting forward questions I often hear about this dog and giving you accurate answers... So keep reading to find out more about this wonderfully white dog!
1. Is the White German Shepherd a separate breed to the standard German Shepherd?
Technically, it isn’t, but it is recognized as a separate breed. Let me explain:
The recessive gene that causes this breed to be white has always been present in the original genetic structure of the German Shepherd – White German Shepherds descended directly from German Shepherds.
Since the 1930s, however, the White German Shepherd dog has been considered a fault and has yet to be recognized or accepted as a type of German Shepherd.Supporters of the breed began forming their own breed clubs and registries for this dog in the 1970s, and eventually, in 1999 the United Kennel Club (UKC), the second largest dog breed registry in the US, recognized the White German Shepherd as a separate breed.
2. White German Shepherd vs standard German Shepherd?
What's the Same? Large Muscular Build, erect ears, height up to 26 inches, weight up to 88 lbs, high shedding, grooming important, loyal, intelligent, protective, energetic.
What is the Difference? White or Cream in color, can have longer fur, maybe stiff to the touch, some do not have double coats, not recognized within the breed standard.
3. What makes the White German Shepherd white?
Like the Black German Shepherd, the White German Shepherd is the product of a recessive coat color gene. Unlike the Black German Shepherd, however, whose true color is solid black, the recessive white gene acts as a mask, blocking the dog’s true color and pattern and causing it to appear white.
4. Can a White German Shepherd produce standard colored offspring?
The answer is YES!
The only way to get 100% solid white offspring is to breed two White German Shepherds, but if a White German Shepherd is bred to a colored German Shepherd, they will throw colored puppies. What proportion depends on whether the non-white Shepherd also carries the recessive white gene.
If the non-white carries the recessive white gene, the puppies will have a 50/50 chance of being white or colored.
If the non-white doesn’t carry the recessive white gene, all the pups will be colored.
Given that we cannot know what color or pattern a White German Shepherd is masking, it is not easy to determine what colors the pups will be when bred to a non-white German Shepherd.
5. Does the White German Shepherd have genetic disorders?
The answer is NO!
In fact, the founder of the German Shepherd as a recognized breed, Max Von Stephanitz rebuked this claim himself. In his book The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture, published in 1923, he states: “The coloring of the dog has no significance whatsoever for service.”
Unfortunately, though, history has been unkind to this breed, and today people still have the idea that she is flawed genetically.
Here are a few myth busters related to the genetics of a White German Shepherd:
Myth buster #1: The White German Shepherd is NOT an albino German Shepherd
I’ve heard people refer to the White German Shepherd many times as an albino German Shepherd. While there are albino German Shepherds, the White German Shepherd is not an albino dog.
An albino is an organism that has deficient pigmentation, which causes pink eyes, pale skin, and colorless hair. The White German Shepherd has pink or black skin, gold or brown eyes, a dark nose and solid white fur.
Myth buster #2: Breeding a White German Shepherd with a colored German Shepherd does NOT produce ‘color paling’
Some people think that if you breed a White German Shepherd with a standard one, the white gene will cause the puppies to be born a lighter color. This is not the case, however.
The white gene is not a dilute gene, like liver and blue; it is a masking gene (meaning the recessive gene masks the dog’s true color). The only way for diluting to happen is if the White Shepherd in question is masking a diluted color like liver or blue.
Myth buster #3: The White German Shepherd has NO separate health issues
The recessive gene is only responsible for the dog’s color; there are absolutely no links to poor health or temperament. The White German Shepherd is prone to the same health issues as the standard, the major concern being hip and elbow dysplasia.