The German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian) is one of the most popular dog breeds in Nigeria, which is why I was surprised when I learned about the White Shepherd because the only colour I have seen on a GSD in Nigeria so far is black and tan.
The German shepherd and the white shepherd are basically the same dog breed although, in terms of appearance, the White Shepherd is white in colour (obviously), often have longer fur than the traditional German Shepherd, and do not always have a double coat. The White Shepherd breed was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club on April 14, 1999.


The white Shephard originated from Europe, Canada, and the United States. I initially thought the German Shepherd must have been mixed with another breed of dog to obtain the white colour, but the White Shepherd is a direct descendant of the German Shepherd Dog and the two share common roots. In German Shepherds, the recessive gene for white coat hair was cast in the breed gene pool. Getting a white pup from a German shepherd litter is not uncommon, white is a recessive gene in GSDs – each parent needs to at least carry one copy of it (they do not need to be outwardly white) to pass it on.

At the creation of the German Shepherd Dog, all colours were accepted (there are also black GSDs). It was in the first decades of the 20th century that the white ones began to be excluded in Europe. The white colour is undesirable according to UK standards and some parts of the US, where they are barred from show rings. The White Shepherd is registered independently (as a separate breed) with the American White Shepherd Association in the United States. Visit the American White Shephard Association to learn more about the breed. You might also be interested in the Berger Blanc Suisse.


Which do you think looks more beautiful, the traditional GSD or the white shepherd? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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