White Swiss Shepherd Dog

Other names: Berger Blanc Suisse, White Canadian Shepherd, White American Shepherd, Weisser Schweizer Schäferhund

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White Swiss Shepherd Dog

The White Swiss Shepherd Dog is a robust dog, of medium size, sporting an immaculate white coat that differentiates her from her close cousin, the German Shepherd. She is a particularly intelligent, well-balanced and athletic dog who can, nevertheless, by virtue of her natural sensitivity, fall victim to a delicate syndrome: hyper-attachment to her master. She can, however, adapt to many family constellations and various ways of life, as long as she is given sufficient attention.

Key facts about the White Swiss Shepherd Dog

Life expectancy :

5

19

10

14

Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Intelligent

Size :

Origins and history

The colour white being excluded from the German Shepherd breed, this breed was raised and selected as a completely separate breed (first under the name: White Canadian Shepherd). The first traces of White Shepherd dog-breeding before the 1900s are to be found in the Alsace-Lorraine region: pure-bred White Shepherds were raised at the royal Habsburg court.
In 2002, Switzerland, which imported its first units in the 1970s, claimed ‘paternity’ over the breed, which was officially recognised by the FCI under its current name.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)

Section

Section 1 : Sheepdogs

Physical characteristics of the White Swiss Shepherd Dog

    Adult size

    Female : Between 21 and 24 in

    Male : Between 23 and 26 in

    Weight

    Female : Between 55 and 77 lb

    Male : Between 66 and 88 lb

    Coat colour

    White

    Type of coat

    Long

    Eye colour

    Brown

    Description

    She is similar to the German Shepherd in all aspects, save for the fact that she is slightly leaner and less angular than the model black-and-fawn German Shepherd. The standard presupposes a robust and strong shepherd dog, well-built, medium-sized, with ears pointing upwards and a white double-coat, either long or medium-long. The eyes are almond-shaped, slightly oblique. The ears are large, triangular and perfectly straight. The tail is tucked in and attached rather low, reaching mid-hock.

    Good to know

    The rumour that has the White Swiss Shepherd’s white colour linked to pathologies is completely unfounded, as proven by this breed’s demonstrably excellent health.

    Temperament

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      Affectionate

      The White Swiss Shepherd Dog is a dog that stands out in terms of her gentle and flexible nature. She is loyal, faithful, and very attached to her master, even a touch too much at times.

      One should demonstrate clear gestures of affection towards her, but not go overboard, so as not to reinforce her hyper-attachment.

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      Playful

      This pooch's biggest source of joy consists of spending time with members of her social group, be they big or small. Playtime is thus particularly enjoyable with this dog who also has quite a big need for energy expenditure.

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      Calm

      Even if she grows more docile with age, and can prove to be very discreet when needed, this big white dog is particularly animated when still a pup, and requires heaps of attention.

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      Intelligent

      The White Swiss Shepherd is a very versatile dog, which means that she is of exceptional intelligence. She excels in many canine activities (such as tracking, agility, obedience, etc.), but also in various service-type functions such as guide dog for the blind, police dog, tracking dog, or as a search and rescue dog. Her intelligence will need to be catered for with plenty of mental stimulation. 

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      Hunter

      Also known as the White American Shepherd, this dog's predatory instinct is present without being overly developed. It can easily be sharpened though, with the appropriate training.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      The White Swiss Shepherd Dog can be slightly wary of strangers, but never aggressive nor scared. She doesn’t trust easily and will tend to show signs of affection only towards her owners or the people she encounters regularly.

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      Independent

      Very attached to her master, this breed often presents issues with hyper-attachment. Measures can be taken to alleviate this while the Swiss Shepherd is still young, most notably by introducing progressive detachment, as well as teaching her to spend time alone and to manage her stress well.

      Behaviour of the White Swiss Shepherd Dog

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        Tolerates solitude

        Particularly close to her owners, and very dependent on her social group by nature, this swiss dog cannot stand to be alone. Isolation is, in fact, the stuff of horror to her, so she will have to be progressively taught to stay alone from a very young age, all the while providing her with occupational games and maintaining a coherent attitude, whether it is during times of departure or homecoming.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        This shepherd dog is particularly docile, as she is so receptive given her undying devotion to her owner. She wants to spend time with him or her and please them above all else, which facilitates training sessions. 

        What’s more, her intelligence allows her to quickly understand what is expected of her.

        Be careful nonetheless, this sensitive dog will not tolerate any kind of brutality or injustice! Firm yet delicate training will be necessary, in accordance with the principles of positive reinforcement (rewarding good behaviours).

        Rules of conduct will have to be introduced bit by bit as soon as the Shepherd puppy integrates the home, in order to avoid her from picking up bad habits.

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        Barking

        In spite of this dog’s enthusiasm and overflowing energy, she is, all things considered, quite discrete, and does not bark without reason. 

        She will, however, let herself be heard if she senses a menacing presence on her turf, or if she is left on her own for several hours, for instance.

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        Tendency to run away

        For this dependent and sensitive dog, finding herself alone and far away from her owners would be the worst of nightmares. Yes, escapades are a rare event for this breed.

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