The White German Shepherd temperament is loyal, intelligent, protective, and noble. However, White German Shepherds are not for everyone. They do best with experienced handlers and they can be too challenging for beginners.
If you are attracted to the German Shepherd breed, you are not alone. German Shepherds are extremely popular in the United States.
In fact, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), German Shepherds are the second most popular breed in America, right behind the Labrador Retriever.
Even though the White German Shepherd is not technically recognized by the American Kennel Club as an official variation, there are many people who adore the White German Shepherd personality.
This article will help you get to know some of the most common White German Shepherd traits.
If you are thinking about adding any type of dog to your household, do as much research as possible to make sure you are ready to handle the behaviors of that dog.
The best way to learn more about White German Shepherd behaviors is to talk with owners, breeders, and members of German Shepherd rescue groups.
Continue reading to find out if the White German Shepherd temperament could be a good match for your lifestyle.
White German Shepherd Temperament
This section will provide you with an introduction to the White German Shepherd temperament.
However, never forget that there will always be some variation between individual dogs.
Not every White German Shepherd will display all of the characteristics listed below.
The White German Shepherd temperament is defined by extremely high intelligence.
White Shepherds are one of the smartest breeds in the dog world.
They excel at obedience, canine sports and all kinds of jobs including search and rescue, narcotics detection, and police work.
White German Shepherds excel when they have a job to do.
If you keep one as a pet, you will need to provide sufficient mental stimulation to keep them from getting bored.
Examples of mental enrichment can include toys, brain games, trick training, or food puzzles.
German Shepherds are herding dogs and the White German Shepherd temperament reflects this heritage.
You can tell that these dogs were bred to work from sun up to sundown.
White German Shepherds are athletic and energetic. They need a lot of daily exercise.
Be prepared to devote at least one hour a day to exercising your White German Shepherd.
White German Shepherd exercise can entail jogging, hiking, biking, swimming, etc.
If you work long hours, you may need to consider a doggie daycare or a dog walker to meet your dog’s exercise needs.
Without enough exercise, your White German Shepherd will quickly become bored and destructive. Watch out for behaviors like barking, digging or chewing.
If you see these behaviors it probably means that your White German Shepherd is not receiving sufficient daily exercise. Learn more about how exercise can help dogs with bad behavior.
Devoted to Family
The loyal White German Shepherd temperament makes this breed very devoted to its family.
White German Shepherds love to be with people and they need a lot of attention.
These dogs do not do well being left alone for most of the day.
German Shepherds are sensitive dogs that can be prone to separation anxiety and other anxiety disorders.
If you believe your White German Shepherd is developing separation anxiety, reach out to a trainer right away to start behavior modification.
If you are contemplating adding one of these dogs to your family, make sure you have the time to give them the attention that they need.
The alert White German Shepherd temperament makes this breed a good watchdog.
White German Shepherds are highly attuned to their surroundings.
They are also vocal dogs that will alert you by barking at any strange noises or suspicious activities on your property.
White German Shepherds are not very trusting of strangers right off the bat.
When you have guests visit your home, make sure they go slow and allow your dog to warm up to them at their own pace.
White German Shepherd History: The Story of the White German Shepherd Origin
The ancestors of the German Shepherd Dog date back to the 1800s.
As their name suggests, German Shepherds originated in Germany.
However, the White German Shepherd variation emerged later.
In fact, White German Shepherds were historically disqualified from shows and breeding programs.
A small club of people in the United States started promoting the white coat coloration in 1969.
The United Kennel Club officially recognized the White German Shepherd dog breed in 1999. However, the white variation is still not recognized officially by the AKC.
White German Shepherd Size and Appearance
The White German Shepherd has the same size and appearance as the colored German Shepherd. The only major difference is the coat coloration.
Whereas regular German Shepherds can be various shades of black and tan, White German Shepherd colors are exclusively white. You may also hear this variety referred to as the “Snow White German Shepherd.”
A full-grown White German Shepherd is a large dog!
The typical White German Shepherd weight range is between 50 and 90 lbs.
The normal White German Shepherd height range is between 22 and 26 inches.
Males are usually larger than females.
White German Shepherds have erect ears, long tails, sloping backs, and thick fur.
Longhaired White German Shepherds are rare but do exist. However, most White Shepherds are shorthaired.
White German Shepherd Training
The White German Shepherd temperament makes this breed an ideal candidate for training.
White German Shepherds are incredibly intelligent, focused and eager to work with their owners.
With consistent, positive training, you can teach these dogs to do just about anything.
White German Shepherds are used in a variety of working capacities including herding, protection, search and rescue, police work, military work, and as service animals for the disabled.
Training takes a lot of time, patience and work, though. You must be prepared to invest the time.
Start your White German Shepherd’s training process as early as possible.
Sign up for a puppy kindergarten class or a basic obedience class with a local trainer.
Make sure to locate a trainer that uses force-free, positive training methods.
Do not work with any trainers that use “dominance-based” tactics such as pinch collars, shock collars, physical punishment or “alpha rolls.”
Such tactics are not necessary and will only erode the trust between you and your dog. It may even cause your dog to react with fear or aggression.
Instead, keep training upbeat, fun and positive for you and your White German Shepherd.
Once you have finished basic obedience, you can explore more advanced activities such as agility, flyball, rally obedience, or nosework.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Havanese dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
A Guide to White German Shepherd Grooming
White German Shepherds have thick, beautiful fur that requires daily grooming.
You should expect to brush your White German Shepherd’s coat multiple times per week.
White German Shepherds shed profusely once or twice per year.
You will need to brush them daily during shedding season. You may even need to bring them to a groomer for professional grooming a few times per year.
Even with diligent brushing, White German Shepherds shed a lot.
If you are not ok with dog fur in your house, this is definitely not the breed for you. Make sure you are prepared for White German Shepherd shedding before you bring one home.
Is the White German Shepherd Hypoallergenic?
The White German Shepherd is not hypoallergenic. If you suffer from allergies and are looking for a breed that is hypoallergenic, check out this article for a list of suggestions.
Staying Healthy: White German Shepherd Health Issues
White German Shepherds are prone to a variety of health concerns.
Talk with your vet before you commit to adopting a White German Shepherd.
Make sure you are prepared to handle the medical expenses that are often associated with this breed.
Below are some of the most common medical concerns within the White German Shepherd breed. Talk with your vet, breeder, and/or rescue contact about the following medical issues:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Ear Infections
It is important to bring your White German Shepherd to a veterinarian at least once per year for an annual check-up and shots.
Helpful Dog Health Resource:
Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your doggy friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.
Other Health Tips for your White GSD
Heartworms, Flea and Tick Prevention
It is also crucial to have your White German Shepherd on monthly flea, tick and heartworm prevention at all times. Read more about dealing with heartworms here.
Spaying and Neutering
Spaying and neutering are highly recommended to avoid unwanted litters adding to the pet overpopulation crises.
These best practices also have health and behavioral benefits. Talk with your vet about the best time to schedule this procedure.
Feeding Your White German Shepherd Dog
Feed your White German Shepherd a high-quality dog food. Avoid cheap brands with filler ingredients eg: corn or chicken by-products.
You should also make sure your White German Shepherd gets routine dental care.
With excellent care and nutrition, the White German Shepherd lifespan is generally between 7 and 10 years. However, they can occasionally live longer.
White German Shepherd Rescue and Adoption
Once you have decided that the White German Shepherd temperament is a good fit for you, it is time to find one to bring home!
There are many wonderful dogs up for adoption, so please look into rescue and adoption options first!
There are many great reasons to consider adopting a White German Shepherd.
Many of these dogs are up for adoption through no fault of their own and will make wonderful pets. There are whole rescue organizations, such as Echo Dogs, dedicated exclusively to saving White German Shepherds.
White German Shepherds that are up for adoption sometimes come with some prior training such as house training or crate training.
They are usually past the destructive puppy chewing stage.
The White German Shepherd cost is also significantly lower when you adopt through a shelter or rescue organization. Adoption fees can run between $25 and $250. It all depends on the organization. This fee usually includes microchip, spay/neuter, vaccinations, etc.
How to Find a White German Shepherd for Adoption
German Shepherds (of all varieties) are very common in American animal shelters, so stop by your local shelter or humane society for a visit.
If you do not find a White German Shepherd immediately, ask to leave your name and number on file for the future.
Meanwhile, you can contact German Shepherd Rescues around the country to see what is available.
You can also search for adoptable White German Shepherds on Petfinder.com, Adoptapet.com, Getyourpet.com, and Facebook.
Finding a White German Shepherd for Sale from a Responsible Breeder
You decide to purchase a White German Shepherd puppy from a breeder. Now you should do careful research to make sure that you acquire your German Shepherd from an ethical source.
You want to avoid a backyard breeder or a puppy mill at all costs.
For starters, read this article about finding a reputable breeder: The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Right Breeder.
You can also contact the German Shepherd Dog Club of America for suggestions of high-quality White German Shepherd breeders in your area.
Once you have identified a few possible breeders, set up in-person meetings. Ask to see the premises and meet the breeding dogs. Ask to view health records and the results of any genetic testing.
A good breeder will encourage you to visit. They will want to meet you and ask you questions as well.
If a breeder is trying to dissuade you from visiting the property, this is a major red flag. Keep looking elsewhere.
Whatever you do, never buy White German Shepherd puppies over the internet or from a pet store.
How Much Does a White German Shepherd Cost?
The White German Shepherd price will vary from breeder to breeder.
In general, the average cost is between $750 and $1000. However, it can be more for certain puppies or bloodlines.
Conclusion: Why the White German Shepherd?
The White German Shepherd is a beautiful dog with many wonderful personality traits.
White German Shepherds are smart, loving and loyal.
However, the White German Shepherd temperament is not the right choice for everyone.
These dogs do best with experienced dog owners who have plenty of time to devote to exercise and training.
Calvin is the co-founder and one of the main contributors to dogtemperament.com. He has been an avid dog lover all his life. He enjoys researching and sharing great ideas on how you can avoid common pitfalls of dog ownership and build the most loving and enjoyable relationship with your dog.