White German Shepherds are rare dogs with a striking coat.
However, White GSDs can have some subtle differences.
White German Shepherds have been recongised by the UKC since 1999 – and the organization have created a breed standard for this particular variety of GSD.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the pros and cons of White German Shepherds for prospective owners.
Remember – if you’re looking for a White German Shepherd, you should first check with your local rescue organization to see if there’s a member of the breed in need of a forever home.
The White German Shepherd is a relatively rare dog. They’re an uncommon variety of German Shepherd. While they were banned from registration in their native Germany in 1933, North America proved something of a hotbed for these dogs and a breed club was formed for White German Shepherds in 1969. The United Kennel Club has granted the White German Shepherd status since 1999.
Ash, who owns a White GSD called Ghost, warned prospective owners to be prepared for their dog to be confused for another popular dog breed!
EVERYONE ALWAYS SAYS LOOKS A HUSKY! You will constantly be asked if your dog is a Husky (white fur that is so noticeable, needs a lot of attention, lots of energy).
This is a trait that appears to ring true of all German Shepherds irrespective of coat color. If you’re thinking about getting a White GSD, you’ll likely have an extremely loyal dog on your hands. They can become very attached to their dog owners and members of the family. This can translate to them being excellent family dogs!
Alyssa highlighted this loyal trait, having firsthand experience with Lumi.
White Shepherds are incredibly loyal and great family dogs. They love their families and will do anything to protect them. Because of this, they typically are a bit skeptical of strangers but this can be worked through with proper socialization and training.
Continuing on from the point above, White German Shepherds are a loving dog breed that will relish the chance to interact with their owners and family members. Whether it’s going for long walks, taking on a challenging hike, playtime in the back garden or even training at home. While German Shepherds can often be incorrectly stereotyped as aggressive dogs, the White GSD tend to have more mellow personalities. They’re quite laid-back and have a lower working drive than German Shepherds.
Here’s what Alyssa had to say on the White German Shepherd’s mellow personalities.
They’re extremely loyal and intelligent like other German Shepherds but all of the White Shepherds I’ve met, mind included, have had more mellow personalities with a lower drive compared to your typical working Shepherd. Many of Lumi’s siblings have gone on to become service dogs because of their great temperament.
German Shepherds are considered the third-smartest dog breed in the world, according to The Intelligence Of Dogs. Only the Border Collie and the Poodle are considered more intelligent! So there’s a strong possibility that a White German Shepherd will be smart. They should be quick to learn new commands and can be highly obedient dogs. Having said that, sometimes smart dogs can have a stubborn or mischievous streak.
Alyssa explained that consistency is key where training White GSD is concerned.
White Shepherds are incredibly smart. They’re very easy to train, however it takes consistency. They’ll pick up on things you teach them incredibly quick, but you need to continue to work on their skills. It is also typical as your puppy grows that they regress in some of the training they’ve already learned. Just keep at it and make sure to give lots of praise when they exhibit the correct behaviors.
Not Suitable For First-Time Owners
German Shepherds can make great pets in the care of experienced owners. While they’re smart dogs, they can be quick to outthink their owners. With high energy compared to other breeds, they may not be suited to all pet parents.
Alyssa believes White German Shepherds wouldn’t be a good option for first-time dog owners.
It’s important to note that German Shepherds aren’t a great first dog to get unless you’ve really done your research. They’re sometimes too smart (Lumi has outsmarted us on multiple occasions) and are INSANE chewers. They don’t call them ‘landsharks’ for nothing (my husband still has scars from the puppy teeth). As mentioned before they need a solid amount of exercise and mental stimulation or they can become bored and destructive.
As touched upon by Alyssa in the point above, White German Shepherds can be big chewers so you’ll need to direct this energy to something you want your dog to chew. For this reason, it’s important to keep your White GSD mentally and physically stimulated in order to best prevent against chewing.
Shed A Lot
Just like German Shepherds, White German Shepherds have a double coat and can shed a lot. They’ll usually shed all year round but particularly during shedding season at the changing of the temperature. You should be prepared for lots of white fur on your clothes, on your furniture and on the floor. It’s safe to say a good vacuum is a must!
Alyssa shed further light on White GSD shedding!
If you have issues with shedding, White Shepherds are not for you. They need a lot of brushing and I vacuum at LEAST once a day to try to keep up with their hair bunnies.
Require A Lot Of Exercise
While a White German Shepherd might be a good fit for someone who likes the outdoors, they may not be a good option if you’re a coach potato! White GSDs require regular daily exercise to stretch their legs. Traditionally a working breed, they’re hard-working dogs.
Aylssa provided her insight on White German Shepherd exercise.
Exercise all depends on the drive and energy level of your dog. German Shepherds on average (White Shepherds included) need quite a bit of exercise. Lumi personally doesn’t need that much because she’s a low energy girl but we still do make sure to take her to the park once a day for play and running time and do at least one walk a day as well. One thing that many people don’t think about is the amount of mental stimulation a German Shepherd needs. They can get bored very easily so its important to keep their mind busy. We own quite a few treat puzzles that we use to keep our dog’s mind working hard. Training sessions also do a great job of keeping them mentally stimulated.
Lots Of Grooming
You’ll need to invest in a good brush if you decide to welcome a White German Shepherd into your home! They need regular brushing to remove shedded hair and debris from their coat to maintain their overall coat health.
Ash underlined the importance of regularly grooming a White GSD.
One thing they do not warn you about the White German Shepherd is the “brown elbow issue” This is caused by the way they lay down, if the dog is laying on hard surfaces like concrete or wood the fur tends to rub and die or something – I’m not entirely sure what it is but I found the best way is to keep an eye on the elbows and brush the fur there as well so the dirt does not build up. Sometimes the fur can grow back, other times the elbow becomes a little bald patch which can scab if it gets hurt.