Meet Rasta the White Shepherd.
This beautiful white-coated dog loves to explore with owner and photographer Sylvia.
Rasta’s Instagram account will leave you feeling inspired to plan adventures with your own canine companion.
Whether it’s snow-capped mountains, lakes that look like mirrors or hills covered in spring flowers, Rasta is a versatile explorer in all terrains.
With nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram, Rasta has a lot of followers who are travelling vicariously through his social media account.
We spoke to Sylvia to learn more about Rasta, their unique bond and life owning a White Swiss Shepherd dog.
You can follow Rasta on Instagram (@rastawhiteshepherd) and Sylvia’s photography account (@michelphotographych).
1) What attracted you to the Swiss Shepherd breed?
I have been dreaming of a white shepherd dog since I was 20 years old. At that time this breed did not exist officially. So it must have been a premonition.
2) How did you get Rasta?
I started looking for a breeder in Switzerland and found one at Christian Künzler in Wattwil.
3) Can you describe Rasta’s personality?
Rasta is a very strong character dog. And even though he follows very well, he always adds his own touch and opinion. Often he discusses with me about commands that he just doesn’t think are so cool. He is very communicative!
4) What is Rasta’s daily life like?
Rasta’s life is a little different every day. I usually go out with him in the morning and find a nice walk or just a great place where he can play and we won’t be disturbed. Rasta always claims a play area for himself and doesn’t tolerate competition from other dogs.
5) How would you describe the relationship between you and Rasta?
We are very similar in many ways. We love our freedom, but know that there are certain rules that must be followed. This is what connects us. Also, the hikes and trips we take together weld us together. How often have we been through situations together where we supported each other. That gives a very strong bond.
6) Where is your favorite place you have traveled with Rasta?
We have 1000 favorite places. We love to be by ourselves. It feels then like there are just the two of us in this world and no worries exist.
7) Do you have a favorite Instagram post from your adventures together?
Every single post tells a story and captures a moment. And all of those moments are special in themselves. That’s why there is no favorite Instagram post – they all tell our wonderful story.
8) How does it feel to have such a large community engaging with Rasta and your content?
It’s hard for me to grasp since I don’t know all the people. I just show how it looks like in our world and transport such beautiful emotions to people. If it makes them feel happier, we are doing a good deed. What are our deeds otherwise worth if they move nothing in the world.
9) Why did you decide to create an Instagram account for Rasta?
Because I wanted to decouple it from my landscape photos. And because I wanted to have some sort of album of our experiences.
10) What does your creative process look like? Do you plan ahead or are you more spontaneous?
I plan most of the trips spontaneously. And some of them are planned a bit because you might need to book a hotel on top of that, etc.
11) What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting a social media account for their dog?
I think it’s important. that you don’t do it with the focus of getting rich and famous. For me, the focus has always been on the well-being of my dog. That’s why I don’t “sell” him for different products. We do our “travel thing” and that’s where Rasta feels most comfortable and is allowed to just be a dog.
12) Can you tell us a funny Rasta story?
Rasta makes me laugh every day because of his nature. Even though he will be 8 years old on January 31, he is still like a puppy. I often have to laugh at his strategies on how he gets treats. He keeps trying different things, trying to hypnotize me, going on hunger strikes, trying all his tricks at the same time.
13) What adventures do you have planned next?
Since his birthday is coming up, I’m going to take him somewhere that has a lot of snow. He is an absolute snow junkie.
14) What advice would you give to someone thinking about getting a Swiss Shepherd?
White Shepherds are great and active dogs, but they need an experienced hand. I would only recommend this dog to someone who also has enough time and is outside a lot.
15) What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to the time you got Rasta, knowing what you know now?
Before Rasta came to us, I read a lot of books and read extensively about the best ways to raise dogs. I think that’s probably why I didn’t make too many mistakes. I knew that consistency in parenting was important and I have followed through with that to this day.