White German Shepherd Dog (GSD): Breed Guide

Breed Overview

White german shepherd breed inforaphics Ultimate Guide

History of the White German Shepherd

The origin of the white German Shepherd is the same as the “usual” German shepherd that we all know. Its development began in the 19th century when Germany was looking for a perfect race to protect the herds of sheep from wolves, a race combining reliability, daring, loyalty, and obedience.

The German Shepherd is one of the oldest native breeds in Germany, and Max von Stephanitz, cavalry captain in the German Army, is considered the “father” of this race.

Max used to go to many dog shows and fell in love with a sheepdog named Horand von Grafrath. He loved his wolf-like appearance, intelligence, obedience, and his strength then he started developing the German shepherd of nowadays.

Max Von Stephanitz with Horand Von Grafrath

Where did the white German shepherd color came from?

Horand’s grandfather, the founding dog, was completely white. This is nothing unusual as many sheepdogs were white. Many pastors preferred them white because they could distinguish them better in fields, especially at night.

The white coat is a recessive gene in the standard GSD, and both parents must carry it so it shows in the litter.

The white German shepherd began to be disqualified by 1930 in Europe because people mistakenly believed they were an albino German shepherd and had some genetic defect dangerous to their health. So the white GSD became practically extinct in Europe.

Fortunately, and by 1970,  white german shepherds came back again, to Switzerland, thanks to Agatha Burch who brought a GSD named “wolf” who can be considered the progenitor of the race. The reproduction of white GSDs began again in Europe and reached the US & Canada where American lines were bred as well.

Other names:

  • Swiss white shepherd
  • Albino german shepherd
  • American-Canadian Shepherd
  • American white shepherd
  • White shepherd

How much is a pure white German shepherd?

The pricing depend on the breeder’s reputation. The ones registered with the AKC or other known Kennel clubs offer higher quality white GSDs but the typical average price range is from 700$ to 1200$.

The Appearance of a white German Shepherd

White German shepherds are not albinos!

the difference between white german shepherd and albino dog german shepherd
White German shepherd VS albino GSD

Albinism is a rare genetic disorder that causes the skin, hair, or eyes to have a lack of pigmentation or completely none. It is also associated with vision problems. The white color in a german shepherd is recognized as a standars color within the GSD breed.

A white GSD dog is medium-sized, with a wedge-shaped head, erect ears, slightly elongated, has a good musculature and his silhouette is inclined sufficiently to allow an expansive movement.

The most common eye color for a white German shepherd is dark brown but the coloration can range from light amber to darker.

Height in males is about 60-65 cm and in females 55-60 cm.
Weight in males is about 35–40 kg, and 34–39 kg in females;

For the coat, white German shepherds are most likely to be short haired while long haired ones are really hard to find.

How long do white German Shepherds live?

A healthy white shepherd lives on average from 11 to 14.

Personality and Temperament of a White German Shepherd

All white german shepherd-American white shepherd

White German shepherds like other colored GSDs are extremely intelligent, self-confident, loyal to the core and will risk their lives to protect their owners. They have a cheerful personality, calm and serious from time to time.

Unlike other GSDs, they tend to be vocal, so expect some whining, mumbling, and grumbling.

They are eager to learn new things and serve their owners, that’s why they do a great job as work dogs.

Are white german shepherds more aggressive?

Not at all, white German shepherds are exceptionally balanced by nature, and mostly have softer personalities unlike other colored GSDs, aggressivity and anxiety are not in the white breed’s standards.

Do white German shepherds make good pets?

White german shepherds are incredibly open and friendly around people they know. Around strangers, they are observant and maybe aloof but not fearful.

They are very playful joyful and very easy to train. They show a great ability to adapt to any kind of change or social events. These qualities make them wonderful companions for families. However, they need to be socialized to be good with other pets at home as well.

White German Shepherd Puppies

White german shepherd puppies

Before getting a white German shepherd puppy, it is important to choose the right breeder. Well-reputed breeders raise parents in healthier conditions which provides better quality puppies. This way you can avoid many inherited negative traits as well as health issues.

Health Issues of a White German Shepherd

The White Shepherd is a direct descendant of the “Traditional” GSD so they both share common heath issues, they are prone to:

  • Hip Dysplasia/Elbow Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Epilepsy
  • Hemophilia A & B
  • Diabetes
  • Cataract
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • See details

Grooming a White German Shepherd

White German shepherds are not high-maintenance dogs, but like any other colored GSD, they definitely need a regular care routine that includes:

Regular brushing :

For medium long coats, brushing every 2 to 3 days is fairly sufficient. However, long-haired white German shepherds need to be brushed every day to eliminate the dead hair that remains on their skin and leads to serious skin problems if left.

White German shepherds are heavy shedders, expect to see their white hair all over the house and invest in a good vacuum.


German shepherds can bath once every 2 to 3 months, frequent bathing is harmful to dogs because it removes all the natural oils the skin produces and damages hair follicles, therefore, increasing the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.


Dental care is essential as well, especially for large dogs like white German shepherds. It keeps their teeth and gums healthy and helps with bad breaths as well. Start as early as possible so your dog becomes accustomed to the brushing process.


White german shepherds are very active dogs and can go for several months without little or no trimming, usually because they do a lot of walking and running on hard surfaces. However, some trimming will be necessary if their nails grow enough to make walking uncomfortable for them.

It is preferable to ask for an expert’s help first in order to learn the right way to trim your dog’s nails at home. We’ve seing many people hurt their dogs by cutting the sensitive nail base that contains nerves and blood vessels.

Swiss white shepherd

Feeding a White German Shepherd:

White German shepherds are among the most active and athletic dogs, so meeting their diet to help them remain as energetic as they are is crucial.

How many meals for a white German shepherd?

White German Shepherd puppies require more food than adult dogs to sustain their growth process, from 2 to 4 meals a day depending on the puppy’s age; the older they are fewer meals they will need.

  • 4 meals a day for a puppy
  • 2 to 3 meals a day for puppies around 6 months old
  • 2 meals a day for adults

How many calories for a white German shepherd?

The daily calorie intake for a white GSD depends on some factors:

  • Level of  activity
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Sexe
dog daily calorie intake for puppies and adult by gender

German Shepherds are prone to many stomach diseases and a variety of allergies as well. Therefore, a kibble diet may not be the best option for a GSD as it can cause or worsen these diseases. However, a homemade diet is arguably a valuable option to consider. For more information :

Poisonous food:

Certain human foods can be harmful to a German shepherd and for many dogs in general like coffee, onion, garlic, chocolate, and raisins.

humain foods poisonous for dogs

Training and Exercising a white German Shepherd.

Do white German Shepherds need a lot of exercise?

Totally, they have lots of energy that need to be burned off with daily exercise. They must spend at least 2 hours a day exercising their bodies as well as their minds.

Physical activities for a white German shepherd:

  • Stair Sprints
  • Flirt Pole
  • Fetch
  • Frisbee Toss
  • Agility
  • Running, biking with your dog
  • Swimming
  • Play with other dogs
  • Dog sports
  • Digging

Mental stimulation for white German shepherds

  • Puzzle Toys
  • Scenting and nose stimulation
  • Chew Toys
  • Learning new tasks

How to train a white German shepherd?

White GSDs are extremely intelligent, obedient and fast learners which makes them easy to train, you can teach them to do almost anything, even If you get an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue, they can still be trained effectively. Here are few general tips when training a white german shepherd :

Positive reinforcement attitude is key: using food traits and praise to reward good behavior rather than punishment for bad behavior, aggressivity will only affect the GSD’s confidence in himself and break his spirit. Find their currency and reward them

Socialization: Raise your puppy to be emotionally stable by ensuring proper surroundings and socializing them earlier by frequently introducing them to new people, pets, places, and situations.

Initial training: It is the basic obedience training where the main focus is teaching them home behavior, starting with potty training, crate training, gentle playing (GSDs tend to bite when playing) and some basic commands that come handy like sit, stay, No…

Safety training: It is the outdoor safety in general leash training, coming when called, ignoring other pets/people and car training.

Last Saying

A white coat and a softer personality are the only distinguishing traits that white german shepherds have. If they were going to have any temperament fault, it’s more likely to be timidity.

They are not for people who want a casual pet to hang around the house, they need an active owner who is able to provide enough mental and physical exercise, regular care and plenty of love.

We love hearing stories about German shepherds, tell us about your german shepherd and his anecdotes!

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