Updated: September 1st 2016 One of the first questions many people ask when they see a solid white German Shepherd is if it is an Albino.
No, they are not actually an albino dog.
Albino is described as an organism that exhibits deficient pigmentation, meaning that albino dogs usually have pink eyes, pale skin, and colorless hair.
While some albino German Shepherds do exist, the White German Shepherds descend from a line of “white-coat” lines that originated in Europe and spread to the United States and Canada, then throughout the rest of the world.
Description Of The White German Shepherd
The white German Shepherd is identical to the standard German Shepherd in every way, except color, or course.
They are medium-sized and muscular with a low-set tail and erect ears. Adult males are about 24 to 26 inches, and Females are 22 to 24 inches, both weighing between 77 to 85 pounds when they’re a healthy adult. The white coat is usually long, stiff to the touch and at times can have a feathered appearance.
Temperament Of The White German Shepherd
White German Shepherds are loyal to the core, and will even risk their own life to protect their human owner and family.
They have a well-balanced, cheerful, tranquil and at times serious personality. They also exhibit confidence, courage, faithfulness, and obedience. White GSDs, like all other colors, exude self-confidence and are great guard and herding dogs as well as an excellent family pet.
White GSDs tend to have a well-poised demeanor, but if a situation arises that requires their protective services they will react in an instant.
When they are around strangers, they become observant of the situation and may seem shy even. Don’t underestimate them, though. They are getting a clear picture of the stranger and sensing their intentions. If the stranger or friend means no harm, they will usually drop their guard and begin to warm up.
These dogs are capable of adapting to a variety of social situations and events. They also have a playful nature and are highly interested in expressing their fun-loving nature by playing with various toys, playing fetch, running and other activities, as long as it is with their pet owner and family.
Exercise And Activities
If you already own a white German Shepherd, or you are planning on welcoming one into your family, you should be aware that he or she will require plenty of
Pet owners usually look forward to exercising their dog by going for a daily walk, hiking, running or jogging. GSDs are excellent workout partners and are capable of keeping up at any pace. Most owners even enjoy riding a bicycle and allowing their dog to follow along side.
White German Shepherds are also great at playing frisbee, fetch, and ball.
Since German Shepherds are high energy dogs, you will want to make sure that you’re helping burn off their energy with daily exercise.
If you don’t address their high energy, it could lead to frustration and boredom that will result in a restless dog. When this happens, you’ll usually come home to damaged furniture, clothes, shoes, and sometimes even the trim and drywall in your house.
The destruction will only come to an end when they’ve released all their pent up energy.
Grooming A White German Shepherd
When you own a white GSD, you will get used to seeing their white hair around your house, on your furniture, your clothes, and your floors.
Consistently shedding their fur is something German Shepherds are known for, and it tends to get worse as the weather warms up and they begin to release their thicker winter coat.
To avoid getting frustrated with the hair, daily brushing is required. You’ll also want to limit how often you give them a bath because excessive bathing will remove their skin’s natural oils, causing irritation -- which makes them shed even more hair.
You will also want to invest in a good vacuum cleaner that is strong enough to pick up hair off of carpet and hard floor surfaces. If you want to stay on top of the hair, you may need to vacuum daily.
You’ll also need to make sure that you’re regularly cleaning out your dog’s ears, while keeping their nails trimmed, too.If you’re going to groom your GSD yourself, you will want to start when they’re a puppy so they can become accustomed to the process. It’s going to be a regular part of their life, so developing the routine while they’re young will help you when you’re trying to clip an 80-pound dog’s nails.
Considerations For Owning A White GSD
If you are just learning about white German Shepherds and are seriously thinking of welcoming one into your life, there are a few pros and cons you will want to become familiar with.
One of the biggest reasons to own a German Shepherd is their softer, mellower personality. Having a strong, attractive dog that is athletic and protects you, while having your own exercise partner as he or she runs, jogs, walks or hikes
On the other side, you may want to focus on the fact that this dog breed requires plenty of
This means if you are an inactive person or have a sedentary family, your white German Shepherd will not exactly be happy being cooped up in the house while you’re watching movies all day.
If you don’t socialize your dog, there is a high possibility that he or she will become aggressive toward other dogs.
Also, if you or your family members suffer from allergies, the constant shedding and pet dander that you will be exposed to on a daily basis can increase your allergy symptoms.
Their keen herding abilities will make any farmer or rancher delighted to work side by side with a white German Shepherd.
Since they are highly intelligent, they can be trained to herd a variety of different animals using techniques that are natural for them to exhibit.
In addition to herding the animals they are also exceptional guard dogs and are capable of protecting a herd of animals (or you and your family) from predators or harm.
If you are looking to work your white German Shepherd as a herding dog, they will make a great working companion, and enjoy the exercise. It is wise to make your dog part of your family first since they require emotional attachment to their owners and family to be well-balanced.
Train your dog to herd by using a whistle and hand signals that will allow them to obey your commands such as when to start
The most common health issue GSDs are known for are hip and elbow dysplasia. These illnesses are usually hereditary and can become apparent at any age. The symptoms are most often noticed in older dogs, though.
Other issues may arise such as allergies that are airborne, from fleas or food related allergies.
Some lines of white German Shepherds are known to develop malabsorption syndrome along with a variety of eye diseases.
German Shepherds have also been known to develop Lupus and Congenital Spine Disease, however, the cases for these two diseases are fairly rare.
If you believe your dog may have developed allergies, or a more serious type of illness or disease, a visit to your vet is required to keep them healthy.
The veterinarian will conduct a physical exam, along with blood tests and X-rays to make a proper diagnosis.
They will also provide you with a variety of ways to help your dog improve his or her health, and map out a plan to help them live a high-quality lifestyle while living in harmony with their diagnosis.
White German Shepherds are capable of happily living indoors or outdoors, as long as daily exercise and human interaction are provided.
German Shepherds love having an area they can consider all their own, whether you choose to have them living inside with you, or outside of the house.
A doghouse that is large enough for an adult white German Shepherd to stand up and turn around in should be provided in a safe, shaded area in the back yard. To prevent dehydration, plenty of fresh water should be provided at all times.
Toys should also be provided to keep your dog’s mind occupied and captivated. You will need to spend time with your dog on a daily basis to fill all of his or her emotional needs.
They need to have attention and praise from their owners every day. If you choose to keep your dog outdoors, you’ll need to make regular visits to keep them from getting lonely, developing depression and anxiety, or, worse, becoming aggressive.
In addition, keep in mind that since your dog is an outdoor dog doesn’t mean they are getting exercise, so you will still have to play fetch, frisbee, take him or her for a walk, go jogging, running, or hiking or even train them to do agility courses in order to keep them fit and healthy.
As you can see a white German Shepherd is physically identical to the standard German Shepherd with the exception of the coat. The main difference is the personality and the fact that white German Shepherds have a calmer demeanor.