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White Swiss Shepherd | Breed Information, Pictures & Facts

White Swiss Shepherd dog on a field outside
Height:22 – 26 inches
Weight:48 – 97 pounds
Lifespan:10 – 14 years
Coat Colors:Pure white, light cream, light biscuit tan
Temperament:Vigilant, amiable, affectionate, all-rounder, enthusiastic, intelligent, protective
Suitable for:Active owners; being a watchdog; guarding farms

If you’re searching for herding dogs to keep your flock in line, the White Swiss Shepherd Dog should be a top contender. This distinct breed is a member of the pastoral group and is known for its versatility.

White Swiss Shepherds were bred to be all-purpose canines that could fulfill many roles. Not only are they herders, but they also serve as police partners, therapy dogs, and rescue animals.

So for those who want to learn more about this intelligent breed and how they differ from other shepherd breeds, keep reading! Their origin, traits, and even health issues will be tackled below.

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What Is a White Swiss Shepherd?

White Swiss Shepherd Dog or Berger Blanc Suisse on snow in winter

The White Swiss Shepherd, also known as the Berger Blanc Suisse, is a purebred herding dog often mistaken for an albino or white German Shepherd Dog. However, the White Swiss Shepherd is a separate breed developed in Switzerland in the 19th century and remains a popular working dog today.

As with other shepherd breeds, White Swiss Shepherds are regarded for their cleverness, strength, and athleticism. They’re also very devoted to their families, making them ideal playmates for children and other pets.

Moreover, they usually make excellent guard dogs because of their protective disposition and high alertness.

According to their official breed standard, the White Swiss Shepherd breed comes in a medium to large-sized frame. Thus, they’re not suggested for apartment dwellers and people with limited space at home.

Nonetheless, giving them enough exercise opportunities every day will help them stay happy in any living situation.

7 Interesting Facts About the White Swiss Shepherd

White Swiss Shepherd dog with its puppies

Despite their rising popularity in many countries, Swiss White Shepherd Dogs are still not as common as other canines. Fortunately, some fun facts about this extraordinary breed are not so hard to come by!

So before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s learn seven interesting facts about the White Swiss Shepherd breed:

1. White German Shepherds and White Swiss Shepherds have similar ancestry lines

Although the White Swiss Shepherd is a separate breed from the German Shepherd Dog, these two pooches are closely related. In fact, their histories are interlinked in many ways.

For instance, both breeds share a common ancestor: Thuringian dogs. These dogs, however, were bred for different purposes.

While White Swiss Shepherds and White German Shepherds were initially used for herding, Thuringian dogs had more of a hunting and guarding background.

2. White Swiss Shepherds have fresh snow color

As this breed’s name implies, the White Swiss Shepherd exclusively sports the purest white-colored coat.

However, some dogs may exhibit a very light cream to light tan biscuit shade, depending on their gene pool.

3. The White Swiss Shepherd breed likes to be kept busy

As a working dog breed, the White Swiss Shepherd is the happiest when it’s doing something productive and challenging.

So in order to prevent them from developing a habit of excessive barking and destructive behavior, owners should ensure that they keep their White Swiss Shepherds mentally stimulated.

4. The Swiss White Shepherd is the most laid-back member of the shepherd family

Surprisingly, the Swiss White Shepherd Dog is not as energetic as the other dogs in the shepherd family.

But don’t instantly assume that this breed is going to be a couch potato, as all herding dogs are generally playful and active.

5. White Swiss Shepherds take a bite out of any situation

In general, shepherd dog breeds are known for their versatility. However, White Swiss Shepherds are the most adaptable of all.

They can be trained to execute almost any task and will always find a way to get the job done.

6. The White Swiss Shepherd is a relatively rare breed

Even though the White Swiss Shepherd has already been saved from extinction, it’s still regarded as an uncommon breed.

Hence, breeders that offer White Swiss Shepherd puppies for sale are often difficult to find.

7. The American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize the White Swiss Shepherd, but many other organizations do

Despite being considered a purebred dog by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and The Kennel Club (TKC), the White Swiss Shepherd can’t be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Fortunately, the United Kennel Club (UKC) is one of the few major canine clubs in the United States that does recognize this breed.

Thus, you can anticipate that White Swiss Shepherds are permitted to compete in UKC-sanctioned shows and events.

White German Shepherd vs. Swiss Shepherd: What’s the Difference?

Two long haired White Swiss Shepherd dogs posing outdoors

While some might think that the Swiss White Shepherd is simply a German Shepherd Dog with a white coat, there are actually many differences between these two purebreds.

Firstly, white German Shepherds possess pointier ears than White Swiss Shepherds. You will also notice that their ears are positioned far apart from one another.

One similarity between these two breeds is the color of their eyes. Both dogs often have them in dark brown. But the eyes of Swiss White Shepherds tend to be almond-shaped and slightly sharper.

Furthermore, both the Swiss White Shepherd and the German Shepherd boast a medium coat. However, the latter’s coat color comes in many different shades, which can be anything from isabella to black or even liver!

Their temperament differs greatly from one another as well. For example, the White Swiss Shepherd breed has been known to be calmer and less aggressive than the German Shepherd.

Finally, German Shepherd Dogs are recognized by the American Kennel Club, while White Swiss Shepherds are not.

READ NEXT: Shepherd Dog Breeds: 21 Types of Shepherd Dogs (With Pictures)

White Swiss Shepherd Breed Origin and History

As a breed in its own right, the history and origin of the White Swiss Shepherd breed are well documented. However, there’s still some confusion over whether or not they’re related to the German Shepherd.

To begin with, Swiss White Shepherd Dogs are, in fact, related to German Shepherds. Both are descendants of the Thuringian sheepdog, which was used as a hunting, guarding, and show dog in the 1800s.

Given that they exhibit similar builds, the White Swiss Shepherd was initially labeled as a sub-breed of German Shepherds.

But the rise of white-colored German Shepherds in the 1900s alarmed dog fanciers who thought that purebreds should only come in dark pigmentations — leading to a decline in the population of these dogs. Fortunately for us today, this predisposition has largely been overcome.

In 1991, the White Swiss Shepherd breed was added to the Swiss Stud Book, and it was also recognized by the Swiss Kennel Club.

Thanks to the North American White Shepherds imported to Switzerland, a white GSD male named Lobo, and selective breeding, breeders were able to bring back White Swiss Shepherds.

Moreover, many kennel clubs founded in the United States, Canada, and England recognize these dogs. Owners can have their White Swiss Shepherds registered with the United Kennel Club and The Kennel Club.

White Swiss Shepherd Appearance

White Swiss Shepherd dog in autumn park

Regarding appearance, the White Swiss Shepherd breed is characterized by its medium to large size, white coat, chiseled head, triangular ears, bushy tail, and well-defined body structure.

Owners will also find some German Shepherd characteristics in the White Swiss Shepherd’s appearance. For instance, Swiss White Shepherd Dogs sport the same rugged, thick coat as their GSD cousins.

Such a coat type helps protect them from harsh weather conditions, especially in their country of origin, Switzerland.

Moreover, they come with deep chests, muscular limbs, pronounced withers, and long necks — making them ideal for any work that requires strength and endurance.

While you’re at it, take a look at this video of a beautiful White Swiss Shepherd family in action:

Swiss Shepherd Family - Puppies!!! Puppies!!! Puppies!!!

White Swiss Shepherd Size and Weight

On average, a fully-grown White Swiss Shepherd can attain a height of around 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder, combined with a weight of approximately 48 to 97 pounds.

But it’s worth noting that many factors affect the final size and weight of your White Swiss Shepherd puppy, including nutrition, genetics, breeding methods, age, and gender.

In addition, White Swiss Shepherd puppies will grow quickly during their first year of life, and they may only stop growing once they reach 15 to 24 months old.

White Swiss Shepherd Temperament and Personality

Fluffy White Swiss Shepherd stands in a field on a green background

Due to its laid-back and friendly personality, the White Swiss Shepherd breed is a suitable type of pooch for families with older children. In reality, even with strangers, this dog rarely shows aggression.

Apart from that, they are highly energetic and trainable. These white dogs often excel in obedience training, agility competitions, herding trials, and tracking tests.

So if you have an active lifestyle and are looking for a pet that you can take with you on hikes or runs, the White Swiss Shepherd may be worth considering.

However, despite these qualities, you should note that the White Swiss Shepherd breed may develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.

Therefore, early socialization and crate training are strongly advised.

White Swiss Shepherd Lifespan and Health Issues

The average lifespan of the White Swiss Shepherd breed falls between 10 and 14 years. Although this is a healthy lifespan, it’s important to remember that health issues can occur at any age for this breed.

As an example, Swiss White Shepherd Dogs are prone to many ear infections, joint problems, and even life-threatening heart and genetic disorders.

Listed below are the common health issues that affect the White Swiss Shepherd breed:

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD): Unfortunately, unethical breeding has resulted in a higher percentage of White Swiss Shepherds with hip dysplasia. This is a condition characterized by malformed bones in the dog’s hind legs, leading to chronic pain and lameness.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM): Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease concerning the spinal cord of the White Swiss Shepherd. It affects the canine’s motor skills and often results in paralysis.
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI): The Berger Blanc Suisse breed may suffer from a syndrome called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. This condition affects the pup’s digestive system and can cause issues with its ability to digest food, leading to extreme weight loss and even death.

Although daily exercise, a well-balanced diet, and regular vet checkups can help prevent these disorders from developing, there’s no guarantee that you won’t have some trouble along the way.

That’s why investing in pet insurance for your Swiss White Shepherd Dog is worth every penny!

How to Take Care of Your White Swiss Shepherd

White Swiss Shepherd dog with three puppies outside in a green field

Keeping your White Swiss Shepherd in tip-top shape is a lifelong commitment. It is not something you can do for a few months and expect everything to be okay: it requires constant care.

So to help you out, this section will provide tips and tricks about the dietary, training, and exercise requirements of your White Swiss Shepherd.

Food and Diet

Your White Swiss Shepherd should be given high-quality food. This will ensure they get all the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.

They should be fed roughly 1 to 4 cups of food per day; however, the most reasonable way to determine the daily feeding requirement of your pet is to consider its age, weight, metabolism, and activity level.

By doing so, you can guarantee that its sensitive digestive system will be well-nourished without causing any adverse effects.

Incorporating supplements into your Swiss White Shepherd’s diet has also been proven to improve its lifespan and overall health.

Cleaning and Grooming

As far as grooming is concerned, White Swiss Shepherds require daily brushing. They shed year-round, and while it’s not considered excessive, it’s still something you should prepare for.

Additionally, these canines should only be bathed when necessary; they’re prone to dry skin and can develop allergies if they’re washed too often or with harsh products.

Dental care is a must for Swiss White Shepherds as well. Since these dogs are prone to many dental diseases, brushing their teeth regularly with toothpaste made specifically for them is recommended.

It’s equally vital to check your White Swiss Shepherd’s ears and nails for signs of infection or abnormalities. If you notice anything unusual, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian right away.

Training and Exercise

Due to its intelligence, the White Swiss Shepherd breed is naturally a pro at training sessions. Whether it’s basic obedience, leash, or advanced agility training, this canine has the smarts to master any task with ease.

But breeders and vets have noted that some White Swiss Shepherds can be stubborn when learning new things. Thus, using treats, praises, and other positive incentives can help keep them focused on their lessons.

Meanwhile, the exercise needs of this dog are relatively high but not as extreme as other Shepherd breeds. A good rule of thumb is to give them about 40 to 120 minutes of daily physical activity.

How Much Does a White Swiss Shepherd Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

A White Swiss Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder can run you between $1,000 and $3,000. However, certain factors, such as location, pedigree, and health history, will affect this price point significantly.

Nonetheless, aspiring fur parents should also be mindful of the expenses associated with owning a dog.

To make it simple, here’s a table that sums up the initial expenses involved in getting the White Swiss Shepherd breed:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$80 – $120
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $35
Bed$40 – $200
Crate$50 – $500
Leashes and Collars$15 – $50
Toys$30 – $50
Grooming Essentials$40 – $180
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$50 – $200
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $300
Initial Vaccine Shots$75 – $200
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Dog License$10 – $20
Microchip$40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies$15 – $30
Total Initial Cost$605 – $2,445

Note, though, that these are just mere estimates. The best way to know how much you’ll spend on your White Swiss Shepherd puppy is to do thorough research, connect with other owners, and consult breeders.

Places to Find White Swiss Shepherd Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Three White Swiss Shepherd puppies for sale and adoption

Since only a handful of kennels and breeders in the country are breeding White Swiss Shepherds, it can be expected that you’ll experience some difficulty in finding a puppy for sale and adoption.

So to make sure that all your efforts are not going to waste, read our puppy-buying guide first. It contains tips on how to verify a seller, as well as how to avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders.

Here are some sources where you may be able to find White Swiss Shepherd puppies for sale:

  • White Swiss Shepherd Club of America – While White Swiss Shepherds can’t be registered with the AKC, the WSSCA offers a list of reputable breeders that produce these rare puppies.
  • Fireside Fernweh – If a dependable breeder is what you’re looking for, Fireside Fernweh might be the place to start. Their White Swiss Shepherd puppies for sale come with UKC papers and health warranties.
  • America’s Berger Blanc Suisse Club (ABBSC) – Any White Swiss Shepherd breeder from the ABBSC’s directory of trustworthy breeders should make your search a little easier.

Another way is to join online forums and social media groups dedicated to the White Swiss Shepherd breed.

Getting in touch with other owners of this pup can be a great help, especially if you’re a first-time dog parent.

However, the list above is not the only way to find a White Swiss Shepherd. With our ultimate dog adoption guide, you’ll be able to locate any pooch that fits your lifestyle at a lower cost.

The following places are known to have White Swiss Shepherds for adoption:

  • Echo Dogs White Shepherd Rescue (EDWSR) – Located in Mississippi, EDWSR has White Swiss Shepherds that are in need of caring families. But remember that an online application, home visit, and adoption donation are required before you can adopt one of their pups.
  • PetSmart Charities – PetSmart Charities is a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to finding forever homes for different animals. They are in partnership with many rescues across the country, so if you really want to adopt a White Swiss Shepherd, there’s a good chance they have it.
  • Ewenity Farm Herding Dog Haven (EFHDH) – With a mission to rehabilitate farm dogs, EFHDH may have a Swiss White Shepherd available for adoption. Their adoptable dogs can range between $150 and $400.

Lastly, learning how to find free puppies in your area for adoption is suggested. This method will allow you to save money, give a puppy a loving home, and help the canine community at large.

Male vs. Female White Swiss Shepherd: What’s the Difference?

While both genders of the White Swiss Shepherd breed flaunt a similar appearance, there are some differences between male and female pooches that are worth mentioning.

For starters, female White Swiss Shepherds tend to be slightly smaller than their male counterparts. Their full-grown height ranges from 22 to 24 inches; meanwhile, male dogs reach an average height of about 26 inches.

Both are known for their hardworking ability as well. However, Swiss White Shepherd owners note that males are often more affectionate than females and tend to bond better with other pets.

Further, male White Swiss Shepherds grow to be more protective over their territory and family members than female canines.

But keep in mind that every Berger Blanc Suisse has its own personality, as no dog truly conforms to stereotypes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Close up of a White Swiss Shepherd puppy poses in the summer

Are Swiss White Shepherds Rare?

Yes, Swiss White Shepherds are still quite rare to locate. They’re a fairly new breed, and despite their popularity, they’re still not as common as other types of Shepherd dogs.

Are White Swiss Shepherds Good Dogs?

Generally, White Swiss Shepherds are good family dogs. However, given that they’re herding dogs, they need early socialization and training to guarantee they don’t pick up on bad habits.

Do White Swiss Shepherds Shed?

Since White Swiss Shepherds originated from Switzerland, they possess a medium-length, double coat that sheds a lot.

Luckily, the shedding process is not as bad as it could be. By brushing your Berger Blanc Suisse regularly, you can help minimize the amount of hair that gets on your furniture and carpets.

Are White Swiss Shepherds Hypoallergenic?

As a medium to heavy shedding breed, anticipate that White Swiss Shepherds are not hypoallergenic. They will likely trigger allergies in people who are sensitive to dog dander.

Are White Swiss Shepherds Aggressive?

No, White Swiss Shepherds are, in fact, not aggressive. However, they need to be socialized early on in order to prevent them from becoming territorial towards strangers, children, and other dogs.

Do White Swiss Shepherds Bark a Lot?

According to many fur parents, their White Swiss Shepherds can be very vocal and will bark at the slightest provocation. This is due to their vigilance, which makes them great watchdogs.

Nevertheless, this behavior can be modified through crate training and early socialization.

Final Thoughts: Is a White Swiss Shepherd the Right Dog for You?

All things considered, the White Swiss Shepherd is an excellent family dog. They are also known for being incredibly friendly towards children and other canines, making them a great addition to any home.

But since this breed is part of the shepherd family, White Swiss Shepherd dogs may not be suitable for everyone. Remember that they’ll require a significant amount of exercise and attention on a daily basis.

Their imposing size also means that they need more space than most other breeds. So make sure that you have enough room in your yard or house before buying or adopting one.

Do you have room in your heart and home for this pooch? Drop your thoughts about the White Swiss Shepherd in the comments section!