Frequently Asked Questions
Why are they called White Swiss Shepherds in other countries?
Switzerland was the first country to officially recognise whites as a new breed, separate to the German Shepherd Dog. This took many years to occur, with breed separation being a gradual process.
Are White Shepherds pure bred?
White Shepherds both in Australia and overseas and White Swiss Shepherds are breeds that have developed over time from purebred White German Shepherd Dogs. They have not been mixed with any other breed of dog to obtain the white coat colour.
Why does the name differ around the world?
It is dependant on the countries controlling kennel council what they breed is able to be officially registered as. In England they are still registered as German Shepherds colour white. In America they often have dual registration, AKC (American Kennel Council) German Shepherd white, UKC (United Kennel Council) White Shepherd. In other countries, including Australia, they were moved to the limited register (not able to register any offspring) around 1984, subsequently many White Shepherds in Australia lost their histories and pedigrees. In European countries overseen by the FCI, they are known as White Swiss Shepherds, a breed unto its own right now separate from German Shepherds.
Where does the White colour come from?
The first dog to be registered as a German Shepherd Dog was Horand Von Grafrath. His maternal grandfather was a white dog, named Grief. The white gene has been around since the very beginning of the German Shepherd Dog breed! German Shepherds have many natural colour variations other than Black and Tan.
Is the White Shepherd rare?
No, there are hundreds registered with the WSSDCA. Breeders that are registered with the WSSDCA will never advertise their dogs as ‘rare’.
Why can’t I show my Australian White Shepherd in ANKC Shows?
The Australian dogs have not been recognised by the ANKC, therefore it is not possible to show Australian White Shepherds at ANKC Shows. The WSSDCA has its own annual National Show, and many States around Australia now have their own state shows specifically for dogs registered with the WSSDCA.
Dont forget your White Shepherd will really enjoy taking part in dog sports such as obedience, agility, or tracking and even sheep herding, although de-sexing may be required by your kennel council to compete in ANKC trials.
Is the White Shepherd/ White Swiss Shepherd an albino?
No, the White Swiss Shepherd is not albino. It has none of the health concerns associated with albinos (skin cancer/blindness/deafness) and has dark pigment around the eyes and lips. The preferred eye colour is dark brown (in albinos, this is blue or pink). In black and tans, the white is carried as a recessive colour gene (See: Where does the white colour come from? above). If two White Shepherds are mated, all puppies will be white as both parents display this coat colour gene.