German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in America. The medium-to-large breed of dog is often used for a working dog in many different areas, due to its positive qualities, dedication and loyalty. It is typically a black and tan colored dog, however, a white coat breed began to emerge in the late 19th and early 20th century when the recessive white coat trait was bred in a line of German Shepherds. The breed is very similar to the traditional black and tan German Shepherd in the size and build and its capabilities, however, there are some slight differences in the white coat’s general disposition and behaviors. You may have seen these beautiful dogs and somewhat familiar with them, but here are ten things you didn’t know about the white coat, German Shepherd.
1. Viewed as a flaw in genetics
Many people believe this breed of German Shepherd is a flaw in the dog’s genetic line, however, this is not the case. The coloring is an intentional breeding process that was done in an attempt to get an all-white German Shepherd. People mistakenly believe that the White German Shepherd is going to have different, genetic health related issues, when in fact, this line of the breed is only susceptible to the same health issues and risks that the traditional German Shepherd can develop.
2. Is not an albino
When most people see a white-colored animal that is typically a different color, they think it means it is an albino. The White German Shepherd is not a product of albinism and does not have any genetic make-up for albinism. A true albino organism will display signs of a lack of pigmentation, which will include pink eyes, pale skin and lack of hair color. A White German Shepherd has brown or gold eyes, pink or black skin and a dark nose.
3. Has longer fur
While traditional German Shepherds will have medium length fur, the White German Shepherd typically will have a bit of a longer coat. Traditional German Shepherds are known to be big shedders due to their thicker undercoat, however, although White German Shepherds do shed, they usually do not sport as thick of an undercoat and have lesser of a chance of being as big of shedders as their relatives. For those who want a German Shepherd but don’t want to have to deal with a lot of shedding, this can be a plus.
4. Slightly different temperament
The White German Shepherd is very similar to the traditional German Shepherd in most ways, including temperament, however, there can be some slight variations to the two breeds. The White German Shepherds were intentionally bred to have an overall more mellow and sensitive personality compared to the traditional German Shepherd. It is generally not as aggressive in its instincts, which means it can make a great family pet. But consistent socialization and training is still warranted in order to instill proper behavior by the dog.
5. Different type of watch dog
Where one of the biggest qualities of a German Shepherd is acting as a good watch dog, the White German Shepherd is not quite the same watch dog. Yes, a White German Shepherd will act as a watch dog, however, typically the extent of the watchfulness that it will administer, is alerting you when someone is approaching. They are not typically known to be aggressive or act beyond alerting its owner, however, a lot will depend on the training and socialization it has been given.
6. Can be skittish or shy
Most German Shepherds are outgoing, have strong personalities and can be dominative. A White German Shepherd, however, isn’t typically the same nature. As a matter-of-fact, White German Shepherds can be almost skittish or shy around strangers, almost to a fault, really. With proper socialization, they can become more self-assured and confident.
7. Can be destructive
White German Shepherds are medium-to-large sized dogs and they need plenty of exercise in order to keep them both physically and mentally occupied and happy. They require more than just a simple walk every day and if they don’t get it, or are left in the house alone for long periods of time, they can become destructive. White German Shepherds need plenty to do; mental and physical tasks and games. Owners who are not prepared to spend quality time with their dog, will have a lot of built-up energy they will have to contend with in their pet, and it may not have a good outcome on their property.
8. Boisterous puppies
White German Shepherds have a lot of spunk as puppies. Until they are well trained in their behavior and gain a little maturity, they can be quite rambunctious. Because this is a bigger breed, puppyhood means bigger puppies, and the size of the dog coupled with its ability to be boisterous, this can be a concern for a household with small children or elderly people. They are known to knock these two groups of people in the household, off their feet, so this should be a concern for anyone with these ages of people in the home. As they get older and out of their young, and teenage years, they will calm down and be more relaxed, if you can just get through the first stages of life.
This breed is known for being a barking breed. If you are not ready to hear some barking, you may not want to invest in a White German Shepherd. They love to share their voice, and for someone who likes quieter dogs, or lives close to neighbors that it may irritate, a White German Shepherd may cause some issues. They can be trained, somewhat, to keep tone their barking back, but, they are dogs, after all.
10. Size of a White German Shepherd
White German Shepherds get to the size of a typical German Shepherd which is about 66-88 pounds for a full-grown male, and 49-71 pounds for a female. A WGS will double its weight in the first week of its life, and will weigh approximately around 16-19 pounds at the time you get your puppy, if you adopt him at the average age of 8 weeks to 2 months of age.