Shiloh Shepherd Dog: The Ultimate Guide To This Amazing Breed

Shiloh Shepherd Dog:

Shiloh Shepherd Dog: The Ultimate Guide To This Amazing Breed


Are you looking for a dog that is loyal, intelligent, and protective of its family? Look no further than the Shiloh Shepherd!

This breed is a relatively new addition to the canine world, but it has already captured the hearts of many dog lovers.

In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into everything you need to know about the Shiloh Shepherd, including its history, appearance, temperament, and care requirements.

History And Origin

The Shiloh Shepherd breed was developed in the 1970s by Tina Barber, a German Shepherd breeder who was unhappy with the breed’s declining health and temperament.

She sought to create a larger, more robust German Shepherd with a better temperament and thus began breeding a group of German Shepherds with bloodlines from other breeds, including the Alaskan Malamute and the Great Pyrenees.

shiloh shepherd dog

She started with a German Shepherd named Shiloh, and through careful breeding and selection, she developed the Shiloh Shepherd breed.

Barber’s breeding program focused on developing a dog that was not only larger and stronger but also had a calmer temperament and a more balanced drive. She named the breed after the location of her kennel, Shiloh, New York.

Over time, the Shiloh Shepherd gained a following among dog enthusiasts who were drawn to the breed’s combination of size, strength, and gentle disposition.

Today, the Shiloh Shepherd is recognized as a separate breed from the German Shepherd and has its own breed standards and characteristics.


The Shiloh Shepherd is a large dog breed that can weigh up to 130 pounds and stand up to 30 inches tall at the shoulder.

It has a muscular build with a thick double coat that can come in a variety of colors, including black, cream, silver, and red. The breed has a distinctive head shape with a broad forehead, powerful jaws, and a long muzzle.

shiloh shepherd dog

The appearance of the Shiloh Shepherd is both impressive and majestic. They are large dogs that are muscular and athletic, yet still elegant in their movements. Their appearance is similar to that of the German Shepherd but with some distinctive differences.

Shiloh Shepherds typically have a thick, luxurious coat that is double-layered and can come in a range of colors including black, sable, red, tan, and white.

The coat is usually longer and more flowing than that of a German Shepherd, giving it a more regal appearance. They also have a distinctive “mane” of fur around their necks, which adds to their majestic look.

These dogs have a strong, balanced structure with a broad chest and deep, sturdy frame. Their legs are straight and muscular, giving them the power and agility needed for athletic activities.

The head of a Shiloh Shepherd is wedge-shaped, with a broad forehead and strong jaws. Their ears are large and erect, and their eyes are intelligent and alert.

Overall, the appearance of the Shiloh Shepherd is both striking and impressive. Their size and muscular build, combined with their flowing coat and regal stance, make them truly unique and unmistakable.


The Shiloh Shepherd is a breed known for its loyal, intelligent, and affectionate temperament. They are often described as gentle giants, with calm and easy-going personality that makes them great family pets.

These dogs are very intelligent and eager to please their owners, which makes them easy to train. They are also very loyal and protective of their families, which makes them great watchdogs.

They are generally good with children and other pets when socialized properly, although they may be reserved or cautious around strangers.

The Shiloh Shepherd is a breed that requires socialization and proper training to develop a well-rounded personality. They are sensitive to their owner’s moods and can become anxious or stressed if left alone for long periods of time.

They also require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Overall, the Shiloh Shepherd is a breed with a loving and devoted personality that makes them great companions for families.

They are intelligent, loyal, and protective, and thrive in environments where they are given plenty of attention and exercise. Proper socialization and training are vital to bringing out the best in this breed.


The personality of the Shiloh Shepherd is one of their most endearing traits. They are known for their loyal, gentle, and friendly nature, making them an excellent choice for families and individuals alike.

This breed is highly intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy to train. They are also very loyal and protective of their owners, making them great watchdogs. They are often described as being calm and easy-going, but they can also be playful and energetic.

The Shiloh Shepherd is a breed that thrives on attention and affection from its owners. They are very affectionate and enjoy spending time with their families.

They are good with children and other pets, although they may be reserved or cautious around strangers. This breed is also known for its adaptability, as it can thrive in a variety of environments.

Whether you live in a house with a large yard or an apartment in the city, the Shiloh Shepherd can adjust to your lifestyle as long as it receives proper exercise and mental stimulation.

Overall, the Shiloh Shepherd has a wonderful personality that makes them a great addition to any family. They are loyal, friendly, and intelligent, and their adaptability makes them a versatile breed that can fit into any living situation.

Coats And Grooming

The Shiloh Shepherd has a thick, double-layered coat that can range from medium to long in length. The coat is usually straight or slightly wavy and comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown, sable, and cream.

Grooming requirements for this breed can vary depending on the length of their coat. Shiloh Shepherds with longer coats will require more frequent grooming to prevent matting and tangles.

Regular brushing and combing will help keep their coat looking healthy and shiny. Bathing should be done as needed, but be careful not to bathe them too frequently as this can strip their coat of its natural oils.

It is also important to keep their ears clean and dry to prevent infections. In addition to regular grooming, the Shiloh Shepherd will also require regular exercise to maintain their health and keep their coat looking its best.

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This breed enjoys long walks, hikes, and other outdoor activities, which can also help keep them mentally stimulated and happy.

Overall, the Shiloh Shepherd’s coat is relatively low-maintenance compared to other long-haired breeds, but regular grooming and exercise are still essential to keeping them healthy and happy. With proper care, their coat will remain soft, shiny, and beautiful.

Training And Socialization

The Shiloh Shepherd is an intelligent and highly trainable breed that responds well to positive reinforcement training methods.

They are eager to please their owners and enjoy learning new things, making them a great choice for both novice and experienced dog owners.

Socialization is also important for the Shiloh Shepherd, as they can be protective of their family and territory. Early socialization with various people, animals, and environments can help prevent any potential issues with shyness or aggression.

Training should begin at an early age, with basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel. Once these commands are mastered, owners can move on to more advanced training such as agility or tracking.

It is important to note that the Shiloh Shepherd can be sensitive to harsh training methods or punishment, and may shut down or become fearful if treated too harshly.

Positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise, and play are recommended to keep training sessions fun and effective.

Consistency and patience are key when training the Shiloh Shepherd, as they can be strong-willed and independent at times. With proper training and socialization, however, this breed can become a well-behaved and well-adjusted companion for life.

Exercise Need and Activity Levels

The Shiloh Shepherd is an active breed that requires regular exercise to maintain its physical and mental health. A daily walk or run, along with plenty of playtimes in a fenced yard or at a dog park, is recommended to keep them happy and healthy.

Due to their large size and high energy levels, the Shiloh Shepherd may not be suitable for apartment living or for families with limited outdoor space. They thrive in homes with large, securely fenced yards where they can run and play freely.

In addition to physical exercise, the Shiloh Shepherd also benefits from mental stimulation such as training, interactive toys, and puzzle games.

They enjoy learning and problem-solving and can become bored and destructive if left alone for long periods without adequate stimulation.

It is important to note that the Shiloh Shepherd can be prone to joint problems such as hip dysplasia, so care should be taken to avoid over-exertion or high-impact activities.

Owners should also monitor their weight and provide a healthy diet to help prevent obesity, which can exacerbate joint issues.

Overall, the Shiloh Shepherd is a breed that requires a moderate to high level of exercise and activity to stay healthy and happy.

With regular physical and mental stimulation, they can be a wonderful and active companion for families who enjoy an active lifestyle.

Care and Living Needs

As a large breed dog, the Shiloh Shepherd has certain care and living needs that owners must be aware of. Here are some important factors to consider when providing for your Shiloh Shepherd’s care and living needs:

  1. Diet: The Shiloh Shepherd requires a healthy, well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. It is important to choose a high-quality dog food that contains a good balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Be sure to follow feeding guidelines based on the dog’s age, weight, and activity level.
  2. Grooming: Shiloh Shepherds have a double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. Regular grooming is necessary to keep their coat healthy and free from matting. Brushing their coat at least once a week and bathing them every three months can help to reduce shedding.
  3. Exercise: Shiloh Shepherds are an active breed and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks and playtime in a securely fenced yard are recommended. It is important to provide plenty of exercise opportunities to prevent obesity and other health issues.
  4. Training: Proper training and socialization are important for Shiloh Shepherds. They are intelligent and eager to please, but can also be independent and strong-willed. Early training and socialization can help to prevent behavioral issues, such as excessive barking, jumping, or aggression.
  5. Health: Like all breeds, Shiloh Shepherds are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat, and allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care can help to keep your dog healthy and prevent serious health issues.
  6. Living Space: Shiloh Shepherds are not well-suited for apartment living due to their large size and energy level. They require a home with a securely fenced yard and plenty of indoor space to move around. They are also social dogs and thrive on human interaction, so they do best in homes where someone is around for most of the day.

By providing for your Shiloh Shepherd’s care and living needs, you can help to ensure that they live a healthy, happy life as a beloved member of your family.

Navigating the Health Issues of Shiloh Shepherd Dogs

The Shiloh Shepherd Dog, known for its majestic appearance and gentle disposition, is a breed that captures the hearts of many dog enthusiasts.

However, like all breeds, Shiloh Shepherds are not immune to certain health concerns that may arise throughout their lives. Let’s delve into the potential health issues that Shiloh Shepherd Dogs may face and how to best care for their well-being.

  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a common concern in larger breeds, including Shiloh Shepherds. It’s a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to discomfort, pain, and reduced mobility. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and proper nutrition can help manage this condition.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is a developmental issue affecting the elbows’ joint alignment. This can lead to arthritis and discomfort. Monitoring your Shiloh Shepherd’s weight, providing joint supplements, and avoiding high-impact activities during their growth phase can minimize the risk.
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), or Bloat: Bloat is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition where a dog’s stomach fills with gas and twists. It’s more common in deep-chested breeds like the Shiloh Shepherd. Feeding multiple smaller meals throughout the day, avoiding exercise right after meals, and feeding from elevated bowls can help prevent bloat.
  • Allergies: Shiloh Shepherds can be prone to allergies, which may manifest as skin irritation, itching, and ear infections. Identifying and avoiding triggers, such as certain foods or environmental factors, can help manage allergies. Consultation with a veterinarian may be necessary to determine the best course of action.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM): DM is a progressive neurological disorder that affects a dog’s spinal cord, leading to weakness and paralysis. While there is no cure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and providing physical therapy exercises can help manage the symptoms and improve the dog’s quality of life.
  • Thyroid Issues: Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid gland, can affect Shiloh Shepherds. It can lead to weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems. Regular veterinary check-ups, monitoring for symptoms, and adhering to prescribed treatments can help manage thyroid issues.
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Caring for Your Shiloh Shepherd’s Health:

Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, exercise, and proper grooming are essential aspects of maintaining your Shiloh Shepherd’s overall health.

Early detection and proactive management of any potential health concerns are key to ensuring a happy and healthy life for your beloved companion.

Diet and Nutrition

Proper nutrition is important for every dog breed, including the Shiloh Shepherd. The right diet and nutrition can help keep your Shiloh Shepherd healthy and happy for years to come.

When it comes to feeding your Shiloh Shepherd, it’s important to choose a high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs.

Look for dog food that contains high-quality protein sources, such as chicken, lamb, or fish, and avoid foods that contain a lot of fillers, such as corn or soy.

The amount of food your Shiloh Shepherd needs will depend on their size, age, and activity level. It’s important to follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food label and adjust as necessary based on your dog’s individual needs.

In addition to their regular meals, you can also provide your Shiloh Shepherd with healthy treats and snacks. Avoid giving them human foods that are high in fat, sugar, or salt, as these can be harmful to their health.

It’s also important to provide your Shiloh Shepherd with plenty of fresh water at all times. Make sure to clean their water bowl regularly to keep it free from bacteria.

If you have any concerns about your Shiloh Shepherd’s diet or nutrition, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.

They can provide you with personalized recommendations based on your dog’s individual needs and help ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Common Myths

Like any other breed, Shiloh Shepherds are not immune to the perpetuation of myths and misconceptions that surround them.

These can often lead to misunderstandings about their temperament, behavior, and overall health. In this section, we will debunk some of the most common myths surrounding Shiloh Shepherds.

Myth 1: Shiloh Shepherds are aggressive

This myth is entirely false. Shiloh Shepherds are not naturally aggressive, but they can become aggressive if they are not trained or socialized properly. They are a gentle breed that loves to be around people and other animals. If you give them enough attention and training, they can become excellent family dogs.

Myth 2: Shiloh Shepherds are too big and difficult to handle

It’s true that Shiloh Shepherds are larger than most breeds, but that doesn’t make them unmanageable. They are strong and muscular, but they are also very intelligent and trainable. With proper training and socialization, they can learn to behave appropriately in any situation. They also have a calm temperament, which makes them easy to handle and a great choice for families with children.

Myth 3: Shiloh Shepherds are prone to health issues

While it’s true that all breeds are susceptible to some health issues, there is no evidence to suggest that Shiloh Shepherds are more prone to health problems than any other breed. In fact, they are generally a very healthy breed and have a longer lifespan than many other large breeds.

Myth 4: Shiloh Shepherds are not good with children

This is another false myth. Shiloh Shepherds are excellent family dogs and love to be around children. They are patient, gentle, and protective of their human family, especially children. As with any breed, it’s important to supervise interactions between dogs and children, but Shiloh Shepherds are known to be great with kids.

Myth 5: Shiloh Shepherds are not good apartment dogs

While it’s true that Shiloh Shepherds require a lot of exercise and space to run around, they can adapt to living in an apartment as long as their exercise needs are met.

They need regular walks and playtime to keep them healthy and happy, but they can adjust to living in smaller spaces as long as they are given enough exercise.

Shiloh Shepherds are a beautiful and unique breed that makes an excellent family pet. They are loyal, intelligent, and loving dogs that require proper training and socialization to reach their full potential.

By debunking some of the common myths surrounding them, we can better understand their temperament, behavior, and overall health needs.

Life Expectancy

The Shiloh Shepherd is a healthy and hardy breed with a relatively long life expectancy. On average, they live for about 10-14 years. However, with proper care and attention, some Shiloh Shepherds have been known to live well into their late teens.

To ensure that your Shiloh Shepherd lives a long and healthy life, it is important to provide them with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary care.

You should also keep your Shiloh Shepherd up to date with their vaccinations and heartworm prevention medication.

Additionally, it is important to be aware of any potential health issues that may arise in the breed. While Shiloh Shepherds are generally healthy, some health concerns that may affect the breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat.

Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help to catch any potential health issues early on, increasing the chances of successful treatment and a long and happy life for your Shiloh Shepherd.

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Children And Other Pets

Shiloh Shepherds are generally good with children and make great family dogs. They are loyal, gentle, and protective of their loved ones.

However, as with any breed, children should always be supervised around dogs to ensure that playtime remains safe for both the child and the dog.

When it comes to other pets, Shiloh Shepherds can get along well with other dogs and cats if they are properly socialized from an early age.

However, they do have a strong prey drive, so caution should be taken when introducing them to smaller pets such as hamsters or rabbits.

Overall, with proper socialization and training, Shiloh Shepherds can be great companions for children and other pets.

The Shiloh Shepherd in Popular Culture

The Shiloh Shepherd breed has not yet achieved widespread recognition in popular culture. However, they have gained some attention among dog enthusiasts and have been featured in various dog magazines and websites.

The Shiloh Shepherd has also appeared in various TV shows and movies, including Law and Order, Battlestar Galactica, and The Adjustment Bureau. The breed is also popular among celebrities, including Katherine Heigl, who owns several Shiloh Shepherds.

One notable appearance of Shiloh Shepherds in popular culture was in the TV series “The Walking Dead,” where a Shiloh Shepherd named “Dog” was featured as a companion to Daryl Dixon, one of the main characters.

The character “Dog” quickly became a fan favorite and helped to bring more attention to the breed. Despite not having a significant presence in popular culture, the Shiloh Shepherd is highly regarded by its owners for its loyalty, intelligence, and gentle nature.

Its popularity continues to grow among those who are drawn to its beauty and impressive working abilities.

Shiloh Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

While the Shiloh Shepherd was developed to be an improvement on the German Shepherd, there are still several differences between the two breeds.

The Shiloh Shepherd is generally larger, with a more muscular build and a thicker coat. They also have a more stable temperament and fewer genetic health issues.

Shiloh Shepherds and German Shepherds are both large and intelligent breeds, but there are some notable differences between them.

Size: Shiloh Shepherds are typically larger than German Shepherds, with males standing between 28-30 inches tall and weighing between 100-140 pounds, while females stand between 26-28 inches tall and weigh between 80-120 pounds.

German Shepherds are slightly smaller, with males standing between 24-26 inches tall and weighing between 65-90 pounds, and females standing between 22-24 inches tall and weighing between 50-70 pounds.

Appearance: Shiloh Shepherds have a distinct appearance with a more square-shaped head and a longer, straighter back compared to the sloping back of German Shepherds.

They also have a thicker and softer coat that comes in a variety of colors, while German Shepherds have a straighter and harsher coat that is usually tan and black or sable.

Temperament: Both breeds are intelligent, loyal, and protective, but Shiloh Shepherds tend to be more laid-back and less intense than German Shepherds.

They are also known for being good with children and other pets, while German Shepherds can be more wary of strangers and may be less tolerant of other pets.

Health: Shiloh Shepherds may have a slightly longer lifespan than German Shepherds, with an average of 10-12 years compared to 7-10 years for German Shepherds.

However, both breeds can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as other health issues such as bloat, allergies, and cancer.

Overall, both Shiloh Shepherds and German Shepherds are wonderful breeds with their own unique characteristics, and the choice between them ultimately comes down to personal preference and lifestyle.

Questions People Also Ask (FAQs)


What is a Shiloh Shepherd?

Shiloh Shepherd is a large, gentle, and intelligent dog breed that was developed in the United States in the 1970s as an alternative to the German Shepherd.


What is the temperament of a Shiloh Shepherd?

Shiloh Shepherds are known for their gentle and loyal nature. They are also intelligent, confident, and easy to train, making them great family pets.


What is the size of a Shiloh Shepherd?

Shiloh Shepherds are typically larger than German Shepherds, with males weighing between 100-140 pounds and females weighing between 80-120 pounds. They can stand up to 30 inches tall at the shoulder.


Do Shiloh Shepherds shed a lot?

Yes, Shiloh Shepherds do shed a lot, especially during seasonal changes. They require regular grooming to maintain their thick coat.


Are Shiloh Shepherds good with children?

Yes, Shiloh Shepherds are known for being great with children. They are patient, gentle, and protective, making them great family dogs.


What is the lifespan of a Shiloh Shepherd?

The average lifespan of a Shiloh Shepherd is between 9-14 years.


Are Shiloh Shepherds prone to any health issues?

Like all breeds, Shiloh Shepherds are prone to some health issues, such as hip dysplasia, bloat, and allergies. Regular veterinary care and a healthy diet can help prevent and manage these issues.


Are Shiloh Shepherds good guard dogs?

Yes, Shiloh Shepherds can make great guard dogs due to their protective nature and size. However, it’s important to properly train and socialize them to prevent any aggressive behavior.


Are Shiloh Shepherds good apartment dogs?

No, Shiloh Shepherds are not recommended for apartment living as they require a lot of space and exercise to remain healthy and happy.


How can I find a reputable Shiloh Shepherd breeder?

You can find reputable Shiloh Shepherd breeders through the International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club or the Shiloh Shepherd Dog Breeders Association. It’s important to do your research and ask questions to ensure that you are getting a healthy and well-bred dog.

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