White Swiss Shepherd: Traits And Characteristics 

White Swiss Shepherd

White Swiss Shepherd: Traits And Characteristics 


Even though it was just recently added to the registration of the Kennel Club, the history of the White Swiss Shepherd is intricately connected to that of its extremely close relative, the German Shepherd.

The White Swiss breed did not exist until someone held the mistaken belief that the white offspring occasionally seen within the German breed were genetically inferior and, therefore, unworthy of pedigree registration.

This misconception led to the creation of the White Swiss breed. In spite of the fact that it shares many of the characteristics, both physical and behavioral, of its well-known relative, such as being loyal, protective, intelligent, and extremely work-driven, the White Swiss is generally described as a more laid-back and less highly energetic dog, which can only add to the appeal of this breed.

Many of these adaptable canines are used in emergency services because they are well adapted to the rigorous requirements of search and rescue work as well as the responsibilities of law enforcement.

If they are going to be maintained purely as pets, it is obvious that they will require plenty of mental and physical stimulation daily. White Swiss Shepherds who are under-exercised or bored are likely to be noisy, disruptive, and hyperactive.

Owners should ensure that their dogs get plenty of exercise for their own mental health as well as the mental health of their White Swiss Shepherd.

The thick white coat needs to be groomed regularly to keep its attractive appearance, leaving its imprint in the shape of a hairy trail around the house.

Even though the breed is susceptible to most of the health issues observed in the German Shepherd, with joint disease being an especially prominent concern, the breed has a very good life expectancy for a large-breed dog, anywhere between 12 and 14 years.

History And Origin

Up until quite recently, the history of the White Swiss Shepherd was virtually identical to that of the German Shepherd.

white swiss shepherd

A line of huge, obedient, and active herding and guardian dogs was formed through a series of close breedings between the male Horand Von Grafrath and successive generations of his offspring.

This resulted in the development of these dogs, which were able to create a line of livestock.

It is well known that Horand inherited the genes for a white coat color from one of his grandfathers, as Horand’s family history was meticulously recorded from generation to generation.

As a result, early examples of the breed frequently exhibited the color to a greater or lesser degree; for a considerable time, this was regarded as a typical trait.

On the other hand, in 1959, the parent club of the German Shepherd breed in Germany made the mistake of incorrectly identifying every all-white dog as a person with albinism and outlawed the registration and breeding of any dog with more than fifty percent white markings.

This hypothesis was widely held and practiced over a significant portion of the world before the discovery of DNA or the development of other methodologies with the potential to debunk it.

Consequently, the number of white German Shepherds in many nations experienced a precipitous decrease; the United Kingdom and the United States are the only two countries that have continued to acknowledge them.

Agatha Burch, a Swiss national, launched a purposeful breeding program in 1967, intending to select all-white canines. Her first two exemplars were a male named Lobo and a girl named White Lilac.

The new offshoot was initially governed by the “Swiss White German Shepherd Dog Society.” Still, in 2011, it received recognition as a breed in its own right from the Federation Cynologique Internationale under the name White Swiss Shepherd.

In October 2017, it was finally granted pedigree status by the UK Kennel Club. Initially, the new offshoot was governed by the “Swiss White German Shepherd Dog Society.”

Appearance Of A White Swiss Shepherd

The White Swiss Shepherd is a dog that ranges in size from medium to large, is robust and well-muscled, and has clean lines.

white swiss shepherd

It has an extended rectangular form, with the actual length of the spine being visually emphasized by the sloping hind-limb stance it shares with the German Shepherd.

This stance is characteristic of both of these breeds. It has a long, wolf-like head that is cleanly wedge-shaped, with little in the way of brow or cheek arches, and even the line of the stop, which is where the forehead falls to the muzzle, is subtle.

Its eyes are small and round, and it has a thin, pointed muzzle. The breed’s almond-shaped eyes are dark brown and sit a little obliquely. The lips, eyelids, and nasal cartilage should all have significant black pigmentation to contrast with the coat’s beautiful white color.

The breed’s coat color is white. This breed is known for its intelligence and keen sense of observation, and its huge, triangular ears are always standing straight up and facing the front.

The neck and back are sturdy and long, and there is a distinct arch over the withers and the muscular loin. The White Swiss has a somewhat thin chest but is deep, reaching well back, giving it a large capacity.

Additionally, the White Swiss has a slender belly that is reasonably well tucked. Although it spends most of its time with its long, bushy tail held sabre-like at roughly the hock level, the tail will be raised when the dog’s attention is drawn to something.

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As indicated before, the rear end slopes through the hip and the thigh; this should not be exacerbated because it can predispose one to problems with the hip and the stifle due to the unusual pressures caused by exercise.

It is okay for the double-layered white coat to have a tiny wave or curl, and it can be either medium or lengthy. The tremendous density of the coat remains consistent throughout.

White Swiss Shepherd males are between 58 and 66 centimeters tall, while females stand between 53 and 61 centimeters tall; their weight ranges are between 30 and 40 kilograms for males and 25 to 35 kilograms for females.

Are White Swiss Shepherds Rare?

Different people have different opinions on how frequent or unusual Swiss Shepherds are. The fact that the Swiss Shepherd breed is recognized in some nations and states but not in others may be one factor contributing to the lack of consensus regarding the breed’s rarity.

white swiss shepherd

For instance, some resources on the internet suggest that White Swiss Shepherds are hard to come by and expensive, while other resources state that they are rare and difficult to locate.

For instance, the White Swiss Shepherd Dog Club of Australia (WSSDCA) does not consider the breed unusual because hundreds of dogs are registered with the club. This indicates that the breed is quite common.

In addition, the club does not allow licensed breeders to promote their Swiss Shepherds as “rare” dogs in any form of advertising. The idea that white Swiss Shepherds are extremely rare may have originated from the fact that white German Shepherds are hard to find.

The idea that White Swiss Shepherds are nothing more than white German Shepherds that were bred specifically to correct a flaw in the breed at some point in history is still widely held today.

Is White Swiss Shepherd Popular?

Since the White Swiss has not yet achieved the worldwide popularity attained by the German Shepherd, the breed cannot, as of yet, lay claim to any instantly recognizable celebrities.

The most well-known individual was Lobo, who was considered to be the breed’s “father” in the 1960s.

How Big Do White Swiss Shepherds Get?

The White Swiss Shepherd is a medium-sized dog with the following measurements

Male Height: 23-26 inches (58-66cm)
Male Weight: 66-88lbs (30-40kg)
Female Height: 21-24 inches (53-61cm)
Female Weight: 55-77lbs (25-35kg)


Personality And Temperament

The White Swiss is extremely intelligent, active, and vigilant, allowing almost nothing to escape its notice. It is a superb watchdog and will put on a good show to prevent intruders, even though it is typically less shy than the German Shepherd breed.

In spite of this, it is typically easygoing enough to rapidly get friendly with new people, particularly after they have been introduced to one another.

It is a dog that pines horribly if left alone or kept outside for any period of time, and it is a dog that adores being the focal point of the family’s daily activities.

White Swiss Shepherds would gladly accept other dogs and pets as members of their family pack, but they are known to be aggressive toward dogs that they do not know as well.

Trainability Of White Swiss Shepherd

It is a testament to the German Shepherd’s trainability that it is the dog of choice for a wide variety of working vocations, and the White Swiss also boasts this quality, making it one of its many strengths.

For a trainer to be successful, the dog must acknowledge the human’s position as the dominant one. As a result, confidence and assertiveness are essential to deal with the forceful personality of the dog.

On the other hand, one should never resort to harsh or corrective training methods.

These are counterproductive with a breed as highly intelligent as this one, and a White Swiss will dig in its heels and become uncooperative if it feels that its efforts are not being acknowledged or if it senses that it is not getting what it deserves for those efforts.

Health Of White Swiss Shepherd

Anyone considering getting a White Swiss Shepherd should be aware of the breed’s propensity for several hereditary health problems that are very frequent in the breed.

As is common knowledge, prevention is always preferable to treatment, and responsible breeding is the most efficient method for lowering the frequency with which these issues occur.

Because of this, anyone interested in purchasing a pedigreed puppy should always be ready to question the breeder about their dogs’ health, request veterinary certificates when appropriate (for example, hip or elbow scores), and walk away empty-handed if the breeder appears evasive or uncooperative.

One can only affect the behavior of those who breed dogs by deciding not to buy puppies that have been bred irresponsibly.


Complaints such as skin allergies and food intolerances are rather frequent, with many White Swiss being especially sensitive to shifts in diet. I

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n addition to controlling the symptoms, which may include skin redness and itching, vomiting, and diarrhea, it is crucial to identify and eliminate the allergens that are responsible for triggering the allergic reaction whenever it is practical to do so.

Cruciate Ligament Rupture

Lameness in the dog’s hind limbs is often caused by the degeneration of a ligament that is responsible for stabilizing the knee joint.

This condition is most common in young adults and older dogs. Like others that affect large breeds, this condition can only be fixed surgically.

Dysplasia of the Elbow

A growth defect of the elbow joint can be passed down through families and cause the bony components of the joint to develop abnormally.

In turn, this results in pain and lameness, and the abnormal wear forces contribute to early-onset arthritis in the animal. The replacement of a patient’s elbow joint through surgery is becoming more accessible but continues to be expensive and invasive.


A disorder of the nervous system that can cause seizures on occasion. The severity of these can vary, but most individual dogs will follow a pattern that is quite consistent throughout their episodes.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Reduced amounts of the digestive enzyme are released from the pancreas, a gland located next to the stomach and the small intestine, making it more difficult for the dog to digest nutrients.

Emaciation, poor coat quality, and the passage of greasy, pallid, and putrid-smelling feces are the typical outward signs of this condition, which can occur despite a voracious appetite. Easily treatable with additional enzymes and vitamins but requires care for the rest of the patient’s life.


The breed is predisposed to several abnormalities of the clotting cascade, most of which are genetic. Because of this, affected dogs have an increased risk of experiencing significant or prolonged bleeding after an injury.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a growth abnormality that can affect one hip joint or both joints. Around six months of age, lameness symptoms start to become noticeable, and if they are severe enough, surgery to replace the hip may be required.


Oesophagus suffers from a loss of muscular tone, which causes it to become floppy and dilated. The esophagus is the narrow tube that food travels through in order to reach the stomach.

It is a congenital disability that manifests most frequently in puppies when they are ready to be weaned. Still, it can also happen to older dogs for various causes (e.g., autoimmune disease). Treatment might be difficult, particularly for very young puppies.

Exercise And Activity Of White Swiss Shepherd

Because it is bred primarily for work, it must be kept busy and active throughout its life.

Providing a White Swiss with a working function, such as using the dog to bring home goods from the local supermarket, is the best approach to keeping a White Swiss fit and content since it allows the dog to use their intelligence.

If this is not possible, it requires a minimum of one to two hours of moderate-intensity exercise every single day without fail.

Grooming White Swiss Shepherd

The thick coat sheds quite a lot and will rapidly form clumps if the owners do not take the time to brush it every day. Owners should be prepared to do so.

Because of its beautiful white color, the White Swiss has to be bathed regularly; however, when doing so, a mild shampoo designed specifically for dogs should be used so as not to cause the skin to become dehydrated or to compromise the quality of the hair.


Even though the German Shepherd is one of the most common breeds used to develop a variety of hybrids, it does not appear that the same is the case for the White Swiss, as this breed does not appear to have any cross-breed progeny that is generally recognized at this time.

Are White SWiss Shepherds Good Family Pets?

As a result of their vibrant personality, welcoming demeanor, conservative nature, and usually sound nature, Swiss Shepherds make excellent family pets.

Because of their high level of intelligence and their desire to please their owners, these dogs are exceptionally easy to train and would be an ideal addition to a household with young children.

White Swiss Shepherds have the characteristics that are typically associated with a dog that would make a wonderful addition to a family, including the following:

  • They bring a lot of life and friendliness to the family.
  • They are exceptionally patient and kind to children.
  • They get along well with other animals in the house.
  • They maintain a calm manner when interacting with unfamiliar people.
  • They are joyful and full of play.
  • They are obedient and completely devoted to the owner.
  • They are very capable in social situations.
  • They have a strong capacity for adaptation and can adjust to any circumstance.
  • They never resort to aggressive behavior (unless provoked).

To bring out all of these admirable characteristics in your Berger Blanc Suisse, you will need to start training it when it’s still a puppy.

Because White Swiss Shepherd dogs can be quite sensitive to how they are handled, you must educate them using a method focused on positive reinforcement and rewards.

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Do White Swiss Shepherds Shed A Lot?

Because of their double coat, White Swiss Shepherds tend to shed a lot.

They will shed a moderate amount throughout the year, with most of their shedding occurring in the spring and fall as the seasons change. To be ready for the upcoming season, this is the time when they “blow their coat.”

As a result, the coat of your Swiss Shepherd should be brushed at least twice a week, if not more. Brushing your pet daily is recommended when the outside temperature fluctuates seasonally.

This will help control the amount of hair shed and prevent it from getting all over the house.

A tool for de-shedding will prove useful, particularly during the times of the year when there is an abundance of hair to remove.

The following are some of the reasons why the FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool sold on Amazon has received such positive reviews:

  • It can control shedding by as much as 90 percent.
  • It eliminates loose fur without causing any harm to the skin.
  • It has a stainless de-shedding edge.
  • It removes loose hair from the tool by simply pressing a button.
  • It has an ergonomic handle.

In addition to that, it’s the tool that I use, and even though I’ve experimented with many different ones over the years, I’ve never come across one that’s as good as the FURminator.

Bathing White Swiss Shepherd.

Because the coat of the White Swiss Shepherd can become soiled quickly, it needs to be bathed on occasion. In general, you should only bathe your Swiss Shepherd when it is necessary to do so. Bathing your dog frequently can remove the natural oils on its skin.

Other facets of White Swiss Shepherd care that you should take into consideration include the following:

  • Regular nail trimming is necessary to prevent your dog’s nails from becoming too long and “digging” into the ground as it walks. Your dog may experience discomfort when walking due to long nails, leading to other concerns, such as bleeding and limping.
  • Brushing your teeth consistently is necessary to prevent the formation of bacteria and tartar.
  • Cleaning the ears regularly helps avoid bacterial buildup and ear infections resulting from accumulated wax. Swiss Shepherds must have their ears cared for properly because there is a possibility that they could become deaf.

The Cost of Buying A White Swiss Shepherd

Because the average cost of a Swiss Shepherd is approximately $3,000, these dogs are pretty pricey.

A visit to the websites of White Swiss Shepherd breeders, which can be accessed through the website of the White Swiss Shepherd Club of America, revealed that the cost of a White Swiss Shepherd could range from $1,500 to $5,000.

According to the websites of the breeders that were researched, the following factors tend to drive up the price of Swiss Shepherd puppies:

  • The breeders on the visited sites appear to sell non-breed-quality puppies on a spay/neuter contract on most breeder sites; however, these puppies are of a breed-quality standard.
  • They are bred to achieve show-quality characteristics.
  • The buyer can purchase either a male or a female puppy.

The cost shown considers the cost of purchasing a Swiss Shepherd; however, the cost of maintaining a Swiss Shepherd, which includes food and veterinary services, will be significantly more.

White Swiss Shepherds are prone to various health problems, which can drive up the expense of veterinary care.


Questions People Also Ask (FAQs):



What is a Swiss Shepherd white?

The White Swiss Shepherd is a type of White Swiss Shepherd dog, also known as the Berger Blanc Suisse, which is a breed of dog that originated in Switzerland.


How does a Swiss Shepherd white differ from a German Shepherd?

The White Swiss Shepherd and the German Shepherd are two separate breeds, but they share many similarities in terms of their appearance and temperament. However, White Swiss Shepherds are generally smaller in size and have a fluffier coats than German Shepherds.


What is the average lifespan of a Swiss Shepherd white?

The average lifespan of a White Swiss Shepherd is 12–14 years.


What are the common health issues of a Swiss Shepherd white?

The White Swiss Shepherd is generally a healthy breed, but like all breeds, it can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.


How much exercise does a Swiss Shepherd white need?

White Swiss Shepherds are an active and energetic breed that requires a significant amount of daily exercise, including a moderate to long walk or run, as well as opportunities for play and mental stimulation.

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