•IS THE WHITE SHEPHERD AN ALBINO?No, an albino animal has pink eyes and is totally devoid of pigment (ie. pink eyelids, lips, nose, pads). •HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT FROM "REGULAR" GSD'S?The most obvious difference is colour. Another is the structure; typically, White Shepherd breeders strive to maintain the "original" sound structure of the German Shepherd Dog. Most WS breeders shy away from the extreme rear angulation that is found in so many German Shepherds today.•WHAT ABOUT TEMPERAMENT?As with any dog, breeding and environment have the most influence on a dog's temperament. At a recent Temperament Test (conducted by Temperament Test Associates of Ontario), 80% of the White Shepherds tested attained their Temperament Test title. We'll stack that up against the "regular" GSDs any day! •IS THE WHITE SHEPHERD A PUREBRED?Yes, they are actually registered as German Shepherd Dogs by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and the American Kennel Club (AKC). •IS THE WHITE SHEPHERD ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN CKC/AKC EVENTS?Yes. They are eligible to participate in all CKC and AKC events EXCEPT conformation shows. White Shepherds can and do earn titles in Obedience, Tracking, Herding, Flyball and Agility. •ARE THEY ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN CONFORMATION SHOWS WITH OTHER CLUBS?Yes. White Shepherds may be shown at WSCC, AWSA, UKC, WGSDCI and FORB conformation shows. They can and do earn Championship titles at these events.
The White Shepherd has distinct personality marked by a
direct fearless, but not hostile expression of self confidence. It
should be poised, when the occasion demands, eager and
alert. To his inherent aptitude as a guardian of flocks should
be added protectiveness of the person and property of his
master. In his relationship with humans, he should be
observant and vigilant with strangers but not apprehensive.
He should be fit and willing to serve in any capacity such as a
companion, herding dog, watch dog or service dog.
Faults: of temperament are serious, timidity, shrinking behind
handler, lack of confidence or any other display of poor
character. Unprovoked aggression.
SIZE and WEIGHT
keeping in mind the ideal balanced animal.
considered a fault.
The White Shepherd has a double coat. The outer coat is
medium length, dense, straight, harsh. and close lying. The
undercoat should be fine and dense. The head and ears are
covered with a smooth, somewhat softer hair, while the hair
coverinq the legs and paws is more harsh. At the neck, the
coat is slightly longer and heavier. A male may carry a thicker
ruff then a female, but In all cases the body coat should never
be longer than 7 cm (2.5 Inches). The back of the legs have a
slightly longer covering of hair and there is considerably more
hair on the breeches and underside of the tail.
Faults: An open coat with no undercoat or a body coat that is
longer then 7 cm (2.5 inches).
The White Shepherd's coat colour is white as defined by the
breed's name. The ideal is pure white, other coat markings
that are of cream or biscuit are acceptable but not preferred.
The skin is pink to grey with grey being preferred. The nose,
lips, eye rims, and pads should be black, Snow noses are
acceptable but not preferred. It must be remembered when
judging a dog, temperament, soundness and movement are
more important than coat colour alone.
Faults: The deficiency of pigment is to be considered a serious
fault, ie: dogs faded in all the following area: noses, eye rims,
Disqualification: Total lack of pigment. (albino)
The White Shepherd's head should be proportionate in size to
the body. Males should show masculinity without coarseness.
Bitches should show femininity without being over refined.
Both sexes should exhibit a look of intelligence and nobility.
Skull: Viewed from the top Is wedge shaped and strong. When
viewed from the side the top line of the skull should parallel
that of the muzzle and there should be a moderate stop.
Muzzle: Strong with lips fitting tightly over a well developed
jaw, viewed from above the muzzle appears wider at the stop
than at the top, without cheekiness.
Eyes: Medium size, almond shape, set a little obliquely, not
protruding. Preferably dark, expression keen, intelligent and
Ears: Moderately pointed, open to the front, erect at
attention. Ideal carriage; center lines (as seen from the front)
parallel and perpendicular, Ears should be proportionate to
head and body.
Faults: There should be no tendency towards overly long,
narrow or a collie like head. Insufficient stop, round or donkey
skull, snipey muzzle or a receding jaw. Soft or hanging ears.
Disqualification: Cropped or hanging ears.
Scissors bite, 20 upper and 22 lower (full mouth is preferred).
Broken teeth are not considered a fault. Over one missing
premolar is a fault.
Faults: A level bite is faulty, an overshot bite is a severe fault,
an undershot bite is a disqualification.
Strong and muscular, clean cut without loose folds of skin,
proportionate to size of head. Except when at attention or
excited, the typical carriage of head is forward rather than up,
particularly in motion.
Faults: A long, short, ewe or throaty neck.
Withers: Should be higher than and slightly sloping into the
Back: The back should be straight and very strongly
developed, without sag or roach, from the shoulder to croup.
The back is relatively short, the length is not derived from a
long back. When standing natural the back should be virtually
Loin: Viewed from the top is broad and strong. From the side
the loin blends smoothly into the back without undue length
between the last rib and thigh.
Croup: Should be long and gradually sloping, flowing
smoothly into a low set tail.
Faults: A roached or sagged back. A near level croup. A dog
whose hips are higher than the shoulder when standing or
Shoulder: The shoulder blade (scapula), should be long, and
well laid back, flat against the body, with its rounded upper
end, at the ridge in a vertical line above the elbow. The blades
come close together at the top of the withers then slope well
forward to the joint of the shoulder and upper arm (point of
shoulder). If you draw an imaginary line from the withers or
top of shoulder blades to the prosternum tip, then to the tip
of the elbow it would be of equal lengths and form at almost
a right angle. This angulation permits the proper forward
extension of the foreleg, which should meet the ground as it
is fully extended forward.
Forelegs: Straight, oval rather than round or flat.
Proportionate to size of dog, which contributes to impression
of substance without grossness. Front legs viewed from front
should be straight. Elbows are well held in with no tendency
to turn in or out. The point of the elbow lies roughly in a
vertical line under point of withers.
Pasterns: Medium length, strong and springy, ideal angulation
is 25 degrees from the straight of the leg.
Faults: Loose or loaded shoulders (bulging muscle pads) as
seen from the front or pushed forward shoulder assembly.
Elbows thrown out, shoulders too short, or straight. Bent legs,
out of line bones, too down on pasterns.
Solid without bulkiness
Chest: Forechest well filled, Prosternum should show in front
of the point of the shoulder. Chest depth is approximately 48
to 50% total height of the dog.
Ribs: Well sprung, long, neither barrel shaped nor flat (so as
not to interfere with the action of the elbows and the
forelegs) carried down to the breast bone reaching to elbow.
Body Proportion: Somewhat longer than tall, ideal
proportions are 8.8 high to 10 long ie. 64 cm high [25 inches]
to 74 cm [29 inches] long. Length is measured from the
prosternum to the point of the buttocks.
Faults: A bottom line tucked up in the flank, like that of
Greyhound. A dog that is visibly out of proportion.
In length and angulation, the scapula and the pelvis roughly
equal each other, and the slant of the lower thigh bones
roughly approximate that of the pelvis and of the humerus.
Pelvis: The pelvis lies tilted backward at an approximate angle
of 35 degrees from the horizontal. Whether standing four
square or firmly and naturally with one ear leg extended
behind the pelvis the femur drops almost vertically from the
hip socket, forming an approximate 125 degrees angle with
the Pelvis. The upper and lower thigh bones are roughly the
Thighs: Both upper and lower thigh bones are broad and
heavily muscled. The stifle is well bent, its angulation must
never be so steep that the dog's hocks lie directly under any
part of the croup or pelvis. Extra length of either the upper or
lower thigh can distort this angle to the extent that rear drive
and follow through are impossible. Legs are parallel to each
other (as viewed from the rear).
Croup: Long and gradually sloping, flowing smoothly into the
tail. Ideally the tail should be carried at or below the natural
extension of the topline. It is permissible to carry the tail
higher, but not desirable, as long as the tail is not carried any
higher than right angles to the back line. Too level or flat a
croup prevents the proper functioning of the hind quarters,
that must be able to reach far under the body. A steep croup
will limit rear extension of the hind quarter, interfering with
the follow through.
Hock: The hock joints are strong, clean, short, and
perpendicular to the ground. Whether in motion or at rest
there is no tendency to tun in or out. The angle at the hock is
also relatively sharp. From the rear the hind legs drop straight
and parallel to each other and the feet point straight ahead.
Dew claws, if any, should be removed.
Tail: Is bushy with the last vertebrae extending at least to the
hock joint and usually below. At rest it hangs straight down or
at a slight curve. Even in excitement the dogs should never lift
the tail higher than right angles to the backline.
Faults: Too long a stifle. A sickle hock. Whether in motion or in
rest, there is no tendency for the hocks to turn in or out (cow
or bow hocks). A tail carried higher than a right angle to its
back, a curled around tail or a tail that hooks on the end.
FEET: Short, compact with tops well arched. Pads thick and
tough affording the dog protection over rough terrain. Nails
short and strong.
Faults: Terrier foot, hare foot, thin pads or a spread foot.
Soundness is of paramount importance. The action is single
track, free, supple and tireless, the movement of the
shoulders and forelegs with the powerful thrust of the
hindquarters, in unison. The feet travel close to the ground,
and neither fore nor hind feet should lift high on either
forward reach or backward push. At full trot, the back must
retain firm and level. From the front, the legs move inward
toward a center line under the body in a straight column of
support from the point of shoulder to the pad. From the rear,
the legs track inward toward a center line in a straight column
of support from the hip to the pad. With the exception being
at an extended trot where the over reaching hind foot will
pass the diagonal front foot, this is not considered faultv
unless it causes the animal to move in a crabbing fashion.
Capability of quick and sudden movement is essential. Clean
side gait, and coming and going are equally important.
Faults: An animal with clumsy or inelegant gait or whose back
is at any angle from horizontal during movement is
considered faulty. Stiltness, loaded or slack shoulders.
straight shoulder placement, weakness at elbows, pasterns,
or feet, (ie: running or standing on hocks or pasterns) straight
stifles, cow or bow hocks or flipping the feet must be
regarded as serious faults.
Any deviation from the listed specifications is a fault, many of
which are listed in the text. In determining whether a fault is
minor, serious or major, these two factors should be used as
1. The extent to which it deviates from the type
2. The extent to which such deviation would actually affect
the health or working ability of the dog.
* Cropped or hanging ears
* Docked tails
* Monochids or cryptorchids (male dog--one or two
* Surgically altered for cosmetic reasons, i.e. tails that have
been operated on for high carriage or curling.
* Any dog that attempts to bite the judge.
* Undershot bite.
* Total lack of pigment (Albino).
The White Shepherd ancestors were bred to be herding dogs,
but his high degree of intelligence and striking beauty,
coupled with his sense of loyalty have allowed the White
Shepherd to survive as a most versatile working dog serving
humankind. In spite of efforts to deny their existence. Bred
true to TYPE they will stay true to TYPE.
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