White German Shepherd: What Causes That Beautiful Coat?

Posted by Christy Caplan
White German Shepherd

The White German Shepherd dog is absolutely stunning, and I don't see them very often. There are a lot of questions about this breed and their coat colors, so we're tackling a few of  the most frequently asked questions.

Did you know they have longer fur than normal? What else is different?

1. Is the White German Shepherd a separate breed to the standard GSD?

Nope, but it's complicated. White German Shepherds descended directly from German Shepherds.

Technically, it isn't a separate breed, but it is recognized as a separate breed. Animal So tells us that "supporters of the breed began forming their own breed clubs and registries for this dog in the 1970s, and eventually, in 1999 the United Kennel Club (UKC), the second-largest dog breed registry in the US, recognized the White German Shepherd as a separate breed."

The recessive gene causes this new breed to be white!

2. What does a White German Shepherd look like? 

White German Shepherd

The White German Shepherd is a large dog with a muscular body.

Most of the GSDs share the same facial features as tan-and-black German Shepherds. Their black noses are standard, as well as almond-shaped brown eyes and black circles around them. They also have large, upright, triangular ears, which we think might get reception for a few cable channels.

Here's a few other characteristics:

  • The White German Shepherd has a pure white coat or cream-colored coat.
  • This coat is weather-resistant and double-layered.
  • The topcoat layer of the White Shepherd is straight, harsh to the touch, and dense, while the thick double coat (and undercoat) has short hair that's softer to the touch.

I'm sure White German Shepherd puppies are so adorable!

3. White German Shepherd vs. Standard German Shepherd

Unfortunately, health issues are the same for these herding dogs. Whether you have a black and tan or a white dog, there is a long list of health problems you need to be aware of:

  • Skin problems
  • Von Willebrand's disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Digestive diseases
  • Heart diseases
  • Eye diseases
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Bloat
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Lameness

Their white fur and white color don't change some of the same health issues you may run into with standard.

4. What makes the White German Shepherd white?

The recessive gene that causes this breed to be white has always been present in the original genetic structure of the German Shepherd Dog. It is not an albino dog! To 100 percent guarantee solid white German Shepherd puppies, two White German Shepherds must be bred together.

Make sure your shepherd gets plenty of exercise! These are high energy dogs as you can imagine.

This active breed makes wonderful service dogs, guard dogs, working dogs, and the American Kennel Club or German Shepherd Dog Club can answer questions about reputable breeders. The GSD is a great family pet too. If you're interested in another working breed check out the Golden Retriever.

Have you met a white GSD? Please leave us a comment below! 

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White German Shepherd: What Causes That Beautiful Coat?