White Swiss Shepherd Dog
The White Swiss Shepherd is a direct descendant of the German Shepherd. These completely white dogs with dark pigmentation have evolved into a distinct and separate breed over the years due to fanciers, mainly in the USA and Canada, breeding white coated dogs to white coated dogs throughout many generations. They continued to improve and promote them even though GSD clubs disqualified them in breed standards. The White Swiss Shepherd of today more resembles, in structure, dogs from the early 1900’s. They also have their own distinct breed standard.
In June 1991 the Swiss KC were the first to recognise them as a separate breed and in November 2002 the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) have provisionally recognised these dogs under the name Berger Blanc Suisse (White Swiss Shepherd) and they are now shown in the confirmation ring in many countries, especially within Europe. In July 2011 at the World Dog Show in Paris it was announced that the Berger Blanc Suisse were given full breed recognition by the FCI. White Swiss Shepherds are currently unrecognised by the UK KC.
The WSSD generally has a compliant, softer temperament. Harsh training methods should not be required or used with this breed as they are often very sensitive. Raised correctly with proper socialisation they make ideal family companions, they are loyal and loving and very good with children and other pets. Easily trained, this intelligent breed, ideally, would be self-confident but remain wary of strangers and showing no aggression. They are a breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation or they can become bored and destructive in the home. They also make great sports dogs and many are used for agility, obedience, tracking and flyball. WSS are also used by Police and Search & Rescue teams around the world.
A generally healthy breed.
In 2000 a sponsored survey of genetic diseases was undertaken for this breed by the AWSA and results from over a thousand dogs from all over the USA and Canada were used to compile it. There were found to be less than half the genetic diseases identified to those in the GSD.
Breeding stock should be screened for hip & elbow dysplasia and DNA tested for the MDR1 gene defect.
Other conditions that the breed may suffer from are megaesophagus and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). Another possible problem is missing teeth in some dogs.