White Shepherd dog

White Shepherd dog Breed description: Character & Co


This dog has the intelligence of a shepherd dog, the build of a shepherd dog, it is a shepherd dog. Only that it is white in colour. The White Swiss Shepherd is a rather young breed.

About the breed white Shepherd dog - the working dog

The Berger Blanc Suisse, also known as the White Swiss Shepherd or simply the White Shepherd, is classified by the FCI in Group 1, Section 1, which is the Shepherds. Shepherds are working dogs with their origin going back to herding dogs.

History - a young breed

Sheepdogs have been around for centuries. As herding dogs for flocks of sheep, agile, fearless and persevering workers were needed, but they were mainly bred and selected according to performance.

Around 1900, the Rittmeister von Stephanitz decided to breed the German Shepherd Dog. He wanted to create a modern working dog. In the beginning, stock-haired and long-haired as well as brown-black and white dogs were used for breeding. However, long-haired and the white dogs were excluded from breeding over time and in 1933 the decision was made to remove the colour white from the standard altogether for health reasons. The basis of this decision was the assumption that various hereditary diseases occurring in the German Shepherd Dog were related to this colour. This proved to be wrong. In the USA and Canada the colour white was only banned in 1968.

At the end of the 1960's in Switzerland they started to breed with white shepherds with the help of Canadian and American dogs. In Switzerland, they have been listed as a new breed since 1991, the FCI has finally recognised the breed only in 2011.

Banner: Shutterstock / Eric Isselee
White shepherd dog running across a green meadow, dog with long white fur and standing ears four white shepherd puppies that do not have prick ears yet, dog that is born with floppy ears and then gets prick ears, white big dog, puppies of a swiss dog breed two small young dogs of the swiss white shepherd sitting in the forest waiting for the owner to play frisbee, dog with standing ears and panting, dog with long white fur white shepherd dog from Switzerland is lying in a forest, dog with big standing ears and long muzzle and long white fur, very nice dog breed, big dog
Alternate Name Berger Blanc Suisse
Origin Switzerland
Life expectancy 10 - 12 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level average to high
FCI group Sheepdogs
AKC group not recognised
KC group not recognised

The essence of a Berger Blanc Suisse - steady nerves and intelligence

According to the breed description, the white shepherd dog should show steady nerves, it should be friendly and well-balanced as well as self-confident. It is intelligent and very willing to learn and work.

Attitude and commitment - close contact and sufficient stimulation

The white shepherd dog's only demand on keeping conditions themselves is that they want to live closely together with their family. They need close contact at work, during sports and when resting afterwards. These components are a real necessary for him. They always need a task to do that will keep them physically and mentally busy. White shepherd dogs are used as guard dogs, watchdogs, assistance dogs (for example guide dogs) and as rescue dogs. They are also suitable for various dog sports. They want to be kept occupied and busy every day.

Training of the white shepherd - a partner willing to learn

The white shepherd dog is extremely intelligent and eager to learn. They want to please their humans and always want to do everything right. Therefore, they are rather easy to train.

However, simple commands don't do much for them and an especially balanced and close relationship needs to be established with them. Their mind also needs to be kept busy. Because of these factors, it is advisable to look for support in a dog sports group or dog school, if you don't already have a lot of experience with shepherds.

white big dog, swiss dog breed, big white shepherd dog stands in the forest and shows something, dog with standing ears and long fur

Diseases - HD and more

If the breeding is right, a Berger Blanc Suisse reaches an age of 12 years, as expected.

Typical diseases are

  • hip joint dysplasia and
  • eye diseases.
  • The MDR-1 gene defect also occurs in this breed.
  • As with the German shepherd dog, degenerative myelopathies are common.
  • Dogs with a steeply sloping back line are particularly susceptible to joint and other degenerative diseases.

White shepherd dog breeding - simply white is not enough

White puppies of the German shepherd dog may not simply be re-declared as white shepherd puppies nor may they be used in the breeding of the Berger Blanc.

However, stock-haired and long-stock-haired specimens of the Berger Blanc may be crossed with each other to keep the gene pool broader.

A steeply sloping back line is expressly not desired in order to keep the breed healthier.

What else you should know - buying a white shepherd dog

Since the breed is native to Switzerland, the Swiss spelling variant 'Weisser Schäferhund' (White Shepherd) is often used.

If you want to buy a Berger Blanc Suisse, you should have a breeder prove the origin with as little inbreeding as possible and healthy parents. With a serious breeder this should not be a problem. A white shepherd puppy costs around 1000 Euros.

It can also happen that a white shepherd dog is given away by its owner from time to time. It is a big dog with a lot of hunger and need for stimulation - so it is not easy to find a suitable home for them whenever a white shepherd dog ends up in a shelter.

If you have experience with dogs and wish to have a Berger Blanc Suisse - why don't you look around in appropriate animal shelters to see if there is a white shepherd dog waiting for you? It does not always have to be a puppy. A Berger Blanc Suisse or white shepherd dog costs about 1400 Euros.

Swiss white shepherd dog breed description

The white shepherd dog is very similar to the German shepherd in build due to their breeding history. They belong to the category of big dogs. Characteristics of the breed are:

  • Withers height males 58 to 66 cm, bitches 53 to 61 cm
  • Weight males 30 to 40 kg, bitches 25 to 35 kg
  • medium-sized standing up ears
  • Coat stock haired or long stock haired, dense, with a dense undercoat.
  • Coat colour white
  • no albino: eyes brown, nose black
  • well muscled and strong, muscular legs, muscular back
  • back straight, slightly sloping towards the croup
  • Head wedge-shaped

Low maintenance

The White Swiss Shepherd does not require much grooming. The coat needs to be brushed regularly, more often during coat changes.

Fur length long
Fur flat coated
Ear shape Standing Ears
Tail lang
Anatomy strong, sporty
Size ♀ 55 - 61 cm
Weight ♀ 30 - 40 kg
Size ♂ 60 - 66 cm
Weight ♂ 30 - 40 kg
Suitable For -


two small young dogs of the swiss white shepherd sitting in the forest waiting for the owner to play frisbee, dog with standing ears and panting, dog with long white fur
white shepherd dog from Switzerland is lying in a forest, dog with big standing ears and long muzzle and long white fur, very nice dog breed, big dog
white big dog, swiss dog breed, big white shepherd dog stands in the forest and shows something, dog with standing ears and long fur
  • Hip dysplasia (HD)

    Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetic condition in dogs where the hip joint is not shaped properly. This leads to pain, stiffness and restricted movement.

  • Eye diseases

    Often occur with allergies and intolerances.

  • You have to calculate about 1300 Euros if you want to buy a purebred Berger Blanc Suisse.

  • No, a Berger Blanc Suisse is not a beginner dog breed. However, they have a "will-to-please" and with a lot of devotion and training, they can be good for beginners. In principle, however, it is a demanding breed.

  • A white shepherd dog gets a maximum of 8 puppies. However, on average 5.

Sources and relevant links

Offizielle Seite der FCI

Weisse Schäferhunde Interessengemeinschaft e.V.

Accessed on 03.03.2023


Accessed on 03.03.2023


Accessed on 03.03.2023

Gabriele Lehari (2004). Ulmers Großes Lexikon der Hunderassen. Ulmer.

Gaby von Döllen, Peter von Döllen (2015). Weiße Schweizer Schäferhunde. Cadmos Verlag.

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