The Swiss White Shepherd Dog breed is an excellent family dog, with a courageous, alert and attentive character. It is a large, solid-looking dog with a spectacular coat, who loves to do activities and exercise. Easy to educate and train, it loves children and the elderly. At Petlifey, we explain the characteristics and behaviour of the white Swiss shepherd.
Character of the Swiss White Shepherd breed
This breed, which is also known as the American White Shepherd or Canadian White Shepherd, has excellent character. It displays a great temperament, but is not nervous or aggressive.
The Swiss White Shepherd is a brave, attentive, alert and self-confident dog. In addition, it is very obedient, devoted to its master and very easy to train. It is attentive and vigilant, and although it is sometimes reserved with strangers, it is not usually fearful or aggressive.
The specimens of this breed share, of course, many of their characteristic features with their “cousin” the German shepherd. Like these, it is a balanced dog with great natural aptitudes for herding, despite the fact that they are practically no longer used for it anywhere, and with great qualities as a guard and utility dog.
In general, they are very calm animals that can spend many hours lying next to their owner. They seem more serious than they really are because in reality they are friendly companions suitable for any activity that involves physical exercise and some mental work.
What characterizes them the most is their extraordinary value, a quality that makes them an excellent watchdog that, if necessary, does not hesitate to put its life in danger in order to safeguard the safety of its loved ones.
But despite being, above many other things, a great guard dog, it is not a noisy or excessively barking dog, which makes it also ideal for people who live surrounded by close neighbors.
- Energy: High level. You need daily exercise; walking, running, going out to the field or being busy with a specific task.
- Temperament: Affectionate, cheerful, vigilant, balanced, courageous and loyal.
- Adaptability: High. It lives well in any habitat, but it is not a dog for sedentary people or to be confined in a small garden or patio.
- Sociability: High. Affectionate with all the components of the house, it is very protective and careful with the weakest, the elderly and children.
- Health: Good. There are specimens that can suffer from hip dysplasia or digestive problems.
- Longevity: Medium. In general, this breed usually lives more than 10 years
- Utility: Very versatile. With natural aptitudes for herding, it also stands out as a guard and defence dog, and as a utility, company, therapy, agility or flyball dog.
- Utilization: Grazing and guarding.
Is it a family dog?
What the white Swiss shepherd likes the most is being close to its family , as it is a dog very attached to people. Even so, with strangers it is usually reserved and somewhat suspicious, although without showing signs of aggression unless it is intentionally provoked.
In this sense, it is very important to carry out an intense and early socialization work with the breed, so that the dog assimilates all kinds of situations and behaves correctly at all times.
This is not a suitable dog for sedentary people or to be left permanently abandoned in a small garden or yard.
Its ideal family is one that is made up of dynamic, athletic and active people, who like to go out to the countryside, the mountains or the beach, take long walks and, of course, take their dog to all those places they they go.
Is it an aggressive dog?
The Swiss Shepherd is not an aggressive dog. The few known episodes of aggression of a Swiss White Shepherd towards people have always been due to two causes, either poor training or poor handling of the dog.
This breed really has a strong temperament, but not because it is aggressive or possessive, but because it is a dog at the same time intelligent and tough that when it perceives that its master is not able to measure up, that it does not know how to be the leader that it should being, then it tries to get away with it, with the consequent negative consequences that this entails.
Can it be left alone?
This breed usually adapts to all kinds of life and is an easy dog to keep, but what its future owners should be clear about is that it is a social animal and that, therefore, it cannot and should not spend long periods alone day.
Since it is a family dog, it urgently needs the contact and affection of all the components of the house, with which it is a true charm, always showing affectionate and very affectionate.
Can you live in an apartment or in the city?
It is a dog that adapts perfectly to any space. Whether you live in a large house in the country or in a small apartment in the center of the city does not matter as much as the fact that your master and its family dedicate enough time, attention and affection to you, something especially necessary to this breed if you want the animal to remain healthy and balanced on the emotional and also psychological level.
Physical characteristics of the Swiss White Shepherd
In the general appearance of a Swiss Shepherd dog, its beautiful white hair stands out. It has an elegant and harmonious silhouette. It is a robust, muscular and large dog.
Its body is elongated and has moderately solid bones. The head is powerful, slim and always shows the ears erect.
How is the Swiss White Shepherd breed physically?
It is a large dog with a rectangular structure, as the length of the body exceeds the height at the withers, which in males is about 63 cm, and in females, about 58 cm.
It is endowed with good musculature, and strong bones, although robust, its figure is elegant. The muzzle is slightly longer than the skull.
Its tail is saber-shaped, is very bushy all around and tapers towards the end. Rather low set, reaching at least to the hock.
At rest the dog wears it hanging or slightly curved upwards in the last third; On the other hand, when the dog is alert, carry it higher, but never above the back.
The feet are oval, with tight, curved toes, and are fitted with strong, compact, black pads. The posterior ones are a bit longer.
The head is of a proportional size to the body, it is powerful and slim, shaped like a triangle. The stop is not very marked, but it is well visible, and the nose is usually black.
Their eyes are set slightly obliquely, are medium-sized and almond-shaped, and are usually brown to dark brown in color. The edge of the eyelids is pigmented black.
It has large, parallel and perfectly erect ears, with the pavilion facing the front. Set high, its shape is triangular, with the tip slightly rounded
White in color, the hair is double-layered, the undercoat is abundant and the covering, smooth and rough. It is of medium or long length, dense and with well stretched hair. Some specimens have slightly wavy but hard hair.
Swiss White Shepherd breed standard
- Origin: Switzerland.
- Other names: Canadian Shepherd Dog / American Shepherd Dog / White Swiss Shepherd Dog / Berger blanc suisse / Weisser Schweizer Scháferhund.
- General appearance: Robust, muscular, with an elegant and harmonious silhouette, he has medium to long double hair. It is endowed with quite massive bones.
- Size: Large. height at the withers between 60 and 66 cm for males and between 55 and 61 cm for females.
- Weight: Between 30 and 40 kg for males and between 25 and 35 kg for females.
- Head: Powerful, slim and finely molded, well proportioned to the body. The upper lines of the skull and the muzzle are parallel.
- Skull: It is not very bulky.
- Nose-frontal depression (stop): It is little marked, although it is clearly visible.
- Muzzle: Solid and of medium length in relation to the skull, the muzzle and the lower line of the muzzle are straight and converge slightly towards the region of the nose.
- Nose: It is medium in size and black in color.
- Jaws: The teeth are strong, complete and set at right angles to the jaws. The bite is scissor.
- Eyes: Almond-shaped and of medium size, they are slightly oblique. Its color ranges from brown to dark brown.
- Ears: They are set high, they are large and are very erect, parallel and pointing well to the front in the shape of an elongated triangle that is slightly rounded at the tip.
- Neck: Of medium length and well muscled, harmoniously joined to the trunk and has no dewlap. The elegantly molded upper neckline continues from the slightly high head to the withers.
- Body: Vigorous and very muscular, it is of medium length.
- Chest: It is not very broad, it is well inclined to the level of the elbow and its height is approximately half the height at the withers.
- Tail: Set rather low, it is saber-shaped and reaches to the hock. Covered with abundant hair, at rest it hangs down, but in alert it is raised, without exceeding the back.
- Back: It is horizontal and solid.
- Forelimbs: Strong and thin, they are of moderate width and density. Viewed from the front, they are straight and moderately far apart; in profile, they are well angulated.
- Shoulders: The shoulder blade is long and well oblique. The entire shoulder region is very muscular.
- Forearms and arms: They are long, straight, slim and muscular.
- Hindquarters: Seen from behind they are straight, parallel and moderately separated, and in profile they are well angulated.
- Legs: Of medium length, they are oblique, they are very muscular and they are endowed with strong bones.
- Hocks: They are solid and with good angulation.
- Feet: They have an oval shape (the posterior ones are a little longer than the previous ones), the toes well arched and close together, and compact, resistant and black pads. The nails are usually dark.
- Movement: The step is of a uniform, loose and sustained rhythm. The strides are wide, with powerful momentum. At trot, the movement is extended and agile.
- Skin: The pigmentation of the skin is dark and there are no folds.
- Hair: It is double-layered and immaculate white. Straight, dense and rough, it is medium to long in length.
- Color: The specimens of this breed are always white.
- FCI Classification: FCI No. 347. Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs) Section 1 – Sheepdogs.
Swiss White Shepherd Education and Training
If the family of a dog of this breed lets the animal take the reins and become the boss or head of the pack, in all probability the animal will develop a strong possessive temperament that will turn it into a noisy, arrogant and even biting dog.
On the other hand, a well- trained and balanced specimen both physically and mentally, will not only be an excellent family companion, but will also be able to coexist perfectly with children or older people.
Indeed, this is a great family dog, but even so, it always feels a special devotion to a single person, the one whom it considers its true guide and reference, and of whom it is attentive at all times.
For this reason, when specimens of this breed are trained to be used for any type of social service, what is sought is that each animal works with only one person and always the same person, so that between the white Swiss shepherd and its guide establish a strong bond, so strong that it can become indestructible.
This dog benefits especially if it has an active, energetic and determined owner, who knows how to exercise its authority in a natural way, who is consistent with some acting routines and who works consistently in its way of working and handling daily different situations they have to face.
This does not imply that the breed is not appropriate for inexperienced owners. All they have to do is contact a professional who will advise them and give them the guidelines to follow in training their dog.
Very versatile breed, the Swiss White Shepherd works just as well in the fields alongside livestock as it does as a guard dog, guide dog for the blind, in rescue work in disaster areas, or accompanying the police or the army in tasks of control and surveillance, detection of drugs and explosives, or control of public security.
In reality, the limit of this breed is set by its masters, since the animal is always predisposed to almost anything.
This is demonstrated, for example, in less serious, non-professional activities, such as dog sports ( agility , flyball , obedience, etc.), where its results are excellent.
Another work environment in which it excels is as a therapy dog, especially in Canada and the United States, since, affectionate and affectionate, it is especially protective and careful with the weakest, the elderly and children.
Health and diet of the Swiss White Shepherd breed
Health pastor Switzerland is generally good, although, given its close relationship to the origin of the pastor ale-man, does not escape some of the diseases that affect it, such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia , some eye diseases typical , allergies and stomach twists.
It is very important, therefore, to observe some preventive behaviors to ensure that the Swiss White Shepherd puppy becomes a healthy and balanced adult:
- Control the evolution and intensity of exercise during its development.
- Avoid intense or very forced sessions that can cause structural damage
- Always take care of your diet, especially in the so-called “needy” states: growth, hard work, reproduction, and old age.
In fact, obesity is the great evil that stalks the dog in modern society and the responsibility to keep it fit and with the right weight is only of its owners.
A fat and little exercised dog is an unhappy, sick dog, which, in addition, can develop serious psychological imbalances that lead to severe behavior problems.
The best ally of the owner of a specimen of this breed should be the veterinarian, who, under normal circumstances, must be visited to complete the vaccination and deworming program, and to monitor weight control and oral health eyes and ears .
Care and hygiene of the Swiss White Shepherd breed
As for hygiene, this is a breed that is very easy to handle: it is enough to brush the coat with some regularity, working the undercoat well with a rake-type tool, especially during the shedding period, and bathe it only when it is really dirty or when its natural immaculate white color begins to show something dull.
A shampoo suitable for the natural pH of the dog’s skin and hair should be used and, on occasions, a special product can also be used to eliminate the yellowish tone of the areas that are in permanent contact with moisture.
And it is that its beautiful white coat, which initially so negatively influenced the breed, has become one of its most distinctive and appreciated characteristics, in addition, of course, to its exceptional character, thanks to which this dog has won in a short time a large number of followers.