Fédération Cynologique Internationale

United Kennel Club

White Swiss Shepherd Dog

(Berger Blanc Suisse)

White Shepherd

These illustrations do not necessarily show the ideal example of the breed.

ORIGIN

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FCI
Switzerland.

PUBLISHED

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FCI
04.07.2011.

UTILISATION

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FCI
Companion and family dog.

CLASSIFICATION

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FCI
Group 1Sheepdogs and Cattledogs
Section 1Sheepdogs
Without working trial

UKC
Herding Dog

TRANSLATION

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FCI
Mrs R. Binder / Original Version (FR).

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

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FCI
In the USA and Canada White Shepherd dogs have gradually become to be accepted as a distinct breed. The first dogs of this breed were imported to Switzerland in the early 70ies. The American male “Lobo”, whelped on 5th of March 1966, can be considered as the progenitor of the breed in Switzerland. The descendants of this male registered with the Swiss Stud Book (LOS) and other White Shepherd dogs imported from the USA and Canada, gradually multiplied. There now exists a big number of purebred over several generations White Shepherd dogs throughout Europe. These dogs have been registered as a new breed in the appendix of the Swiss Stud Book (LOS) since June 1991
UKC
The White Shepherd is a direct descendant of the German Shepherd Dog. In the first half of the twentieth century, German cavalry officer Max von Stephanitz, created the German Shepherd Dog using a variety of German sheepdogs as his foundation stock. Initially, color was not considered as long as the dog demonstrated working ability. During the late 30s, however, the white color fell into disfavor. There were, however, always breeders who appreciated the beauty of the white dogs and who continued to breed them. Because of their exclusion from most German Shepherd Dog breeding programs, the whites rather quickly evolved into a distinct type, and eventually into a separate breed. The White Shepherd was recognized by the United Kennel Club on April 14, 1999.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

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FCI
A powerful, well-muscled, medium-sized, White Shepherd dog with erect ears, double coat which is either of medium length or long; elongated shape; medium sized bone and elegant, harmonious outline.
UKC
The White Shepherd is a medium-sized, well-balanced, muscular dog, slightly longer than tall, with a medium length, pure white coat, erect ears, and a low-set natural tail that normally reaches to the hock and is carried in a slight curve like a saber. The outline of the White Shepherd is made up of smooth curves rather than angles. Gender differences are readily apparent. The White Shepherd should be evaluated as an all-around working dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they deviate from breed type; and how much they interfere with the dog’s ability to work. Working dogs are not to be penalized under any conditions for scars or blemishes that are due to occupational injuries.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

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FCI

Moderately long rectangular shape body length (from the point of shoulder to point of buttock) to height at withers = 12 10.
The distance from the stop to the tip of the nose is slightly more than the distance from the stop to the occipital protuberance.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

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FCI
Lively and balanced temperament, enjoys action, attentive with good ability to be trained. Friendly and discreet. High social competence and devoted to his owner. Never afraid or aggressive without provocation. A joyful and easy to teach working and sporting dog with capability for all round education. High social competence allows for a marked ability to adapt and integrate to all kinds of social events and situations.
UKC
The White Shepherd has a distinct personality marked by self-confidence. The White Shepherd is poised, but when the situation demands, is eager and alert, ready to serve in any capacity. White Shepherds demonstrate both herding and protective instincts. With those he knows, the White Shepherd is open and friendly. With strangers, he is observant and may be somewhat aloof but not apprehensive. Timidity in a mature dog or aggressive behavior is not typical of this breed and should be severely penalized.

HEAD

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UKC
The head is proportional to the size of the dog. Males appear masculine without coarseness, and females feminine without being overly fine. The skull and muzzle are of equal length, parallel to one another, and joined at a moderate stop. There is little or no median furrow.

CRANIAL REGION

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FCI
Strong, clean cut and finely chiselled, in good proportion to the body. Wedge-shaped, seen from above and from the side. Axes of skull and muzzle parallel.

Skull

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FCI
Only slightly rounded; central furrow only slightly perceptible.
UKC
The skull is broad and nearly flat. In males, the skull is slightly wider than it is long; in females, the skull is slightly narrower. Viewed from the top, the skull tapers evenly from the ears toward the muzzle. There is no tendency toward cheekiness.

Stop

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FCI
Slightly marked, but clearly perceptible.

FACIAL REGION

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Nose

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FCI
Medium-sized; black pigmentation desired; snow nose and lighter nose accepted.
UKC
The nose is always black. A “snow nose” is acceptable but not preferred.

Muzzle

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FCI
Powerful and moderately long in relation to the skull; nasal bridge and lower line of muzzle straight, slightly convergent towards the nose.
UKC
The muzzle is strong and dry with well-developed jaws. Viewed from above, the muzzle is wider at the stop than at the tip. Lips are tight and darkly pigmented.

Lips

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FCI
Dry, closing tightly, as black as possible.

Jaws/Teeth

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FCI
Powerful and complete, scissor bite. The teeth should be set square to the jaw.
UKC
The White Shepherd has a complete set (20 upper and 22 lower) of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite. Broken teeth shall not be penalized.

Eyes

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FCI
Medium-sized, almond shaped, placed a little obliquely; colour brown to dark-brown; eye lids well fitting with black eye-rims desirable.
UKC
The eyes are brown, of medium size, almond-shaped and set slightly obliquely. Darker colored eyes are preferred. Eye rims are dark. Expression is keen and intelligent, yet composed.

Ears

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FCI
Erect ears, set high, parallel and directed forward; in the shape of an elongated triangle with the tip slightly rounded.
UKC
Ears are erect, moderately pointed, of medium size, broad at the base, and set high. Ear leather is firm. When the dog is alert, the center lines of the ears, viewed from the front, are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other.

NECK

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FCI
Moderately long and well muscled, with harmonious set-on to the body, without dewlap; the elegantly arched neckline runs in a continuous line from the moderately high carried head to the withers.
UKC
Length is proportional to the size of the head. The neck is strong, muscular, and dry. Except when at attention or excited, the typical carriage of the head is forward rather than up, particularly when the dog is in motion.

BODY

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Topline

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FCI
Strong, muscular, medium-long.

Withers

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FCI
Pronounced.

Back

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FCI
Level, firm.

Loin

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FCI
Strongly muscled.

Croup

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FCI
Long and of medium width; gently sloping from the set-on to root of tail.

Chest

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FCI
Not too broad; deep (about 50 % of the height at the withers); reaching to the elbows; ribcage oval; extending well to the rear. Prominent fore chest.

Underline and belly

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FCI
Flanks slender, firm; underline moderately tucked up.

TAIL

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FCI
Bushy sabre tail, tapering to the tip; set on rather low; reaching at least to the hock joint; at rest, it hangs either straight down or with a slight saber-like curve in its last third part; in action carried higher, but never above the topline.
UKC
The tail is set on low in a natural extension of the sloping croup. The tail extends at least to the hock joint and usually below. When the dog is relaxed, the tail hangs in a slight curve, like a saber. When the dog is excited or moving, the tail may be raised and the curve accentuated. The ideal tail carriage is at or slightly below a vertical line extending from its base. A slightly higher tail carriage is acceptable but not preferred. The coat on the tail stands outward, giving the tail a bushy appearance. Dogs with docked or altered tails resulting from working injuries are not to be penalized.

LIMBS

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FOREQUARTERS

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FCI
Strong, sinewy, medium bone. Straight, seen from the front; only moderately broad stance; seen in profile, well angulated.
UKC
The shoulder blades are long, well laid back (about 35 degrees from the vertical), and laid flat to the body with the upper tips fairly close together. Shoulders and upper arms are well muscled but never loaded. The upper arm appears to be equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an angle of about 102 degrees. Elbows are close to the body. From the pasterns to the elbows, the forelegs are straight and strong with oval-shaped bones that are substantial, but not excessive. A straight line drawn from the withers to the ground should pass through the point of the elbow. Pasterns are strong, sloping at no more than 25 degrees. The length of the forelegs is equal to or just slightly greater than half the height of the dog, measured at the withers. The White Shepherd is solid without bulkiness and should be shown in lean, hard physical condition. A properly proportioned White Shepherd is longer (measured from prosternum to point of buttocks) than tall (measured from the withers to the ground) in a ratio of 10 to 8. The length is derived from proper construction of forequarters and hindquarters and not from length of back. The withers are higher than and slightly sloping into the short, straight, strongly developed back. Loin is broad, strong, and relatively short. Croup is long and gradually sloping at an angle of approximately 23 degrees from the horizontal, flowing smoothly into a low set tail. The forechest is well filled and the prosternum is prominent. The chest is deep with the brisket reaching to the elbows. The distance from the withers to the lowest point of the chest equals approximately 48-50 percent of the dog’s height. Ribs are long, well sprung, and are carried well back. The abdomen is firmly held and never paunchy. Tuck-up in flank is moderate.

Shoulder

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FCI
Shoulder blade long and well laid back; well angulated; whole shoulder strongly muscled.

Upper Arm

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FCI
Adequately long, strong muscles.

Elbow

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FCI
Close fitting.

Forearm

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FCI
Long, straight, sinewy.

Pastern

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FCI
Firm and only slightly oblique.

FEET

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UKC
Feet are round and compact, with toes well arched. Pads are thick, hard, and darkly pigmented. Nails are strong. Front dewclaws may be removed but are normally left intact. Removal of rear dewclaws is preferred but not mandatory.

Forefeet

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FCI
Oval, toes tight and well arched; firm black pads; dark nails desired.

Hind feet

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FCI
Oval, hind feet a little longer than forefeet; toes tight and well arched; firm black pads; dark nails desired.

HINDQUARTERS

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FCI
Strong, sinewy, medium bone.
Seen from the rear straight and parallel; standing not too wide; seen from the side with adequate angulation.
UKC
The hindquarters are broad and muscular and in balance with the forequarters. The pelvis lies tilted backward at an approximate angle of 35 degrees from the horizontal. The femur drops almost vertically from the hip socket, forming an approximate 125-degree angle with the pelvis. The upper and lower thighs are roughly the same length. The stifles are well bent and the rear pasterns are short, clean, and perpendicular to the ground. When standing or moving, there must be no tendency for the hocks to turn in or out. Viewed from the rear, the hind legs drop straight and parallel to each other and the feet point straight ahead.

Thigh

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FCI
Medium-long, strongly muscled.

Stifle

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FCI
Adequate angulation.

Lower thigh

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FCI
Medium-long, oblique, with solid bone and well muscled.

Hock joint

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FCI
Powerful, well angulated.

Rear pastern

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FCI
Moderately long, straight, sinewy.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

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FCI
Rhythmical sequences of steps with even drive and enduring; front legs reaching out far, with strong thrust; trot is ground covering and easy.
UKC
It is essential that a White Shepherd be sound and capable of quick, sudden movement. When trotting, the White Shepherd moves with a long, efficient stride that is driven by a powerful forward thrust from the hindquarters. The rear leg, moving forward, swings under the foreleg and touches down in the place where the forefoot left an imprint. As the rear leg moves backward, the body is propelled forward. The front and rear feet remain close to the ground throughout. When trotting, the back remains firm and level. As the speed of the trot increases, there is a tendency to single track. Correct movement must be evaluated from front and rear as well as the side.

SKIN

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FCI
Without folds; dark pigmentation.

COAT

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HAIR

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FCI

Medium length coat: Dense, close-lying double coat; abundant undercoat covered with hard, straight protection hair; face, ears and front of legs are covered with shorter hair; at the neck and the back of the legs the coat is slightly longer. Slightly wavy, hard hair is permitted.
Long coat: Dense, close-lying double coat; abundant undercoat covered with hard, straight protection hair; face, ears and front of legs are covered with shorter hair; at the neck the long coat forms a distinct mane and at the back of the legs it forms trousers and the hair on the tail is bushy. The coat length should never be exaggerated. Slightly wavy, hard hair is permitted.
UKC
The White Shepherd has a weather-resistant double coat. The outer coat is dense, straight, harsh, and close lying. The undercoat is short, thick, and fine in texture. At the neck, the coat may be slightly longer and heavier, particularly in males. The hair on the back of the legs is slightly longer than on the front. The coat on the rump and underside of the tail is longer and thicker than the body coat. The head and ears are covered with a smooth, somewhat softer hair while the hair covering the legs and paws has a harsher texture.

COLOUR

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FCI
White.
UKC
Ideal coat color is a pure white. Colors ranging from a very light cream to a light biscuit tan are acceptable but not preferred. Skin color is pink to gray, with gray preferred. Nose, lips, eye rims, and pads are fully pigmented and black in color. In judging the White Shepherd, temperament, overall quality and movement are considered more important than coat color alone.

SIZE

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UKC
Ideal height and weight at maturity is 25 inches, and 75-85 pounds for males; and 23 inches and about 60-70 pounds for females. Acceptable range of height is one inch of height in either direction of the ideal.

Height at withers

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FCI
Males 58 - 66 cms. Females 53 - 61 cms.

Weight

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FCI

Males ca. 30 - 40 kgs. Females ca. 25 - 35 kgs.
Typical dogs slightly under- or oversized should not be disqualifyed.

FAULTS

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FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on its ability to perform its traditional work.
  • Slight fawn coloured overlay (light yellow or fawn shade) on eartips, on back and upper part of tail.
  • Partial loss of pigment of flecked appearance on nose, lips and/or eye rims.
  • Dewclaws. Except in countries where their removal is forbidden by law.
UKC

Head: Overly long, narrow, or Collie-like head; insufficient stop.
Skull: Round or domed skull.
Muzzle: Snipey muzzle; receding lower jaw.
Teeth: Missing first premolars; level bite.
Eyes: Round or protruding eyes.
Neck: Ewe neck; dewlap.
Forequarters: Dip behind the withers; sag or roach in topline; shelly chest; ribs too wide or round so as to interfere with action of elbows and forelegs; flat ribs; extreme greyhound-like tuck-up; croup too steep or too flat.
Feet: Hare feet; thin pads; splayed feet.
Coat: open coat.
Color: Faded or spotty pigmentation.

SERIOUS FAULTS

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FCI

  • Drop (hanging) ears, semi-pricked ears, button ears.
  • Severely sloping backline.
  • Ringtail, kinked tail, hook tail, tail carried over back.
  • Soft, silky topcoat; woolly, curly, open coat; distinctly long hair without undercoat.
  • Distinct fawn colour (distinct yellowish or tawny overlay) on ear tips, back and upper side of the tail.
  • Heavy appearance, too short build (square outline).
  • Absence of sexual dimorphism.
  • Missing more than two PM1; the M3 are not taken into account.
UKC

Teeth: Missing teeth other than first premolars; overshot.
Tail: Tail too short; ankylosis.
Size: More than 2 inches of height in either direction of the ideal.
Gait: Correct movement is essential to this breed so structural faults shall be penalized in proportion to how they diminish the dog’s ability to move with efficiency and agility.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

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FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Anxiety, high grade fearfulness, aggressiveness due to anxiety, unnecessary aggression, lethargic behaviour.
  • One eye or both blue, protruding eyes.
  • Entropion, ectropion.
  • Over- or undershot mouth, wry mouth.
  • Total loss of pigment on nose, lips and/or eye rims.
  • Total loss of pigment in the skin and on the pads.
  • Albinism.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism. Undershot. Wry mouth. Blue or pink eyes. Cropped ears. Drop or tipped ears. Total lack of pigment on the nose, eye rims, lips, or pads. Any color other than those listed abo
Muzzle: Total lack of pigment on lips.
Teeth: Undershot; wry mouth.
Nose: Total lack of nose pigment.
Eyes: Blue or pink eyes; total lack of pigment on eye rims.
Ears: Cropped ears; drop or tipped ears.
Feet: Total lack of pigment on pads.
Color: Any color other than those listed above; albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.