The appearance of White Swiss shepherd is closely related to the appearance of German shepherd. The ancestors of German shepherds had different colors, including white color as well. The first dog shows that took place in 1880s prove that this breed was represented by dogs of white and greyish white colors back then. Legendary Horand von Grafrath, who is known as the forefather of all German shepherds, previously named Hektor von Linksrhein, was purchased in 1899 by Max Emile Friedrich von Stefanitz, the founder of the breed. Horand’s maternal grandfather’s name was Greif, and he was a German shepherd of pure white color. Greif participated in dog shows in 1882 and 1887. Horand von Grafrath is the ancestor of all modern German shepherds.

Later German shepherds of different colors became widespread all over the world. However, under the rule of Nazi demands towards German shepherds rapidly increased. As many dogs didn’t correspond to such demands, an unreasonable decision was made to prescribe those flaws of breed to the white color gene. By the 1960s white color of German shepherds was finally accepted as disqualifying in the whole world. In spite of that, White German shepherd has become widespread in the USA and Canada. After continuous disputes between the biggest cynological unions, the name White German shepherd was changed into American Canadian shepherd. The first representatives of pure white shepherd were brought from Switzerland in 1970s in several generations. This breed quickly gained big popularity around the whole Europe. Switzerland was the first country who made a request to FCI for the registration of the new breed. American dog Lobo, born March 5, 1966, can be called a forefather of this breed in Switzerland. The descendants of this dog were included into Swiss Dog Pedigree Book (LOS). Later many other dogs brought from the USA and Canada started to breed as well. As a result, the whole Europe got filled with a huge amount of pureblooded (in several generations) white shepherds. Because of this, since 1991 these dogs have been registered as a new breed with the mentioning of LOS. In 2002 FCI officially acknowledged white shepherds as a new breed of dogs and they were given a name of White Swiss shepherd (Berger Blanc Suisse). That’s how White German shepherd, also known as American Canadian shepherd, returned to its motherland, Europe, and received a new name – White Swiss shepherd.

Breed standards

Country of origin: Switzerland.

Purpose: a working companion dog, which is characterized by a particular friendly attitude towards children; alert watchdog; can be easily and quickly trained.

Classification by FCI: Group I of shepherd dogs, section 1 of shepherd dogs. No trials.

Typical appearance: Strong, middle-sized white shepherd dog with nicely developed muscles and pointed ears. Hair coat with short wool or long hair coat with short wool. Extended shape. Medium skeleton. Elegant and harmonious outlines.
Head: Strong and well-shaped proportionally to the rest of the body. Wedge-shaped when observed from the side or the front. The lines of the skull and the snout are parallel.

Cranial part.

Skull-head: slightly rounded, with distinctive central furrow.

Jaws/teeth: strong, full set of teeth, scissorly-shaped bite. Teeth should be placed perpendicularly to the jaw. Middle-sized, almond-shaped eyes, which are slightly obliquely placed. Eye color can vary from brown to dark brown. Ears are pointed, highly placed, situated vertically, collaterally and directed to the front. Ears are oblong and slightly rounded in their upper part.

Front extremities: When observed from the front – straight, not widely placed; when observed from the side – properly-shaped, with nice angles. Shoulders: long, with a proper slope, nice angles and well-developed muscles. Elbows: pressed towards the breast. Forearm: long, straight, muscular.

Body: strong, muscular, of middle length. Crest: well-expressed. Back: straight, solid. Loins: with well-developed muscles. Crupper: long, of middle width, slightly leaned towards the base of the tail.

Tail: fluffy, sword-like shaped, narrowing towards its end. Lowly seated. Reaches the jumping joint. In placid state it reaches vertical position or may be slightly turned down in its last third. During movement the tail is highly raised but it never rises above the top line.

Moves: rhythmic moves have equal force and duration; a nice thrust of front extremities with strong pushes; even floating trot.

Skin: without plica and wrinkles, with dark pigmentation. Woolen hair coat. Hair: of middle length, thick, densely adjoins to the short wool or long wool. Dense short wool with heavy straight protective hair. Snout, ears and the front part of extremities are covered with shorter hair. Neck and the back part of extremities are covered with longer hair. Color: white.


Any deviation from the abovementioned characteristics can be considered a flaw, the importance of which is directly proportional to the deviation from standard units.

Insignificant flaws:

Slight cervine coloring (light yellow or pale yellow color) on the tips of the ears, back and the upper surface of the tail.

Partial loss of pigmentation (spots) on the skin around the eyes, nose and lips.

Significant flaws:

Excessive massiveness, a very short body (square shape).

Faintly expressed manhood in dogs and womanhood in bitches.

Hanging or half-pointed ears, or ears shaped like buttons.

Strongly leaned line of the back.

Twisted tail; tail shaped as a hook or a loop, or a tail which is raised over the dog’s back.

Soft, silky hair. Hairy, frizzy (without a short wool) woolen coat. Very long hair coat without a short wool.

Vividly expressed cervine coloring (vivid yellowish or brown-yellowish color) on the tips of the ears, back and the upper surface of the tail.

Disqualifying flaws

•    Excessive timorousness or aggressiveness of the dog.

•    One or both eyes have blue color, convex eyes.

•    Entropy, ectropion

•    Complete absence of coloring around nose, lips and eyes.

•    Complete absence of coloring of skin and pads.

•    Albinism.


Lively animal without excessive fidgetiness. It’s characterized by reserved behavior with strangers. However, these dogs never express excessive aggressiveness or anxiety. They are very easily trained. Very devoted to the family members, behave tenderly and kindly, never show aggressive attitude. Easily communicate with other animals which share the same living space with them. Love children. Easily adapt to changes and travels. Cannot stand aggressive treatment and violence in the family or bad attitude towards them.