Panda German Shepherd โ€“ Your Complete Breed Guide

The first thing that comes to mind when most of us think of the German Shepherd is the iconic black and tan kind. To be fair, these are the most common variety of the breed and are also the most desirable in dog show circles. However, there are many other amazing coat types and color combinations out there. Arguably the most beautiful among them is the Panda German Shepherd.

The Panda German Shepherd is a coat color variation of the breed known for white coat markings. These may be in a combination pattern with another single, solid color like black. However, the white markings appear more commonly on coats with existing bicolor combinations turning the German Shepherd into a tricolor dog.

The appearance is not all that differs between the Panda German Shepherd and other variations. Letโ€™s see what makes them different and what to expect if you are interested in getting one.

Are Panda German Shepherds Purebred?

Image from Instagram:@fez_the_panda

A Panda German Shepherd Dog is a variation of the German Shepherd breed based on coat colors and markings. This variation is known for having white markings on single color or bicolor coats.

These markings usually occur on the face, neck, chest, and limbs. They may also occur on the belly area and the back, but this is not a very common feature.

The color is a result of a genetic mutation with a dominant gene. This means only one parent needs to be a Panda GSD for there to be the likelihood of the puppies displaying the trait.

More often than not, the white markings on a Panda German Shepherd are random. However, there are instances where the markings appear symmetrical. All this is genetically determined.

Here are a few more traits you can expect from the purebred Panda German Shepherd as well as how they compare with other, more standard coat types.

Size And Build

The Panda German Shepherd variety is generally similar in size to most other German Shepherd varieties.

They fall within the same medium to large dog category with a weight range of 50 to 90 pounds and a height range of 22 to 26 inches. They also have the same build which includes a muscular and proportional body.

Facial And Skull Features

The Panda German Shepherd also has the same long snout and large, perky ears. The main difference you may notice is the lack of the German Shepherdโ€™s black face mask as the snout and chin often have white markings.

Eye Color

The eye color on these Panda German Shepherds is usually either brown or amber. This is unlike other coat color variations like white where the genes responsible also affect eye color. With this one, only the coat color is influenced by the mutation.

How Long Do Panda German Shepherds Live For?

Image from Instagram:@lunathepandashepherd

Panda German Shepherds live for 9 to 13 years.

This is the exact same lifespan range that all other variations of the breed share. The reason for this is that Panda GSDs are purebred variations with the same health status as all the other types.

Moreover, the genes responsible for the unique coat markings are not directly linked to any health issues. Letโ€™s now take a look at these health issues that commonly affect the Panda German Shepherds:

Clotting Disorders

The most common one that affects these dogs is Von Willebrandโ€™s disease. Here, there is a deficiency of proteins known as clotting factors that help prevent excessive bleeding in case of blood vessel compromise.

Fortunately, it is not always symptomatic, with most complications occurring in controlled environments during veterinary surgeries.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia commonly affects large breeds like the German Shepherd and the Panda variety is unfortunately not spared. The condition results in instability of the joint and also predisposes the dog to developing arthritis.

Degenerative Myelopathy

This is yet another potentially debilitating disease that seriously affects the Panda German Shepherdโ€™s activity levels as the condition worsens. It is a condition where the spinal cord progressively degenerates and loses its functionality.

Some of the earliest signs point to disorders in musculoskeletal functionality including limping, dragging their feet, and even the inability to perform physical tasks like climbing stairs.


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among Panda German Shepherds and GSDs in general. It can affect pretty much any organ or system in the dogโ€™s body and is often fatal, especially if not caught early.

How Much Do Panda German Shepherds Cost?

Image from Instagram:@t.j_pandagsd

On average, a Panda German Shepherd puppy costs $1,000 to $3,000 even without training.

This is significantly higher than the price of other German Shepherd varieties which range from $800 to $2,000. Here are a few of the reasons why these white-marked pooches cost so much more and what makes them worth every penny.

They Are Very Rare

Panda German Shepherds are among the rarest of the variations of this breed. This is a bit unexpected considering the fact that the genes responsible for the trait are dominant, and thus, only one parent is needed.

Despite this, it is still a very rare gene, and thus, the dogs are rare, which in turn increases their average price.

They Are Difficult To Breed

Another very interesting fact about these dogs is the fact that selective breeding for the trait is not always straightforward. With just one Panda GSD, the chances of getting puppies with the same trait are often slim as other dominant coat traits are usually more commonly expressed.

On the other hand, breeding 2 Panda German Shepherds will lead to intrauterine death as embryos with both copies of the mutated gene are not viable.

With all these roadblocks in the breeding process, getting these beautiful puppies is often an uphill task for breeders which is one of the reasons why they end up being so pricey.

They Are Both Great Companions And Working Dogs

This both explains and justifies the high price tag on Panda German Shepherds. Smart and versatile dogs can be trained to pretty much do anything. This is the second most important reason why they are so popular, second only to aesthetics.

Are Panda German Shepherds Aggressive? Temperaments Of Panda German Shepherds

Panda German Shepherds are in a lot of ways very similar to other German Shepherd varieties in terms of personality traits. This is because they are quite literally the exact same breed in different coat colors and patterns.

So contrary to popular belief, they are not more or less aggressive than Standard GSDs. For some perspective on what to expect, here are some of the dogโ€™s most common personality traits.

High Levels Of Intelligence

These dogs are very smart and always willing to learn. This will make life infinitely easier for you in terms of training and living with the pooch. They are also very intuitively responsible and independent.

Intense Loyalty And Affection

Panda German Shepherds never forget acts of love and kindness towards them and often return the same sentiments. They are very loyal especially to their primary caregivers and also tend to be protective of their human families.

Guarding Behavior

Panda German Shepherds are natural guard dogs and are really great at this job. They are usually very alert and aware of their environment. They also tend to be suspicious of strangers. If you want yours to be a guard dog, it will be very easy to train them for the job.

Confident And Dominant

The Panda variety of German Shepherds is often thought of as aggressive, not because they actually are aggressive, but because they have a very confident and dominant personality.

If you do not put your foot down and establish yourself as their authority, they might be a little difficult to handle.

Do Panda German Shepherds Shed? Grooming Tips For Panda German Shepherds

The Panda German Shepherd is further divided into two categories based on the coat type. The first is the long-haired variety and the second has a medium-length coat.

This may come as a surprise to most, but the long-haired type is generally easier to take care of. This is because they shed less and are also less likely to develop skin irritation from things like allergens or parasites.

The good news is that the variety is generally easy to take care of if you know what you are doing. To help you out, here are a few grooming tips that will come in handy.

Find A Brushing Schedule That Works For You

Panda German Shepherds have different shedding volumes, mainly depending on the coat type. It is important to understand this in order to find a schedule that will allow you to deshed as effectively as possible.

If the dog sheds a lot, brush their coats 4 to 5 times a week. If they do not shed so much, you could make it 2 to 3 times every week.

We recommend the FURminator Undercoat Tool for convenience and the best results with the Panda GSDโ€™s thick coat.

Donโ€™t Over-Wash Or Under-Wash The Dog

There is such a thing as washing your dog too much. Panda German Shepherds are particularly vulnerable, given their potential to develop skin irritation. In these cases, washing too often strips their skin and fur of protective natural oil coating.

We recommend you wash the dog every 6 to 8 weeks using high-quality shampoos like Seamus Cherry Blossom Whitening Dog Shampoo. This shampoo does it all, from washing and conditioning to soothing irritated skin and eliminating odors.

Clean More Than Just The Dog

Panda German Shepherds pick up dirt and irritants from their environment. Cleaning the spaces that they frequent, as well as their accessories, is thus an integral part of effective grooming.

To make your life easier, automate the process as much as possible. You may use a home appliance like a washing machine for the dogโ€™s linen, and automatic vacuum cleaners like iRobot Roomba i3+ for surfaces where the dog sheds and drops dander.

What Is The Rarest German Shepherd Color? The Liver German Shepherd dog is considered the rarest in terms of colors. These dogs have a rusty reddish-brown color that may either appear alone or in combination with tan markings. The coloring with this variation is a result of a rare and recessive gene. And while the Liver GSD may appear spontaneously, breeders often have to breed two Liver parents if they hope to get puppies with this unique trait.

How Many Types Of German Shepherd Are There? There are many different types of German Shepherd dogs depending on the trait used to categorize the breed. The most commonly used trait is coat length, in which case you have two main types of GSDs, the long haired and the medium haired variety. Other traits used include the coat colors and markings, in which case there are 11 standardized variations according to the American Kennel Club.

What Does A Liver Panda German Shepherd Look Like? A Liver Panda German Shepherd has a rusty reddish-brown coat with white markings usually around the face, jaws, neck, lower segments of the limbs, and chest area. They may also simultaneously have tan markings, which is seen with Liver and Tan German Shepherds with Panda coat markings.

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Pete Decker