White German Shepherd โ€“ Your Complete Breed Guide

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and has been for quite a while. They are known for their strong personalities, sharp minds, and black and tan coats. What many of us fail to realize is that there are actually very many different varieties of German Shepherds mainly based on coat colors and markings. The White German Shepherd stands out with its unique beauty and surprisingly sweet personality.  

White German Shepherds are actually regular German Shepherds that have a solid white coat with no other markings. It is similar to standard black and tan German Shepherds in most aspects from their health to their build and aesthetic. However, there are some subtle differences including in terms of temperament and general care.

If you are interested in one of these beauties, you are in for quite a treat. Here is a bit more on exactly what you have to expect.

Are White German Shepherd Full Breed?

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Contrary to popular misconception, White German Shepherds are actually the exact same breed as regular black or black and tan German Shepherds.

White German Shepherds occur naturally in litters where the parents carry the genes required for this solid coat type.

The variation has been very popular in the United States where White German Shepherds were selectively bred to meet the demand. And while their start in Europe was a bit rocky, they are also starting to see similar reception.

Letโ€™s take a quick look at what you can expect in terms of appearance from a White German Shepherd.

Build and general appearance

The only way to tell whether a White German Shepherd is a full breed is through genetic testing. However, there are a few classic traits that are easy to pick out with the breed that could help you identify them.

These include the dogโ€™s medium to large build, long snout, as well as the large, erect ears. The main difference compared to other German Shepherds is the fact that the white variety lack the iconic black mask marking.

Eye color

Another common misconception is that White German Shepherds are albino dogs.

This is simply not the case as a completely different set of genes are involved in both varieties. One of the best ways to tell them apart is through the eye color. The White German Shepherd has brown eyes that range from dark brown to amber. Albino dogs on the other hand will often have blue, green, or grey eyes.

Coat type

Another key feature of the White German Shepherd is the fact that they are more often than not long haired. This is quite rare among German Shepherds in general as the genes responsible for this coat type are recessive.

Do White German Shepherds Have Health Issues?

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The average lifespan of a White German Shepherd is 12 to 14 years.

This is the same as that of other coat varieties of the breed which just goes to prove that they are pretty much the same dog. White German Shepherds are generally very healthy dogs. The few conditions that they do suffer from are the very same as those from the regular German Shepherd that most of us are used to. Here are some of the most common of these.

Hip and elbow dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia is quite common among large dogs and White German Shepherds are not the exception. Initially, such a condition causes discomfort and a limited range of motion which you will notice as reduced activity the dog exhibits every day.

Eventually, the dog will develop arthritis which significantly reduces their quality of life.

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus

The German Shepherdโ€™s deep-chested build puts it at risk of developing gastric dilatation volvulus. When the pooch eats too much, too fast, their stomachs dilate and twist on themselves. The extent of the seriousness of the problem can range from simple bloating and discomfort to life-threatening obstruction.

Von Willebrand Disease

Von Willebrand Disease is a clotting disease caused by a lack of a specific clotting factor that leaves the dog prone to heavy bleeding. Fortunately, it is relatively rare. Unfortunately, it can be quite devastating when it does occur.

Skin allergies

White German Shepherds are also prone to skin issues including allergic dermatitis. Unlike albino dogs, their white coats have nothing to do with their skin issues. It has everything to do with individual sensitivity to allergens like pollen, some grooming products, or parasite infestation.

What Is A White German Shepherd Price?

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The White German Shepherd will cost on average $750 to $1,000 or even more depending on where you buy them.

For some perspective, regular German Shepherds can go for as low as $300 especially if untrained.

So why the difference in price?

White German Shepherd are rare

White German Shepherds are quite rare even in the United States where they are so popular. As with most other rare dog breeds and varieties, this has a lot to do with the fact that the genes required to produce the trait are quite rare themselves.  

White German Shepherd are difficult and expensive to breed

White German Shepherds are bred selectively to increase the chances of producing the desired, pure white, solid coat type. Considering how hard the parents can be to find for the purpose of breeding, breeders often have to pay steep stud prices which reflect in the final price tag that you get.

Niche demand based on aesthetics

White dogs have always had a very loyal fanbase from fluffy toy pooches that look like little clouds to larger, all-white breeds reminiscent of exotic wild wolves. White German Shepherds benefit from the same hype which is another reason you might end up paying quite a lot of money for your doggy.

White German Shepherd are great family pets

As you will see shortly, White German Shepherds are actually quite easier to live with especially as family pets or as solo companions. While they do need a bit of coaxing and early socialization to step out of their shell, they are absolute sweethearts when they feel safe and comfortable.

Are White German Shepherds More Aggressive? Temperaments Of White German Shepherds

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Similar to traditional German Shepherds, White German Shepherds are good pets to have for the family. Here are a few traits that you have to look forward to.


White German Shepherds may not be as aggressive as regular German shepherds but they are quite alert and this makes them good watch dogs. They can also be trained to give specific responses to intruders whether it is barking or even charging. However, these responses do not always come naturally to them despite their general mistrust of strangers.


Once your White German Shepherd is all comfortable and settled in, you will see a completely new side to them. They have a fun-loving, goofy side that you cannot help but just fall in love with. This makes them particularly awesome for homes with young children.


One temperament trait that White German Shepherds have in common with other, better known varieties is their high levels of intelligence. This makes them very easy to train whether you want yours to be a guard dog, a support dog, or just a companion pooch with a lot of cool tricks up their sleeves.


Unlike their black and tan counterparts, White German Shepherds are not always bold at first. They need a bit of time to feel comfortable before their confident and social side comes through. You just have to be patient and show them that they truly are safe.

Do White German Shepherds Shed? Grooming Tips for a White German Shepherd

White German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic.

In fact, they shed quite heavily especially during fall and spring which can make their maintenance needs a bit high. Interestingly, longer haired White German Shepherds actually shed less and may be easier to groom.

To help make your life easier, here are a few grooming tips that should help you keep these angelic beauties as fresh, bright, and shiny as possible.

Brush the pooch 3 to 4 times a week

Whether you have a long haired or short haired White German Shepherd, regular brushing is something you cannot avoid. A 3 to 4 times a week schedule will help you deal with the shedding and prevent matting.

In addition to a good schedule, you need high quality tools for the job. The Furminator Undercoat Tool stands out with its ergonomic handle, click-to-clean design, and strong bristles.

For those few strays that will still get away from you, we recommend you consider the iRobot Roomba i3+ automated vacuum. That way, all you have to focus on is cleaning the dog with the vacuum taking care of your home for you.

Wash the dog every 4 to 8 weeks

White German Shepherds have a bit of a natural odor. Their white coats are also unforgiving of dirt and stains. You may have to wash your pooch once every month or even every 2 weeks.

Seamus Cherry Blossom Whitening Dog Shampoo will help a lot in both cases not only keeping the coat pristine but also dealing with the odor through the natural floral scenting.

Invest in dental chew toys and water additives

White German Shepherds, like any other dog, also need intentional and consistent dental care to prevent dental issues like cavities, tartar buildup, and gum disease. Chew toys with dental spikes help mechanically clean the teeth by getting rid of food particles or plaque between or on the teeth. The water additives on the other hand will help you control bad breath.

Why Are White German Shepherds Disqualified? White German Shepherds are often disqualified as they have historically been considered undesirable. This is because they went against the bold and firm aesthetic of the traditional German Shepherd and were considered the sickly weaklings in their packs despite being just as strong and healthy. However, they are gaining more and more popularity and acceptance.

Are Panda German Shepherds Rare? Panda German Shepherds are very rare. They are known for their black and white coat that may or may not also have tan patches. This unique aesthetic in the breed is as a result of the KIT gene mutation. This gene is not only rare but also recessive which means that two Panda German Shepherds are needed to produce a similar pup.

Do German Shepherds Get Lighter or Darker? German Shepherds typically get darker as they grow older. This happens regardless of their coat color and markings. The first changes may start to appear at around 6 months. You may also notice that the colors get more concentrated and defined between 2 to 3 years. All these changes may be a little hard to appreciate with the White German Shepherd.

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Pete Decker