White Swiss Shepherd Club of America
For North American enthusiasts of the
White Swiss Shepherd Dog.
White Swiss Shepherd Club of America
In late 2013, a small group of people organized on behalf of the FCI papered White Swiss Shepherd, aka Berger Blanc Suisse. The WSSCA began in 2014 as a not-for-profit corporation. It is our hope that new lines will be developed with these imported dogs, and have their offspring exported back into the rest of the world to increase adherence to breed type, while improving the breed through responsible breeding practices. Our membership has been growing steadily since our inception, correlating seemingly with the numbers of people importing this breed. Our members are to breed to the FCI White Swiss Shepherd Dog breed Standard,347 and adhere to FCI circulars and rules pertaining to breeding and registration of the WSS.
What is a White Swiss Shepherd?
The White Swiss Shepherd is a breed of herding dog ranging from 60-90 lbs generally,
that is lively and attentive. They are great with children, possess good defensive instincts and can be used for a wide variety
of tasks. They have strong herding drive, often have strong affinity for scent detection,
agility, obedience, rally, and other performance activities that involve direct interaction with their handler.
White Swiss Shepherds require early socialization through immersion in a myriad of subjects and environments in order to build proper filters for their protective instincts, and establishing a base level of comfort in new situations. They do best having a job in the household accompanied by obedience training, or can otherwise become destructive out of boredom and lack of outlet for their energies. A properly temperamented and socialized White Swiss Shepherd should have good situational awareness and possess a good amount of emotional sensitivity, and although can appear aloof due to their innate defensive drices, will default to friendly. Some lines of this breed make excellent service dogs for nose related medical alert, mobility assist, emotional support, and Search and Rescue.
History of the White Swiss Shepherd
The White Swiss Shepherd is a breed of dog whose very beginnings go back to white lines of the Thuringian shepherd, named so for the Thuringian region of Germany and the typical type of shepherd found in that region. These dogs existed prior to the design of the German Shepherd Dog, but were used to create the GSD, selected for their particular body type and erect ears. Greif von Sparwasser, who was a Thuringian shepherd dog, and grand father of Horand von Grafrath, the first dog labeled as the new breed, German Shepherd Dog.
For nearly a century, the history of the White Shepherd and German Shepherd Dog have been commingled. During the 1930’s, the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde, aka SV, removed the white colored dog from the breed, and numbers of white shepherds nearly disappeared throughout Europe thereafter.
In the USA and Canada White Shepherd dogs have gradually become to be accepted as a distinct breed by the 1960’s. The first dogs of this breed were imported to Switzerland in the early 70’s. 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 large 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. The Federation Cynologique provisionally recognized the White Swiss Shepherd/White Swiss Shepherd in 2002, and permanently in 2011. In 2017, first country with a ‘letter of understanding’ with FCI, the Kennel Club (KC) of the United Kingdom, will officially recognize the White Swiss Shepherd later in 2017.
The breed type specified in the Federation Cynoligique breed standard for the White Swiss, calls for a dog in coat color and type as the white Thuringian shepherd, Greif von Sparwasser, from the days prior to the German Shepherd Dog.
FCI White Swiss Shepherd
Recommended Health testing
The White Swiss Shepherd is a relatively healthy breed, living an average of 12 years. However,
there are health tests that are recommended prior to breeding any WSS. We highly encourage all WSSD
breed stock to purchase Optimal Selection™ Canine Genetic Breeding Analysis. Specific health clearances
that we recommend are listed below:
Hip Dysplasia, PennHIP preferred, and/or OFA Evaluation
OFA Evaluation Elbow Dysplasia
Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist registered with CERF
Congenital Cardiac Exam OR Advanced Cardiac Exam
Congenital Deafness, OFA evaluation based on BAER test
Autoimmune thyroiditis-OFA evaluation from an approved laboratory
Multiple Drug Sensitivity (MDR1)
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
Breed recognition status
The White Swiss Shepherd was recognized in Switzerland in 1991. It became provisionally recognized with
the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, aka the World Canine Organization in 2002, and officially recognized with
the FCI in July 2011. This means that the breed is able to register in all FCI member countries, contract partners,
and was even awarded breed status with The Kennel Club, in the United Kingdom in 2017. The White Swiss Shepherd is
not currently recognized with the American Kennel Club, however our efforts in this organization hope to change this.
White Swiss Shepherds may be registered and shown in many other organizations, such as: International All Breed Canine Association (IABCA), International Canine Kennel Club (ICKC), American Rare Breed Association (ARBA), and the United Kennel Club (UKC) considers the White Swiss Shepherd to be the same breed as their listed White Shepherd.
As for performance and other events/activities you can do with your Swiss Shepherd, most organizations will accept WSS papers, and if should come across any that do not, please advise WSSCA and we will contact them formally on behalf of the breed to ask that our breed be allowed access to their events/services.
We are accepting membership from anyone with a White Swiss Shepherd and enthusiasts of the breed. We do not accept American Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club registrations into our registry, as those registries do not recognize our breed at this time, despite our having official breed recognition with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) since 2002.
Feel free to contact us with any White Swiss Shepherd inquiries. We look forward to hearing from you!