Breed Profile
Group South Africa (KUSA), Australia (ANKC), New Zealand (NZKC), Britain (UK): Herding Group
USA (AKC), Canada (CKC): Sporting Group
FCI (provisionally accepted): Group 1- Sheep Dogs
Defining characteristics A white dog, giving the appearance of power, liveliness, alertness and spirit. Similar in shape to the old-style German Shepherd Dog, the White Swiss Shepherd is longer than tall, with his chest reaching to at least 50% of his height at the withers. There are short-coated and long-coated varieties.
Height Dogs 24 - 26½" (60 - 66cm) Bitches 22 - 24½ " (55 - 61cm)
Weight Dogs 30 - 40 kg, Bitches 25 - 35kg
Colour White
Slight deer colour (light yellow or fawn shading) on eartips, back and upperside of tail is relatively common.
Temperament Very loyal to its family - should not be shy or aggressive, but may be slightly aloof towards strangers; somewhat softer in temperament to its cousin, the German Shepherd Dog; very alert and watchful; very keen to work and spend time with their handlers; intelligent, obedient, and easy to train, responding best to less harsh training methods such as clicker training; if socialised well from puppyhood, they are good with children and other animals; can be very vocal, making a wide range or sounds and tending to "talk" to owners and neighbouring dogs.
Negative traits Unless properly controlled, some tend to bark a lot. They tend to shed hair heavily.
Accommodation The family home should include a large yard for exercise. Should also be taken for regular outside stimulation and exercise.
Level of activity Usually fairly active indoors or out. Provide sufficient toys for amusement.
Exercise Daily exercise is important for this breed. Because of his inherent intelligence, play needs to be stimulating, such as chasing a ball, frisbee, obedience training, etc
Life expectancy 12 - 15 years
Potential health issues
  • Hip and elbow displasia can be a problem in some lines (make sure parents are tested)
  • Conformation problems: skin or coat problems, missing teeth
  • Other occasional concerns: bloat or stomach torsion; megaoesophagus; degenerative joint disease (including osteochondritis); malabsorbtion syndrome
Grooming A heavy hair shedder, but easy to groom - daily brushing will reduce shedding hair; regular cleaning of ears and eyes; regular shampooing with a good quality dog shampoo (not human); regular clipping of nails.
Show grooming No skilled grooming required.

Find a reputable, registered breeder - do not buy from a backyard breeder or pet shop!
Consult pet-oriented media, KUSA (South Africa), official registries, and word of mouth.
Research as much about the breed as possible before making the commitment.

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