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American White Shepherd

American White Shepherd
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Origin / History The American White Shepherd is said to originate from Europe, Canada, and the United States. This breed is considered a direct descendant of the German Shepherd Dog, which is why they bear similarities in appearance. Many kennel clubs do not recognize the American White Shepherd as a breed because of its colour. This is due to the belief that the colour white negatively affects the working abilities of the dog. White dogs blend in with goats or sheep, which makes them less effective in herding and less visible. Aside from that, the white coat of these dogs are easily noticed in grassy hillsides, making the dogs a target for animals looking for prey.

In 1994, the American White Shepherd Association was founded and has since then worked towards the full acceptance of the American White Shepherd as a distinct and separate breed. In 1999, the association succeeded in petitioning for the United Kennel Club to grant the American White Shepherd with full status.

Appearance American White Shepherds look almost exactly the same as German Shepherds, except that they differ in colour. The American White Shepherd sports a white, stiff, long, or long-haired coat. The dogs with long-haired coats have no undercoat. To differentiate dogs of this breed from albino dogs, American White Shepherds must have dark eyes and black eyelids, lips, foot pads, and nose. Their nails should be dark, and their skin should be black, gray, or blue in colour.

Colours The colour of American White Shepherds is always white.

Temperament American White Shepherds are friendly, loyal, and are highly protective of its family when appropriate. These dogs can be suspicious of strangers, although they aren't aggressive. They are also eager to work and they like being close to their owners. Being highly intelligent, these dogs learn quickly and are very trainable, although they can be too sensitive at times. Dogs of this breed get along well with children and other dogs. They can also get along well with cats if they've been raised with them since puppyhood.

Height and Weight Male dogs of this breed have a height of 24 to 26 inches, while females stand 22 to 24 inches. The weight of these dogs ranges from 77 to 85 pounds.

Common Health Problems Common health problems of American White Shepherds include elbow and hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, and malabsorption syndrome. These dogs may also be susceptible to megaesophagus, eye diseases, allergies, and coat problems. Some lines of this breed are also prone to autoimmune diseases, although these are relatively rare in the breed.

Living Conditions Although these dogs can be kept inside apartments, it's still best for them to have a large yard where they can run around and play everyday.

Exercise Requirements American White Shepherds should be given exercise everyday. They should be taken on long walks daily, and it would be good for them to play games such as catching frisbee or ball chasing.

Training Requirements It's important for owners to socialize these dogs at an early age. Owners should also train American White Shepherds for obedience. With proper training, these dogs can be very obedient and will do what they can to please their master. Dogs of this breed should be trained with firm and consistent methods. Harsh methods, however, aren't advisable. Angry or coercive training methods won't be good for these dogs.

Life Expectancy The American White Shepherd is expected to live for approximately 12 years.

Grooming Dogs of this breed are seasonal heavy shedders. During shedding season, owners should brush the coat of these dogs everyday. When these dogs aren't shedding, brushing their coat occasionally will do. Their claws should be trimmed and their ears should be checked on a regular basis.

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More American White Shepherd Information: Check out our American White Shepherd Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.

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