White Swiss Shepherd Dog
The White Swiss Shepherd Dog or Berger Blanc Suisse is an ideal companion for active, sporty people or families with children. It can be kept both indoors and in a house with a garden. However, it needs plenty of exercise.
The Berger Blanc Suisse is listed in FCI Group 1, Section 1 under Standard No. 347.
Despite its pronounced musculature, the breed has an elegant appearance. The build is harmonious. The coat color is pure white. The medium-length, close-fitting coat consists of stock hair or long stock hair. The undercoat is soft and dense. The almond-shaped eyes are brown to dark brown with dark eyelid rims. The nose is black and the teeth are strong. The head has triangular pricked ears.
The Berger Blanc Suisse is somewhat demanding to keep. It needs plenty of activity, daily exercise and a caregiver who has time for it. The Berger Blanc Suisse is considered to be athletic, intelligent, friendly and attentive.
With its good-natured and friendly nature, the Berger Blanc Suisse is very social. It develops a strong bond with people and feels responsible for them. The Berger Blanc Suisse is always loyal to its owner. Like a "white shadow", he follows him wherever he goes.
The Berger Blanc Suisse has a calm and reserved character. It is the ideal companion for families with children. The Berger Blanc Suisse protects them and develops a strong affection for them.
The Berger Blanc Suisse is very willing to learn and easy to train. As he is very sensitive, he should be trained gently and without severity. It needs a calm and at the same time authoritative caregiver on whom it can rely.
Daily and regular mental and physical exercise is an absolute must for him. The Berger Blanc Suisse has good comprehension skills and a strong will to perform and is therefore suitable for almost all dog sports. Agility in particular is very suitable for this dog breed.
The Berger Blanc Suisse is neither fearful nor aggressive. In addition to its original use as a working and herding dog, it is often trained as a guard dog. It is also often used as a service dog, therapy dog, guide dog for the blind or rescue dog (e.g. in avalanche areas).
The right food
The Berger Blanc Suisse does not have any special dietary requirements. However, as it is prone to elbow and hip joint dysplasia, the diet should be adapted to the individual needs of the dog. Especially in puppies, a diet that meets their needs can prevent them from growing too quickly. This can reduce the risk of hip and joint problems.
However, nutrient requirements do not always depend solely on the dog's weight and age. The dog's activity or pregnancy can also play a role in its nutritional requirements. Other influencing factors can be certain illnesses or physical strain on the Berger Blanc Suisse.
In principle, the food should contain a high proportion of meat. As meat is an important source of protein for active dogs, the proportion should be around 70 percent. Carbohydrates and fiber in the form of potatoes, rice or fruit and vegetables as well as fat are also part of a needs-based diet and should not be missing.
High-quality ready-made food (dry or wet food) contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals. You can buy specially formulated food for puppies, adult dogs or senior citizens. There is also special food for dogs with light-colored coats. This contains less copper, carotene and vitamin A, which are thought to be responsible for the yellowing of pure white coats.
Health & Care
The Berger Blanc Suisse generally does not require extensive grooming. When the coat gets dirty, the dry coat repels the dirt by itself. The Berger Blanc Suisse therefore only needs to be bathed in exceptional cases.
Regular brushing or combing is particularly important during the shedding period. This removes the loose undercoat and prevents it from spreading around the home. Regular grooming also cares for the coat structure and ensures a beautiful shine.
Not only the eyes, but also the standing ears of the Berger Blanc Suisse can be cleaned if necessary. When playing outdoors, foreign bodies can get into the eyes and ears, which must be removed to prevent inflammation.
The paws of the Berger Blanc Suisse should be checked regularly for injuries and treated if necessary. In active dogs that get a lot of exercise, the claws wear off by themselves and do not need to be trimmed. In sick or older dogs that do not move around much, the nails should be checked regularly and trimmed if necessary.
For good health, the Berger Blanc Suisse should be vaccinated regularly. Deworming and parasite treatments should also be carried out. In the warmer months of the year, it is advisable to check your dog for ticks. Regular checks and cleaning of the teeth are also essential.
The Berger Blanc Suisse needs a comfortable dog basket or cushion as a place to rest and retreat. Here he can rest after a long walk or after dog sports.
Suitable dog toys are balls or ropes for throwing, which he can chase after. In addition to playing, this gives him an additional exercise opportunity.
A good brush with wire or natural bristles is required for regular grooming. Sturdy claw scissors with a spacer are recommended. Dog dental care sets or dental care snacks are suitable for cleaning the teeth.
Origin & History
As early as the 7th century, white sheepdogs were used to herd and drive sheep. They also protected the shepherds' belongings. Their white fur made them easy to distinguish from wolves in the dark.
The official breeding of white German Shepherds began at the end of the 19th century. Max von Stephanitz, a Prussian courtier, bred white German shepherds to each other.
In the German Shepherd Dog, the white coat color was approved as a breed standard until 1933. As the white coat color was held responsible for genetic defects and was considered a faulty color, it was no longer approved for breeding after 1933. White German Shepherds therefore became increasingly rare in Europe.
In the USA and Canada, breeding continued in the following years with white shepherd dogs imported from Europe. This ensured their survival and they developed into an independent dog breed. However, the breed was not recognized by either the Canadian Kennel Club (CKD) or the American Kennel Club (AKC).
In the early 1970s, the white shepherd dog 'Lobo', born in the USA, came to Switzerland. With him and other dogs imported from the USA and Canada, the pure breeding of this breed began.
In June 1991, the Berger Blanc Suisse was included as a new breed in the appendix of the SHSB (Swiss Kennel Club). In 2001, the Swiss Kennel Club applied to the FCI for recognition of the Berger Blanc Suisse. Switzerland is considered to be the country of origin of this breed, as eight independent lines have been identified.
In January 2003, the Berger Blanc Suisse was provisionally recognized by the FCI as a new breed and received definitive recognition in 2011.