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Old 07-01-2011, 12:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do White German Shepherds have behaviour problems?

I'm reading a book called German Shepherd Dog, An Owners Guide by Dr Peter Neville and in the book he writes:

"All white German Shepherd dogs are growing in popularity, but they are not recognized by purists and they may sometimes have behaviour problems"

This is all he writes about them. Is this true?
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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From what I've heard. The white breed was created by inbreeding which does lead to mental problems. I have a white one and he is the biggest goofball you would ever meet. He is very sweet and very loyal. I don't see any behavioral problems in him.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like the author has an issue with the acceptance of white gsds within the gsd gene pool, because of the colour they are not considered gsds by certain show standards and have their own breed name as well in parts of the world - "White Swiss Shepherds" is what they are also known as.
I think the statement that they may have behavioural issues because of their colour is quite misrepresentative. Temperament can be influenced by both genes and environment. Non-white gsd may sometimes have behavioural issues but it is not something that is accepted or expected of the breed.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The author said "they may". If you don't have issues with your gsd don't worry about it. :-). Don't believe everything you read it will just give you headaches. The temperament depends on what line your gsd came from. I used to read books about labs because we have one and it used to give me headaches. Just look at your pet and appreciate her/him.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't own a white shepherd so am not really concerned by his comments, just want to learn more really.....but seems a bit tricky as there are so many different opinions. Maybe i'll just buy 50 dogs over the next 40 years & form my own conclusions!
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's a link about a White GSD that I met a few weeks ago or so.
I've got more experience with the traditional looking black/tan black/red sable, etc. Bottomline he was behaviorally much better than most of the GSDs that come into my job. Definitely temprament (sorry spelling nazis!) and environment play a factor here.

This guy is great! I hope the link works...

Met the coolest White Shepherd (Not Pard)

Last edited by CarrieJ; 07-01-2011 at 02:13 AM. Reason: wrong link...try again.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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They ALL may have behavioral problems, no matter the color.

I find the constant berating of out of standard or show vs working hilarious.

The working/show debate is over 100 years old. Nothing that can be said about has not been said, in many languages, thousands and thousands of times!

When you can go back in the pedigrees a hundred years, they are all squarer, and yet blowhards opine with disdain and self righteousness about what is faulty in the conformation, as if they had a clue.

People are dumber than the dogs...and when there are behavioral issues,
the mirror is the most valuable tool to examine the cause.

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Old 07-01-2011, 11:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default white was one od the early colors

I read a while back that the white coated GSD emerged very erly in the development of the breed. It was not preferred but it was not considered to be bad. It didn't fit with what they wanted in that it made the dog overly visable. The author may have been wrong, but as an owner of a white one, I can say she is the better behaved and more alert of my two.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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From my understanding the white gene came early on in foundation stock, I also believe that the the white is just a masking gene. Reach in and take that out of the dog, and you have your typical blk/tan/blk/sable/whatever.

They have no more behavior problems than any other dog IMO. I have had no bad experiences.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Any dog can have behavioral issues from bad breeding or bad training and raising.

I am with dOg about the debate on show v working v conformation.

What is considered a perfect GSD in the ring now looks nothing like the GSD as originally bred a long long time ago.

Perfection is in the eye of the guy that wrote the book
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