Thursday, 27 September 2007

List of Dog breeds (Page 31)

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier, (often called simply the Yorkie), is a breed of small dog in the toy category. The long-haired terrier is known for its playful demeanor and distinctive blue and tan coat. Yorkies can be very small, usually weighing not more than 7 pounds (3.18 kg); the standard of this breed does not mention the minimum weight accepted nor does it specify a height. Based on registrations of the American Kennel Club, Yorkshire Terriers became the second most popular dog breed in the United States in 2006, trailing only the Labrador Retriever.



The Yorkshire Terrier breed standard specifies that the dog should have a compact, athletic build suitable for an active lifestyle; and hold itself in an upright, confident manner.The Yorkie has a free, jaunty gait, with both head and tail held high For Yorkies, toy stature does not necessarily mean frail or fragile.

Coat and color

Yorkshire Terriers are a long-haired breed with no undercoat, which means that they do not shed as much as their short haired friends. Rather, their hair is like human hair in that it grows continuously and falls out rarely (only when brushed or broken).Additionally, since Yorkies carry less dander on their coat, they generally do not have the unpleasant "wet dog" odor when wet, and they may not affect as many people who suffer from dog-related allergies.

An AKC-registered Yorkshire Terrier puppy, aged 4 months, displaying the characteristic black and tan coat.
An AKC-registered Yorkshire Terrier puppy, aged 4 months, displaying the characteristic black and tan coat.

Yorkie puppies are born with a black and tan coat, and normally have black hairs mixed in with the tan until they are matured.The breed standard for adult Yorkies places prime importance on coat color, quality and texture. The hair must be glossy, fine and silky. However, some have very fine hair, making it feel a bit different and are harder to care for. From the back of the neck to the base of the tail, the coat should be a dark steel-blue (not silver-blue)- never mingled with fawn, bronze or black hairs.Hair on the tail should be a darker blue. On the head, chest and legs, hair should be a bright, rich tan, and darker at the roots than in the middle, shading to still lighter tan at the tips. Some Yorkies never turn the usual blond and continue to be gray. There should be no dark hairs intermingled with any of the tan in adult dogs.Many Yorkies do not conform to the standard for coat color; the tan may range from a very light blonde to a darker brown, while the body may be black or silvery gray.Many pet-quality Yorkies have "wooley" coats which are completely black across the back. The hair never "breaks" into the dark steel blue that is preferred in the breed because the coat texture is not a pure silk - the favorable coat texture. The Yorkie’s nose, lips, eye-rims, paw-pads and nails should be darkly pigmented.

The breed standard requires that the Yorkshire Terrier's hair be perfectly straight (not wavy). For show purposes, the coat is grown-out long and parted down the middle of the back, but may be trimmed to floor length to give ease of movement and a neater appearance. Hair on the feet and the tips of ears are also be trimmed.The traditional long coat is extremely high maintenance, requiring hours of daily brushing.To maintain the long coats of show dogs (between exhibitions), the hair may be wrapped in rice paper, tissue paper or plastic, after a light oiling with a coat oil made for show coats, which prevents the hairs from being broken easily and keeps the coat in condition.The oil has to be washed out once a week and the wraps must be fixed periodically during the week to prevent them from sliding down and breaking the hair. As a more practical alternative, many Yorkie-owners opt to keep the dog's coat trimmed to a shorter all-over length.

Build and proportions

The Yorkshire Terrier has a small head, which, according to the breed standard, should be rather flat and not too round.The teeth should have either a “scissors bite” or a “level bite” (no underbite or overbite).The Yorkie’s dark eyes are not too prominent, but should be sparkling, with sharp intelligent expression, and placed to look directly forward. The small, V-shaped ears are set high on the head, not too far apart, and should be carried In some kennel clubs, ears that do not stand up are cause for automatic disqualification.

Two AKC-registered Yorkshire Terrier puppies, Coco and Cougar. Ears vary between yorkies
Two AKC-registered Yorkshire Terrier puppies, Coco and Cougar. Ears vary between yorkies

The breed standard dictates that a Yorkshire Terrier must weigh no more than seven pounds.A Yorkishire Terrier of this weight is typically between 8 and 9 inches tall. There is no distinction made in the standard between Yorkies of various sizes (i.e. there is no "teacup" or "standard" within the breed standard). The compact body of a Yorkie is well proportioned with a level back that is the same height at the base of the neck than at the base of the tail.The tail is carried slightly higher than the level of the back.In a standing position, the Yorkie’s front legs should be straight. The back legs should be straight when viewed from behind, but moderately bent when viewed from the side.


Often, a Yorkie’s dewclaws, if any, are removed. The AKC and UKC breed standards explicitly permit dewclaws to be removed, while the standards of other kennel clubs do not mention it.

Traditionally, the Yorkie’s tail is docked to a medium length. In America, almost all breeders dock the tails of puppies.However, since the 1990s there has been a growing movement to ban the practice of cosmetic docking. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association and the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals oppose tail docking. As of 2007, several nations have enacted prohibitions on docking, including Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland. A docked tail is part of the AKC, ANKC, CKC, NZKC and UKC breed standards for Yorkshire Terriers. The FCI and KC breed standards indicate the tail is customarily docked, but the KC standard gives specifications for an undocked tail (“as straight as possible; length to give a well balanced appearance”).


Despite its Toy classification, the breed retains much lively terrier personality
Despite its Toy classification, the breed retains much lively terrier personality

Though a toy breed, the Yorkie still retains much of its terrier ancestry in terms of personality. Individual dogs will differ, but they are generally intelligent, independent and courageous. Yorkshire Terriers are quick to determine where they fit in a household's "pack." Their behavior towards outsiders will vary - they often will be inclined to bark at strangers, but some Yorkies are outgoing and friendly towards new people while others are withdrawn and aloof. The differences in behavior in this regard are largely based on how the owner trains or conditions (and socializes) the Yorkie. A few individual Yorkshire Terriers may be timid or nervous, rather than bold, but the vast majority do seem to meet the breed standard for a confident, vigorous and self-important personality. The following distinctive qualities are likely to be present in a Yorkshire Terrier:


In a multi-breed home, many Yorkies will assert themselves as the "alpha" dog. Yorkies typically get along well with other dogs and love to play together with them. Rather, bold character comes from the Yorkie's mix of great inquisitiveness, or an instinct to protect, and self-confidence. Some Yorkies are unaware of their small size and may even challenge larger, tougher dogs. In one case a 12-pound Yorkie pushed open a screen door (to investigate a commotion outside) and rushed to the aid of an elderly woman who was being attacked by an 80-pound Akita. When the Yorkie snapped and growled, the Akita turned his attention on the small dog long enough for the woman to escape.Unfortunately, this boldness can get Yorkies into trouble, as small dogs can be seriously injured. For similar reasons, Yorkies do not make suitable pets for very young children.


Yorkshire Terriers as a breed are intelligent dogs. According to Dr. Stanley Coren, an expert on animal intelligence, the Yorkshire Terrier is an above average working dog, ranking 27th (32nd including ties) out of the 132 breeds tested. His research found that an average Yorkshire Terrier could understand a new command after approximately 15 repetitions and would obey a command the first time it was given 70% of the time or better. This capacity as working dogs enables Yorkies to excel in sports like obedience and agility, which require the dog to understand communication from the handler and carry out a complex series of commands. Additionally, Yorkies learn to recognize numerous words and can be taught to distinguish and fetch separate toys in a box by their names.


The well bred and well handled Yorkshire Terrier is content to be near its owner without being on a lap or underfoot.Yorkies are energetic, but also need much rest and will often prefer to spend downtime in privacy, such as in a kennel or out-of-the-way corner. Early terriers were expected to hunt in the company of handlers and other dogs, but also to have the self-confidence to go out on their own after prey. Very pampered and indulged Yorkies are more likely to be clingy and demanding, and lack the true terrier self-confidence. Yorkshire Terriers tend to be more difficult to train than some breeds, due to their characteristic independent nature. The independent mindedness of Yorkies leads some trainers to consider them to be among the hardest to house-break.


A champion Yorkshire Terrier exhibiting the breed standard for color in a show-length coat.
A champion Yorkshire Terrier exhibiting the breed standard for color in a show-length coat.

Health issues often seen in the Yorkshire Terrier include bronchitis, lymphangiectasia, hepatic lipidosis, cataracts and keratitis sicca. Additionally, injection reactions (inflammation or hair loss at the site of an injection) are common.Yorkies often have a delicate digestive system, with vomiting or diarrhea resulting from consumption of foods outside of a regular diet. They are usually picky with which foods they eat. They usually will not eat what they don't like, it will be left aside. Trying to mix foods is not a good idea because they tend not to enjoy it.The relatively small size of the Yorkshire Terrier means that it usually has a poor tolerance for anesthesia. Additionally, a toy dog such as the Yorkie is more likely to be injured by falls, other dogs and owner clumsiness. Due to their small size, Yorkies may be endangered if kept in the house with an undiscerning or abusive person, especially a child. Many breeders and rescue organizations will not allow their Yorkies to go to families with young children, because of the risk it poses to the dog.

The life span of a healthy Yorkie is 12-15 years. Under-sized Yorkies (3 pounds or less) generally have a shorter life span, as they are especially prone to health problems such as chronic diarrhea and vomiting; are even more sensitive to anesthesia; and are more easily injured.


Low blood sugar in puppies, or transient juvenile hypoglycemia, is caused by fasting (too much time between meals).In rare cases hypoglycemia may continue to be a problem in mature, usually very small, Yorkies. It is often seen in Yorkie puppies at 5 to 16 weeks of age.Very tiny Yorkie puppies are especially predisposed to hypoglycemia because a lack of muscle mass makes it difficult to store glucose and regulate blood sugar. Factors such as stress, fatigue, a cold environment, poor nutrition, and a change in diet or feeding schedule may bring on hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can also be the result of a bacterial infection, parasite, or portosystemic liver shunt.Hypoglycemia causes the puppy to become drowsy, listless (glassy-eyed), shaky and uncoordinated, since the brain relies on sugar to function. Additionally, a hypoglycemic Yorkie may have a lower than normal body temperature and, in extreme cases, may have a seizure or go into a coma. A dog showing symptoms should be treated by a veterinarian immediately, as prolonged or recurring attacks of hypoglycemia can permanently damage the dog’s brain. In severe cases it can be fatal.

Genetic defects

As with many purebred dogs, the Yorkshire Terrier is prone to certain genetic disorders, including distichiasis, hydrocephalus, hypoplasia of dens, Legg-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, portosystemic shunt, retinal dysplasia, tracheal collapse and bladder stones.[27] The following are among the most common congenital defects that affect Yorkies.

  • Distichiae, eyelashes arising from an abnormal spot (usually the duct of the meibomian gland at the edge of the eyelid), are often found in Yorkies.Distichiae can irritate the eye and cause tearing, squinting, inflammation, and corneal abrasions or corneal ulcers and scarring. Treatment options may include manual removal, electrolysis or surgery.[28]
  • Hypoplasia of dens is a non-formation of the pivot point of the second cervical vertebra, which leads to spinal cord damage.Onset of the condition may occur at any age, producing signs ranging from neck pain to quadriplegia.
  • Legg-Perthes disease, which causes the top of the femur (thigh bone) to degenerate, occurs in Yorkies more than in any other breed. The condition appears to result from insufficient circulation to the area around the hip joint.As the blood supply is reduced, the bone in the head of the femur collapses and dies and the cartilage coating around it becomes cracked and deformed.Usually the disease appears when the Yorkie is young (between five and eight months of age); signs are pain, limping or lameness.The standard treatment is surgery to remove the affected part of the bone.Following surgery, muscles hold the femur in place and fibrous tissue forms in the area of removal to prevent bone rubbing on bone.Although the affected leg will be slightly shorter than prior to surgery, the Yorkie may regain almost normal use.
  • Luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps) are another common genetic defect in Yorkies. Weak ligaments and tendons in the knee or malformed (too shallow) patellar grooves, allow the patella to slip out of its groove sideways. This causes the leg to 'lock up' with the foot held off the ground.A dog with this problem may experience frequent pain and lameness or may be bothered by it only on occasion.Over time, the patellar ridges can become worn down, making the groove even more shallow and causing the dog to become increasingly lame.Surgery is the main treatment option available for luxating patellas, although it is not necessary for every dog with the condition.
  • Portosystemic shunt, a congenital malformation of the portal vein (which brings blood to the liver for cleansing), is also common in Yorkies. In this condition some of the dog's blood bypasses the liver and the “dirty” blood goes on to poison the heart, brain, lungs and other organs with toxins. A Yorkie with this condition might exhibit a wide variety of symptoms, such as small stature, poor appetite, weak muscle development, decreased ability to learn, inferior coordination, occasional vomiting and diarrhea, behavioral abnormalities, seizures (especially after a meal), blindness, coma and death.Often the shunt can be treated with surgery.
  • Tracheal collapse, caused by a progressive weakening of the walls of the trachea, occurs in many toy breeds, especially very tiny Yorkies.As a result of genetics, the walls of the trachea can be flaccid, a condition that becomes more severe with age.Cushing's disease, a disorder that causes production of excess steroid hormone by the adrenal glands, can also weaken cartilage and lead to tracheal collapse.There is a possibility that physical strain on the neck might cause or contribute to trachea collapse. Since this is usually caused by an energetic Yorkie pulling against his collar, many veterinarians recommend use of a harness for leashed walks.An occasional “goose honking” cough, especially on exertion or excitement, is usually the first sign of this condition.Over time, the cough may become almost constant in the Yorkie’s later life.Breathing through the obstruction of a collapsed (or partially collapsed) trachea for many years can result in complications, including chronic lung disease. The coughing can be countered with cough suppressants and bronchodilators.If the collapse is advanced and unresponsive to medication, sometimes surgery can repair the trachea.



The Yorkie was bred as a ratter, used to kill mice and rats in small places.There is some evidence that they may have been used for hunting as well. Like most terriers developed in the early 19th Century, it was common for Yorkies to demonstrate their prowess as vermin killers in what were known as "rat pits." The terrier who killed the most rats in the least amount of time was considered the winner.

As a hunting group, terriers specialize in pursuing animals (usually vermin) that live in dens or burrows.Animals that are cornered and defending their young will fight ferociously. Therefore, any dog that would willingly pursue them must have an extraordinary degree of courage; terriers are bred for that quality.


As the name implies, the Yorkshire Terrier originated in Yorkshire (and the adjoining Lancashire), a rugged region in northern England.[35] In the mid-nineteenth century, at the peak of England’s industrial revolution, miners and mill workers from Scotland came to Yorkshire in search of work and brought with them several different varieties of small long-coated terriers, generally known as Broken Haired Scotch terriers (not Scotties). The specific breeds that make up the Yorkshire Terrier’s ancestry are not known, since the breeders at that time did not keep records of the bloodlines. Certain breeds, however, are commonly thought to be the main forebears. The likely source of the Yorkie’s small stature, long-haired coat and blue color are the Clydesdale, Paisley, Skye and Waterside terriers, all Scottish terriers transported to England at various times. The English Black and Tan Terrier bloodline probably gave the Yorkie its signature color pattern.These breeds were all working dogs, used to keep vermin under control in the textile mills and coal mines. Many have suggested that the Maltese, an ancient breed (likely originating in Asia), may be in the Yorkshire Terrier’s background as well.

The breed first appeared at an 1861 bench show in England as the Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier, named for the dog’s Scottish terrier ancestors.Early Yorkies were also known simply as Toy Terriers, in both rough and broken haired varieties.Yorkshire Terriers were given their breed name by 1874.

Huddersfield Ben

A dog known as Huddersfield Ben is universally acknowledged to be the foundation sire of the Yorkshire Terrier breed. He was born in 1865 in the town of Huddersfield, county of Yorkshire. The very public life of this dog, owned by M.A. Foster, did much to popularize the breed in England. Ben died in an accident at the age of six, but in his short life he won more than 70 prizes at dog shows and also demonstrated exceptional skill in ratting contests. Ben was a highly sought after stud dog because he was one of the first to consistently sire Yorkies true to type and under 5 pounds.

In America

The Yorkshire Terrier was introduced in the United States in 1872. The first Yorkie was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1878, making it one of the first twenty-five breeds to be approved for registration by the AKC. During the late Victorian era, the Yorkshire Terrier quickly became a popular pet, and as Americans embraced Victorian customs, so too did they embrace the Yorkshire Terrier. The breed’s popularity dipped in the 1940’s, when the percentage of small breed dogs registered fell to an all-time low of 18% of total registrations. Smoky, a Yorkie and famous war dog from World War II, is credited with beginning a renewal of interest in the then obscure Yorkshire Terrier breed. Boi, a yorkie owned by Kenny Ortega, played Sharpay Evan's puppy in the latest Disney movie, High School Musical 2.

Yugoslavian Mountain Hound /
Serbian Mountain Hound

The Serbian Mountain Hound is a rare dog breed from the Planina region of Serbia. Black and tan, smooth-coated, he is distinguished from the very similar Serbian Tricolour Hound by his lack of that breed's white front. He stands 18 to 22 inches (46-56 cm) high and weighs 44 to 55 pounds (20 to 25 kg). Like the Tricolour he is used to hunt fox, hare, and small game, occasionally hunting larger animals such as deer or even wild boar.

Perhaps the most memorable popular depiction of a Serbian Mountain Hound (then called Yugoslavian Mountain Hound) has been as the hand puppet "Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog," regularly appearing on the NBC television show Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Although the puppet displays physical characteristics of the breed, and was identified as such during many appearances, the caption identifying Triumph as a Yugoslavian Mountain Hound was promptly removed after NATO military action ensued against Yugoslavia, perhaps to avoid awkwardness during sequences in which Triumph ridiculed former Yugoslavian strongman Slobodan Milošević.

The breed was formerly known as the Yugoslavian Mountain Hound; the FCI changed the name in 1998.

Serbian Tricolour Hound

The Serbian Tricolour Hound is a very rare dog breed from Serbia. Black and tan with a white front (the white distinguishes him from the Serbian Mountain Hound, a similar breed), he stands 18 to 22 inches (46-56 cm) high and weighs 44 to 55 pounds (20 to 25 kg). Used to hunt fox, hare and other small game, occasionally hunting larger animals such as deer or even wild boar, the Serbian Tricolour is affectionate, gentle and a devoted hunter.

The breed was formerly known as the Yugoslavian Tricolour Hound; the name was changed by the FCI in 1996.

List of Dog breeds (Page 30)

Xoloitzcuintle /
Mexican Hairless Dog

The Mexican Hairless Dog is a rare, hairless breed of dog whose size varies greatly. It is also known as Xoloitzcuintli or Xoloitzcuintle, pronounced in English /ʃəʊ.ləʊ.itz.kwin.tli/ (roughly show-low-eats-queen-tlee), Tepeitzcuintli or Mexican Hairless. Most owners of this dog call them "xolos" for short.


The breed ranges in size from about 10 pounds/4 kg to 50 pounds/20 kg, with an average body temperature of 104 °F/40 °C. Similar in appearance to a Pharaoh Hound, with a sleek body, almond-shaped eyes, large bat-like ears, and a long antelope neck, the Xolo is notable for its dominant trait of hairlessness. Many members of this breed are also missing several teeth. There is also a "coated" Xoloitzcuintle with a very short coat of hair, and individual dogs may exhibit varying degrees of head and body coats.


The breed is native to Pre-hispanic Mexico, and may date back up to 3,500 years. Xolos were considered sacred dogs by the Aztecs because they believed the dogs were needed by their masters’ souls to help them safely through the underworld. According to Aztec mythology, the god Xolotl made the Xoloitzcuintle from a sliver of the Bone of Life from which all man was made. Xolotl gave this gift to Man with the instruction to guard it with his life and in exchange it would guide Man through the dangers of Mictlan, the world of Death, towards the Evening Star in the Heavens. A true to breed dog should have had dark skin not the pink skin that is sometimes seen. The Aztecs also raised the breed for their meat. 16th century Spanish accounts tell of large numbers of dogs being served at banquets.

Even today a lot of people in Mexico believe this breed to have healing qualities. Some cultures ate the meat of the Xoloitzcuintli for ritual or medicinal purposes, and the meat may still be found for sale in some parts of rural Mexico.

Xoloitzcuintles are not currently fully recognized by the AKC but are now accepted as foundation stock and will be accepted within the next few years, making them a rare breed in the United States. The breed is recognized by the FCI through the Mexican Kennel Club (Federación Canófila Mexicana). The FCM began a registration and breeding program for the Mexican hairless dog on May 1, 1956. Prior to that time the Xoloitzcuintles were considered nearly extinct. New breed stock is still found in remote pockets of rural Mexico.

Hairless and Coated Xoloitzcuintles side by side.
Hairless and Coated Xoloitzcuintles side by side.

Monday, 24 September 2007

List of Dog breeds (Page 29)


The Weimaraner is a silver-grey breed of dog developed originally for hunting. Early Weimaraners were used by royalty for hunting large game, such as boar, bears, and deer. As the popularity of large game hunting began to decline, Weimaraners were used for hunting smaller animals, like fowl, rabbits, and foxes. Rather than having a specific purpose such as pointing or flushing, the Weimaraner is an all purpose gun dog. The Weimaraner is loyal and loving to his family, an incredible hunter, and a fearless guardian of his family and territory. The name comes from the Grand Duke of Weimar, Charles August, whose court enjoyed hunting.


This Weimaraner is distinctly blue/black in colour, a colour which is penalised or disqualified in dog shows
This Weimaraner is distinctly blue/black in colour, a colour which is penalised or disqualified in dog shows

The Weimaraner is elegant, noble, and athletic in appearance. All parts of the dog should be in balance with each other, creating a form that is pleasing to the eye. It must be capable of working in the field, regardless of whether it is from show stock or hunting stock, and faults that will interfere with working ability are heavily penalized.

The tails, which may be amber or gray, are kept short. In some cases, tails are docked and dewclaws are removed, the tail usually docked at birth to a third of its natural length.

Coat and colour

This breed's short, smooth gray coat and its unusual eyes give it a regal appearance different from any other breed. However, the breed has been deemed very similar to the Vizsla. The eyes may be light amber, gray, or blue-gray. The coat may range from mouse-gray (grayish beige or tan) to silver-gray. Where the fur is thin or non-existent, inside the ears or on the lips, for example, the skin should be a pinkish "flesh" tone rather than white or black.

The silvery-gray colour is rare in dogs and is the result of breeding for a recessive gene. It has also lent the breed the nickname 'silver ghost' or 'gray ghost.' The coat is extremely low maintenance; it is short, hard, and smooth to the touch.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standard, a distinctly blue or black coat is an automatic disqualification, though a small white marking in the chest area only is permitted. There is a long-haired variety that is recognised by most kennel clubs around the world except in North America. The long haired weimaraner dog has a silky coat, with -contrary to the short coated variety- an undocked feathered tail. Because the gene is recessive, breeding two long-haired Weimaraners only produces long-haired puppies. Breeding of a long-haired Weimaraner to a short-haired Weimaraner will produce some long-haired puppies only if the short-haired parent carries the recessive longhair gene. Otherwise, the offspring will all be short-haired.


According to the AKC standard, the male Weimaraner stands between 25 and 27 inches (63-68 cm) at the withers.

Females are between 23 and 25 inches (58-63 cm). Of course, there are many dogs taller or shorter than the breed standard. The breed is not heavy for its height, and males normally weigh roughly 70-85 pounds. Females are generally between 55-70 lbs(25-32kgs). A Weimaraner carries its weight proudly and gives the appearance of a muscular,athletic dog.


Weimaraners are highly athletic and trainable, characteristics which allow them to excel in a variety of dog sports, such as agility
Weimaraners are highly athletic and trainable, characteristics which allow them to excel in a variety of dog sports, such as agility

Weimaraners are fast and powerful dogs, but are also suitable home animals given appropriate training & exercise. These dogs are not as sociable towards strangers as other hunting dogs such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Weimaraners are very protective of their family and can be very territorial. They can be aloof to strangers, and must be thoroughly socialized when young to prevent aggression. They are also highly intellegent, sensitive and problem-solving animals. From adolescence, a Weimaraner requires extensive exercise in keeping with an energetic hunting dog breed and prized for their physical endurance and stamina. No walk is too far, and they will appreciate games and play in addition. An active owner is more likely to provide the vigourous exercising, games, or running that this breed absolutely requires. Weimaraners are high-strung and easily horny, requiring appropriate training to learn how to calm them and to help them learn to control their behavior. Owners need patience and consistant firm (yet kind) training, as this breed is particularly rambunctious during the first year and a half of its life. Like many breeds, untrained and unconfined young dogs often create their own fun when left alone, such as chewing house quarters and furniture. Thus, many that are abandoned have behavioural issues as a result of isolation and inferior exercise.

It should never be forgotten that the Weimaraner is a hunting dog and therefore has a strong, instinctive prey drive. Weimaraners will sometimes tolerate cats, as long as they are introduced to the cats as puppies, but many will chase and frequently kill almost any small animal that enters their garden or backyard. In rural areas, most Weimaraners will not hesitate to chase deer or sheep. However, with good training, these instincts can be curtailed to some degree. A properly trained Weimaraner is a wonderful companion that will never leave its master's side.

Professional training

3 month old Weim puppy
3 month old Weim puppy

Professional training is beneficial, particularly for less-experienced owners. This includes behaviours towards other family pets. Depending upon training they can be quite aggressive towards other dogs, but they are a loyal, playful and affectionate pet and an alert and friendly member of the family. Although visitors are likely to be licked rather than warned away, the Weimaraner does not miss a trick and is always aware of its surroundings and is ready to protect its family and territory in a heartbeat. Extensive socialization is critical for this breed. Prospective owners should note that the Weimaraner is not recommended for families with young children as it is usually boisterous, sometimes hyperactive. If you train them at an early age with young children then they will get used to them. The same goes with other pets. This is also a breed with tremendous personality, charm and stuborness.

Behavior Disorders

Two year old Weim in the field hunting.
Two year old Weim in the field hunting.

Those familiar with the breed acknowledge two common behavioral disorders.

The first common behavior disorder is the propensity of many Weimaraners to suffer from severe separation anxiety. Manifestations of this behavior disorder include panicked efforts to rejoin the owner when separation occurs, excessive drooling, destructive behaviors, and associated injuries such as broken teeth or cut lips. Behavior modification training and medications may reduce the severity of symptoms associated with this disorder in some Weimaraners. However, the breed is generally refractory to such treatment and behavior modification training efforts. As individuals of the breed age the severity of separation anxiety symptoms decrease somewhat, but do not completely abate.

The second common behavior disorder is unacceptable aggression in some Weimaraners. Early and extensive socialization of young dogs can prevent this. However, as the original purpose of the breed was to assist in hunting small to large forest game (fowl & small mammals to boar, elk & bears) and to provide personal as well as property protection a certain amount of aggression is innate to the breed.


Today's breed standards developed in the 1800s, although the Weimaraner has existed since at least the 1600s in a similar form. It is believed that Continental pointing breeds and mastiffs were its ancestors. The breed was created exclusively for the nobility and alike. The aim was to create a noble-looking, reliable gundog. As ownership was restricted, the breed was highly prized and lived with the family. This was unusual, as during this period, hunting dogs were kept in kennels in packs. This has resulted in a dog that needs to be near humans and that quickly deteriorates when kennelled. The Weimaraner was an all purpose family dog, capable of guarding the home, hunting with the family, and of course, being loving and loyal towards children. Interestingly enough, when the dog was still used for hunting, its instinctual hunting method is to attack the prey's genitals to bring it down.

Originally, Germany was possessive of its skilled all-purpose gundog, but released a pair in the 1950s to America where the breed quickly became popular. Although slower than many other gundogs, such as Pointers, the Weimaraner is thorough and this made it a welcome addition to the sportsman's household. Furthermore, its happy, lively temperament endeared it to families, although it is perhaps too lively for families with young children. Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity, some careless matches were made and some inferior specimens were produced. Since then, both in Britain and America (where the breed remains popular) breeders have taken care to breed for quality and purpose.

Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan's ears (left) are somewhat larger than the Pembroke's (right).

The Pembroke Corgi's tail is often docked, and its ears are smaller.

The Welsh Corgi (IPA: /ˈkɔ(ɹ)ˌgi/) is a small breed of dog that originated in Wales. They are believed to be descended from Swedish Vallhund dogs that came to Wales with the Vikings. Cor gi means "dwarf dog" in Welsh (and the OED gives the Welsh plural corgwn as an alternative to corgis).

An average Welsh Corgi is around 10 to 12 in (25 to 30 cm) tall at the tallest point in the shoulders and weighs approximately 30 lb (15 kg). Originally bred for herding sheep and cattle, Corgis are active dogs, and considered very intelligent. They have proven themselves excellent companion animals and are outstanding competitors in sheepdog trials and agility trials.

Corgi puppy. Note the puppy's ears are not errect in the first few months after birth.

Welsh Corgis are generally recognized as two distinct breeds: the Cardigan and the Pembroke. Beginning in 1934, the American Kennel Club recognized them as separate breeds. The Cardigan is the larger of the two, with larger rounded ears and a foxy, flowing tail. The Pembroke features rounded, pointed ears and is somewhat smaller in stature. Historically, the Pembroke was a breed with a natural bob tail (very short tail). Due to the advent of docking, the trait was not aggressively pursued, with breeders focusing instead on other characteristics, and the tail artificially shortened if need be. Given that some countries are now banning docking, breeders are again attempting to select for dogs with the genes for natural bob tails. The coats of both breeds come in a variety of colors, although there are some differences between the breeds.

The Pembroke remains the more common variety. Outside Wales, the breed has been made popular by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, who keeps at least four at all times. Corgis make wonderful companions.

For more details about each breed, see the breed-specific pages:


Both the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgi are among the healthiest and longest lived dogs in the Herding Group. The Cardigan tends to be a little hardier and has fewer documented hereditary health issues; among them are canine hip dysplasia, canine degenerative myelopathy and progressive retinal atrophy.Pembroke Welsh Corgis are susceptible to intervertebral disc disease, canine hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and epilepsy. Welsh Corgi owners should have their dogs' eyes and hips tested by a veterinarian before breeding. Cardigan Welsh Corgis typically live between 12 and 14 years, and Pembroke Welsh Corgis typically live between 11 and 13 years.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi (IPA: /ˈkɔ(r)ˌgi/) is one of two separate dog breeds known as Welsh Corgis that originated in Wales. It is one of the oldest herding breeds.


The Cardigan is a long, low dog with upright ears and a fox-like appearance. The old American Kennel Club standard called it an "Alsatian on short legs". Unlike Pembroke Corgis, who are bred to have only a small nub of a tail (without docking) the Cardigan's tail is long. Cardigans can be any shade of red, sable, or brindle; they can also be black with or without tan brindle or blue merle (black and gray or marbled) with or without tan or brindle. They usually have white on the neck, chest, legs, muzzle, underneath, tip of the tail, and as a blaze on the head. Other markings include ticking on the legs and muzzle, smutty muzzles, monk's hoods, and others. A few other unofficial colors can occur, such as red merle. An average Cardigan is around 10.5 to 12.5 inches (260 to 315 mm) tall at the withers and weighs from 30 to 38 lb. (13.6 to 17.2 kg) for the male and 25 to 34 lb. (11.3 to 15.4 kg) for the female.


Originally bred for herding sheep and cattle, they have proven themselves as excellent companion animals and are outstanding competitors in sheepdog trials and dog agility. Cardigan Welsh Corgis were bred long and low to make sure that any kicks by cattle would travel safely over the dogs without touching them. Like most herding breeds, Cardigans are highly intelligent, active, athletic dogs. Affectionately known as "a big dog in a small package," Cardigans are affectionate, devoted companions that can also be alert and responsible guardians. Cardigan Corgis are typically a 'one-man dog'. They are quite wary of strangers and prefer to reserve their affection for a select few with whom they are familiar.


A blue merle-colored Cardigan
A blue merle-colored Cardigan

Cardigans are said to originate from the Teckel family of dogs, which also produced Dachshunds. They are among the oldest of all herding breeds, believed to have been in existence in Wales for over 3,000 years. Although originally the breed included only brindle and red variants, through crossbreeding with collies, the colors of the Cardi grew to include tricolor and blue merle. The phrase "cor gi" is sometimes translated as "dwarf dog" in Welsh. The breed was often called "yard-long dogs" in older times. Today's name comes from their area of origin, Cardiganshire, Wales. Originally used only as a farm guardian, they eventually took on the traits of a cattle drover, herder, and many more. They are still highly valued for their herding, working, and guarding skills, as well as their companionship.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi (IPA: /ˈkɔ(r)ˌgi/) is one of two dog breeds known as Welsh Corgis that originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. These herding dogs are believed to be descended from Swedish Vallhund dogs that came to Wales with the Vikings. The phrase "cor gi" is frequently translated as "dwarf dog" in Welsh. The Corgi is actually the smallest dog in the Herding Group.


Tricolor Corgi with predominant black coloring.
Tricolor Corgi with predominant black coloring.

A Pembroke is between 10 and 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) tall at the withers (tallest point in the shoulders) and weighs no more than 30 lb (15 kg); dogs in peak condition weigh about 27 pounds (12 kg) for the male and the females are about 2 pounds (1 kg) lighter. Pembrokes can be red, sable, fawn, or black and tan (tri color) with or without white markings on the legs, chest, neck, muzzle, underneath, and as a narrow blaze on the head. There are technical names for these Tri Colors, and they are Black Head Tri, and Red Head Tri Color. Too much white is not acceptable for show dogs.

Historically, the Pembroke was a breed with a natural bob tail (very short tail). Due to the advent of docking, the trait was not aggressively pursued, with breeders focusing instead on other characteristics, and the tail artificially shortened if need be. Given that some countries are now banning docking, breeders are again attempting to select for dogs with the genes for natural bob tails. Corgis have a short undercoat as well as a longer thicker overcoat. These coats shed continuously all year round, with extensive seasonal shedding occurring at least twice each year (as well as after the weaning of pups in the intact females). Also common is a "fairy saddle" marking over the dog's withers, caused by changes in the thickness and direction of hair growth. The phrase supposedly comes from mythology, with the dogs being used as steeds or carthorses for fairies, but it is possible the legend is a modern explanation that came after the term.


Like most herding breeds, they are active, intelligent, and athletic dogs despite their short legs and stocky body. The short legs may seem to be a disadvantage, but they can run and jump just as well as any other dog of comparable size. They were originally used to herd sheep, horses and cows by nipping at their heels. Its low profile allowed it to roll away from a cow's kick.

Though still sometimes used as a working dog, today they are more commonly kept as companions. These dogs are amazing companions for children, bonding more with them than they might other members of the family. Pembrokes are extremely intelligent and quick thinkers, which can make them easy to train, but they are not subservient — for instance, they might not respond to "come" if they have found something such as a gopher hole that interests them more than the reward offered. Pembrokes are quite obedient, because of its want to please the owner. In training, the most success has been found using treat-based praise as the Pembroke has an insatiable appetite to a fault. Corgis can become overweight quickly, so with treat-based praise, one should use low-fat treats (such as low-fat dog treats, Cheerios, or small pieces of carrot). Clicker training is an extremely effective means of training corgis and can be used for simple household training and on through upper level obedience and other competitions. (See Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" for information on training with positive reinforcement). Another way of training uses a training chain or a pinch collar. Although the name may sound bad, used responsibly (and under the supervision of an obedience instructor or professional dog trainer) this might help owners to train their dogs. Cesar Millan introduced this training in year 2000 or earlier and calls his work Dog Psychology.

Sable Pembroke doing agility teeter-totter
Sable Pembroke doing agility teeter-totter

Although short, Corgis are fast runners and, like most herding breeds, need a minimum of a two hours' exercise daily. They should be walked daily, and also tended to. They are, contrary to appearances, a medium-size dog and should never be thought of as a toy dog or one who needs less attention and activity.

As always, prospective Pembroke owners should never purchase an animal from a pet store, as these dogs frequently come from unhealthy environments (such as puppy mills and backyard breeders) and are at much higher risk for health and behavioral problems. A local dog club or kennel club can usually recommend a reputable breeder or rescue organization.


The length of the spine can cause spinal problems and early arthritis in Corgis. Corgis usually live about twelve to fourteen years.

Pembroke Corgis, if not kept active or if overfed, can easily become obese. The disease can end a Pembroke Corgi's life particularly early since biophysical stresses on the structures of a Pembroke Corgi's spine resulting from the weight of an over-sized belly can and do lead to secondary diseases such as osteoarthritis. Corgis are also prone to a disease called degenerative myelopathy.

Pembroke Corgis should also not be forced to jump from heights, such as from a couch, for they could fracture their relatively short legs or damage their very long backs.


The Pembroke is very intelligent, quick, active, and exceedingly bold. It is thoroughly devoted and protective of its family, defending its home at any cost. It barks occasionally, but makes a good watchdog. The Pembroke is generally suspicious around strangers, and must be trained (as a puppy) to prevent growling around new people. Pembrokes can be resistant to grooming, in particular grooming the paws. Puppies should have their feet handled regularly to negate this behavior. This little dog is friendly and playful, although it has been known to nip at people's (especially children's) heels either in play or in an attempt to herd them, due to instinct. This can be avoided with proper training. The Pembroke is also patient with young children, as long as they know how to treat pets.


Originally bred for herding sheep and cattle, they have proven themselves as excellent companion animals and are outstanding competitors in sheepdog trials and dog agility. There are three theories of Pembroke Welsh Corgi origin:

  1. Some Cardigan Welsh Corgis were crossed with Swedish Vallhund Dogs.
  2. The Cardigan and the Pembroke Welsh Corgis are not related at all.
  3. Some of the original dogs (the Pembrokes) evolved from Cardigans and from other dogs, such as Schipperke and Pomaranians, and other Spitz-type dogs.

Corgis are becoming more popular in the United States and rank 22nd in American Kennel Club registrations as of 2006. Pembroke Welsh Corgis seem to be loved by the Queen of the United Kingdom; she reportedly has 16 of them. These dogs have been a favored dog by British royalty for more than 70 years.

On May 30, 2007 performance artist Mark McGowan consumed some Corgi meat live on air to protest the accused cruelty by Prince Philip during the hunting and killing of a fox in January. The animal, prepared by others for McGowan, was supposedly an animal culled for independent reasons by a Corgi breeder.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a breed of dog and a member of the spaniel family.


The build of the Welsh Springer Spaniel should be slightly off square, meaning that the length of the dog should be slightly greater than the height at the withers. However, some dogs may be square, and this is not penalised in the show ring as long as the height is never greater than the length. In some countries the tail is generally docked and the dew claws are removed.

Eyes should be brown in colour; yellow eyes do sometimes occur but are not acceptable for the show ring. Ears are pendulous and lightly feathered. Nostrils are well developed and are black or any shade of brown; a pink nose is to be severely penalized in the AKC standard for the show ring, in Britain it is a recognised (and probably the original) type. A scissors bite is preferred.

  • Height at withers:
    Dog: 18-19 inches (46 to 48 cm
    Bitch: 17-18 inches (43 to 46 cm)
  • Weight:
    35 to 45 lb (16 to 20 kg)

The coat is naturally straight, flat, and soft to the touch, it should never be wiry or wavy. It is weatherproof and gives protection from all kinds of thorn and brush. The back of the legs, chest, and underside of the body are feathered, and the ears and tail are lightly feathered. The only colour is rich red and white. Any pattern is acceptable and any white area may be flecked with red ticking.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an active, loyal, and affectionate breed. Some might be "reserved" with strangers, but should not be timid, shy, or unfriendly. The breed is well known for being affectionate to all members of the family, especially children, and accepting other pets of the household with a friendly, playful attitude. They can be very clingy toward their owners earning them their nickname "velcro dogs."

The breed is a quick learner but is sometimes "deaf to commands", especially if there is something more interesting in the environment. With correct training, they can become very obedient dogs.

The Welsh Springer was bred for work and endurance, and as such needs exercise to keep healthy and content. Without adequate exercise, a dog may become bored and design its own (usually destructive) means of keeping busy, often to its owner's displeasure.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniel


The Welsh Springer is generally a healthy breed but some can suffer hip dysplasia, eye problems and, also, like other dogs with large heavy ears, they are prone to ear infections . The average lifespan is approximately 12 to 14 years.


The Welsh Springer Spaniel was originally called the Welsh Spaniel, but was also known as the Welsh Cocker. It was recognised by The Kennel Club, after the breed had gained popularity, in 1902 under the name Welsh Springer Spaniel. Until then it was shown alongside the English Springer Spaniel. It had been transported to America in the late 1800s and gained recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1906

Some experts believe that the Welsh Springer Spaniel and the Brittany Spaniel share the same ancestry.

Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier is a breed of dog, one of many terrier breeds. It is suited for hunting fox, birds, and badgers and for being kept as a pet. The Welsh Terrier originates from Wales and has existed since the 1800s. Its origins lie in the Old English Black and Tan Terrier that existed in England as early as the 13th century. It also existed in Wales and it was that sort that finally was registered by The Kennel Club under the name Welsh Terrier. Until 1900, it was called the "Old English Terrier" or "Black and Tan Rough Haired Terrier". The breed has been recognised since 1886 and is more common than the Airedale Terrier or the Fox Terrier.


This breed is coloured black and tan. They can grow up to 39cm (15 in.) with a weight of 9-10 kg (20-22 lb).

The hair contains two layers, an undercoat that insulates and an abrasive fur on top that protects against dirt, rain, and wind. The colour is tan with a black "jacket". "Tan" can vary in color hue from golden to reddish. White is allowed only as small marks on the front of the breast. Welshies are born all black and during the first year they change the color to standard black and tan.

The body shape is square, with elongated, "brick-like" face. This shape is formed by the whiskers and beard.

The tail is docked and is positioned pointing up.


The Welsh Terrier is a consummate terrier—a terrier in a nutshell—with a typical terrier temper.In the right hands, it is a happy, lively, and seldom shy or timid dog. Dogs of this breed can be devoted friends and can function either as city dogs or as country dogs. Welshies typically exhibit a hunting instinct: they chase anything that moves: dry leaves, animals, anything.

Welshies were developed to hunt independently and this required that they be very assertive and stoic dogs. As a consequence, developing obedience in a Welshie is a long term proposition and one has to convince the dog that the owner is the alpha male. Application of physical force should be done only in the extreme situations as Welshies, like most terriers, will not back down and will fight back. A quiet but persistent approach to ensure that Welshie in the end completes the command, in the end will establish who is in control.

A Welsh Terrier is full of energy and it hardly ever becomes tired. Letting a WT to have a run around the yard chasing something allows it to 'vent some steam' and be quieter in the house. WT is a true comrade for the one who likes open-air activities. It is friendly with people and other dogs. It is not eager to fight, although it will hold its own when necessary.

Welshie is a very smart dog. Couple this with typical terrier persistence, and you have a dog that can come up with solution for any problem that stands in his way to make mischief. In other words, WT needs a lot of intellectual stimulation to stay agreeable. A small yard walk a day, without any other activities, is not enough. These dogs need interesting things to do each day. Leaving WT alone in the yard will make it bored and WT will amuse itself by digging under the fence, digging out plants, hunting mice, or even scaling the fence.

Welsh Terriers get along well with children; they love to play and to follow a child as it plays.


The body of the Welsh Terrier is normal and healthy so that the physique is durable and lasting. There are no known defects related to the breed. A healthy Welsh Terrier lives about 15 years on average and stays active and alert up to a high age if it is well taken care of and healthy.

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terriers, commonly known as Westies, are a breed of dog known for their spirited personality and brilliant white coat. They are friendly, good with older children, and thrive on lots of attention. Westies, like most terriers, have plenty of spirit for a dog their size. This breed is commonly recognised through its use as a mascot for Black & White (a brand of Scotch whisky), and Cesar brand dog food.


The typical happy-Westie expression
The typical happy-Westie expression

They have bright, deep-set eyes, as dark as possible, with a penetrating gaze. The ears are small, pointed and erect, giving the animal an alert ready-for-anything look.

They typically weigh about 15 to 20 lb (7.5–10 kg) and their average height is 11 in. (28 cm) at the withers. Their tails, typically naturally "carrot-shaped", should never be docked and are held upright. The tail should be between 5-6 inches.

They also have deep chests, muscular limbs, a slightly convex skull, a short and a closely fitted jaw with scissors bite (lower canines locked in front of upper canines, upper incisors locked over lower incisors.) Their teeth generally appear quite large for the size of the dog. Their ears should be held more or less upright, but not pointing straight up; it is essential for any dog to carry themselves properly when showing. Westies have a very strong bone structure for their size.

They have a soft, dense undercoat and a rough outer coat, about 2 in. long, that requires regular grooming. Some Westies have "brandy stains" on their backs and/or feet, but this is undesirable in show/breeding specimens. The natural coat is of medium length and somewhat shaggy like that of a Cairn Terrier. Many enthusiasts prefer the "lion cut" where the fur around the face is left long like a lion's mane, but the rest of the fur is cut short.

Their paws are slightly webbed, which one can notice by trying to pass their finger between the dog's toes.


The breed, descended from working terriers, has a lot of energy, tenacity, and aggression towards its prey, which was originally the rabbit and other smaller animals, such as squirrels. This history has endowed the Westie with a bold temperament that leads many to call them "big dogs in a little body." They are always alert and consider themselves guard dogs, although their size prevents them from providing any real intimidation. As with any dog, if seriously irritated or provoked they may respond with a growl, though this is rare. If the tail is down and ears are back, keep away. They may be eating or chewing a favourite toy. They are very possessive of their belongings, master and food.

They are great companion dogs and get along with other animals, although care should be taken when introducing them to other domestic pets, such as cats. They also are compatible with children. Since Westies were originally bred as hunting dogs, they need to have room to run and play. They are not recommended as apartment dogs. If traveling they make great companions, since they can adjust easily to new situations and people and because of their small size. Westies will appreciate two or three walks each day.

They are very energetic but tire and need to take several naps per day. Like all dogs, the Westie responds better to love and gentleness than to cruelty. As with most terriers, harsh training methods are often met only with stubbornness. Westies are good with children, the elderly, and the disabled, and love to play.

A Westie puppy
A Westie puppy


Westies are prone to have issues with dry skin and bathing too frequently may aggravate these problems. Washing once a month or on a longer interval will generally not cause issues. However, frequent brushings are needed to keep the coat clean and oils evenly distributed throughout the coat. Washing with a detergent-free, baby-oriented, or another soft skin shampoo will help keep a Westie's skin hydrated. Weekly washing of the inside of the ears with cotton balls will prevent oil and wax build-up and ear infections.


Like most other dogs, these terriers generally require 13 hours of sleep out of every 24. Westies will usually conform to the sleep patterns of their human companions, and take several naps during the day as well, to accrue their needed sleep. Since they are independent, they can withstand moderate periods of time being alone.


Westie wearing the Clan Campbell tartan of the Duke of Argyll (with a kilted companion)
Westie wearing the Clan Campbell tartan of the Duke of Argyll (with a kilted companion)

Westies are descended from Cairn Terriers, who occasionally whelped white puppies naturally, and Scottish Terriers; who also occasionally produced white offspring. White offspring from other British Terriers such as the Bedlington Terrier and Dandie Dinmont Terrier were occasionally introduced to the bloodline for desired characteristics, but this practice generally stopped in the 1850s.

Some sources credit Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm and his kin of Poltalloch, in the Argyll region of western Scotland as an originator of this breed in the 1800s. Other sources credit the 8th Duke of Argyll (Chieftain of Clan Campbell) as an originator of the breed. However, there may have been some cooperation between the two gentlemen. It may have taken as long as a hundred years of selective breeding to produce all the desired qualities. Their white coat made them highly visible when hunting on the Scottish moors and easily distinguished them from their game (this was an extremely important factor because hunters sometimes mistook brown dogs for foxes, and shot them). They also possess a sturdy frame.

Originally the breed was known as the Poltalloch Terrier (after the name of Malcolm's home); they were also known as the Roseneath Terrier (after the name of Argyll's home; see Rosneath), White Roseneath Terrier, and at the end of the 19th century, briefly as a white variety of the Scottish Terrier.

West Siberian Laika

The West Siberian Laika- WSL- is a hunting breed developed by the indigenous people of Northern Ural and West Siberia. They used Laikas mostly for treeing squirrels and hunting small predators with valuable fur.

Communism in Russia destroyed the traditional way of life of these people and brought them and their hunting dogs to the brink of extinction. Industrialization in Siberia introduced many new breeds of dogs to this region. Crossbreeding with them completely wiped out the last remains of pure bred indigenous Laikas. Many Russian hunters from big cities such as Sverdlovsk and Moscow were aware of this process. They tried to save the last exemplars of Laikas. The first attempts to establish the West Siberians as a modern hunting breed was made in the 1920s. Two types of dogs: the Mansi Laikas, which had light bones and a narrow elongated head; and the so called Hanti Laikas with a powerfully built body and a shorter head, lay the foundations for the new breed.

In the beginning of the 1930s and later the Russian government began to establish Kennels and Clubs concerning the preservation and repopulating of Laikas to their previous regions. In 1947 the West Siberian Laika was officially recognized as a new Russian breed.

Originally, West Siberian Laikas were pro dogs for pro hunters. They can work as versatility dogs, but their strength is in their ability to specialize on one type of game only. Professional hunters want their dog to be focused on the game with the most valuable fur. Laikas working on sable and pine marten were, and still are, the most valuable. Such selection is fully understandable. In the nineteenth century the money from one silver-black sable pelt supported a family of four for a year. Because of this, the dogs that worked on every kind of game were killed or kept out of breeding. West Siberians are the last breed of hunting Laikas that still preserve this pro ability in their genes. This is what really differentiates them from other Hunting Laikas and makes them so unique. They are capable of specializing on one game only and master hunting it to perfection.Today, careful training is paramount for a WSL to perform at its best. Depending on how it is trained, a West Siberian Laika can hunt squirrels, pine marten, or sable; or big game such as moose, bear, or wild boar. Some hunters prefer training their West Siberians for birds, such as Capercaillies, pheasants, or waterfowl. Properly raised and trained West Siberians make a tight bond with their masters and never loose contact with them in the forest or in the field. It is like a Symbiotic team created for successful hunting. West Siberians are poor guardians at home or for domestic stock. On the other hand during hunting big and dangerous game they are capable of protecting their human partners to the bitter end.

Hot climate is a problem for West Siberians imported directly from North Eurasia. When a litter is born in the USA, the chances for adapting to local temperatures, even in Florida, are better. West Siberians are selected for hunting and they live for it. Permanently keeping Laikas at home, on a chain, or in a cage is extremely harmful for them. If you do not have time or a place where you can hunt regularly with your WS Laika, it is not a dog for you. Highly territorial and aggressive with other dogs, WS Laikas cannot be kept properly in huge kennels. Two of them (usually male and female partners) are a good combination for hunting and breeding. The best way of bonding with a WSL is to raise and train it alone in an environment free of other dogs. The introduction of this breed to the USA had a stormy beginning. Cheap crossbreeds named Laikoids were imported here, and kennels of "industrial" magnitude were established for making fast money.

The Russian Standards for West Siberian Laikas changed several times/1947-1966 -1979-etc./. Usually Males stand 19 to 20 inches at the withers, females 18 to 19 inches. Most of the modern dogs today are bigger and heavier than their original ancestors. Typical for all Laikas are, erect, triangular ears and a tail that is carried high curving over the back . The coat is a so called double type observed in wolves and most of the polar dogs.

Hair that is too long, too soft, curly or growing in all directions is a sure sign of mixed blood. Standard colors are gray, rusty, and white. The gray coat can vary from almost white to very dark. Brown or shades of browns are absolutely unacceptable. Many dogs imported from Asia /Kazachstan/ have such a fault as a result of crossbreeding with German Shepherds and other breeds. Black, or black and white WS Laikas, frequently appear in litters and are considered by old descrptions of indigenous Laikas as pure bred. This color is unwanted today, because of its associations with the other Russian Laika-the so called Russo Europeans-that have exactly the same color. The real difference between those two breeds is in the shape of the body and head and most of all in the character of the West Siberians.They are COOL! Pure bred West Siberians are not so nervous or easily excited as other breeds of Hunting Laikas. They display such a brave, cool, and calculating type of behavior even in the most dangerous situations. It comes as a package along with the ability to work on big game and to track very old, "cold" tracks. With the economical changes in Russia West Siberian Laikas lost their popularity there. Pro hunting is a dying profession and the new Russian Elite prefers "prestige" breeds of dogs imported from abroad. Luckily, American Hunters discovered the true potential of this breed and have recently imported some pure bred West Siberians to the US. Chances for this breed to prosper in America are good. More than 200 hunters in Alaska, Canada, and the Continental United States use this type of dogs today. They became an important - American part of the huge family of Hunting, Sledding, and Herding Laikas living for millennia in Northern Eurasia. Preserving them in their original state is very important. Laikas, along with domestic Reindeer, are the oldest breeds of our civilization. They helped humanity to survive in the ice age.Changes in the climate usually work in both directions. Who knows -- may be, we will need these breeds again in the future. West Siberian Laikas are a living monument to an ancient, very rich, and highly sophisticated indigenous culture. We must preserve this superior achievement of selection for our future generations.

Image:West Siberian Laika -The best source on WSL- The Book Hunting Laikas in Russian Language.jpg

Sources in Russian Language: Voilotchnikov, A.T. and Voilotchnikova, S.D. Hunting Laikas, . Moscow: Forest Industry Publishing House 1982. Voilotchnikov, A. T. and Voilotchnikova, S.D.Laikas and Hunting With Them . Moscow: Forest Industry Publishing House, 1972. Voilotchnikov, A. T. and Voilotchnikova, S.D. "Which breed of Laikas is the best?" Hunting and Hunting Industry, 1972: Issue 10. page 30-31. The authors are a Russian family recognized as the world's leading experts on West Siberian Laikas.

Sources in Bulgarian Language: Raytchev, Vasko. The Bulgarian Shepherd-Legend and Reality, Stara Zagora: Bioshield Publishing, 1992. (pg. 20-23)

Sources in English Language: Demidoff, L.B. How to Raise and Train a Siberian Husky. New York: 1964 Beregovoy, V. Hunting Laika Breeds of Russia. Crystal Dream Publishing, 2001 . Little, Clarence C. The Inheritance of Coat Color in Dogs. New York: 1971.


The Wetterhoun (plural: Wetterhounen) is a breed of dog also called the Otterhoun or Frisian Water Dog. They originate from the Friesland region in the Netherlands. The literal translation from Frisian of the name Wetterhoun is 'water dog'.


The Wetterhoun is a medium sized dog and is ideally between 55 and 59 centimeters (21.6-23 inches). They weigh between 15 and 20 kilograms (33-44 pounds). Their coat is thick and curly except for the ears and legs, where the coat is smoother. The coat should be black and white, liver and white, solid black or solid liver. The tail curls tightly over their back.


The Wetterhoun was developed at least 400 years ago in the Dutch province of Friesland.


The Whippet is a breed of dog, specifically a member of the sighthound family. They are active and playful and are physically similar to a small greyhound. Their popularity has led to the reuse of the Whippet name on a large number of things, from cars to cookies.


Whippets are a medium-size dog averaging in weight from 25 to 40 lb (11–18 kg), with height (under the FCI standard) of 18.5 inches (47 cm) for dogs and 17.5 inches (44 cm) for bitches. Whippets tend to be somewhat larger in the United States with show, coursing and some race Whippets required to be within the AKC standard of 18.5 to 22.5 inches (48–56 cm) for dogs, and 17.5 to 21.5 inches (46–53 cm) for bitches. Because color is considered immaterial in judging whippets, they come in a wide variety of colors and marking patterns, everything from solid black to solid white, with red, fawn, brindle, blue, or cream. All manner of spots and blazes and patches are seen, sometimes all in the same litter.


Whippets are generally quiet and gentle dogs, content to spend much of the day sleeping. They are not generally aggressive towards other animals, and although especially attached to their owners, they are friendly to visitors. They are not prone to snapping, so they are good with young children. Because of their friendly nature they have often been known to be used in aged care facilities. They may or may not bark when strangers arrive, and are not suited to be guard dogs due to their trusting and unsuspicious nature. They do however tend to attack cats that stray onto their territory. Outside, particularly when they are racing or lure coursing, they demonstrate their superb athletic skills and will pursue their “quarry” (even when it is an artificial lure) with the heart of a lion.

Interestingly, some whippets are subject to "excessive greeting disorder". This unique greeting ritual is characterized by wild displays of exuberance - bounding, jumping, howling, barking, etc. - when their owners return from long absences of 10 minutes or more. This can be a problem with very young children in the house as they may easily be knocked over.

Unlike some other breeds, the males are as easy to housebreak, and no more aggressive, than females. Both sexes make excellent pets. Males are sometimes considered to be slightly more loyal and to enjoy repetitive play. Females can be a little more complex and strong-willed, but are equally devoted to their owners. Males tend to be one to two inches taller, and three to six pounds heavier, than females.

Whippet sleeping in the 'cockroach' position characteristic of sighthounds
Whippet sleeping in the 'cockroach' position characteristic of sighthounds

Whippets are not well adapted for living in a kennel or as outside dogs. Their coats do not provide the insulation to withstand prolonged periods of exposure to the cold. Their natural attachment to people makes them happiest when kept as housepets. They are most at home in the company of their owners, in their lap or lying next to them on the lounge. Whippets are quiet and thus well suited to apartment life, although they do need regular exercise. The chance to run free in open spaces should be made available to the whippet; however care should be taken with whippets on the street as it is difficult to instill any sort of traffic sense into them.

Whippets, as their heritage would suggest (they have been called a "poor man's racehorse"), are outstanding running dogs and are top competitors in lure coursing, straight racing, and oval track racing. Typically in these events, a temporary track and lure system is set up. The lure is usually a white plastic trash bag, sometimes in conjunction with a "squawker" to simulate a sort of prey sound or with a small piece of animal pelt. With the advent of new methods in motivational obedience training being used, whippets are becoming successful obedience dogs. Many enjoy flyball and agility.

The elegance and ease of grooming of the whippet have made it a somewhat popular show dog. It has, however, never quite gained the popularity of such dog show stalwarts as the poodle.


Given proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care, most whippets live for 12 to 15 years. They are generally healthy, and are not prone to the frequent ear infections, skin allergies, or digestive problems that can afflict other breeds. Genetic eye defects, though quite rare, have been noted in the breed. Because of this the American Whippet Club recommends that all breeders test for this defect in their breeding stock. Hip dysplasia is unknown in whippets. Undescended testicles are common in the breed. Whippets, like most sighthounds, are sensitive to barbiturate anesthetics.

The heart of a whippet is large and slow beating, often being arrhythmic or even intermittent when the animal is at rest. This sometimes causes concern to the owner, or to the vet not experienced with the breed. Whippets will, however, demonstrate a regular heartbeat during exercise. In a health survey conducted by The Kennel Club (UK) cardiac problems were shown to be the second leading cause of mortality in Whippets. It is not clear, however, whether this is at all related to the breed's somewhat unusual heart function.

A 2007 study identified a myostatin mutation particular to whippets that is significantly associated with their athletic performance. Whippets with a single copy of this mutation are generally very fast; those with two copies have disproportionately large musculature and are known as "bully whippets".


Oval Track race meet in Northern California
Oval Track race meet in Northern California

Whippets were bred to hunt by sight, coursing game in open areas at high speeds. One can find numerous representations of small greyhound-like hounds in art dating back to Roman times but the first written English use of the word "whippet" with regard to a type of dog was in 1610. There is a picture by Jean Baptiste Oudry (1686–1755) of "Misse", one of two English whippets presented to Louis XV, in the Washington National Gallery and another, with her companion, "Turlu", by the same artist in the Musée National de Fontainebleau. However, some French sources, notably the Ministry of Culture, use the word "levrette" to describe Misse and Turlu. Levrette translates as "female greyhound". In the nineteenth century, whippet racing was a national sport in England, more popular than football. It is only beginning with this period that the existence of the whippet as a distinct breed can be stated with certainty. The age of the modern whippet dawned in 1890 when the English Kennel Club granted the breed official recognition, thus making the whippet eligible for competition in dog shows, and commencing the recording of their pedigrees. Early specimens were taken from the race track by dog fanciers of the time and exported all over the world. The whippet's versatility as a hunting, racing, exhibition or companion dog soon made it the most popular of the sighthound breeds.

White Shepherd Dog /
Berger Blanc Suisse

The Berger Blanc Suisse (White Swiss Shepherd) or Weisser Schweizer Schäferhund recently emerged from white coat lines of the German Shepherd Dog breed as a separately recognised breed. Currently, this breed is only recognised by the FCI and the UKC, but more efforts are being made by fanciers to give the breed worldwide recognition as a separate and distinct breed from the German Shepherd Dog.

Several separate breed club associations around the world advocate for the White Shepherd dog breed type. Globally, the specific White Shepherd breed type name varies slightly depending the sponsoring breed club’s country language and the naming conventions of kennel clubs that recognize the breed type.

In the United States and Canada the White Shepherd breed type is known under the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized White Shepherd breed name. The North American White Shepherd breed lines were separately developed by breeders associated with the American White Shepherd Association (AWSA) and United White Shepherd Club (UWSC) breed clubs in the United States and the White Shepherd Club of Canada (WSCC) breed club in Canada.

In most other countries worldwide, the White Shepherd breed type is known under the World Canine Federation (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) (FCI) recognized White Swiss Shepherd breed name. White Swiss Shepherd is the English translation of the FCI’s official language Berger Blanc Suisse breed name. The Swiss Kennel Club, in association with the Swiss White Shepherd (Berger Blanc International) breed club, was the first to petition FCI for recognition of the new White Shepherd breed type. FCI designated the Berger Blanc Suisse a new breed type of Swiss origin effective 01 January 2003. The Swiss White Shepherd breed line was developed in Switzerland using white coat German Shepherd dogs imported from the United States and Canada to Switzerland during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Worldwide, regardless of the specific name recognized by a local national kennel club, the White Shepherd dog breed type is a recent and entirely separate breed specialization of its white coat German Shepherd dog ancestor.

A New Breed Emerges

During the last decade of the 20th century breed clubs around the world independently refined several lines of the White Shepherd breed type out of the German Shepherd dog breed gene pool. The recessive gene for white coat hair was cast in the breed gene pool by the late 19th and early 20th century breeding program that developed and expanded the German Shepherd Dog breed in Germany. It is a historical fact that a white herding dog named Greif was the Grandfather of Horand von Grafrath, the dog acknowledged as the foundation of all contemporary German Shepherd Dog bloodlines. “Der Deutsche Schaferhund In Wort Und Bild" ("The German Shepherd Dog in Words and Picture") written by the recognized father of the breed, Rittmeister (Cavalry Captain) Max von Stephanitz, in 1921 included a photo of a White German Shepherd directly descended from Horand.

Rittmeister Max Von Stephanitz December 1864 to April 1936
Rittmeister Max Von Stephanitz December 1864 to April 1936

Information provided in early books on the German Shepherd Dog, such as "The Alsatian WoIf Dog" written by George Horowitz in 1923 , as well as "The German Shepherd, Its History, Development and Genetics" written by M. B. Willis in 1977, make mention of Greif and other white German herding dogs, with upright ears and a general body description that resembles modern German Shepherd Dogs, shown in Europe as early as 1882. The early 20th century German Shepherd breeding program extensively line bred and inbred "color coat" dogs that carried Greif's recessive gene for "white coats" to refine and expand the population of early German Shepherd Dogs. From the very these direct ancestors of the German Shepherd Dog forward to the German Shepherds of today, the recessive gene for white colored coats has been carried in the DNA of the breed.

White puppies, in some percentage, are born to dark colored German Shepherd parents when both the male and female partners of a mating pair carry the recessive gene for "white coats." The dark coat puppies in such litters will also carry, in some percentage, the recessive white coat gene. When only one partner of a mating pair carries the recessive white coat gene, white puppies will not present in litters, but the dark colored puppies inherit, in some percentage, the recessive white gene. When both the male and female partners of a mating pair have white coats the entire litter of puppies will have white coats.

In 1933 the parent German Shepherd breed club in German rejected white coats as a "defective" breed trait when it elected to adopt an exclusively “wolf-like” breed coloration standard. After WWII German Shepherd breed clubs in countries around the world increasingly adopted the exclusively “wolf-like” coloration breed standard of the parent German breed club. Once adopted, breed club members were required to never intentionally breed dogs that carry the recessive gene for white coats.

Because the German Shepherd dog breed club standard governs the color of German Shepherd dogs that may compete in national kennel club sponsored dog shows, such as the prestigious AKC affiliated Westminster Kennel Club dog show in the United States, white coat German Shepherd dogs were barred from such events in the United States starting in 1959, and other countries of the world through the 1990’s.

During the 1970’s, fanciers of the white coat German Shepherd dog worldwide formed their own White German Shepherd Dog breed clubs to continue to breed dogs that carry the recessive white coat gene to produce white coat puppies. White German Shepherd dog fanciers showed their dogs at small specialty dog shows, but many wanted to show their dogs at the most prestigious national and international dog show events, now open only to “standard color” German Shepherd dog owners.

By the late 1990’s a portion of white coat German Shepherd dog fanciers around the world decided to establish a new White Shepherd breed standard and petition their respective national and international kennel clubs for breed recognition, separate and independent from the German Shepherd dog breed club’s control. To populate the new breed of White Shepherd dogs, breeders around the world continually paired and repaired only white coat German Shepherd Dog sires and dams for several generations to breed what is today considered a "pure" White Shepherd breed.

When recognized as a separate and independent breed, White Shepherd dogs will be eligible to enter any and all dog show events, including the most prestigious national and international dog shows.


An example of a White Shepherd
An example of a White Shepherd

Each White Shepherd and White German Shepherd breed club around the world has documented a breed standard that governs the appearance and temperament of the dogs bred by breeders associated with the respective club. While the detail and format among these many breed clubs' standards vary somewhat, they all define a common appearance, transmission and temperament for their dogs. Indeed, each club's breed standard resembles the German Shepherd Dog breed standard set forth by Rittmeister Max Von Stephanitz, who founded the German Shepherd Dog breed in 1899. Breed standards of the White Swiss Shepherd Dog, White Shepherd Dog of North America, White German Shepherd Dog and German Shepherd Dog can be merged together, with only minor distinctions, to fashion a common description of conformation appearance:

General Appearance The first impression of a White Shepherd, White Swiss Shepherd or White German Shepherd Dog is that of a strong, agile, well-muscled animal, alert, full of life, keen, intelligent, and composed. It is well balanced, with harmonious development of forequarter and hindquarter. The dog is longer than tall, deep-bodied, and presents an outline of smooth curves rather than angles. It looks substantial and not spindly, giving the impression, both at rest and in motion, of muscular fitness and nimbleness without any look of clumsiness or soft living. The ideal dog is stamped with a look of quality and nobility–difficult to define, but unmistakable when present. Secondary sex characteristics are strongly marked, and every animal gives a definite impression of masculinity or femininity, according to its sex.

Proportion The Shepherd Dog is longer than tall, with the most desirable proportion as 10 to 8 1/2. Ideal height and weight is 25 inches (63.5 cm) measured to the top of the highest point of the shoulder blade and roughly 75-85 pounds (34-39 kgms) for males, and 23 inches (58.4 cm) and about 60-70 pounds (27-32 kgms) for females. Acceptable range of height is about 1 inch (3 cm) in either direction of the ideal. A slightly larger dog is not at serious fault, providing it meets the desirable proportion of 10 to 8 1/2. The proportional length measurement is taken from the point of the prosternum or breastbone to the rear edge of the pelvis, the ischial tuberosity.

An example of a White German Shepherd walking
An example of a White German Shepherd walking

GaitThe Shepherd is a trotting dog with a smooth and flowing gait that is maintained with great strength and firmness of back. The shepherd moves powerfully, but easily, with such coordination and balance that the gait appears to the steady motion of a well-lubricated machine. Even at a walk the shepherd covers a great deal of ground with an economy of long stride on both hind legs and forelegs. In order to achieve ideal movement of this kind, there must be muscular development and ligamentation. The hindquarters deliver, through the back, a powerful forward thrust, which slightly lifts the whole animal and drives the body forward. Reaching far under, and passing the imprint left by the front foot, the back foot takes hold of the ground; then hock, stifle and upper thigh come into play and sweep back, the stroke of the hind leg finishing with the foot still close to the ground in a smooth follow-through. The feet travel close to the ground on both forward reach and backward push. The overreach of the hindquarter usually necessitates one hind foot passing outside and the other foot passing inside the track of the forefoot, and such action is not faulty unless the locomotion is crab-like with the dog's body sideways out of the normal straight line. Viewed from the front, the front legs function from shoulder joint to the pad in a straight line. Viewed from the rear, the hind legs function from the hip joint to the pad in a straight line.

White Shepherd Short Coat
White Shepherd Short Coat
White Shepherd Medium Coat
White Shepherd Medium Coat
White Shepherd Long Coat
White Shepherd Long Coat

CoatThe ideal dog has a weather-resistant double coat of medium length. The outer coat should be as dense as possible, hair straight, harsh and lying close to the body. The undercoat is short, thick and fine in texture. A slightly wavy outer coat, often of wiry texture, is permissible. The head and ears are covered with a smooth, somewhat softer and shorter hair while the hair covering the legs and paws is more harsh-textured. At the neck, the coat is slightly longer and heavier. A male may carry a thicker ruff than a female. The back of the legs has a slightly longer covering of hair and there is considerably more hair on the breeches and the underside of the tail. For the White Shepherd specialization, both somewhat shorter and longer coats are acceptable.

ColorThe coat color is white as defined by the breed’s name and the ideal is pure white. Any degree of shading that ranges from a very pale cream to a light biscuit tan are not preferred, and is considered a fault for the White German Shepherd and White Shepherd specialization.

Skin PigmentSkin color on the body is pink to dark gray/black, with gray/black being preferred, and the skin of the belly being the darker area. Pink skin is frequently seen, and though not a disqualification, is less desirable. The nose, lips and eye rims should be fully pigmented and black in color. The more dark in color of the nails, the better, although white nails do not disqualify a dog. The pads of the feet should be black.Very slight snow nose coloration is acceptable but is not preferred. Deficiency of pigment is objectionable and dogs exhibiting faded, pinkish or spotty pigmentation on nose, eye rims or lips are a serious faulted. The total lack of pigment in the above named areas, indicating possible albinism or definite albinism with blue or pink eyes, are a disqualifying fault for both white coat German Shepherds and the White Shepherd specialization.

Head The head is noble, cleanly chiseled, strong without coarseness, but above all, not fine, and in proportion to the body. The head of the male is distinctly masculine, and that of the bitch, distinctly feminine. The muzzle is long and strong, with lips firmly fitted, and its top line is parallel to the top line of the skull. Seen from the front, the forehead is only moderately arched, and the skull slopes into the long, wedge-shaped muzzle without abrupt stop. Jaws are strongly developed.

Ears are moderately pointed, in proportion to the skull, open toward the front, and carried erect when at attention, the ideal carriage being one in which the center lines of the ears, viewed from the front, are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. A dog with cropped or hanging ears must be disqualified.
Eyes are of medium size, almond shaped, set a little obliquely and not protruding. The color is as dark as possible. The expression is keen, intelligent, and composed.
Teeth number 42 with 20 upper and 22 lower. Teeth are strongly developed and meet in a scissors bite in which part of the inner surface of the upper incisors meet and engage part of the outer surface of the lower incisors. An overshot jaw or a level bite is undesirable. An undershot jaw or a level bite is an undesirable fault. Complete dentition is to be preferred. Any missing teeth other than first premolars is a serious fault.

NeckThe neck is strong and muscular, clean-cut and relatively long, proportionate in size to the head, and without loose folds of skin. When the dog is at attention or excited, the head is raised and the neck carried high; otherwise, typical carriage of the head is forward rather than up, but a little higher than the top of the shoulders, particularly in motion.

Body The whole structure of the body gives an impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness.

Chest Commences at the posternum and is well filled and carried well down between the legs. It is deep and capacious, never shallow, with ample room for lungs and heart, carried well forward, with the posternum showing ahead of the shoulder in profile.
Ribs are well sprung and long, neither barrel-shaped nor too flat, and carried down to a sternum which reaches to the elbows. Correct ribbing allows the elbows to move back freely when the dog is at a trot. Too round causes interference and throws the elbows out; too flat or short causes pinched elbows. Ribbing is carried well back so that the loin is relatively short.
Abdomen is firmly held and not paunchy. The bottom line is only moderately tucked up in the loin.
Top Line of the back is straight and very strongly developed without sag or roach. The desirable long proportion is not derived from a long back, but from overall length in relation to height, which is achieved by a length of forequarter, withers and hindquarter, as viewed from the side. The croup is long and has only a very minor and gradual slope when in the show stance.
Withers are higher than, and sloping into, a level back.
Loin viewed from the top, broad and strong. Undue length between the last rib and the thigh, when viewed from the side, is undesirable.

ForequartersThe shoulder blades are long and obliquely angled, laid on flat and not placed forward. The upper arm joins the shoulder blade at about a right angle. Both the upper arm and the shoulder blade are well muscled. The forelegs, viewed from all sides, are straight and the bone oval rather than round. The pasterns are strong and springy and at an angle of approximately a 24 degrees from the vertical.

HindquartersThe whole assembly of the thigh, viewed from the side, is brood, with both upper and lower thigh well-muscled, forming as nearly as possible a right angle. The upper thigh bone parallels the shoulder blade while the lower thigh bone parallels the upper arm. The metatarsus is short, strong, tightly articulated and no dew claws should be present.

FeetThe feet are short, compact, with toes well arched, pads thick and firm, nails short and preferably dark. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed, but are normally left on. Dewclaws, if any, should be removed from the hind legs.

TailThe tail is bushy, with the last vertebra extended at least to the hock joint. It is set smoothly into the croup and low rather than high. At rest, the tail hangs in a slight curve like a saber. A slight hook–sometimes carried to one side is faulty only to the extent that it mars general appearance. When the dog is excited or in motion, the curve may be accentuated and the tail raised, but it should never curl forward beyond the vertical line. Tails too short, or with clumpy ends due to ankylosis, are serious faults.


The breed has a distinct personality marked by direct and fearless, but not hostile, expression, self-confidence, and a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. It is poised, but when the occasion demands, eager and alert; both fit and willing to serve in its capacity as a companion, watchdog, blind leader, herding dog, or guardian, whichever the circumstances may demand. The dog must be approachable, quietly standing its ground and showing confidence and willingness to meet overtures without itself making them.

The dog must not be timid, shrinking behind its master or handler; it should not be nervous, looking about or upward with anxious expression or showing nervous reactions, such as tucking of tail, to strange sounds or sights. Lack of confidence under any surroundings is not typical of good character. Any of the above deficiencies of character that indicate shyness must be penalized as a very serious faults, and any dog exhibiting pronounced indications of these must be excused from any dog show event.

It must be possible for a dog show judge to observe the teeth and to determine that both testicles are descended. Any dog that exhibits unprovoked aggression and attempts to bite any person, dog or other animal must be disqualified and removed from any dog show event.

The ideal dog is a working animal with an incorruptible character combined with body and gait suitable for the arduous work that constitutes its primary purpose.

Historical Time-Line

Recessive White Coat Gene in German Shepherd Dog Breed DNA

German Shepherd Dog breed DNA includes a recessive gene for white coats. The recessive gene for white hair was fixed in the German Shepherd Dog breed DNA by the late 19th and early 20th century German breeding program that extensively used "color coat" dogs that carried a recessive gene for "white coats." White puppies appear in litters when both the male and female partners of a mating pair carry a recessive gene for "white coats." When only one partner of a mating pair carries a recessive gene for white coats, the recessive gene is passed on to the offspring, but white puppies will not present in the litter. Naturally, a significant percentage of German Shepherd puppies born in the early 20th century had white coats. During this early period of breed expansion some breeders viewed white German Shepherds as a natural part of the breed and cherished them, while other early German breeders, who particularly wanted the breed to have a standardize 'wolf-like' appearance, utterly rejected white coats as a "defective" breed trait and sought to prohibit white coats in the governing German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany (Der Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde, the SV) breed standard.

White Coats vs Wolf-Like Coloration in the Pre-WWII Germany Breed Standard

Through the 1920’s German breeders advocating for a strict wolf-like coloration breed standard constantly increased pressure within the German club to eliminate white dogs from the breeding program. In 1933 the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany updated their breed standard to officially forbid the breeding and registration of white coat dogs or even dark coat dogs proven to have produced litters with white puppies. The Nazis so extensively employed German Shepherd Dogs in war duties during WWII that the breed was nearly extinguished in Europe at war's end. Of the few German Shepherd dogs available for breeding in post WWII East and West Germany, only the dogs thought to have no white coats in their family tree were used for breeding. The German Club has strictly enforced the “no white coats” breed standard restriction to this day.

White Coat Gene and German Shepherd Dog Breed Expansion in the Americas

The white coat recessive gene was pervasive in the expanding German population of dogs before and immediately after WWI when the original German Shepherd Dogs were imported to populate new breeding programs throughout the Americas. By the end of WWII the population of German Shepherds in the Americas had grown both large and healthy out of that population of breeding dogs imported from Germany before the United States entered WWI and immediately after as some U.S. soldiers returned home with the dogs. In contrast to the German club’s actions, one of the key founders of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, as well as other influential American breeders in the years from 1913 through the WWII era accepted and supported white coat German Shepherds as a natural part of the breed. The white coat recessive gene remained pervasive in the large and growing American population of dogs through WWII and into the 1950's when demand for white coat German Shepherds steadily increased in the family dog market. Even though some influential breeders of the period accepted and even admired white coat German Shepherds some other breeders did not.

White Coats vs Exclusive Wolf-Like Coloration Standard Debate Goes Global After WWII

After WWII a new generation of German Shepherd Dog Club of America, German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada and German Shepherd Dog Club of Australia member breeders active in dog show events increasingly advocated for the adoption the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany breed standard that strictly forbids white coats. The German Shepherd Dog Club of America and the German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada ultimately adopted the “no white coat” breed standard by the mid-1960’s and then petitioned the American Kennel Club (AKC) and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) to accept the standard change. The AKC accepted the restrictive German Club breed standard in 1968 and the CKC, after long deliberation with white coat German Shepherd supporters, accepted the standard change in 1998. On January 1, 1994 the Australian National Kennel Council accepted the restrictive “no white coat” breed standard change request made by the German Shepherd Dog Club of Australia.

Naional Kennel Clubs Individually Accept, Restrict and Reject White Coat German Shepherd Dogs

While the AKC and CKC adopted the "no white coat" breed standard for conformation dog show events, they did not accept the "no white coat" standard change for their German Shepherd Dog breed registry business or other dog show events. As of mid-2007 the AKC and CKC continue to accept white coat German Shepherd Dogs for breed registration, as well as obedience, tracking, herding, and temperament trial show ring competitions. The other principle kennel club in North America, the United Kennel Club, fully recognizes white coat German Shepherd Dogs as part of the German Shepherd Dog breed. The United Kennel Club (UKC) fully accepts white coat German Shepherd Dogs for breed registration, as well as conformation, obedience, tracking, herding, and temperament trial show ring competitions. The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) stopped accepting white coat German Shepherd Dogs for their breed registry in 1995 and barred white coat dogs from all ANKC sanctioned dog show event.

White German Shepherd Breed Clubs Emerge Around the Globe

Beginning in the early 1970’s German Shepherd Dog breeders in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, who favored white coat dogs, grouped together to form White German Shepherd breed clubs in their respective countries. Breeders associated with these clubs selective bred white and colored Shepherds, that carry the recessive white gene, to produce white coat German Shepherd puppies. European breeders initially imported North American White German Shepherd dogs, some originally registered as AKC or CKC white coat German Shepherd Dogs, to start their breeding programs. (A few small lines of German Shepherd Dogs carrying the recessive white coat gene did manage to survive WWII in Germany and Holland. Even though these populations of dogs have not enjoyed registration by the German breed club since 1933, they can "unofficially" trace their heritage directly to the original early 20th century German population of German Shepherd Dog lines.)

Pure "White Shepherd" Breed Lines Emerge

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s a few ‘white’ German Shepherd Dog breeders in Europe and the Americas began to continually pair and repair only white coat male and female dogs over several generations to create a "pure" White Shepherd breed.

White Shepherd Pup at 5 weeks
White Shepherd Pup at 5 weeks

These American and European “pure” breeders formed their own White Shepherd breed clubs in their respective countries beginning in 1991. Australian breeders did not start to refine their local population of ‘white’ German Shepherd Dogs into a "pure" White Shepherd breed line until 2000.

A New "Berger Blanc Suisse" White Shepherd Breed is Recognized in Europe

In Europe, the Swiss Kennel Club (SKC) recognized the White Swiss Shepherd Dog club (Berger Blanc International or BBI) and began registering its new "pure" White Swiss Shepherd Dog (Berger Blanc Suisse) breed in 1991. The White Swiss Shepherd Dog traces its origin to American AKC registered white coat German Shepherd dogs imported from the Americas to Switzerland in the early 1970's. In 2002 the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) (translation - World Canine Federation) accepted a petition from BBI and SKC to recognize the Berger Blanc Suisse dog as a new international breed. The FCI does not generally acknowledge or register any of the white or colored North American breed lines registered by UKC, AKC or CKC.

Partial Recognition Of A New "White Shepherd" Breed in the Americas

In 1999, the North American UKC fully accepted a "United" White Shepherd breed line developed in the United States by the United White Shepherd breed club. Another breed club in the United States and yet another breed club in Canada each individually developed additional "pure" White Shepherd breed lines in their respective countries. The two breed clubs have each made efforts to gain breed recognition with the AKC and CKC in their respective countries, but neither national kennel club has, as yet, recognize these new White Shepherd breed lines. The UKC, AKC and CKC do not generally acknowledge or register the FCI recognized white or colored breed lines. As of mid-2007, the White Swiss Shepherd Dog (Berger Blanc Suisse) breed has not appeared in the Americas.

White Swiss Shepherd Dog Breed Expands To Australia

The White Swiss Shepherd Dog breed line was recently founded in Australia by the White Swiss Shepherd Dog Club of Australia that first organized in 2000. The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) has not yet recognized the newly introduced White Swiss Shepherd Dog Breed for its breed registry and dog show events.

The white vs colored German Shepherd Dog controversy continues to this day.


Pyrenean Mountain Sheepdog
Pyrenean Mountain Sheepdog

Shepherding was a common way of life for thousands of years all across Europe, including the countryside that is today called Germany. Over countless centuries shepherds used dogs to herd their sheep throughout the day, and guard them against wolf and bear predators at night. The Roman writer Columella in the 1st century A.D. published a 35-volume essay on agriculture entitled, “The Agricultural Arts” that stated, unequivocally, the dogs that guard the sheep are white in color. The Pyrenean Mountain Sheepdog is a direct decedent of these ancient sheep dogs. Earlier in history, the Roman historian and writer, Marcus Terrentius Varro (116-27 B.C.), described the guardians of the flocks as being invariably white in color. He also writes that, in his opinion, the shepherds preferred white dogs in order to be able to distinguish them from the wolves that usually attacked in the half-light of dawn or dusk.

Many descendants of the ancient shepherd's white dogs were present on 19th century German farms. In addition to the somewhat larger white guard and herding dog varieties, several varieties of medium-sized shepherding dogs were also in use on German farms. These medium-sized shepherd dogs were especially fast and agile and were particularly well suited to moving and guiding sheep herds across the countryside.

The German Spitz Herding Dog - The oldest breed of dog in Central Europe
The German Spitz Herding Dog - The oldest breed of dog in Central Europe

These medium-sized dogs had coat colors of brown, grey, grizzled and white. For example, the medium-sized Spitz was known to have white coats, and the [Schafpudel] of Germany was always white. It is, therefore, a fact that the modern German Shepherd Dog presents all of the coat colors of the breed’s founding ancestors, including white.

The Schafpudel sheepdog of Germany
The Schafpudel sheepdog of Germany

Across the regional landscape of 19th century German farms, Shepherds bred a wide variety of dogs to herd their sheep with no uniformity of size, color, or shape, except for what was common for their particular region. The only real interest was that herding dogs be physically and mentally sound so they could work tirelessly, competently and faithfully along side the shepherd. This was the landscape seen by Max Von Stephanitz, the recognized father of the modern German Shepherd Dog breed, in the 1880s.

Founding of the Modern German Shepherd Dog Breed in Germany

As a young cavalry officer, Stephanitz’s military duties often required him to travel across the German countryside. It was common for travelers like Stephanitz to board with rural families along the way. At that time most rural German farms had at least a few head of sheep and a herding dog or two to tend them. Stephanitz became fascinated with the German herding dogs and their working capabilities. He admired all the hard working dogs, but observed some dogs had a special look and bearing about them that he especially admired.

Eventually Stephanitz became inspired with the idea that Germany should have a national herding dog that combined the work ethic of the most accomplished herding dogs with that special look and bearing he so admired. Stephanitz envisioned a German shepherding dog who was extremely intelligent, could reason and be a working companion to man. Further, the dog must be quick on his feet and well coordinated, protective, noble in appearance and bearing, trustworthy in character, physically sound in joint and muscle, and be born with an innate desire to please and obey the shepherd master. This is the German Shepherd dog that we know and love today. By 1891 Stephanitz started selecting the best herding dogs from across the German countryside for his breeding program, but Stephanitz was not alone in his passion to develop a national German Shepherding Dog.

The Phylax Society, active primarily between the years 1891-1894, was an organization of German shepherding dog fanciers that in many ways formed the foundations for the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany. The Phylax Society documented shepherding dogs of varying sizes, types and colors, including white, to have been in all areas of Germany during the late 1800’s.

Like Stephanitz, Phylax Society members were actively engaged in uniting the various sizes, types and colors of German shepherding dogs to produce a standard shepherding dog for Germany. Stephanitz corresponded with Phylax Society members and attended dog shows organized by the Society, thus adding to Stephanitz’s already considerable understanding of bloodlines.

The Phylax Society provides an essential prolog to the modern German Shepherd story, both white and colored. The society ultimately did not long survive because it had no strong central figure to organizing and manage Society affairs. The Phylax Society essentially evolved into the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany, organized and managed by Stephanitz, as many former Phylax Society members later joined with Stephanitz.

As interest in dog breeding continued to grow in Germany throughout the 1890’s, one of the largest all breed dog shows to date took place in the Rhineland town of Karlesruhe on April 3, 1899. Stephanitz, accompany by his friend Artur Meyer, attended the Karlesruhe Exhibition in his continuing search for shepherding dogs that could be added to his breeding program.

Hektor Linksrhein Purchased by Rittmeister Max Von Stephanitz on April 3, 1899 and Renamed Horand von Grafrath, The First Registered GSD SZ 1
Hektor Linksrhein Purchased by Rittmeister Max Von Stephanitz on April 3, 1899 and Renamed Horand von Grafrath, The First Registered GSD SZ 1

Among the many shepherding dogs brought to the exhibition from a number of different German agricultural areas, Stephanitz saw a truly unique and noble looking shepherd dog name Hektor Linksrhein, born the 1st of January 1895 along with litter brother, Luch von Sparwasser, later registered SZ 155. The breeder of Hektor and Luch was Herr Friedrich Sparwasser of Frankfort. Stephanitz at once recognized Hektor as his ideal German Shepherd Dog that he had been striving to develop in his own ten year long breeding program. He bought Hektor on the spot and renamed the dog Horand von Grafrath.

Luch von Sparwasser, later registered SZ 155
Luch von Sparwasser, later registered SZ 155
1906 German newspaper photograph of White Shepherd progeny of Greif
1906 German newspaper photograph of White Shepherd progeny of Greif

Hektor’s and Luch's maternal grandfather was a white-coated German herding dog named Greif von Sparwasser, whelped in Friedrich Sparwasser's Frankfort kennel in 1879. George Horowitz, renowned English Judge, German Shepherd (Alsatian) columnist, author and historian documents the background of Hektor Linksrhein (a.k.a. Horand von Grafrath) in his 1923 book, “The Alsatian Wolf-Dog.” In his book Horowitz documents that the white-coated herding dog named Greif von Sparwasser, born in 1879, was presented at the 1882 and 1887 Hanover Dog Shows.

Next, at the 1888 Hamburg Dog Show, Greifa, another white-coated herding dog, was presented and a third white-coated shepherd named Greif II was presented at the 1889 Cassel Show. The Master of Hounds of Beyenrode, Baron von Knigge, who acquired Greif from the Frankfurt breeder Friedrich Sparwassar, eventually owned all three of the white-coated herding dogs Greif, Greifa and Greif II. These dogs were described as very alert, well proportioned, erect eared white herding dogs. The modern German Shepherd Dog appearance further developed when Greif von Sparwasser was mated with female Lotta von Sparwasser who then whelped a litter that included a wolf-grey colored female named Lene von Sparwasser, later registered SZ 156. Both Greif and Lotta had the distinctive 'up right' ears that we see in the modern German Shepherd Dog breed, but which was uncommon in shepherding dogs of that time. Lene then passed the genetic coding for 'up right' ears as well as white coats, in her pairing with dog Kastor, to Hektor von Linksrhein (a.k.a. Horand von Grafrath SZ 1) and his litter brother Luch. Friedrich Sparwasser's line of dogs, therefore, contributed very important conformation and behavioral aspects to the modern German Shepherd Dog breed. If Stephanitz can be called the father of the German Shepherd Dog breed, then perhaps Frankfurt breeder Friedrich Sparwasser should also be credited as a grandfather. Concurring information is provided in “The German Shepherd Dog, Its History, Development and Genetics,” written by M. B. Willis, B. Sc.Ph.D.

In Stephanitz's original book "The German Shepherd Dog in Words and Picture," printed in Germany by Anton Kamphe, Jena in 1923, he describes the background of the dog types used to develop the German Shepherd breed.

Stephanitz's original book "The German Shepherd Dog in Words and Picture" - English translated reprint from Hoflin Publishing
Stephanitz's original book "The German Shepherd Dog in Words and Picture" - English translated reprint from Hoflin Publishing

Clearly, among the several dog types used in the breeding program there were two dog types of particular importance to the development of the German Shepherd Dog as we know them today: sheepdogs from the German highland Thuringia region who had erect ears and a general conformation of the modern German Shepherd dog, and sheepdogs from the Wurttemberg region which were heavier, larger-boned and had very bushy tails. Greif, Lotta, Hektor and Luch are noted as having "Thuringian blood." Unfortunately, later revisions of Stephanitz's book eliminated much of Stephanitz's original descriptive commentary on the various dog types used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to develop the modern German Shepherd Dog breed. Information and photos of Old German Shepherds can be found in the book (in German) "Hirten und Huetehunde" by Karl Hermann Finger, Eugen Ulmer GmbH & Co., published 1988.

Stephanitz writes in his book, "Horand embodied for the enthusiasts of that time the fulfillment of their fondest dreams. He was big for that period, between 24" and 24 1/2", even for the present day a good medium size, with powerful frame, beautiful lines, and a nobly formed head. Clean and sinewy in build, the entire dog was one live wire. His character was on a par with his exterior qualities; marvelous in his obedient fidelity to his master, and above all else, the straightforward nature of a gentleman with a boundless zest for living. Although untrained in puppy hood, nevertheless obedient to the slightest nod when at this master's side; but when left to himself, the maddest rascal, the wildest ruffian and incorrigible provoker of strife. Never idle, always on the go; well disposed to harmless people, but no cringer, mad about children and always in love. What could not have been the accomplishments of such a dog if we, at that time, had only had military or police service training? His faults were the failings of his upbringing, never of his stock. He suffered from a superfluity of unemployed energy, for he was in Heaven when someone was occupied with him and was then the most tractable of dog."

Horand von Grafrath, SZ 1, in foreground and Marie von Grafrath, SZ 2 (formerly Marie v.d. Krone)
Horand von Grafrath, SZ 1, in foreground and Marie von Grafrath, SZ 2 (formerly Marie v.d. Krone)

On April 22, 1899, less than a month after Stephanitz purchased Hektor, who he renamed Horand von Grafrath, Stephanitz founded the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany or Der Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde, the SV, as he wrote the first entry into the new SV Stud Book – “Horand von Grafrath, SZ 1.” Thus, Horand (a.k.a. Hektor) was documented as the foundation of the German Shepherd Dog breed. Membership of the SV German Shepherd Dog Club grew quickly and soon many breeders were using Horand’s progeny, as well as Horand’s litter brother Luch and his progeny, to expand the German Shepherd Dog breed population.

The genetic influence of Horand’s maternal grandfather, white-coated Greif, is significant in the breed given Horand was line-bred and inbred with his own offspring in the expansion and refinement of the new breed after 1899. Horand was bred to 35 different bitches, including his own daughters, producing 53 litters, of which, 140 progeny were registered with the SV. Horand’s litter brother Luchs was also widely bred in the same way in the expansion of the modern German Shepherd breed. Further, Horand’s offspring was inbred with Luchs's offspring, which further concentrated the DNA of these dogs. It is a statistical certainty that a large percentage of all of Horand’s and Luchs’s offspring inherited the white genetic factor that was passed to them by white-coated maternal grandfather Greif. The white genetic factor in turn was forwarded on to a percentage of all subsequent generations of the breed. In the first 15 years of pedigreed German Shepherd Dog breeding more than half the registered dogs had litters with white puppies. Many of Horand's grandsons produced white pups including Baron von der Seewies (1913) who became the first white German shepherd registered in the breed book. Of the many genetic traits that became firmly entrenched in the founding breeding program, the white-coat color gene figures prominently, even to this day.

Included Photograph of Berno v.d. Seewiese
Included Photograph of Berno v.d. Seewiese

In Stephanitz's original 776-page book, "The German Shepherd Dog in Words and Picture," he included a photograph of a celebrated White Shepherd, Berno von der Seewiese, who was a direct descendant of Horand von Grafrath, (a.k.a. Hektor) the father of the breed. Berno v.d. Seewiese, born in 1913 was in a direct line down from Horand von Grafrath through Horand’s equally famous, and some said even more handsome, son Hektor von Schwaben. In his 1921 book, Stephanitz wrote, "The coloring of the dog has no significance whatsoever for service" and "Our German Shepherd Dogs have never been bred for color, which for the working dog is a matter of quite secondary consideration. Should any fashion breeder allow himself to pursue such a senseless fad, he might be bitterly disappointed." Clearly, the founder of the breed stressed utility over appearance, however, it must be noted that in other passages in his book Stephanitz also wrote of his preference for dark colored shepherds. Stephanitz writes in his 1925 book, "Albino's, (i.e. animals without color, in other words white dogs with completely colorless skin, pale claws, flesh colored nose and reddish eyes) must be completely excluded from breeding. With dogs, however, who have been bred to white color, where the skin has retained the pigmentation, it is not a sign of paling but of breed. This, however, applies only to other breeds; for shepherd dogs, both smooth and rough haired, white is only allowed for shaggy haired ones as the descendants of the old sheep dogs bred for white."

The prime directive of Stephanitz breeding mandate was that the German Shepherd Dog breed must embody all the qualities of a working herding dog. He maintained that the beauty is in the working abilities of the dog; muscle, bone, joint, proud look and bearing, intelligence, stamina and work ethic were the primary strengths sought in the breed. To ensure this prime directive of breeding was honored Stephanitz created the Koerung, a survey, in which the dogs were thoroughly examined, judged, and deemed fit or unfit for breeding. Coat color considerations did not disqualify a dog from Stephanitz’s German Shepherd breed standard during the first twenty years of the breed club. Dogs known to carry the "white coat factor" were not, for this reason alone, excluded from the SV breed program. This is not to say white-coated puppies were happily received in all breeder's litters, even in these early formative years of the breed when the recessive gene for white coats was so well established and wide spread in the breeding pool. (Schutzhund is the modern version of Stephanitz's breeding assessment survey.)

By 1923 Stephanitz's still growing club membership numbered over 57,000 enthusiasts who grouped into factions of herdsmen, commercial breeders, and show dog devotees. Many commercial and show oriented breeders, who were less passionate about the dog's working characteristics, particularly wanted the breed to have a full wolf appearance. This, in part, is a carry over from the old Phylax Society members who joined with Stephanitz on the founding of his club in 1899. Winfred Strickland writes in her (1988 revised edition) book, “The German Shepherd Today,” that the old Phylax Society, "was based solely on its members common interest in breeding (herding) dogs to resemble wolves, presumably hoping to cash in on their high market value." Another faction opposed to the SV direction, who did not reject white as a breed color, actually broke away and operated under the DSV name until about 1928.

In his 1923 book Stephanitz recognized the esteem many held for the wolf look and wrote that breeders must not to add more “wolf blood" into his dogs because he had already developed the ideal balance of conformation and temperament. Stephanitz also wrote of SV politics in his 1923 book, “The group with the best chance of gaining the upper hand was the one which envisioned turning the breed into a working-type show dog, with at costs, erect ears and, possibly, a wolf-like appearance as well.” Even while expressing the importance of utility over appearance, Stephanitz himself expressed a personal preference for the wolf-like black and tan coloring in his 1916 and later writings. By the late 1920s SV breeders were already beginning to [cull] white-coated puppies from litters and the SV breeding program.

White German Shepherds Adopted Throughout the Americas

Ann Tracy and her White German Shepherds
Ann Tracy and her White German Shepherds

In 1913 the German Shepherd Dog Club of America was established with the registry of Queen of Switzerland (AKC # 115006) and the adoption of Stephanitz’s breed standard. One of the founders of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America and one of the earliest German Shepherd Dog breeders in America was Ann Tracy of New York. Ann Tracy's breeding program, using Stephanitz's colored German Shepherds imported from Germany, produced white-coated Shepherds almost immediately. A litter that whelped on March 27, 1917 in Tracy's kennel contained four white puppies: Stonihurst Edmund, Stonihurst Eric, Stonihurst Eadred and Stonihurst Elf. These four white German Shepherds are believed to be the first white Shepherds bred and born in the United States and are the first to be registered with the American Kennel Cub.

Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge and her German Shepherds
Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge and her German Shepherds

In the early 1920’s, H. N. Hanchett of Minnesota and Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge of New York imported additional German-bred German Shepherd Dogs, including some white-coated dogs, to the United States. Thus, the white-coated German Shepherd Dog had an early and prominent entry in North America. The beauty of these White German Shepherds became increasingly admired throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico in the years after World War I and its numbers increased as popularity of the German Shepherd Dog breed increased.

In 1920 America, just as the Strongheart (registered as Etzel v. Oeringen) and Rin-Tin-Tin silent movies were ready to exploded in popularity, the AKC registered just 2,135 shepherd dogs. From 1921 onward movies and vaudeville stage acts featuring nearly two-dozen German Shepherd stars rapidly grew in popularity. A few white German Shepherds appeared in movies during this period, but they were particular popular for vaudeville acts because their size and white coat made them highly visible on stage. Popularity of the German Shepherd dog on stage and screen quickly translated into explosive demand for German Shepherd puppies across North America. The German Shepherd became the most popular breed in North America as every little boy and girl wanted his or her own Strongheart and Rin-Tin-Tin dog.

By 1926 the annual number of German Shepherds registered with the AKC had increased to 21,596 and that reflects only part of the population increase for the year as not every breeder and new shepherd owner registered their dog with the AKC. The German Shepherd dog remained the most popular breed in North America for several years thereafter. The recessive gene for white coats was common in the American breeding population during this period of breeding frenzy. As with the first two decades of Shepherd breeding in Germany, more than half the litters of this population explosion presented white puppies. The famous dog bloodlines of Strongheart (Oeringen) and Rin-Tin-Tin are also known to have produced black-pigmented white-coated puppies. The Oeringen bloodline was considered one of the better lines in Germany at that time and it supplied the foundation stock for many of the more prestigious kennels in North America.

Paul Strang writes in his 1983 book, "The White German Shepherd Book" that, "During the late forties and early fifties Lloyd C. Brackett's Long Worth Kennels dominated the scene, producing more outstanding shepherds than any kennel in North America. This bloodline combined the best shepherds of the nation... From this line came solid black, Kirk of San Miguel, and many other notable dark color-coated dogs such as Morex or Ilex of Long-Worth, who each carried the white-coat gene. Here again we find the appearance of White Shepherd puppies in these popular lines was common. Many of North America's German Shepherd lines have Long-Worth bloodlines in their pedigrees. In fact, the Long-Worth bloodline is more common in American White Shepherd pedigrees than any other." It is, therefore, clear that well managed breeding programs produced high quality dark color-coated dogs side by side with dark pointed (pigmented) white-coated dogs in the same litters for generations.

Germany SV Strictly Enforces Wolf-Like Coloration Only Breed Standard

According to Kerrin Winter Churchill author of "Passion to Surive", (AKC Gazette, 2002, NAIA 2006), " In the 1930s members of the Nazi party were the "elite" and dominated every aspect of German society, even German Shepherd dog breeding." Many of the elite did not agree with Stephanitz that the breed should embody, first and foremost, the qualities of a working shepherd dog. The predator wolf appearance of the colored German Shepherd Dog increasingly symbolized everything German in the eyes of the Nazi Party and so, partly because Hitler also loved the breed, SV politics became an extension Nazi politics. Adolf Hitler bred German Shepherds and even after Hitler became Chancellor he would exhibit them in shows.

According to Churchill, "Beginning in 1933 with dogs belonging to Jewish breeders, Hitler began seizing entire kennels. The German military made great use of dogs during WWII. Non Jews, who bred working dogs deemed valuable by the Nazis, were given ration cards to feed them. The dogs remained with their breeders, but it was understood that the Nazis could take them at anytime. In his book, “The Complete Boxer”, Milo Denlinger explains 'the Nazis muscled in on the dog fancy, as on so many other things.' In German Shepherds as well as Dobermans and Boxers, the Nazis helped themselves to thousands of dogs. In doing so, they destroyed some of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines of all three breeds. With the original breeders out of the way, Hitler-appointed officials held private kennel inspections but they weren’t knowledgeable breed people. Hard pressed to evaluate a dog, their decisions were often impulsive. Dogs that didn’t suit ideals of the Nazi mandated breed standard were shot on sight. This horror has been overlooked for years as the atrocities done to mankind in the name of the Third Reich have overshadowed all else."

In her (1988 revised edition) book, “The German Shepherd Today,” Winfred Strickland writes, "There were many SV members who were Nazi and they tried to meddle in the affairs of the SV. They persistently used vile means to cut Stephanitz off from his life's work and when he resisted they threatened him with a concentration cam." After thirty-six years of managing the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany, he gave up and left the club in 1935. He died one year later on April 22, 1936.

White German Shepherds in Post-WWII Germany

By the time the Nazis party took full control of the SV in 1935 white-coated shepherds were, without question, outlawed as undesirable. SV opinion maintained the white-coat factor caused coat paling across the full range of dark coat colors.

By the end of World War II, thousands upon thousands of German Shepherd Dogs in Germany had been slaughtered, as the military confiscated any dog they could find for military service, regardless of breeding value, in the final years of the war. While the few German Shepherd Dogs that managed to survive World War II almost represent a new start for the breed in Germany, they nonetheless embodied the foundation stock established by Stephanitz's original breeding program.

White-coated puppies born in Germany after WWII were not documented and they were immediately culled out of new litters, as is true to this day. Therefore, we do not have a complete record of white-coated German Shepherd Dogs presenting in "standard-color" litters in Germany since 1935. However, sires and bitches that breed litters with one or more whites are documented in the SV Zeitung (magazine) and unregistered, when breeders report such litter presentations.

A few White German Shepherd Dogs did managed to survive the Nazis and WWII in Germany and Holland. Descendants of these lucky white-coated dogs that trace their heritage directly to the white GSDs of the early 1900s survive to this day, despite not being allowed registration by the SV.


White Artic wolf
White Artic wolf

The genes required to produce white coats with dark eyes, nose, foot pads, etc. occurs in the natual world as is evedent in the Arctic Wolf or Canis lupus arctos as well as other subspecies population of Canis lupus.

The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a subspecies of the wolf that three modern DNA research teams now believe evolved from just a small population of wolves tamed by humans living in or near China less than 15,000 years ago. The research teams believe the DNA evidence indicates that the original population of domesticated dog then spread out of Asia to the rest of the world with human migration and along trading routes. The research team further concludes that intensive breeding by humans over the last 500 years - not different genetic origins - is responsible for the dramatic differences in appearance among modern dogs.[12]

It is reasonable to conclude that the gentic coding for white coats, present in the wolf genome, was passed into the dog's genome during the era of original domestication.

Coat color has been an integral trait selection for the development of most dog breeds. In a few cases, certain colors were selected against because breeders of the age thought the colors were associated with health problems. Other colors were selected against or for because breeders felt that those colors help that breed do its job better, or more often, coat colors were selected and rejected for simple esthetic reasons.

There are many misconceptions about white-coated German Shepherd Dogs and the gene that expresses their coat color. First and foremost, white German Shepherd Dogs are not albinos. Albinos lack all pigment where white German Shepherd Dogs have brown eyes and black pigment on their noses, around their mouth, on their paw pads, around their eye rims have dark skin and nails.

The white gene is recessive and only expresses coat color. The white gene is not linked to poor health, temperament, color paling in the entire breed, or any other negative trait in breed's genetic make-up. The white coat gene is actually a masking gene that masks the real color and pattern of the dog. A white German Shepherd Dog can carry genes for any color and pattern found in the breed, including, black, black and tan, black and red, black and silver, black and cream, blue, liver, sable, saddled and bi-colored.

White shepherds are unjustly blamed for color dilution or paling for the entire breed because the white gene can mask expression of genetic coding for diluted (pale) colors such as a black and silver, black and cream or liver. German breeders of the 1920's and 1930’s misinterpreted pale offspring of white dogs, masking a pale colored coat, as an undesirable result of a “white” generic trait rather than the actual expression of genetic coding for diluted (pale) colors from the breeding pair. Even today, some German Shepherd Dog breeders identify color paling in the entire breed as one of the primary justifications to “cull” white coat shepherd puppies from new litters. This point has been refuted innumerable times by leading White German Shepherd Dog breeders and modern geneticists using state-of-the-art DNA methods.

White German Shepherd Breed Clubs Founded in North America

Across North America, World War II did not impact the full diversity of the German Shepherd Dog gene pool. White German Shepherds were registered and shown at AKC dog shows side-by-side with their colored brothers and sisters across North America from 1917 through WWII and up to 1967.

By the late fifties and early sixties members of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America endorsed the German Club’s mandate for wolf-like coloration and mounted a campaign to make white coats a disqualifying fault in the club's breed standard. By the mid-1960’s the color white was entered as a disqualification in the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) breed conformation standard. The disqualification was then adopted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and on April 9, 1968, and white coat German Shepherd Dogs were barred from the AKC conformation show ring.

As the “standard-color” German Shepherd Dog Club of America moved to expel white coat members of the breed in the 1960’s, White German Shepherd Dog supporters formed their own clubs to protect the white-coated dog’s interests. In 1964, White German Shepherd Dog supporters in Sacramento, California formed the first White German Shepherd Dog Club to safeguard the white dogs. With the 1968 expulsion of white-coated German Shepherd Dogs from the AKC conformation dog show ring, White German Shepherd Dog supporters across the United States joined with the Sacramento club in 1969 to form the White German Shepherd Dog Club of America.

The White German Shepherd Dog Club of America adopted Stephanitz’s German Shepherd Dog breed standard, scheduled conformation dog shows for white coat dogs and organized efforts to protect the interests of white coat German Shepherd Dogs. In 1977, the White German Shepherd Dog Club of America changed its name to The White German Shepherd Dog Club International, Inc. Through the club’s efforts, the AKC chose to continue to register white coat German Shepherds in their German Shepherd Dog breed registry. The AKC also allowed white coat German Shepherd Dogs to show in AKC’s obedience show rings and compete in AKC tracking, herding, and temperament trial events.

Since 1977 other white Shepherd clubs independently formed in the United States and other countries around the world. In the United States a second organization named The White German Shepherd Dog Club of America (WGSDCA) was founded in January 1997. Like the WGSDCII the WGSDCA sponsors independent conformation dog shows using qualified judges to award championship points and titles to white dogs and colored dogs that carry the white-gene. Both clubs also promote activities including agility, obedience, tracking and various working trials.

Both the WGSDCII and WGSDCA organizations today continue to lobby the German Shepherd Dog Club of America and American Kennel Club for the reunification of white-coated and color-coated members of the breed under one breed standard. The Constitution of both white dog clubs state that the first objective of the Club shall be: to preserve the name and heritage of the white-coated German Shepherd Dog as an integral and inseparable part of the German Shepherd Dog breed. (see charters at WGSDCII and WGSDCA web sites)

The recessive gene for white hair, continues to circulate in the American population of the German Shepherd Dog breed gene pool. While many breeders strongly affiliated with the colored GSD breed clubs do take care to never breed dog pairs that both carry the recessive white gene, many "back yard" breeders do continue to produce litters that include white puppies. Colored coat puppies from mixed white and colored litters, who in some numbers carry the recessive white coat gene, are sold and often used to produce new litters. Further, color-coated sires and bitches that produce white puppies, thus proving they carry the white recessive gene, are used again and again to produce new puppy litters who then carry the white recessive gene forward. White coated puppies, therefore, continue to be reproduced in some numbers, making white the second most common coat color registered in the AKC German Shepherd breed registry. This is why the American Kennel Club continues to register white coat dogs when new white coat German Shepherd owners choose to register their dogs.

In addition to AKC, the other prominent North American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club (UKC) also registers white coat German Shepherd dogs in its German Shepherd Dog breed registry. The UKC is an all-breed performance-dog registry, registering dogs from all the United States and 25 other international countries. The German Shepherd Dog has always been recognized by the UKC as a breed that includes white coats as well as various colored coats.

The UKC breed standard for the German Shepherd Dog states in part, “the German Shepherd Dog comes in many colors and white. Regardless of coat color, the dog’s nose, lips, and eye rims must have dark pigment.” White-coat German Shepherd Dogs are qualified to compete equally in all 12,000 annually licensed UKC events including conformation shows, tests of herding and working ability, and other performance events in which those dogs can prove their instincts and heritage.

White German Shepherds can show in conformation events in a variety of other clubs too, including the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA), the International All-Breed Canine Association (IABCA), the National Canine Association (NCA), and the Canine Kennel Club (CKC). The WGSDCA awards championship points based on wins in many, but not all, of these clubs.

"Pure" White Shepherd Breed Clubs Are Founded in North America

Even though the UKC fully accepts white-coated German Shepherd Dogs, many original North American supporters of a unified white/colored breed standard have determined the German Shepherd Dog Clubs and Kennel Clubs of America and Canada are on an unalterable path to discredit and eradicate the white-coated German Shepherd Dog. Many white Shepherd supporters had already given up their efforts to promote a unified white/colored breed by 1998 when the German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada finally won its 30-year campaign to have the white-coated dogs expelled from Canadian Kennel Club sanctioned Conformation Dog Shows. (Like the AKC, the CKC continues to register white Shepherds in their German Shepherd Dog breed registry and allow White German Shepherd Dogs to show in AKC’s obedience show rings and compete in AKC tracking, herding, and temperament trial events.) This disenfranchised group of White German Shepherd supporters decided the White Shepherd could find acceptance only through its own separate breed recognition and registration. Their resolve for a separate White Shepherd breed registration has only strengthened as the German Shepherd Dog Clubs of America and Canada have continued pressure on the Kennel Clubs of each country to stop registering white-coat dogs as members of German Shepherds Dog breed.

During the late 1990’s the American White Shepherd Association (AWSA) organized in the United States and the White Shepherd Club of Canada (WSCC) reorganized in Canada to advance the interests of purebred White Shepherds as a separate and distinct breed of working and herding dog. The WSCC first organized in 1971 and for twenty years worked to reunify white and colored dogs under one breed standard. Early in 1995 the WSCC abandoned its unified breed standard efforts and organized to promote the separate White Shepherd breed standard. The U.S. and Canadian clubs then petitioned the AKC and CKC to recognize the white-coated dog as a separate White Shepherd breed, but as of January 2007 neither kennel has approved the petitions. In 1999 the United White Shepherd Club (UWSC) organized as a United Kennel Club affiliate and immediately petitioned for a new UKC White Shepherd breed classification.

The UKC accepted the UWSC‘s petition and created a new and separate White Shepherd breed conformation standard and registry. The UKC now recognizes both the new White Shepherd breed standard as well as the original German Shepherd Dog breed conformation standard where white and colored dogs continue to be considered together as one breed. The UKC’s decision to register White Shepherd Dogs and White German Shepherd Dogs in separate breed registries is an acknowledgement of the two main truths articulated by breed unification and breed separation advocates: The recessive gene for white coats will continue to circulate in the colored German Shepherd Dog breed gene pool and increasing numbers of White Shepherd breeders worldwide are rapidly refining and expanding a distinct breed line of White Shepherd dogs.

Since the early 1990’s White Shepherd breeders affiliated with AWSA, WSCC and UWSC have continually paired and repaired only white-coated German Shepherd Dog sires and bitches for several generations to breed what is today considered a "pure" White Shepherd breed. Using Stephanitz’s original German Shepherd Dog standard, breeders have successfully founded a North American White Shepherd breed that closely resembles Stephanitz’s vision of an ideal Shepherd Dog, similar in conformation to German Shepherd Dog breed progenitor white-coated Greif von Sparwasser and early White German Shepherd Dog Berno v.d. Seewiese depicted in Stephanitz’s 1921 book. (Even so, it is a genetic reality that the DNA coding for German Shepherd Dog colored coats will continue to circulate in the "pure" White Shepherd breed gene pool just white coat genes continue to circulate in the colored German Shepherd Dog breed gene pool.) As with WGSDCII and WGSDCA these clubs also promote and organize conformation dog shows and advocate that associated breeders and owners participate in obedience training and working trials such as are supported by the Kennel Clubs. Schutzhund training is popular among European White Shepherd clubs, but interest in American Schutzhund is now budding among some North American White Shepherd owners.

White Shepherd Breed Clubs Founded in Europe

Notably, the new White Shepherd breed has been readily adopted in many countries around the world. White German Shepherd Dogs and White Shepherd Dogs have become increasingly popular throughout Europe and other parts of the world. Many European breeders have imported North American White Shepherd dogs, some originally registered as AKC or CKC White German Shepherd Dogs, to build their own separate pure White Shepherd breeding programs. Today, European populations of the white dog, along both the White German Shepherd Dog and "separate" White Shepherd breed lines (,but increasingly along the "separate" White Shepherd breed line over successive breeding generations) have grown quite large. It must be noted too that a few small lines of white German Shepherd Dogs (still recognized by that name by the breeders and owners) remain in Germany and Holland that trace their heritage directly to the white German Shepherd Dogs of the early 1900s, even though they have not enjoyed registration by the SV since 1933.

Since June 1991, White Shepherd dogs have been registered as a separate breed with the Swiss Stud Book. Lobo White Burch, born in May 1966 and registered with the American Kennel Club, is considered the progenitor of the White Shepherd breed in Switzerland. Ms. Agathe Burch brought Lobo at the age of four years and imported him to Switzerland from America in 1970. In 1973 Lobo was bred to English registered white German Shepherd Dog, White Lilac Blinkbonny, who had been imported to Switzerland from England. Their offspring were registered with the Swiss Kennel Club (SKC) under Ms. Burch's Shangrila kennel prefix in 1973. The SKC officially recognized the White Shepherd as a separate breed name 1991 due to Ms. Burch's pioneering efforts. Kurt Kron acquired Lobo and continued breeding White Shepherd when Ms. Burch returned to America.

Now, one or more White Shepherd dog breed clubs have organized in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Hungary, Czech Republic, the U.K, Slovenia, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Holland. As of January 2007, White Shepherd clubs in several countries including Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Germany, France, Cech Rep., Slovakia, and Denmark have associated with a parent club named Berger Blanc International. In the year 2002 Berger Blanc International petitioned the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) (English translation, World Canine Federation) to recognize the White Shepherd as a new and separate breed. The FCI accepted the petition as of 01 January 2003 and now recognizes the White Shepherd breed as the "Berger Blanc Suisse" under as standard number 347. The FCI named the White Shepherd (Berger Blanc) breed 'Suisse' because the Swiss Kennel Club (SKC) was the first to register the breed separately from GSDs.

White Shepherd Breed Clubs Founded in Australia and New Zealand

The White German Shepherd Dog and White Shepherd history in Australia is similar the their histories in Canada. The Australian National Kennel Council list white coats a fault in its German Shepherd Dog breed standard in 1994 and stopped registering white-coated German Shepherd Dogs in 1995. White German Shepherd Dog breed and White Swiss Shepherd Dog breed clubs in Australia include: The White German Shepherd Dog Club of Victoria (WGSDCV) and The White Swiss Shepherd Dog Club of Australia Inc (WSSDCA). The latest group in Australia being United White Shepherds of Australia (UWSA, formed to bridge the divide and bring our white coated dogs under the same banner, utilising a breed standard that best represents our Australian White Shepherds. The White Shepherd Dog Club of New Zealand also protects and promotes the white dog.

Wire Fox Terrier /
Fox Terrier (Wire)

The Wire Fox Terrier is a breed of dog, one of many terrier breeds. It is an instantly recognizable fox terrier breed. Although it bears a resemblance to the Smooth Fox Terrier, they are believed to have been developed separately.


Fox Terrier as family dog
Fox Terrier as family dog

This is a sturdy, balanced dog weighing up to 21 pounds. Its rough, broken coat is distinctive. The coat color consists of white base with brown markings of the face and ears, and usually a black saddle; there may be other black brown markings on the body.


The Wire-Haired Fox Terrier was developed in England by fox hunting enthusiasts and is believed descended from a now-extinct rough-coated, black-and-tan working terrier of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham. The breed was also believed to have been bred to chase foxes into their burrows underground, and their short, strong, usually docked, tails were used handles by the hunter to pull them back out.

Although it is said Queen Victoria owned one, the Wire-Haired Fox Terrier was not popular as a family pet until the 1930s, when The Thin Man series of feature films was created. Asta, the canine member of the Charles family, was a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier, and the popularity of the breed soared. Milou (Snowy) from The Adventures of Tintin comic strip is also a wire-haired Fox Terrier.

In the late 20th century, the popularity of the breed declined again, most likely due to changing living conditions in the Western world and the difficulty of keeping hunting terriers in cities due to their strong instincts. Among the less desirable traits of all fox terriers are their energy, digging, stalking and chasing of other animals, and yelping bark.

This notwithstanding, the Wire Fox Terrier has the distinction of having received more Best in Show titles at major conformation shows than any other breed.Wire-Haired Fox Terriers kept as pets show the loyalty, intelligence, and breeding befitting such a storied breed.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a gundog developed by Eduard Karel Korthals in 1873.[1] It is Dutch in origin, but is regarded as a French breed because a major portion of the breed's development took place in France.

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is particularly adapted for swampy country, where its harsh coat is excellent protection.

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a superb swimmer and retriever and it loves to play in the water.

Griffons are known as intelligent, extremely eager to please, friendly dogs. They are also known for their slightly less excitable temperament when not in the field.