Questions and Answers about White GSDs
Are white German Shepherds albinos?
NO. Albino, as defined by Webster's Dictionary is "an organism exhibiting deficient pirmentation; . . . and usually has a milky, translucent skin, white or colorless hair and eyes with pink or blue iris and deep-red pupil." The dark pointed white German Shepherd Dog possesses pink to black skin and eyes which can range in color from a gold to a very dark brown and should not be confused with an albino. Other white coated breeds, such as the Samoyed, the Great Pyrenese, the Kuvasz, and many others, also possess white coats and are not albinos.
How does the white German Shepherd differ from the standard colored German Shepherd?
Other than color, the white German Shepherd should be considered identical to the standard colored German Shepherd. Color does not affect the dog's physical structure, personality, temperament or trainability. According to von Stephanitz, the father of the breed, there is no bad color of a German Shepherd Dog.
Are white German Shepherds AKC (American Kennel Club) or CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) registerable?
Yes. If both of the parents (regardless of color) are registered with the AKC or CKC as German Shepherds, then any resulting puppy would be fully registerable as a German Shepherd Dog. While the white dogs can no longer compete in the breed (conformation) ring in AKC or CKC, they are fully eligible to compete in any and all performance events sponsored by either registry. Neither AKC nor CKC restrict registration of a German Shepherd Dog based on its color.
Are white German Shepherds registerable with UKC (United Kennel Club) as German Shepherd Dogs?
Yes. While UKC has recently approved a new breed of dog called the "White Shepherd," your white German Shepherd Dog may still be registered as a German Shepherd Dog with UKC and may be shown in the conformation ring as a German Shepherd Dog. It is not necessary (nor is it desired) that you register your AKC white GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG with any registry as anything other than the breed it is -- a German Shepherd Dog. An interesting note, while holding UKC registration as a "White Shepherd," most (if not all) "White Shepherds" are also registered with the American Kennel Club as German Shepherd Dogs. Confusing? Yes, most definitely. Be aware that there is a different breed standard for the "White Shepherds," and if you are interested in owning a white GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG, please make sure that any dog you purchase is registered with both AKC and UKC as a GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG. ASK QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU PURCHASE -- THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.
Can white German Shepherds be shown in conformation competitions?
Yes and No. As of 1968, when the German Shepherd Dog Club of America changed its breed standard to list the color white as a disqualifying fault, the white German Shepherd has been disqualified from the AKC breed (conformation) ring. In the CKC breed ring, whites can still be shown; however, the color white is considered "less desirable." In shows and matches sponsored by the White German Shepherd Dog Club International, Inc.™ and the White German Shepherd Dog Club of America (although this club requires you to be a member to show), a white German Shepherd may be shown in the conformation ring. Shows and matches are held all over the United States by Chapters of the national club. A white GSD can earn points towards its WGSDCII Championship at WGSDCII™ sanctioned shows. A dog must earn 15 points to become a Champion. The point scale is similar to the one used by AKC in determining a breed championship. Your white GSD can also be shown in the conformation ring with the American Rare Breed Association, the United Kennel Club and the International All-Breed Canine Association of America.
See Opportunities to show your white GSD
The WGSDCII™ National Specialty Show is held in June of each year in a different part of the country. It is truly amazing to attend a national specialty and see so many white German Shepherd Dogs in the same place at the same time!
Can white German Shepherds be shown in AKC obedience trials?
Yes. As a registered German Shepherd Dog, a white GSD is fully eligible to compete in obedience trials, tracking trials, temperament tests, herding events, and any events sponsored by AKC for German Shepherd Dogs. White GSDs have continued to be shown successfully in all phases of obedience work despite discrimination against them in the breed ring. In 1968, a white German Shepherd, Frau Kim Von Weisshund, U.D., was the top obedience German Shepherd in the country. Other white dogs have placed among the top obedience German Shepherds in the country over the years.
Since white is a disqualifying color under the German Shepherd Dog standard, why would I want to own one?
As with any German Shepherd, responsible ownership is called for. However, once you have chosen the German Shepherd as your breed, unless you are specifically purchasing your German Shepherd Dog for AKC conformation competition, there is no reason not to own a white. As stated herein, the white German Shepherd is fully eligible for AKC and CKC registration and for all AKC and CKC obedience competitions and awards. The color of your dog is a matter of personal preference. Many people who are not influenced by the prejudice against the white coated dog would actually choose a white dog for its sheer beauty and presence.
You will find that white German Shepherd owners are active in many phases of the dog world, including obedience clubs and all levels of obedience competition, judging, stewarding, and conformation showing of other breeds as well as conformation showing within the White German Shepherd Dog Club. The support and comradery among white German Shepherd owners is stronger than that among many of the more widely accepted breeds.
My dog's nose turns lighter (or pink) in the cold. Is he sick?
No. A "snow-nose" (fading of nose pignemt caused by seasonal changes) is common among lighter coated breeds, including the white German Shepherd. Sometimes (although it has never been scientifically proven) dogs who drink and eat from plastic dishes and bowls tend to have lighter noses and removing the plastic may help restore the pigment.
||A blue-eyed "albino" German Shepherd????
In the movie "The Cell" starring Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn; directed by Tarsem there is a dog featured who appears to be an "albino GSD" with blue eyes. The movie is the story of a child therapist who is given the opportunity to explore the mind of a comatose serial killer -- who owns the "albino GSD" -- in the hopes that by understanding his thought patterns, she will discover the location of the most recent victim before it is too late.
A member of the WGSDCII™ contacted the animal supplier to "The Cell" and was informed that the dog used in the film was a German Shepherd/Husky mix (similar to the picture to the left), not a purebred. There was also a white puppy used in the movie -- that was a white GSD.