==> The Truth about White GSDs?
WHITE German Shepherds
Some people insist that white GSDs are not German Shepherds but instead a distinct dog breed. What do you feel?
In this Periodical:
- Are WHITES German Shepherds?
- How Common are White GSDs?
- Sources for White German Shepherds
Are WHITES German Shepherds?
The first registered German Shepherd Dog ever, Horand v. Grafrath (or before its renaming, Hektor Linksrhein) was a grandson of Greif, a white German Shepherd sire. This is why already the first registered GSD carried the gene for the white coat color.
The white coat gene is recessive, this means both parents must carry the gene for the offspring to have a white coat. And no, white German Shepherds are not albinos.
It also means that any German Shepherd Dog with a different coat color (black, tanbrown, goldbrown, whatever) may well carry this recessive gene and thus have white coat offspring (or cream-colored offspring).
So, unless the (professional or backyard) breeder knows the ancestry (or pedigree) of both the female dog (dam) and the male dog (sire), the breeder may well be surprised by the offspring! - Not only in terms of coat color, but also in terms of overall looks, size, mobility, temperament, and hereditary disorders.
Finally, the fact that the white coat is due to a recessive gene also means it can happen that part of the offspring is say white-coated and some siblings are say black-coated (although this is rare).
By the way, the breed history further proves that GSDs existed long before the first GSD was registered as such (in 1899). In fact German Shepherds existed even before the alleged breed founder, Max v. Stephanitz, was born (in 1864)!
The only reason why v. Stephanitz is credited with being the breed's founder is that:
- he founded a first club for the breed (the SV in Augsburg, Germany)
- he unified the breed's characteristics (and the breeders)
- and he widely publicised and showed the breed in dog shows (made the GSD well-known)
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As always, credit gets the one who is good at marketing his/her efforts - which is why I never got credit.
Horand v. Grafrath then sired many white pups (ie the dam carried the recessive white gene too), as well as many pups of other colors (ie the dam did not carry the recessive white gene) - which nonetheless passed on the gene for the white coat color!
This fact alone shows sufficiently that any later attempts to outlaw the white German Shepherds were frankly ludicrous.
It is like stipulating: "No German is allowed to be of Prussian lineage", or "No American is allowed to be of Irish lineage".
Per Breed Standard
As early as in 1891 v. Stephanitz wrote a first "German Shepherd Breed Standard", which established in terms of coat that GSDs have one of the following coat types:
- short coat (flat harsh short hair)
- long stock coat (flat harsh long hair)
- plush coat ('plush' soft long hair)
Note that neither this first nor v. Stephanitz' later breed standards mention an undercoat.
His first breed standard also established that GSDs have one of the following coat colors:
- red-gold ("red-yellow")
- and each of these either unicolor or patterned
When finally the first SV club-official breed standard was published in 1899, these same coat types and coat colors were adopted.
The Influence of the Nazis