The history of this beautiful breed - short version.
The white shepherd could develop as an independent breed from his ancestors, the German shepherd, from which he was disowned in America and Canada. The first white shepherd was imported into Switzerland in the early 70s. The American stud Lobo, born on March 5, 1966 may be considered the progenitor of the breed in Switzerland. The offspring of this dog, and other dogs imported from the United States and Canada, made the White Shepherd further spread throughout Europe, where now large numbers are representing the breed with already pure bred generations.
Therefore they have been in the provisional register (SHSB) in Switzerland as new breed since June 1991.
Since January 1st 2003 they are recognized and recorded by the FCI.
Despite the fact that the White Swiss Shepherd is not so well known in the Netherlands and Belgium, the history of this breed goes back a long time.
As early as 116 BC. Marcus Terrentius Varro, a Roman historian, described the white shepherd dogs.
They guarded the flock from wolves. The shepherds preferred white dogs because their white coats were to distinguish from the wolves, which are usually attacked at sundown.
The White Swiss Shepherd is descended from the German shepherd. The first White Shepherd on a show was male Greif, born in 1879. He was showed in Hanover in 1882 and in 1887.
Two white shepherds who appeared on a show in the same time, were the bitch Greifa in 1888 in Hamburg and the male Grief II in Kassel. The breeder of these three dogs was Baron von Knigge. The breeder Friedrich Sparwasser had a sable bitch, named Lotte. the Bitch Lene was born from the litter from Lotte. Her coat color is unknown. Lene was mated to Kastor and from this litter the famous dog Hektor Linksrhein was born. In 1899 Hektor was noted by the German shepherd fanatics Arthur Meyer and Calvary captain Max. eE. Von Stephanitz during a show in Karlsruhe. They were lost. Von Stephanitz bought Hektor and named him Horand von Grafraht.
Horand was the first dog registered in the new breeders book in April 1899 which was established by the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV) He is the ancestor of all German shepherds. And Horands grandfather was white Greif. Horands brother, called Luchs, was also a big hand in building the breed and passed on the white gene to a big part of his offspring. Horands son, the famous Champion von Schwaben continued the white line and one of his sons, Berno v.d. Seewiese, born in 1913, was the first white German shepherd registered in the SV-breeders book.
In 1912, Ann Tracy from New York imported a German Shepherd from one of the leading kennels. Immediately one white puppy after another was born in her kennel. In 1917 the American Kennel Club registered the first white puppies from Tracy's kennel.
By increasing popularity of white shepherds difficulties arose in 1960 between the White Shepherd Breeders and the classic German Shepherd Breeders.
Genetic disorders in the bloodlines of the German shepherd were blamed on the white shepherd. They also thought the Whites were responsible for the fading of the coat of the German shepherd. This was wrong, because the White Shepherd has an excellent black pigment too.
At this time Germany began a campaign to banish the white shepherd too, and in 1968 the American Kennel Club disqualified, in cooperation with the German shepherd club, all the White Shepherd at a show.
The white shepherd was still registered at the American Kennel Club though.
In 1970 white shepherd lovers across America, started the White German Shepherd Club. After America, the breed started to spread to Canada and Mexico. In the early eighties the breed came back to Europe and they could start building up the breed againin Germany. At that time in the Netherlands imported dogs from Germany and Canada.
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