While still under development, fans of the old-style German Shepherd are sure to love the beautiful Shiloh Shepherd. Getting back to their German roots, the Shiloh Shepherd is bred to achieve a loyal companion canine with a straighter back and less hip problems than the modern-day German Shepherd Dog.
Shiloh Shepherd History
First bred by Tina M. Barber of New Zion Shiloh Shepherds, in New York, this beautiful and noble breed of dog was developed in the hopes of preserving the type of large and loyal Shepherd dogs that she remembered from her childhood in Germany. Sound of body, highly intelligent, and quickly establishing themselves as excellent family companions, the Shiloh Shepherd was first made his appearance in 1974. Today, he remains a rare breed, though he is steadily gaining popularity amongst those who prefer what many refer to as “old style German Shepherd Dogs.”
While it was four main strains of Shepherd dog used to originate the Shiloh Shepherd, an outcrossing program has been introduced, which prevents this rare breed from suffering due to a small gene pool, as well as adding hybrid vigor and further strengthening the hips of these magnificent dogs. Some outcrosses have included the Malamute, the American Shepherd, and the German Alt Deutscher Schaeferhund.
While there are several different organizations that lay claim to the Shiloh Shepherd, it’s important to ensure that your Shiloh Shepherd comes from EXCLUSIVELY ISSR registered dogs – while some non-ISSR breeders may claim Shiloh foundation stock, they often resort to using German Shepherd dogs in their breeding program, which puts this rare breed at serious risk.
Shiloh Shepherd Appearance
The Shiloh Shepherd resembles what many refer to as an old-style German Shepherd. Larger in size than the modern day German Shepherd dog, he possesses many of the traits that most imagine when thinking of a Shepherd, but he has a straighter back and more sound form than the modern German Shepherd Dog. In fact, there are far fewer cases of hip dysplasia in the Shiloh Shepherd than there are in the German Shepherd.
Shiloh Shepherds have two distinct coat types: the smooth, also known as the double coat, and the longer plush coat. They come in a wide variety of colors, ranging from solid black and white to beautiful shades like golden tan, black sable and silver. All coat colors should be vibrant and striking. Limited white markings on the chest or toes are permissible.
Shiloh Shepherd Temperament
The Shiloh Shepherd is known for his soundness of mind, as well as that of the body. Making outstanding family companions, they are gentle with children, regal in bearing and exceptionally intelligent.
Shiloh Shepherd Exercise Info
While Shilohs don’t require as much exercise as some of the other high energy breeds, proper exercise is essential to his health as well as his mental well-being. The Shiloh Shepherd loves to play and run, and will certainly appreciate his own fenced in back yard or frequent trips to the dog park.
Shiloh Shepherd Grooming Info
While both varieties of the Shiloh Shepherd can be heavy shedders, the smooth coated variety does not require as frequent brushings as dogs with a plush coat will need. Should you choose a plush coated Shiloh Shepherd, please note that they will require a good weekly brushing to remove dead hair and dander from his skin.
Shiloh Shepherd Training Info
The Shiloh is known for his exceptional intelligence and easy trainability – however, there are always the exceptions. Shiloh Shepherds respond best to patience and consistency, as well as positive reinforcement. When your Shiloh Shepherd puppy acts in the manner that you wish – be sure to praise him for it. In no time, he’s sure to understand that this is the behavior you expect of him. Shilohs love to make their humans happy!
Shiloh Shepherd Health Info
As with many modern-day breeds of dogs, there are a variety of hereditary conditions that may affect your pet. These are not limited to, but may include the following:
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth syndrome
Hip dysplasia is less common than in the German Shepherd dog but may still occur
Shiloh Shepherd Right Breed Info
For fans of the old or traditional style German Shepherd, as well as those who can appreciate this fine dog for who he is, the Shiloh Shepherd is an excellent addition to almost any family. Provided they are properly socialized, these are loyal and loving family dogs who get along well with both other animals and other canines. However, the Shiloh isn’t for everyone.
Keep in mind that the Shiloh Shepherd does require a good amount of daily exercise and that, being a large breed of dog, he requires more food and more space. This breed can also shed a great deal, so they are not for someone seeking a non-shedding canine companion. If you don’t mind a little dog hair, however, the Shiloh Shepherd may be the perfect dog for you!
More Information about the Shiloh Shepherd Dog Breed