Breed Standard

Approved September 1997

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The first impression of a good white German Shepherd Dog is that of a strong, agile, well-muscled animal. It is well balanced, 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.

PERSONALITY: The White German Shepherd Dog 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. 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 deficiencies in character which indicate shyness must be penalized as very serious faults and any dog exhibiting pronounced indications of these must be excused from the ring. It must be possible for the Judge to check the teeth and to determine that both testicles are descended. Disqualification: Any dog that attempts to bite the Judge.

SIZE AND PROPORTION: The preferred height for Males – 24 to 26 inches; Bitches – 22 to 24 inches at the highest point of the withers. The length is measured from the point of the sternum or breastbone to the rear edge of the pelvis, the ischial tuberosity, with the most desirable proportion being 10 to 8.5.

HEAD: The head is noble, cleanly chiseled, strong, not fine, and in proportion to the body. The head of the male is distinctly masculine, and that of the bitch distinctly feminine. Seen from the front, the forehead is moderately arched, and the skull slopes (without abrupt stop) into the long, wedge-shaped muzzle. The muzzle’s topline is parallel to the topline of the skull.

EYES: Dark as possible, medium sized, almond-shaped, set a little obliquely and not protruding. Black eyelids are to be preferred. Light eyes, yellow eyes (wolf eyes) are to be considered a fault. Disqualification: Pink or blue eyes

EARS: 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. Disqualification: Cropped or hanging ears.

NOSE: Total Black is preferred. But brown or pink streaked is acceptable. Color of nose may change with estrus, cold weather and age. Disqualification: A nose totally lacking in any pigment

TEETH: 42 in number; 20 upper and 22 lower, with complete dentition being preferred. Strongly developed with 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 level bite is undesirable. Any missing teeth, other than the first premolars, is a serious fault. Black lips are to be preferred. Disqualification: Undershot jaw.

NECK: The neck is strong and muscular, clean-cut and relatively long, proportionate in size to the head and without loose skin. When the dog is at attention or excited, the head is raised and the neck carried high. When in motion, carriage of the head is forward rather than high and slightly above top of the shoulders.

TOPLINE: The withers are higher than and sloping into a level back. The back is straight, very strongly developed without sag or roach, and relatively short. 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 and length of withers and hindquarter, viewed from the side. The loin, viewed from above, is broad, strong and short, lacking undue length between the last rib and the thigh. The croup should be long with gradual sloping.

CHEST: Commencing at the pro sternum, it 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 sternum showing ahead of the shoulder profile.

RIBS: Well-sprung and long, neither barreled, too flat nor too round, 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 carried well back so that the loin is relatively short. Abdomen firmly held and not paunchy with only moderate tuck up in the loin.

TAIL: Bushy, with the last vertebrae extended at least to the hock joint. It is set smoothly into the croup and low rather than high. At rest, the tail may hang in a slight curve like a sabre. When the dog is excited or in motion, the curve maybe 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. Disqualifications: Docked tail

FOREQUARTERS: The shoulder blades are long and obliquely angled, laid on flat 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 angulated at approximately a 25 degree angle.

FEET: The feet are short, compact, with toes well arched, pads thick and firm, nails short and preferably dark. Black pads are to be preferred. Dew claws on the forelegs are normally left on but are removed from the rear legs.

HINDQUARTERS: The whole assembly of the thigh, viewed from the side, is broad, 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.

COAT: Double coat of medium length. The outer coat should be as dense as possible with hair straight, harsh and lying close to the body. A slightly wavy outer coat, often of wiry texture, is permissible. The head, ears, fore face, legs and paws are covered with short hair. The neck and rear of the forelegs and hind legs have somewhat longer hair extending to the pastern and hock, respectively. Faults in coat include soft, silky, woolly, curly, too long and open coat.

COLOR: The White German Shepherd Dog is a herding dog. Therefore, structure and movement should be considered of more importance than color and pigment alone. Colors: White or white with biscuit.

GAIT: The White German Shepherd Dog is a trotting dog with a gait that is outreaching, elastic, seemingly without effort, smooth and rhythmic, covering the maximum ground with the minimum number of steps. The feet travel close to the ground on both forward reach and backward push. 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 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 crabwise with the dog’s body sideways out of the normal straight line.

TRANSMISSION: The typical smooth, flowing gait is maintained with great strength and firmness of back. The whole effort of the hindquarter is transmitted to the forequarter through the loin, back and withers. At a full trot, the back must remain firm and level without sway, roll, whip or roach. Unlevel topline with the withers lower than the hip is a fault. To compensate for the forward motion impaired by the hindquarters, the shoulder should open to its full extent. The forelegs should reach out close to the ground in a long stride in harmony with that of the hindquarters. The dog does not track on widely separated parallel lines, but brings the feet inward toward the middle line of the body when trotting, in order to maintain balance. The feet track closely but do not strike or cross over. Viewed from the front, the front legs function from the 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. Faults of gait, whether from front, rear or side, are to be considered very serious faults.

CONSIDERED FAULTS: Any deviation from the standard

Cropped or hanging ears
Undershot Bite
cryptorchid or monorchid male
Docked Tail
Pink or blue eyes
Noses lacking pigment
Any dog unable to be examined by Judge whether too shy or too aggressive (i.e. attempting to bite the Judge)