The Shiloh Shepherd is a dog native to the United States. It almost looks like a giant version of the German Shepherd but differs from GSD by its origins of Alaskan Malamute and Yugoslavian Sarplaninac. Larger and heavier, he appears to be a bit slower than a German Shepherd though this does not prevent him from being a working dog.
Photo Credit: andrew leahey /Flickr CC
Height: 26-30 inches (66-76 cm). Weight: 79-130 lbs. (36-59 kg). Lifespan: 9-14 years. Health: average. Temperament: friendly, loyal, trainable, loving.
Shiloh Shepherd’s Personality
Shiloh Shepherd is an intelligent (maybe even more intelligent than GSD), a courageous and self-confident dog breed. He is a good guard, and he will protect those he loves at all costs. On the other hand, he is not aggressive and should not be used as an attack dog.
Are they Good Dogs?
The phrase "man's best friend" is well suited to this breed. Shiloh is a dog full of gentleness and is easily adapted to life in a family. He is loyal, affectionate, and pleasant with children and the elderly. He also behaves well with other pets in the house.
This dog is a good companion even in urban areas, as he does not need large meadows to run in and does not risk to throw himself under the truck wheels. He is outgoing, very playful, and excels in agility and other dog sports.
Are they Easy to Train?
Due to their intelligence, obedience, and willingness to learn, Shilohs respond well to all types of training. They like challenges that match their intelligence and they have a gift of intuition. Shilohs are sometimes trained for search and rescue missions and as therapy dogs.
Appearance (Compared to German Shepherd)
Physically, the Shiloh Shepherd has a powerful but soft appearance. He is taller than GSD, has a more muscular silhouette and wider hips. Despite its large size, Shiloh moves without heaviness and without effort.
Shiloh Shepherd’s height is measuring from 28 to 30 inches (71 to 76 cm) for males and from 26 to 28 inches (66 to 71 cm) for females.
Shiloh Shepherd’s weight is from 99 to 130 lbs. (45 to 59 kg) for males while the female, more modest, reaches between 79 and 99 lbs. (36 and 45 kg).
There are two varieties of hair texture: Smooth Coat that is medium long and Plush Coat that is long. The Smooth Coat variety has a dense and thick undercoat whereas the Plush variety’s undercoat is much softer.
Concerning Shiloh’s Shepherds colors, a wide range is admitted, from typical German Shepherd's coat colors to shades of gray, gold, silver, red, brown, black, white, sand, and bronze. Solid black or solid white are also acceptable.
Shiloh Shepherds have a soft and expressive look that shows the intelligence of the breed. Their eyes are almond-shaped and generally brown (light to dark).
The ears are well spaced, straight, triangular-shaped, and have rounded tips. They are slightly smaller than those of the German Shepherd Dog.
Life Span and Health
The life expectancy of the Shiloh Shepherd is 9 - 14 years.
The breeders are trying hard to breed the healthiest Shiloh dogs possible. Unfortunately, this young breed remains susceptible to many health problems. Most of them are inherited from the German Shepherd ancestors.
Among the main health concerns are hip dysplasia and bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus), a very dangerous (even deadly) condition where the stomach becomes overstretched by gas because of its rotation or twist. Bloat should be treated immediately by a veterinarian.
Russian German Shepherd - another version of GSD
Origin and History
The Shiloh Shepherd Dog is a recent breed that is still under development. This breed was created by Tina Barber in the United States from German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute, and the imposing Sarplaninac (Yugoslav shepherd).
Tina was originally a breeder of GSD who was breeding German shepherds of the "Konigin" type. In the early 1980s, she started to develop a new breed which she called the Shiloh Shepherd. Tina wanted to obtain a dog that would retain the main characteristics of the German Shepherd but lack the downsides of this magnificent breed. She wanted a dog that would not suffer from hip dysplasia (which is very feared among German Shepherds) and that would also have a more supple character.
Later on, Alaskan Malamute's blood was added to the Shiloh breed to reduce the pelvic angle, improve the quality of the bone structure, and limit genetic problems.
The Shiloh Shepherd Dog is not yet recognized by any major dog federation, but it is, however, recognized by American Rare Breed Association (1990) and National Kennel Club.
In 1991, the Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America (SSDCA) was created and then the International Shiloh Shepherd Registry (ISSR) was established as the original registry for Shiloh Shepherds and the only one authorized by the breed founder to maintain the pedigrees of all Shilohs.
Owning a Shiloh Shepherd
Though Shilohs are normally good family members, this breed is not for a first-time dog owner. It is a working dog that needs firm leadership, early socialization, and obedience training.
Shilohs can live in an apartment but they prefer the countryside, where they appreciate open spaces, daily exercises, and playing.
Their maintenance consists mostly of weekly brushing for the Smooth Coat variety and almost daily brushing for the Plush variety. The shedding problem increases in both cases during molting and requires a certain amount of self-sacrifice from the owner.
Shilohs should be fed with a meat-based diet with the possible addition of highly cooked rice, some cereals, and vegetables (carrots and green beans). They adapt well to commercially produced dog food.
Where do I Buy a Shiloh Puppy?
The Shiloh Shepherd dog club of America publishes a frequently updated list of the Licensed Breeders that may offer Shiloh puppies for sale. The Club warns buyers, interested in this breed, that a puppy, bred by someone who is not on the list, is not a real Shiloh Shepherd.
How Much do they Cost?
The regular price of a Shiloh puppy is about $1,000 but it may be higher, depending on the puppy’s parents and condition.
Here is a small video featuring a cute Shiloh puppy.
Shiloh Shepherd is a good dog but you shouldn't forget that this breed is still in development.
You can consider becoming a Shiloh’s owner if you:
- have some experience with large dogs;
- want a bigger dog of the German Shepherd type;
- are not afraid of possible visits to the vet;
- have enough time for training and socializing your pooch;
- are ready to pay $1,000 and more.
You can also consider buying another variant of GSD, which is the Russian German Shepherd.
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