The Berger Blanc Suisse, or White Swiss Shepherd, is a newly recognized breed recognized throughout Europe by the FCI. In the United States, this breed is very rare and is not yet recognized by the AKC. Many people will say that they grew up with a “White Shepherd” or have seen them before. While Berger Blanc Suisse (BBS) are related to White Shepherds, this new breed has some differences that we discuss in detail in our blog: Berger Blanc Suisse vs White German Shepherd vs White Shepherd.
Size: BBS are similar in size to a German Shephard. Females are 60 to 75 pounds and males range from 75 to 100 pounds.
Grooming: BBS dogs shed similar to a German Shepherd. They do not require much grooming; once per week brushing will keep them looking clean and white. Many people wonder if the white coat requires frequent bathing; it turns out that their coat is very dirt resistant. If a BBS rolls in mud, for instance, once dry the coat can be brushed out and will look great. Most BBS dogs like water so a quick swim does wonders.
Temperament: The breed is social and outgoing and does well with children and other animals (small and large). The breed tends to be sensitive and is very in-tune with their owners making them is excellent for service and therapy work. A Berger Blanc Suisse is very intelligent and eager to please making it one of the easiest breeds to train.
Protection: Because the dogs are large and will bark when a stranger approaches, they will provide you with some security. Unlike German Shepherds, they are not bred for protection and are considerably less aggressive. If you are looking for a guard or protection dog, this is probably not the breed for you.
Energy Level & Health: In contrast to German Shepherds, the Berger Blanc Suisse is characterized by medium to low energy levels and a lower prey drive (less likely to chase). The breed is a good fit as a family dog. While the BBS certainly enjoys rigorous exercise and playtime, it will also tend to be content laying quietly for long periods. As with any breed, the key to your dog’s health will be the quality of the breeder and the breeding program. Make sure to look for a breeder that does key health checks, including full genetic testing on the parents and who feeds high-quality food and socializes the puppies.
Many people wonder whether this breed has hip problems. Because the breed standard requires a naturally angled back, in my experience the Berger Blanc Suisse does not tend to have as many problems as many large breeds do with hips. In general, all Shepherds tend to have a more sensitive digestive system than other breeds. If you feed them good quality food, consistently, this should not be a problem, but they do not do as well with table scraps and frequent food changes. The average lifespan is 12 to 14 years.
What makes them happy? The Berger Blanc Suisse is very loyal and family-oriented and will love most any activity with its family. Because of their attachment to family, the breed does not tend to roam and will stay close to you at home or while on walks. Even though they do well in hot weather, they love the snow and cold weather. Most Berger Blanc Suisse dogs love water and love to play and swim. The dogs enjoy work and will excel at any type of dog sport; agility, tracking, obedience, scent work, herding, and dock jumping. If you are looking for a loyal, friendly family dog or a dog for service and therapy this may be the breed for you. One final consideration, because these dogs are striking, they draw a lot of attention.
You can expect to be greeted with a lot of questions about your dog wherever you go! If you would like to learn more about this breed, go to Dances with Wolves Ranch and check out our puppies at Berger Blanc Suisse Puppies for Sale. We are also on Facebook and Instagram.