Our new kennel name is: RIVERLAND WHITES
Please note that we have changed our kennel name already a few years ago. I only don't know how to change the name of a website without losing all its content. ;) I really loved the kennel name "Polarbear", because White Shepherd puppies remind me so much of fat cuddly polar bear cubs. Sadly, it was found that a breeder in America is using a similar kennel name, and so we had to change ours. However, our new name is just as good, too, as it refers to the region where we started breeding our beautiful dogs in Australia, and to their prestine white colour. However, we no longer live in the Riverland, but south of Adelaide, on a farm near Aldinga Beach, but I am not going to change the name again, to avoid confusion.
Further news (of 11 August 2015) is that my website provider has informed me that I have reached the maximum capacity of this (free) website and cannot upload any more images. So, to tell you all the breaking news and show you more pictures of our dogs and puppies, I have set up a new website under the name www.whiteshepherds.webs.com. We will continue there!
Pictured: Riverland Whites Enchanted KUKU (born March 2013), our current breeding "bitch" and below her mother ENVY (retired)
Weekend fun on the reef in Aldinga Beach Doggie Christmas Do I really look drunk?
White Shepherd Dogs come basically in 2 coat varieties, shorthair and longhair, but there can be many steps of coat length in between and in case of doubt we say that such in-between dogs have a "glamour coat". The white coat can be purely white or can have some creme/apricot colour (it is not considered a fault) and they should have dark eyes and black noses (while pinkish noses are allowed, too). They have long straight backs and a more sensitive nature than today's black & tan German Shepherds. Further below you will find a few links for you which explain the history of the breed and how it got its new international name - the "White Swiss Shepherd Dog" (Berger Suisse Blanc).
About the breed name - Is it a White GERMAN Shepherd or a White SWISS Shepherd?
All the discussions about the breed name that we have been going through in Australia over the last decade become much more easily understandable when we realise that the FCI itself - the European umbrella organisation for dog breeding clubs, comparable to the Australian ANKC - had not clarified the final rules for the breed recognition until 2011. In summary, the two basic requirements for a dog to be recognised as a White Swiss Shepherd (Berger Suisse Blanc) as opposed to a White German Shepherd and to receive FCI certified papers under the "Swiss" breed name are:
1. The dog must have only white (not black or black&tan) purebred ancestors three generations back in the pedigree.
2. The dog must be presented and judged as to appearance and temperament on a conformation show organised by any of the dog breeder's clubs and associations who are member organisations of the FCI.
The respective national club will then issue a new registration certificate for the dog, expressly stating the breed name "White Swiss Shepherd Dog" in the language of the respective country. The previous pedigree and registration certificate will be collected and kept by the registrar of the recognising national breeders' club. The new registration certificate - if necessary with a certified translation - is then sent to the FCI office in Paris and an FCI certificate is issued, which then in turn will be accepted by the national clubs of most countries in the world under the breed name White Swiss Shepherd. As far as I know, the ANKC (Australian National Kennel Club) is still in the process of discussing the full recognition of the White Swiss Shepherd as an independent breed and our dogs cannot (yet) been shown at ANKC shows. However, the White Swiss Shepherd Dog Club of Australia organises independent shows and get-togethers in all states exclusively for our breed.
Paris, 4th July 2011: FCI approves final recognition of the White Swiss Shepherd as an independent breed
"Paris, 04.07.11: FCI beschließt die endgültige Anerkennung des WSS als eigene Rasse", please see http://www.weisse-schaeferhunde.de/anerkennung.htm (in German).
I fell in love with White Shepherds about 20 years ago. At that time, I was a breeder of Chihuahuas in Germany, and after years of listening to the nervous yelping and yapping of these - admittedly very cute and sweet - mini darlings, I was really longing for having a "Real Dog".
My grandmother in the Czech Republic used to train German Shepherds and Dobermans for the Czech Border Police. She played a big role in my life. I will never forget the image of this slender little lady - bundled in thick protective clothing with a huge padded arm guard - shouting at the dogs to attack her, and then to let go, on command. I had huge respect for those strong and powerful creatures, and I feared them, too. In my eyes, those were the "Real Dogs".
And then, one day, already grown up and a mum of three, I saw this beautiful animal walking on the street: A German Shepherd in WHITE! I couldn't believe my eyes. This was the ultimate beauty, pure elegance, and power. I had never heard of White German Shepherds before, and so I started my research.
What appealed to me most was the realisation that, already for decades, the Whites had been bred according to a different standard than the brown German Shepherds, the so-called "Swiss" breeding standard. This standard included that they no longer needed to be aggressive guard and attack dogs, but gentler characters would be preferred to alter them into kind, friendly and sensitive family companions. There should be no more reason to fear them.
Further, the "Whites" standard said that they should have long, straight backs. As much as I admired the original German Shepherds, I had always found that the short curved backs that the breeders were aiming at, made the dogs look like cripples who seemed unable to carry their own weight on their sickly bent hind legs. That was the only feature in the Browns & Blacks which I really considered *ugly*.
Finally - no more curved back required! And they are allowed to be nice, not nasty. I had found my dream dog.
Almost 20 years ago in Germany, when I started my research, this particular breed was called the "White A.C. Shepherd", with A.C. meaning American-Canadian, because it was our North American friends who collected the white born puppies from German Shepherd breeders in their country, and started a new stunningly beautiful breed according to the healthier "Swiss" standards.
When I left Germany in October 2000, I left my A.C. White Shepherd show dog girl "Celly" behind, to allow her to roam the lushy green pastures of Bavaria and "bath" in the snow in winter time, as she had been used to before, of course supervised by her new owner - and in the company of an excellent White A.C. Shepherd stud boy. Although this decision broke my heart, I found it unacceptable to expose my dog to up to 6 months quarantine detention in a hot and dry Australian camp, without having her family around, as it is required by Australian law. However, I could never forget my "White girl" and I missed her terrribly. And so, as soon as I was able to buy a home in Australia with a big enough backyard for a big and active dog, I aquired "ENVY" from the Coolabah Kennel in Queensland. She really was and still is a dream come true!
Edit (5 July 2015): Meanwhile, our Envy has reached the mature age of 8 years and is still enjoying an excellent health. After she has had 4 litters over the years, she has been spayed and is now a retired watchdog, guard dog and pet for us. She not only protects our many farm animals, but also still looks after her two adult daughters from her last litter in 2013 - Kuku's sister Kelly who was sold as a puppy has just returned to us as a two-year old! The two young bitches are now starting their career as mothers, to pass her genes to next generations of Australian-bred White Shepherds.