The Shiloh Shepherd breed is often advertised as the perfect one for literally anyone who searches for easy-going and calm dogs. However, that’s not necessarily true. Due to their size, they need a lot of space and physical activity. Thus, before adopting a Shiloh, you should  analyze whether you can provide it with the appropriate conditions.

Shiloh Shepherd – race description

Developed in the eighties, Shiloh Shepherd dogs were bred through crossing German Shepherds with various different races. As opposed to German Shepherds, Shiloh dogs belong to the giant class. Since the nineties, Shiloh Shepherd dogs have been considered a separate breed in the USA. However, the International Canine Federation has not yet accepted it as a registered breed.

Even though not recognized by the FCI, it stays under the control of the International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club which keeps an eye on the breed standard. Registered Shiloh Shepherd breeders are obliged to follow the regulations issued by the club.

Shiloh Shepherd – fur and color

The colors of Shiloh’s fur resemble those of the German Shepherd. The two dominating ones are black and brown. The latter can have a broad spectrum, from golden amber, through brass, to coffee-and-milk shades. Some dogs have a white spot on their chests, but such is not always the case. Sometimes the Shiloh breed also has silver hair. The two main shades blend into each other in a unique manner, creating a beautiful effect. Each dog’s coat is one of a kind.

The fur of a Shiloh Shepherd dog can have two different textures. The first one is smooth, while the other one – plush. The length of hair varies depending on the body area. On the head, feet, and legs, the Shiloh Shepherds fur is much shorter than in the other parts of its body.

The smooth coat type is relatively rough and composed of two layers. The underside adheres to the body and is much thicker than in the case of the plush coated Shiloh Shepherds.

The second coat type, on the other hand, has a very soft undercoat, with longer hair in some parts – particularly in the chest area. You can recognize the plush Shiloh Shepherd dogs by their fluffy head and legs. They look really adorable! However, don’t let that mislead you – the plush coat is still quite rough, even though it doesn’t appear like it.

Shiloh Shepherd – anatomical features

The breed is built quite similarly to the German Shepherds, but it can grow to a much larger size. The head and snout are a beautiful mix of the German and Alaskan Malamute breeds. It’s wide, with strongly developed cheekbones that taper downwards in a smooth manner. The ears are more rounded than in the case of the German Shepherd.

Shiloh Shepherd dogs have beautiful, almond-shaped eyes which are slightly slanted. Their shades vary from dark brown to bright amber.

Shiloh Shepherd – personality

The Shilohs have quite a specific personality profile. Note, however, that just like in the case of any other breed, Shiloh Shepherd dogs may represent a different set of personality features.

There are many aspects that contribute to a dog’s behavioral patterns and its approach towards humans and other animals – including their upbringing and surrounding environment. Some Shilohs may have a strong prey drive while  always staying close to their owners. Others seek independence and don’t like chasing prey at all. Thus, it’s worth getting to know your potential pet before adopting it, so that you know if your personalities resonate with each other. By observing Shiloh Shepherd puppies, breeders can create their personality profiles very early on.

If you have ever had the opportunity to own a German Shepherd or to train it, you have probably noticed that this breed has some tendencies towards impulsive behaviors. Even though they’re brilliant, loyal and loving, the German Shepherds can be impatient and nervous at times. This causes some difficulties during training and interacting with other dogs.

However, Shilohs don’t have that gene. They’ve inherited all the intelligence of the German breed, without that nervousness that their first breeder wanted to eliminate. Shiloh Shepherd dogs tend to be warm, calm, and cheerful. When it comes to interacting with humans, they’re usually tender and loyal. Establishing a bond with them doesn’t take much time due to their natural friendliness.

Shilohs’ curiosity about their surrounding world is astonishing. The Shiloh will be a perfect choice for anybody who is looking for a dedicated companion, craving new adventures every day.

Some people get discouraged when seeing the Shiloh’s impressive size, but you can be sure that their hearts are just as grand. They’re usually the opposite of aggression, but don’t worry – when the time comes, they will protect you with all their power!

Even though they’re generally friendly, Shiloh Shepherd dogs can get quite protective, which is obviously considered to be an advantage. Just like German Shepherds, they’re born protectors. When there is such a necessity, they will defend their territory with an intensity you wouldn’t expect from these fluffy sweethearts.

Shiloh Shepherd – health

Similar to other breeds that fall into the “giant” category, the Shiloh Shepherd may experience some health problems related to its size. The most common dysfunctions appear in their bone structures. When developing the breed, Tina Barber was aiming to resolve the problem of hip dysplasia, symptomatic to the German Shepherds, but it wasn’t entirely eliminated.

These dogs, particularly at an older age, may also suffer from problems with their digestive system. They may suffer from digestive ailments, and in extreme cases – even gastric volvulus. That’s why it’s essential that you pay attention to their diet.

The breed also has some tendencies to suffer from pancreas dysfunctions, particularly pancreatic insufficiency. Since the German Shepherds have a genetic predisposition towards it, the Shilohs are more prone to it too. Chronic or recurrent pancreas inflammation may increase the chances of developing this condition.

Unfortunately, the Shiloh Shepherd does not usually live a very long life. However, if it lives a healthy lifestyle, with plenty of physical activity and a good diet (and much love!), this dog may live up to 15 years.

Shiloh Shepherd – care

These dogs need a lot of love, and if they don’t get enough of it, they’ll be sure to ask for it – quite loudly, most of the time! Howling is in their nature – it’s simply the easiest way for them to ask for some attention. So, instead of getting impatient, it’s better to just pet them for a while.

When it comes to coat care, the Shilohs require much more attention than the other Shepherd breeds. Due to the dense structure of their coat, they need some proper brushing every once in a while. Shiloh Shepherd breeders usually recommend brushing these dogs at least once per week.

What happens if you do it rarer or avoid it altogether? Well, the fur will eventually get extremely knotted. It may even form dreadlocks. Taking care of it then will take twice as much time and effort. It’s better to avoid it – using that dog brush regularly.

You don’t have to bathe the Shiloh Shepherd dog often. Every two or three months is quite enough. Note that the dogs with the smooth hair type need bathing more often, since their undercoat adheres to the body, unlike the plush type’s.

Shiloh Shepherd – feeding

Due to its size, the Shiloh Shepherd eats a little bit more than the German Shepherd. You can feed it either with dry and wet dog food or raw meat and vegetables – as long as you stick to a healthy, balanced diet recommended by professional breeders.

What’s most important, aside from the food quality, is the amount. What are this dog’s daily energy requirements? Considering that the adult Shiloh usually weighs 50-60 kg, it will need at least 2000 calories per day – as much as the average adult woman! To reach that level, it’s worth choosing high-calorie dog food – obviously, while paying attention to its composition. It should be rich not only in proteins, but also fibers, vitamins and microelements which will support the dog’s fragile bone structure.

Shiloh Shepherd – price

The price for a Shiloh Shepherd may vary, depending on where you buy your dog. The most important aspect is to search for registered, reputable breeders who follow the regulations issued by the International Shiloh Shepherd Club. This way, you’ll be sure that the breed standard was kept!

To buy a Shiloh Shepherd puppy, you’ll most likely need to invest around $1000. There are some places where you can find them a little bit cheaper. However, make sure to choose a reliable source. In the US, there are many rescue shelters where you can adopt Shiloh Shepherd puppies and adult dogs. Why buy a dog when you can save one?

Shiloh Shepherd –  breed history

The Shiloh Shepherd breed is a relatively new one it first appeared in the eighties as a result of the efforts of Tina Barber, also known as “MaShiloh”. All her life, Tina dreamt about developing a breed that would basically be an improved version of the German Shepherd. And after years of trying, her wish finally came true. To achieve it, the famous breeder crossed German Shepherds with various other breeds, including Canadian White Shepherd dogs and the Alaskan Malamutes.

That’s how the Shiloh Shepherd – the gentle giant t– was born. The nervousness of the German breed was gone, replaced by calmness and warmth. Tina managed to develop the Shiloh without compromising the incredible intelligence of the German Shepherd. She was amazed by the result – and so was the world, which fell in love with these furry pets. 

Shiloh Shepherds are curious, playful, and easy to train. Their sociability and loyalty have drawn many enthusiasts from all over the world, making the Shiloh Shepherd one of the most sought-after giant breeds! 

Shiloh Shepherd – for whom?

These dogs will be the perfect companions for those who love to hug their pets and give them lots of love! The more of an active life you live, the better – Shilohs will eagerly accompany you in every physical activity, from jogging to biking and even swimming.

Keep in mind, however, that the Shiloh Shepherd needs a lot of space. They shouldn’t have to live in small apartments – it will be an uncomfortable situation, both for them and their owners. The best environment for Shilohs is a house with a big garden, located in the countryside or in the calm suburbs. Your Shiloh will be able to run about freely and safely in such a place!

The Shiloh Shepherd and family life

Shiloh Shepherds are perfect for families, since they’re very friendly towards children. Their protective nature will provide you with a sense of safety.

Shiloh Shepherd – training

Shilohs are one of the most easy-going dogs when it comes to training. Due to their intelligence and patience, they learn new tricks  fast. Getting familiar with each command is a piece of cake for these brilliant dogs.

Some Shiloh Shepherds have a strong sense of independence. Combined with their predatory drive, it may make some walks quite challenging. If your dog pulls the leash, try to guide it away from this behaviour, using their favorite snack. Aggressive methods are counterproductive and not recommended.

Shiloh Shepherd – fun facts

  • The Shiloh German Shepherd was developed by crossing the breeds of the Alaskan Malamute, the German Shepherd, and the Canadian White Shepherd;
  • Despite their impressive size, Shilohs are not the biggest dogs among the Shepherd class – King Shepherds are a bit bigger;
  • “Shiloh” is a name that comes from Hebrew. It can mean either “the peaceful one” or “God’s gift”, both of which perfectly fit this wonderful breed!

As you can see, Shiloh Shepherds are wonderful dogs – perfect for anybody who has enough energy to keep up with theirs! If you’re looking for a fluffy, loving companion, this breed will be a great match for you.