The Berger Blanc Suisse is a breed of dog from Switzerland. It is of the same origins as the White Shepherd and the German Shepherd Dog, and has been recognized as a separate breed by the FCI.
Berger Blanc Suisse, also known as the White Swiss Shepherd, share the same ancestry with the German Shepherd. The first German Shepherd registered was Horand von Grafrath in 1899. The grandfather of this first German Shepherd was an all white shepherd named Greif. German Shepherds were originally used by shepherds for herding cattle and sheep. Historically, white shepherds were highly valued because they were easily distinguished from wolves in the field. However, during the early 20th century darker color shepherds became popular and white shepherds were falsely blamed for color dilution and excluded from the breed. The dogs were largely wiped out in Europe. In 1970, the first White German Shepherd Club was formed in America and Canada. The first traceable stud to return to Europe, Lobo, came from America and the breed began to grow in popularity throughout Europe and was known as the American Canadian Shepherd. In November, 2002, FCI granted official recognition to these dogs as a separate breed, Berger Blanc Suisse.
Most Berger Blanc Suisse dogs are gentle, very intelligent and learn easily. They are loyal to their family and may be wary around strangers, but are not to show shy or fearful behavior. Some people think the Arctic wolf was mixed with the breed to create its caution, however this is not true. The Berger Blanc Suisse breed derived from decades of evolution to a distinct breed type from the German Shepherd Dog. The Berger Blanc Suisse are suited for a variety of services to man from search and rescue to medical alert to therapy. They are also structured and have temperaments to succeed at performance events such as: obedience, rally, agility, lure coursing, barn hunt (ratting), protection sports, dock diving, fly ball, truffling, and other scent/tracking oriented training. They are natural herders, can cart, and are very well suited as an all around utility farm dog.
Because Berger Blanc Suisse descended from the German Shepherd, it has almost the same physical standards, except the color of its coat and its more natural hip angulation. The dog is slightly longer than it is tall, with a pure white coat and erect ears. The skull and muzzle of the dog are equal in length, parallel to one another and join at a moderate stop. The coat is slightly longer and heavier at the neck, especially in males. The ideal color of the coat is as white as possible, with dark pigmentation on the nose, eye rims, nails, etc. The outer coat can be short or long but always has a weather-resistant undercoat.
Berger Blanc Suisse can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Berger Blanc Suisse exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.