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Intelligence, strength, excellent temperament and looks that will turn heads are what Shiloh Shepherds are known for. If you’ve had your eye on one of these gorgeous pooches, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve got all the answers to questions you might have before you decide to take the plunge and buy one for yourself.
Kick back, relax and read our comprehensive guide to all things Shiloh Shepherd!
Contents & Quick Navigation
#1 I Sure Can Turn Some Heads
We are all familiar with the German Shepherd, but people are often curious about the larger and gentler version of its German counterpart that will have people admiring them for their good looks and charm.
The Shiloh Shepherd is a relatively rare dog, purely down to the fact that many breeders aren’t breeding them yet. Will that change soon? Hopefully.
All Shiloh Shepherds share the same general characteristics. They are huge dogs; males usually weigh between 120 to 160 lbs (54-72 kg) and females are about 100 to 120 lbs (45-54 kg).
They also have a powerful appearance. This includes its skull structure, which has defined cheekbones and a tapered muzzle.
Their tails are plumed and filled with dense fur. Shiloh Shepherds don’t always have the same type of coating or coloration, however. We will discuss this in the next section in more detail.
Not only do these dogs look powerful, but they are also quite hardy and can provide excellent assistance to their human companions. They can carry luggage, backpacks, and sleds because of their strength.
Shiloh Shepherds have also been known to be quite skilled at searching and finding objects. While they make great house pets, you will get the most out of them if you enjoy the great outdoors.
#2 How the Majestic Giant Came to Be
The origins of the Shiloh Shepherd are quite recent. In 1974, a woman by the name of Tina Barber first began to breed these dogs in New York, through the German Shepherd.
She noticed that some German Shepherds were hard for families to handle mainly for temperament and hip dysplasia, so she set out to breed a dog that was loyal, safe, gentle, and also extremely intelligent.
The original crossbreed was a German Shepherd with an Alaskan Malamute. Malamutes are considered very social and friendly dogs and are also very intelligent, strong, and resourceful, most likely due to conditions of their homeland.
This is how the majestic giant was born and made them an excellent companion for the whole family, while still retaining the traits that people loved about the German Shepherd.
There are some varieties and mixes, particularly with their coating, which can either be plush or smooth.
They also come in different colors; there’s pure white Shiloh Shepherds, all black Shiloh Shepherds, and even dark brown, red, golden, silver, and more. Sometimes there can also be a mix of colors.
#3 Who deserves a doggie treat?
Shiloh Shepherds are loving dogs. They make great companions and can be described as gentle and outgoing, and make loyal pets.
A Shiloh Shepherd is an especially good dog for training purposes. These qualities make them perfect for search and rescue jobs, assistive service, herding, and obedience.
They’re also fantastic for families and are great with other pets, making them ideal for most households.
To see the Shiloh Shepherd’s temperament and personality in action, check out this video clip!
#4 TV every night? Think again!
This giant Shiloh will get you off the sofa
The Shiloh developed particular traits through its development with the Alaskan Malamute. A couple of these important attributes are strength and endurance.
These qualities are due to the fact that the Alaskan Malamute is used as a working dog that carries heavy freight and pulls sleds.
Additionally, because of the open environment that the Malamute originates from, they need plenty of mental stimulation, attention, and exercise to stop boredom in its tracks.
These characteristics are also shared with the Shiloh Shepherd.
These dogs require a lot of attention. So, keep in mind, the Shiloh Shepherd will most likely need to enjoy the outdoors through walking or hiking.
Ideally, you should have a spacious backyard as well. If they are not well-entertained, they have the potential to develop behaviors like excessive chewing and continuous barking.
An example of a fun activity that Shilohs enjoy is swimming. If you have a pool, this can be an excellent way to bond with your dog.
#5 Is Caring for a Shiloh a Full-Time Job?
Let’s Get Physical
As we said in the previous section, Shiloh’s need a LOT of exercises and it’s in their nature to be very active.
If it can’t provide the space or attention they need, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise when you come home to damaged property. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Have the Vacuum Cleaner Ready and Waiting
Grooming is vital for the Shiloh Shepherd as they shed – often! Therefore, make it a point to brush this beauty as often as you can.
Make sure you have a vacuum cleaner on hand for when you need to clean up – so be prepared!
Shiloh Shepherds only require a bath a couple of times a year, which is awesome considering the amount of time you will spend vacuuming.
They also need to have their teeth brushed daily, which you are probably not used to as a dog owner. Well, with a Shiloh that’s certainly something you’re going to have to come to grips with!
Are there any Health Concerns with the Shiloh Shepherd?
As with any dogs, Shiloh Shepherds can be prone to health problems, especially ones that affect large dogs.
The Shiloh is exposed to many of the health issues that their ancestors, the German Shepherd, has passed down to them.
One of the main ones is hip dysplasia, and this can require immediate and costly surgery.
Another major problem is bloat, a gastrointestinal issue, which can be deadly for the dog.
However, Shiloh Shepherd breeders have been at work to try and eliminate some of these diseases through genetic selection.
#6 Who’s a Good Boy?
We’ve mentioned a couple of times throughout this article that the Shiloh Shepherd is a dog that is easy to train.
They like to please their owner, but it’s also crucial that you are firm. Teaching your Shiloh to show respect is important, and to do this, you will need to provide firm boundaries.
It’s also vital to train your Shiloh to be sociable from a young age.
Being around different animals, not just dogs, and people will help them learn how to properly greet others and be polite.
#7 What’s up for Grub?
You should feed your Shiloh Shepherd more when they are a puppy than when they are grown up.
We recommend that they get 3 meals per day until they are about 9 months old; some even suggest between 4 and 5 meals per day for a puppy that is 4 to 8 weeks old.
After 9 months, reduce this to twice a day. Even though meals are decreased from when they are puppies, a couple of meals per day is enough to maintain strength and energy.
Avoid giving preserved food to your dog that is filled with chemicals; instead, opt for more natural sources that provide plenty of nutrients.
#8 Battle of the Shepherds: The Gentle and the Robust
While there are obvious similarities between the two, here we’ll tell you about some of the differences between the Shiloh Shepherd vs. German Shepherd.
These both make good pets, but because of their temperaments, Shilohs aren’t as suitable for being used for protection compared to its German counterpart.
However, Shiloh Shepherds are larger than a German Shepherd.When compared to a German Shepherd, Shiloh’s are more square with level backs and their head is more ‘wolfish’ with triangular ears.
German Shepherds are slightly easier to maintain since their coats are shorter and less dense than a Shiloh’s.
#9 In a Nutshell: Basic Characteristics of Shiloh Shepherds
We’ve discussed many of the Shiloh’s features in this article, but this section lays out all the basics for you.
Major characteristics: a large, strong body; a skull with defined cheekbones and a tapered muzzle; plumed tail; plush or soft coating; a variety of coat colorings.
Size and Height: Males are typically a minimum of 28 inches (71 cm), while females are a minimum of 26 inches (66 cm).
Weight: Males weigh in at between 120 to 160 pounds (54 kg to 72 kg) and females weigh between 100 to 120 pounds (45 kg to 54 kg).
Lifespan: A Shiloh can live between 9 to 14 years, similar to the German Shepherd.
#10 Organizations They Are Registered With
Currently, the Shiloh Shepherd is only recognized in certain clubs, like some rare breed organizations where they are listed as mixed-breeds.
The clubs that do recognize the Shiloh Shepherd are as follows:
- International Shiloh Shepherd Alliance (ISSA)
- International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club (ISSDC)
- Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America (SSDCA).
In addition to clubs, Shilohs are registered with:
- International Shiloh Shepherd Registry (ISSR)
- National Kennel Club (NKC)
- National Shiloh Breeder’s Registry (NSBR)
- The Shiloh Shepherd Registry (TSSR)
- Worldwide Shiloh Shepherd Breed Association (WSSBA).
#11 How Much is that Majestic Doggy in the Window?
Prices for this majestic beauty can be hefty. You will most likely need to find a Shiloh Shepherd breeder to purchase one. Expect to pay around $1000 for this dog; sometimes the price can be even higher.
If you’re seriously thinking about getting a Shiloh Shepherd, then perhaps this video of a Shiloh puppy will influence your decision!
So, What’s the Verdict?
Well, from what I can tell, these dogs seem to have it all going for them, except that high price tag that comes with it, as well as the possible health issues.
The other thing that you will need to seriously consider is the fact that they require a LOT of exercises and you’ll have to be in it for the long haul.
They also need a lot of maintenance and you’ll be vacuuming as well as giving them never-ending attention. If you’re up for that, then they will be perfect for you.
These dogs are also extremely loving and are a fantastic choice for families due to their temperaments and they’re great with other pets too.
So if they fit the bill and you’re ready to make that purchase look for a breeder or rescue center near you where you can find a Shiloh Shepherd puppy or older dog.
What do you think? Would you spend that kind of money on a giant ball of fur that’s great with families but requires a lot of exercise and maintenance or would you go for a dog that’s less labor intensive? Maybe you own a gorgeous Shiloh? Let us know your thoughts below.