The Shiloh Shepherd is a newly-developed breed, which is marked by a calm easy-going nature and outstanding working qualities. This massive dog is also endowed with exceptional intelligence and can be trained to fulfil tasks of many different kinds. Furthermore lots of people have already appreciated it in the role of a family pet.
The Shiloh Shepherd is the product of the work of one single breeder. In 1974 Tina Barber began experimenting with selective breeding in order to create a unique strain of the German Shepherd in her Shiloh Shepherd Kennels. She dreamed to reconstruct the character and conformation of the dog she owned in her childhood. It was a large handsome German Shepherd with a well-balanced disposition and a very sharp mind. Tina had already been a proficient breeder of this breed when she decided to invent her own canine variety by utilising the Thüringer strains for quick-wittedness and the lines of the mountain Shepherds for gentle nature and size.
Officially this young breed was born in 1990 when Tina stopped registering her dogs with the American Kennel Club (AKC) as German Shepherds. Finally it earned recognition of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) under the name of Shiloh Shepherd since the majority of canine fanciers associated this dog with the kennel where it was initially developed. Nonetheless presently the breed’s studbooks are kept by the International Shiloh Shepherd Registry (ISSR) and by the International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Cub (ISSDC) only. Moreover the program called the VIB (Very Important Breeder) was launched with the goal of educating current and prospective breeders of this dog.
The present-day Shiloh Shepherd has all merits of the German Shepherd but lots of its disadvantages were bred out from this dog. For example it’s much less prone to canine hip dysplasia than its closest relative. It also stands out for absolutely amazing human-like intelligence and unparalleled trainability. That’s why it’s used for all types of assignments, including a therapy and guide dog, livestock guardian and herder, participant of various canine sports. Of course lots of the Shiloh Shepherds are kept only as family dogs.
The Shiloh Shepherd possesses temperament of a perfect companion animal and usually thrives in families of any size. This dog is completely deprived of an aggressive streak and forms very deep bonds with its human companions. It’s great with kids and will patiently endure their harsh games without one single snarl. Be mindful though that the puppy of this breed is probably too rambunctious to be fully trusted around toddlers.
The Shiloh Shepherd is equally amiable with known and unknown people and requires just basic socialisation to become a polite member of your family. It’s possible to train this dog into a sound watcher but it’s unreasonable to expect from it ferociousness of a good guardian. It would rather cordially follow an intruder into the house than assault in an attempt to drive him away. But most of the Shiloh Shepherds are inherently vigilant enough to warn their owners about any uncommon activity near the homestead.
This friendly dog likes interacting with its counterparts and very rarely becomes a provoker of fights with them. Of course its size makes it a dangerous adversary almost for any breed so the master should always observe the first acquaintance of its pet with other canine animals. The Shiloh Shepherd also shows relative tolerance to the presence of other pets in the house and will never harm a familiar cat if they are reared together since a very early age.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· hip dysplasia;
· elbow dysplasia;
· inherited ventricular arrhythmia;
· skin problems;
· digestive problems;
The Shiloh Shepherd can have two varieties of coat that require different amount of grooming. The dog with straight hair should be brushed only occasionally but its specimen with richer and longer coat would need at least weekly brushing. Avoid bathing your pet too frequently since water may be detrimental to the structure of its coat.
The breed is a permanent yet very moderate shedder although it loses hair very intensively during shedding periods. During these times it’s advisable to brush the dog on a daily basis. The master should also pay necessary attention to such routine care procedures as nail trimming, teeth brushing and ear cleaning.
Training of the Shiloh Shepherd requires very little efforts because this dog is famous for an outstanding intelligence and willingness to please. Nonetheless this strong and confident dog won’t obey the orders of a timid or indecisive handler. It’s also absolutely crucial to begin training process from the early puppyhood in order to become for your pet an incontestable pack leader.
Be mindful that this breed responds adequately only to motivational techniques, which are based on verbal encouragements and the usage of tasty treats. Yelling and other types of rough-housing will make your pet even more resistant to learning.
The Shiloh Shepherd craves for both mental and physical challenges and therefore needs lots of opportunities to exercise. Nonetheless it will make a calm and courteous apartment dog if the master has an hour or two to devote to walking and playing with its pet.
Remember that the quick mind of this dog also requires lots of stimulation otherwise it will invent its own ways to occupy itself. Destructive behaviour and unmotivated barking are the common issues for all Shiloh Shepherds that lack physical activity.