The beautiful and regal Shiloh Shepherd dog is a truly stunning canine with a wolf-like appearance. It is a rare breed that shares many qualities and characteristics with the German Shepherd. This breed was specifically engineered and carefully bred to look similar to the GSDs of old with a friendlier temperament and healthier genetics. They are wonderful family pets and excellent around the kiddos. Here are some interesting Shiloh Shepherd dog facts that you may not know!
1. They Are Very Sensitive To Humans
The Shiloh Shepherd Dog has a reputation for being extremely sensitive to people’s emotions and feelings. So much so that they are described as being “a gentle giant with a heart of gold.”
They truly connect on another level with their owners and families. They hate being away from them and can tell if someone is sad or lonely.
If you are going through tough times, you can count on them to recognize your emotional state and respond accordingly. I mean what better way to be comforted then a big one-hundred-pound ball of fur snuggling up against you
But don’t take our word for it! Studies prove it! A report presented in 2016 pawsitively proved that there is a connection between canines and human emotion.
These results show that domestic dogs can obtain dog and human emotional information from both auditory and visual inputs, and integrate them into a coherent perception of emotionThe Royal Society Publishing
In other words, dogs can tell from your facial expressions and sounds (laughs or cries) that you are happy or upset.
2. They Are Healthier Than German Shepherds
The Shiloh Shepherd dog has been developed for over thirty years. One of the main missions of their creator, Tina Barber, was to decrease health problems associated with GSDs.
Hip Dysplasia, a common problem with German Shepherds, was one of the main conditions she wanted to avoid. To accomplish her goal, she learned how to successfully predict the results of her breeding program.
Through a program called LMX, or Litter Mate X-ray, she could determine the percentage of dogs with canine hip dysplasia. The technique involved doing x-rays on each dog in the litter.
Tina discovered if x-rays were taken of not only dogs that were intended for breeding, but of all litter mates born, those genotypes or recessive genes would reveal themselves allowing to only breed those dogs who did not carry the gene causing hip dysplasia.Sirius Dog
Thanks to Tina’s innovative process, 97% of her canines were free of the crippling joint condition.
3. They Were Named After A Biblical City In The Bible
The creator’s quest for a breed name came from her newfound love of Christianity back in the 70’s. She was passionate about her faith and inspired by a biblical city in the bible called “Shiloh.”
The city was recorded as the first major worship center for the Israelites before the first temple in Jerusalem was ever built. The name also translates to mean “Tranquility Town” and many believe that it refers to Jesus himself.
And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.Joshua 18:9 (KJV)
Tina Barber went on to officially name the breed after the biblical town and Shiloh Shepherd Kennels was created. They were located in New York State.
4. They Are Not Simply A Malamute Cross
One of the common misconceptions people have about the breed is that they are simply a cross between a German Shepherd and an Alaskan Malamute.
But that is far from the truth! This breed was specifically developed over a span of three decades with a combination of mainly GSDs combined with six other main unrelated dogs.
One of those dogs, named Secret Samson Woo, was a triple mix consisting of Alaskan Malamute, American Showline GSD and White Shepherd. But this dog only makes up around seven percent of the modern-day Shiloh’s heritage.
Two of the other interesting additions to the bloodline included Super Sweet Sabrina and Vilk. Sabrina, a major piece of the breed’s puzzle, was believed to be ten percent Šarplaninac, a Yugoslavian Shepherd.
Zilk, a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, was a special contribution and significantly was the last dog introduced into the bloodline before the founder, Tina Barber, passed.
5. The Shiloh Shepherd Is Bigger Than A GSD
While German Shepherds are by no means small canines, the Shiloh is even bigger. This is most likely the result of the tiny percentage of wolf dog in their blood.
Males can tip the scales at a whopping one hundred and thirty pounds which is in the range of a Bullmastiff and a Dogue De Bordeaux. That’s up to thirty pounds heavier than a male GSD.
They also stand up to thirty-three inches tall. That is almost three feet at the shoulder and up to seven inches taller than a male GSD.
The fe is close in range to the male German Shepherd. They can weigh up to one hundred pounds and stand up to thirty inches tall at the shoulder.
Not to worry, these gentle giants may be big but they have kind hearts and will only be taking you down to cover you in kisses.
6. They Are Definitely A Head Turner
If you ever see a Shiloh Shepherd in person, prepare to look twice. Their appearance is stunning, and their coat pattern is a thing of beauty.
They truly have a wolf-like presence that will turn heads wherever they go. A simple walk at the park can turn into a petting party when these guys come through.
These teddy bears come in two coat options. There is the shorter smooth coat in which the hair doesn’t get any longer than two inches. Then there is the longer plush coat in which the hair doesn’t grow any longer than four inches.
They come in a variety of coat colors and all of them are beautiful. They can range from sable to saddle-marked to solid colors like black and white.
Their head is wide and wolfish, and their eyes are almond shaped ranging in color from amber to dark brown.
7. London Was A Legend
The most legendary Shiloh Shepherd dog was a giant named London. In a breed where size is one of the most admirable traits, London stood atop the mountain weighing in at one hundred and fifty pounds at his highest point.
In addition to his formidable size, he had beauty and longevity, living to be eleven and a half years old. Endurance must have run in the blood, because his daughter “Sylvie” lived to be an astonishing fourteen years and nine months old.
This champion representative of the breed was a dark brown sable, one of the rarest coat colors. He had a long smooth silky coat adding to his show stopping appearance.
London lived from December 4th, 1992, until July 10th, 2004, but his legacy lives on and quite literally. His family felt the best way to honor this amazing specimen was to save his sperm for future mates.
His legacy lives on through the modern Shiloh Shepherd thanks to the foresight of his family!
This amazing breed is best summed up using two words: gentle giant. When it comes to companion dogs, they are one of the best. They love people and especially their owners and family. If you plan on owning one, expect to spend a lot of time with them. They don’t like long distance relationships!
Like the GSD, they are highly intelligent and easily trainable. They are great with children, loyal and will courageously defend your home from any threat.
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Do you have any experience with this breed, or have you ever owned one? Let us know! We would love to hear about your story!
Photos: Igo and Uri courtesy of AJ Wolff.