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Shiloh Shepherd Dog

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Shiloh Shepherd Dog
Plush-coated Shiloh Shepherd Dog
Plush-coated Shiloh Shepherd Dog
Alternative names
Country of origin
United States
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct
Recognized by some Rare Breed organizations such as RBCSWO, ARBA, Rarities, NKC, IABCA for Showing purposes.

The Shiloh Shepherd Dog is a breed of dog that resembles a giant version of the German Shepherd Dog (GSD), although they possess a much gentler attitude inherited from the Giant Malamutes in their ancestry.



The Shiloh Shepherd Dog is powerfully built and well-balanced, with proud carriage and smooth, effortless gait. The male Shiloh stands 30 inches (76 cm) or more in height with a minimum of 28 inches (71 cm); he weighs 140 to 160 pounds (63.5-72.5 kg) with a minimum of 120 pounds (54.5 kg). The female is smaller, standing 28 inches (71 cm) or more in height with a minimum of 26 inches (66 cm) and weighing 100 to 120 pounds (45-54.5 kg) with a minimum of 80 pounds (36 kg).


Shilohs come in two distinct coat varieties: the smooth coat (double coat, medium length, lying close to the body, dense, straight, and harsh) and the plush coat, which is longer, with a soft undercoat, a distinctive "mane", body coat not over 5 inches (12.5 cm) long and feathering inside ears and behind the legs not over 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.


Shiloh coat colors may be "shades of black with tan, golden tan, reddish tan, silver, and cream" or "various shades of richly pigmented golden, silver, red, dark brown, dark gray, or black sable". Solid black or solid white are also acceptable as long as nose, lips, and eye rims are solid black. White markings are discouraged except for small patches on toes or the centre of the chest. Pale, washed-out colours are discouraged. Eyes are dark to light brown.

The difference between the Shiloh Shepherd Dog and its parent breed, the German Shepherd Dog, is explained as being essentially that the Shiloh is the dog for people who fell in love with the German Shepherd as it was in 1962. They claim that the breed has changed so radically since then that dogs of that type can no longer be called GSDs. Without a doubt, too, the Shiloh is larger than was ever the norm for GSDs.


The Shiloh Shepherd is described as self-confident with superior intelligence as indicated in its breed standard. Breeders strive for a courageous yet manageable temperament. Any form of extreme aggression or shyness is severely penalized. The Shiloh Shepherd is an excellent family companion that is extremely gentle with small children as well as with other pets. Many Shilohs are used as therapy dogs and for search and rescue work, and they excel in many other venues.


In 1974, Tina Barber, of Shiloh Shepherd Kennel in New York State, began developing a unique line of German Shepherds. Her goal was to preserve the type of dog she remembered from her childhood in Germany; dogs who are good family companions, exceptionally intelligent, mentally sound, big and beautiful - similar to Chuck Eisenmann's dogs from The Littlest Hobo. After years of selective breeding and genetic research, she seperated her dogs from the AKC in 1990.

In 1991, The Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America (SSDCA, Inc.) was incorporated. Shilohs were originally registered dually through the FIC and AKC, but after difficulty with standards verification, the SSDCA decided to open the first Shiloh-only registry, The International Shiloh Shepherd Registry (ISSR). Due to some documentation problems with the original ISSR registrar, a special program was designed by The Complete Computer Place (TCCP) to process registry data for the ISSR. Since then more than 4,000 dogs have been registered with the ISSR. They also maintain a database with over 45,000 ancestors in order to properly calculate various factors within the limited genepool.

As the breed achieved recognition and popularity near the turn of the millennium, other registries were formed, as well as a second breed club for these registries. These are The Shiloh Shepherd Registry (TSSR), the National Shiloh Breeders Registry (NSBR), and the Shiloh Shepherd Breed Association (SSBA). The associated breed club is the International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club (ISSDC).


There are two main areas of concern for this breed: gastrointestinal problems and skeletal disorders.

Like their German Shepherd ancestors, Shilohs may experience problems with bloat. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth syndrome has also been reported. As with many other large breeds, Shilohs can also be succeptable to hip dysplasia, panosteitis, and osteochondritis.

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