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White Swiss Shepherd

The White Swiss Shepherd has a compelling story, a complex tale spanning over a century, although considered a new breed. It’s a breed whose very existence today can be attributed to the tenacity of breeders and admirers from around the world, who chose to preserve the White Coated Shepherd throughout its turbulent past.

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The White Swiss Shepherd

The White Swiss Shepherd has a compelling story, a complex tale spanning over a century, although considered a new breed. It’s a breed whose very existence today can be attributed to the tenacity of breeders and admirers from around the world, who chose to preserve the White Coated Shepherd throughout its turbulent past.

The breeds foundation begins in Germany, where a humble sheepdog caught the eye of a cavalry officer who had dreamt of creating a superior sheepherding dog breed. In a time where ‘if a dog wasn’t a good worker, it wasn’t a good dog’, Captain Max Von Stephanitz was not concerned about the first German Shepherd Horand Von Grafrath having white ancestry. The White German Shepherds fall from grace began in 1959 when the German overseeing body ‘Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunden’ labelled the White German Shepherd an Albino, and the standard was changed to prohibit the use of dogs with more than 50% white or full white coat. The results where catastrophic. Some countries ceased to register them altogether or made the white coat an automatic disqualification so that no offspring were eligible for registration, while other countries still papering Whites took away their show ring privileges.

On a worldwide scale, the White German Shepherds were now excluded from the conformation rings with their broken coloured counterparts, although many would agree this is now a strong contributing factor to the White Swiss Shepherd retaining the conformation of the GSD’s of old. The court of public opinion believed the white coat was defective somehow, a flawed mutation rumoured to be responsible for anything from blindness to hearing impairment as well as generally unsound.

The culling of white dogs from the German Shepherd breeding pool saw the White German Shepherd almost disappear completely from the countries where they were no longer offered registration by the Canine Control Bodies.

Devotees were unconvinced by the campaign to eliminate the White Coated Shepherds from the German Shepherd breed, and the first breed club specifically for the White German Shepherd began in America in 1964 where White Shepherds could be shown in their own specialty shows. Canada followed in 1970, and Australia also had its first White German Shepherd club in the late 1970s, which was active for many years in Australia, hosting shows as well as marching in the 1978 Moomba parades. The White Shepherd Society became a registered organisation with the Swiss Kennel Club in 1991, allowing the dogs to be officially shown as White Shepherds throughout Switzerland. The Dutch Kennel club followed in 1993, registering the White Shepherd on a provisional register allowing them to also officially compete in dog sports and conformation.

The breed is a powerful, well-muscled and medium sized. The double coat is either of medium length or long. Their shape is elongated with medium sized bone and an elegant, harmonious outline.
The medium length coat is described as a coat with a dense close-lying double coat. The abundant undercoat is covered with hard, straight protective hair. The face, ears and front of legs are covered with shorter hair, then slightly longer at the neck and the back of the legs. Slightly wavy, hard hair is permitted.

The long coat is also a dense, close-lying double coat, with the abundant undercoat covered with hard, straight protective hair. The face, ears and front of legs are covered with shorter hair. At the neck the long coat forms a distinct mane and at the back of the legs it forms trousers with the hair on the tail bushy. The coat length should never be exaggerated. Slightly wavy, hard hair is permitted. Colour is simply white.

When preparing a Swiss, we need to consider and respect the double coat that is dense, close-lying double coat, the abundant undercoat covered with hard, straight protective hair and the white colour.
As always, the head and eyes are so important. For this always use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It. This is a fragrant-free hypoallergenic, Sulfate-free low foaming shampoo is perfect for all breeds of dog. Our gentle no tear, no fragrance formula will not sting or irritate the eyes. Its Blue Cypress extracts give anti-inflammatory benefits that are particularly effective on this head type. Plus Panthenol, Pro-Vitamin B5 to add moisture, aid healing and offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Particularly effective on around the eyes, stop and lip folds which can get sore. Can also be used as a gentle ear cleaner. Use before a complete body shampoo. Simply pump a golf ball-sized amount into the hands, and apply to the dogs face. Gently massage until it lathers, leave in to protect the eyes. Wash the rest of the dog and then rinse out.

Now as with many double coated breeds there is a tendency for these coats to require clarifying prior to bathing. For this use Plush Puppy Deep Cleansing Shampoo which is a clarifying shampoo designed to remove grease, grime and any product build-up in a dogs coat. By clarifying we mean cutting through ANY impurities to leave the coat in an ultra-clean natural state. This shampoo has extra surfactants that open the cuticle deeper to allow the deep cleaning and clarifying process. It will provide the deepest coat clean available leaving the coat reset and refreshed. Not only will it spruce up dull whites, but it can also be used on any colour coat for a thorough and intensive clean. Deep Cleansing Shampoo will assist in reducing unwanted coat stains. Deep Cleansing Shampoo is a rich formulation infused with Green Tea and Seaweed extracts. Green Tea is full of nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals and Panthenol (Vitamin B). It helps strengthen the coat and retain moisture. Seaweed extract provides detoxification, which leaves the coat in a healthier state. Use at 1:5 dilution rate. Lather well where needed (legs, around the neck and ears generally) and rinse.

Now to the colour. Use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo with Ginseng that features Ginseng extracts, protein, and a violet tone combined in a rich formula that works brilliantly to whiten whites.

It DOES NOT lighten or bleach but instead tones with optical brighteners. It reduces yellowing or warm tones in white coats or white areas of the coat and will negate unwanted tones from sun fading or reddening in the coat. Use at 1:5 (1 part shampoo to 5 parts water) for an intensive clean or 1:10 for a general clean. This shampoo is also available in ‘Ready to Use’ Spray. This unique formulation allows you to spray areas or the whole dog that require cleaning, toning or brightening.

For any staining always use the brilliant Plush Puppy Wonder Blok. It helps to maintain a white stain free coat. It is not a bleach and contains no harmful chemicals but high amounts of naturally sourced vegetable surfactants and glycerin. This product is designed to remove gently unwanted warm or red tones to the coat. Best used on a damp or wet coat. Gently rub into the areas required allowing time (5-10 minutes) and rinse. For maximum effects repeat or allow a longer time for this amazing product to work.

A Plush Puppy tip – Place the Plush Puppy Wonder Blok in some warm water for 5 minutes. This softens the bar and allows for easier application through the coat. When possible, apply the day before show bathing (soak overnight and then wash – or at least apply in the morning and allow to soak as long as possible for maximum effect. As with all products take care around eyes.

There are times that this double coated breed can be light on coat. For these times use Plush Puppy Natural Body Building Shampoo. This shampoo does have enormous lift and bodifying effect to the coat without an artificial feel plus it is wonderfully good for the coat containing naturally sourced plant extracts. Use at a dilution rate of 1:3 (1 part shampoo to 3 parts water) on the whole dog or just on areas that simply don’t have that true double coat appearance. An excellent shampoo for those out of coat times.

Now the beauty of Plush Puppy products is that you can mix them to save time and get all the benefits at once! So if you want the whitening ability of Herbal Whitening Shampoo and the coat boosting of Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo, simply mix them together. Use 50/50 of each shampoo at a dilution of 1:5 (1 part shampoo to 5 parts water).

For those dogs that are really out of coat, we can boost even further with Plush Puppy Volumising Cream after using the Body Building Shampoo. Mix 1 tablespoon of Volumising Cream into 1 cup of water and spray well onto the featherings or sponge in liberally.

Or you can use the ‘Ready to Use’ version of Plush Puppy Volumising Spray for quick and easy fuller coat results. Perfect either before blow-drying or used to ‘fluff’ up the coat at the show. A light even spray, brush in until dry or use a dryer.

Both are hair thickening products to add volume, not a hair stiffener and not easily detectable as they leave the coat with a natural fuller look and feel. Just perfect for those somewhat out of coat breeds.

Conditioning the coat is not recommended for this coat type. A traditional conditioner softens and fluffs the coat, hardly the desired result you want on a Swiss. But hydration is extremely important for this coat type. Use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil as a final rinse after shampooing. This will not soften but retains the correct coat texture. Seabreeze Oil is excellent for maintaining the healthy vigour to the skin and coat and is all plant sourced from Evening Primrose and Calendula Oils. It is non greasy and totally water soluble making it easy to apply and remove each time without build-up. Dilute 1 tablespoon in 4 Litres (1 Gal) of water and work well through the coat with a large sponge. LEAVE IN. DO NOT RINSE. It gives incredible sheen and finish to the hair. It will help create the perfect double coat finish so desire. We cannot stress enough the wonderful attributes of this product.

Dry using a cushioned oval Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush, for grooming and when drying. Dry till ¾ dry as this won’t stretch the coat then switch to the Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush which is an oval cushioned half bristle, half dialon brush to finish by smoothing the body coat flat.

Finish with a Plush Puppy Professional Grooming Comb. The lightweight oval shaped spine combining fine and coarse pins will reduce drag and static to the coat. Perfect for use on a double coated Swiss.

On Show days ensure you have Plush Puppy Wonder Wash on hand for dirty or dusty feet and legs, or any other mishaps! This is a no rinse wet instant shampoo for last-minute emergencies that will clean up anything, pronto. Just spray and foam in with the fingers and towel off.

For a whiter finish to the legs or stained areas you can use makeup on your White Swiss Shepherd. Plush Puppy makes a terrific product for white areas called Plush Puppy Coverup Cream. This is a white paste that is applied with a damp sponge. Just dab a tiny amount onto the area that needs to be covered. Then add some Plush Puppy Fairy Frost Powder, an ultra-white powder that is amazing. Its extreme white brings out the whiteness to the coat but also helps dry the cover up cream. Just perfect for this breed.

Just before ring time remember a good smelling dog is nice to touch. Plush Puppy Odour Muncher is sensational in that it kills any odour causing bacteria and leaves a pleasant scent behind.

For the final flourish, spray with Plush Puppy Shine and Comb, a magical shine spray that is non greasy and water soluble. A light burst onto the coat or onto your hands and smoothed over the top and flanks just works like a charm. Try spraying just one side first and see the difference. It’s amazing. Your dog especially will just glisten with glowing good health.

The White Swiss Shepherd is a remarkable breed that is so incredibly impressive when presented correctly. A true standout in the ring.

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