Istrian Sheepdog vs Berger Blanc Suisse - Breed Comparison

Istrian Sheepdog is originated from Slovenia but Berger Blanc Suisse is originated from Switzerland. Both Istrian Sheepdog and Berger Blanc Suisse are having almost same height. Both Istrian Sheepdog and Berger Blanc Suisse are of same weight. Both Istrian Sheepdog and Berger Blanc Suisse has same life span. Both Istrian Sheepdog and Berger Blanc Suisse has almost same litter size. Both Istrian Sheepdog and Berger Blanc Suisse requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Slovenia
Switzerland
Height Male:
54 - 63 cm
21 - 25 inches
60 - 66 cm
23 - 26 inches
Height Female:
54 - 63 cm
21 - 25 inches
55 - 61 cm
21 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
26 - 40 kg
57 - 89 pounds
30 - 40 kg
66 - 89 pounds
Weight Female:
26 - 40 kg
57 - 89 pounds
25 - 40 kg
55 - 89 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
10 - 12 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 6
6 - 8
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Karst Sheepdog
White Swiss Shepherd Dog, Snowy Shepherd
Colors Available:
Dark and Light shades of Grey
White
Coat:
Long, thick and harsh
varies from short to medium
Shedding:
Moderate, Seasonal
Moderate, Constant, Seasonal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

Known also as the Karst Sheepdog, the beautiful, medium sized Istrian Sheepdog hails from Slovenia, Yugoslavia in the 1600s, being used to guard sheep. In fact, the Karst Shepherd was recognized as the Illyrian Shepherd in 1939.

The dog is fairly scarce in his own country, but interest in the dog started developing in the late 1970s. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes the breed and it has also been exported to the United States, being recognized by the United Kennel Club.

It is also recognized by a number of smaller kennel clubs. The dogs numbers have declined at certain periods in its history but fortunately breeding programs boosted its numbers.

The Berger Blanc Suisse is also referred to as the White Swiss Shepherd. The dog shares the same ancestry with the German Shepherd. The beautiful white dog from Switzerland, is closely related to the White Shepherd. Both breeds are descended from the German Shepherd breed.

It was in 1967 that a certain Agatha Burch brought a White German Shepherd with her to Switzerland and also importing a female white German Shepherd from the UK. It was these 2 dogs who were believed to be the first breeding dogs for the Berger Blanc Suisse. After a number of years, the breed was officially recognized in July 2011. In the USA and Canada, these White Shepherd dogs have been accepted as a distinct breed.

Description

This is a medium sized, muscled, strong dog with an iron-grey coat that has shades of deeper grey. His beautiful coat is long, thick and fairly harsh to the touch, with the undercoat protecting the dog against cold weather.

Around the neck area the hair is longer, forming an eye-catching-like mane. The stomach area has longer hair too. He has a noble look about him with kind, brown eyes and a round skull. The muzzle of the dog is dark, the limbs long and muscular and the tail is long and covered in thick fur.

The dog is slightly longer than its height, and both males and females stand at 54 to 63cm in height and weigh between 26 and 40kg. The long tail reaches right down to the hocks. The ears of the dog are fairly short and are floppy.

Temperament:

This dog has always made an excellent guard dog, being alert and also being distrustful of strangers. He will need to be trained and socialized if you want him to be obedient to you and more amicable around children in the home as well as visitors to the home.

If he is trained and well socialized, he is able to make a good pet. However, he is an energetic dog, used to working and he isn't recommended for life in the city if there is only a tiny garden. He needs space and will require a large garden.

He will also need to be exercised and not just left to his own devices in the backyard. Because he is essentially a working dog he doesn’t easily fit into the role of pet and companion. He is a working dog and will need to be kept busy.

Good Looks

The medium-sized, well muscled Berger Blanc Suisse looks so much like the popular German Shepherd, and apart from its white coat, it has much the same physical standards. The females are about 55–61cm in height while the males are 60–66cm in height. The dogs dense, medium-length double coat tends to be slightly wavy but straight is more common. He has a long bushy tail.

The Berger Blanc Suisse is somewhat longer than it is tall, but like the German Shepherd, it also has erect ears. In contrast to the white coat, the nose is black and the dog had dark, alert eyes.

Temperament

This is an intelligent, confident dog and if you buy a puppy, of which the average litter size is 8, you will need to provide training and socialization to ensure he doesn't act totally independently and behave in a manner not pleasing to you. Once he is trained and socialized, he makes a wonderful pet and is social, playful and gentle. He is loyal and devoted to his human family, wanting to protect them. He is good around children and other pets in the home.

Health Problems

As with many other dog breeds, the Istrian Sheepdog is a healthy dog that, because of history of hard work, is robust and able to stand up well to common dog illnesses.

However there is one dog illness that strikes many dogs and at any age, and it is hip dysplasia. This is a malformation of the hip joints.

You'll notice that your once active dog is lethargic, doesn't want to play so much anymore and battles to get up after lying down. The disease is painful for your dog and it can lead to mobility issues. The disease is diagnosed with x-rays and your vet will recommend treatment options to make life more comfortable and less painful for your beloved pet.

Your White Swiss Shepherd is a healthy, energetic, strong dog, but even so when you find him lethargic and listless, you want to get him to the vet for a check-up. It is always a good idea to be alert to common dog illnesses so that you know what to look out for in your dog.

Bloat

A common problem with dogs. The dog becomes restless and the abdomen is often enlarged. Get your dog to the doctor immediately.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

This is a developmental defect of the hip and elbow joints and you’ll notice your pet battling to rise again after lying down.

Degenerative Myelopathy

This is a disease of the nervous system where the hind legs and feet drag. Sometimes the dog loses control over the bladder.

Caring The Pet

Exercise:

This is a dog that is used to guarding his flock and he will need to be in a home that has a fair sized garden. He can adapt to life in the city or to the countryside, but wherever he is, he will need sufficient exercise. Take him with you on your walks or hikes and give him some rope- and ball games.

General Care:

Wherever you live in the world, when the Winter winds howl and blow in icy rain or snow, a dog is at an increased risk of illness. You decided to have a dog in your home and it is your responsibility to care for him. Winter weather is downright unpleasant and dangerous for most pets.

Bring your pet in during such weather and provide him with a warm, dry sleeping space. During hot weather, make sure your pet has a cool, shady spot to lie down in, out of the boiling sun. Whatever weather you're experiencing, your pet should never ever be without a constant supply of fresh, cool water.

Provide him with excellent food that is full of vitamins and minerals to keep him healthy. Learn to know what human foods can be toxic for him and cause him digestive problems.

Grooming:

Your double coated Istrian Sheepdog will need a thorough brushing at least twice a week because of his dense, double coat. He does shed and isn't a hypoallergenic dog. His thick coat can tangle easily if it isn't properly brushed and maintained.

Clip his nails when and if they grow long. Other grooming aspects for this attractive dog require checking his ears for infection and also checking his teeth as dental disease can lead to a host of serious illnesses in your dog.

High Quality Food

Apart from your Berger Blanc Suisse puppy need an excellent quality puppy food 4 times a day, as he gets older you will need to adjust his food to suit his high energy needs. Once your pet reaches a year of age you will know whether he requires one or two helpings of food a day. You can feed him a top quality commercial manufactured food or you can make your own home-made food for him which includes meat, rice and vegetables.

You want to make 100% sure he is getting the correct dosage of minerals and vitamins to ensure good health. To keep his eyes bright and his nose wet, include some raw meat into his diet as well. Make sure that he always has access to fresh, cool water.

Lots of Exercise

Remember that your Berger Blanc Suisse is a working dog and he will need plenty of exercise. Apart from taking him on long walks, you can throw balls for him, buy rope toys for him and give him some rough and tumble. He is an intelligent breed and he will require some games that give him mental stimulation too.

Grooming

Check regularly for fleas and ticks. You’ll pick this up with brushing his beautiful coat. Frequent brushing will help keep your dog clean and also remove all those loose hairs. Your White Swiss Shepherd Dog is a moderate, but constant shedder as well as being a heavy seasonal shedder so you will need to give him a good brush at least twice a week.

Characteristics

Your Istrian Sheepdog is a unique, strong-willed dog that is used to guarding, and working and he wants to be kept involved and busy.

He is wary of strangers and makes an excellent guard dog for any family home. Remember that it is never good to invest in a dog purely for guard dog purposes. A dog such as the Istrian Sheepdog is a social creature and he also wants- and needs to be part of a human family that provides him with plenty of interaction with them.

The Istrian Sheepdog is a loyal, loving dog who is capable of forming strong bonds with his human family. With proper training and socialization he makes a good friend of children and the elderly too.

Include him in all your family activities just like any human family member and he will make you a splendid, courageous pet.

When you first set eyes on the Berger Blanc Suisse or White Shepherd, you can see that this is a strong, well-muscled, energetic dog, full of life and intelligent too. Add to that the fact that he is beautiful to look at.

Your Berger Blanc Suisse dog is gentle and loyal with his own human family and will be somewhat wary of strangers. This dog is balanced, good-natured, friendly and affectionate and he just loves spending time with his family, being a good watch dog as well. He’s got so much going for him – good looks, a great personality, he is loyal, loving, strong, healthy and he’ll make one hang of a pet.

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