27 Key Points To Consider Before Getting A Shiloh Shepherd

27 Key Points To Consider Before Getting A Shiloh Shepherd

Are you looking for a big and healthy German Shepherd? Or for a unique and wolf-life dog breed? Meet the Shiloh Shepherd – one of the newest and most fascinating crossbreeds out there.

These big dogs were first bred by Mrs. Tina Barber in New York in the 1970s. Her goal? To create a healthy sub-breed of the German Shepherd that lacks most of the issues caused by the German Shepherd’s flawed physique. And, by all accounts, Mrs. Barber has succeeded.

But what exactly is the Shiloh Shepherd? And, more importantly, is this the right dog for you? Let’s go over the 27 key points to consider before getting a Shiloh Shepherd below.

1. What type of dog is the Shiloh Shepherd?

The Shiloh Shepherd is a 50/50 mix of German Shepherd dogs (GSD) and Alaskan Malamutes. The Shiloh Shepherd’s first breeder chose this mix in an effort to both correct a lot of the health issues of the GSD as well as to create a truly unique new breed.

2. Are Shiloh Shepherds good pets?

Shiloh Shepherds may look scary but they inherit the gentle and loving temperament of both their parent breeds. As such, **they are actually very good pets as they are easy to train and safe to be around. **They are not really recommended for novice owners, however, unless you understand the implications of looking after such a large dog and you are ready for a lot of time in the dog park.

3. How big is the Shiloh Shepherd breed?

Even though Alaskan Malamutes and German Shepherds have a fairly similar size, Shiloh Shepherds are bigger than both their parent breeds. The average adult Shiloh Shepherd will be as tall at the shoulders as 30 inches (76 cm) and as heavy as 130 pounds (60 kg).

4. How long is the lifespan of Shiloh Shepherds?

The average lifespan of this breed is between 10 and 14 years. This is actually incredible for such a large breed and is better than the average lifespan of both its parent breeds. Granted, this is a new and rare breed so a bit more data would be nice to have but so far the longevity of these dogs is impressive.

5. Are Shiloh Shepherds healthy?

For the most part, the goal of making a healthier GSD crossbreed has been achieved with the Shiloh Shepherd. These dogs can still inherit some of the problems of the German Shepherd but are relatively healthy overall. Still, you should be on the lookout for the GSD classics and some Alaskan Malamute issues such as Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Bloating, Panosteitis, Perianal Fistula, Megaesophagus, and others.

6. Is the Shiloh Shepherd a smart breed?

Quite so – these dogs inherit the high intelligence of both their parent breeds and are very impressive problem solvers. You can train this dog to do quite a lot of tricks and perform various complex tasks.

7. Are Shiloh Shepherds social?

Shiloh Shepherds are a nice balance between social and independent. With enough socialization, they can be very comfortable not just with you but also with strangers. On the other hand, they can also make good guard dogs.

8. Is the Shiloh Shepherd breed good with kids?

They can be if they are socialized and introduced to the child properly. However, given their giant size, these dogs should be supervised as they can accidentally knock or drop a particularly small child or baby.

9. Do Shiloh Shepherds get along with other dogs?

A Shiloh Shepherd will get along with any other dog as easily as a GSD would. Granted, good early socialization will still be needed but that’s always the case.

10. Can a Shiloh Shepherd and a cat live together?

Most shepherd mixes are good with cats and the Shiloh Shepherd is no exception. They are not “great” with cats but with a proper introduction and initial supervision, they can be perfectly fine with them.

11. Are Shiloh Shepherds cuddly?

You’d hope such a giant dog is cuddly and the Shiloh Shepherd certainly is. These big dogs live up to the “gentle giant” stereotype.

12. How much exercise does a Shiloh Shepherd need?

This is a very physically active breed – so much so that it might turn off some potential Shiloh owners. These dogs need a few hours of extensive physical exercise per day, typically divided into three separate “walk” sessions. Some intensive training should also be added every day as the Shiloh is a working dog breed and needs the mental stimulation as well. Toss in some yard time behind a tall fence and you’ll get a healthy and happy dog.

13. How fast can a Shiloh Shepherd run?

Despite their bigger size, Shilohs maintain speeds similar to those of a GDS – about 30 miles per hour or 48 km/h.

14. Do you need a fenced yard to look after a Shiloh Shepherd?

Yes, you do. This breed is too active to not have a yard and should best be kept behind a fence to prevent an escape.

15. Can you look after a Shiloh Shepherd in an apartment?

You can try but you likely won’t like the results. These dogs are just too large and too physically active. If you plan on spending half a day outside together with your dog you may be able to get by without a yard. But it’s smarter to pick a different breed if you live in an apartment.

16. Do Shiloh Shepherds bark a lot?

Not really – only on occasion. They do like howling, however, as do their parent breeds.

17. Is the Shiloh Shepherd breed rare?

Indeed they are. Shiloh Shepherds are a very new breed and aren’t for everyone so they are bred in small quantities. Still, if you’re in the US, and especially on the East coast, you should be able to find a Shiloh breeder.

18. How much does a Shiloh Shepherd cost?

Shiloh Shepherd pups may be more affordable than you’d expect. Typically, you’ll be able to find a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder for around $1,000.

19. Do Shiloh Shepherds have wolf in them?

Not any more than any other dog. They do look like wolves and that’s intentional but it’s simply the result of their crossbreed between German Shepherds and Alaskan Malamutes.

20. What is the difference between a Shiloh Shepherd and a King Shepherd?

While Shilohs are a mix between German Shepherds and Alaskan Malamutes, King Shepherds are the crossbreed between a German Shepherd and a… Shiloh Shepherd. So, King Shepherds are essentially 75% GSD and 25% Alaskan Malamute. They are also a bit heavier than Shilohs which can feel counterintuitive at first.

21. Are there other crossbreeds purposefully created to look like wolves?

If you’re looking for a large and wolf-like dog with a tinge of GSD you may also want to look at the following crossbreeds:

  • King Shepherd
  • American Alsatian
  • Lycan Shepherd
  • Blue Bay Shepherd

22. Do Shiloh Shepherds shed?

German Shepherds are jokingly known as “German Shedders” among their owners and we’re sorry to say but the same applies to the Shiloh Shepherds. These dogs shed a lot and they do so year-round.

23. What type of coat does the Shiloh Shepherd have?

Shiloh Shepherds can be either short-coated or long-coated. As for colors, they can come in black, pied, silver, grey, and red.

24. Should you shave a Shiloh Shepherd?

Not really. This is a double-coated breed and it relies on its undercoat for thermal isolation in both the summer and the winter. You can cut your Shiloh’s hair without a problem, however.

25. Do you need a professional groomer for a Shiloh Shepherd?

You don’t “need” a groomer but you’ll certainly benefit from one. Regular visits to the groomer can save you a lot of headache. Remember to start early so your pup can get used to the experience.

26. Are Shiloh Shepherds hypoallergenic?

They don’t seem to be. Then again, no dog is fully hypoallergenic. But Shilohs definitely aren’t close to being even just “somewhat hypoallergenic”.

27. Are Shiloh Shepherds bred ethically?

From what we’ve seen, most of the breeders who work with Shiloh Shepherds seem pretty responsible with their breeding standards. The very goal of the breed is to be healthier than the GSD, after all, and that seems to be the case so far.

Simply put, the Shiloh Shepherd is one special giant pet that’s suitable for many dog owners. Social, energetic, very smart, and loyal to his human pack, the Shiloh Shepherd has all the best qualities of both German Shepherds and Alaskan Malamutes.

This breed does require a special type of owner, however. Apartments just won’t do for this large breed nor will an inactive lifestyle. Three walks per day are strongly recommended, as is a long and intensive training session. If that doesn’t sound fun to you, these big wolf-like shepherds may not be for you.

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