The Shiloh Shepherd: The Gentle Giant of the Shepherd World

Although the Shiloh Shepherd Dog looks like a giant German Shepherd, much of their gene pool is, in fact, far removed from the Shepherd Dog line. Shilohs are indeed impressive and striking dogs in both size and looks. But, they are bred to have a heart of gold and make excellent family dogs and therapy dogs.

But to truly understand the Shiloh Shepherd, we have to look at their origins, health, other factors that affect this rare breed.

History of the Shiloh Shepherd: Where Do They Come From?

In 1974, German Shepherd Breeder, Tina Barber, says she grew tired of the temperament and hip issues she frequently ran into with her German Shepherds. So, she began outcrossing to create a new breed that more closely matched the dog remembered from her childhood.

According to Paws For People Therapy Dogs, Tina envisioned a hyper-intelligent, family dog that was good with little children and a loyal guardian of the household. She imagined something of a hero canine that was almost human in its capabilities.

She also based her ideal temperaments on fictional dogs like Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, and Strongheart.

To achieve her objective, Tina bred in various giant breeds, including Canadian White Shepherds, Sarplaninacs, Malamutes, Old German Shepherds (Aldeutscher Schäferhunde), and more.

Although the breed seems to be predominantly of German Shepherd origin.

It appears Tina worked for many decades to create a dog with superior hips and temperament. Still, as the breed’s popularity grew, it became harder to maintain quality control over all the breeders.

Unfortunately, Tina passed away in 2011, but her daughter continues the legacy with New Zion Shilohs as the fourth generation breeder.

Today the Shiloh may not have achieved the superior health Tina was hoping for, but it has undoubtedly reached the looks and gentle temperament.

The breed is not yet recognized by the AKC. Although, it is recognized by other organizations such as the FCI and ARBA.

There are also several clubs and registries for the Shiloh. Including the ISSR (International Shiloh Shepherd Registry), the NSBR (National Shiloh Breed Registry), the SSBA (Shiloh Shepherds Breeders Association), and the TSSR (The Shiloh Shepherd Registry).



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