White German Shepherds Outlawed in post-WWII Germany

By the time the Nazis party took full control of the SV in 1935 white-coated shepherds were, without question, outlawed as undesirable. SV opinion maintained the white-coat factor caused coat paling across the full range of dark coat colors.

By the end of World War II, thousands upon thousands of German Shepherd Dogs in Germany had been slaughtered, as the military confiscated any dog they could find for military service, regardless of breeding value, in the final years of the war.

While the few German Shepherd Dogs that managed to survive World War II almost represent a new start for the breed in Germany, they nonetheless embodied the foundation stock established by Stephanitz's original breeding program. White-coated puppies born in Germany after WWII were not documented and they were immediately culled out of new litters, as is true to this day.

Therefore, we do not have a complete record of white-coated German Shepherd Dogs presenting in "standard-color" litters in Germany since 1935. However, sires and bitches that breed litters with one or more whites are documented in the SV Zeitung (magazine) and unregistered, when breeders report such litter presentations.

A few White German Shepherd Dogs did managed to survive the Nazis and WWII in Germany and Holland. Descendants of these lucky white-coated dogs that trace their heritage directly to the white GSDs of the early 1900s survive to this day, despite not being allowed registration by the SV.

The genes required to produce white coats with dark eyes, nose, foot pads, etc. occurs in the natural world as is evident in the Arctic Wolf or Canis Lupus Arctos as well as other subspecies population of Canis lupus.

The domestic dog (Canis Lupus Familiaris) is a subspecies of the wolf that three modern DNA research teams now believe evolved from just a small population of wolves tamed by humans living in or near China less than 15,000 years ago. The research teams believe the DNA evidence indicates that the original population of domesticated dog then spread out of Asia to the rest of the world with human migration and along trading routes.

The research team further concludes that intensive breeding by humans over the last 500 years - not different genetic origins - is responsible for the dramatic differences in appearance among modern dogs.
It is reasonable to conclude that the genetic coding for white coats, present in the wolf genome, was passed into the dog's genome during the era of original domestication.

Coat color has been an integral trait selection for the development of most dog breeds. In a few cases, certain colors were selected against because breeders of the age thought the colors were associated with health problems. Other colors were selected against or for because breeders felt that those colors help that breed do its job better, or more often, coat colors were selected and rejected for simple esthetic reasons.

There are many misconceptions about white-coated German Shepherd Dogs and the gene that expresses their coat color. First and foremost, white German Shepherd Dogs are not albinos. Albinos lack all pigment where white German Shepherd Dogs have brown eyes and black pigment on their noses, around their mouth, on their paw pads, around their eye rims have dark skin and nails.
 The white gene is recessive and only expresses coat color.

The white gene is not linked to poor health, temperament, color paling in the entire breed, or any other negative trait in breed's genetic make-up. The white coat gene is actually a masking gene that masks the real color and pattern of the dog. A white German Shepherd Dog can carry genes for any color and pattern found in the breed, including, black, black and tan, black and red, black and silver, black and cream, blue, liver, sable, saddled and bi-colored.

White shepherds are unjustly blamed for color dilution or paling for the entire breed because the white gene can mask expression of genetic coding for diluted (pale) colors such as a black and silver, black and cream or liver.

German breeders of the 1920's and 1930’s misinterpreted pale offspring of white dogs, masking a pale colored coat, as an undesirable result of a “white” generic trait rather than the actual expression of genetic coding for diluted (pale) colors from the breeding pair.

Even today, some German Shepherd Dog breeders identify color paling in the entire breed as one of the primary justifications to “cull” white coated shepherd puppies from new litters.

This point has been refuted innumerable times by leading White German Shepherd Dog breeders and modern geneticists using state-of-the-art DNA methods.

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