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Who is ABBSC?
America's Berger Blanc Suisse Club, Inc. (ABBSC) is the national breed club for the FCI Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd Dog (BBS/WSSD) breed in North America. We are the only club in North America partnered with the FCI. We are in partnership with the Fédération Berger Blanc Suisse Internationale (FBBSI), the FCI club that governs the breed worldwide. We believe a strong national club is necessary to promote education which is easily accessible to the future homes of BBS dogs and puppies. This education should also persuade breeders to follow the breeding practices of the FCI if they want to claim they are breeding Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd Dogs.
What is ABBSC doing to promote and protect the Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd Dog in the United State of America and Canada?
As a fledgling breed, the imminent recognition of the BBS/WSSD here in America and Canada can be seriously delayed by loose registration practices. Certain criteria must be met to enable any breed of dog to be recognized by the AKC. The first objective is to increase the number of purebred FCI registered White Swiss Shepherd Dogs here in the USA. There must be enough bloodlines to support healthy breeding for generations to come. Next, a strong national breed club is required to keep accurate records of the registration. The club must support breeders that adhere to breeding purebred BBS/WSSD to the standard of the FCI-recognized breed. ABBSC dogs in the United States of America and Canada are registered with the FCI through the Federación Canófila de Puerto Rico (FCPR). ABBSC registers both our imports and our domestically bred FCI pedigreed dogs with FCPR, as well as keeping our own ABBSC registration database.
What breed of dog am I shopping for?
The FCI Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd is a breed that is gaining in popularity very quickly because of its beauty, versatility and exceptional character. The FCI standard must be strongly enforced and consumers must have the necessary education to know what they’re purchasing. Just as several breeds have suffered in quality from breeders trying to cash out on a breed’s popularity, it’s important to be a discriminating consumer so one knows what they are actually purchasing. Are you trying to buy an FCI Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd? A UKC White Shepherd? Or a German Shepherd Dog? These are not the same! If you are shopping for an FCI Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd, color white, please read on.
What registration information should a puppy buyer look for when shopping for an FCI BBS/WSSD?
A breed of dog is only as good as the integrity of the registration process. The family home looking for an American or Canadian bred White Swiss Shepherd/Berger Blanc Suisse needs to ask to see a copy of the FCPR registration certificate of both the sire and dam. Sometimes a breeder will import a dam from Europe pregnant with a sire also in Europe. If you purchase a pup from this scenario, the breeder should provide you with copies of Export Pedigrees for the parents corresponding FCI member countries and the FCPR registration certificate.
You will also need the breeder to register both parents with FCPR for puppies to be FCI registered. This is routinely done and there are several dogs registered in multiple FCI member countries. This also happens in artificial insemination. The stud providing the semen needs to be registered in the country of the insemination for the pending pups to be registered, even though the stud stays registered in his country of origin. In the USA and Canada, we register with Federación Canófila de Puerto Rico (FCPR).
What health information should I ask breeders to provide?
It is also important to ask the breeder to provide the actual health certificates for DM, MDR1, as well as OFA or PennHip results for hips and OFA elbow results. All breeders screened for recognition as official Breeder Members with ABBSC have provided all the necessary registration and health certificates of the dogs they are breeding, but you should still ask to see the certificates provided by your breeder.
What rules have been established by the FCI regarding registration of the BBS/WSSD?
The FCI published the circular below in June of 2007. It entails requirements to protect against loose registration practices of some FCI member countries.
Circulaire 77/2007 21.06.2007 Zirkular Circular White Swiss Shepherd Dog (WSSD, 347):
"As the responsible country for the breed standard White Swiss Shepherd Dog (WSSD, standard 347), the SKG informs us of their concerns about the breeding of this breed and the issuing of pedigrees by some FCI member countries. We share their concern and observe that even after the recognition of the White Swiss Shepherd Dog (WSSD, standard 347) on 01.01.2003 (date of the official recognition), matings with non-purebred subjects (3 generations) from this breed continue to take place and that white German Shepherd Dogs with one or more colored ancestors are re-registered as WSSD. We remind all FCI member organizations and contract partners that they have to comply with the following:
1. White Swiss Shepherd Dogs (347) CANNOT be mated with white German Shepherd Dogs (GSD, standard 166) since they are two distinct breeds with different breed standards. In order to guarantee that both breeds are correctly separated, it is also important to respect what follows.
2. WSSD cannot be entered in the studbooks of this very breed if a part or all their ancestors (3 generations) were still registered, after 01.01.2003, as white German Shepherd Dogs.
3. It is not allowed to re-register as a WSSD (347) a dog which was registered as a white German Shepherd Dog (166) after 01.01.2003.
4. An accidental white German Shepherd Dogs (white puppy in a litter of German Shepherd Dogs) with one or more colored ancestors cannot be used for breeding as a WSSD nor can it be re-registered as a WSSD."
More recently, rules have now been edited to establish that dogs able to be accepted into the breed have a minimum of three generations of FCI pedigreed dogs behind them. Therefore, the subject dog to be registered must have FCI registered BBS/WSSD parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.
It has also been determined by the FCI that the domestic UKC White Shepherd has the same restrictions as the white German Shepherd and cannot be registered as a BBS/WSSD for all the same requirements listed in the circular above.
Will the AKC, UKC, and CKC register my FCI BBS/WSSD?
The AKC, UKC, and CKC are more than happy to register the FCI BBS/WSSD, but all these associations will recognize your dog as other than the FCI BBS/WSSD. These clubs will change the breed of your dog to an AKC or CKC German Shepherd Dog (color white) or a UKC White Shepherd. The UKC, not being being affiliated with FCI, recognizes the BBS as a separate and unique breed under the title "White Shepherd.' However, our club, ABBSC, still requires Breeder Members to abide by FCI rules. The FCI does not take a stern position for FCI registered dogs registering with another club.
How does ABBSC view this?
ABBSC will not be punitive should an FCI/FCPR registered dog be dual registered with the UKC. ABBSC allows a dual registered FCI BBS/WSSD with the UKC, but not the AKC. ABBSC recognizes the lack of availability of conformation and performance shows available to our breed and has moved to allow UKC registering and showing of our FCI member dogs for purposes of competition. Our view is that this is the equivalent of participating in local dog clubs and shows.
Does ABBSC allow registration into their registry of UKC White Shepherds which are not also registered FCI BBS/WSSD?
Again, it has been determined by the FCI that the domestic UKC White Shepherd (non- FCI) has the same restrictions as the white German Shepherd Dog and cannot be registered as an FCI BBS/WSSD for all the same requirements listed in the circular above. As the only BBS/WSSD club in North America partnered with FCI, ABBSC must also follow these rules.
Does ABBSC register into their registry offspring of FCI BBS/WSSD bred with UKC White Shepherds?
We do not. In the United States, a legitimate breeding for purposes of registration with ABBSC consists of an FCPR registered Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd Dogs to an FCPR registered Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd Dog. The Swiss Parent club requires that dogs able to be accepted into the breed must have a minimum of three generations of FCI pedigreed dogs. At this time, ABBSC requires an additional generation of FCI pedigreed dogs for Full Registration with ABBSC. We will register dogs with three generations Provisional Registration, recognizing that the next generation will be Full Registration.
Do FCI BBS/WSSD lose their FCI registration when registered with AKC as German Shepherd Dogs?
The FCI registration of dogs also registered with the AKC, the UKC, or the CKC will not be sacrificed by FCI, but offspring of that dog in a breeding with AKC German Shepherd Dogs will be considered AKC German Shepherd Dogs by all. ABBSC will NOT register an FCI BBS which has been reregistered AKC GSD. This only does harm to our breed. We strongly discourage our members from registering with AKC in any way, including the PAL or Canine Partners programs. As long as AKC does not recognize Berger Blanc Suisse as a separate breed, we should not participate.
What are other ABBSC registration rules for Member Breeders?
Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd Dog registration rules for the United States:
All eligible dogs must be registered with the FCPR. With litters, both parents must be registered by the FCPR, FCI of Puerto Rico.
FCI BBS/WSSD's with Export Pedigrees imported from FCI member countries will be allowed Provisional Registration until registered with the FCPR.
Breeders must not reregister FCI BBS as AKC GSD.
What is the ABBSC opinion on the UKC White Shepherd and the white AKC German Shepherd Dog?
ABBSC does not look down on UKC White Shepherds or white AKC German Shepherds or those that breed them. We are, in fact, indebted to their historic contribution to what is the Berger Blanc Suisse/White Swiss Shepherd Dog since initial recognition in 2003. However, we do stand by the belief that any dog should be accurately represented by being advertised solely as the breed they are registered under. UKC White Shepherds should not be advertised as BBS unless they also have FCI registration through FCPR.
There are breeders who post the logo of FCI, FBBSI, and FCPR who may or may not be breeding real FCI BBS/WSSD's. Sometimes this is done out of ignorance. Other times it is done to be duplicitous and to mislead the consumer into thinking a puppy is something it is not. There are also some breeders who breed both FCI BBS/WSSD and UKC White Shepherds (non-FCI). In this case, we hope that those breeders make it clear to the consumer what, exactly, they are purchasing and what type of registration their puppy will receive, whether UKC or FCPR/FCI.
What if I am a UKC White Shepherd breeder and want to register with ABBSC?
You may register with us any FCPR registered FCI BBS/WSSD's you own into our ABBSC dog registry database. We will also register offspring of those dogs bred to similarly registered dogs. However, we may not be able to register you as a Breeder Member. Our Breeder Members agree to only breed FCPR registered FCI BBS/WSSD to FCPR registered FCI BBS/WSSD, versus breeding FCI BBS/WSSD to UKC White Shepherds (non-FCI), as the puppies would not be eligible for FCPR/FCI registration. Though our club represents only FCI registered BBS/WSSD, we accept all enthusiasts.