HISTORY OF THE
BERGER BLANC SUISSE
White Shepherds already existed long before the purebred breed of the German Shepherd Dog. White is an ancient sheep and shepherd dog color, and white dogs have been hugely popular with shepherds for centuries. At the end of the 19th century, the House of Habsburg is said to have already bought white shepherd dogs from Alsace-Lorraine because, according to the tradition, they would have been a perfect match for the white Lipizzaner horses and the white robes of the noble ladies. In addition to the Habsburgs, the imperial house of the Hohenzollern family, which was friendly with them, bred white shepherd dogs. The white German Shepherd dogs were therefore not a color mutant, which occurred suddenly at the beginning of pure breeding. A grandfather of the first German shepherd dog "Horand von Grafrath", registered in the studbook of SV, was therefore the white "Greif".
The end of the white German Shepherd dogs in Europe
In 1933, however, it was decided in Germany not to allow the color white in the German shepherd dogs anymore. Puppies, which were born white, were mostly killed immediately in Europe. This meant the end for the white German Shepherd dogs in Europe.
Further development in America and Canada
Only thanks to the continued breeding in America and Canada could the White Shepherds survive. Interested dog lovers overseas had already imported at the beginning of the 20th century dogs from the best German lines, which regularly brought white offspring. The white animals were increasingly favored. This is how Miss Anne Tracy from New York got to know the white shepherd dogs during a stay in Germany. In 1917, her first litter was struck with four white shepherd dogs, among them the well-known "Stonihurst Edmund". Over the decades, more and more breeders in the USA but also Canada dedicated themselves to the breeding of white
shepherd dogs and also began to build their own white bloodlines.
Return to Europe
In 1966, the Swiss Agatha Burch, who lived in the USA, bought from a breeder the white male "LOBO WHITE BURCH" (born 05.03.1966, AKC No. 727466). One year later, she returned to Switzerland, where «LOBO» was registered by the then stud-book administrator Dr. h.c. Hans Raeber in the Swiss stud-book LOS (185624), but with the addition "banned for breeding". "LOBO" attracted attention in Switzerland not only for its rare color but also for its outstanding performance. Mrs. Burch bought in England the white bitch "Blinkbonny's Lilac", which was also entered in the LOS (203886) thanks to a valid export pedigree, again with the note "banned for breeding". Mrs. Burch decided to breed with "LOBO" and "Lilac" and so on April 19, 1973 the first litter with three males and one female dog was made. An entry in the stud-book was out of the question, after the white color was no longer allowed. So only the entry in the appendix register remained possible. Under the kennel name "Shangrila's" the litter was registered with the registration number 272 275 in the appendix to volume 73 of the LOS. In 1976 Mrs. Burch imported another white shepherd dog "White Beauty (California)" from the USA. However, for the other two "Shangrila's" drafts, the entry in the appendix register
was denied. So it was quiet about the white shepherd dogs, at least there were no more official registrations. Ms. Burch relocated to the United States for family reasons and took "LOBO" home. Nevertheless, the spread of white shepherd dogs in Europe was unstoppable. Undoubtedly, Ms. Burch earned the merit of bringing the White Shepherd Dog back to Europe and giving it new popularity from Switzerland.
From white German Shepherd Dog to White Shepherd Dog
The Swiss Kurt Kron had acquired the bitch "Shangrila's Sweetygirl (LOS A275)" from Mrs. Burch's first "Shangrila's" litter and imported the white sheepdog "Kokes Mahalo" from Denmark. Kron finally laid the foundation for the distribution of White Shepherds throughout Europe with his dogs.
Especially the male "Champion von Kron" (born 03.04.1980 by Kokes Mahalo from Shangrila's Sweetygirl) as well as the dog imported from the USA "Krons Rani von Finn" (born 09. 12.1978) brought numerous litters, after being presented by the German Martin Faustmann Tribe dogs had been purchased for his kennel "von Ronanke". White shepherd dogs were bred from now on due to their increasing popularity in ever larger numbers. White Shepherds from the USA (known as Sherman's, Regalwise, von Finn) and Canada (Hoof Print) were regularly imported to Europe, which is why the breed was sometimes referred to as the "American-Canadian Shepherd" or "Canadian Shepherd".
The white shepherd dog, pure bred for decades now, moved away from his German relative more and more anatomically and essentially. The White Shepherd became a popular family dog due to its advantages. Especially his absolutely contemporary, benign behavior, which manifests itself in a very high social compatibility, distinguishes the White Shepherd.
The Swiss Jürg Epprecht, too, had come to appreciate the outstanding qualities of the White Shepherd Dogs and from 1987 imported four White Shepherd Dogs for his kennel "Weisse Perle" in order to promote White Shepherd Dog Breeding in Switzerland. In 1989 he founded the "Gesellschaft Weisse Schäferhunde Schweiz, GWS", which was incorporated in 1991 as a new breed club in the Swiss Cynological Society SKG/SCS. The internationally known cynologists Dr. J.-M. Paschoud and Dr. H. Räber were convinced of the right to exist of the White Shepherd Dogs and did real pioneering work, so that already on April 19, 1991, a provisional breed standard for the White Shepherd Dog could be published.
This was followed by assessments by two SKG judges, so that the first White Shepherd Dogs were registered in the appendix to the LOS in the recognition year 1991. The controlled breeding in SCS-approved kennels could start in 1992, after the first white shepherd dogs also completed the additional character test and met the other strict breeding requirements. The aim was to preserve and promote the breed-typical advantages of the White Shepherd Dog.
The example of Switzerland was also followed by the FCI national associations of Holland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Austria, Sweden, Norway and South Africa, which also recognized the White Shepherd Dog as an independent breed and in some cases recorded considerable registration numbers. In total, about 4500 white shepherd dogs were registered in FCI countries until 2001. In addition, over 15,000 dogs registered with non-FCI recognized organizations.
Source: Encyclopedia of pedigree dogs, Dr. Hans Raeber, Franckh-Kosmos publisher 1993, Band 1,
page 214 ff./ the Swiss pedigree dogs, Dr. Hans Raeber, publisher Swiss Cynological Society SCS 2008,
page 247 ff./ archive GWS Switzerland
ORIGINAL NAMES OF BOOKS! - FYE
Quellen: Enzyklopädie der Rassehunde, Dr. Hans Räber, Franckh-Kosmos Verlag 1993, Band 1,
Seite 214 ff./ Die Schweizer Hunderassen, Dr. Hans Räber, Verlag Schweiz. Kynolog. Gesellschaft
SKG 2008, Seite 247 ff./ Archiv GWS Schweiz
From the White Sheperd Dog to the «Berger Blanc Suisse» with breed
standard Nr. 347
Ten years after the national recognition of the White Shepherd Dog, on August 16, 2001 the SCS applied at the FCI for provisional recognition of the breed. The breed standard No. 347 for the new breed "Berger Blanc Suisse" was finally published after a delay with the date of 18.12.2002. The new name was chosen according to the French original language of the breed standard and should prevail against all fears also worldwide soon.
The Berger Blanc Suisse today
Following FCI's preliminary international recognition, the new breed "Berger Blanc Suisse" quickly became accepted in most European FCI national associations. Only in the VDH and overseas did it take a bit longer for the BBS lovers to have their dogs bred for generations exclusively registered as "Berger Blanc Suisse" and to start breeding. Numerous new BBS race clubs have been formed all over the world, most of which have also been accepted in their FCI regional associations within a short time.
In some countries, such as France, the BBS has thus become an actual trend breed with over 1500 entries annually. In particular, the high number of participants in national and international exhibitions as well as club shows leave no doubt that the new Swiss breed could also establish itself in international cynology. In some
BOG and even BIS exits, BBS have already achieved good results in recent years. BBS breeders and often also BBS breed clubs are founded throughout Europe and around the world, from South America to South Africa to Australia and Japan. The new breed found so unexpectedly quickly, despite their getting used to name and initial skepticism, a high level of acceptance.
In the year 2008 with the support of the Swiss Cynologial Society SCS the international association FBBSI (Fédération Berger Blanc Suisse Internationale) under the direction of the “Gesellschaft Weisse Schaeferhunde”, Switzerland GWS has set itself the goal of uniting those BBS breeders and breed clubs worldwide who feel committed to the breed in a special way. In particular, the FCI circular 77/2007
(Prohibition of crossing in random white German shepherd dogs) should be given consideration, because it is still not implemented correctly in all FCI national associations.
Only the definitive recognition of the "Berger Blanc Suisse" by the FCI could possibly lead to something being finally happening in the AKC or CKC. Many breeders of BBS in the USA or Canada are currently only allowed to work in the UKC for their breed "White Shepherd" and hope to be allowed to breed in the AKC or CKC as "White Swiss Shepherd Dog" whose pedigree papers again would be compatible with FCI.
Despite the lack of recognition of the breed BBS by AKC and CKC and the associated restrictions on breeding, the breeding base of the BBS today is wide enough: For several years, there is a lively exchange of breeding dogs and puppies, especially between Europe, South America and for example also South Africa, which results in a considerable expansion of the respective breeding potential. With more than 21,000 registrations of BBS in the key European countries alone, the future of the BBS is undoubtedly secure in every respect.
*History provided by FBBSI final report for FCI recognition.