Black & Cream Shiloh Shepherd

Shiloh Shepherd Dog Breed

The Shiloh Shepherd is the larger, calmer and more companionable version of the German Shepherd. Still, they retain many of the GSD's fine qualities such as superior intelligence, confidence and loyalty, plus a high aptitude for a plethora of jobs-- from therapy work, to herding, to personal protection! With plenty of socialization and training, this can be an excellent family companions for households with children, other pets and even frequent visitors. This breed does shed a great deal. They are best suited to those that have the time and energy to exercise them, as well as plenty of space to house a big dog.

Shiloh Shepherd Breed Details

Shiloh Shepherds are loyal, hardworking dogs due to their, mostly, German Shepherd heritage, however, this breed is more calm, gentle and companionable than the traditional GSD. Although they are not recognized by the AKC, UKC or FCI, they are acknowledged by a handful of smaller clubs and registries. You most certainly can call them working dogs as they excel at almost any activity; obedience training, agility events, search and rescue, therapy/assistance, protection, flock guarding and tracking are just some of the most common jobs where you may find a Shiloh Shepherd. These dogs can live either indoors or out but prefer to be near their owner and have plenty of interaction with him/her on a daily basis. The best match for this breed would be an active, athletic owner with with plenty of time to spend with his/her companion.


  • Can live indoors or out due to "all-weather" coat; fairly calm indoors
  • Protective abilities, dedicated and loyal
  • Stunning appearance
  • Gentle playmate for children
  • If well socialized, outgoing with strangers
  • If well socialized, friendly with other pets
  • Super smart and trainable
  • Energetic, good exercise buddy
  • Excels at sports and athletic activities
  • Can be trained in therapy work
  • May excel at tracking and herding
  • Can be trained for search and rescue activities


  • Prone to many health issues
  • Needs very early socialization and training
  • May be better for experienced owners
  • Can be over protective or territorial if not trained and socialized
  • Needs daily outdoor exercise
  • Can be very hard to handle or destructive if bored (mentally and physically) or lonely
  • Large size not well suited to apartments
  • Sheds consistently
10 - 13 yrs.
26 - 32 in.
120 - 160 lbs
OverallFamily FriendlyChild FriendlyPet FriendlyStranger Friendly
Easy to GroomEnergy LevelExercise NeedsHealthShedding Amount
Barks / HowlsEasy to TrainGuard DogPlayfulnessWatch Dog
Apartment DogCan be AloneGood for Busy OwnersGood for New OwnersIntelligence

Shiloh Shepherd Breed Description

The Shiloh Shepherd information is too vast to summarize in such a small space! They are basically larger, calmer, more companionable German Shepherds. Their large bodies are muscular and proportional, maintaining the grace, confidence and stability of the German Shepherd. They have long, dense double coats that come in various color combinations similar to the GS. This breed has a broad head and tapered muzzle; ears are triangular and stand erect and eyes are almond shaped and always brown. The tail is bushy and held down but slightly curved (saber-like).

This breed is known for their superior intelligence that allows them to be highly trainable and intuitive-- knowing when to work hard and when to be gently playful. They need plenty of socialization and training (as early as possible) and are best handled by experienced owners or those that are confident and consistent enough to handle a big dog with high energy. If well trained, they excel in obedience and agility events, sports, protection, herding, tracking, search and rescue, therapy, physical assistance work..and many other activities!

Shiloh Shepherds are said to make excellent family companions that are gentle with children and the elderly, friendly with other pets and outgoing with strangers (provided the socialization/training has taken place). They can become destructive if left under-exercised, under-stimulated and lonely. This breed needs plenty of interaction with their owner/family every day!

This breed thrives in environments where they can have a job to do (such as those mentioned above). However, members of this breed make equally good matches for active individuals that can meet their exercise needs. They are very athletic and excel at many sports; an hour a day of activity should keep them healthy and productive.

Shiloh Shepherd Breed History

The history of the Shiloh Shepherd is rather brief since they are a fairly new and still developing breed. Breeders have been selecting German Shepherds to breed with a few other dogs since the 1960's. Tina M Barber, of New York (U.S), has been credited with the true start of the breed in 1974 in efforts to reproduce the large, athletic, intelligent German companion dogs she remembered from her childhood. Around 1990-1991 the Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America was established (of which Ms. Barber was the president) and a breed registry formed. In 1997 the International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club was founded.

Shiloh Shepherd Variations

Besides being larger and, surprisingly, calmer than their GSD counterparts, Shiloh Shepherds typically have a longer/more plush coat than German Shepherds. They actually have two coat varieties-- the plush and the smooth coated. Although there's not really a short haired Shiloh Shepherd, the smooth variety has a coat more similar to the GSD and consistently and more than the plush type. Smooth SS dogs have outer coats that are medium length, harsh, straight and lying close to the body. Plush coats have more dense undercoats with long outer coats that are especially abundant around the neck, on the chest and the legs; this type of coat should still not be longer than 5 inches.

Shiloh Shepherd Temperament

The Shiloh Shepherd temperament is stable and confident (like the German Shepherd), however, they are also calmer and more friendly-- making them even more suitable companions! The International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club recommends puppies personalities be evaluated at 7-8 weeks for the best match with a similar owner; this is because SS dogs are multi-faceted and, while some will be primarily athletic companion dogs, others may excel at protection, search and rescue, herding, tracking...and many more activities!

This breed is sweet and gentle when playing with or caring for children and the elderly. Although calmer than the GSD and, therefore, a great choice for families with kids, they still need plenty of socialization and training beginning at puppy age. They are extremely intelligent (and beyond) and most can be trained not only in obedience and agility but also search and rescue, therapy/assistance, protection, tracking, and even guarding flocks.

These dogs can be friendly and outgoing with strangers and other pets if socialized early. On the other hand, they can be trained to be extremely protective at all costs. They work hard, play hard, love hard and they know the appropriate time for each activity!

Shiloh Shepherd Health

If you are considering the Shiloh Shepherd, we recommend on visiting our German Shepherd page to view a list of common health issues for the GSD (since Shilohs have many of the same). Most individuals will live 10-13 years and are prone to more than a few serious problems:

  • Heart Disorders such as GSDIVA-- a potentially fatal irregular heartbeat
  • Neurological Diseases such as Degenerative Myelopathy where the spine is attacked, resulting in paralysis
  • Digestive issues like bloat, bacterial overgrowth and sensitive stomachs
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hazard of too much strain on the skeleton while the puppy is growing

Some breeders are working to eradicate several of these conditions from their puppies so it is important to do your research and find a breeder that can offer proof of good health for the parents, at least.

Shiloh Shepherd Health Concerns

Below are potential health concerns associated with Shiloh Shepherds.

Hip dysplasia
Degenerative myelopathy
Heart problems
Sensitive stomach

About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:March 13, 2017