Shiloh Shepherd

The Shiloh Shepherd is an intelligent companion dog who responds well to training. Their gentle personality makes them excellent service dogs or therapy dogs. They’re very similar in appearance to a German Shepherd Dogs, but larger.

The Shiloh Shepherd has a combination of a few breeds in their genetic makeup that include the Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd Dog. This big pooch is a softie and often described as affectionate and loving.

Shiloh Shepherds are super smart and can do a variety of jobs that include flock guarding, child companion, police dog, search and rescue work, guide dog, and much more. They get along great with other dogs, but early socialization is an important factor for raising a friendly, sociable dog.

Shiloh Shepherds need plenty of exercise and room to stretch their legs. A house with a big yard would be an ideal living situation for this sweet pup. They would thrive in single person home or with a big family. As long as they have a job to do, get daily exercise and stimulation, they will be very happy.

Breed Characteristics


Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.

Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.

Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.

Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.

All Around Friendliness

Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.

**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash like this one in public!

Health And Grooming Needs

If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards.

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.

If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.

Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!


Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.

Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.

Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.

Physical Needs

High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.

Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.

Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

You may want to consider adopting an older dog. Seniors can remain playful well into old age and have fewer demands than young dogs. Adding Glyde Mobility Chews to your senior’s routine can help fight the symptoms of arthritis and keep your old dog active and playful.

Shiloh Shepherd Dog Breed Pictures

Vital Stats

Dog Breed Group: Working Dogs
Height: 26 to 30 inches
Weight: 80 to 130 pounds
Life Span: 9 to 14 years

More About This Breed


  • Shiloh Shepherd coats come in a variety of colors that include black, brown, silver, gray, red, and pied. Their coats are usually a combination of two or more colors.
  • While they are not a good choice of dog for allergy sufferers, their coats are pretty easy to care for. One good, daily brushing should do with other grooming as needed.
  • Shiloh Shepherds have medium to high energy levels. Make sure your dog gets at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, which will help keep them fit.
  • Shiloh Shepherds get along great with children of all ages, especially those they’ve been raised with. They are often called gentle giants because they are patient and sweet with kids.
  • Shiloh Shepherds are nice to strangers and can get along well with dogs and other household pets, including cats.
  • Shiloh Shepherds like to work and need to have a job to do, whether big or small. Do not leave them alone for long periods. They can easily become bored, depressed, and frustrated, which will result in unwanted behaviors.


The Shiloh Shepherd was developed in New York in the 1970s by German Shepherd enthusiast, Tina Barber, and became officially recognized as a breed in 1990.

The Shiloh Shepherd has a combination of German Shepherd and Alaskan Malamute in their genetic makeup. The developer wanted to create a dog similar to the German Shepherd, but larger in size and with a softer and more gentle nature.

The Shiloh Shepherd is currently recognized by:

  • ACA = American Canine Association
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • ARBA = American Rare Breed Association
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • ISSR = International Shiloh Shepherd Registry
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NSBR = National Shiloh Breed’s Registry
  • SSBA = Shiloh Shepherd Breeders Association
  • TSSR = The Shiloh Shepherd Registry

The Shiloh Shepherd is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).


The Shiloh Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog. While not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), they do have a breed standard.

Females should be 26 to 28 inches in height at the shoulder and weigh 80 to 100 pounds. Males should be 28 to 30 inches in height at the shoulder and weigh 100 to 130 pounds.

However, many dogs may be smaller or larger than average for their breed and not fit within the standards.


Shiloh Shepherds make excellent family companions. They are highly versatile and can do many jobs, including service, therapy, guide, and watchdog. They love hanging out with their families and doing what ever they are doing. Hiking, biking, frisbee–you name it, they will want to join in the fun.

The Shiloh Shepherd is intelligent and trainable, which makes them capable of learning any task. Positive re-enforcement works best when it comes to training. They like to work and need to have a job to do, whether big or small. Give the Shiloh Shepherd a sense of purpose, and this dog will be very happy.

Do not leave them alone for long periods. They can easily become bored, depressed, and frustrated, which will result in unwanted behaviors.

Shilohs are very active when they’re outdoors. When indoors, they’re calm and will enjoy hanging out with their family, watching movies or doing whatever their family is doing.


The Shiloh Shepherd breed is predisposed to some health conditions. While most are generally healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it is important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.

Some of the more common health problems Shiloh Shepherd’s suffer from include:

  • Panosteidis
  • Megaesophagus
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Perianal Fistula


As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Shiloh Shepherd’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.

Shiloh Shepherds are prone to weight gain. Choose a high quality food and stick to a feeding schedule. Make sure your dog gets at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, which will help keep them fit.

Check their ears for debris and pests daily and clean them as recommended by your vet. Trim your dog’s nails before they get too long–usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer can help with this.

One of the toughest jobs when caring for any animal is maintaining their oral health. You should brush their teeth a minimum of three times per week. Your veterinarian can instruct you on how to brush your dog’s teeth properly.

You’ll need to take special care if you’re raising a Shiloh Shepherd puppy. Don’t let your puppy run and play on very hard surfaces such as pavement until they’re at least two years old and their joints are fully formed. Normal play on grass is fine, as is puppy agility with one-inch jumps.

Shiloh Shepherds should be given one mentally challenging task per day to help keep them stimulated. You do not want a dog to become bored and restless. Keep them busy, and you’ll keep them happy. Teach them a new trick! They love learning new stuff.


An ideal Shiloh Shepherd diet should be formulated for a large-sized breed with moderate to high energy. They have a tendency to gain weight if they’re overfed, so you should stick to a regular feeding schedule and not leave food out during the day. Limit their amount of treats, as well.

As with all dogs, the Shiloh Shepherd’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Shiloh Shepherd’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health–to make a specific recommendation.

Coat Color And Grooming

Shiloh Shepherd coats come in a variety of colors that include black, brown, silver, gray, red, and pied. Their coats are usually a combination of two or more colors.

They usually have medium-length, normal density, straight coats, and while they are not a good choice of dog for allergy sufferers, their coats are pretty easy to care for. One good, daily brushing should help keep their hair out of the house. Bathing is recommended only as needed with a mild shampoo, as too much bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils.

They have a double coat which will shed quite a bit. They also shed more heavily on a seasonal basis, which will require extra brushing. You will definitely want a vacuum on hand. See if a RoboVac is right for you!

Their double coat gives them an edge when it comes to extreme weather. Many Shiloh Shepherds absolutely love to run and play in the snow. They may also love to splash around in water during the summer. Do not clip their coats though. Their double coat helps to keep them cool during hot summer months. Keep in mind they’re an indoor dog and need to live indoors.

This dog is very popular in Canada due to their all-weather coats.

Children And Other Pets

Shiloh Shepherds make wonderful family watchdogs. Their size is intimidating, but they are not aggressive. They get along great with children of all ages, especially those they’ve been raised with. They are often called gentle giants because they are patient and sweet with kids.

As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while they’re eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

Shiloh Shepherds are nice to strangers and can get along well with dogs and other household pets, including cats. Early socialization is an important factor for developing a social dog.

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