Are you looking for a big, beautiful canine companion with the appearance of a German Shepherd and the Temperament of a lap dog? Then the Shiloh Shepherd is right up your alley. This gentle giant is known for his gorgeous coat, affectionate disposition, and eagerness to please.
Beloved as a family pet and welcoming of all, the Shiloh Shepherd is a wonderful addition to many homes and lifestyles. But is this impressive dog breed the best addition to your unique home and lifestyle?
That’s what we’re here to find out. Join us today as we learn all about the Shiloh Shepherd and discover whether or not he would be the best dog for you.
Let’s get started!
What Is A Shiloh Shepherd?
The Shiloh Shepherd is a mix between the German Shepherd and a few other dog breeds.
Though not yet recognized by all major breed clubs like the American Kennel Club, the Shiloh Shepherd is considered a purebred dog by many breed enthusiasts. A combination between German Shepherds and (probably) Alaskan Malamutes amongst other breeds, the Shiloh Shepherd is a companion dog beloved for his relaxed temperament and adaptable nature.
He has a decent lifespan for a larger dog breed and is imposing without being intimidating. This is a wonderful addition to families with children and other pets, or to households that are simply looking for a larger companion dog who will bond closely with everyone in the family.
But where does the Shiloh Shepherd come from, and why is he not yet considered a purebred dog by all breed clubs?
Let’s find out.
Where Does The Shiloh Shepherd Come From?
The Shiloh Shepherd was created in the 1960’s as a more mild-mannered shepherd breed.
We know that the German Shepherd is the main inspiration behind the Shiloh Shepherd, but the other purebred dogs he derives from are somewhat of a mystery. Most experts theorize that the Shiloh Shepherd comes from a combination of old german Shepherd dogs known as Altdeutsche Shaferhundes and has been crossed over time with Malamutes amongst other breeds.
Regardless, the crux of this dog is his Shepherd heritage, and it’s one that is most notable in the shiloh Shepherd’s appearance and demeanour.
Much larger than his German Shepherd counterpart but also much more even-tempered and relaxed, the Shiloh Shepherd is an American dog breed bred primarily for companionship. He is a newer breed to the scene, bred and perfected during the 1960’s by German Shepherd enthusiasts eager to make a more calm, affectionate, and all around friendly shepherd dog.
Since his introduction to the world, the Shiloh Shepherd has built a reputation for being a mild-mannered, family friendly companion. He is also a renowned carting dog, service dog, and search and rescue dog.
What Are The Shiloh Shepherd Temperament And Personality Traits Like?
Shiloh Shepherds are calm and loving dogs, who become very bonded with their people.
Despite his massive size, the Shiloh Shepherd is surprisingly adaptable. This is one of the many traits those who know him love about his personality. He is a calm, trainable, and affectionate companion who becomes closely bonded with his people and does just as well in small spaces as he does in large estates.
He simply requires routine exercise everyday and plenty of mental stimulation
Though he derives from working dog breeds, the Shiloh Shepherd is more mild-mannered, and better suited for casual companionship than his hard working German Shepherd counterpart. He becomes very bonded with his family members and is meant to be an indoor dog, living alongside his people and partaking in family events as often as possible.
As such, it is also important to note that the Shiloh Shepherd can be prone to separation anxiety, and will do best in homes with families who can be around him often or bring him with them on outings and adventures.
This is a dog who does well with children and other dogs, and will adapt to whichever adventure you are down for. He makes a wonderful companion for hikers, joggers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts, but also enjoys relaxing beside you as you read a book. He’s an easy going companion who knows no strangers, and enjoys just being in the mix of things.
Of course, we always suggest that children raised around any pet is taught how to respectfully handle animals. Teach children how to read a dog’s body language and the type of contact dogs are comfortable with. It is also a good idea to supervise smaller children around dogs to ensure everyone is getting along safely and happily.
What Are The Exercise and Training Requirements For A Shiloh Shepherd?
Swimming makes for great exercise for the Shiloh Shepherd.
Most dogs who come from working breeds are generally athletic and full of energy and focus, but the Shiloh Shepherd is more geared towards his family and their needs. This adaptable dog will go with the flow and enjoy doing what you are doing, but that doesn’t mean he does not need routine exercise or mental stimulation each day.
This is a breed who will thrive on a good walk, jog or hike each and every day with some play time at a dog park or in the backyard, if you have one.
He is an intelligent dog, and should also be kept mentally stimulated using puzzle toys, routine training, and challenging games where he can use his mind. This is a trainable pup who will enjoy having a job to do around the house, which is one of the reasons he makes such a fabulous service dog to those in need.
The Shiloh Shepherd is eager to please, and thus he responds best to positive reinforcement training. Keep training short and repetitive, and as game-like as possible to keep your Shiloh Shepherd from becoming bored. Refrain from scolding or punishing your Shiloh Shepherd when he makes a mistake, as he can be prone to shutting down if he senses you are unhappy with him.
Last, as with all dogs, the Shiloh Shepherd should be properly socialized at an early age to ensure he grows up happy, healthy and well-mannered. This is especially important if there are children in the home.
While the Shiloh Shepherd does well with children, he especially thrives with children when he is raised with them. Socializing your Shiloh Shepherd at an early age can also help reduce anxiety and increase his overall confidence around children and strangers.
To properly socialize your Shiloh Shepherd, be sure to introduce him to as much unique stimuli as possible early on. Make sure these experiences are positive and fun for him, and don’t force him to approach or experience something that is clearly frightening for him.
Forcing a dog into a situation that is clearly stressful for him can result in fear-based aggression and other undesirable behaviors.
Instead, be patient with your Shiloh Shepherd and use treats, praise and lots of love to help your dog learn about and adapt to his different surroundings.
What Does A Shiloh Shepherd Look Like?
Shiloh Shepherds can be both long and smooth coated.
Have you ever seen a Shiloh Shepherd? These dogs are just as majestic as they are massive. With their luscious coats, inquisitive eyes, and muscular gaite, there is no dog quiet like the Shiloh Shepherd.
See for yourself in our below overview!
Shiloh Shepherd Height: 28 to 30 Inches
Shiloh Shepherd Weight: 80 to 100 Lbs
Shiloh Shepherd Coat Color: Black, cream, brown, dark brown, black and tan, gold, red, and silver.
Coat Type: Two coat types including smooth or plush, double coated, shedding
Hypoallergenic Coat: No
Perhaps the easiest way to describe the Shiloh Shepherd is to compare him to a German Shepherd, except to point out that he is bigger and has a thicker coat.
The Shiloh Shepherd also has an elongated muzzle, muscular frame, and bright, intelligent eyes. He comes in a variety of colors and patterns which closely resembles those of his German Shepherd counterpart, and is beloved for his expressive face and long tail.
But while this thick coat is certainly one of the Shiloh Shepherds most beloved attributes, it’s probably a pain to keep up when it comes to grooming, right?
Let’s find out.
How Do You Groom A Shiloh Shepherd?
Grooming is a nose to tail job when it comes to the Shiloh Shepherd!
The Shiloh Shepherd can come in two coat types which include smooth or plush. The smooth coated Shiloh Shepherd requires less grooming and brushing, while the longer, plush coated Shiloh Shepherd will need to be brushed more often to reduce matting and tangles.
Regardless of which coat type your Shiloh Shepherd has, he will need routine brushing at least two to three times a week with a slicker brush and deshedding comb to remove shed hair and reduce doggy odor and skin issues. The Shiloh Shepherd sheds most in the shedding season, which happens twice during spring and fall.
During this time, the Shiloh Shepherd may do best with a good brush down at least once a day. Luckily, the Shiloh Shepherd’s weather resistant coat does not need to be washed often and he does best with occasional bathing once every few months with a quality dog shampoo and conditioner.
Along with routine brushing and occasional bathing, your Shiloh Shepherd will also need his ears cleaned regularly and checked for buildup of moisture and debris. Doing this routinely will help reduce ear infections in your dog and other potential issues.
Your dog’s nails should also be ground or trimmed down on a routine basis to keep them from cracking during play or exercise, and his teeth should be brushed at least once a day with a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste.
What Is the Average Lifespan Of A Shiloh Shepherd And Do They Have Any Serious Health Issues?
All dogs can suffer from serious health issues, and the Shiloh Shepherd is no exception.
All dogs can be prone to genetic health issues and the Shiloh Shepherd is no exception. With a lifespan of around 10 to 13 years, the Shiloh Shepherd can be prone to some serious health concerns including:
- Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (AKA Bloat or GDV)
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Skin Allergies
- Hereditary Heart Disease
- Pannus (An Eye Disorder That May Cause Blindness)
- And Bone Disease
Some of the most concerning issues you should be aware of in the Shiloh Shepherd is Bloat, which is common in many large, deep chested dog breeds.
Also known as GDV or Gastric Dilation-Volvulus, Bloat is a serious disorder caused when air or gas becomes trapped in the dog’s stomach, causing it to twist. This is a potentially life-threatening disorder that requires emergency care.
Symptoms of Bloat in dogs include excessive panting, unproductive vomiting or retching, obvious signs of pain or discomfort, excessive drooling, restlessness, and an extended belly or abdomen.
You can avoid Bloat in your Shiloh Shepherd by investing in a slow feeder dog bowl, restricting access to food or water immediately after exercise or play time, and avoiding overexertion during activities.
Another way to help maintain your Shiloh Shepherd’s overall health is to ensure he eats a well-balanced diet that is free of any fillers, additives, or by-products. It is also best to make sure your dog’s food is specified for his age, weight and activity level.
Keeping up with proper grooming, exercise, and mental stimulation will also keep your Shiloh Shepherd in ship shape, as well routine vet visits and wellness checks.
What Are Some Pros And Cons Of Owning A Shiloh Shepherd?
This is a massive dog who requires a family who is accommodating to his size.
Overall, the Shiloh Shepherd is an adaptable companion who gets along with most everyone. He is a happy, sweet-natured dog who does well in a number of environments. That said, this isn’t the dog for everyone.
Let’s go over some of the pros and cons of owning a Shiloh Shepherd that any potential owner should consider.
Pros To Owning A Shiloh Shepherd :
- Shiloh Shepherds are highly trainable dogs who are eager to please
- They are mild-mannered and easy going
- Shiloh Shepherds bond closely with their family members
- They make great dogs for families and get along well with other pets when properly trained and socialized
- Shiloh Shepherds do well in both smaller homes and larger homes as long as their exercise needs are met
Cons To Owning A Shiloh Shepherd :
- Shiloh Shepherds can be prone to a number of serious health issues, including Bloat
- They are heavy shedders who shed most during shedding season
- These dogs require routine exercise and grooming to stay healthy
- Shiloh Shepherds are very large and take up a lot of space
- They are prone to suffering from separation anxiety, which can lead to destructive behaviors
What Is The Ideal Home Type For A Shiloh Shepherd?
The Shiloh Shepherd is an adaptable dog, but he takes up a lot of space!
As we mentioned briefly above, the Shiloh Shepherd can be a good dog for smaller spaces, though it’s important to keep in mind this is a big dog who takes up a lot of space. While he is very adaptable to different environments, his human family will also need to learn to be adaptable to him.
This is especially true considering the Shiloh Shepherd is so family oriented. It is not uncommon for this big dog to follow you from room to room, so be prepared to have absolutely zero personal space when all is said and done.
The best home for a Shiloh Shepherd will be a home with people who are accommodating of this dog’s size and affectionate personality. You should also be prepared to get out and take your Shiloh Shepherd for a walk at least twice a day, especially if you don’t have a yard where he can run around and stretch his legs.
Choosing A Shiloh Shepherd Puppy Or Rescue – Tips On Finding The Healthiest Shiloh Shepherd Possible.
Shiloh Shepherds can be prone to serious health issues, so it’s important to get these dogs from a reputable source.
Since Shiloh Shepherd dogs can be prone to a number of serious health issues, it’s imperative that you get your Shiloh Shepherd puppy or rescue dog from a reputable source. Avoid backyard breeders and online sellers who promise a Shiloh Shepherd puppy at a discounted rate, or you could wind up with a sick puppy that costs you money in the long run. You may also be unwittingly contributing to a puppy mill.
Instead, go through reputable breeders when seeking a Shiloh Shepherd puppy. While this may cost you more upfront, it will give you peace of mind that your dog comes from a responsible breeder who can provide you with a health certificate proving their puppies have been health screened.
On average, a Shiloh Shepherd puppy costs around $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the breeder and the quality of the Shiloh Shepherd’s parent breeds.
If you are looking to save some money, we encourage you to consider adopting a Shiloh Shepherd from a rescue or shelter. There are plenty of shelters that specialize in specific breeds like the Shiloh Shepherd, and they should be able to help connect you with the dog of your dreams.
Not only is rescuing a dog a fraction of the price of buying one from a breeder, but you may also get a free initial vet exam. Plus, you’ll be offering a dog in need a loving home, so it’s a win for everyone!
The Top 5 Products Every Shiloh Shepherd Owner Needs
Start your Shiloh Shepherd off right by getting him the products he needs to thrive.
Are you gearing up to bring a Shiloh Shepherd into your life? If so, we want to help. Bringing a new puppy or rescue dog into your home is exciting but it can also be overwhelming, especially considering that each breed of dog has different needs.
Wondering how you can help start your Shiloh Shepherd puppy or rescue dog off on the right paw? Take a look below at the top five products you’ll need to help your Shiloh Shepherd thrive.
Outward Hound Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
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Bloat can be triggered by a number of things, but one of the most common causes is eating too quickly. You can help reduce your Shiloh Shepherd’s chances of bloat by investing in a slow feeder dog bowl.
These dog bowls are specifically designed to rescue chances of GVD in dogs by forcing them to eat more slowly and take their time. These bowls also make mealtime fun and challenging, which is great for intelligent dogs like the Shiloh Shepherd.
Dog Multivitamin and Joint Supplements
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Like many large breed dogs, the Shiloh Shepherd is especially prone to suffering from joint issues as he ages. You can help combat these issues by starting him early on a multivitamin that contains glucosamine for healthy joints.
The above joint supplements by PetHonesty also help aid in heart health, as they contain Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids from fish oils. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals, as well as probiotics which can help increase digestive health.
Taste of the Wild High Protein Dog Food
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Taste of the Wild is a high protein, quality dog food for large breed dogs that helps increase bone and muscle health along with immune and heart function. It contains probiotics and antioxidants as well as superfoods Shiloh Shepherd dogs need to grow and thrive.
You can order this dog food in different combinations depending on your dog’s needs. It also comes in a puppy variety as well as a grain free option for especially sensitive dogs.
The FURminator Dog Deshedding Brush
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With all that fur, your Shiloh Shepherd is going to need a quality deshedding brush. One of our favorites is the FURminator deshedding tool above, which includes an undercoat rake to help collect all that loose fur.
It also has a fur ejector button to help you remove the fur caught in the teeth of the comb so you can keep going with brushing and grooming. Best of all, you can order this brush based on the type of coat your Shiloh Shepherd has, making it ideal for both long and short coated dogs.
Furhaven Orthopedic Dog Bed
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Last but not least, we suggest you consider investing in an orthopedic dog bed for your Shiloh Shepherd. Remember, these big dogs are prone to joint and bone issues, and an orthopedic dog bed can help combat these issues early on.
The above dog bed by Furhaven is specifically designed for large breed dogs like the Shiloh Shepherd. They are even made in a calming shape to help reduce anxiety and are available in cooling gel, memory foam, or orthopedic foam depending on your dog’s needs.
And that’s it!
We hope this has been a helpful guide to the Shiloh Shepherd dog. So, now that you know more about this majestic and one of a kind dog breed, would you consider getting one? We would love to know your thoughts. Leave us your opinion on the Shiloh Shepherd in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.