What's the difference between a
Shiloh and a regular German Shepherd?
Basically they both started the same way, that's why it is important
that you have a good understanding regarding the
of the GSD before you can do an accurate comparative study.
More indepth information is available in the "Introduction to the
Shiloh Shepherd" and "The Origins of the Shiloh Shepherd in Word and
Pictures". To obtain a copy of both, please send $5 to:
The SSDCA, Inc.
PO Box 309
Silver Springs, NY 14550
[2006 update: both are available
for download from our Learning Center.]
How Was the Shiloh Shepherd Developed?
The Shiloh Shepherd came from Shiloh Shepherds (Kennel) in New
York. Over 3 decades of research went into choosing the four lines that were best suited
to producing the desired size, temperament and hip quality. Dozens of German Shepherd Dog
bloodlines were rejected after intense inbreeding proved that they did not possess the
desired genetic qualities. Basically one person, Tina M. Barber. implemented the entire
project (since 1962).
What Makes these Dogs Better than other GSDs?
Different strokes for different folks! Anyone seriously researching
the GSD will find a variety of sources that conflict with each other, greatly!
Unfortunately (due to their extreme popularity) the GSD "breed" has gone through
a myriad of fads! Many small breeders have been able to "set" a certain
"type" that best represents their kennel, although none (other than Shiloh
Shepherd--Kennels) has taken their "type" any further. Tina Barber, on the
devoted the time (36 years) and financial commitment needed to maintain the data on
thousands of dogs, and hundreds of litters! Her "breed" was not designed to be
"better" then other breeds, just different!
Can I register my long haired GSD as a Shiloh?
No! The coat factor does not determine breed type! Shilohs come in
both--smooth and plush-coats! (Unless your dog has the LMX data that can meet the Hip,
Size and Temperament requirements set by the ISSR, Inc., he/she would not qualify for the
registry, even into the NB category. Accurate littermate data is a very serious
What other breeds were added to the Shiloh?
The only "breed" out-crossed blood was introduced in 1989
through a specially programmed GIANT Malamute/Shepherd cross. The Malamute line used came
from a kennel known for huge size and fantastic hips. The GSD line came from Northwest
Canada and was very well known. Neither of these kennel names will be revealed due to
How much Malamute is in the Shiloh?
Since each individual puppy in a specific litter will pick up "different"
percentages from each parent, there is no way to give an exact percentage average
for each individual. As a "litter" the first generation dogs from this out-cross
would have possessed approximately 25%, their offspring would average 12.5%, etc. Most
Shilohs actively "breeding" now are at least 3 to 5 generations removed from the
original four ("MAW" descendents) Snow, Sheba, Bria and Goliath.
Why is inbreeding on the "MAW" not allowed?
Several experimental "linebred" litters were produced with very negative
The size was not increased, actually the progeny was much smaller than the original pair
(the opposite of most Shilohs linebred on the Ursa/Kari line).
The hips were not improved, many were rated "borderline" to "barely"
Most had extremely faded or "white" muzzles (like the Malamute) with large GSD
but "kite" (set off tilting to the side) ears.
Very "straight" fronts with limited reach, preventing these dogs from
attaining the proper "flying trot".
Hook tails on dogs that did look like Shilohs (crossed with an Akita!) Many of
them carried these tails just like a typical Malamute.
Worst of all, stubborn/spooky temperaments that did not reflect the "willingness to
please" that makes the Shilohs so endearing. Destructive house manners, dog
aggression and enough other undesirable temperament traits have also been exhibted in
progeny from such breedings.
Please note: the "MAW" descendents so widely used are also
one-half "BAKER", a/k/a the "SABRINA/SELAH" line, and many of the
problems noted could be the result of too heavy linebreeding on that line or that
Can too much inbreeding lead to defective dogs?
Yes! Research will prove that in order to establish "type"
quickly, most breeders use a very selective program of inbreeding/linebreeding for
several generations using only the "best" progeny while carefully
documenting data regarding the entire litter. Without this critical information regarding
possible "hidden" recessives/health problems, etc., such a program is doomed to
Inbreeding brings out the best and worst qualities in a
particular line and can be a great tool when used properly by experienced breeders or
become a nightmare when attempted by a novice.
For more intense research on this subject, please visit
When is inbreeding/linebreeding discouraged?
Unfortunately in the "Shiloh World" many breeders are not
aware of the dogs that appear in the 6th-9th generations of
their pedigrees, thereby unknowingly they continue to "linebreed" on these dogs,
and are inevitably heading for a syndrome known as Inbreeding Depression.
CompuPed has a wonderful program that is capable of performing
Coefficencies of Inbreeding based on eight plus generation pedigrees. I would like to
suggest that any serious breeder purchase this program, and the data needed on their
breeding stock or request a full R.C. report from the breed founder) before making such
important (life changing) decisions as choosing the "right" pair! With the TCCP
data on each dog in our database and this program "too much" inbreeding can be
For more information, please take some time to read these articles,
written by the breed founder, for the November 98 SSDCA Newsletter
as well as an article written by Dr. Bell in our March Newsletter.