Panda Shepherd - All You Need to Know
Most people never heard about Panda shepherds and when they see them for the first time, they think it is a German Shepherd cross. Some people think that it is a Colie/Shepherd cross, other thinks that it is a crossed White Shepherd. But that is not true.
The Panda Shepherd is a purebred piebald colored German Shepherd with approximately 35% of white color and the rest of the body should be black and tan. The first Panda Shepherd was born in the year 2000 and its name was Lewcinka's Franka von Phenom. BTW, for example Tokala from this video is a direct ancestor and great great grandson of this first Panda Shepherd.
So the Panda Shepherd did not evolved by crossbreeding, it was a spontaneous genetic mutation and the parents of the first Panda Shepherd were both typical working purebred German Shepherd dogs. All the dogs in the litter were typically looking GSDs, but one, Lewcinka's Franka von Phenom, was piebald. When Frankie matured, she was bred with another normally looking GSD and she had 4 puppies. Three out of these 4 pups were Panda Shepherds, one looked like a typical GSD. BTW the Franka parents were blood tested and it is certified that they were purebred GSDs with no White Shepherds ancestors.
The Panda Shepherd is a result of mutation of the KIT gene, which affects the color. Luckily, it should not cause any health issues. So other than the color, Panda Shepherd has the same appearance and temperament as German Shepherd.
Franka, the first Panda Shepherd also had blue eyes, which can also be caused by the mutation of KIT gene. But her pups had brown eyes and only some of the Panda Shepherds have blue eyes, but it can happen.
Even though the Panda Shepherd is considered as purebred, the white markings is considered as a fault by most of the kennel clubs, which means they can not attend the showring.
Other than that, this is a normal German Shepherd with average height between 55-65 cm, which is 22-26 inch and weight is typically between 22-40 kg, which is 49-88 pounds. Females are typically little bit smaller than males.
The temperament of Panda Shepherd is often times described as intelligent, eager to please, very active, curious, watchful and protective. Those dogs are highly trainable and versatile and are capable of working in many different areas. Panda Shepherds can be police and military dogs, guards and watchdogs, rescue dogs, they can sniff out drugs and explosives and they can also serve as guide and service dogs. Traditionally, German Shepherds were used for herding and they would still be able to herd and protect the livestock.
If you are thinking about getting a Panda Shepherd, you should be prepared for a lot of exercise. This dog has high energy and high exercise needs, so daily outdoor walks or jogs are must. Most of them are pretty playful and they like playing different games such as frisbee. Daily training sessions are also important, those dogs actually enjoy the training, especially if they are rewarded with a lot of affection and treats. You can also try some dog sport, Panda Shepherd is a great adept for agility, obedience, herding trials or tracking trials. This will exhaust the dog physically, but also mentally and exhausted dog is a good dog!
The German Shepherd, so the Panda Shepherd as well, is prone to some bad health issues. The most common is hip dysplasia. Other health issues associated with this breed include degenerative myelopathy, congenital heart defect and von willebrands disease. The average lifespan of Panda Shepherd is 10-13 years.
The Panda Shepherd has a dense doublecoat which sheds all the time, seasonally very heavilly. You should brush their coat on daily basis to remove the dead hair and minimize the shedding. There are no other grooming needs and those dogs do not require much bathing, only if its really necessary. Just like with all dogs, you should check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
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