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What You Need to Know About Panda German Shepherd

Panda German Shepards Feature Image

For German Shepherd lovers, the Panda Shepherd dog breed is the ideal pet. These dogs have all of a full-bred Shepherd’s desirable qualities, the only difference being their unique coats, which are white with black and tan spots, like Pandas.

The Panda Shepherd dog is a rare breed but differs only in its coat color to the traditional black and tan colors of a German Shepherd dog. Because of their build and intelligence, they are a great fit for many roles, including service dog and for police work applications too. These dog breeds require plenty of training, so they may not be suitable for first-time dog parents.

What is A Panda German Shepherd?

The first-recorded Panda German Shepherd was bred unintentionally by Cindy Whitaker in 2000 in the United States. A black and tan dog named Brain vom Wolper Lowen SCHH III was the father who had a German Shepherd Club of Germany registration. A solid black Shepherd named Cynthia Madchen Alspach was the mother of the panda shepherd puppy and was a part of the AKS registry.

The breeding produced the Panda GSD puppy named Lewcinka’s Franka von Phenom or Franka. But the owners of Franka had their doubts so they had her DNA tested. 

The American Kennel Club received early proof that the Panda GSD puppy was indeed a purebred German Shepherd dog. However, his pattern purebred heritage was classified outside of the dog breed standard.

White Markings on Panda Shepherds

Despite three more breedings, Franka was the only Panda offspring of her parents. However, many of her pups expressed panda patterning. Although similar to the piebald expression in other breeds, later studies revealed that the panda pattern was a relatively recent spontaneous mutation.

From this heritage, it is concluded that the Panda German Shepherd breeds are indeed full-bred German Shepherd dogs (GSD) with a rare genetic mutation in their KIT gene. 

This genetic mutation provides Panda Shepherds a distinctive piebald coat coloring, a mix of white, black and tan. White fur coat color is uncommon in a typical full-bred German Shepherd dog, which is what makes a Panda German Shepherd puppy so unique!

Panda German Shepherd Traits

Appearance

Other than their white coat color, a Panda German Shepherd displays the following physical characteristics:

  • A head that is proportionate to the body
  • A muscular body that is longer than it is tall
  • Comparatively pointed ears that stand erect when they are alert
  • Non-protruding almond-shaped eyes
  • Thick feet with strong nails

Height and Weight

Similar to a GSD, their average height can vary from 22 to 26 inches. Therefore, a medium-sized dog breed can weigh from around 90 to 110 pounds.

Coat

Most Panda Shepherds have a base color of black and tan shades like Cattle dog and Aussie pattern, but the pattern can show up in solid black, blue, or liver dogs as well as silver tans, liver, and tans, and blue and tans. 

The white coloring is typically seen in the chest, muzzle, collar area, stomach, and end of their tail. However, the amount of white fur and the exact location vary from dog to dog.

The Panda Shepherd dog has a medium-length white, black, and tan coat. All German Shepherds are double-coated, meaning they have a softer undercoat and a thick outer coat. But the good thing about the coat of this dog breed is that it is relatively easy to maintain. It just needs a quick brush every few days to remove any loose hair.

However, heavy shedding periods happen twice per year. Thus, dog owners may want to brush their Panda’s coats a bit more often, so their fur doesn’t end up all around the house.

German Shepherd Panda Breed Health Issues

Temperament

As stated above, Panda Shepherd dogs learn so readily and so intelligently that they have been used as a working dog, guard dog, sheepdog, in search and rescue service, as a guide dog for the blind, and in the military.

The Panda Shepherd Dog is naturally protective of its family, so it is best if it receives obedience training and early socialization to teach it how to be friendly towards people and other dogs. 

If not, they may become overly aggressive towards others. Being loving with its families means it should also be not kept separately from its owners as this can lead to behavioral problems.

Moreover, these intelligent breeds require frequent training. They should be challenged, both mentally and physically every day. Owners should provide their Panda German Shepherds with structure and need to be confident. 

A Shepherd with passive owners may become overly confident or timid if its owners enable them to think they are the leader of the pack. Dogs that either has too much or lack confidence are more likely to act out of line.

What You Need to Consider Before Owning A Panda German Shepherd

Exercise Needed

As high-energy working dogs, police dogs, and great guard dogs, all German Shepherds, including Panda German Shepherds, require up to two hours or more of daily exercise, ongoing training, socialization, and mental stimulation. Owners must not get this breed if they plan to leave their dogs at home all day. 

As Panda German Shepherds require regular playtime and walks. If their exercising needs are not met, they may act out. Panda German Shepherds also like other physical activities, including playing with other dogs, fetch, and even frisbee.

Panda Sheperd Gene Markings and White Spotting

Proper Food

All German Shepherds, including Panda German Shepherds, should be served high-quality dog food. The food should contain plenty of protein as well as other essential nutrients, including fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins.

Before buying dog food, make sure it has at least 5% fat and 18 % protein for an adult Panda German Shepherd, 8% fat, and 22% protein for puppies or lactating mothers. Their dog food should also depend on their age. This is vital as the quality of your Panda’s diet will have a great impact on his lifespan.

Like a German shepherd dog, a Panda Shepherd loves eating chicken, pork, beef, and duck meat as well. Adult German Shepherds generally eat 3 1/2 to 5 cups of dog food a day. 

However, owners should always check the weight chart on their dog food bag and weigh their GSD to determine the proper amount to feed their dog. How much food a Panda should be fed will vary depending on their level of activity as well.

Dog’s Lineage

The health of a Panda German Shepherd depends on their lineage. A responsible breeder who genuinely cares about the health and outcome of their puppies will not breed dogs that are predisposed to medical conditions. 

However, there are certain health problems that all German Shepherds, a German Shepherd mix, and even Pandas can have because of their build. Because it is so prominent, such things as hip dysplasia [1] can be bred out of the line, skip generations, or even littermates. 

Bloat is a common health problem among German Shepherds. This occurs because of the size of the breed and is found among giant and large breed dogs with deep chests.

Panda Shepard Dogs Markings and Coloring

Frequently Asked Questions

How rare is a Panda German Shepherd?

A Panda German Shepherd is considered the rarest dog breed to find. This is because it’s very difficult to give birth to these breeds with the breeding of two Shepherds. They are also not designer breeds as they have a single GSD bloodline.

Are Panda German Shepherds Purebreds?

Yes, Panda German Shepherd Dogs are purebreds. Due to the color of their coat, they only have a mutation in their KIT gene which becomes white up to 35%, otherwise, it is of a single GSD bloodline. 

The American Kennel Club conducted some DNA tests on the first Panda Shepherd, named Franka, and thus discovered that it was indeed a purebred GSD. The coat’s pattern varies; else, it has all the genetic configurations and features similar to a GSD. And the mutation only appears in the KIT gene.

How long does a Panda German Shepherd live?

If a Panda German Shepherd receives proper exercise and nutrition, they can live for about 9 to 13 years. Moreover, it’s also crucial to look for a breeder that is in it for the good of the puppy. 

An ethical breeder will do health testing on all of their breed stock. A GSD breeder will also concentrate on the temperament and common health issues of their dogs. Knowing this will help achieve the expected life expectancy of the Panda Shepherd.

Conclusion

To conclude, Panda German Shepherds are wonderful pets with great quantities of desirable characteristics. However, it is not recommended for pet owners with limited time or first-time pet owners to get Panda German Shepherds, as they require tons of energy and time. Indeed, the unique white spotted coats of Panda German Shepherds make them stand out from the crowd–which makes them the rarest breeds to find.