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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Shiloh Shepherd Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Shiloh Shepherd Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Shiloh Shepherd outside

The Shiloh Shepherd is a large gorgeous dog that at first glance, will tell you that there’s German Shepherd (GSD) in their blood. They were developed by Tina Barber in the 1970s, who was looking for a breed that was protective, gentle, and intelligent and had good hips. She combined the GSD and a little dash of Alaskan Malamute, and the world was introduced to the Shiloh Shepherd!

Breed Overview


26 – 30 inches


14 – 23 pounds


10 – 14 years


Black with brown, tan, silver, gray, red, gold, or cream

Suitable for:

Active families, house with a yard


Energetic, calm, gentle, affectionate, devoted, intelligent

These dogs are quite large and look similar to shaggy German Shepherds. They come in smooth and plush coats and in various colors, usually either a solid black or white, sable, or bi-color, which can include black with brown, tan, cream, golden, red, or gray.

Shiloh Shepherd Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dogShiloh Shepherd Puppies

Shiloh Shepherd puppy
Image By: Pxhere

Shiloh Shepherds are active dogs with high energy when outside, but they tend to be quiet when inside. They are quite trainable due to their loyalty and intelligence, and they are robust and healthy. They have a good lifespan, but their large size might make it shorter than that of a smaller dog. They tend to be quite friendly with everyone.

When you welcome a Shiloh Shepherd into your home, be ready to have a loving and affectionate asking for play sessions. They are very loyal to their owners and will create strong bonds with their new families. Keep reading the Shiloh Shepherd’s care guide to know what type of care they need to grow into happy and healthy dogs.

Parent Breeds of the Shiloh Shepherd
Image Credit: Left – PxHere | Right: Liliya-Kulianionak, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Shiloh Shepherd

Shiloh Shepherds are active dogs that also enjoy a good cuddle. They love being around their families and are likely to exhibit destructive behavior if left alone for long periods. Overall, though, they are calm and versatile.

Shilohs are also known to be intelligent. They are quite affectionate and loving dogs that can easily become working dogs like their German Shepherd ancestors, including guide, therapy, and watchdogs, to name a few.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

No question about it, Shiloh Shepherds are fantastic family dogs! They are wonderful with children of all ages because they are so gentle and calm with the little ones. Regardless of how great Shilohs are with children, though, be sure to teach your kids how to treat all dogs. They should never be ridden like a horse (no matter how big and strong they are), and they shouldn’t have to endure tail and ear pulling.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Absolutely! That said, it’s best to ensure that they are well-socialized, and they get along with all the pets in the household, including other dogs and the family cat.

divider-dogThings to Know When Owning a Shiloh Shepherd

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The food requirements for any dog are based on the dog’s current size, activity level, and age. You’ll want to be sure to purchase high-quality dog food for a large breed with moderate to high energy levels.

Try not to give your Shiloh too many treats, and always be careful with people’s food because you don’t want your dog to become overweight. Speak to your vet if you’re ever unsure of how much you should be feeding your pup or with any other concerns.

Exercise 🐕

You can expect to exercise your Shiloh several times a day to keep up with their needs — about 1 hour of walking in addition to other activities, like playtime. They do best in houses with a large yard to give them room to run around in, and they can join you in your outdoor activities, such as biking, jogging, or hiking. Their thick coats make them ideal companions in the winter.

Training 🎾

Shiloh Shepherds take to training quite well. They are intelligent and enjoy having a job to do. Combine these traits with their loyalty to their owner, and you should have an easy time training this breed. Just be sure to use positive reinforcement and to make the training interesting.

Grooming ✂️

Shilohs have smooth or plush coats. While the smooth coat is a little easier to maintain, it tends to shed more than the plush, especially during the shedding seasons. Both types of coats have thick undercoats but are easy to brush, which you should do about once a day. Only bathe your Shiloh when necessary and only with a good dog shampoo.

You should brush your Shiloh’s teeth two to three times a week, trim their nails every 3–4 weeks, and clean and check their ears at least once a week.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Shiloh Shepherd was specifically bred to have stronger hips than their German Shepherd ancestors. That said, while they are strong and healthy dogs, they are still susceptible to a few health conditions.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Bone inflammation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Perianal fistula
  • Megaesophagus

Male vs. Female

Male Shilohs tend to be larger and heavier than the females. The males are typically a minimum of 28 inches and average about 110 pounds, while the females are around 26 inches and about 80 pounds.

Beyond the physical differences, there’s the difference in the surgeries. Spaying a female dog requires a more extensive operation, which costs more and has a longer recovery time than neutering a male dog.

The other difference worth mentioning is the variation in temperament. Some people think that male dogs are more affectionate but harder to train than females, but overall, the differences in personality come down to how the dog was trained and socialized while a puppy.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Shiloh Shepherd

1. Shiloh Shepherds are not recognized breeds

They belong to a few clubs, like the International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club and the International Shiloh Shepherd Alliance, but they are not members of any of the major dog clubs, like the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club.

2. They look like bigger and fluffier German Shepherds

Due to their Malamute ancestry, Shiloh Shepherds look like GSDs, but on a much larger scale. Most of them have even thicker coats than the German Shepherd does.

3. The Shiloh Shepherd was bred for companionship

These dogs were bred for human companionship, so you’ll end up with a devoted, loving, and social dog.


Shiloh Shepherds aren’t too hard to find, but they aren’t the most common breed either. Look for a good breeder. You can try the International Shiloh Shepherd Alliance, which has a list of breeders that are all registered through the alliance. You can also check social media because many breeders have pages available, or you can post your interest in this breed online.

If you’re considering adopting a Shiloh, you can try your local rescue groups, but you might not find one. You can try a breed-specific rescue like the ISSDC Rescue & Rehome.

If you’re looking for a dog that’s similar to the German Shepherd but is larger yet gentler and more social, the Shiloh Shepherd might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Featured Image Credit: Maggie Shore, Shutterstock

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