The Shiloh shepherd is a newer large breed originating from the United States. The Shiloh is growing in popularity, thanks to their beautiful looks and kind temperament. This cross between a German shepherd and Alaskan Malamute is a hardworking, smart, and friendly breed.
Shiloh shepherds are gentle giants. They are stable, kind, sweet, and happy. Wonderful with kids, the Shiloh has plenty of patience and can tire out even the most energetic children while showering them with love. Their size may be intimidating, but they are not a danger for strangers. They also get along well with other pets, including cats, especially if they grow up around them.
There won't be much lazing around if you adopt a Shiloh. They need a lot of exercise and space to vent their incredible energy. Shiloh shepherds don't like being left alone, so make sure you don't leave them on their own for too many hours at a time. Ideally, a Shiloh needs a spacious backyard, walks, and playtime. If you give them enough daily exercise, they will be super happy to spend the rest of their time just chilling at home with you. They also love swimming, like their Alaskan Malamute ancestors.
Shiloh shepherds, like German shepherds, are easily trainable. They learn new commands quickly and love to be challenged with games and tasks. These intelligent dogs need a lot of mental stimulation, and therefore are perfect as working dogs. They are great for rescue and search, as guard dogs, assistive service, police work, and herding. Like all dogs, it's better to train them as puppies. Early socialization with other dogs is also recommended at an early age.
While these magnificent dogs may not bark much, they do howl. Many things might get them to channel their inner wolves, such as other dogs, changes in their environment, separation anxiety, and even music or high-pitched noises. If you live in an urban setting where howling might be a disturbance, maybe think twice before getting a Shiloh.
The Shiloh shepherd is a very heavy shedder. The Shiloh's coat can be either plush or smooth. The smooth coat is made up of shorter hair and needs a little less brushing, while a plush coat can benefit from brushing every two days. Both coat types shed a lot, especially during the spring and summer months. Bathing is only necessary a couple of times a year. Use a gentle dog shampoo to avoid removing too much of their skin's natural oils.
Shiloh puppies should be fed 3 meals per day until they are around 9 months old. Afterward, you can switch to 2. High-quality dog food made for a large breed is the best choice for your Shiloh's health. Feed them 5 and a half cups per day or about 1800-2500 calories. However, depending on age, sex, and size, different individuals might have different needs, so organize a feeding schedule with your vet.
Shiloh shepherds aren't too at risk of developing issues that are instead common in their German shepherd ancestors. This does not mean that they can't develop them at all. Common issues include hip dysplasia and bloating. However, through proper genetic selection, breeders are trying hard to eradicate these problems.
Shilohs' most striking difference with German shepherds is their size. They also have a more squared back, and their heads are extra wolf-life thanks to their triangular ears. While German shepherds have a single-layered coat, Shiloh shepherds have a two-layered one, making them more resilient in colder temperatures, but a little bit more high-maintenance in terms of grooming. The Shiloh is kinder and gentler, and therefore more suited as a companion than as a protector.
Male Shiloh shepherds can weight between 100 and 130 pounds, while females are between 80 and 100 pounds. In terms of height, males are usually 28 to 30 inches at the shoulder, and females typically reach 26 to 28 inches in height at the shoulder. Their life expectancy is between 9 and 14 years, but it might vary since the breed is still developing.
Shilohs' prices are pretty high. A puppy can cost up to $1,000, if not more. That's why it's important to do your homework and to research breeders before adopting one. Many people buy Shilohs without being aware of the breed's needs, resulting in the dog being placed in a shelter for adoption. Try the International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club - Rescue and Rehome, or the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County.
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