Shiloh Shepherd

Height: 26-30 inches
Weight: 80-130 pounds
Lifespan: 9-14 years
Colors: Black, brown, silver, gray, red, and pied
Suitable for: Energetic families or single households. Homes with children and other pets. Persons with disabilities.
Temperament: Intelligent and active. Loyal, gentle, and affectionate. Protective and confident

If you have a soft spot for gentle giants, the Shiloh Shepherd is a great option if you are searching for a new pet. This large breed is not only intelligent, but also sweet, gentle, and playful. They can handle almost any job you throw their way, and they will even give being a lap dog a try…although this may be one area where they don’t excel.

If you are thinking the Shiloh is right for you, there are many other aspects of this big softy you need to look into before adopting. All canines are different and require different care. This is why we have gathered all the information and conveniently put it all together in the article below.

In the following information, we will give you the specs on this breed’s temperament, grooming, diet, training, exercise requirements, and much more. We will also share other details including why this pup can be stubborn. Overall, you will find all the food for thought you need to make the best decision for you and your family.

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Shiloh Shepherd Puppies – Before You Buy…

shiloh shepherd puppy
Shiloh Shepherd Puppy | Credit: Michael 1123, Shutterstock

As a puppy, you will find the Shiloh Shepherd to be active, playful, cuddly, and adorably uncoordinated until they grow into their big paws. Like most mixed breeds, the best way to get an idea of this dog’s personality is to start by looking at their parents.

The Shiloh Shepherd is not considered a designer breed as they have more than two breeds in their background. They are most closely related to the German Shepherd, however. Their other most prominent gene comes from the Alaskan Malamute. Both of these canines are working dogs and known for their intelligence, energy, and loyalty.

Mixed together, these breeds create a protective, high energy, and gentle pooch that is a quick study. While a puppy, they will have all of these qualities. As training is important during these formative years, the qualities and traits they inherited will make things much easier…but more on that later.

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Shiloh Shepherd Puppies?

The cost of a Shiloh Shepherd puppy can vary between $1000 and $2000 depending on the breeder or kennel. Many adoptive pet parents believe that the higher the cost, the higher the “quality” will be. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. This is why you must do as much research on the breeder as possible.

Starting with a quick Google search is helpful. You can find info on how long the breeder has been in service, their location, general info on their company, and reviews. Beyond that, you also want to determine what will be provided (besides the furball in question, of course).

Most reputable breeders will give you background information on your puppy such as their vaccination and health records, their parentage, and other important facts. With luck, you may also be able to meet the pup’s mom and pop and tour the facility. A lot of information can be gained by simply looking at the conditions of the facility and the temperament and handling of the other dogs.

Shelters

You also have the option of going through a local (or not local) shelter. Due to their large size and energy levels, a lot of Shilohs end up without a home. Adopting one of these pups is a great way to go about pet adoption. The fee at most shelters is typically between $100 and $200. They will provide you with recent vet check-ups and vaccinations, but the chances are usually good that they will not have a lot of background info.

It’s also important to keep in mind that adoption costs are not the only expenses you will have to cover. Being unable to afford a pet’s care is one of the top reasons why pets are surrendered to shelters.

Shiloh Shepherd Black
Black Shiloh Shepherd| Credit: Mary Northwood, Wikimedia Commons

Other Expenses

Take a look at the expenses you should budget into your finances before taking in an extra mouth to feed. Note, your pet may not need all of these things, but you should be aware of what could be in store for you down the road.

  • Food and treats
  • Bedding, kennels, and crates
  • Toys and bones (chew toys)
  • Vaccinations and check-ups
  • Neuter and spay services
  • Microchipping
  • Grooming supplies
  • Leashes, collars, and tags
  • Indoor gates or outdoor fencing
  • Licensing and registration fees
  • Professional services (grooming, training, walking)
  • Medications, X-rays, additional vet costs
  • Coats, helmets, dog socks, etc

As you can see, you may not need to have all of these accessories. For example, if you don’t ride a motorcycle, you probably won’t need a dog helmet. Depending on where you live, you may also not need to pay for a canine license or registration (though you should always check). In general, it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Shiloh Shepherd

1. Their coats are unique.

The Shiloh Shepherd typically will not be one solid color. Instead, their thick fur will be a combo or two or more styles.

2. They originated in New York.

Designer and mixed breeds have been around for centuries, yet they gained popularity in the 1970s and 80s. The Shiloh Shepherd originated in New York sometime in the ’70s to correct behavioral issues that had become a problem among German Shepherd owners.

3. They are a semi-recognized breed.

Due to their mixed-breed status, the Shiloh Shepherd is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. On the other hand, this pup has become so popular and sought after that they are recognized by nine other canine organizations.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Shiloh Shepherd

The Shiloh Shepherd has many great qualities. As mentioned, this pooch was designed to curb the worst of the German Shepherd’s aggressive traits. What you end up with is a large, ferocious-looking softy who is gentle, sweet-natured, and loving. Not only that, but the Shiloh is intelligent, playful, loyal, and protective.

The Shiloh Shep has also been used in many occupations. As a working breed, they are the happiest when they have tasks to do. Not only that, but their easy trainability, loyalty, and other traits make them a great candidate for work in the public sector. You will find this breed doing jobs such as flock guarding and herding, child companion, search and rescue, police work, guide dog, and much more.

Interestingly, this pup also makes a great guard dog although they are not aggressive in the least. The biggest deterrent is their size and impressively deep bark. Those with nefarious intentions take one look at this big dog and decide to skulk in the shadows elsewhere. What they don’t know is one kind word, and they would have been free to relieve you of your valuables.

Besides their faux guard dog abilities, the Shiloh is also courageous, confident, calm in nature, and affectionate. They love to be around their family or owner. Taking a walk, watching TV, playing with kids, or chewing a bone are all happy times for them. They will likely try to climb on your lap to cuddle, as well.

This canine can do well in a single-family home as long as you have time to spend with your pooch. They are not prone to separation anxiety, but you need to ensure they have plenty to do. Boredom is not handled well with this breed. In that aspect, spending hours alone while you are at work every day is not the best situation for them.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The best situation for this breed is to be in a family environment (the exception to this rule is when they are providing a service, but we will talk about that later). The Shiloh Shepherd loves to be around people and kids. They want to be involved in all the daily activities and will find ways to show their value in these activities; like becoming your vacuum if you happen to drop something while cooking.

This breed is great with kids of all ages. Although they are large dogs, their gentle and calm manner makes them a great companion for your little ones. The Shiloh is also protective, so they may hover over those they feel need protecting.

You can also have this breed in a house or apartment. Be that as it may, a fenced-in large yard is ideal, but they can do just as well in apartment settings. Providing them with adequate exercise and mental stimulation will be even more important in smaller living conditions, however.

It is also important to note that this pup is generally friendly to strangers. The exception is when someone is particularly aggressive or angry. As mentioned, this is a protective pet, but not particularly aggressive unless their hand (paw) is forced. A well-spoken “woof” usually gets the job done, though.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Of course, they do! The Shiloh Shepherd is great with other canines and pets in general. Not only that, but they have been known to calm hyper dogs and generally be a good influence of those pups with behavioral issues.

It is important to note, however, that early socialization is key to having a pet that can be around other animals. Although this breed typically plays well with others, a Shiloh that was never socialized may not be as friendly. This is something we will go over in more detail in the training section, but we thought it was important to mention here.

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Things to Know When Owning a Shiloh Shepherd:

When it comes to pet ownership, the overall care of the animal will have a bigger impact on whether or not the breed is right for you versus their temperament and personality. Even if your potential pooch is an angel, their care may not be right for your lifestyle.

Below, we will go over all the necessary aspects of taking care of a Shiloh Shepherd. Everything from grooming, to training, to exercise will be covered. This section should cover all the other details you need to make that final decision about this canine companion.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

As a large and energetic dog, the Shiloh Shepherd has a healthy appetite you should be prepared to satisfy. They will typically eat between two and four cups of food, two times per day. That being said, their diet will change as they change. Puppy, adult, and senior diets all have specific benefits for their age range. Your vet can help you determine exactly how much they should be eating and any other restrictions or requirements your pet needs.

Snacks and Treats

Another important aspect of the Shiloh’s diet is their snacks and treats. Not only are these tasty pre-meal appetizers a favorite among canines, but they are also important for creating a bond with your dog, reinforcing positive behaviors, and rewarding them for…being them.

Like their daily meals, snacks and treats should be healthy and nutritious. They should not have a lot of salt, sugar, processed ingredients, or artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Additionally, table scraps are usually not a good idea for your pet, although we know it can be hard to resist.

Many human foods can cause your dog to have stomach issues. Cinnamon, raisins, chocolate, onions, etc are all on the no-no list when it comes to your pooch. On the other hand, some human foods are healthy for dogs. Peanut butter, unseasoned pumpkin, and even some veggies all make great treats. There are also many fun recipes available that will not only be nutritious for your Shiloh but can be made quickly and inexpensively with the ingredients you already have in the house.

Exercise 🐕

Exercise is a very important aspect of this breed’s care. To put a fine point on it, the Shiloh Shepherd requires at least 60 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per day. Ideally, splitting the hour into two 30-minute outings is best. Besides that, however, this pooch will also need some additional playtime. If you have a big backyard, they will benefit from time outside. They can do well with some time alone, as well.

This breed will also need tasks and jobs to complete. Their mental stimulation is just as important as their muscle conditioning. If you don’t have a yard, teaching your pooch tricks or playing other games with them will help keep them entertained. As we mentioned above, this breed doesn’t do well with boredom.

When the Shiloh does not get the correct amount of exercise and tasks, they can become bored, depressed, and anxious quickly. It will usually result in destructive behaviors to relieve these feelings. Things such as chewing, whining, digging, barking, etc., are all within their stressful mindset arsenal.

Shiloh Shepherd in snow
Credit: Michael 1123, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

This breed is intelligent, smart, and eager to learn. They pick up obedience, behavioral, and housebreaking rules quickly. They also take to socialization skills well. That being said, the first hurdle with your pet will be setting yourself up in the Alpha dog position.

Alpha Dog

The Shiloh requires a fair but firm hand from a young puppy age. Once that position has been established, they will look to you for guidance on their behavior. To gain this leadership role, you will need to stay very consistent and persistent. Repetition will get you to where you need to be with your pup.

Once you have jumped the initial hurdle, positive reinforcement is your next best tool. As we talked about, this pup aims to please, is intelligent, and eager to learn. It will not take long for them to pick up on your commands especially when a snack is provided when they do well.

As with most canines, however, anger, frustration, yelling, and hitting will only be a backward step in training your pet. This breed can typically handle longer training sessions than other dogs, but this is an activity that is just as much about you as it is about them. Don’t be afraid to stop or take a break if you are having an off day. Your future relationship with your pet will thank you for it!

Grooming ✂️

With the Shiloh Shepherd’s thick fur coat, they will require a moderate amount of grooming. They have a decent amount of shed where you will need to brush them daily. During heavy shedding times, you may need to extend it to a few times a day, as well. We also recommend that you have a well-working vacuum, and people with allergies are not the best idea.

As far as baths, you want to keep them as limited as possible. Twice a year is sufficient unless there is a specific…stink. When you bathe this breed too much, it can strip the oils from the fur making their coat brittle and damaged. That being said, when you give them a tub make sure you are drying their coat to the best of your ability. Many pet-parents find professional assistance to be helpful when bathing this big baby.

Nails, Ears, and Teeth Care

As far as the rest of their grooming, it is pretty typical. You should check their ears for signs of debris and infection a few times per week. You should also clean their ears with a soft cotton wipe and an ear cleaning solution. Teeth should also be brushed a few times a week, and a dental treat or two is not out of place to keep doggie breath under control.

You will also need to keep their nails trimmed around two times per month. This is another situation where professional help may be needed as the Shiloh’s claws can be thick and tough. If you are unsure when they need to be done, you want to pay attention to the sound they make when walking in your kitchen. You should not be able to hear their nails clicking on the floor.

We also wanted to note that grooming schedules should be started as young as possible so they will be used to it as they grow. Many people find that adding these activities to their training is a great way to keep them interested (hint-treat). Some pups learn to love this time as they will like the one on one time with you.

Health Conditions 🏥

The Shiloh Shepherd has some health conditions that can develop throughout their lifetime. While not every pet will have these illnesses, it’s important to get annual check-ups with your vet. Not only that but being aware of some signs and symptoms can help you spot an issue before it becomes too serious.

Minor Conditions

Minor conditions you should be aware of are ear infections, weight gain, and dental issues.

Serious Conditions

Some of the more serious conditions this breed may have are Panosteidis, megaesophagus, hip dysplasia, bloat, and perianal fistula.

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Final Thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed the above information on the Shiloh Shepherd. If you are an active, dog-loving person who is okay handling and taking care of a large pooch, this gentle giant is a great option. Not only are they intelligent, affectionate, and loyal, but they are also playful and fun. You will find in this breed an excellent companion who wants to be part of the fun at all times. This is a great breed for many situations, and you will always have a loving friend.


Featured Image: Maggie Shore, Shutterstock