If you have ever had the opportunity to see a Panda German Shepherd, then you know just how striking this pooch is. However, there is some confusion surrounding this dog – is it a mixed breed? What are the traits and characteristics associated with Panda Shepherds? Well, all your questions will be answered below.
Is Panda German Shepherd a Full Breed?
Contrary to popular belief, Panda German Shepherds are full-bred German Shepherds. The only difference between the Panda variation and traditional German Shepherds is a mutation in the KIT gene.
The mutation presents itself as symmetrical markings of white muzzle, chest, forelock, abdomen, collar, and tail. The exact amount of white presented can vary quite a bit from one dog to another.
This mutation isn’t just rare, it is also quite new. It was first noted in 2000, when it appeared spontaneously in a German Shepherd female. Panda German Shepherds have the P/N genotype compared to the N/N genotype of regular German Shepherds.
Panda German Shepherds will pass on this mutation to just 50 percent of their litter. Therefore, it can be quite difficult to determine whether or not a dog will give birth to a Panda German Shepherd.
What are the Basic Characteristics of a Panda German Shepherd?
Here are some of the fundamental traits of a Panda German Shepherd:
- Height: 24 – 26 inches for male and 22 – 24 inches for females
- Weight: 65 – 90lbs for male and 50 – 70lbs for a female
- Coat: Medium to long, double-coated
- Level of Affection: Highly affectionate with family
- Kid-Friendly: Yes
- Dog Friendly: Not very, but can be socialized
- Cat Friendly: Maybe, if socialized properly
- Preferred Climate: Better suited to cool or cold climates
- Shedding Levels: High
- Trainability: High
- Potential to Bark/Howl: High
What Do Panda Shepherds Look Like?
As mentioned, the amount of white presented in any dog can vary quite a bit.
When most people think of Panda German Shepherds, they picture a pup with a white forelock, muzzle, chest, and paws. The rest of its coat is black. Nevertheless, this is a pretty rare representation.
It isn’t uncommon to find a significant distribution of tan throughout a Panda German Shepherds. There may even be black and tan speckles across the white portions. There are any number of variations to how this dog can look.
Apart from this, they look like German Shepherds in every other way. This includes everything from the pricked up ears to the almond-shaped brown eyes. They will also have the same height, long body, and characteristic musculature.
What Kind of Temperament Does a Panda Shepherd Have?
Panda German Shepherds are prone to aloofness and will often come across as reserved. With their family, though, they are incredibly affectionate. Once this breed has bonded with you or your family members, they will be the most loyal companions you could hope for.
These dogs are also incredibly courageous, which combined with their loyalty, will mean that they are willing to protect you. In many cases, a Panda Shepherd will defend you at the risk of their own well-being.
Panda German Shepherds are also known for their confidence and will have no problem taking on a leadership role. They can be quite assertive as well. This can be a bit tricky because you will need to establish dominance with your Panda German Shepherd. Otherwise, they may not readily obey you.
In many instances, it is important to socialize a Panda German Shepherd at an early age. This will help to get rid of any potential aloofness and shyness. It also ensures that your pup will adapt to other environments and people more easily.
Herding instincts aren’t all that common with Panda German Shepherds, but they may show up at times. Due to this, you may want to watch your dog around smaller children as these traits tend to kick in around smaller individuals.
One of the main things to know about a Panda German Shepherd’s temperament is that these dogs form strong bonds with their family. Due to this, they don’t do well when left along for long periods.
These dogs can develop separation anxiety and begin to bark and howl while you are away. They can also become quite destructive.
Socializing your dog and training them to be alone for a short while when they are younger can help to curb this behavior a little. However, you shouldn’t leave this breed alone for too long.
What are the Health Issues Associated with a Panda German Shepherd?
On average, Panda German Shepherds are a pretty healthy breed. Nevertheless, this breed can be disproportionately affected by certain genetic issues.
What is the Life Expectancy of a Panda German Shepherd?
There appears to be some discrepancy when determining the lifespan of a Panda German Shepherd. Some experts claim it is only 7 to 10 years. Others, however, state that Panda German Shepherds can live for between 10 to 14 years.
Why does this discrepancy exist and which range should you consider?
This variation is probably due to the fact that there are technically two different lines of German Shepherds. The American German Shepherd tends to come from show lines. As a result, breeders put a greater focus on the physical appearance of the dogs.
Health and physical capabilities aren’t considered as much as these dogs are bred for their looks and temperament. Therefore, these pups may have a shorter lifespan.
German Shepherds from Germany are meant for the working line. These dogs also have to pass far more health and physical tests to prove that they are strong and able. Thus, these dogs have a tendency to live for a longer period.
What are Common Health Issues Experienced by Panda German Shepherds?
The top health concerns with Panda German Shepherds are hip and elbow dysplasia. This becomes more likely the older that a dog gets. In addition to this, these may be probable ailments as well:
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Regular health check-ups for your Panda German Shepherd is key. This will allow your vet to identify any early warning signs and treat them accordingly. This can help to delay the onset or progress of various diseases.
What are the Nutrition Requirements for a Panda German Shepherd?
It is important to give your Panda German Shepherd high-quality dog food meant for large breeds at every stage of their life. This is especially true when they are puppies. Panda German Shepherds can grow quite rapidly between the ages of four to seven months.
Unfortunately, this rapid growth can result in various bone disorders. In order to prevent this, your dog should be given a food that utilizes high-quality food sources but is also lower in calories. This can help to encourage a more regular growth pattern.
Limit how much human food you give Panda German Shepherds. This includes table scraps, cooked bones, or foods that have high fat. A small amount of cooked vegetables, yogurt, and eggs may be good supplements. It is best to ask your vet for advice when giving your dog human food.
How Much Exercise Does a Panda German Shepherd Need?
This is a high-energy dog, so they need a lot of physical activity. Try to take a Panda German Shepherd on at least two walks a day. It is a good idea to also mix things up by playing fetch and Frisbee.
As Panda German Shepherds, they love various activities. This is why you should consider agility training, dock diving, and herding activities. Not only will these give your pup a good workout, it will also stimulate them mentally, which is something that a lot of Panda German Shepherds need.
It is important to be careful with a Panda German Shepherd puppy. Their joints are still forming and you need to make sure that they only ever play or jump on soft surfaces, never hard ones. On soft surfaces, however, you can train your puppy on inch-high surfaces.
How Do You Groom a Panda German Shepherd?
You will often find this breed jokingly referred to as German “Shedders”. This, of course, is because they shed a lot – and often. If you aren’t careful, your entire home can become covered in fur in a short time.
To prevent this, it is best to brush your dog out at least once a day. You can primarily use a slicker brush, but use an undercoat rake every few days. After all, these dogs have a double coat and you need to make sure that you are getting rid of any loose fur in the bottommost layer as well.
If you don’t have the time to brush your Panda German Shedder every day, try to brush them twice a week at least.
Keep in mind that these dogs do have shedding seasons. Thus, you will need to brush them more often and will have to add a de-shedding brush to the mix. Many owners find it useful to take their dogs to the groomer during this period.
Despite their thick coats, German Shepherds don’t get dirty too often. Due to this, you only have to wash them every few months or when they get dirty. Washing your dog too regularly can strip their skin and coat of natural oils, causing dryness or other skin problems.
What is the Best Living Environment for Panda German Shepherds?
Their thick coat means that Panda German Shepherds are well-insulated. They are perfectly suited to colder climes. They don’t do as well in hotter areas, and shouldn’t be kept in environments where the temperature gets high.
If this is inevitable, remember that your Panda German Shepherd may need some additional help during warmer months. Keep them indoors with a fan or air conditioning. Make sure that they have plenty of cool water to drink at all times.
As for living spaces, it is important to appreciate that this is a large breed dog who takes up – and requires – a lot of space. This is why they are better suited to medium or large homes, particularly ones with backyards.
Although it isn’t a good idea, you can keep a Panda German Shepherd in a larger apartment. However, you need to make sure that they are given plenty of exercise throughout the day.
How Can You Train a Panda German Shepherd?
The great thing about Panda German Shepherds is that they take to training well. In fact, they love to be trained. The key here is to give lots of positive reinforcement as it will keep your German Shepherd actively engaged.
Always start socializing and training young. If you want a well-behaved dog, it may be helpful to get a dog trainer involved. Keep the training consistent and don’t let up – not only can your dog learn lots of new tricks, they also need older behaviors to be reinforced.
Where Can You Find Panda German Shepherds?
Not only is this an incredibly rare breed, but breeders often have little control over whether or not a Panda German Shepherd will be a part of a litter. In most cases, you have to be placed on a waiting list. Even then, always choose a reputable breeder who checks the health of previous generations to weed out genetic health conditions.
Can You Adopt Panda German Shepherds?
It is even rarer to find a rescue Panda German Shepherd. Searching online may yield better results, although you will have to extend your search far beyond your immediate region.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Panda German Shepherds:
Is a Panda German Shepherd a Mixed Breed?
No, a Panda German Shepherd is a full bred German Shepherd. Only their coloring is different.
Is a Panda German Shepherd AKC Registered?
Although the AKC recognized Panda German Shepherds as full-bred, they don’t register this breed for shows.
How Much Does a Panda German Shepherd Puppy Cost?
Due to how rare they are, Panda German Shepherds can cost anywhere from $1000 to $3000 depending on your region and breeder.
This is what you should know about the Panda German Shepherd. They are adorable, athletic, and completely loyal. And, now you know exactly what you are getting with this pup.