The Panda German Shepherd is a less-known variation of the German Shepherd dog breed.
This Panda Shepherd color does not affect his inner workings or temperament and is more like icing on a cake.
Some dog lovers claim that the Panda German Shepherd is a result of crossbreeding. However, this is not the case as this is a purebred dog.
These dogs are mostly black and tan while about 30-40% of the rest of their bodies are white.
You may have been looking around the internet when you saw this great looking dog, or you may have seen one with your neighbor or friend and wish to know what he entails.
No need to worry as we are going to give you all the essential information that you should know about this Panda German Shepherd variation.
We will also look at some of the ways that you can best take care of him once you get him as your next family addition.
So, let us get right into it.
- About the Panda German Shepherd
- Panda German Shepherd General characteristics and appearance
- Panda German Shepherd Temperament and personality
- Grooming requirements
- How much should you feed a Panda Shepherd
- Exercise needs
- How to train a Panda German Shepherd
- Known health issues
About the Panda German Shepherd
There are several types of German Shepherds based on their colors and the Panda GSD happens to be one of them.
These are unique “panda” pooches that will easily blow your mind away.
The first sighting of the Panda Shepherd was made in the early 2000s when two purebred GSDs produced the 1st Panda GSD named Franka.
Franka was a purebred dog and this was proven by DNA studies that were carried out on her.
A Panda Shepherd can come in several color combinations with a panda-like pattern.
These color combinations include the following;
- Black and tan
- Liver and tan
- Blue and tan
- Liver and sable
- Blue sable
However, the black and tan color combination are the ones mostly seen in these canines.
So what is responsible for this unique and great looking color? The answer is genetics.
How gene mutation created the Panda GSD
Studies carried out by the UCDavis on this dog found that KIT gene mutation was responsible for this coloration.
This gene can be found in other dog breeds and animal species alike and cell functions.
Franka’s coat color was affected by the mutation of this KIT gene. This gene causes random white markings in dogs and is also known to cause blue eyes.
These markings are not the normal white markings like those of Border Collie but resemble the piebald white/Irish white.
This gene mutation occurs in the S Locus which makes it possible for scientists to study and determine what is causing this unique coloration.
You see, the thing is that no dog can carry a mutated KIT gene without expressing it and it is also a dominant gene.
And for this to occur at least one of the pup’s parents has to have had a KIT gene mutation but in other cases, it may occur due to a random mutation in the offspring.
Fortunately, there are no health issues associated with this gene.
A Panda Shepherd Pup can, however, have health issues due to bad breeding practices.
4 Fun Facts about Panda GSDs
- The first recorded Panda Shepherd appeared in the early 2000s from two purebred Shepherds owned by Cindy Whitaker.
- This is a great therapy dog and one of the best service dogs.
- German Shepherds with white markings are considered faulty in dog shows and this includes the Panda GSD.
- Despite this unique coloration, the Panda GSD is a great farm and herding dog.
Pros and cons
✓ This is an excellent family dog.
✔ They have a great and entertaining personality.
✓ The Panda Shepherd is a great service and a support pet.
✔ They are intelligent and can be trained for various roles.
✗ They have high energy needs.
✘ These dogs are prone to bad breeding practices causing deformities and health issues.
✗ This is not a great pooch for first-time dog owners.
✘ Is not suited for city or apartment living.
✗ This dog is very vigilant and high-strung.
Panda German Shepherd General characteristics and appearance
|Panda Shepherd summary table|
|Height||Males: 24-26 inches, Females: 22-24 inches|
|Weight||Males: 75-95 pounds, Females: 55-73 pounds|
|Lifespan||10 to 13 years|
|Purpose||Working and therapy dog|
|Suitable For||Active families and individuals|
|Color Variations||Black and tan with white markings|
|Health concerns||Hip and elbow dysplasia|
|Temperament||Active, Alert, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Self-assured and Protective|
|Other names||Panda GSD, Panda Shepherd, Panda Alsatian|
Height and weight
- Males can be between 24 and26 inches and weight between 75 and 95 pounds.
- Females can be between 22 and 24 inches and weigh between 55 and73 pounds.
Coat and shedding
This dog can have a short, long, or medium-length double coat for protection against the elements.
The outer coat should be straight and should have fine fur that should not be wavy or curly.
You should expect this dog to shed just like any other double-coated dog would. However, the level of shedding will depend on the overall length of the coat.
The Panda of a Panda German Shepherd is described as piebald and is a very unique color. This color pattern resembles that of a Panda.
On average, the coat color of Panda Shepherds is made up of about 35% Irish white markings.
These markings are mostly found on the tip of their tails, chests, feet, faces, and legs.
The rest of their bodies can be made up of several colors and color combinations.
These colors can be;
|Solid black||liver||Solid blue||Tan and black|
|Blue and tan||Liver and tan||Blue and Sable||Liver and Sable|
The Panda color and pattern is secondary and does not affect the basic color/pattern.
Panda German Shepherd Temperament and personality
If you own a German Shepherd or happened to spend time with one, you can be lest assured that the Panda Shepherd has a similar temperament and traits.
These are very loyal and hardworking pets that love to spend time with the ones they love after a long day’s work.
They are also very protective towards close friends and family and will put their life in harm’s way for yours.
However, they tend to be aloof towards strangers but are not skittish around them.
It is for this reason that you should make sure that your Panda GSD is socialized consistently and from an early age.
And contrary to what some people may have you believe, these dogs are not “dangerous” and should not show any “aggressive” tendencies.
This belief is ill-formed and with the right naturing these dogs are super-friendly and sociable.
You should also be aware of this dog’s high prey drive. It is not uncommon for them to chase smaller animals such as cats.
As puppies, these canines are very vocal and chatty but become quieter and calmer as they get older.
Is the Panda Shepherd a good family dog?
There is no doubt that this is a great family dog.
However, as pups, they are more hands-on and will require an experienced owner to take care of more.
The Panda German Shepherd is not a pet for a first-time dog owner.
They are also better suited for older children but even around younger kids, they are very patient and great with them.
Panda GSD pups are very playful and take around 12 months to reach their full size.
These pups are considered rare and come from the Franka lineage.
Finding a specialized and reputable breeder for these puppies is hard and you can easily fall for a backyard breeder looking to make money of this dog being “rare.”
For a good and reputable breeder, the pup’s health should be the first priority.
A well-bred Panda German Shepherd will not come cheap but will be healthier in the long run.
If you have any doubts about the Panda Shepherd pup you are about to purchase, you should ask for a DNA test to certify that the dog is a true Panda GSD.
A good breeder should health test both of the pup’s parents and the puppy alike.
How much do Panda German Shepherds cost?
The average cost for a Panda Shepherd puppy is between $1500 and $2000.
Depending on the type of coat and shedding frequency your dog will have the grooming needs will vary.
The short-haired and medium-length coat will need brushing twice a week while their long-haired counterparts will need brushing at least 4 times a week.
Bath this dog every 6 weeks and avoid overbathing as this will wash out essential coat oils.
Their ears also tend to accumulate a lot of wax and will need to be cleaned often using a cotton ball or a damp cloth with an ear cleaning solution recommended by your vet. You should never use a Q-tip.
How much should you feed a Panda Shepherd
This is an active and large dog which means he needs many calories to keep up with his energy needs.
You should also make sure that you meet his nutritional needs.
The diet should be made up of mainly meat-based proteins that should also be low on carbs and fats. It should also not have fillers or additives.
About 4 cups of high-quality kibble should be enough for this pooch.
A raw-meat based diet is another popular option that you should put into consideration.
These meals should be divided into 2 or 3 daily portions to minimize the risk of bloat.
|Panda Shepherd Daily Food Consumption|
|Cups of Kibble||🍗🍗🍗🍗|
The panda German Shepherd requires an owner that is as active as he is.
These doggies love to go for hikes, runs, and other high-intensity activities that can meet their physical stimulation requirements.
They will need upwards of 60 minutes of daily exercise.
You can achieve this by taking them for long walks which should be accompanied by an off-leash play session.
|Number of walks||2(30 minutes each)|
|Exercise needs||60+ minutes|
How to train a Panda German Shepherd
German Shepherds have developed a reputation for being one of the most intelligent and trainable dogs.
Training should begin the moment your puppy gets home.
Keep the training sessions for the puppy while allowing him to process the tricks and commands that you may want him to learn.
Make sure it is interesting enough to keep him interested in what you are teaching him.
Reward-based training and positive reinforcement are the best ways to train this dog.
The pup will learn to associate positive behaviors with rewards and is more likely to do something positive if he associates it with a reward or praise.
Ignore any unwanted behavior and never punish the dog.
Known health issues
No health problem is associated with the Panda gene.
The Panda German Shepherd is a fairly healthy dog but is also susceptible to health issues suffered by other German Shepherd types.
Some of the common GSD conditions are;
- Hip dysplasia
- Degenerative myelopathy
How long does a Panda German Shepherd live?
A panda German Shepherd has an average lifespan of between 10 and 13 years.
The Panda German Shepherd is a German shepherd variation that has a unique and great looking coat to that of the typical standard German Shepherd.
As long as you can keep up with his high exercise needs, this is the perfect canine friend for you.
His intelligence and trainability will amaze you, not forgetting he is an extremely loyal and affectionate pooch.
So, did you find this dog breed variation guide helpful to you?
Share your thoughts and any questions in the comment section below.
There you go, WOOF!