What is the average price for a Shiloh? 

It depends on the breeder, and whether the dog is show/breed quality or pet quality (with some minor faults, but still a beautiful dog). Typically somewhere between $2000-$3500 USD. 

How long do Shilohs live?

They typically live to about 10-12, but many also stretch into 13-14.

What health testing do they typically have?

Mandated health testing by ISSA Shilohs includes OFA/PennHip hips, OFA elbows, heart holter monitor as a puppy, temperament testing, and heart auscultation.

DM has almost completely been wiped out, and only a handful of carriers are left.

You can read more about it here.

How long is the average waitlist for a Shiloh?

Reputable breeders typically have a waitlist of 6 months-2 years, depending on how picky you are.

If you’re thinking about getting a Shiloh, please check out the upcoming litter list, and start chatting with breeders sooner rather than later.

The wait might be long, but the quality in the ISSA Shiloh Club is worth it!

Are you a breeder? 

Not yet, but feel free to get in touch if you’d like some recommendations.

Do Shiloh Shepherds make good service dogs?  

It depends on the tasks. Many are incredible service dogs, especially for medical detection/alert.

Due to a Shiloh’s empathetic nature, only a select few may be able to handle psychiatric alerts since they will often reflect our own emotions.

If seeking a Shiloh for specific tasks, please be open with your breeder with what you are looking for.

Based on your needs, a breeder may suggest a service dog from the fab four of service dogs instead: labs, poodles, golden retrievers, or collies.  

Do Shiloh Shepherds make good therapy dogs? 

Many excel as therapy dogs! They are often accepting of strangers without being over-the-top, so they can be gentle with folks in nursing homes and hospital settings. 

Do Shilohs shed a lot?

The plush (long-haired) Shilohs blow their coat twice a year, but they don’t shed that much throughout the week.

Unless they’re close to blowing their coat, you’re not going to come away with a bunch of fur after petting them. (Less than a golden retriever).

The smooth-coated (short-haired) Shilohs shed a lot more on a regular basis, as well as blowing their coat twice a year.

Are Shiloh Shepherds hypoallergenic?

They are not known to be hypoallergenic, but sensitivities vary from person to person.

Do Shiloh Shepherds have wolf in them? 

There is a persistent rumor that Shilohs have wolf content, but that’s simply not true. They have ‘wolfish’ features, but they are not wolf hybrids! No pedigree or DNA data supports that. See breed history.

What breeds make up a Shiloh Shepherd? 

Shiloh Shepherds are now purebred, but were founded primarily from about 20 individuals in the 1990s.

Most of these individuals were AKC American Showline German Shepherds from the breed founder’s kennel, with a few German Shepherds from different lines (a White Shepherd from Hoofprint Farms in Canada and an Altdeutsche Schäferhund from Netherlands).

Other outcrosses in the past include:

  • a German Shepherd/Alaskan Malamute mix named Samson-Woo, who was bred for Chuck Eisenmann’s for “The Littlest Hobo” TV Series.
  • a German Shepherd/Sarplaninac mix
  • a Czech Vlack imported from Czechoslovakia

All of these outcrosses were carefully vetted for health, temperament, and structure. All had something to add to the breed.

All outcrosses were then bred back to Shilohs. They are all blended into the population now, and are at least in the F4 generation.

Almost all Shilohs will Embark test as 100% Shiloh Shepherd unless they’re from a recent outcross.

More outcrosses are in the works with the goals of improving health, breed type, and genetic diversity, so keep an eye on the ISSA Shiloh Club page for more info!

A sample Embark DNA test for a Shiloh Shepherd

You can read more about the history here.

Are Shiloh Shepherds purebred or a mix? 

Shiloh Shepherds are purebred and descend from 20 individuals in the 1990s.

In fact, they’re so purebred that the breed is in a genetic bottleneck and needs to utilize outside bloodlines to lower COIs (Coefficient of Inbreeding)!

A carefully vetted outcross dog may be added every 5-10 generations for health, temperament, or genetic diversity, but the goal is always to breed the dogs back to purebred Shiloh type as specified in the breed standard

See breed history.

Graphic borrowed from the Institute of Canine Biology

Are Shiloh Shepherds good watchdogs? 

They’re great watchdogs! They will bark if someone is at the door or on the property, but will make friends easily. 

Should I get a male Shiloh Shepherd or a female Shiloh Shepherd? 

It all depends on what you’re looking for! Personally, I would just be very open to either with your breeder, and trust the breed wardens and their Litter Evaluation Report to guide you to the dog with the best-fitting temperament. 

Is my dog a Shiloh Shepherd?  

The only way to know for sure is to get your dog tested through the Embark DNA Test. Example of a Shiloh’s test here.  

My dog is a German Shepherd x Alaskan Malamute mix. Is he/she a Shiloh Shepherd?

I’m sorry, but no.

I’m sure your dog is a lovely crossbreed, but not a purebred Shiloh Shepherd. Shiloh Shepherds have descended from the same gene pool in the 1990s, and all Shilohs have ancestors in common.

(I believe the name for a German Shepherd/Alaskan Malamute mix is an “Alaskan Shepherd.”)

Shiloh Shepherd breed history.

What’s the difference between a Shiloh Shepherd and a King Shepherd?

The King Shepherd founder split off from Shiloh Shepherds and went in a different direction.

King Shepherds bred in more German Shepherds, in addition to Akitas and Alaskan Malamutes.

As of this writing, King Shepherds are still trying to attain a stable genetic base, and currently cannot be identified by an Embark DNA test.
Their results may show up as 100% German Shepherd, or some kind of German Shepherd mix. The only way to tell if you have a King Shepherd is by pedigree.

Shiloh Shepherds will test as 100% Shiloh Shepherd.

Side note: There is a lot of confusion over the difference between a “King-sized” German Shepherd and a “King Shepherd.” A King-sized German Shepherd is a purebred German Shepherd that is larger than the breed standard allows. Someone with a King Shepherd should be able to show you a pedigree that stretches back to when these dogs used to be part of the Shiloh Shepherd breeding program. More info on the differences between Shilohs, German Shepherds, and King Shepherds can be found here.

What health issues do Shiloh Shepherds have? 

Here’s the latest health survey by the ISSA Shiloh Club! 

Although hip dysplasia is the leading health issue, the stats from the Shiloh Shepherd breed summary on the OFA website show a nice trendline:

Shiloh Shepherd Hip Rating Trendlines

Other issues that can pop up are bloat, EPI, and some sensitivity to certain kinds of protein.

Heart issues can be quickly assessed with a heart holter (typically required and facilitated by a Shiloh Shepherd breeder).

Responsible breeders are working their hardest to breed out health issues as much as possible.

Whichever breeder you decide to go with, please make sure to read their puppy contract very carefully to make sure that they provide a health guarantee, and will take a dog back for any reason.

The breeders I recommend are here.

Is a Shiloh Shepherd good for a first-time dog owner?  

I think a Shiloh Shepherd could work out with a first-time dog owner, if they are also willing to go to training classes or work with a trainer throughout the dog’s adolescence.

Shilohs can hit an adolescent fear period that can be challenging with a new owner, and great care should be taken to not make things worse. 

What temperament issues do Shiloh Shepherds have? 

Without proper training and socialization, Shilohs can be reactive. A new owner should make it a habit of taking their dogs out for calm exposure to many things, without pressuring their dogs into interactions.

Teaching your dog to be neutral and calm in the presence of other dogs and people will go a long way to raising a well-adjusted, even keel adult. Learn to read your dog, and never force your dog to meet dogs or people they don’t want to. 

When will Shilohs be in the AKC/CKC/UKC? 

At this time, Shiloh Shepherds aren’t seeking major kennel recognition. They are still refining the breed by adding carefully-vetted outcrosses to improve health, temperament, and genetic diversity.

Shiloh Shepherds are in a delicate stage that needs dedicated people working with a strict management style.