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Shiloh Shepherd Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts, Traits & More

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

shiloh shepherd dog at the park

Shiloh Shepherd Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts, Traits & More

If you’re looking for a dog breed to adopt and love the thought of a larger dog like the German Shepherd but are concerned about potential aggression, we’d suggest taking a look at the Shiloh Shepherd. This breed is a rarer one, as it’s only been around since the 1970s. But as a hybrid between the German Shepherd and Alaskan Malamute (among a few other breeds), you’ll find this dog makes an excellent companion. They are the size of a large dog but with a sweet, gentle disposition.

Here’s a closer look at what you should know about the Shiloh Shepherd breed before adopting one!

Breed Overview


26–32 inches


80–130 pounds


9–14 years


Black and tan, reddish tan, goldish tan, cream, silver

Suitable for:

Families, households where people are home more often than not, those in need of a companion animal


Smart, calm, and gentle

The Shiloh Shepherd breed was created in New York in the 1970s by a breeder inspired by her grandmother’s German Shepherds. She wanted the look of a German Shepherd, but bigger and with better hips that were less likely to suffer from hip dysplasia. With a mix of the German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute, and other breeds, she finally succeeded with the Shiloh Shepherd.

Shiloh Shepherd Characteristics

Shiloh Shepherd Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Shiloh Shepherd Puppies

Shiloh Shepherd Puppy lying on the ground
Image Credit: Kristina Osborne, Shutterstock

If it’s a Shiloh Shepherd you’re seeking, you will most likely need to find a reputable breeder. Shiloh Shepherds are an extremely rare breed, as they are still newer, so the chances of you finding one at your local shelter or randomly up for adoption online are slim. This rareness also puts them on the pricier side.

Having a Shiloh Shepherd around will be absolutely worth it, though, as these puppies will be awkward until they grow into their feet, making them uber-adorable. These pups will also be eager to play and learn, so start training and socializing them early on. Plus, these puppies will be thrilled to cuddle up with you. Family bonds will form quickly with this breed!

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Shiloh Shepherd

Having a Shiloh Shepherd around is an absolute delight. While this breed retains many protective and herding instincts inherited from the German Shepherd, they were designed to curb the more aggressive tendencies a German Shepherd might show, making the breed protective but calm. They’re also much easier to handle due to their composed nature and relaxed temperament.

Between their high trainability and friendly natures, the Shiloh Shepherd makes for a wonderful companion and helper to those with disabilities or issues like anxiety and depression who might need a hand. They also make fantastic pets for many, as they are playful, gentle, affectionate, courageous, and confident. The breed prefers to be around their families—in fact, you don’t want to leave them on their own for too long, as it will make them unhappy—so they’ll be thrilled to do everything with you.

These pups can also make excellent watchdogs despite their lack of aggression. Their size and bark are great deterrents for anyone with nefarious intentions, and the Shiloh Shepherd will definitely let you know when someone is coming around your home!

Black Sable Shiloh Shepherd dog with leash
Image Credit: Kristina Osborne, Shutterstock

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Shiloh Shepherds are wonderful for families! Due to their gentle natures, these canines are fabulous when it comes to interactions with children of any age. Children should still be taught how to play with dogs properly, of course, but the Shiloh Shepherd will be gentle and protective with kids. And, the more people in your family, the happier these dogs will be. Because they love being around people and dislike being on their own, the larger the family, the better off the dog.

That doesn’t mean a Shiloh Shepherd won’t work well for singles or smaller families, though. These dogs will be thrilled as long as they receive lots of attention and companionship.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

The Shiloh Shepherd absolutely can get along with other pets. Not only will these pups get along with other canines, but their calm nature may even help hyperactive dogs be a bit more relaxed. This breed can even get along with cats and other animals quite well.

However, the Shiloh Shepherd should still be socialized from an early age despite their already friendly natures. An unsocialized pup may have a more difficult time getting along with others.

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Things to Know When Owning a Shiloh Shepherd

Now that you have a better idea of what owning a Shiloh Shepherd is like, it’s time to find out how to care for one. Here’s a look at how much exercise this breed needs, their grooming needs, and more!

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Shiloh Shepherd should be fed high-quality dog food according to their life stage (puppy, senior, etc.). You should also consider getting them dog food designed for large-breed dogs. This is especially true for when they are puppies, as food intended for larger breeds will help these pups grow as they should instead of too quickly (as too fast growth can cause joint problems).

Also, be aware that the Shiloh Shepherd is a deep-chested breed, so they will be more prone to developing bloat, a life-threatening condition. You can help prevent bloat by ensuring your pup isn’t gobbling food down, feeding them several small meals throughout the day, and avoiding giving them food after they’ve been highly active.

Shiloh Shepherd standing on the snow
Image Credit: Kristina Osborne, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

These canines will need roughly an hour of exercise a day. This includes long walks, as well as time playing in the home or backyard. The Shiloh Shepherd will also be a huge fan of activities such as hiking. However, these pups will require plenty of mental stimulation to keep from becoming bored, so you should incorporate activities like agility and obedience training to keep them fully stimulated and happy.

One thing to note, though, is you should be careful not to overexercise this breed for the first couple of years of their lives. Too much exercise can mess with their growth and harm joints!

Training 🎾

Shiloh Shepherds are relatively easy to train due to their high intelligence and love of having jobs and activities. As long as you have set yourself up as the leader of the family unit so your dog knows to look to you for guidance, training shouldn’t be challenging. Do keep in mind that you should always use positive reinforcement, though, and that training sessions should be short and sweet. Also, switch things up every once in a while to keep your dog interested!

Grooming ✂️

The Shiloh Shepherd will have either a plush or smooth coat, but both will be double coats. A smooth coat will be a bit easier to deal with when it comes to grooming (though smooth coats shed more than plush coats). Whichever type of coat your pup has, though, brushing them a few times a week is advisable. This will keep your dog’s coat looking fabulous while also reducing shedding.

Bathing should only be done as necessary, as overbathing can strip a canine’s coat of essential oils, drying it out. Other grooming things you should be doing include trimming nails regularly, cleaning out ears once a week, and brushing teeth on a regular basis.

Shiloh Shepherd dog in the Field
Image Credit: Kristina Osborne, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

Shiloh Shepherds are a hardy breed, but as with all canines, there are some health problems they are more prone to developing. Here’s a look at a few of the issues that could arise with these pups.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Dental issues

Serious Conditions

  • Panosteitis
  • Megaesophagus
  • Bloat
  • Perianal Fistula

Male vs Female

There is really little difference between male and female Shiloh Shepherds. Males will be a couple of inches taller and a few pounds heavier, but personality-wise, males and females will be quite similar. Of course, every dog is an individual, so no two Shiloh Shepherds will be exactly alike.

The other significant difference between male and female Shiloh Shepherds will be the cost of having them fixed. Getting a dog spayed is more expensive than having one neutered, so consider that before deciding which sex you prefer.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Shiloh Shepherd

Want to know even more about these lovable canines? Here are three facts about the Shiloh Shepherd breed you might not know!

1. The Shiloh Shepherd isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but it does have a breed standard.

The Shiloh Shepherd may not be recognized by the AKC, but it has been recognized by other organizations and does have a breed standard.

2. The Shiloh Shepherd is recognized by a number of organizations.

These include the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA), the National Kennel Club (NKC), and the American Canine Association (ACA). ARBA was the first to recognize this breed.

3. The name “Shiloh” is a biblical one.

The name resonated with the breeder of these dogs.

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Final Thoughts

Shiloh Shepherds make wonderful pets, whether you’re a small or large family, single, or need a helper animal. They prefer to have someone home with them more often than not, though, so those who spend a lot of time away from the house won’t be a good fit for these pups. If you do think the Shiloh Shepherd would make a suitable pet, you’ll find yourself with a sweet, gentle, loyal, playful companion!

Featured Image Credit: Maggie Shore, Shutterstock

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