About the Western Shepherd

Why create a new breed?

The German Shepherd is the most accomplished and versatile breed known today, and was the creation of Capt. Max Von Stephanitz, a retired German Calvary officer in the 1890’s. The intelligence, loyalty, and devotion he developed in this breed made them the worlds preferred police/military breed. But lifestyles have changed since 1890.

The original Shepherd was a rural dog, herding livestock by day and protecting the home by night. For those cold European nights a dense fur coat was essential for life outside.

A very high energy level was needed to work with livestock all day, and still remain alert for wolves or burglars at night.

Today? Not so much.

The Western Shepherd is a makeover of this great breed, bringing about the first major changes in over a hundred years. These changes better fit them into today’s western lifestyle, while also addressing the health, and structural problems that have the breed.

In the western world our dogs are our family companions, and possibly our security system. We don’t need a high energy dog, constantly looking for wolves in the night. And as our dogs are a part of our family, they don’t need all that thick undercoat and excess hair and your clothes & home sure don’t either. 

The Shepherds biggest job in the western world may be keeping our family safe. For that we need all the power and strength of the original German Shepherd, but none of the crippling health problems of today’s German Shepherd.

This is why the Western Shepherd is bred to be a low-to-no shed dog, with the athletic ability of a Greyhound, the devotion of Mother Theresa & the knock out power of Mike Tyson. 

Recreated for the busy, urban lifestyle, of the western world, we place a premium on intelligence and easy trainability. In this breed. If you don’t have the time to train your Western Shepherd, buy them a book on obedience training, give it to your pup, and tell them to come show you when they have learned it all. 


History of the Western Shepherd

In the early 2000’s Butch Cappel of Cappel Canine became increasingly concerned with problems he saw while working with some of the top GSD working bloodlines. Both health and temperament were suffering. He set out to find the best of the best to create a bloodline that would allow him to place dogs in homes, in LEO agencies, in competition, and around the world that would be genetically, mentally, and structurally capable of protecting and loving families for years to come.

Working closely with the Dutch military and being in the protection dog world, Butch was no stranger to the Belgian Malinois that was to come on the scene. However he found that it was hard to find a steady source of top quality dogs. And often they were suited for the work but not suited to be off duty and part of the family. Their energy and drive was just too high for the average family today.

Dutch Shepherd is a great dog with long legs and body, a drive to work, but also a deep desire to love and protect it’s family, yet it lacks a certain drive and intuitiveness when compared with the German Shepherd.

Is the Western Shepherd just a Malinois/GSD mix? NO!

“German Malinois” or Malinois-Shepherd mix, there are many names for out crosses of these accomplished breeds. These have their own benefits but individual crossings can be unpredictable in the individual pups, and often do not reproduce true to a standard. The goal was to breed for the best qualities in each accomplished breed, and back cross, and out cross until the a foundation was laid for foundation stock that would be true to the program goals: healthy hips, size, speed, stamina, drive, intelligence, and trainability.
Along the way we removed the undercoat, which causes these dogs to battle with heat fatigue and causes their owners to battle with a LOT of shedding.

So no, it is not just another hybrid – it is a breed all its own.


Breed Standard

Temperament

The Western Shepherd is an intelligent, athletic, and affectionate dog with strong nerves and a high desire to please it’s people.

General Appearance

The Western Shepherd is a powerful medium to large size dog that is elongated and visibly well muscled. 
Height is 24”-26” for males with a weight of 70-95lbs.
Height is 22”-24” for females with a weight of 60-80lbs
The body should be elongated with a length:height ratio of 1.1:1. 

Structure

Head is wedge shaped, skull/muzzle 1:1

Nose should be black

Ears should be erect, equally aligned, not leaning forward

Tail is long and powerful, carried low with slight curl and can be carried erect

Front Legs

  • Straight and Parallel
  • Elbows not bowed
  • Paws should be symmetrical and point straight ahead

Rear

  • Square
  • Equal in length to the front
  • Paws should be symmetrical and point straight ahead

Coat

  • Texture: smooth with little to no undercoat
  • Colors: “Bart” (Bi-Color), Red Sable, Gray Sable, Fawn, Brindle, Black
  • Markings: All dogs should have dark mask, some white on the chest or toes is acceptable

Health

Life expectancy of 12-14 years

Hips – the Achillies heel of the working dog, great care has been put into the testing and selection of the foundation stock to produce the best hips possible.


Accomplishments of the Western Shepherd

  • Law Enforcement – Western Shepherds have been sought by and placed with agencies as patrol dogs
  • K9 Pro Sports
  • Proven real world protection dogs – see our testimonials page to read about how Western Shepherds have protected our families and saved lives
  • Dock Dogs
  • Agility
  • Obedience