If you love German Shepherds and are looking for a dog with a striking and unusual coat, then you will love the Panda German Shepherd.
This rare type of German Shepherd sports a coat with the unique “panda” coloration, reminiscent of the coloration on a Collie. Underneath that startling double coat, the Panda German Shepherd is the classic GSD you know and love: hardworking, loyal and confident, your faithful companion with unswerving devotion.
In this guide, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about Panda German Shepherds. We will tell you how some GSDs come to possess this rare coat and go over what you need to know about caring for this magnificent dog. We also will discuss buying your own Panda GSD.
|Confident, aloof, brave, alert, loyal, hardworking
|Moderate to high
|White, tan, black (usually)
1. What is a Panda German Shepherd?
The name “Panda German Shepherd” simply refers to a GSD with a coat featuring the distinctive “panda” coloration. Aside from that, there are no significant differences between a Panda German Shepherd and a regular German Shepherd.
2. What Do Panda German Shepherds Look Like?
A Panda German Shepherd dog has a very distinctive set of colors that occur in a predictable pattern. The dog’s colors are usually black, tan and white. The white is on the dog's chest, neck and legs, as well as the tip of the tail and part of the face. The distribution of colors is similar to what you see on a Collie.
There are some variations in colors. For instance, a "Blue Steel Panda German Shepherd" has a coat with a panda pattern but with a blue color instead of black.
Aside from that, Panda German Shepherds look like regular German Shepherds with long snouts, upright, pointed ears, bushy tails and large bodies. Their double coats are dense and moderately long.
3. Are Panda German Shepherds Rare?
Yes, Panda GSDs are rare dogs. In fact, every Panda GSD in existence can trace its heritage to one particular dog. Read more about this below.
4. How Does the Panda Coloration Occur in GSDs?
Breeder K9 Pines explains that German Shepherds with the panda coloration have a particular gene with a precise origin. In 2000, a GSD puppy named Frankie was born in the US with a spontaneous mutation. That mutation produced the panda gene.
This breeder explains that the panda coloration can easily be mixed up with white spotting from a recessive S locus. For a GSD to be a true panda GSD, that dog must be a descendant of Frankie. It is worth reading the page in full to learn more about the genetics responsible for producing the panda coloration in German Shepherds.
5. How Much Do Panda German Shepherds Cost?
Given their rareness, Panda German Shepherds do cost more than regular German Shepherds. For reference, if you were to buy a regular GSD, you would typically pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000.
But if you want to buy a Panda GSD, you usually pay between $1,000 and $3,000. For a specialized subset like the Blue Steel Panda GSD, the cost may be between $3,000 and $10,000.
6. What is the Panda German Shepherd’s Personality?
The Panda GSD has the same basic personality as a regular German Shepherd. According to the official breed standard from the American Kennel Club, “The breed has a distinct personality marked by direct and fearless, but not hostile, expression, self-confidence and a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.”
The AKC continues, “It is poised, but when the occasion demands, eager and alert; both fit and willing to serve in its capacity as companion, watchdog, blind leader, herding dog, or guardian, whichever the circumstances may demand.”
7. Are Panda German Shepherds Good with Family?
Yes, Panda GSDs are excellent family pets. In fact, their protective nature makes them great guard dogs for your household. They can get along very well with children if they have been trained and socialized well.
8. Are Panda German Shepherds Good with Other Pets?
German Shepherds are hit-and-miss when it comes to relating well to other animals. This may be due in part to their protective nature. It is important to socialize your Panda GSD early and to introduce him to other dogs with care so that he does not perceive them as a threat. This maximizes the chances that he will get along with them.
9. Do Panda German Shepherds Have Health Problems?
Like other large dog breeds, GSDs can sometimes have joint issues like hip and elbow dysplasia. We recommend purchasing a comfortable and supportive dog bed for your Panda German Shepherd to help keep joints aligned throughout your pet’s life. Some other health issues to look out for include degenerative myelopathy, bloating, and eye problems.
10. How Do You Care for a Panda German Shepherd?
Now you know a bit about living with a Panda GSD. But what should you do to give this breed the best possible care? Let's go over space and exercise needs, training considerations and more.
How Much Space Does a Panda German Shepherd Need?
A Panda German Shepherd can live in a small home or apartment, assuming you take them out on walks every day and they get sufficient exercise.
That said, as GSDs are large dogs, they will do best in larger homes with fenced-in backyards where they can run and play.
Related: Best Dog Houses for German Shepherds
German Shepherds are active, energetic dogs. Most require an hour and a half to two hours of exercise daily, and Panda GSDs are no exception. That can include walking or jogging with your German Shepherd, playing with your pet, or a combination.
Note that GSDs are intelligent dogs requiring plenty of mental stimulation each day. Providing your pet with puzzle toys will help ensure he will not get bored.
Yes, thanks to their intelligence, Panda GSDs are often pretty easy to train. They can pick up quickly on new commands. Nevertheless, these dogs sometimes have a stubborn streak. So, you might occasionally meet resistance. If you start training your dog as a puppy, you will have the best chance to train your dog easily and successfully.
German Shepherds are moderate to high shedders, but they are not too demanding when it comes to grooming. A couple of times a week, you will need to brush the double coat. They do blow their coats when the seasons change, at which point you may need to increase the frequency with which you brush.
Once in a while, you need to give your Panda GSD a bath. Also, be sure to keep up with cleaning your pet's ears and teeth. He will need his nails trimmed as well every month.
Diet & Nutrition
If your adult German Shepherd does not exercise much, around 1,250-1,300 calories daily may be sufficient. But if your GSD is very active, he might need as much as 2,100 calories daily. Many GSDs will need something in between those amounts.
As for your German Shepherd's diet, ensure it contains all essential nutrients, a significant amount of protein, and healthy fat.
11. Where Can You Buy a Panda German Shepherd?
Alas, the rareness of Panda German Shepherds means you cannot expect to stroll into your local dog shelter or store and find one waiting for you. You will generally need to go through a specialized breeder for Panda GSDs.
Here are a few breeders we found for Panda German Shepherds.
This breeder has been in business since 1996 and is based in Tennessee. When you buy a Panda GSD through Bradford’s K-9 Corral, it will be vaccinated and arrive with some of the starting supplies you need. There is a waiting list, so you will want to contact them as early as possible to get started.
2. K9 Pines
This breeder based in North Carolina specializes in Panda and other distinctive colors of GSDs. Their website contains a lot of helpful information about coat color genetics.
Here is another GSD breeder that breeds Panda German Shepherds. Their kennel is routinely inspected by AKC for quality and vaccinates and deworms puppies before sending them to buyers. They also provide a Puppy Pack to get you started. The breeder is based in North Carolina.
Another option for finding a Panda German Shepherd for sale is to check the AKC Marketplace. Many sellers participate, so you may have a good chance of getting a Panda GSD if you check the marketplace regularly.
Wherever you choose to go to buy a Panda German Shepherd, please remember to research the breeder thoroughly. This is important to ensure you will be getting an authentic, healthy Panda GSD and supporting an ethical business.
12. Is a Panda German Shepherd Right for You?
To help you determine whether a Panda GSD will fit your household, let's review what we have learned and review the pros and cons of this breed.
Pros of Panda German Shepherds:
Cons of Panda German Shepherds:
Consider a Panda German Shepherd If …
Now you have answers to your questions about Panda German Shepherds. These beautiful dogs unite the confidence, intelligence and affection of the German Shepherd dog breed with a distinctive coat coloration that you are not used to seeing on GSDs.
A Panda GSD puppy costs more than a regular GSD puppy, but that extra cost will pay off every day as you enjoy the boundless energy and loyal companionship of your new best friend.
Featured Image: dominodashollie/Instagram