Panda German Shepherd Complete Guide

If you have never heard of a Panda German Shepherd, let alone seen one, you are not alone. As long as I have worked with dogs, I have only had the privilege of meeting one Panda Shepherd. I was on a jog and could not resist stopping when I saw a couple with a stroller and a large striking dog with them.

She looked like a German Shepherd, but she was a remarkable tricolor. I asked what unusual breed she was, and they requested she was a purebred GSD. Greeted them and went about my way, but I had severe doubts about the dog’s purity.

Immediately researched the topic and found the couple had not fabricated some kind of new breed. What, you ask, is a Panda German Shepherd? Panda is a color variety that in many dogs is the black and white combination you would see in the wild animal of the same name.

Panda German Shepherds are unique in that they are typically black and tan with 35% or more or less white. Nevertheless, a German Shepherd can show Panda patterning on any coat that is not white. Other than color, Panda Shepherds are the same as other GSDs, sharing like conformation, intelligence, temperament, and working qualities.

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Panda German Shepherd Overview

Panda German Shepherd Overview

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 simply 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 taken out on her. A Panda Shepherd can come in several color combinations with a panda-like pattern.

Where Did Panda Shepherds Originate?

Panda Shepherds, like every other Shepherd, can trace their family to Beowulf. Beowulf, like his grandsire, Horand von Grafrath, fathered almost 100 pups, many through inbreeding.

Horand, of course, was the foundational sire of the German Shepherd breed, hand-selected by Max von Stephanitz in 1899 in Germany. Cindy Whitaker accidentally bred the first-recorded Panda German Shepherd in 2000 in the United States.

The father was Brain vom Wölper Löwen SCHH III, a black and tan dog who had a German Shepherd Club of Germany registration. Cynthia Madchen Alspach, an accurate black Shepherd, was the pup’s mother and was a part of the AKC registry.

The American Kennel Club proved through DNA tests that the Panda GSD puppy, named Lewcinka’s Franka von Phenom or Franka, was a purebred German Shepherd. Her owners finally registered her with the AKC, and she passed OFA scoring on her elbows and hips.

Franka was the only Panda offspring of her parents despite three more breedings. However, many of Franka’s puppies expressed panda patterning. Later research revealed that the panda design, although similar to the piebald expression in other breeds, was a relatively recent spontaneous mutation.

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 purposes. Franka’s coat color was affected by the change 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 usual white indicating 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 define 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 casual variation in the offspring. Fortunately, there are no health issues connected with this gene. A Panda Shepherd Pup can, however, have health issues due to corrupt breeding practices.

Panda German Shepherd General Characteristics

Height Male: 24-26 inches Female: 22-24 inches
WeightMale:75-95 pounds Female: 55-73 pounds
Lifespan10 to 13 year
Breed typeHerding
PurposeWorking and Therapy dog
Best forActive families and Individuals
Grooming needsNormal
Color variationBlack and tan with white markings
TemperamentActive, Alert, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal
Other namesPanda GSD, Panda Shepherd, Panda Alsatian
Health issuesHip and elbow dysplasia

Panda GSD Coat and Shedding

Panda GSD dog can have a short, long, or medium-length double coat for protection against the components. The outer coat should be straight and should have excellent fur that should not be wavy or curly.

You should expect this dog to shed just like any other double-coated dog would. Still, the level of shedding will depend on the overall length of the coat.

Panda Shepherd Colors

Panda Shepherd Colors

The Panda of a Panda German Shepherd is described as piebald and is a unique color. This color pattern resembles that of a Panda. On normal, 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 different colors and color combinations.

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 personality 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 nervous 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 unusual 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.

Is Panda German Shepherd Good Pet for a first-time Owner

No Panda German Shepherd is not a good option for first time owners.

How much do Panda German Shepherds cost?

The average cost for a Panda Shepherd puppy is between $1500 and $2000.

How long does a Panda German Shepherd live?

A panda German Shepherd has an average lifespan of between 10 and 13 years.

Panda German Shepherd Puppies

Panda GSD pups are very playful and take around 12 months to reach their full size. These pups are granted rare and come from the Franka lineage. Finding a specialized and reputable breeder for these puppies is hard.

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 preference.

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 pure Panda GSD. A good breeder should health test both of the pup’s parents and the puppy alike.

Grooming Requirements of Panda Shepherd

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 matches will require cleaning at least four times a week.

Bath this dog every six weeks and avoid overbathing as this will wash out essential coat oils. Their ears also tend to save 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.

Panda Shepherd Food Requirements

This is an active and large dog which determines 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 sufficient 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.

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 attractive enough to keep him interested in what you are teaching him. Reward-based training and positive support are the best ways to train this dog.

The pup will learn to associate positive behaviours with rewards and is more likely to do something positive if he compares it with an award or praise. Ignore any unwanted behaviour and never punish the dog.

Exercise Requirements of Shepherd Panda

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.

Panda German Shepherd Health Issues

No health problem is associated with the Panda gene. The Panda German Shepherd is a reasonably 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

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shepherd Panda



This is an excellent family dog.

They have high energy needs

They have a great and entertaining personality.

These dogs are prone to bad breeding practices causing deformities and health issues
The Panda Shepherd is a great service and a support petThis is not a great pooch for first-time dog owners.
They are intelligent and can be trained for various roles.This dog is very vigilant and high-strung

Final Words

The Panda German Shepherd is a German shepherd variation that has a unique and great resembling 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 problems in the comment section below.

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