To understand what a Shiloh Shepherd is, is to understand the importance of “out crosses”, what they are, and how they came to be. Most importantly why they were used by our breed founder Tina Barber, and myself.
Like Tina, I see the bigger picture, and I know it is of the greatest importance for the welfare of this breed to include out crosses. This is why I have, and continue to use at times, out crosses in my breeding program.
Patty of Shenandoah, a successful breeder of Shilohs, also had the same insight of the importance of out crosses. She bred Von Bruin’s Courage (a shepherd dog), and produced Odin. Odin was something very special for sure, so Patty presented him to the National Shiloh Shepherd Breeders Register. It was agreed that Odin was a perfect example of what those foundation dogs were. Now carrying a dual registration, Odin held AKC German Shepherd status as well as permanent registration from the National Shiloh Breeders Registry. It is important to remember without “out crosses” in the Shiloh breed you would most certainly be faced with genetic defects, which some Shiloh breeders have started seeing in their breeding programs.
Much of this is due to the very limited gene pool in the Shiloh breeding group. Not to recognize it would be like putting blinders on. Due to Odin’s over sized bone structure, non-angulated back, perfect sized ears and loving, gentle disposition, he was …. well…. perfect!
More importantly, he had no genetic default and new blood! Odin and Shelby from Highland Hills were both chosen out crosses and brought into the Shiloh Shepherd breeding program. We could not be any prouder to have them. Any dog can be born Shiloh from Shiloh parents, but to be brought into the group, is exceptional!
Moving forward their contribution to the continuation of the Shiloh Shepherd is immeasurable. The proof is in our progeny. Make no mistake about it, this is the same thing our breed founder Tina Barber practiced by bringing in new blood of German Shepherd dogs with “specific” criteria.
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Unfortunately, registries are sometimes very political. If you are on the “other side” or a different registry there is division, competition and sometimes even jealousy. I will continue my breeding program and stay true to the making of the perfect Shiloh Shepherd dogs.
The proof of our good works are in our progeny, health testing results, and temperament of “type”. Without new blood like my Odin and Shelby we will certainly face continued heath defects in a very limited gene pool. The destruction of this magnificent breed would certainly follow.