Panda German Shepherds

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Panda German Shepherds are German Shepherd dogs that exhibit a rare genetic mutation that causes white spotting the traditionally non-white marked breed of German Shepherd dogs. This frequently debated color is often dismissed as a result of crossbreeding. However, new research has proven insightful of the true origin of this new marking.


The first ever recorded Panda was a result of breeding two German Shepherd dogs by Cindy Whitaker.


Brain vom Wölper Löwen SCHH III, the sire, was registered with the German Shepherd Club Of Germany. The dam, Cynthia Madchen Alspach, was registered with the American Kennel Club.[1] Lewcinka's Franka von Phenom was born with white markings, and was the sole puppy in the litter to have such markings. Repeat breedings did not create any more panda puppies.[2]

Genetic testing[edit]

Her breeder had the puppy DNA Tested to see if she was mixed bred.[3] Surprisingly enough, her results came back as full offspring to both dam and sire. Her AKC DNA number is V119021.[4]

Franka's hip x-rays were evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.[5] However, her hips came back as FAIR. Rankings among the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals range from Normal (Excellent, Good, Fair), Borderline, and Dysplastic (Mild, Moderate, Severe). Her hips would be considered the lower end of normal, breedable good hips.

Franka's elbow x-rays were evaluated by Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.[6] Her elbows came back as normal, which meant there were no issues or degeneration noted.


Due to fact that any white markings is considered a fault for showing,[7] many German Shepherd fanciers assume that this color as a result of crossbreeding to collies or similar breeds. Many traditional breeders also believe that this color is from inferior stock, and that many breeders of this coloration are going against the GSDCA Code of Ethics. Some would even advocate for active culling of all panda colored German Shepherds.

Among Pet Owners[edit]

Within the pet community, acceptance of the color seems to be rising. Many people who are looking for a unique colored German Shepherd seek out or find out about pandas, and purchase them.

NAPSA Breed Club[edit]

A breed club founded by Cindy Whitaker, called the North American Panda Shepherd Association.[8]


A study published by UCDavis in 2016 found that the panda marking is the result of dominant mutation of the KIT gene, or the CD117 gene.[9] DNA tested conducted by the American Kennel Club proved her lineage to be, for a fact, a pure German Shepherd Dog.


Expression of the panda gene is exhibited openly on any coat that is not already white. Markings can show up anywhere on the body, but are more centrally focused on the paws or legs, chest or neck, and muzzle. There are no known cases of pedigree verified panda German Shepherds having white that extends beyond the shoulder blades onto the main section of the body.


Panda is a dominant gene.[10] Therefore, the gene must be expressed if a dog has it. It cannot be "carried" or be passed on without being visible on a dog's pattern/body.


  1. ^ "Cynthia Madchen Alspach". Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Whitaker, Cindy. "Panda Shepherd History". Phenom Shepherds. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  3. ^ Whitaker, Cindy. "Panda Shepherd History". 
  4. ^ "Lewcinka's Franka von Phenom". Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "Franka's OFA Profile". Orthopedic Foundation For Animals. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "Franka's OFA Profile". Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  7. ^ "German Shepherd Standard". GSDCA. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  8. ^ Whitaker, Cindy. "North American Panda Shepherds Association". Phenom Shepherd. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  9. ^ UC DAVIS. "Origin of Panda: White Spotting Gene". USDAVIS. Retrieved 18 November 2016.  External link in |website= (help)
  10. ^ "White Spotting in German Shepherds". UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. Retrieved 18 November 2016.