Basic Shiloh Shepherd Temperament

Shiloh Shepherd Temperament Basics

Many people make the mistake of hearing that the Shiloh is a “family-friendly” breed, and assuming that Shilohs are the Golden Retrievers of the herding world. This is not true! Shilohs are still SHEPHERDS, with strong herding and guardian roots, and must be raised as such.


The basic Shiloh Shepherd temperament contains the following traits:

  • a generally calm temperament compared to other shepherd breeds, even as puppies.
  • a quick and curious intelligence that is extremely easy to train.
  • a generally sociable temperament. Some more, some less, but most Shilohs instinctively like people and will bond strongly to their families. The breed generally excels at therapy dog work.
  • a gentle temperament well-suited to getting along with children and small animals. Note that this doesn’t mean that they don’t turn into little sharks when they’re teething! Redirect her chewing to a handy toy, and, once her mouth isn’t so painful, your gentle pup will return.
  • a close and empathic bond with their owner, leading them to excel in Service dog roles. Many Shilohs work successfully as seizure alert, diabetic alert, or mobility Service dogs.
  • a protective instinct, not aggressive, oriented toward their homes and families. They are NOT attack dogs, and should never be encouraged to escalate protective behavior. A warning bark from a hundred-pound shepherd is usually enough to make intruders think twice!

Shiloh shepherd temperaments can range widely in other ways. Here are some of the traits we commonly see a range in:

  • Independence can range from the pup who will stick to their person like glue to the pup who is happy doing their own thing and entertains themselves, but will “check in” every once in a while to make sure you’re okay!
  • Prey drive can range from the pup that wants to chase everything that moves, to the pup who will only chase the cat if it runs, to the pup who would rather sit and interact with a person.
  • Confidence can range from the pup who will fearlessly charge into everything to the pup who would rather watch that weird flapping bag for a bit before approaching with the encouragement of their person. Confidence is a little hard to quantify because the TYPE of confidence can be different over different temperaments. A “medium-soft” pup may exhibit confidence as a youngster simply because he trusts people and is generally easy-going, whereas a “hard” pup may exhibit confidence because she believes she is Queen of the World!

    You can read more about our basic rating system for temperaments here!

This list could go on forever! Most pups we see, though, are not at the extremes of these examples, but somewhere in the middle.

Read on for “Is a Shiloh right for me and my family?” in part two!

© 2016 International Shiloh Shepherd Alliance, Inc.