What Kind Of Dog Is Bolt?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 01/08/23 •  6 min read
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What Kind Of Dog Is Bolt

Source: Disney+

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Disney has put out many animated movies that feature dogs. Today, we’re going to take a look at Bolt! He’s in a Disney movie of the same name and is a super dog who fights crime. This is a great movie! But one thing that’s never discussed is what kind of dog Bolt is.

Do you know what dog breed Bolt belongs to? If not, then read on to learn about Bolt’s breed and all about this amazing dog breed! Let’s get started!

What Dog Breed is Bolt?

According to the film’s creator, Joe Moshier, Bolt’s character is based on a White Swiss Shepherd! However, Moshier says that Bolt is loosely based on this dog breed. When you look at Bolt, his characteristics and features are not representative of one specific dog breed. Even so, he does bear a strong resemblance to a Swiss White Shepherd.

What is a Swiss White Shepherd?

The Swiss White Shepherd is closely related to the German Shepherd and is white. The dogs share many of their characteristics with the German Shepherd; however, it’s said these dogs are more mellow and not as high-strung as a German Shepherd.

Like their cousins, the German Shepherd, Swiss White Shepherds are often used as working dogs. They help with emergency services, search & rescue, police & military, and more.

Swiss White Shepherds share much of the same history as their German Shepherd cousins. These dogs were originally bred to herd cattle. By 1959, Germany’s German Shepherd club declared that all white Shepherds were albinos, and they were banned from registration and breeding. This covered all dogs that were 50% white and more. This was nothing but a theory. However, that was disproved when DNA tests were possible.

But the result was that the breeding of all white Shepherds dropped. However, in 1967, A Swiss citizen named Agatha Burch began to deliberately breed these beautiful white dogs. And this was the start of the Swiss White Shepherd, as distinct from the German Shepherd.

Swiss White Shepherd Appearance

Swiss White Shepherds are medium-to-large dogs that have plenty of muscle, with a rectangular body shape (similar to the German Shepherd) and sloping hind end. The dogs look like white wolves.

These dogs have almond-shaped eyes that are dark brown, with black pigmentation on the lips and eyelids. They also feature triangular ears that stand upright and a bit forward on their heads.

As you read through this description, think of Bolt! He fits many of these same characteristics!

Swiss White Shepherd Temperament

Like their German cousins, the Swiss White Shepherd is highly intelligent, full of energy, and watchful. They are a little less high-strung than German Shepherds and make excellent watchdogs. They are not afraid of defending their homes and families. Otherwise, these dogs have mellow, loving personalities, and they can get along with strangers.

This is a dog that loves to be the center of his family’s attention. They don’t do well left alone and can develop separation anxiety easily. They also tend to get along with other dogs and pets; they see their animal siblings as part of the pack. However, these dogs may be aggressive towards dogs they don’t know.

Here, again, these traits strongly remind us of Bolt from the Disney movie!


Swiss White Shepherds are extremely trainable and can be taught to do almost any work, similar to their German Shepherd cousins. However, these dogs do best with a pet parent who can establish themselves as the leader. Otherwise, this is a dog that will be happy to take on that role!

These beautiful white dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training methods. They are not receptive to harsh training or correction. If these methods are used, the dog will quickly decide he’s not interested in training.

Health Issues

Swiss White Shepherds are prone to several health issues, including:


When it comes to exercise, the Swiss White Shepherd needs plenty of it! This is a high-energy dog that needs at least two hours of exercise every day.

In addition, these highly intelligent dogs also need mental stimulation to keep them from becoming bored. A bored Swiss White Shepherd may develop unwanted behaviors, such as barking, chewing, and more.


These dogs have very thick, white fur that requires daily brushing. Swiss White Shepherds tend to shed quite a bit. Brushing helps control shedding and keeps the dog’s beautiful fur from matting.

Swiss White Shepherds need to be bathed more often due to their white fur. However, it’s best to use a gentle shampoo made for dogs that doesn’t dry out the skin or damage the dog’s hair.

The Ideal Family

The ideal family for a Swiss White Shepherd is one that is active. These dogs do best with experienced pet parents who understand how to deal with this dog breed (or who have past experience with German Shepherds).

In addition, the best family for a Swiss White Shepherd will ensure their fur baby gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. And the family should be ready to brush their canine companion daily and have a great vacuum that can deal with pet hair!

Swiss White Shepherds do best when living in a moderate-sized or larger home with a large fenced backyard. They would prefer living in the suburbs or in the country, where they can enjoy many walking places to walk and sniff around.

Swiss White Shepherd Food Requirements

Swiss White Shepherds are large dogs with appetites to match! They need a dog food that’s formulated for large, active dog breeds. These dogs are prone to developing bloat and do best with smaller, multiple meals throughout the day.

Summing It Up

So, there you have it! Bolt does strongly resemble the Swiss White Shepherd in many ways. These beautiful dogs are best suited to active families and will spend time with their fur babies. The dogs are highly intelligent and need plenty of mental stimulation, too.

We’re pretty sure that if you adopt a Swiss White Shepherd, like Bolt, you’ll have a dog that gives you lots of love and plenty of adventures for years to come!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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