German Shepherd Colors
No good dog is a bad color
~Max von Stephanitz - Founder of the German Shepherd Breed on German Shepherd colors
German Shepherd Colors
German Shepherds are one of the most versatile dogs out there. That is reflected as well in their appearance which can vary widely in coat color and length.
GSD coat colors can come in the following variations:
Long haired German Shepherds, or Coated German Shepherds (aka Coatie), are commonly seen in Europe serving as working dogs.
- Black & Cream
- Black & Red
- Black & Silver
- Black & Tan
Solid black German Shepherds, along with Black & Tan
and Sable are the most popular GSD colors in the United States.
In Germany, Black & Red is the predominant appearance.
Blue German Shepherds, receive two recessive genes whcih dilute black pigmentation.
The Liver German Shepherd contains a recessive gene from each parent which blocks black pigmentation.
Sable German Shepherds, also known as Agouti or Wolf Gray, actually carry the dominant gene.
White German Shepherd Dogs are recognized by the AKC as the American White Shepherd.
Blue, Liver and White shepherds are all considered major conformation faults.
Do Not Judge a Book By Its Cover
The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend
Temperament and health are much more important in evaluating the breed. Your German Shepherd should be approachable, but don't expect her to make immediate friends with strangers. Please be aware that their protective nature does require German Shepherd training with a firm but patient hand to prevent over-guarding.
The color of a dog is not an indicator of either excellent or poor health. While the AKC considers blue, liver and white to be faulty GSD coat colors, this has no impact on the health of the dog.
According to the SV, the German Shepherd Dog Club:
"The color of the GSD is in itself not important and has no effect on the character of the dog or on its fitness for work and should be a secondary consideration for that reason. The final color of a young dog can only be ascertained when the outer coat has developed. The normal (stock) coated GSD should carry a thick undercoat and the outer coat should be as dense as possible, made up of straight hard close lying hairs."
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Choosing your puppy carefully, using criteria other than color will
pay off ten-fold in the long run. Temperate and health are much better indicators of good breeding.
If you can resist treating a rich friend
better than a poor friend,
If you can face the world
without lies and deceit,
If you can say honestly that deep in your heart
you have no prejudice
against creed, color, religion or politics,
Then, my friend, you are almost as good as your dog.
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