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:

  • Black
  • Black & Cream
  • Black & Red
  • Black & Silver
  • Black & Tan
  • Blue
  • Liver
  • Sable
  • White
Long haired German Shepherds, or Coated German Shepherds (aka Coatie), are commonly seen in Europe serving as working dogs.

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
~Lord Byron

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."
~Verein für Deutsche Schäferhund

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.


Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Tool

The information and products recommended by german-shepherd-lore.com are not intended to take the place of expert veterinarian care. Please consult with your vet and ask about using a natural and alternative approach for the healthcare and treatment of your pet. Find a holistic vet.

Follow Us

German Shepherd Lore on Facebook German Shepherd Lore on Twitter

Free Dog Obedience Training Tips




Copyright © German-Shepherd-Lore | All rights reserved.
Powered by Site Build It! | Website design by Cre8ve Online