True German Shepherd Colors
There are 7 acceptable German Shepherd colors:
- Black and Tan
Black and Tan is the most common color among German Shepherds.
The classic black and tan German Shepherd is often seen in working lines.
While this dog definitely exists in show lines across the world too, many people in the US prefer the next type thats more red than tan.
The tan part is also commonly referred to as mahogany or rust in other breeds and everything essentially refers to the same color.
How rich or pale this coat type is can vary but its a pretty safe choice when it comes to color.
People who want to compete in conformation may need to look more closely at the coat.
Other Unique Shepherd Colors
Although rare, pure white, solid blue, fawn color, pure red, and spotted black and white are also found. However, neither of these colors are accepted when it comes to competitions as these colors will only be found due to severe genetic mutations, or they simply dont match the breed standards for the show. A breeds color doesnt necessarily come with health issues, and neither of these does.
To know if your German Shepherd is genuinely black, you need to make sure there are no patches or stripes of another color. Black Shepherds have unique features that are associated with the color, including a straighter back. Youll notice that the average German Shepherd has a slanted back with short legs.
Although black Shepherds still have short legs, they stand taller, making them appear bigger and stronger. There are black varients with spots, creme, silver or tanned patches or combined with a red coat, but these variants look like the average Shepherd and are hard to mix up with the black version.
Do German Shepherds Change Color
German Shepherds do change color, especially if they are bicolor. This happens when they mature and shed certain colored fur but never grow it back. The color change is most prominent in brindle GSDs and sable shepherds, as the decrease in one shade of fur leads to a change in the overall look of the dog.
That said, you should never purchase a German Shepherd puppy hoping it will change color because if it doesnt, you will be disappointed in your dog for something that isnt his fault. German Shepherds are extremely intelligent and can pick up on your energy or lack of it, affecting your dogs self-esteem.
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Have Any Questions About Health In Your Breed
If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.To contact your breed health co-ordinator please email
Black & Cream German Shepherd
Another beautiful standard color of the GSD, the black and cream German Shepherd is another popular choice among owners around the world.
Theyre very similar in appearance to the black and silver, but with a different shade of white. But if you look close enough, theyre quite different.
Instead of the metallic-like silver coloring, the black and cream has an off-white cream color. This cream color can vary from dog to dog, but usually has a hint of yellow to it.
Like the black and silver, this colored German Shepherd will have a bottom thats primarily cream and a top thats primarily black.
Again, the black can come in different hues and its not uncommon to see different shades of black on this dog.
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Solid Black & Black Red German Shepherd Puppies For Sale
Looking for solid black or black & red German Shepherd puppies? Contact us to learn about our beautiful purebred German Shepherd male & female puppies. These German Shepherd Dogs, or GSDs, are dogs with an amazing heritage that makes them extremely popular canines.
There are a few of the reasons, German Shepherds are the most sought-after dogs on the planet is due to their breeding versatility and their high intelligence. If you are searching these undeniable ones of the smart dogs in the world to be part of your family or give to someone you love, then contact us today!
Contact us now to learn more about our German Shepherd puppies for sale. You can contact us at . Please, leave a message with your full name and phone number, this will ensure that we will call back quickly.
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Thank you for visiting our Vom Ragnar® website. We are a top-ranking German Shepherd breeder near the Chicago, Illinois area. Please feel free to call or complete the form to contact us with any questions. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Please allow some time for us to reply as we might be attending to puppies, dogs showing or training the dogs. Thank you and we are looking forward to speaking with you.
You can contact us at . Please, leave a message with your full name and phone number, this will ensure that we will call back quickly.
Red & Black German Shepherd
The red and black German Shepherd is something you dont see every day. Theyre spectacular specimens that are undeniably beautiful no matter what your taste in dogs.
In a way, the coat pattern of the red and black German Shepherd looks almost like a brindle or merle. In other words, youll usually get a GSD with a dark mahogany base coat, with patches of black around the coat.
The black color is most commonly found on the dogs back, tail, bottom and face . The black is not limited to those areas of the body it depends on the dog and the parents. However, black color around the dogs muzzle is almost always guaranteed.
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What Is The Most Common Color Of German Shepherd
Black is prominent across most variations of GSDs. From black and tan, which are often working lines, to black and red for show, most German Shepherds have a hint of black.
If you are looking for the most common overall color of a German Shepherd, the two that come out on top are black and red and black and tan. The show line dog of this bicolor look will be the cheapest yet will command a price significantly higher than a working dog of the same pair of colors.
German Shepherd Puppies For Sale
German Shepherd puppies for sale are often listed as one of the most popular puppy breeds in the United States. This breed is large, agile, and strong. Because of its size, loyalty, and intelligence, it is often the breed of choice for police, military, and security units. However, this courageous and dependable dog is also an exceptionally loyal pet that is protective of its familys children and adults.
While German Shepherds for sale have been around for a while, this breeds traits werent formally standardized until the 1890s. German Shepherd puppies for sale are recognized as a distinct breed developed for working, herding and military work.
This breed was recognized by the AKC in 1908 and was grouped as Herding.
- Country of Origin:Germany
- Weight:70 – 125 lbs
- Height:21 – 26 inches
- Color:The most recognizable color of German Shepherd puppies for sale is solid black and tan. Their coat also comes in a variety of other colors including solid black or gray gold & light gray markings gray with lighter or brown markings . They may also appear in white. White is considered an improper color in the breed and is not recognized by the CKC.
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Colors Of A German Shepherd Dog
Color black is just what is sounds like – completely solid black dog. In a classic German Shepherd genetic table – black is a recessive gene and to produce a solid black puppy BOTH parents must carry a black gene. Owners of Solid Black dogs are extremely proud of the color of their dog and many call it “rare”, as not always you can produce a Solid Black dog.
Solid Black puppies are born completely black and have no tan anywhere on their body. Small patches of white can be present at birth , but they will disappear as puppy grows.
Image: Irena / Vom Geliebten Haus
We are not exactly sure what “Black & Cream” means, but anytime we see a dog that is of pale, washed-off tan color – we think it might be just that. It is an off-color as far as the breed standard goes and is a highly undesirable color.
Image purchased from Shutterstock
Rich deep mahogany red color and deep black as the highest quality of color in Show World. The darker – the better and when you see the “RED”, you know it.
Image: Chelsey / Vom Geliebten Haus
Tan is similar to “Red”, but not as intense, not as deep and bright. This is a classic color of a Working German Shepherd Dog with a saddle pattern and we see most of the “Black & Tan” dogs on the images from the past. We also see more “Black and Tan” dogs being short-stock.
The bi-color is a classic pattern when the saddle part of the dog covers most of the body leaving markings on the feet and sometimes on the face like having eyebrows.
What Is The Rarest Color Of German Shepherd
The rarest color of German Shepherd is isabella, which is also known as lilac. Not only is this color visually appealing, but it is also difficult to predict when breeding. The recessive blue and liver getting combined are not very likely, which makes almost all isabella shepherds pleasant surprises.
Even though these dogs dont win shows as they are seen as faults by the AKC, they are showstoppers and breeders who end up with one of these immediately add a premium to the price. Getting a lilac shepherd from a reputable breeder is advisable because unscrupulous breeders may repeatedly breed puppies and neglect the non-isabella dogs hoping to profit from the lilac pups.
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Black & Silver German Shepherd
The black and silver German Shepherd is another common color combination. Even though they look more exotic than your average GSD, breeders still breed them, as theyve been growing in popularity.
Most of the time, color distribution may vary from dog to dog. However, they will typically have a silver base on the bottom of their body and black on the top half on their body.
The hue of black can range from a dark gray to a deep black. In some instances, the German Shepherd may have silver with multiple shades of black on the coat.
These dogs are truly spectacular in terms of appearance, and its not difficult to see why theyve been more prevalent among families in the United States .
Which German Shepherd Color Is Right For You
It really depends. If youre looking for a German Shepherd as a pet and companion, then personal preference should be the top criteria.
If you like how it looks, whether white, dark, or blue, then you should choose accordingly. There really is no wrong choice with color.
However, if you are considering breeding a German Shepherd or if youre interested in exhibitions, then your color selection should lean toward richer colorations that favor blacks and tans.
Unfortunately, white German Shepherds will be out of the picture, despite its aesthetic appeal. It sucks because Im a huge fan of white dogs.
Either way, coloration in a German Shepherd covers a wide range of options, and each of them are simply just colors.
No single color indicates better health, temperament, skills or anything like that. Instead, itll be up to you and how you train, treat, and raise the dog.
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Black & Tan German Shepherd
This color combination is the bread and butter, so to speak, of the German Shepherd. For most people, when they picture this breed, its with this color. But even with this common color, there is plenty of room for variation.
The tan fur can range from deeper hues to a shade that almost approaches silver along the edges. The black color usually appears as a saddle-like pattern along the back and can vary quite a bit in size.
Something to keep in mind is that GSDs born with this pattern usually begin life darker and slowly lighten as they mature. The best way to get an idea of how a pups coat will develop in adulthood is to meet the parents .
Darker, especially black, coloration is recessive in the German Shepherd. So if both the parents display the black and tan coloring, then the pup is more likely to as well.
The Pastoral Breed Group
The Pastoral Group consists of herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.
Usually this type of dog has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. Breeds such as the Collie family, Old English Sheepdogs and Samoyeds who have been herding reindeer for centuries are but a few included in this group.
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German Shepherd Colors & Patterns
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When getting a German Shepherd, one of the most important things to consider is his function. Is he going to be a family pet? If so, he must look friendly. Will he be a guard dog? If so, he must look intimidating. And if you want to enter the dog in the show ring, he better look the part. The color of the German Shepherd plays a vital role in all of this.
German Shepherd colors are usually black and red and black and tan. Tan or red can be replaced by liver, white, cream, or silver, whereas black can be replaced by blue, or gray. These colors are often distributed in a bicolor pattern, including saddle, blanket-back, sable, and brindle.
In this article, you will learn more about every German Shepherd color, including the various combinations, the rarity of each, how the dogs look, and the best use of them. You will also learn more about the distribution of these colors and the patterns you can expect a GSD to have.
Each section also includes a best for verdict that highlights my recommendation for who the specific dog is best suited for. Lets get started!
Below is a deeper dive into each of the German Shepherd colors documented so far.
Faulty German Shepherd Colors
The so-called faulty color types are often marketed as rare which implies desirability.
While the existence of any of these colors on GSDs doesnt disqualify them from being purebred, they sometimes really arent.
It doesnt help that major pet websites put pictures of false breeds besides some of these colors.
Others of the mentioned colors are possible indicators of health issues.
These colors are not accepted by major breeding clubs and can be considered as a fault:
- Pure White
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Fawn / Yellowish White / Isabella
All these terms are essentially labelling what is a black and cream German Shepherd.
Isabella types can be very light and might just be a ploy to disguise a white or even albinistic dog.
These colors are extremely unusual among German Shepherds and not commonly seen and not desirable either in most cases.
Black German Shepherd Overview
The black German Shepherd was a result of an accident. It isnt known when the first black Shepherd was bred, but it was determined that the gene was considered recessive until solid black shepherds made it dominate. The gene only becomes dominant if the parent is also black.
All German Shepherds carry the black gene, but it isnt typical for their children to stay black after 8 months. A true black Shepherd will be born black and remain black throughout their life. If you have a litter full of brown or white puppies, theres a 0% chance of them turning black.
Its easier to get two black German Shepherd parents to mate than to have one be black or none at all. The likelihood of getting a black Shepherd with two black parents is high. However, it is still possible to get a brown or white litter even with two dominant parents. Tan parents that have the recessive gene have a chance of producing black Shepherd puppies as well, though it is small.
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Did You Know
The German Shepherd is one of the most versatile and well-recognized dog breeds in the world. German Shepherds were originally used as herders and to guard flocks against predators, both being jobs they are well suited for. The German Shepherd, named by the Queen of Switzerland, was first recognized as a member of the AKC herding group in 1908, although Max von Stephanitz and his colleague Arthur Meyer wrote the standard for the breed 9 years before in 1899. Some of the many uses for the German Shepherds today are K9 police dogs, military service, service dogs, and, of course, they are still awesome herding dogs!
The German Shepherd is a strong-willed and highly intelligent dog. They have a very playful spirit, which makes them a great family pet. German Shepherds can be a bit wary of strangers, so early socialization with people is vital to curbing their suspicious nature. A born protector, the German Shepherd will provide a great sense of security for its family, while its loving and lively personality will make it fit right in as your loving companion.
The German Shepherd is a generally healthy breed, but there are some things to be aware of. As with many large breeds, proper screening for the health of this breeds hips, elbows, and the dogs general genetic history is important. Make sure you ask the breeder about the health of the parents to get a good understanding of the lines history in regards to health.