What Are The Breed
Anyone who wishes to show their GSD should know that there are 11 AKC-approved colors for the Shepherd dog breed, but NOT all of them can partake in dog shows.
The ones that are favored are black and red, black and tan, or black.
The bi-color, black and cream, black and silver, and gray Shepherds are accepted in the show ring but often do poorly when compared to the deeper shades above.
Liver or blue can also be shown, but its near impossible for these hues to win at a conformation show, while white is entirely off the table.
Is There Something Wrong With Blue Gsd
The color variations in the eye of the black german shepherd are due to the recessive genes presence. Moreover, the same process and gene variation occur in humans when they are birth with different and unique eye colors.
In addition to eye colors, some dogs are facing variations in skin color due to recessive genes. But the good or plus point is that no health and other issues are seen in these dogs due to the presence of recessive genes. So we can say that nothing is wrong with blue GSDs.
So What Colors Is A German Shepherd Able To See
It is now believed that a dogs perception of color is similar to that of a person who has red-green color blindness. This is according to Jay Neitz, head of the Neitz Color Vision Lab at the University of Washington.
According to Neitz, dogs can distinguish yellow and blue colors and a combination of them.
An example of what this means for your dog, practically speaking, is that your thick, lively, and green lawn probably appears as what we would describe as a dead, uncared for lawn. Nonetheless, your dog wont judge you for it!
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What Is A Blue German Shepherd
A Blue German Shepherd is one with a color variation caused by a recessive gene. It dilutes black pigment so the fur will appear blue-gray or silver-gray rather than black.
Blue German Shepherds can be described as steel blue or powder blue.
Steel blue GSDs have dark grey fur in some cases, their fur is so dark that theyre mistaken for black German Shepherds.
On the other hand, powder blue German Shepherds have lighter colors. A blue German Shepherds footpads and nose will also be paler than usual.
Blue GSDs can be blue-and-black, blue-and-tan, or blue-and-sable .
Their eye colors are similarly diluted theyll have light brown, light green, yellow, or blue eyes instead of the usual dark brown.
A German Shepherds eyes will normally change to their adult color by the time the pup is around six months old.
Strangely enough, Blue German Shepherds can appear in litters containing prototypical black-and-tan pups.
While the blue color is a normal variation, both the AKC and many breeders consider it a defect of sorts.
As a result, Blue German Shepherds cant participate in dog shows emphasizing breed standards, but they can take part in agility competitions and similar events.
Are German Shepherds Color Blind
Yes, German Shepherds are technically color blind. However, this does not mean that they do not see any color. Like most dogs, GSDs mostly see the world in hues of brown and gray, and their vision might not be as sharp as humans. But how they see their environment is adapted to their needs as dogs and they can actually perceive some colors.
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Can A German Shepherd Have Blue Eyes
Blue eyes are considered a fault in German Shepherds. They can occur thanks to a genetic variant in purebred dogs. However, they are not part of the breeds standard and are not considered normal.
Dogs with blue eyes cant be shown in competitions, for instance. This fact automatically makes them less valuable to breeders than dogs that can be shown in competitions.
Because they are considered a fault, blue eyes are becoming rarer and rarer. Breeders purposefully dont breed German Shepherds with this trait. Instead, most of them are neutered and sold as pet dogs. A breeder may continue to use a blue-eyed dog for breeding in rare cases, but only if they have exceptional features otherwise.
The rarity is increased even more due to the recessive nature of this trait. Both parents have to be carriers of this gene for their puppies to have blue eyes. Brown eyes are dominant, which means that they will cover up the blue eyes trait.
A dog may technically have blue eyes but still, end up with brown due to a dominant brown-eyed gene.
It is essential to realize that breeders arent always focused on producing a healthy dog. Instead, many of them focus on matching the breed standard which means not using dogs with blue eyes in breeding programs.
Taking Care Of Your German Shepherd
German shepherds need regular exercises because theyre very active. They require continuous physical and mental activities that keep them motivated. These dogs love to play and bark all the time, so they need a loving family or an owner who will take the time to give them the needed attention and affection. Here are some tips to help you take care of your GSD.
- These are active dogs and need to be fed regularly. Their food should be full of nutritious content to give them the needed energy. Make sure that youre feeding your GSD age-appropriate food to keep it healthy.
- Bloating is a life-threatening condition that can happen if you dont feed your dog right. Divide the food into two or more meals and avoid exercising the dog right after meals. Give it time to rest to avoid the risk of bloating.
- Make sure that your dog has access to clean water all day long to avoid dehydration. Your dog should drink small amounts throughout the day, instead of drinking a large amount at one time.
- Brush your dogs coat once or twice per week. A bath should be given only when you feel like your dog needs it.
- Theyre amazing family members and can be trained easily. So if you want them to watch and guard your family, youll just have to spend time training them.
- Use positive manner while teaching your dog tricks. Give your dog love and attention even if it doesnt comply with all orders successfully. This will help improve the dogs attitude.
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Steel Blue German Shepherd
The blue German Shepherd is an astonishing color variation that is extremely rare.
However, like the German Shepherds liver color, this color variation is unable to compete in shows as it is declared a serious fault.
Whilst being classified as a serious fault, this color is still recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The blue pigment of this coat variation is purely an aesthetic difference and is attributed to recessive blue genes.
Breeding blue German Shepherd puppies requires both parents carry this recessive gene.
Finding a blue breed is extremely rare, as they are not bred for working or show lines, and are a fashion choice only.
A significant appearance difference of the blue German Shepherd is their gray nose in place of a black one.
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.
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Are Blue Eyed Dogs More Prone To Health Issues
Many dogs with blue eyes have an increased sensitivity to light. The lower concentration of melanin in their retina permits more light to pass through, causing them discomfort and the need to squint.
The majority of actual health concerns for blue eyed dogs are with double merle dogs. A double merle dog is the result of when both parent dogs are merle.
For a double merle dog, eventual blindness and/or deafness is sometimes a result. In addition, skin cancer is also more likely to develop on the nose and and areas not protected by pigmentation in the skin.
It Does Not Fit The Dog Show Standard
More often than not, the blue color is just a variation due to the genes. Yet, clubs like the American Kennel Club and dog shows see the blue eyes as a fault.
So, dog shows that emphasize breeding standards do not accept German Shepherds with blue eyes.
Breeders also have a strict code against breeding for blue-eyed German Shepherds. Your dog can be as healthy as a brown-eyed German Shepherd, but it still will not be recognized as an accepted standard.
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Variations Of A Blue German Shepherd
As the recessive gene that causes eye color variation in German Shepherds also causes variations in their coats, they are further divided into three main variations.
- Blue and Sable
- Blue and Tan
German Shepherd one blue eye
Sometimes German Shepherds with blue eyes have only one blue eye, which at times causes a stir in the minds of dog owners.
There are many superstitions attached to dogs having only one blue eye. Some call this a sign of poor vision, while others associate it with various hearing issues, but this is not a cause of concern.
German shepherds having only one blue eye usually have a condition called heterochromia, caused by a lack of pigment melanin in the eye. It does not have any direct or indirect impact on dogs at all.
German Shepherd Eye Problems
German shepherds can suffer from a variety of eye problems and diseases, but this is not definite for every shepherd, in fact, your German shepherd may never have any eye issues.
Some of these problems can be prevented with proper health care and nutrition, while others are inherited. Below are a few eye problems and diseases with symptoms to watch for.
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Red Sable German Shepherd
The red sable German Shepherd color is another variation on their sable coat which is due to the dominant agouti gene.
These genes however are not diluted like in the gray Shepherd, in this coat, a deep reddish-brown replaces the usual tan in the sable pattern.
This coat coloration has intermingling of red and black over most areas of their body.
Can Brown Eyes Turn Blue In German Shepherds
German Shepherds, like many other dog breeds, are known to be born with eyes that change the color later on. Most German Shepherds will change their eye color after six months or less. This is due to the fact that melanin is not readily available.
Production of this compound will eventually lead to a change of eye color. This happens during puppyhood. But what about adulthood?
A German Shepherd could develop a change in color later on. But, this is not really a change of color and only appears so.
Development of cataracts and other barriers over the eyes may characteristically have a blue appearance to them. A cataract can be identified by the presence of a slight murky whitish tinge in addition to the blue color.
If your dog has eyes that look like this, consult a vet immediately. Cataracts can affect a dogs eyesight and might lead to complete loss of sight.
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Can German Shepherd Dog Mixes Have Blue Eyes
Yes, a German shepherd dog Mix can inherit blue eyes either from its Non-Shepherd Parent or its German shepherd dog Parent as well.
Interesting Fact: German Shepsky, or German Huskies, or Siberian Shepherds are a cross between Siberian Husky and German Shepherd, and they often inherit their blue eyes from their Husky Parents.
German Shepherds Common Eye Colors
The most common eye color that most of the German Shepherds possess is the brown one.
There are different shades of brown, depending upon the amount of pigmentation. The acid amino melanin is one of the chief instruments that determine the intensity of the shade.
Although the most common eyeshade is blue, these dogs also possess green, brown or grey eyes at times.
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Is It Rare For A German Shepherd To Have Blue Eyes
It is considered very rare for German Shepherds to have blue eyes. Not only must the German Shepherd have the recessive gene, but it also must have blue eyes. Plus, most breeders prefer not to waste time breeding Blue German Shepherds for reasons we will discuss next.
In other words, its a gamble as to whether a German Shepherd will have blue eyes, and the odds are very low.
How Much Does A German Shepherd With Blue Eyes Cost
A German Shepherd with blue eyes costs $1,500 and up, depending on the breeder, their ancestors, the location, and many other factors. Blue eyes typically dont increase the price since theyre not always prized by the breeders, sadly. However, this presents an opportunity to bring a gorgeous pup into your home.
You may be able to find rescue dogs for as little as $100. Its up to you to decide if you want a puppy from a breeder or a dog whos in desperate need of a home.
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What Causes A German Shepherd To Have Blue Eyes
A German Shepherds eye color is determined by its genetics. The majority of both purebred German Shepherds and mixed German Shepherds have brown eyes because it is the dominant trait. In contrast, the blue eye color is a recessive trait.
In case its been awhile since your last science class, dominant traits beat out recessive traits, which is why brown eyes are more common in German Shepherds. For a recessive gene to appear, both parents must have the same trait.
Interestingly, the recessive trait that causes German Shepherds to have blue eyes is also found in humans, but it is simply more common in humans. Youll sometimes hear this gene called the Liver Recessive Gene or Double Blue Gene.
What makes the Double Blue Gene so unique is that it causes the dogs pigmentation to appear diluted. Thus, the German Shepherd has a bluer appearance, and its eyes are blue instead of brown. Although it may sound weird that blue eyes are blue due to lack of pigmentation, the same is true of human blue eyes.
Are German Shepherds With Blue Eyes Purebred
Although German Shepherds blue eyes are not a moment of concern, yet various breeders consider it as a fault and anomaly.
Even the American Kennel Clubs list of accredited breeders does not include the German Shepherds with blue eyes or coats. It was very difficult to find breeding companions for such dogs in the past, but now the conditions are changing.
German Shepherd with blue eyes has recently been recognized as a purebred dog and people have started to accept it as well.
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Black German Shepherd Eyes: German Shepherd Eye Colors Explained
December 12, 2021 By Andrina Lima
Black German Shepherd eyes brown color is very rare, however, because of a hereditary variety. Indeed, grown-up German Shepherd Dogs can, in reality, have blue eyes.
Most of grown-up German Shepherds have dark-color eye shading. Blend pooches may have blue eyes and yellow eyes dark German shepherd .
Do German Shepherd Eyes Change Color
Yes, German Shepherd eyes can change colors. Often times puppies are born with one eye coloring, but that color will change as they get to be a couple months old.
It is common for German Shepherd puppies to be born with a foggy blue color to their eyes, but as they age a few more weeks those eyes will change to their final coloring, normally some shade of brown.
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Can Full Blooded German Shepherds Have Blue Eyes
Full-blooded German Shepherds can have blue eyes, however, this is very rare. Blue eyes in German Shepherds are caused by a genetic mutation in the breed line, as the majority of German Shepherds will have brown eyes.
However, this genetic mutation does not mean that your German Shepherd has something wrong with them.
In some dog breeds, blue eyes can be a sign that something is wrong with your pet. But, German Shepherds are one of the few dog breeds where blue eyes are relatively common.
So much so that a sub-breed is recognized for these German Shepherds with blue eyes. They are known as blue Shepherds.
So yes, full-blooded German Shepherds can have blue eyes, and these dogs are just as healthy as any other kind of German Shepherd.