15 Rare German Shepherd Colors – Blue, Black & Red, Silver & More (With Pictures)

The german shepherd colors

As with other breeds of dogs, the German Shepherd also has a variety of colors and coats. Some  German Shepherd colors are, however, not accepted by the United kennel club (UKC) and, for the same reason, are disqualified from dog competitions. A dog’s coat or color is one thing that appeals to prospective buyers. Still, more than that, it is essential to know the cost colors accepted by major kennels and meet the breed standard.

According to the American kennel club (AKC), there are 11 official standard  German shepherd colors. But in reality, more colors are more than just official or recognized by other kennel clubs, resulting in a rarity of these colors.


1. Black and Tan: when we hear of German Shepherd, this is the picture that comes to mind for most people. This German shepherd color has black and tan; the tan can differ in hues from dog to dog. The black usually appears along the back in a saddle-like manner and varies in size. This combination is known as the “bread and butter” of the German Shepherd.

This color has existed since the first was registered in Germany in the 19th century. Pups of this color are born darker but lighten up as they grow. Some even develop a gray strip along their back called “bitch’s strip,” most often found in females.

german shepherd colors

2. Black and Silver: The black and silver German Shepherd is another common combination. Like the black and tan German Shepherd, it has silver on the bottom of its body, and the black forms a saddle. The hue of black and silver can differ from dog to dog. These dogs are hard to see at night, and walking them on light-up dog collars in the evenings and nights is avoidable.

 black and silversilver german shepherd

3. Black and Cream: This is another beautiful color combination of the German Shepherd Dog. They have a similar appearance to the black and silver German Shepherd Dogs, with a cream bottom and a black top. There are a lot of controversies surrounding the black and cream German Shepherd. However, it would interest you to know that the color has nothing on its character as they are still hardworking, agile, brave, and loyal as other colors of the standard German Shepherd.

Black and cream german shepherd color

4. Black and Red: This is not a color combination you see daily in a German Shepherd. The red color is a result of the color gene pheomelanin. The pattern seen on the black and red German Shepherd resembles a brindle or merle. Usually, you’d get a black and red GSD with a red base coat and patches around it. The patches can be found on the dog’s back, tail, nose, and muzzle. It is, however, not limited to these areas.

The german shepherd colors

5. Bicolour: The color of the German Shepherd appears almost black and may seem like a variation of black and tan. A bi-color German Shepherd will have to bother black and tan, but the black will be more dominant. To fit the breed’s standard, they must have blackheads, tails, back, and legs.

bicolor german shepherd

6. Black: German shepherds’ gene responsible for this coloration is recessive. Some may have a bit of brown coloration on their toes or feet or a sprinkling of white fire on their chest. This feature does not make them a different color category.

black german shepherd

7. White: Although many kennel clubs, including the American kennel club and the UK Kennel Club, disqualify the white German Shepherd, the United kennel club considers it a standard color. Despite the coloring, they are excellent companion dogs.

white german shepherd

8. Blue: Contrary to beliefs, this color does not indicate health issues, especially in this particular dog breed. The color of their coat is due to a recessive dilution gene. The blue German Shepherd is a rare but beautiful dog.

Blue German shepherd

9. Sable: This is the most common color type of the German Shepherd Dog: sand. Unlike other colors of this breed, which are either a single color or a bicolor ratio, the sable German Shepherd Dogs are more homogeneous. There is no area distinct by one color or another. Their hair can have 2 to 3 colors on one strand.

sable German shepherd

10. Liver (brown): The liver coloring is caused by a recessive gene, and to breed a dog of its color, both parents must possess at least one of the liver genes, which is then passed to the pup through DNA material. This gene also tends to appear with a gene responsible for pretty amber eyes. There are three variations of the liver German shepherd: liver and tan, liver and white, and pure solid liver.

liver german shepherd

11. Grey is one of the six solid German Shepherd colors recognized by the American kennel club (AKC). It is not to be confused with the silver, black, or blue German shepherds. The gene responsible for this coloration is dominant, and puppies only need to inherit one dominant gene from either parent. They are also different from Isabella.

grey german shepherd

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12. Isabella: This is an unusual coat color. It originates from the combination of the liver and blue dilution gene. The Isabella coat usually has a different eye coloration and nose coloration. Isabella is a recessive trait, and its coloration does not make it more susceptible to health issues.

Isabella german shepherd

13. Silver: More often than not, it is confused and classified under sable. It is a distinctive German Shepherd color and is recessive. Often, the silver and grey colors are grouped because the same genes produce them.

silver german shepherd

14. Panda: The first panda German shepherd dog was Lewcinka’s Franka von phenom. A rare genetic mutation creates the panda GSD. The piebald gene causes about 40% of its body to be white. The panda GSD is similar to a border collie. The American kennel club does not recognize the panda as an accepted color.

panda german shepherd

15. Albino: An albino shepherd is incredibly rare. It is often mistaken for the white German Shepherd. Still, the difference is that the albino German Shepherd lacks pigmentation of any form, not in the eyes, skin, hair, or even blood vessels. These features give them a pink tinge, and their eyes are either red or pink. They will have health conditions like photosensitivity and need protection from the sun’s rays.

German shepherds appear in just about any color. They are intelligent, courageous, and devoted dogs. These traits and many more make them the most sought-after dog breed in the world. When picking a Dog you like, ensure not to pick based on coloring.

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