Types of German shepherd (With Pictures) – 5 Amazing Breeds You Should Check Out

german shepherd colors

It is a part of human nature to seek companionship, and one of the oldest human companions is dogs. Although picking out a particular breed of dog can be tricky, if you need to adopt a dog you can play or run errands with, look no further than the German Shepherd. There are different types of German Shepherds who are cute and intelligent and can also double as the most vigilant guard to protect you and your home.

The German Shepherd is one of the world’s most recognized and loved dogs. It is among the most respected dog breeds thanks to its rich history and significant cultural impact in many global societies.

In this article, you will learn more about the five types of German Shepherds you probably never knew existed.


A stunning shot of a German Shepherd dog sitting on a field of grass
A stunning shot of a German Shepherd dog sitting on a field of grass

As the name implies, the German Shepherd is a working dog breed that began in Germany. Although there were different progenitor breeds, the first officially recognized dog was Horand von Grafrath. Von Grafrath’s owner, 1899, started the breed as an embodiment of what an ideal working dog should be, and all German Shepherds are known to have originated from that one dog.

The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is the official name recognized for this purebred breed. Still, it was initially named the Alsatian wolf dog in the United Kingdom (UK).

The German Shepherd is a working dog developed for herding sheep. Although shepherding is less common practice than when it was created, its use in law enforcement, rescue operations, and security is widespread. Many are even kept as companion animals.
Asides from the physical ability of the German Shepherd, it is also famous for its incredible loyalty and desire to be engaged which makes them easy to train.


one of the different types of German shepherds.
one of the different types of German shepherd

The German Shepherd is categorized into two breeding types: the “Working line” and the “Show line.” The most popular distinction that separates them among their different types is the color of their coats. They are sometimes differentiated by the length of their hair and coat, but this is a distinction only used among purebred German Shepherd Dogs. This differentiation is called the Show line.
Apart from being differentiated using their looks, they are also differentiated using their personality and health. This sort of classification is called the Working Line.

There are five types of German Shepherds based on their looks and coat patterns (Show line).
• Saddle coat German shepherd Dog
• Black German Shepherd Dog
• Sable German Shepherd Dog
• Panda German Shepherd Dog
• White German Shepherd Dog

The categories of the working lines are
• West German working line
• East working line
• Czech working line




One of the five types of German shepherds is the saddle coat German shepherd. This breed is the most common and recognized of all types of German Shepherd. They are also called the Saddle Back shepherds. They are usually of two colors, as with all the other German Shepherd breeds, except the solid black Shepherd. The “saddle” in the name refers to the black patch of fur on the back of the dog.

This fur patch has a semblance to the shape of the saddle on a horse. This fur pattern is called a ‘blanket’ pattern, interpreting it as though a blanket were laid over their back.

The color of other parts of the fur, asides from the saddle, is usually tan or red. They usually also have a black muzzle that covers the snout and parts of their face, and sometimes other areas, like the tail, may possess black coloration.

saddle coat German shepherd
saddle coat German shepherd


The black German Shepherd is one of the typical examples of a solid color german shepherd dog. Compared to the Saddleback shepherd, they are a lot less common. Black German Shepherd dogs are due to a recessive gene. It is likely to have accents of powdered blue color on their coats, but this is very rare. Black German Shepherd Dogs with a powdered blue color is not considered solid by some various dog breeding competitions.

Their color does not influence their health status and temperament.

Black German shepherd


‘Agouti’ is the technical term for Sable German Shepherd. The Sable German Shepherd is one of the most beautiful and unique dogs in their appearance. This pattern, known as agouti or sable, does not manifest in patches like saddleback. This unique color pattern of fur gives multicolored hairs all over their bodies and a variegated all-over appearance.

At the time of birth, the sable german shepherd puppies are generally tan. As they age, they develop stronger colors, some stronger than others—the colors amalgam of grey, tan, black, or gold. The variations of the sable german shepherd dogs are due to a dominant gene.

sable German shepherd


The Panda German Shepherd is another example of the German Shepherd Dog, which is rare. They have a very intriguing and striking appearance, often confused with other dog breeds. They are called pandas because of the similarities of their coats with that of the pandas. They have an appearance of white and black with a hint of tan. Their bellies, chest, and mouth are white, their legs are tan, and their backs black.

Their fur’s pigmentation makes many people think they are a mixed breed, whereas they are not. The pigmentation is a result of a genetic mutation.

Like other types of German Shepherds, they are agile and robust and are ideal family pets. Overall, their health seems average compared to other types of GSD.

Panda Greman shepherd


The white German Shepherd is also a part of the solid german shepherd dog. They have beautiful and luscious white fur. The only difference between the white and black German Shepherd Dogs is that, unlike the Black GSD, the white GSD has a dominant white fur.

While black GDSs are due to a recessive gene, WHITE GSDs are due to a dominant gene. The white German Shepherd Dog should not be confused with albinism as that is a very different genetic factor.

White German Shepherd dogs are rare, and this may be due to their disqualification from competitions.


Generally, german shepherds are fantastic, loyal, and also intelligent. With the proper training in place, their brains are stimulated. When adequately catered for, they make a terrific addition to various lifestyles. Ensure to deeply research the breeder and lineage claims before getting any dog, as this will prepare you for any bumps in the road of pet-owning.

Overall, the types of German Shepherds are varied and depend on the purpose for which they were bred. From working dogs to family pets, a type of German Shepherd will fit any lifestyle. With proper training and socialization, these intelligent and loyal canine companions can make beautiful additions to any home. No matter what type of German Shepherd you choose, it’s important to remember that each one has unique characteristics and personality traits, so be sure to research before making a decision.

Now that you know the types of German shepherds, you may want to know a little more about other breeds too. If you are not also sure about which dog to own, check out this Article – Labrador puppy training 

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