Silver German Shepherd: 10 characteristics, controversies and history of this rare breed

silver German shepherd

The silver German Shepherd is among the rarest colors of the German Shepherd Dog, but it is a spectacle to behold. The silver German Shepherd is a variant of the German Shepherd breed with a distinct silver color that makes it stand out. It’s no wonder why so many people fall in love with the silver German Shepherd breed. Not only is this breed stunningly beautiful, but they are also intelligent, loyal, and very loving companions.

The Silver German Shepherd

Black and white photo of German Shepherd lying on the floor.
Black and white photo of a German Shepherd lying on a cloth.

The silver German Shepherds were initially working dogs. Still, due to their friendly nature, intelligence, strength, obedience, and trainability, they are now bred to be suited for other types of work, such as search and rescue, military and police roles, therapy, and even companions. They are not a different breed from the standard German Shepherd and therefore share the same history and temperaments.

History of the German shepherd

The ancestral origin of the German Shepherd can be traced to Germany, as the name implies. General Max von Stephanitz spent 35 years researching dogs and breeding them. He then created the perfect dog – the German Shepherd.
The silver German Shepherd is a subset of the German Shepherd breed with the same build, physique, and health.
The silver German Shepherd is a relatively modern breed that has its origin dating back to 1899.
The silver coloration results from muted black and does not affect their temperament.

silver german shepherd


Color: As the name implies, it is silver in color. This results from getting two recessive, one from each parent. This gene results from a muted black. And for a pup to be born silver, both parents must be carriers of the gene.

Appearance: Silver German Shepherd has a wolf-like appearance with a long muzzle, domed forehead, pointy and erect ears, bushy tails, and a black nose.

Weight and Height: Silver German Shepherds are large dogs and would weigh between 66-88 pounds for males and 49-71 pounds for females. The height would come up to 22-24 inches for the female and 24-26 inches for the male. The females are usually smaller when compared to the male.

Coat: As with the standard German Shepherd, they are double coated, which will help keep them warm and protect them from harsh conditions. The coat length can either be short, medium, or long.

Temperament: The silver German Shepherds are fiercely intelligent, loyal, and enthusiastic about work or exercise. They are also brave and friendly. They are confident, alert, protective, and energetic. They make excellent guards and companion dogs too.

Exercise: They are a very energetic breed and need to be active. They also need daily physical exercise and mental stimulation, so they don’t get bored. If they don’t get enough exercise, they tend to display unwanted and destructive behaviors. Challenge your dogs with agility and learn tricks to stimulate their body and mind.

silver german shepherd

Grooming: The silver German Shepherd is a heavy shedder and would need to be groomed from time to time. The shedding can be reduced by brushing its furs at least twice a week or daily, depending on the length of the hair.

Health: Unlike other breeds of dogs, the color of the German Shepherd does not determine how healthy it is. It is only predisposed to the same health conditions as the standard German Shepherd. Some health conditions are hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, bloat(GDV), osteochondritis dissecans (OCD, result of abdominal cartilage growth), hemophilia, and others.

Lifespan: The life expectancy of the silver German Shepherd is 10-13 years.

Cost: As one of the rarest colors of the German Shepherd, they are pretty pricey and cost between $2000 and $2500.

What is responsible for the color coats in Silver German shepherds?

Genes or alleles are responsible for the coloration of any German shepherd. The gene responsible for the silver coloration is, however, a recessive one and must be inherited from both parents to be visible.

Can Non-Silver Parents Give Birth To Silver German Shepherds?

YES. Sometimes non-silver parents can have the recessive gene, but in the presence of a dominant gene, they will not appear. If both parents are carriers of the recessive gene for silver, even if they are not silver, they can have silver pups.

Are Silver German Shepherds Friendly With Kids?

Yes, they are. But they are not to be left unattended by kids because of their size and physique.

Do Silver German Shepherds Make Good Guard Dogs?

German shepherds are famously known for their guarding abilities and protective instincts, and the silver-colored ones are not left out. They are always there to protect the family from harm and are very alert.

If you love german shepherd dogs but want them in a different color, silver is the color for you. Besides the coloration, which is silver, it is no different than the black and tan standard German Shepherd. They are lovable dogs and a sight to behold.

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