German Shepherd Dog Colors: A Complete List Of All Recognized Coat Colors

You finally have decided to adopt a German Shepherd. Good choice! But have you already thought of the coat color you prefer? Not yet?

Well, there are multiple options. Which should you pick? Worry no more! In this guide, you will know every available coat color to consider. Without further ado, let’s dive into it! 

What is the Rarest Color of German Shepherd?


Blue is one of the rarest colors of German Shepherd. 

Blue German Shepherds may look dark grey or black at first sight. But when they are exposed to sunlight, you could see the difference. They have a dark and navy blue coat. 

The nose is grey, making this breed more unique than the rest. 

They are stunning. That’s why they are among the sought-after coat colors for most pet owners. Since they are rare, they are challenging to find. Another thing is that they may cause you a big fortune. Their price is estimated at $1,500. That’s expensive. 

But having a blue German Shepherd is something you can be proud of. When looking for this rare color, make sure the breeder is reliable and trustworthy for your peace of mind. 

What is the Best Color for a German Shepherd? 


Although it depends on what pet owners prefer, many people say it is black and tan. 

In the past years, black and tan German Shepherds have become the top favorite coat color for new and even experienced pet lovers in the US because they are the most common. 

They are known to have a black saddle on their back. This saddle is round in shape and usually on the center of their spine. 

These German Shepherds have a black mask on their face while the neck, chest, belly, and side are tan. This tan can be dark or light, depending on their parents. 

Before, they were used as working dogs. Things have changed today. They are ideal for shows. 

They are born completely black. After six months, their tan starts to be noticeable. Their color will stop changing as they turn two years old. 

What is the Original Color of a German Shepherd? 


A lot of people believe it is black and tan. But it is not, unfortunately. The original color of German Shepherds was sable. Experts say sable German Shepherds have the most complicated color. 

Usually, different fur colors are scattered over the breed. But in sable German Shepherds, every strand of hair has a combination of colors. 

People may see them as black and tan German Shepherds, especially from afar. As you look into the fur, you will be surprised by their Ombre effect. The bottoms of the strand are light. The tips, on the other hand, are dark. 

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As a subject to studies, veterinarians say that the dominant agouti gene caused the Ombre effect. The dominant agouti gene is a gene that is available in other dogs. 

As sable German Shepherd puppies, their fur can either get darker or lighter depending on their parents’ genetics.  

Also, they are challenging to predict. Although born sable, they do not relax as they won’t be their adult color. 

What’s the Most Popular German Shepherd Color? 


Black and red are among the most popular German Shepherd colors. They have a black saddle on their back and a black face mask. The fur is brown and deep red. It is stronger than cream or tan. 

Unlike the black and tan German Shepherds, black and red puppies are less common. But that could not indicate a big disadvantage. They are considered purebreds. 

Instead of farm work, black and red German Shepherds have a show dog bloodline. They are easy to train and intelligent, just like the others.

The color does not affect their level of intelligence. Still, training this large breed requires a lot of patience and commitment. You can leave the job to an expert if you have a busy schedule. 

What Are the Other German Shepherd Coat Colors? 

1. Black German Shepherd


Another well-recognized coat color is the black German Shepherd. As the name implies, their fur is entirely black – a stunning breed that people usually seek after. Vets and medical professionals find that the recessive gene caused the black color.

Most breeders claim that black German Shepherds have a straighter back. But it requires further studies to prove such a claim. 

Hundreds of years ago, they were trained for work because they are hard to see at night. Today, they are also bred for confirmation shows. 

Similar to other coat colors, they are fearless, faithful, loving, and smart. But when bored and stressed, they can be excessive barkers. 

2. Bi-Color German Shepherd 


It is quite confusing to identify bi-color German Shepherds from a black one. We cannot blame you as they both look similar. 

But they have some differences. Bi-color German Shepherds, for example, have fur with a different color, although they have a black coat. 

However, this coloration is not noticeable. Their arm could have a small amount of tan. Sometimes, you could find the tan on their belly or the tip of their tail. But it depends. 

In most cases, they are black and tan. However, they have more black. From their heads, tails, legs, paws, to backs, they should be completely black.

Clipper is one of the popular bi-color German Shepherds in history. It is the dog of former US President John F. Kennedy. 

3. White German Shepherd


Yes, you read it right. Some German Shepherds are white, and they may look like Siberian Huskies. 

When first bred, they have gained massive popularity. Then, they found to be not as hardworking as the rest.

But with proper training, you could have a responsible white German Shepherd. Although it may take some time, all your efforts will pay off soon. 

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What makes them white? It’s because of the recessive gene. White German Shepherds have two short and long coats. A long-coated one may look longer. The fur is straight and thick. They do not require extensive and frequent grooming. 

As puppies, the coat is fluffy. It gets more coarse as they age. Still, their ears remain soft. 

Generally, they are not hardworking. But they are loved for their loyalty. They are protective and excellent watchdogs. They also love to be with people. So, do not be surprised when they always seek your attention. 

4. Grey German Shepherd


Want to have a wolf-like dog but don’t know what to choose? There is no need to look further than grey German Shepherds. 

Because of their coat, they are mistaken as a silver German Shepherd and American Alsatian. But they are different. Grey German Shepherds have a dark grey color with blue eyes you cannot resist. 

Like the blue ones, this type of German Shepherd is rare. How is their coat color produced? It’s because of a dominant gene. It is diluted to lighten the darker pigments. 

Since they are considered rare, they may be expensive. On average, their cost ranges between $500 and $1500. Find other breeders that provide grey German Shepherds at a reasonable price. 

While the cheap options can be tempting, you have to be willing to spend more. 

5. Panda German Shepherd


It is probably your first time to hear about panda German Shepherd. Do not worry as you are not alone. 

Compared to others in this list, Panda German Shepherds are a unique and new breed. They are thought to be bred since 2000. 

They are frequently mistaken as a crossbreed of a Labrador and a German Shepherd with their coat color and appearance. But it is not the case. 

They are certainly purebred.As the name indicates, their bodies are at least 30% white. The rest could be either tan or black. 

How are they produced, though? They usually come from a black and tan father and a pure black mother. Since they are rare, Panda German Shepherds are hard to find. 

Some people say that the dog is smaller than the average German Shepherd. Since 2000, they have been used as a farm, hunting, or work dog. 

6. Silver German Shepherd 


Another rare coat color is a silver German Shepherd. Scientists say a recessive trait caused the silver color. But it still requires extensive studies. 

Like the black and tan variation, silver German Shepherds have black saddles and mask. What’s the difference, though? Well, their legs, bottom, sides, and belly have a silver color. 

Although they are considered a fault, the Kennel Clubs accepted these dogs. Despite that, silver German Shepherds are not usually seen in show rings. Black and tan variations are the most preferred. 

Although they are not ideal for shows, silver German Shepherds are a breed you can be proud of and boast about. 

They are easy to groom, fun to train, intelligent, and faithful. Plus, they are a bit protective. They are excellent guard dogs, after all. 

7. Red German Shepherd


Red German Shepherd is another variety that the American Kennel Club recognized. They have a black saddle and mask. The rest of the body has a rusty and brown-red color. Due to their bloodline, red German Shepherds are show dogs. 

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Bred in the 1800s, red German Shepherds were not considered pet dogs. They were used to herd sheep in Germany and other countries in Europe. 

But thru the years, they can now be seen at home. That’s not all! With their higher level of intelligence, they are used in the military. They are also trained to detect anything smuggled in malls and government organizations. 

When adopting red German Shepherds and do not know how to find real ones, make sure the dog has a rich reddish-brown coat. You can also ask for help from an experienced pet owner, of course. 

How about the price? The rate ranges from $500 to $2,000. But several factors affect the price. These include age, bloodline, location, warranties, and certifications. 

8. Black and Cream German Shepherd


Are you looking for the lighter version of the red and tan German Shepherds? You do not have to look further than this variant. 

Commonly mistaken as black and tan Shepherds, their shades are much lighter because of a dilution gene. 

Black and cream German Shepherds are popular and common in the US. The American Kennel Club considers these purebred dogs. 

Thousands of years ago, black and cream German Shepherds were bred for herding sheep. For that reason, even if they are already pets, do not be surprised every time you see them get curious to hunt. 

They are bright and can handle any police work without any hassle. But if you do not have any background in dog training, you will find the process stressful and tricky. You can hire a certified and competent specialist, of course. 

9. Liver German Shepherd 


Last but definitely not least is the liver, German Shepherd. 

While Cocker Spaniels, Dalmatians, and Huskies can be liver, German Shepherds are no exception. But it is uncommon. 

But, how are they different from the others? The fur, for instance, can be dark liver. It is a vibrant brown or red color, in other words. 

While some have black masks and saddles, liver German Shepherds don’t. Both of their mask and saddle are brown. 

They may have a black nose. But most of the liver German Shepherds have pink noses. 

Have you ever seen a liver German Shepherd before? Not yet? It will surely amaze you as the color is gorgeous. 

Surprisingly, they are considered a fault. That’s why they are not suitable for show rings. However, do not underestimate liver German Shepherds. They are protective, faithful, loving, and intelligent. 

What’s Your Choice? 

If you want the original coat color, a sable German Shepherd will be your best bet. If you prefer the most popular option, the black and tan is the variation you cannot afford to miss. 

A rare color like blue Shepherds is another excellent choice. But prepare your pocket as they are costly. Before you commit to one, make sure it comes from a reputable breeder. 

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