Color in German Shepherds is very important because it represents their breed standard as well as their health. If you notice that their eyes change color, this might be a signal that something is wrong, such as liver problems or eye infections.
#1 Black: Black is one of the most common colors for German Shepherds. It is also one of the most popular as black dogs are considered especially regal and noble in appearance by some people.
#2 Black & tan: Black and tan shepherd dogs are an excellent example of the black mask gene. They usually have short coats, which can be wavy or curly. Their ears are erect, have long tails, and tend to range from medium to large.
#3 All Black: Just as the color says, all black German Shepherds are either solid or a combination of black and tan. This is one of the more expensive choices due to its rarity. Still, some families with very small children have been known to choose this option rather than dealing with any possible color complications later on.
#4 Black & red: This particular type of German Shepherd dog has a black gloss on its coat, but the coat itself is red. The dog has a black nose and an almond shape eye.
#5 Black & Rust: This is a black German Shepherd type of dog with some rust colored fur in its spots. It has brown eyes and a black nose. However, it is not a recognized color in the AKC, but they are allowed in UKC (as of July 2010) with a “not for breeding” disclaimer.
#6 Black & Grey: This color is the darkest of all German Shepherd colors. More than half the dog’s hair will be black, with mixed grey hairs on its back and sides. The other body parts will be either predominantly white or a lighter shade of gray. However, they may sport peek-a-boo patches of darker coloring.
#7 Sable: Sable color is the darkest in appearance and will have a black base coat with amber to brown guard hairs. This is the easiest color to recognize. They will be all black or very dark brown until you get close enough to see the lighter-colored guard hair curling out of their fur.
#8 Sable with tan: This coloring will have areas where brown is dominant, but the dog will still have lots of tans. The brown patches will be clearly visible in those areas. It can be challenging for you to tell whether this is a sable or a sable with tan but keep an eye on the dog’s eyes, face, and tail.
#9 Sable bi-color: To spot this coloration, you’ll have to look for black and brown patches with no tan. The dog will have a brown face, eyebrows, and long hairs around its tail.
#10 Sable with white: To determine the coloration of this dog, compare it against other dogs. The sabling will be visible on the dog’s body, which is one of the easiest colors to spot. Sable with white GSD
#11 Liver: This type of coloring will be a lot easier for you to spot because the dog has patches of brown on its face, head, and body. These areas can’t match the color of a red or sable German Shepherd. You’ll notice that some dogs have docked tails while others have long, flowing tails.
#12 Liver with tan: This type of German Shepherd is rare because it has darker brown patches on its body. You might think that it’s a liver colored dog at first glance, but you can quickly tell the difference if you look closely.
#13 Liver sable: This is a very unique-looking GSD because it only has small patches of dark brown on its body. It looks like a liver colored dog until you look at the black and tan areas around its eyes, muzzle, and ears. These are clearly visible, and they can easily tell this apart from other types of dogs.
#14 Liver and white: The brown patches will be visible on the dog’s body and face, but it can still be hard for you to spot because there is white coloring around its eyes, muzzle, and ears. This isn’t a dominant trait, so it won’t appear in other types of German Shepherds.
#15 Liver sable with white: Just like its counterpart, this dog will have black and tan around the nose, muzzle, and ears. The parts of the body where these two colors meet are the ones with brown patches. There won’t be any tan or light brown on this dog’s body.
#16 Liver with tan and white: This type of coloration will allow the liver patches, along with the tan or red areas, to be clearly visible on a white background. It might be hard for you to determine whether this is a liver sable, a liver with tan, or just a red German Shepherd. Still, you’ll be able to figure it out once you compare the dog’s face and tail against other dogs of a different color.
#17 Liver bi-color: The black patches will be clearly visible on this dog’s body, and that’s the difference between this coloring and the previous one. This dog will be a lot easier for you to spot because it will have a black face, tail, and parts of its body.
#18 Liver and tan bi-color: Most of the dog’s body will have dark coloring, but there’ll still be patches that are light brown. If you look closely, these will show up around its muzzle. It can still be hard to tell apart from another liver colored GSD, but that will only be a problem if you look from afar.
#19 Brindle: This color stands out unlike any other because of its zebra-like stripes, which can be found on the back, legs, and face. The best way to describe it is like a tiger. It’s normally tan with black stripes running down its length.
#20 Brindle and White: Some people will get confused with this type of coloring because it can resemble the brindle gene. However, there are some noticeable differences between the two colors. One thing to look for is white markings on the chest, paws, and face. The stripes of the brindle will also be wider and shorter.
#21 Brindle with tan: The stripes won’t be as visible on this dog because the light color will partially cover them. It can still be easy for you to distinguish between it and other types of dogs if you look at the hints. These include the black and a brown face in areas where the tan isn’t present on the body.
#22 Brindle sable: If you want to determine whether it’s a Brindle or just a sable, you have to look for stripes. The brown patches visible on the dog’s body will be clearly visible. Brindle sable GSD.
#23 Brindle Fawn: This type of coloration is considered incompletely dominant because it has no tan markings, making it similar to the fawn pied but more complete. The dog will be missing all of the brown patches, so you can only see a lot of red or rust.
#24 Fawn: This type of German Shepherd is a combination of tan and white, which can sometimes be mistaken for red, but it isn’t. The markings are usually around the ears and legs, with a minimal mixture in other areas. This is one reason why people might think it’s a different color. Some breeders will charge more for this type of dog, but it might be worth the money if you’re careful with it, especially if you have children in your home.
#25 Fawn Pied: The dog will be missing the last band of coloration that’s supposed to indicate a red, sable, or agouti, German Shepherd. It can be challenging for you to spot this type of coloring because the fawn pied is considered an incompletely dominant gene. You’ll have to look for a tan body with brown markings around the head.
#26 Fawn and White: To spot this coloration, you have to look for white markings on the paws, chest, neck, belly band, and cheeks. Some breeders might not accept this type of dog because it’s considered to be a fault.
#27 Red Fawn: There’s no confusion as to what type of coloring this is, but you’ll have to look very closely in order to spot any black, white, or tan. The dog will have patches of red and brown along with lots of white.
#28 Red: In order to spot a German Shepherd that possesses reddish-brown coloring and white markings, it’s best to check out the paws, chest, and neck area as well as around the eyes.
#29 Red merle: The red merle german shepherd has either black or liver-colored pigments. Their eyes are usually some shade of blue, sometimes they have a little bit of brown in them but never gray. The merles can range from a light tan to dark brown, depending on the type.
#30 Red and White: The best way to spot a red German Shepherd is by its reddish-brown coat with white markings on the paws, chest, and neck area as well as around the eyes. This is considered to be one of the most popular colors for this dog breed.
#31 Mustard & Red: This german shepherd type of dog has a mustard color to its fur with some greyish hints. It also has red markings on its face and neck, along with brown eyes.
#32 White: The most popular color in German Shepherds is the white coat. The White Shepherd Dog Club of America does not recognize white dogs with liver or black pigmentation, which are common traits in many other GSD colors. A dog must be an all-white to show a registration number from this club.
#33 Golden: This type of coloring is similar to the sable, but it has a distinctive yellow tint that doesn’t show any hints of green, black, brown, or red. Some dogs might have darker distribution, and others might have a golden coat with a red tint.
#34 Silver: Another unique color among the German Shepherds is silver. It’s a combination of various shades of gray that can sometimes be mistaken for albinism. Silver German Shepherds are born with dark black hair, but it will grow gray as they get older, especially around the muzzle and sideburns.
#35 Gray: The gray German Shepherd is by far the most prevalent in Europe. Some consider it to be the only “real” color of this dog because it was the original coloring that Max von Stephanitz developed from when he was breeding these dogs, which eventually became known as German shepherds. It is the color of most working dogs and the only one that meets a standard test.
#36 Blue: This color will look blue-gray instead of a pure black and blue-gray combination. Sometimes they can be mistaken for blue-eyed silver German Shepherds, which is a scarce color.
#37 Blue and Tan: This color is a cross between blue and sable. Just like its counterparts, this type of German Shepherd will look silver gray but have more tan markings. They’ll also have dark lips and a nose.
#38 Blue merle: The blue merle German Shepherd is a breed of working dog that originated in Germany and is known for being energetic, strong, alert, and brave. The breed comes in standard black with tan accents or the less common bi-color variation. Blue merles are supposed to be rare.
#39 Black Mask: This is a standard color among German Shepherds. There is also an absence of tan markings, which are normally seen on the head.
#40 Brown Mask: If you look closely at this coloration, you’ll notice that the black stripes of the brown brindle are replaced with tan or white markings.
#41 Red Mask: This type of coloring is very uncommon among German shepherds. The only place that you can find it is on the head. There won’t be any tan or white markings on the head.
#42 Agouti: This type of coloring is normally seen in other dog breeds, mainly Portuguese Water Dog families. You’ll be able to single out any German Shepherd because of its tan markings and black mask. The Agouti coloring can also be seen on its head, but it will depend on the amount of white present.
#43 Piebald: This is another type of coloring that the AKC doesn’t accept, but most breeders will accept it. It’s also called white spotting or pie. The fur might resemble mottled gray and white skunk markings. If you look closely, tan markings will be absent.
#44 Harlequin: Some health issues might be associated with this type of coloring. The dog will have blue eyes and a black mask along with tan, white or red markings.
#45 Harlequin silver sable: can only appear as apparent coat color. This is due to a lack of melanin that usually makes the black, brown, or red pigment. It is rare and considered a disqualification for show dogs.
#46 Merle: This is another type of German Shepherd color that the AKC doesn’t accept, but it’s easy to spot because of its patchy spots. The coat can have several colors, which makes it a bit difficult to identify at first glance. You’d have to look for black and white patches or red and white patches.
#47 Tricolor: This is another color that you can easily spot because of the large number of tan markings. You’ll be able to identify it because of its white chest, paws, and muzzle.
#48 Saddleback: There won’t be any tan markings on the legs or muzzle, but there will still be two areas where it’s very easy for you to spot brown patches. These are the head and back. This is a dominant gene, so its coloring won’t be present in other GSDs.
In North America, black, sable, and tan are the most commonly recognized German Shepherd colors. However, other less common colors share the same characteristic physical features as a black-and-tan or sable German Shepherd.
The golden color is one of these variations. It is uncommon to find gold in comparison to a black-and-tan or sable German Shepherd. Still, some breeders specialize in breeding gold coats.
The gene for the golden color was introduced into Germany from America, where it is considered a rare color. In countries such as France, Italy, and other European nations, red is the most common identifier of German Shepherds.
These red-coated German Shepherds are also heavy-boned and large dogs, just like the black coats. The coat patterns of red-coated German Shepherds are very similar to that of a sable, but they will have lighter, redder tones in their coat.
The pattern of the color is another way to determine whether or not a German Shepherd is gold, red, or black-and-tan.
A golden coat will have about the same distribution of color as a black and tan, with the most intense color in the saddle and ears. The rest of the body will be lighter than this and may even appear to be white.
This feature makes it easy to see why this breed is sometimes called “the white German shepherd”. the red-coated German Shepherd is often confused with both black and tan as well as a sable German Shepherd.
The only difference between the two colors is that red’s coat will have more of an orange tone to it than the darker black and brown tones found on black tans.
The red-coated German Shepherd will also lack the characteristic saddle seen on black and tan coats and be lighter in the shade than a sable.
According to the American Kennel Club, “Color is not of great importance in determining the quality or value of a German shepherd dog.” However, it would seem that this is not the case.
Just like in any other breed of dog, some standards must be met. The German Shepherd standard states there should be “no color preference.” However, this has not stopped people from breeding their pets to meet these stricter standards.
In Germany, breeders strive to produce a traditional black-and-tan coat finding it to be the most desirable. In other countries, especially in Europe, red and gold coats are accepted as alternative colors to black and tan.
A German Shepherd’s coat color will have an impact on its personality as well. One of the more notable differences is that golden-coated dogs do not carry the gene for albinism, making them more nurturing parents to their offspring.
Sable and red-coated German Shepherds are known to be less devoted parents. However, they are still beautiful dogs overall that can make great companions.
It is important to keep in mind as a pet owner that you should not choose a breed based on color alone because the coat of a German Shepherd only adds to its overall beauty.
Many people love the gold German Shepherd because of its unique color and have specific characteristics that make it a good pet choice.
Their loving nature makes them great playmates for children of all ages as well as their own families. This breed is also very intelligent, which means they can be trained with ease to do many different tricks such as jumping through hoops and rolling over on command.
These dogs have a lot of energy which is great for young children who love to take them hiking or running in the mountains. Still, it can also be challenging for older individuals to keep up with their fast pace.
As one may expect from a German Shepherd, these dogs can be very protective of their families, which is one reason many people like them. They will let you know if someone is around that they deem a threat to themselves and the family.
It is important to remember that these dogs are very energetic and need plenty of exercise time every day to be happy.
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