German shepherds make great family pets and loyal companions due to their attractive appearance, athletic build, and distinctive ears. Additionally, they have a variety of coat colors that go beyond the usual black and tan associated with the breed.
German Shepard Coat Colors from Rarest to Most Common
German shepherds with liver coats have a unique characteristic of having rich brown fur. This color can be a solid brown or a combination of liver and tan or liver and white. The reason for this is due to a specific gene combination (‘bb’ at the ‘B’ locus) that replaces the black pigment in their coat.
German shepherds with blue or grayish coats are known for their distinct coloring, which is the result of a recessive gene that dilutes the typical black color. Their shades range from steel blue to powder blue. Although the blue coat is considered a serious fault, they are still purebred and can be registered with the American Kennel Club.
White German shepherds have a unique appearance due to a recessive gene that restricts color expression, resulting in their pure white coat. Although they are purebred and can be registered with the American Kennel Club, their white coat is regarded as a disqualification in some AKC events.
German shepherds with gray or silver coats are a unique variation of the breed. Their uncommon color is the result of a dilution of the more common black or brown pigmentation, resulting in varying shades of gray.
German shepherds with bi-color coats have mostly black fur with tan, brown, or red markings on their legs and face. This unique coat variation is due to genetic factors that impact their coloration.
German shepherds that are entirely black in color, thanks to a recessive gene, make up a unique group within the breed. Their distinguishing feature is a solid jet-black coat.
7. Black and Silver
German shepherds with black and silver coats are easily identifiable due to their striking appearance. This color pattern is a result of recessive genes that create a beautiful contrast between the black and silver markings.
8. Black and Cream
People often mistake black and cream German shepherds for black and tan ones because of their similar color patterns. However, the cream in black and cream German shepherds is a lighter shade, almost pale cream. These dogs have a saddle pattern, with a black back and cream legs, chest, underside, and face.
The coat of Sable German Shepherds is distinct, with each hair starting lighter at the root and darkening to black at the tip, resulting in a wolf-like color pattern that ranges from light tan to deep brown. Though often labeled as “black,” the sable coat is actually a beautiful gradation of color that sets this breed’s fur apart.
10. Black and Red
German shepherds that are black and red have a stunning contrast between their deep black saddle and mask and their vibrant red areas. The shade of their red can range from lighter tones that resemble cream or tan to intense, true red hues. These dogs usually have dark brown eyes and a black nose, and they may have white or cream markings on their chest, adding to their unique and eye-catching look.
11. Black and Tan
German Shepherds with black and tan color pattern are widely recognized. They have a black saddle covering their back and their coat is mostly a warm tan color, which can range from light to dark. However, it is usually darker than the cream color seen in black and cream German Shepherds.