German Shepherd Colors

German shepherd colors

german shepherd colors
“K9 Baks who proudly served his country”

“No good dog is a bad color”

Max von Stephanitz - Founder of the German Shepherd Breed on German shepherd colors.

The SV, the German Shepherd Dog Club in Germany had this to say about German shepherd colors:

“The color of the GSD is in itself not important and has no effect on the character of the dog or on its fitness for work and should be a secondary consideration for that reason. The final color of a young dog can only be ascertained when the outer coat has developed. The normal (stock) coated GSD should carry a thick undercoat and the outer coat should be as dense as possible, made up of straight hard close lying hairs.”

“Verein für Deutsche Schäferhund”


Faulty German shepherd colors for show and conformation

The color of a dog is not an indicator of either excellent or poor health. While the AKC considers blue, liver and white to be faulty GSD coat colors, this has no impact whatsoever on the health of the dog.

“The German shepherd colors blue, liver and white shepherds are generally all considered major conformation faults.”

German Shepherds are one of the most versatile dogs out there. That is reflected as well in their appearance which can vary widely in coat color and length.

german shepherd colors
“Black and tan German shepherd dog”

What are the German shepherd colors?


Black & Cream

Black & Red

Black & Silver

Black & Tan





Most popular German shepherd colors

Solid black German Shepherds, along with Black & Tan and Sable are the most popular German shepherd colors in the U.S. whereas black & red German shepherds are the predominant color in Germany.

german shepherd color

Sable German shepherd

Recessive gene information on German shepherd colors

Blue German shepherds receive two recessive genes which dilute black pigmentation.

Liver German shepherds contain a recessive gene from each parent which blocks black pigmentation.

Sable German shepherds aka Agouti or Wolf Gray, actually carry the dominant gene.

White German shepherds are recognized by the AKC as the American White Shepherd.


german shepherd color
“White German shepherd puppies”

When choosing your puppy ensure that temperament and health are part of your decision making as they are much better indicators of a good breeding and a future good dog. Whatever it is you are looking for in a puppy ensure wherever you buy your puppy that they specialize in breeding that type of puppy. Learn more about what to look for in a breeder here in addition to German shepherd colors.


If you can resist treating a rich friend

better than a poor friend,

If you can face the world

without lies and deceit,

If you can say honestly that deep in your heart

you have no prejudice

against creed, color, religion or politics,

Then, my friend, you are almost as good as your dog.



In addition to choosing your favorite German shepherd colors be sure to consider health, the breeder and what you are looking for in a pup.

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