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German Shepherd Coat Colors

German Shepherds come in a variety of coat colors. Traditionally German Shepherds come in black and tan or black and red. Today there are some "rare" colors emerging as well like "blue" and "liver."

Common GSD coat colors include:

  • Black and Tan

  • Black and Red

  • Black and Silver

  • Black and Grey

  • Solid Black

  • Solid White (AKC disqualification)

  • Liver (serious fault)

  • Sable Coats (Red Sable and Black Sable being the most common)

Black and tan or black and red are what most people picture when they conjure up an image of the German Shepherd Dog.

Sable coated GSDs are particularly common in Europe, especially in East Germany and the Czech Republic (our personal opinion).

German Shepherds with deep, rich colors are preferred regardless of coat color. Light, pale, or "washed out" looking coats are less desirable.

Pictures of Some Popular Colors

various german shepherd coat colors
From right to left - Dark Sable, Black and Red, Black and Tan

red sable german shepherds)
Two Red Sable German Shepherds

black german shepherd
Solid Black GSD

white german shepherd
Solid White German Shepherd Dog.
(Note: The AKC does not allow all white GSDs to show in conformation).

A Word about Coat Color

Regardless of coat color the most important thing to consider when selecting a German Shepherd either from a breeder or a rescue is temperament. After temperament comes structure.

Depending on why you are getting a GSD drives are also quite important. Prey/play drive is desirable because they make training your German Shepherd much easier.

Coat color should be the very last thing you give thought too if at all. German Shepherds are outstanding dogs regardless of what color they are.

Making your choice based solely, or in large part, on the color of their coat you are running a serious risk of ending up with a dog that may end up being more than you can handle or less than you hoped for.

Pretty GSDs are not always the best GSDs.

Related Information:
Long Haired German Shepherds

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