Meet the Blue German Shepherd: A Unique & Majestic Beauty!

Imagine a canine powerhouse of intelligence, loyalty, and courage, wrapped in a stunning coat; a blue-gray colored coat. That’s the Blue German Shepherd, a unique and breathtaking Germann Shepherd variety.

These dogs stand out with their deep steel blue to pale blue-gray coats, striking hazel-blue eyes, blue skin, eye rims, lips, and paw pads. At first glance, some may appear almost black (steel blue), others have a sparkling silver-blue hue, while others are a pale blue-gray color. 

All this is the result of a pair of genes that transform all-black pigmentation into a blue-gray hue.

Despite their captivating appearance, blue in German Shepherds is considered a fault and cannot be shown. Those that acquire them do so for the love of their beauty, not for show purposes.

So, if you are interested in learning more about this captivating GSD variety, you are in the right place. Scroll on for more.

Blue GSD: Overview

Height22 to 26 inches
Weight50 to 90 pounds
Coat typeDouble coated. Thick & soft undercoat with a dense, straight, and coarse feeling outer coat lying close to the skin.
Coat colorSteel blue, blue-gray, charcoal gray, ash-colored, or slate
Price$1500 to $4500
Lifespan9 to 13 years

German Shepherds are the rock stars of the dog world, adored by fans worldwide for their exceptional working and guarding skills, unwavering loyalty, and charming personalities. Their stunning appearance only adds to their appeal, with a plethora of captivating coat colors, including the elusive blue and Isabella.

Blue coloration occurs in about every dog breed, including, of course, the blue German Shepherd. It is caused by a dilution gene on the d-locus, which happens when all black pigment is diluted into a blue-ish gray shade; the appearance of the coats often looks more gray than blue. This dilution affects all black pigments, including those on the skin, nose, foot pads, toenails, lips, and eye rims. 

Blue-colored GSD puppies have attractive hazel-blue to green eyes, which usually stay bright blue until 3 to 6 months of age. After this, they transition through various shades of green and yellow, usually ending up as hazel-green, yellowish, or amber (a light brown). These light-colored eyes are often called “prey” eyes by many. Others keep their striking blue eyes into adulthood.

Blue GSDs are often born with silver-gray coats. With age, the coat may darken quite a bit to a steel blue shade (a gunmetal gray color). Conversely, the shade may lighten with age to a pale blue shade commonly known as “powder blue.”

Color variations

Blue German Shepherds come in two main classifications: Steel blue or Powder blue.

  • Steel Blue: Steel Blue German Shepherds often have a deep gunmetal gray coloration often mistaken for black. Their coats often are often dark blue and may have a shiny silver hue. This variation is much darker than Powder Blues and has darker blue skin, paw pads, lips, eye rims, noses, and amber eyes.
  • Power Blue: Powder Blue German Shepherds have paler blue-gray coats that appear to be dusted with power, hence the name. Puppies start out with a silver sheen that lightens to a dusty shade of blue into adulthood. Powder Blue GSDs are less common and are often considered rare.

Other variations

Apart from steel and powder blue, other variations include;

  • Blue Fawn: Blue Fawn German Shepherds dogs have predominantly red-yellowish coats with blue instead of black hair tips and, if present. a bluish mask (melanistic mask) covering the muzzle to the ears.
  • Sable Blue: Blue Sable GSDs have a pattern of alternating tan-to-yellow and bluish hair bands concentrated on the dog’s saddle (backside). 
  • Blue & Tan: Blue and tan German Shepherds are identical to black and tan but with blue hair instead of black. The tan points (the eyes, cheeks, throat, chest, underbelly, feet, inner legs, and under tail) remain mostly unaffected. The tan points/markings on the face may be covered on dogs with melanistic masks
  • Blue Brindle: Brindle is a pattern of light and dark stripes. Blue Brindle German Shepherds have blue instead of black and yellowish-tan stripes.
  • Blue Panda: Blue Panda German Shepherds consist of blue, tan, and white markings. Blue markings appear on the face, ears, and backside from the saddle (back surface) to the tail. White markings appear on the face, head, chest, legs, and under the tail. 

Blue Coat Genetics (dilution)

The blue coat color in German Shepherds is caused by a genetic mutation (alteration) that affects the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for giving color to hair, skin, and other body parts. There are two types of melanin pigments: phaeomelanin (red or yellow) and eumelanin (black or brown), responsible for all variations in skin and coat colors and patterns on all mammals including canids such as dogs. 

This is a loss-of-function (missense) mutation of the gene melanophilin (MLPH), which is responsible for the transport and distribution of melanin. The MLPH gene corresponds to the D-locus and has three mutant variants: d1, d2, and d3. The d1 mutation is responsible for coat color dilution in most breeds, followed by d2 and d3 (yet to be detected in this breed). 

Dilution (lowercase d) is an autosomal recessive trait, meaning two copies of any of the three mutant variants (d/d) should be present for dilution to occur. It is genetically impossible for a Blue German Shepherd to have any black pigment. All black pigments including on the skin, lips, eye rims, nose, paw pads, nails, and eyes fade to a lighter shade.

Non-dilution (capital D) is dominant to dilution, and any dog that is D/D or D/d at the D-locus will not be blue. Other genes and mutations may also be involved, which are yet to be fully understood.

Blue GSD Temperament

These dogs are the perfect blend of form and function, with their good looks matched only by their courage, intelligence, and loyalty.

German Shepherds are dogdom’s finest herding and guardian dogs. Gentle pets and strong watchdogs, GSDs are noble, large, muscular dogs bred for their intelligence, aesthetics, and working abilities. They are known for their loyalty and strong bonds with their families. They are always alert and watchful, and they may bark to warn their owners of potential danger, making them prized watchdogs and protectors. 

As a member of the wider German Shepherd family, the Blue GSD shares many of the same traits and characteristics with exception of color. Remember, the coat color has no effect on temperament. But upbringing, life experiences, training, and socialization do shape a dog’s behavioral traits. 

Proper socialization is crucial to make them exceptional canine citizens. Additionally, they require plenty of mental stimulation to burn off pent-up energy, keep them in shape and relieve the occasional doggie tension. 

Finding a Blue German Shepherd

If you’re interested in getting a Blue German Shepherd, don’t rush. Learn all about the breed, temperament, care, and potential health or behavioral issues for an informed decision. 

To find one, you can use the following channels;

  • Finding a breeder: Contact organizations and official clubs like AKC, UKC, or the German Shepherd Club of America for a list of recognized GSD breeders. Once you identify a breeder, ask questions about their experience and health testing protocols, request pictures and videos of their pups and breeding stock, and references to previous buyers. Schedule a visit to check the breeding conditions, see the canines in person, and obtain health clearances and documentation.
  • Online marketplaces: There are several online marketplaces where breeders and pet owners advertise their Blue German Shepherds. A quick search for “blue German Shepherds for sale near me” will give results of various kennels and sellers. Be sure to research and vet the seller thoroughly before purchasing. Not all sellers are reputable.
  • Meet other owners: If you attend dog shows or other official GSD events such as Schutzlund, you may have the opportunity to meet breeders and owners, observe the dogs, and get better insight into the breed. Ask for referrals from other dog owners, veterinarians, or trainers for leads to a possible seller.
  • Consider adoption: Check with local animal shelters or rescue organizations to see if they have blue GSDs available for adoption.

When choosing a blue GSD puppy, consider the breeder’s knowledge of genetics. Avoid breeders who breed dogs in questionable conditions. Don’t base your decision on color alone; prioritize the dog’s health and well-being. 

With blue GSD pups, pay attention to their ears, upper head, and back. If you notice any bald spots, brittle and dull hair that easily breaks off, or skin issues, walk away.

Blue GSD price

The typical price range for a Blue German Shepherd puppy is between $1500 and $4500. The price can vary depending on location, breeder, demand, and pedigree.

However, one should not pay a higher price for a “special” color puppy. Prices should be based on breeding efforts and the quality and health of the kennel’s lines and available puppies. 

Blue German shepherd breeders

Always remember to screen the breeder before making a purchase.

Care needs

  • Exercise: German Shepherds require daily exercise, including a daily walk and a romp in the yard. They also enjoy activities such as running, hiking, and swimming. Mental stimulation is equally important to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Providing interactive toys and training activities can help keep them mentally engaged.
  • Grooming: They have a double coat that sheds quite considerably, so regular brushing is important to prevent matting and keep their coat healthy. They should be bathed as necessary and not too often. 
  • Nutrition: A high-quality diet is important for their overall health. Feeding a balanced and appropriate diet will help prevent obesity and other health issues.
  • Training: German Shepherds have a high degree of intelligence, are eager to please, and respond well to training. Consistent training and socialization are important to prevent behavior issues and for an upright canine citizen. 
  • Health care: Regular veterinary check-ups are important to prevent and detect health issues early on. 

Recognition & Registration

Although blue or any type of dilution is considered a fault by the breed standard, blue German Shepherds can be registered under the AKC. They can participate in events such as agility, obedience, rally, coursing, tracking, herding, or Schutzhund but are not disqualified from the show ring. If you plan to show your furry friend, this is not the dog for you. 

How to register your Blue German Shepherd

To register a dog with the American Kennel Club (AKC), you will need to provide AKC with the dog’s complete and accurate pedigree information, including the names and registration numbers of the dog’s parents and grandparents.

You also need to submit an AKC registration application, along with the appropriate fee, depending on the selected package. Gather the necessary information, such as the breed, name, number, litter number, gender, color, markings, and date of birth, and fill out the form.

In some cases, additional information or documentation may be required, such as DNA testing results. It’s important to note that both parents of the dog must also be registered with the AKC in order for the dog to be eligible for AKC registration.

After registration, you will receive an AKC certificate with detailed information. 

Note that registration is separate from licensing, which may be required by local ordinances. Depending on your location, you may be required to buy a license and attach it to your dog’s collar. 


Are blue German Shepherds rare?

While blue German Shepherds are an uncommon color variety, more and more breeders are selecting for them. Avoid breeders that use the “rare” tag as a selling point, as the blue GSD is not that rare, at least not anymore.

The Isabella or lilac German Shepherd is the rarest German Shepherd color.

Is a blue German Shepherd purebred?

The blue German Shepherd is a purebred German Shepherd. This coloration is mentioned in the original standard by SV from the 1800s, but as an undesired off-color, usually being culled or given away. This led many to suspect he is a mixed breed; he is not.

Do blue Shepherds have blue eyes?

Blue GSDs are born with bright blue to green eyes. They often retain blue eyes to the age of 3 to 6 months after which they go through phases of green and yellow shades usually ending up as hazel-green, yellowish, or amber (light brown). These light-colored eyes are often called “prey” eyes by many. Others keep their striking blue eyes into adulthood.

Are blue German Shepherds healthy?

Blue German Shepherds are generally healthy, but they can be susceptible to certain health issues, such as Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA), which is a skin condition that can cause hair loss and other skin problems.

However, not all blue German Shepherds develop CDA, and there are other skin conditions that can also cause hair loss (alopecia). Alopecia is a general term for skin conditions that can cause hair loss, and CDA is just one of many types of alopecia. The reasons for the development of CDA are not fully understood, and not all dogs with a diluted coat develop CDA. Not all dogs with blue coats develop alopecia. In fact, the condition is only limited to a few dogs with the dilute gene. 

To Wrap Up

In conclusion, blue German shepherds are a unique and fascinating variation of the breed, known for their striking and distinctive appearance. The beautiful and unique color is just the icing on the cake of an already exceptional dog.

With proper care, training, and socialization, blue GSDs can be wonderful companions for those who appreciate their unique qualities, as well as their beauty. Whether you’re drawn to these dogs for their appearance or their temperament, a well-bred and well-raised Blue GSD can bring joy, love, and companionship into your life.

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