The Blue German Shepherd (A Quick Guide)

Blue is a rare German Shepherd color variation with a bluish silver-gray coat, striking amber eyes, a blue nose, and blue paw pads. A pair of dilution genes wash out the black skin and hair pigments (eumelanin) hence the bluish coloration.

As such, a German Shepherd that should have been black turns pale grey. For more on what you need to know about this dusty ball of fluff, scroll on.

Blue German Shepherd overview

HeightMales: 24-26 inches
Females: 22-24 inches
WeightMales: 65-90 pounds
Females: 50-75 pounds
Lifespan9 -13 years
TemperamentBold, Tenacious, Intelligent, Energetic, Affectionate, Devoted, Loving, and Protective

Where Blue German Shepherds come from

Color is the main difference between the Blue GSD and other German Shepherd types.

Blue GSDs appear to have a dusty blue-grey coat caused by mutation of the MeLanoPHilin (MLPH) gene. This gene plays a role in the black color pigments (eumelanin) synthesis and distribution.

This results in the mutant dilution gene denoted as d” (d-allele).

Consequently, this mutant gene hinders the proper transportation and distribution of the eumelanin pigments to the dog’s skin and coat hence the muted blue-grey appearance.

It also affects the nose and paw pads which turn blue, and the iris turn amber. A Blue German Shepherd puppy may be born with blue eyes turning brownish-yellow (amber) when the pup is about 12 months old.

However, since dilution is a recessive trait, an offspring would need 2 copies of the dilution genes (d/d). Each parent dog contributes a copy of the gene and should thus at least be a carrier.

Dilution can cause skin issues and hair loss in some German Shepherd in a condition known as color dilution alopecia (CDA). However, only a portion of the dogs will develop this condition.

Because of this, major kennel clubs such as the American AKC and United Kennel Club (UKC) consider the blue German Shepherd a fault. This only matters if you plan to show your dog as he can still compete in AKC events.

DNA test results:

D/DHas no dilute color and cannot produce dilute pups
D/dDoes not display a dilute color but is a carrier. Can pass a dilute or non-diluted gene to the offspring
d/dHas a dilute coat color and passes a dilute gene to the offspring

Physical appearance

The mutation does not affect any other physical attributes in the breed standard. They will also shed moderately throughout the year.

There are 2 main Blue GSD color variations;

  • Steel Blue German Shepherd– This is a darker Blue German Shepherd that can pass for a silver black German Shepherd. However, the differences are more notable, especially on the paw pads, eyes, and nose when side to side.
  • Powder Blue German Shepherd– Unlike the Steel Blue GSD, a powder Blue German Shepherd puppy is born with a silver sheen coat which eventually turns blue-grey as they age. The Powder Blue GSD also has a dustier/paler color tone.
blue german shepherds

Temperament & Personality traits

In addition, these mutant genes do not affect the dog’s personality or behavior. The personality is shaped by how this dog is raised, trained, socialized, the surroundings, and genetics.

All in all, expect this dog to be loyal, loving, and fearless but is aloof to strangers-like any other German Shepherd- when not well socialized.

He gets along with children and other pets making him a great family dog.

Buying a Blue German Shepherd Puppy

If you plan to get a Blue German Shepherd puppy, they can be somewhat hard to find and will cost upwards of $1500 if you can find one.

Do not make a rush purchase. Instead, do your homework and be confident that you can meet the dog’s needs including daily exercises as this is an active dog.

Take time to find a reputable breeder and be vigilant of unethical breeders and puppy mills looking to make quick money. A reputable breeder will often have a waiting list but you can start your search by word of mouth or from a German Shepherd dog forum.

If you find one, ask questions about the puppy and ensure he/she is qualified and conversant with the dog. A reputable breeder will also provide health guarantees under a contract.

Avoid buying this dog online and be vigilant of breeders that advertise their pups as “rare.”

Blue German Shepherd Puppy
Blue GSD pup


Is a Blue German Shepherd purebred?

The Blue German Shepherd is a purebred dog.

Is the Blue German Shepherd rare?

Unlike the sable or black and tan German Shepherd, the blue German Shepherd color is considered rare. Since it’s a conformation fault, breeders avoid breeding this coat color.

What is the rarest German Shepherd color?

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

There you go, WOOF!