Isabella German Shepherd Guide (“Rare”coat color)

Isabella is a rare German Shepherd color variation that results from 2 sets of mutant genes. The first set of genes (“b/b“) change the base color from black to brown while the second set of genes (“d/d“) washes out the color from brown to Isabella, a light grey-brown shade.

Isabella GSDs are not different from any other German Shepherd as mutation only affects the skin and coat color and not other physical or behavioral attributes. Any part of the dog supposed to have black pigmentation such as the eyes, paw pads, and the nose develops a muted color.

To learn more about this dog that gets eyes rolling, read on dogophile.

Isabella German Shepherds

Isabella German Shepherd Overview

HeightMales: 24-26 inches
Females: 22-24 inches
WeightMales: 77-95 pounds
Females: 55-73 pounds
Lifespan9-13 years
TemperamentIntelligent, Loyal, Loving, Friendly, Energetic, and Affectionate
Can be destructive when neglected

Color genes dictate the pattern or color any dog displays. In the case of an Isabella German Shepherd, 2 sets of mutant genes change and dilute the melanin pigmentation. These are;

  • 2 copies of Mutant B-locus gene (b/b) or chocolate/brown/liver genes. These are mutant TYRP1 genes that change the structure of Eumelanin pigments giving them a brown appearance.
  • 2 copies of dilution genes (d/d) or Blue genes. These are mutant MLPH genes that dilute the brown Eumelanin pigments washing them out to pale brown.

Simply put, 2 “b” genes and 2 “d” genes are required to bear Isabella German Shepherd puppies. 2 copies of each are required since these are recessive traits. As such, Isabella pups have the genotype “bbdd” similar to the Isabella French Bulldog, linked here.

The paw pads, nose, and eye colors also change. Irises become amber and may have a red glow under light. The nose may be light pink to darkish brown.

This color is not recognized by any kennel club and cannot be shown.

Physical appearance

Since this mutation only affects the skin and hair pigmentation, all other physical attributes of the German Shepherd remain unchanged. They include;

  • The muscular and athletic build
  • The lean but sturdy appearance
  • Almond-shaped eyes
  • Long muzzles
  • Long to medium-sized double coats that can be straight or course that sheds

However, Isabella dogs are susceptible Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA) which changes the coat texture to change and causes hair loss. Any dog with dilute genes such as the Blue German Shepherd or Blue Frenchie is prone to CDA.

Temperament & personality traits

The temperament also remains unchanged as the Isabella GSD remains aloving confident, al and protective dog

They should be socialized and trained like any other German Shepherd to manage undesired behaviors and to reinforce the good traits.

They also get along well with children being kind, gentle, and playful with them. This applies even to other animals that they have raised together.

Puppy cost;

An Isabella German Shepherd Puppy could cost you upwards of $1000 but the price will vary depending on availability, the breeder, location, and a host of other factors.

Be vigilant when looking for a Lilac GSD breeder and only work a breeder that has undisputed proof that he qualified and reputable. Other Isabella GSD owners and your veterinarian can help direct you to a good and reputable breeder.

Be vigilant of backyard breeders and puppy mills.

An Isabella German Shepherd Puppy

Breed summary

The Isabella German Shepherd is a rare German Shepherd color variation caused by gene mutation that does not affect the dog’s appearance or personality traits.

He remains protective, loyal, loving, intelligent, confident, and patient with children which makes him equally great as a family dog.

However, getting your hands on one of these dogs will be difficult as they are not widely popular and are not bred by many breeders as this color is considered a fault.

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