German Shepherd Colors - Different Coat And Color Varieties

German Shepherd Colors – Different Coat And Color Varieties

German Shepherds have a dense, flat, coarse, straight coat that lies against their body.

They have an undercoat that is soft and thick. The outer coat can also be slightly wavy or long. Hence the different German Shepherd colors.

While the classic look of a GSD is tan and black with a black saddle, there are also a variety of other color combinations and solid colors.


German Shepherd Colors – Show Dog Color Requirements

german shepherds colors

If you are interested in showing your GSD in the popular show dog industry, there are color requirements that have been set in place by the American Kennel Club.

To show your GSD he or she will have to exhibit rich, strong colors and have a dense medium length outer coat.

German Shepherd colors such as livers, blues, pale shades are considered faults and solid white German Shepherds are disqualified from the competition.

White Coat German Shepherds

white german shepherd health

While the AKC may immediately disqualify a white GSD from a dog show, many dog owners around the world actually seek out the beautiful white GSD.

They are known to have an overall calm, mellow and sensitive personality compared to the black and tan GSD. Due to their sweet demeanor, they are popular family pets instead of guard dogs.

Black Coat German Shepherds

black german shepherd

The solid black GSD is commonly mistaken as a mix breed, but they are 100% German Shepherd.

This mistake usually is due to uncommon sightings of the beautiful shiny solid black coat compared to the popular multi-color GSD.

The Black German Shepherd has a traditional look of the breed and is slightly larger than the standard German Shepherd. Their coat can be flowing, long, skirting, feathering or short.

German Shepherd Colors Coat Variations

German Shepherd Color Coat Variations

The following is a list of German Shepherd colors of a coat combinations:

  • Black and Tan
  • Black and White
  • Solid Black
  • Black and Red
  • Black and Cream
  • Black and Silver
  • Liver
  • Blue
  • Sable Gray
  • White
  • Tan with small amounts of black spotting
  • Solid Red
  • Black, White, and Tan
  • Sable, Black, and White
  • Sable, Black, and Red

How to Find a GSD in the Color Coat You Like

Many dog owners commonly have their heart set on a specific type of German Shepherd that they would like to welcome into their family.

At times that special color combination or solid colors may not be available in your area. You will have to do some searching into nearby cities or even states to find the special dog you are looking for.

Remember always to deal with a reputable breeder that treats their dogs with respect and takes good care of their health.

Caring for the GSDs Coat

german shepherds coats

Many dog owners will say that their GSD has the most beautiful coat.

But the truth is all German Shepherds are beautiful.

Dog owners or potential GSD owners may wonder how to take care of the beautiful the beautiful coat. Below are tips on how to care for a German Shepherds coat that will keep his coat shiny, clean and color glowing.

  • Brush Regularly
  • Bathe once a month or at least allow a ten-day gap between bathing sessions
  • Provide a healthy diet
  • Only use dog shampoo

It is quite easy to keep a German Shepherds coat looking and feeling its best. Dog owners should keep in mind that the GSD frequently sheds so brushing sessions will be highly beneficial.

Make sure you use tools such as a regular dog hair brush, rake brush and metal comb to remove the undercoat and distribute oils.

The Bathing Process

bathing german shepherd

Many German Shepherd dog owners enjoy bathing their dogs while others prefer taking them to the groomer. If you choose to bathe your GSD, there are a few tips that will help you complete the process quickly.

Some dogs enjoy splashing around while taking a bath, while others may try to run from the situation or hide when they know they are about to take a bath.

Try these helpful tips when you feel like you have your hands full with your GSD.

  • Step One – Prepare the bath area with towels, warm water, the shampoo and conditioner bottles and any other tools your GSD may require to keep his coat healthy.
  • Step Two – Ask for help. See if anyone in your household is willing to help you give your GSD a bath. Two people will make the process go a little quicker since one person can hold on to the dog as the other washes. If your dog loves to take a bath, you both can bathe your dog quickly.
  • Step Three – During the bathing process first wet your dog with lukewarm water then begin pouring the shampoo into your hand to wash his coat. Always use an open hand when washing your dog. Digging your nails below the surface of his coat and reaching his skin might seem like a good idea, but it can actually cause small cuts that can bleed and later become infected.
  • Step Four – Rinse the shampoo and conditioner off thoroughly. Take your time with this process and make sure all residue is removed. If there are any shampoo and conditioner left behind it can dry and cause irritation to your GSDs skin.
  • Step Five – Dry excess water off with towels or allow your dog to air dry indoors at a tepid temperature or outdoors in the warm sunshine.


If you find that your German Shepherd has a sticky residue on areas of his coat, it is wise to comb carefully through it with a fine-toothed metal comb.

Some German Shepherd colors are specific for some mix breeds other are just part of the genetics.

Always start from the tip of the hair and work your way down close to the surface of the skin, being careful not to scrape the comb against the skin.


Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by Shepped Team

5 thoughts on “German Shepherd Colors – Different Coat And Color Varieties”

  1. The color of your dog shouldn’t really be of any importance. Temperment, health, conformation should always be the priority.
    I’ve had about 20 GSDs and my family used to breed them. I have had every color and every coat length. I can tell you with certainty that twice a yr all of them will blow their coats and require grooming more than usual for a couple wks.
    My white GSD had a plush coat and needed brushing twice a day in summers. My long coated GSD would blow her coat like you couldn’t imagine and needed to be brushed twice a day from spring til fall. Throughout the winter we could usually skip days. Too little brushing will result in matted fur.
    No matter the color or length frequent brushing is necessary for any dog to bring out the natural oils. Those oils help keep the skin from drying out, makes the coat nice & shiny, conditions the fur and helps repel water and dirt.

  2. I must respectively disagree with the personality description of the white German Shepherd. I’m an avid dog lover with a history of bringing out the best in troubled dogs. I adopted a white GS puppy who starting at 3 months became shockingly aggressive. Before he was a year old he broke a very strong leash in order to get to a little boy on a bike, he bit him. Another time my 4 year old son accidentally let him out of our house, a crowd of children were playing in the front yard again he bit a boy. I have to say my smart GS did bite the one boy I caught harassing him. I called a great number of people to get help with our dog, no one could help. I was told that white GS’s are generally aggressive, sadly that turned out to be true for us. I did make one huge mistake when choosing our white GS. When visiting the family that owned our dogs parents we were only permitted to meet the father of the puppies. The mother was locked in the house trying aggressively to tear the door down. I was told she was only trying to protect her puppies. Having only experience with shelter dogs I bought that line. Another red flag was that the owner would not take the puppies back even after only a few weeks. Reputable breeders have great concern for the welfare of their puppies and WILL take them back also, most only barely if at all make a profit. Hope this saves someone from the heart break of having to part with a truly beloved family member. I still miss him.

  3. We had a 113 lbs. White German Shepard. If anything, he was timid. I believe it is all in the upbringing, although that is not to say Kathleen did not do a good job with her WGS. Although dogs do generally exhibit various traits, like any other animal (including human’s), any given animal can develop traits outside of those normally exhibited. We have a Labradoodle now, but when I retire, I will get another German Shepard and I would get either a Silver or White one.

  4. I work at an animal rescue and recently adopted one of the dogs, a beautiful young 1-2 years GSD. her coloring is unusual, she is a golden color with a black muzzle. I have looked on several sights to find what color she is called, but can’t find anything. the story is she is registered akc which doesn’t matter to me. but I am puzzled about her coloring. there is no doubt about her breed.

  5. Margery Youngquist

    We adopted from shelter, a beautiful, sweet dog who is white with black markings. I wanted to know his breeds so did a DNA on him. It came back that he is 75% GSD with the rest being Lab & Chow. See no Chow in him. Lab, maybe. His white coat is dotted with many black spots. Being majority GSD, I wonder about his coloring. His face is black, including ears, with a white stripe from the top of his head to his nose. Then he has a large black spot on his back & hips. Then he’s white with spots all over. His personality is what was said about the White German Shepherd. He is very sweet & loving, sensitive to the point of being cowardly. Of course, being from a shelter, his actions of being afraid (at times) makes me think that he was abused. He doesn’t like loud voices, loud noises or – a fly swatter. since a child, I’ve always wanted a GSD & now at my age (72), I have one~! (anyway, 75%)

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