It’s not every day that you come across a Blue German Shepherd. This rare dog is almost like the standard one, but with its black pigment diluted in some way. In this article, we will explore what makes the Blue German Shepherd so unusual and why they are considered such a rarity.
What is a Blue German Shepherd?
The Blue German Shepherd Dog is one of the rarest colors of German Shepherds. The color has three variations, including blue and tan, blue and sable, or blue and black. Although not a true ‘blue’ dog, it is often called this for simplicity’s sake.
Blue German Shepherd dogs are a breed of dog that has a diluted coat color. The blue coloring is called such because it is essentially a shade of dark, dark blue mixed with some black. The variations between blues and blacks can be quite subtle or very dramatic depending on the coat color of the parent dogs. It really comes down to genetics and individual dogs.
History of Blue German Shepherds
We all know that German Shepherds have a history that stretches back many centuries. We know for certain is that they were created by Max von Stephanitz around the year 1899 to be one of the first recognized working dogs for herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators.
But what is the story with Blue German Shepherds? Not much has been documented about the history of blue-colored German Shepherd dogs. It’s unknown when the first blue German Shepherd appeared.
What we do know is that the blue color in German Shepherds comes as a result of an underlying genetic condition.
How Are Blue German Shepherds Made?
The blue color gene in the German Shepherd dog is recessive, meaning that both parents must carry this same gene if there ever is any chance of having a litter with blue pups.
To understand how the blue gene works and why it can only occur when both parents carry the gene, we must learn about genes in general. Every living creature has genes. Genes are made up of deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA’s) that contain information for building proteins to help make an animal what they are. So what does this mean? Well, when a dog is born, its DNA holds the information needed to make it look and act like a German Shepherd. But there’s more to it than that!
The gene determines how much pigment or coloring will be produced by cells in an animal. There are many types of genes that can make many different colors. The cells are tiny factories that produce pigment, and the gene decides how much they will make.
All genes come in pairs, one from each parent. When genes are paired together, it is called a genotype (gene type). A German Shepherd’s coat color is determined by its genotype. To explain this in more detail, we must learn about the two main types of genes: dominant and recessive.
Dominant And Recessive Genes
Genes can be either dominant or recessive, meaning they control whether other genes are active or not. The gene determines how much pigment cells make by on or off switches. One or both genes in a pair may be dominant or recessive. Both parents pass on one of their two genes to each pup, and the pups will have a pairing of one gene from the mother and one from the father, inheriting two copies of every gene they receive.
What does all this mean? Well, when dominant (D) genes are paired together, there is no effect or change in appearance. If the pup inherits one dominant and one recessive gene, the recessive gene is not active and therefore has no effect; they will look black and tan like the standard German Shepherd. For the offspring to have a blue coat color, the pups need to inherit recessive genes from both parents.
The Differences Between The Standard German Shepherd and Blue Shepherd
The main difference between the black German Shepherd and the Blue Shepherd is obviously the striking appearance.
Meanwhile, the main difference between the blue German Shepherd and other German Shepherd colors, such as liver German Shepherd, is that the blue color gene only partially inhibits pigment cells from making black or tan coloring. This means that a blue pup may have lighter, faded markings depending on how much the black or tan genes are expressed.
The color of their coats is immediately obvious after they are born. Puppies can be distinguished from the rest of the litter by their blue coloring and lighter, faded markings.
In the majority of German Shepherds, the eyes are brown. However, a blue GSD is usually born with blue eyes. The color is not determined by coat color and can be found in other variations: yellow or amber eyes.
Can a Blue German Shepherd Dog be Registered with The AKC?
Like white German Shepherd, the blue coat color is considered a fault, meaning that it cannot be shown with other “purebred” dogs. However, this does not mean that blue German Shepherd Dogs are no longer registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The AKC still registers dogs of a disqualifying color by providing an exception. This means that according to the AKC, dogs of a disqualifying color may still be registered as long as both parents are AKC registered.
Key Characteristics of Blue German Shepherds
The only difference between the regular German Shepherd with Blue German Shepherd is their color; other than that, they share the same characteristics.
The average male German shepherd measures about 24 to 26 inches in height and weighs from 65 to 90 lbs, depending on their build and degree of muscling. Females are generally 22 to 24 inches high, weighing between 50 to 70 lbs.
German Shepherd Dogs are known to be one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. These dogs are loyal, kind-hearted, and protective. If properly trained, these dogs can make great family pets. These dogs are also suited for police work due to their ability to follow orders without hesitation.
Male German Shepherds are known to be more territorial than female German Shepherds. Male German Shepherd Dogs are serious about the things they do and very alert with their environments, making them perfect guard dogs.
On the other hand, female German Shepherds are more affectionate and very good with children, making them good family dogs. At the same time, they are also more independent than male GSDs. This means they are less likely to make trouble when alone at home.
One thing you should note about blue German Shepherd’s temperament is that both male and female GSDs are naturally wary of strangers. This is something that all herding dogs have in common. That said, owners should be cautious so that this trait is not escalated into aggression.
How to Prevent German Shepherd Aggression
Socialization is one of the most important aspects in preventing dog aggression toward strangers. Socialization allows your German Shepherd to get used to other people and their environment, making them less wary or suspicious about them.
This can be done by exposing your GSD to as many other people and situations as possible at a young age. This allows them to process new information gradually and not experience shock or confusion once they encounter a stranger. One way of doing this is by enrolling your GSD in obedience classes or training them at the park with other dogs.
Exercise and Training
Blue German Shepherds are not exempted from regular exercise and training. Like other herding dogs, these dogs tend to make trouble when bored or neglected, such as chewing on things they are not supposed to or barking at people outside the house. Think of them as full of energy and always ready for action. While this can be a good trait for herding dogs, it can also go the other way if not channeled properly.
This is why it is important to give them proper exercise on a regular basis. Blue GSDs need about 60 – 90minutes of exercise every day. Taking these dogs for walks or jogs, playing fetch, and training them in obedience and agility are just some of the ways you can take care of your GSD’s exercise needs.
As intelligent dogs, they also require enough mental stimulation. There are two ways you can keep your GSD entertained and engaged- training and playing interactive games with them, such as playing the name game, are excellent ways to challenge your dog’s mind and body while building a lasting bond between the two of you.
If you’re busy, you may want to consider giving your dog puzzle toys as an add-on. These toys can keep them occupied for hours, and the best thing about these puzzle toys is that they will not only challenge their minds but also engage their senses of touch.
Diet and Nutrition
Blue German Shepherds are medium-sized dogs and, as such, need food with a high nutritional value. Therefore, your dog’s diet should include nutrient-dense foods that provide them with the energy they need to thrive.
On average, German Shepherd dogs need about 1740 and 2100 caloric intake per day, depending on weight, age, and activity. The older your GSD is, the fewer calories they would need because of their declining activity levels.
One way to determine if your dog is getting the right amount of calories is to use a calorie calculator tool. BMI or Body Mass Index can also be used as a rough estimate on whether or not your GSD is overweight, underweight, or at an ideal weight.
The two essential ingredients for a healthy, nutritious diet are protein and fat. Blue German Shepherd puppies should have about 22% of the protein in their diet; adults require about 18%. Blue GSDs also need 8% of fat for growing puppies and 5% for maintenance.
Proteins are what keep your dog’s brain and muscles working properly, so it would help to get higher quality proteins. The best sources for proteins are chicken, lamb, fish, and beef. Also, adding eggs and cottage cheese will provide your dog with extra protein sources.
Good fat is essential for a puppy’s brain development, so it would help to give your dog omega-3 DHA fats from foods that have been fortified with it, such as fish oil and other food supplements like Vitamin E.
Although not all, most blue German Shepherds have a double coat that consists of a thick undercoat and a smooth, short-haired outer coat, making shedding inevitable, especially during the heavy shedding session that usually occurs early in the spring and in the late fall.
To keep your dog’s coat in tip-top shape, give them a weekly brushing at least to keep their coat free of tangles and shedding hair. During the shedding periods, brushing will also help pull out loose hair and prevent matting and clumping of the fur.
Bathing is essential to keep your dog clean and help with their shedding. Nevertheless, it’s recommended not to bathe a dog too often as it can cause dry skin and make them feel itchy, so bathing every 6 or 8 weeks should be enough for most dogs.
When bathing, use a shampoo that is pH balanced for dogs as it will help restore the natural acid and oil balance of their skin and coat. If your dog has a skin problem, it would also help to look for a shampoo that is hypoallergenic, which can repair damaged cells while soothing dry or itchy skin.
If they are hit by the occasional mud puddle or got into something they shouldn’t have on their walk in the woods, then a quick grooming session with pet wipes and dry shampoo can help to freshen them up.
Health Issues and Conditions
Blue German Shepherds are known to be susceptible to certain health issues and conditions, some of which can be prevented with appropriate care. Some of the problems to watch out for include hip dysplasia, bloat, gastric torsion, and intervertebral disk disease.
All of these are serious problems that require immediate medical treatment, so if you notice any of these in your dog, consult with a vet immediately.
How Much Does a Blue German Shepherd Cost?
The average cost of a Blue German Shepherd puppy is $1200 to $1500; that’s about twice the cost of a regular German Shepherd puppy. This is due to the fact that blue GSDs are rarer than the regular GSD; there are fewer breeders and sellers, so it’s not as easy to find a blue German Shepherd for sale, and most of those that are being sold usually come with a higher price tag.
If you want to get a lower price, you may want to consider adopting instead of buying from breeders. Some blue Shepherds might be left behind by their owners because they have some health issues. Because of this, before adopting, be sure to consider the challenges that you are going to encounter with your new fido in the future.
1. Are Blue German Shepherds Good Family Dogs? Should I Get One?
When properly socialized, the Blue German Shepherd is a breed that gets along well with children and other animals, as they are loyal to their family. However, if you work full time, it may not be a good idea to get this breed as they demand a lot of attention, time, and energy.
Aside from that, it’s also important to be aware of the fact that Blue German Shepherds are working dogs and will require an adequate amount of exercise, so if you don’t have the time or energy to walk them every day, they will get bored and may misbehave.
2. How Long Does a Blue German Shepherd Live?
Just like the regular German Shepherd, the Blue German Shepherd has a lifespan of around 9 to 13 years. Diet, lifestyle, and exercise will affect the dog’s longevity, so don’t neglect any of those.
3. Can a Blue German Shepherd Live in an Apartment?
Because they need a lot of attention and exercise, the Blue German Shepherd isn’t advisable for apartment living settings as they can get destructive when bored. However, if you are still interested in this breed and you live in an apartment with them, make sure to do your homework first to find an apartment that allows German Shepherd dogs.
4. Are Blue German Shepherds Aggressive?
Just like their cousin, blue German Shepherds are known to be very protective and territorial of their family. They can get extremely aggressive if they feel that you or their family is threatened in any way, which makes them the number one candidate for a guard dog.
This trait, however, can be a double-edged sword, as they can become incredibly dangerous. This is why dog trainers and behaviorists often recommend not to encourage this behavior.
Also Read: Are German Shepherds Aggressive Dogs?