The German Shepherd is a very popular dog in the United States, but often it is thought that these dogs only come in one color — black and tan. In fact, the German Shepherd comes in quite a few different colors, but one of the rarest in the Blue German Shepherd. With the same temperament and characteristics of the standard German Shepherd, this breed is a relatively new addition to the GSD family.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Blue German Shepherd and their unique coloring, keep reading below and see whether one of these dogs might be the pup for you!
History Of The Blue German Shepherd
The German Shepherd was originally bred to be a herding dog, but over the years they have shown themselves to be wonderful working dogs and have taken on roles such as guide dogs, search and rescue dogs, watchdogs, guard dogs, police and military dogs and even just companion dogs!
There are a number of different color variations of the German Shepherd. The Blue German Shepherd is one of the rarest variations and it is difficult to know when they first appeared.
Although the German Shepherd is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the blue color of the Blue German Shepherd is said to be a serious fault. This is also the same for the liver colored German Shepherd.
There is a lot of controversy in the GSD world as the blue coloring of the Shepherd doesn’t change it’s characteristics and therefore many say they should be recognized by the AKC. However, others say that the blue is caused by a gene mutation and it should have been bred out over time.
To understand the Blue German Shepherd’s breed origin, we should look at the German Shepherd’s breed origin. They were first discovered by Von Stephanitz who spotted the German Shepherd at a dog show and decided that this breed was the perfect standard for a working dog. He adopted one of these dogs and named them “Horand” and then created the “Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde”, the Society for the German Shepherd Dog.
Horand was the first breed standard for the German Shepherd breed and was bred alongside dogs with a similar appearance to give German Shepherd litters. They are thought to have first appeared in the United States in 1906 and were recognized by the AKC in 1908.
Characteristics Of The Blue German Shepherd
The Blue German Shepherd is not a mixed breed and is simply a variation of the standard GSD. Therefore, these dogs carry the same characteristics and temperament. However, they are much more rare and are therefore a lot more expensive.
For a standard GSD you can expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $700 for a puppy. You can expect to pay between $1,200 and $1,500 for a Blue German Shepherd puppy, although the price may vary depending on the breeder. You should always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder.
Blue German Shepherd puppies are normally born in litter sizes of between 1 and 15 puppies. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a breeder as many breeders choose to breed the more standard and more popular black and tan GSD.
As we’ve mentioned above, the Blue German Shepherd is very similar to other German Shepherds and the main difference is the color of their fur. They are a large breed dog and the males will weigh between 75 to 95 pounds and stand up to 26” tall. The females are always slightly smaller and will weigh anywhere between 55 to 73 pounds and stand no taller than 24”.
These dogs have a domed shape head with a long, square muzzle. They have erect ears and long necks, which sit low when running or prowling. They are a very strong breed and often are said to resemble their wolf ancestors.
German Shepherds will have one of two coats — a medium coat or long coat. They are both double coats, having a more dense guard layer with a softer undercoat which helps to keep them warm when they are out as working dogs.
These dogs are known to shed so they may not be the pup for those with allergies. However, a proper grooming routine, which we will go into more detail about below, will help to reduce the amount that these dogs shed.
As you can probably guess, the Blue German Shepherd’s coat is….blue! That being said, the appearance of these coats actually makes them look more gray or black than blue. Remember, the coat color of the GSD does not change their temperament or personality, which we will look at next.
The German Shepherd is extremely loyal and very family orientated. Because they are a working dog, they will believe that their job is to protect you as a family and are known for being alert and watchful, sometimes barking if they feel like they are in danger.
Although socialization is important for a dog at any age, proper socialization for a German Shepherd will ensure they can interact with the family properly. Socialization is also important around young people.
These dogs are very playful and active and love to be outside getting physical exercise. They also need a lot of mental stimulation as they are very intelligent and do not like to be left alone. If they are left alone for long periods of time they can become bored and begin to exhibit destructive behaviors as a result from separation anxiety. Therefore, they are not the dog for you if you are out for hours everyday!
The average life expectancy of a Blue German Shepherd is between 9 and 13 years.
Known Health Issues
Unfortunately, as with any dog, the Blue German Shepherd can be prone to some health problems. Many of the problems they are more likely to develop are the same problems that other breeds of German Shepherd deal with.
The most common health concern for the German Shepherd dog breed is elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. Dysplasia is a condition that is seen in many large dogs and is a disease of a malformation of the joints. The joints can become very painful and may worsen over time causing lameness.
Blue German Shepherds can also be prone to other health problems, due to the fact they are bred from a single bloodline and there may have been genetic mutations along the way. These health concerns are degenerative myelopathy, a slow, non-painful degradation of the spinal cord, and congenital heart defects such as aortic stenosis, pulmonic stenosis and patent ductus arteriosus.
The best way to ensure your pup is less prone to any of these conditions is to buy from a reputable breeder and to ensure you get health clearances from both parents. You should also check your dog often for any signs of these issues and take them to the vet regularly for checkups.
Insurance is always available for your dog, too. The price for insurance for a Blue German Shepherd will be around $20 a month or $240 a year. This is often a good idea as the German Shepherd breed can be known to develop health issues regularly.
Now we know all about the traits of the Blue German Shepherd, it is time to take a look at what every day life with of these dogs is like. Like all German Shepherds, these dogs make an excellent companion to many but they do have somewhat high care needs thanks to their size, build and athletic nature.
Below we will cover their food and diet, their exercise requirements and their grooming needs.
Food And Diet
The Blue Shepherd is a large dog so their diet should also be large. Experts recommend that this dog should be eating 20 calories per lb of body weight a day, which may come to around 1500 calories. This is around 3 cups of food. Of course, you should always check the back of the dog food packet to see how much food you should be feeding your pup based on their weight.
As a puppy, they should be fed three to four times a day. This is particularly important in the larger breeds as they are most predisposed to bloat, where the stomach becomes bloated and twisted and is usually fatal. These three to four meals can then be decreased to two meals a day as an adult. However, if you have a busy lifestyle then this can just be one meal a day.
Their food should be healthy and nutritious. It should cover all the nutrients that a dog of this size needs, including proteins, fats and carbohydrates. High-quality dry kibble is a great option, although some dog owners opt to feed their pup raw food. If you do go for a kibble, it is recommended that you feed them a diet specially formulated for large dog breeds. Take a look at the food we recommend below.
Best Dog Food For The Blue German ShepherdBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the CRAVE Grain Free High Protein dry dog food for your Blue German Shepherd. This food is formulated with 34% protein from real salmon, inspired by the diet of dogs’ wolf ancestors. This high protein helps to keep their muscles lean and healthy so they can stay active for longer.
This food has no grains present in the recipe but there are quality carbohydrates for sources of energy. There are also vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the formula to provide your German Shepherd with a full and balanced diet. Even better, there are no chicken byproduct meals in this food, nor any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
As a historic working dog, the German Shepherd needs lots of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and therefore their exercise needs are high.
You should ensure that you are exercising your German Shepherd for 60 to 90 minutes a day. This includes walks, playing and mental games. Your dog will want a big back yard to run around in too, so they will not be getting the exercise they need if you live in a small apartment. Without adequate exercise, they can develop unwanted and destructive behaviors due to frustration and boredom.
These dogs love accompanying their owners on hikes and walks and love to go swimming too, so make sure you have the time to spend with them outside before purchasing this breed of dog. They can make the perfect exercise buddy!
Because this breed is a large breed, you should extra careful about overexercising these dogs when they are puppies. Too much exercise can be detrimental to their skeletal development. As a rule of thumb, you should only exercise them for roughly 5 minutes for every month of their age until they are an adult. So, for example, if your GSD is four months old, you should exercise them for twenty minutes.
Like any German Shepherd, the Blue German Shepherd makes an excellent family dog. Because they are so loyal, they will want to protect you from anything harmful, which makes them an excellent guard dog or watchdog. However, you will need to train them from a young age to understand that not everything is a threat, otherwise they may well bark for hours!
It is no lie that this pup needs a lot of exercise and so will thrive in an active family who are willing to spend time playing with them. They need both physical and mental stimulation and will benefit from a big yard that they can run around in and from people who want to want to teach them tricks.
This breed does have a naturally high prey drive, so you will need to take care when introducing them to children for the first time. That being said, when socialized properly, German Shepherds love children and will even take your children under their wing. They also get on very well with other family pets, so there will be no issue there and they will become a loved family member.
The German Shepherd is a very intelligent dog and therefore have great trainability. Like every dog, they respond best to positive reinforcement training and reward based training. This includes verbal praise and treats.
German Shepherds can be a little stubborn, so you should never punish them or scold them. This can make training something very negative for them and they will not want to learn.
Blue German Shepherds also do a lot better if you have given them a lot of time to exercise before you decide to conduct a training session. They are great detectives too, so hiding treats and getting them to sniff the treats out makes a fun game to play!
Socialization of your Blue German Shepherd is very important. This is mainly because they are a working dog and will believe it is their job to protect you. They can also be a little aloof with children, thanks to their prey drive.
You should introduce your German Shepherd to new sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals in a calm and controlled way from a young age, so they learn that there is nothing to be afraid of. Continued socialization throughout their life will help them to develop into a well-rounded dog, too.
The German Shepherd has a double coat and will shed a lot of the time. Although they will shed more at two times in the year, the rest of the time they will still shed moderately and so they are not the dog for those with allergies!
Brushing the Blue GSD properly will always help with the amount that they shed. You can also visit a grooming salon which may help your dog’s coat become more manageable.
If you’re lucky and have a medium coated Sable German Shepherd dog, you may be able to get away with brushing them twice a week. However, if your dog has long hair, then you’re going to need to brush them daily to prevent knots and tangles forming.
The GSD does not need regular bathing. Bathing can strip the oil from their coats and removes shine as well as drying out the skin, and so this should only be done every three to four months of whenever they really need it!
Take your Blue Shepherd to the groomer to get their nails clipped. Remember to brush their teeth to prevent dental decay and gum disease too, although you can give them dental chews every day to help keep their teeth clean. You should also check their erect ears because they are more likely to catch dust and dirt.
Blue German Shepherd FAQ’s
How much does a Blue German Shepherd cost?
A standard German Shepherd normally costs between $300 and $700 for a puppy. A Blue German Shepherd puppy is much more expensive and can cost anywhere between $1,200 and $1,500. This is due to the fact that the breed is rare and finding a breeder can be difficult. Always make sure you buy from a reputable breeder who can show you health clearances for both parent breeds.
If this is out of your price range or you would prefer to adopt, you can always take a look at your local shelter and see if there are any German Shepherds who need their forever home!
Are Blue German Shepherds different to other German Shepherds?
There is not much difference between a Blue German Shepherd and a standard GSD. The main difference is the color of their coat, which is down to a recessive gene that those dog’s with blue coats inherit. Although the AKC recognizes this blue gene as a fault, they really are the same breed with the same temperament and needs as other GSD’s!
The Blue German Shepherd is a loyal and loving dog that will make an excellent member of the family. With a unique gene that gives them a gorgeous blue coat, these pups have the exact same fantastic temperament as their GSD brothers and sisters and make an excellent working dog as well as a guard dog. Although they can have high grooming needs and exercise needs, you will love spending time with your GSD outdoors playing games and they can make an excellent companion for running and hiking. Is a Blue German Shepherd the dog for you?