Blue German Shepherd- The Complete guide>
Have you heard of the Blue German Shepherd? Or have you by any chance seen one?
Many of us know of the traditional German Shepherd, the one that is tan and has a black saddle.
The German Shepherd has become a popular dog among Americans and all over the world.
You may have not yet known about the Blue German Shepherd this is because he was not recognized as a purebred dog until recently.
Anyone that gets to meet with a German Shepherd gets to love him for his loving nature.
So, how is the Blue German Shepherd different to the tan German Shepherd that we have all seen or heard of at a point in our life.
In this article, we are going to dive deep into the Blue German Shepherd and dissect all that you need to know about this cute and adorable dog.
About the Blue German Shepherd
The Blue GSD is just like any other German Shepherd and is simply a color variation of the original German Shepherd dog.
These pooches are different in that they have a distinctive blue-gray coat and blue eyes.
For a matter of facts, there are three variations of the Blue German Shepherd that you need to know about:
- The blue and black variation.
- Blue and tan variation.
- The Blue and sable variation
Genetics is what determines what color a German Shepherd is going to be.
The Blue German Shepherd has 2 types of genes that determine what color he is going to be and the appearance he is going to have.
In this, the 1st gene determines the color of the fur and the second gene dictates whether a dog is going to have markings or not and how there are to be distributed on the fur of the dog.
This is why you see that there some German Shepherds that have a solid color while some are bi-color.
So, how does the Blue Geman Shepherd come to be?
A blue GSD is created when the dog inherits a double blue recessive gene.
The Liver German Shepherd is another color variation of the GSD that is also created in the same way. This happens when a German Shepherd inherits two liver recessive genes.
What sets these two colors apart is their visual appearance. The blue gene only partially blocks the black genes while the liver gene fully blocks the black gene.
What this means is that the Blue GSD can have lighter black markings while the liver one has no black marking at all.
General appearance and characteristics
|Blue German Shepherd summary table|
|Height||24-26 inches for the males and 22-24 inches for the females|
|Weight||Males Blue GSDs weigh between 65-90 pounds while female ones weigh between 50-75 pounds|
|Lifespan||9 – 13 years|
|Purpose||A working and companion dog|
|Suitable For||Experienced dog owners and families|
|Grooming requirements||moderate grooming|
|Color Variations||His coat can be blue or a combination of blue with tan/black or sable|
|Health concerns||skin allergies, eye problems, and Joint Dysplasia|
|Temperament||bold, tenacious, intelligent, energetic, affectionate, devoted, loving and protective|
|Other Names||Deutscher Schäferhund, GSD|
There is no doubt that the Blue German Shepherd is a highly attractive dog.
The first impression that you may have on first seeing a German Shepherd is that of a pooch that is alert, well-muscled and one that is full of life.
These dogs are longer than they are tall with smooth curves other than having angles.
Their heads are chiseled with intelligent eyes and upright, triangular ears.
The color of the eyes is just like you have guessed, blue. However, they may also have yellow or amber eyes.
These eyes are usually medium and almond-shaped, being set a little obliquely.
The muzzle of the Blue GSD is long and strong with a black nose.
Most of these features not only apply to the Blue German Shepherd but to other German shepherd standards.
There are usually two types of German Shepherd coats and that is the long and short-haired coat.
The Long-haired GSDs have a double coat which means that the undercoat is soft and thin while the upper coat is wavy and thicker.
Short-haired Shepherds do not an undercoat and their hair falls straight out.
The coat of the Blue German Shepherd may appear to be kind of washed out.
In other cases, you may have a blue Shepherd that has a coat that is blue and tan or blue and sable.
The blue recessive gene that we talked about does not affect the quality or type of the German Shepherd coat.
What this means is that the Blue German Shepherd sheds like the regular GSD.
If the Blue GSD is short-haired he may shed more due to the lack of an undercoat.
A blue GSD is a rare dog that you won’t be seeing most of the time. This is because blue is not considered to be the color of German Shepherds and therefore breeders do not breed for Liver or blue GSDs. You may call this the fault of confirmation.
What this means to you is that you can not any kind of Blue GSD in a conformation dog show. But you do not have to worry about this if you have or are planning to get a Blue German Shepherd as a pet.
Having a blue coat does not mean that the Blue GSD is any weaker compared to the rest that may be considered “normal”.
Temperament and Personality of the Blue GSD
German Shepherds are the second most loved dogs in the US and this includes the blue ones too. It is not hard to see why this is the case.
The color of the Blue GSD does affect their behavior or personality in any way.
They have a personality that is very appealing to many people and that has made them be favorites for anyone that experiences them.
Blue German Shepherds are dogs that are very loyal, brave, loving and nothing more than adorable to the owner.
This is a direct and fearless dog that should not be confused for a hostile one.
However, you should note that they can be very possessive with their owners and kind of aloof towards strangers.
This is a trait that they get back from their herding day and if they do not have a flock to herd this character may be directed towards humans especially kids. But with the right training, you easily get rid of this trait.
When left alone for long periods they could suffer from anxiety and sometimes even be destructive. This is something you should consider if you have somewhat of a busy schedule.
This is a great dog for families as they get well with children and other pets.
The Blue German Shepherd is a good-natured family dog that can also act as a watchdog due to his alert nature.
They are a popular choice for people of many walks of life and although you do not see them much in the military or the police that does not mean that they cannot be trained to do the same job done by their cousins.
History of the German Shepherd
Deutsche Schäferhunds or German Shepherds are guarding dogs and popular working dogs.
This is the second most popular breeds in the US.
The German Shepherd is an intelligent dog that is capable of working and excelling in what you teach him.
In the late 1800s, a German captain by the name Max von Stephanitz decided to breed the perfect German herding dog.
He believed that dogs should be able to assist us in work but he could not find a breed that satisfied him and his needs and so he began.
There have been talks that this amazing Pooch may have been partly wolf.
After 35 years of working hard, the German shepherd that you know today was created.
There is DNA evidence that shows that the original dogs that were used in the breeding of German Shepherd may have been of Italian and French origin.
As a result of herding sheep and other livestock German Shepherds got the famous qualities that you know for today. These qualities include versatility, intelligence, and other qualities.
Did you know the German shepherds were once known as Alsatians?
These dogs have a relatively small history. This is because they are a relatively new breed.
There have been talks that this amazing Pooch may have been partly wolf.
Although their use as herding dogs reduced as technology took over cunning nature and intelligence remained. They are now used as the first choice for police and the military.
Blue GSD puppies
When a Blue German Shepherd puppy is born he has eyes that have a light blue color.
In most cases, the puppy may retain this color for longer than the other German Shepherd colored dogs do.
As the puppy ages, the color turns into a more golden color.
The average size of a Blue Shepherd litter can between one to fifteen puppies but the average litter size is usually 8 puppies.
With that said getting a Blue GSD puppy can be a hard task as not many breeders breed this dog for his unique colors.
Considering that these dogs are rarer than their tan and black saddle cousins, the average price for one puppy could cost between $1200 to $1500.
You should note if there will be an increase in the demand for these dogs then their price is likely to up.
But keep in mind that finding a reputable breeder for this dog is harder than for the others.
AKC has a list of breeders that it has accredited to make finding a good breeder easier for you.
There are two ways you could get a Blue German Shepherd:
- You could find a breeder that is deliberately breeding a line of Blue Shepherds that has a diluted gene pool.
- And the second option is that you could find a breeder that has an accidental Blue Shepherd in a litter and would be looking for someone that could take the “defective” puppy home. They are not defective so you could as well make a deal before someone else grabs the chance.
There is also the option of adoption which is the best option for getting a dog.
Some people may see this dog as a weaker animal and give up on it and in the process, the pup ends up in a dog shelter.
You could also be in luck and find an adult one that people had no idea how to raise and you could as well give them a new home.
The German Shepherd Club of America has a list of rescue centers that where you could find yourself a new furry friend.
No matter which route you take to make sure that you take home a pet that is best fit for you.
Some of the popular breeders and adoption site are in the list below:
you should avoid getting a puppy if you notice that he has any of the issues mentioned below:
- Too many hereditary diseases in the puppy’s family history.
- Signs of aggression from either of the mixes parents.
- No certification was issued by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for both its parents.
The way you groom your GSD will depend on which type of coat he has.
Whether it is long-haired or short-haired they will all have different grooming requirements.
You should never clip the haired a long-haired GSD as you could interfere with their heat regulation.
A German Shepherd’s coat should be brushed 3 to 4 times in week getting rid of loose hair and keeping the fur shiny.
Brushing is very important because this dog sheds throughout the year and blow out the coat twice every year.
You will just need to have the right tools to do it.
Do not bath your Blue Shepherd too often as this could make the skin dry, irritated and flaky.
Bath your GSD only when he has started to smell or when he has spent his day playing in the dirt.
Use a shampoo that is formulated for the dog’s skin and never use human shampoo.
Clipping the nails is also an important part of grooming.
Start gradually when your German Shepherd is still young so that he can get used to the process.
Make an effort to calm your dog when you are clipping his nails and reward him for every time he stays calm and relaxed.
You should also check the ears for any chances of ear infections. Cleaning the ears also gets rid of bad odor.
Dip a cotton bud into an ear cleaning solution after which you will use it to clean the dog’s ears.
Make sure that you are cleaning the outer area as you do not want to damage the dog’s ears. Visit a groomer if you are not comfortable doing it by yourself.
Do not shy off from getting help from a professional.
Cleaning of the teeth is also important and should be done a few times every week and preferably two times a week.
Some dogs may not want you to touch their teeth, so make him get used to the process.
Another option that you have is to use natural toothbrushes such as chew toys to clean their teeth.
Feeding the Blue German Shepherd
Several factors affect how much you can feed your dog;
- Activity levels
Blue German Shepherd does well on three kinds of food whether they are wet, dry or raw foods.
Whatever you choose to feed him make sure that you cater to his calorie requirements.
They will need about 1200 calories in one day with the majority of that food being protein.
Get high-quality food and be consistent with meal times.
Changes in the diet of your dog could upset the pooch’s stomach especially if they are still puppies.
Some German shepherds do extremely well with raw feeds that are also known as BARF.
A healthy diet will consist mainly of protein as the main ingredient. The protein should be in high amounts and should be meat protein. Protein is very important as it helps in muscle conditioning of the German Shepherd.
Fats are also essential in keeping the coat of the Blue GSD soft.
It should also contain chondroitin or glucosamine, or both that help prevent help hip dysplasia.
Many dog lovers try to avoid foods that have grains when they want to avoid allergies in their dogs.
Fatty acids help in keeping the coat healthy and shiny. Omega-3 fatty acids also promote mobility and a healthy heart.
Some good sources of fatty acids include salmon and flaxseeds.
Raw fish is a good source of proteins, fat, and omega-3.
Also, remember to make sure that your dog has enough water to keep him hydrated.
The meal should contain;
- A minimum of 25% protein in meals that have grains.
- Minimum of 30% protein in grain-free meals.
- The meals should be rich in minerals and vitamins.
- Meals that are free from allergens. Some meals like eggs and lamb are known to contain allergens.
- Depending on the age of the hybrid you can give the dog supplements.
- A clean water supply throughout the day.
You should consult your vet if you have any questions concerning your dog’s diet.
Exercising A Blue German Shepherd
German Shepherds were bred for work and require a lot of exercise.
Once they are fully grown they will need to have a least 2 hours of exercise every day.
Switch between running, playtime, and walks.
However, for much younger puppies, you should stick to the 5-minutes rule. Meaning that every time your puppy gets a month older add 5 minutes of exercise a day until he reaches maturity.
So, for example, if your puppy is is 9 months old the puppy should be exercised for only 45 minutes.
Failure to provide the dog with the correct amount of exercise will reduce his quality of life lowering his lifespan.
However, if you are not a huge exercise fan then you can use play around with your dog as you both work out. In this way, you both benefit and create a better bond between you and your dog.
As much as Blue German shepherds require physical stimulation, mental stimulation is also important too.
Such games could help your dog in improving his natural skills such as sniffing.
Training your dog can be a very challenging task even for a person that has experience doing it and it is not for the faint-hearted.
However, just like we mentioned before the German Shepherd is a very intelligent dog.
Because they were bred to be working dogs, training these dogs will be easy as long as you give them the right encouragement.
The best way to train your GSD is through positive reinforcement that is mainly reward-based training.
- Never use negative methods such as punishment when training your German Shepherd as it could turn out to be problematic.
- Encourage the behavior that you want to see in your dog by praising and rewarding him with treats, toys or attention and ignore the dog when he behaves in a manner that you don’t want.
Some health concerns for the Blue German Shepherd
This is an inherited condition where the bone at the thigh fails to fit the hip joint snugly.
Some dogs will show signs of pain on one or both of the rear legs but others may not show any sign that they are not comfortable.
To diagnose the best thing you can do is to get an x-ray screening. As the dog gets older he may develop arthritis
The selective breeding and inbreeding of the Blue German shepherd of the same bloodline may cause some mutations and genetic issues.
These issues are such as Degenerative Myelopathy which is a slow and painless degradation of the spinal and can be fatal in the long run.
Blue GSDs barely do not differ from their cousins and are very attractive dogs.
There is not a health risk that is associated with the color of their coat. You only have a risk if the dog comes from a bad breeder just like with any other dog.
The blue German Shepherd is a very adaptable dog and makes a great companion for many people.
You will need to be an active dog owner that can dedicate time to this dog.
What does this dog make you feel?
You can leave a comment and tell us what you think about the Blue German Shepherd.
There you go WOOF!!
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