German Shepherds are best known for their tawny or red coats with a black saddle. However, those who are more familiar with the breed know that there are other coat colors, such as black, sable, white, and black and tan. Many people do not know that there are also blue German Shepherds.
This article presents all the facts about Blue German Shepherds and what makes them so unique.
What is a blue German Shepherd?
A Blue German Shepherd is like all other dogs of its breed. The only difference is that the color of its coat is a rarer blue. Those with a darker coat are commonly referred to as the Steel Blue German Shepherd Dog while those with lighter colors are referred to as the Powder Blue German Shepherd Dog. Most of them have a solid all-blue or blue dress with a black, sand, or tan mixture.
In reality, these dogs are not really blue in color, but they have a certain gray shade. In fact, he’s technically a “watered down” version of the Black German Shepherd.
How is the color blue produced in dogs?
Genes are responsible for determining a dog’s appearance. In the case of coat color, genetic combinations control the production of pigments which ultimately determine which pigments are produced (i.e. what color or combination of colors the dog will have) and where those pigments appear (i.e. what color or combination of colors the dog will have) i.e. what pattern they will have).
The blue color in dogs comes from a mutation in the gene that causes the black color to dilute. This variation is a recessive gene.
To produce a blue coat, the dog must have a double-recessive gene, which means that both parents must pass the recessive gene for the blue coloring. This is why they are so rare.
The dilute gene
The dilute gene is the color thinning gene and inherits the lightened coat color in the case of double recessive presence (d / d). In addition to the color of the coat, it also influences the color of the nose, lips, eyelids, and pads, as well as those of the eyes. In blue dogs, the black pigment clumps and appears gray-blue or anthracite in color.
So if a German shepherd is actually black, but since it has two recessive expressions (d / d) on the D locus, its black fur is thinned in color and appears blue. But not only the black coat color is affected. Any dog with two recessive copies of the Dilute gene has lightened fur. For example, brown dogs become Isabella-colored (also called lilac or silver) and yellow dogs change their hue to champagne colors.
The dilute gene is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. A dominant allele D has priority over a recessive allele d. Dogs with two dominant expressions on the D locus (D / D) are not carriers of traits. In dogs with both a dominant and a recessive part of the gene (D / d), the thinning of the color in the external appearance does not come into play, but they can inherit the recessive gene.
Two more dilute genes have now been found. A distinction is made between these variants in d1, d2, and d3. Most dilute gene tests, however, have only tested one variant so far, as the discovery of the second dilute variation is still relatively new and corresponding tests are not yet on the market. This explains the following mystery: a dog that was tested with D / d (according to the old test procedure), however, has blue fur, although it should be black.
Therefore it stands to reason that this dog carries two of the three Dilute variants, but so far only one can be revealed through tests. Lightened fur can result when d1 / d1 or d1 / d2 or d2 / d3 or d1 / d3 or d2 / d2 or d3 / d3 are combined. The d3 gene was detected more often in wolves and wolf hybrids. It is believed
Are Blue German Shepherds purebred?
The blue color of the dress is a point of contention. Some argue that “dilution” is a lack of purity.
However, blue German Shepherds are purebred when they are the result of two purebred German Shepherds. Whatever the color, a German Shepherd can only be mixed if one of his parents is also.
Additionally, the American Kennel Club (AKC), whose primary mandate is to keep a purebred registry, recognizes that the Blue German Shepherd is breed standard. That’s why you can register blue dogs and even let them participate in AKC events.
However, the organization considers the blue coat to be a serious defect (i.e. not desirable for reproduction). Thus, these dogs have little chance of winning conformity tests.
How much does a blue German Shepherd cost?
The price of German Shepherds generally varies between 500 and 2000 dollars per puppy. You can expect the price of blue-coated dogs to be at the higher end of the range, simply because they are so rare. Those who breed them specifically will even charge a higher price because of their more responsible breeding practices.
Are Blue German Shepherds Healthy?
Dilute dogs are generally healthy. However, a color mutant alopecia can occasionally occur (Color Dilution Alopecia, CDA). CDA is a skin disease that only dogs with a lightened coat color can acquire. However, this does not apply to all blue or color-thinned dogs and has not been proven across the board for all dog breeds. In general, there seems to be a breed disposition for the CDA, ie certain dog breeds are more susceptible to CDA.
CDA in its respective form occurs frequently among the following dog breeds: Dobermann, Pinscher, large Münsterländer (always here), and Thai Ridgeback. An increased occurrence in German shepherds or wolf dogs has not yet been determined. And personally, I am not aware of any case. Should you find out about a case, please inform me about it, citing the source.
As mentioned above Blue German Shepherds are born in litters of black and tan, due to a genetic mutation: blue is actually a gray, caused by the dilution of the black pigment of the fur. Blue German Shepherds are like all other German Shepherds and have the same needs for exercise, mental stimulation, training, and affection. Blue or not, these dogs are excellent working dogs and house companions.