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Name: Kyle
Status: Student
Grade: 4-5
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: USA
Date: Winter 2009-2010

What are all the different colors a German shepherd can have?

Hi Kyle,

This seems like a simple question - yet for German Shepherds it is not so easy to answer because they can be many colors! They can range from solid black to the more common black, tan and white that many people are familiar with, to completely white. The founder of the breed, Max von Stephanitz, has been quoted as saying "No good dog is a bad color".

Although they come in many colors, completely white shepherds are not allowed to compete in dog shows in the US, although they are in the UK. German Shepherds whose noses are not completely black are also disqualified from the show ring and dogs with blue, liver or other pale colors in their coats are also not ranked highly.

A good place to go and look for information about dog breeds is the site of the American Kennel Club ( There are also websites for a number of German Shepherd specialty groups that will show you pictures of beautiful dogs of all shades!

Thanks for your interest in dogs! I hope that you have lots of chances to enjoy being around these wonderful animals!

Laura Hungerford, DVM, MPH, PhD
University of Maryland
Click here to return to the Veterinary Topics Archive

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