Recently discovered as a purebred and a new addition to the ever-so-famous German Shepherd family, Blue German Shepherds are loved for their loyalty and affectionate nature.
These resilient dogs were first found in the US in the early 1990s and they have been charming the hearts of dog lovers ever since.
Although this dog was first bred for herding, owing to the prominent decline of livestock management, they are now being used primarily as family companions, search and rescue dogs, for acting or for assisting those who suffer from various disabilities.
As we all know the traditional German Shepherd features an outstanding black and tan coat, the Blue German Shepherd comes in a variety of different color combinations that make them stand out from the rest. Eager to know what makes these versatile pooches unique? Don’t stop reading and you might just find out!
Table of Contents
- What is a Blue German Shepherd?
- Blue German Shepherd Personality and Temperament
- Caring for the Blue German Shepherd
- Quick Breed Summary Table
What is a Blue German Shepherd?
The rarest of them all, the Blue German Shepherd might not look like any other traditional dog from breed but is astonishingly similar in health, temperament, training, and caring needs.
Extremely intelligent, loyal, and loving, you would be surprised to know that these fairly large size dogs are gentle and obedient. They quickly get attached to the person who takes care of them including feeding, walking, training, and grooming them, and considers them as their master. However, they can also get pretty close to other members of the family, thanks to their charming nature.
Quick at learning and picking up new things, these dogs are easy to train and are always overly active and energetic. This means you would need to ensure you give them the exercise and regular playtime they need, or else I’m sure you know what you’re in for – a house with destroyed furniture, shoes, and carpets.
Socializing from a young age is also a great way to manage this breed and with proper care, they can make great pets for singles, couples, or families.
As most of you might be wondering – Is the Blue German Shepherd a blue dog in the literal sense? Well, not completely blue, but a blend of black and gray, which I think is highly attractive and eye-catching for a pooch. The first impression that you get when you lay eyes on a Blue German Shepherd is their alert posture, well-muscled body, and their energy.
Their heads are chiseled and graced with triangular ears that are always upright. Their eyes are soft and almond-shaped and are mostly blue, however, you might get a few with amber or yellow eyes. And just like a standard German Shepherd, their muzzles are long and robust, with a perked black nose at the end.
Height and Weight
Blue German Shepherds are long rather than tall dogs and are lucky to have smooth curves instead of angles, which adds to their handsome posture. Male and female Blue Germans weigh differently and are even known to have different heights.
The males weigh between 65 to 90 lbs and measure 24 to 26 inches tall from their shoulders to their paws, while the females weigh between 50 to 70 lbs. and measure 22 to 24 inches tall.
Possessing the perfect blend of good stature, toned body, and chiseled head, along with all its other great features, if you want to adopt this pooch, get ready to draw the attention of people around you at all times.
Coat and Colors
When it comes to a German Shepherd’s coat and color, you probably are well aware that they come in varieties. A standard German Shepherd could have a long coat with a soft undercoat, or a short coat, where you would experience hair thinning and shedding.
However, a Blue German Shepherd features an almost dull and washed out coat that is sometimes short or long. Most commonly, these dogs are found with a medium outer coat and a thick undercoat, therefore making them heavy shedders.
As mentioned before, the Blue German Shepherd is a rare dog and their appearance has nothing to do with their name. Common colors that you may see are gray, white, black, black, and red and sable colored dogs that are just as attractive and alluring as a standard German Shepherd.
Yes, you must always remember to brush their mane 2 to 3 times a week to ensure it stays tangle-free and manageable, and also because they shed a whole lot – you wouldn’t want hair flying around your home.
Blue German Shepherd Personality and Temperament
Considered as the second most loved dog in America, German Shepherds, including Blue ones, make affection, loyal and brave family companions. With a huge personality that appeals to many, these dogs have their way of getting around people and charming them. They love a hearty cuddle on the sofa with a loved one and are known to be a one-master dog.
They also make great guard dogs if trained well, and are great with children and other pets, thanks to their friendly nature. Their looks may be deceiving to most people and you may confuse them to be hostile, but they’re just direct and their confidence and energy are what makes them who they are. They do not do well when left alone as it would only lead to an anxious dog with pent up energy.
Although fearless and confident, these dogs, as you may remember, were bred as herding dogs and can sometimes get overly possessive with their master and aggressive towards strangers and children, but this can be managed by early training and regular socializing.
You also have to consider their guarding tendencies, which might work in your favor if you need protection, but might be detrimental if you always have outsiders around. However, these pooches would need to approve of them (by socializing) before allowing them into their pack.
It also needs to be said that these strong and confident dogs can suffer from depression and anxiety which could ultimately lead to destruction if left alone at home for too long.
Known for their possessiveness, these dogs own the common trait of being the ‘guardian of their flock’ but when there is no flock, this characteristic is often transferred onto children, other pets, or strangers. This feature can, however, be tamed and managed with the help of strict training from a young age.
If you want this pooch to be the friendly animal that they are known to be, then it is upon you to constantly socialize them and encourage them to play with others.
Great for people from all walks of life, the Blue German Shepherd is perfect for families with small children and is known to get along great with all dogs.
Is A Blue German Shepherd A Good Family Dog?
As you may have already guessed, of course, the Blue German Shepherd makes an exceptional family dog. Fun to be around, these dogs are lovable, smart, loyal, and protective and are the best with children if exposed to outsiders from a young age. And by outsiders, I mean children too, so that your puppy can see them as a part of the pack while being trained.
Just like all dogs, they also have their own set of unique qualities and one of the best ways to monitor their behavior is to let them play with other dogs and even children. I would also suggest, if you have neighbors, to warn them of your new pooch to ensure they don’t panic – because this dog does resemble a stray wolf sometimes.
Due to their alert nature, Blue German Shepherds are known to protect their families at the expense of their own well-being, and owning a good guard dog wouldn’t hurt now, would it?
Caring for the Blue German Shepherd
A Blue German Shepherd is a great pet if you can keep up with their requirements and schedule. This includes a healthy exercise regime, a specialized diet that should be packed with all the necessary nutrients, and a strict training routine that includes interactive games, brisk walks, and more.
As you know, these dogs were originally bred as herding animals and are now sometimes used for military roles, search and rescue tasks, and more, it is only obvious that they are beaming with energy. As an owner, you must ensure you have the time, energy, and patience to share with this pooch to help keep them healthy and happy, both mentally and physically.
Similar to any German Shepherd, these dogs too, have a high level of energy that demands at least 60 minutes to 2 hours of exercise every day. Bred primarily for work, these dogs need the right amount of exercise to help enhance his health and increase his lifespan. As puppies, all they need is 5 minutes of healthy exercise up until the point they reach adulthood.
You must remember, not only does exercise help your dog stay fit but it also helps create a stronger bond between you and your pal. But then again, some of you might not be the active-type, so I would recommend playing around with your pet and keeping him alert and active.
Physical exercise is important, but so is mental stimulation. Playing easy games like hide-and-seek by hiding food and toys, can be extremely entertaining for these dogs. It not only helps them develop their natural skills but also pushes them to use their nose and ears. If you go swimming, hiking or running, take your dog with you – he would love the experience.
Grooming and Shedding
Grooming a Blue German Shepherd would depend on the type of coat they have. This would include a long-haired or short-haired coat. Before moving further, it is important to own the right tools that are needed to groom this dog. With brushing 3 to 4 times a week, to bathing and nail clipping, these dogs require a ton of care and attention.
Most dogs hate water and bathing them turns out to be a task, but you would be happy to know that Blue German Shepherds do not require regular bathing as this could ruin their coat. Regular bathing strips the oil from their coats dries out their skin and reduces their charming glossy shine.
In regards to cleaning, a bath every 3 to 4 months would do them great – Yes you read that right. Shampoos that are solely meant for their kind of coat are highly recommended, preferably those specially formulated for your dog’s skin. Keep in mind, the short-haired type sheds more as they do not have an undercoat, whereas long haired Blue German Shepherds should be brushed with a de-shedding brush or a rake.
Other important grooming factors include regular ear cleaning, brushing of their teeth, and clipping of nails. You can always visit a professional if you do not have it in you and are afraid to hurt your pooch.
Feeding and Diet
Although Blue German Shepherds are tough and easily adaptable, you must keep in mind they have changing diets. The amount of food they eat depends on their age, activity levels, size, and metabolism. These dogs can tolerate all kinds of diets including dry, wet, and raw but should be strictly kept to follow one high-quality meal with similar mealtimes.
These dogs need at least 1,200 calories daily with a high level of protein. Protein in the form of meats should always be the main ingredient in your pet’s diet as it helps in muscle development. Fats, minerals, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, are also equally important.
Known Health Problems
The most common health risk for a Blue German Shepherd is hip dysplasia. It is an inherited condition that is found in most German Shepherds. This condition concerns an abnormal bone formation at the hip joint which slowly breaks down the cartilage which in turn leads to pain. Although this can be dealt with by providing your dog with anti-inflammatory medicines, surgery is needed in most extreme cases.
Also, selective breeding and inbreeding of this pooch could cause a variety of genetic issues like Degenerative Myelopathy, congenital heart defects, and some other minor health issues like:
- Panosteitis – a condition that causes limping in dogs between the ages of 5 to 18 months.
- Pannus – a condition that affects the eyes but can only be cured if treated early.
- Hemophilia – a fairly dangerous condition that prevents the blood from clotting.
How to Train A Blue German Shepherd
Did I mention that a Blue German Shepherd is an extremely intelligent dog? Yes, I did. This dog makes the training process enjoyable and natural, that is if you have the energy to keep up. With a natural tendency to learn quickly and adapt well, these dogs do well when encouraged and even better when awarded with a healthy treat.
As we mentioned earlier, these dogs were bred to be working dogs, so positive reinforcement is the best way to get them to do what you want. Using negative training that includes punishment and shouting is always a no-no as this could bring about aggression and that could be an issue.
Quick Breed Summary Table
|Size||Males – 24 to 26 inches tall, Females – 22 to 24 inches|
|Weight||Males – 65 to 90lbs. Females – 50 to 75 lbs.|
|Lifespan||9 to 13 years|
|Color||A blend of blue with sable, black, or tan|
|Coat||Short or long with a thick undercoat|
|Shedding & Grooming||Moderate grooming. Short-haired tend to shed more.|
|Temperament||Friendly, confident, brave, intelligent, loyal, protective|
|With Other Pets||Works well with pets if socialized from an early age|
|People Skills||Friendly over time, needs to be socialized often|
|With Children||Works great with children if exposed to them from an early age|
|Exercise Needs||1 to 2 hours a day for adult Blue GSD/ 5 minutes for pups|
|Food||1200 calories per day. Raw, wet or dry|
|Known Health Problems||Hip dysplasia, eye, and skin issues|
All Things Considered
Fairly similar to their cousins, the Blue German Shepherd is a popular dog by all accounts. Demanding all your energy and patience, these dogs are highly active, easy to train, and would make the perfect family pet for any family that can handle their necessities.
Protective, loyal, and affectionate, what more would you want from a dog that comes from the German Shepherd family? With a few health issues that can be taken care of by proper medication and care, this dog will keep fit for sure without too much effort on your part.
If you think you can be active enough, energetic enough, and can dedicate enough of your time to this dog, you will undoubtedly gain yourself a friend for life.