German Shepherd Dog: Standard Colors

Troy in Blind

The German Shepherd Dog is intelligent, brave, and loyal. I have been around the breed most of my life. My father was a MSPD K9 officer and worked with detection dogs in the 1970’s and beyond. I learned from an early age that the breed is a working breed and that it has standard colors.

Standard colors are designated by the reigning breed registry, FCI/SV.  I am not going to address the breed registration topic in this article, but will happily save this for a future article. The focus here is Standard colors.

Standard Colors according to the SV/FCI:

“Colors are black with reddish-brown, brown and yellow to light grey markings; single-colored black, grey with darker shading, black saddle and mask. Unobtrusive, small white marks on chest as well as very light color on insides are permissible, but not desirable. The tip of the nose must be black in all colors. Dogs with lack of mask, light to piercing eye color, as well as with light to whitish markings on the chest and the insides, pale nails and red tip of tail are considered to be lacking in pigmentation. The undercoat shows a light greyish tone.  The color white is not allowed.”

I want to highlight the last sentence: The color white is not allowed. Breeding white GSD has now become a new industry. People are cashing in on a fault in the breed. This is a recessive gene that over time breeders and quality breed registrations have minimized in the quality breed lines. 

Individuals and families have now started to search out these non-standard colors. They have been deemed “unique” and “rare”. This is merely a clever marketing ploy in semantics. People are told that mutts (any of the Doodle dogs) are “designer dogs” and that faulty colors in a magnificent breed is “unique”. 

If people stopped creating a market for these colors, this practice could slow or possibly even stop. 

Non-Standard Colors:





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