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Black & Red German Shepherds: Stunning Colors and Remarkable Traits

black and red german shepherd dog

Black and red German Shepherds are a stunning variation of the traditional German Shepherd breed. These dogs are known for their striking coat colors, which are caused by specific genetic traits.

They have the same physical characteristics as traditional German Shepherds but may have slightly different temperaments due to their breeding history.

These dogs make excellent working dogs in law enforcement, search and rescue, and other fields because of their high intelligence and loyalty.

In this article, we’ll explore what makes black and red German Shepherds so special, from their striking coats to their incredible intelligence. 

Keep reading to discover the enchanting world of these extraordinary pooches.

Understanding the Genetics of Red Coat Color in German Shepherds

Red and black german shepherd is sitting on the grass

Red coat color in German Shepherds is a fascinating topic that many dog lovers are interested in. 

Understanding the genetics behind this recessive trait can help breeders and owners make informed decisions about their dogs.

In this section, we will delve into the science behind red coat color in German Shepherds.

The “e” gene is responsible for red coat color in German Shepherds. This gene is different from the gene responsible for black and tan coat color, which is called the “a” gene.

The “e” gene is recessive, meaning that both parents must carry it for a puppy to inherit a red coat.

Breeding two red-coated German Shepherds together will always result in red-coated puppies because both parents carry the “e” gene.

However, breeding a red mahogany-coated German Shepherd dog with a black and tan-coated German Shepherd can result in a mix of red and black and tan puppies.

The intensity of the red color can vary depending on other genes and environmental factors.

For example, if a puppy inherits two copies of the “e” gene (one from each parent), it may have a darker or more intense shade of red than a puppy that only inherited one copy of the gene.

Additionally, factors such as diet, sunlight exposure, and grooming practices can affect the appearance of a dog’s coat.

It’s worth noting that some breed standards do not recognize red-coated German Shepherds as purebred because they deviate from traditional black and tan coloring.

However, this does not mean that these dogs are any less purebred or lack any of the qualities or characteristics of their black and tan counterparts.

RELATED: Do German Shepherd Puppies Change Color?

Why Black and Red German Shepherds are Unique

Distinctive Coloration

The black and red coloration is highly sought after by breeders and owners alike, making these dogs a popular choice for those looking for a unique and beautiful pet.

The coloring of black and red German Shepherds can vary in intensity, with some dogs having more black or red in their coats than others.

Some may have a more subtle shading of the two colors, while others may have distinct patches or stripes of each color.

Good Health Indicator

In addition to being visually stunning, the coloring of black and red German Shepherds can also be an indicator of good health and strong genetics.

This is because well-bred dogs from reputable breeders are often associated with this particular coloration.

Breeders who take care to produce healthy puppies with desirable traits will often select parents with strong genetics that include the recessive gene responsible for this unique coloring.


Black and red German Shepherds are not only beautiful but also intelligent animals. They are known for their ability to learn quickly and respond well to training.

These qualities make them excellent working dogs in fields such as law enforcement, search-and-rescue operations, or as service animals.

RELATED: German Shepherd Pros and Cons


Another trait that makes black and red German Shepherds stand out is their loyalty. 

They form strong bonds with their owners and families, making them excellent pets for those seeking a devoted companion animal.

Their protective nature means they will go to great lengths to keep their loved ones safe from harm.


Due to their intelligence, black and red German Shepherds are highly trainable animals. 

They excel in obedience training and can learn a wide range of commands and behaviors. 

This makes them an excellent choice for those who want a dog that is easy to train and eager to please.

Physical characteristics Red German Shepherds

red gsd looking

Size and Weight

Black and red German Shepherds are typically larger than other German Shepherd varieties. Males can weigh between 65-90 pounds, while females weigh between 50-85 pounds.

However, it’s important to note that each individual dog may vary in size depending on genetics, diet, exercise habits, and overall health.

Physical Features

One of the most striking physical features of black and red German Shepherds is their distinct coat coloration. 

Solid black is the dominant color, with red appearing as markings on the face, legs, and chest. This unique coloring sets them apart from other German Shepherd dog varieties.

In addition to their coat coloration, these dogs have a muscular build that gives them a strong and powerful appearance. 

They also have pointed ears that stand erect when they’re alert or focused on something in their environment. Their expression is often described as intelligent and watchful.


Red and black German Shepherd dogs are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature

They are often used as military or police dogs due to their ability to be trained for specific tasks and their courage in high-pressure situations.

However, it’s important to note that this breed requires proper socialization and training from a young age to prevent aggression towards strangers or other animals.

Without proper guidance from their owners or trainers, they may become overly protective or aggressive towards perceived threats.


Socialization involves exposing your dog to different people, animals, environments, sights, and sounds so they can learn how to behave appropriately in different situations.

Training involves teaching your dog basic obedience commands such as sit-stay-come-heel etc., leash manners (walking politely on a leash), crate training (teaching them how to relax inside a crate) etc.

It’s also worth noting that temperament can vary greatly among individuals within this breed.

While many black and red GSDs possess the traits of loyalty, intelligence, and protectiveness that are commonly associated with the breed, there may be some that exhibit different personality traits.

Check out this awesome video about Black & Red German Shepherd…

Examples of Black and Red German Shepherds

There are many examples of black and red German Shepherds who have made a name for themselves in various fields.

One such example is K-9 Officer Axl from the Marietta Police Department in Georgia. Axl was trained to detect narcotics and track suspects, making him an invaluable asset to his department.

Another example is Ricochet, a therapy dog who has helped countless individuals overcome physical and emotional challenges.

Ricochet’s owner trained her to surf as a way to raise money for charitable causes, which has earned her widespread recognition and admiration.

Ricochet, unfortunately, passed away at the young age of 15.

Different Coat Lengths of Red German Shepherds

long haired red and black gsd with tongue out

What many people may not know is that these dogs also come in two different coat lengths: short and long.

Short-Coated Red German Shepherds

Short-coated red German Shepherds have a dense, smooth, and shiny coat that is easy to maintain.

This type of coat is perfect for those who want a low-maintenance dog that still looks great. The short hair means less shedding and less time spent grooming.

One thing to keep in mind with short-coated red German Shepherds is that they may be more susceptible to sunburn than their longer-haired counterparts.

This is because they do not have as much fur to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays. 

If you live in an area with intense sunlight or plan on spending a lot of time outdoors with your dog, it’s important to take precautions such as using sunscreen or providing shade.

Long-Coated Red German Shepherds

Long-coated red German Shepherds have a thick, wavy, and fluffy coat that requires more grooming and maintenance. 

While this type of coat can be absolutely gorgeous when well-maintained, it does require more effort on the owner’s part.

Owners of long-coated red German Shepherds should expect daily brushing sessions to prevent matting and tangling. Regular baths are also important to keep the fur clean and healthy.

Additionally, trimming around the paws and ears may be necessary to prevent dirt buildup or infections.

Despite the extra work required for grooming long-coated red German Shepherds, many owners find it worth it for the stunning appearance of these dogs. 

The long hair adds an extra layer of elegance and sophistication to an already beautiful breed. (Source)

black and red german shepherd dog sitting on the ground

Which Coat Length is Right for You?

When deciding between a short-coated or long-coated red German Shepherd, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and preferences. 

If you have limited time for grooming or live in a hot climate, a short-coated dog may be the better choice.

However, if you enjoy spending time grooming your dog and want a show-stopping appearance, a long-coated dog may be the perfect fit.

It’s also worth noting that coat length can vary within the same litter of puppies. Some puppies may inherit genes for longer hair while others have shorter hair. 

If you have your heart set on a specific coat length, it’s important to communicate this with the breeder and choose a puppy accordingly.

Red Coat Color Combinations and Bicolor German Shepherds

Bicolor German Shepherds are a popular variation of the breed, and they come in a range of different color combinations. 

One of the most common color combinations is black and red, which creates a striking contrast that many people find appealing. 

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at red coat color combinations and bicolor German Shepherds.

Red Color in German Shepherds

The red color in German Shepherds can vary from a deep mahogany to a lighter, more golden hue. 

This variation in shade is due to differences in pigmentation levels. The intensity of the red color can also be influenced by factors such as diet and exposure to sunlight.

Blue Coat Color

While bicolor German Shepherds are typically black and red, there are other variations that include blue coloring.

Blue sable is one example of this, where the dog has a blue-gray base with black-tipped hairs on the back and sides. 

Another variation is blue and tan, where the dog has a blue-gray base with tan markings on the face, chest, legs, and tail.

Then there are red sable German Shepherd where the predominant color is a reddish hue, ranging from light to dark shades.

Choosing a Bicolor German Shepherd

Choosing a bicolor German Shepherd based on its coat color alone may not be enough; temperament and health should also be considered. 

A good breeder will prioritize these factors when selecting breeding pairs to ensure that their puppies have desirable traits across all areas.


German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective instincts. 

However, individual dogs can vary greatly in terms of temperament depending on factors such as socialization during puppyhood and training methods used by their owners.


Like all dog breeds, German Shepherds can be prone to certain health issues. These may include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy

It is important to choose a breeder who screens their breeding dogs for these conditions and takes steps to minimize the risk of passing them on to their puppies.

RELATED: Hip Dysplasia in German Shepherds

German Shepherd Colors

The German Shepherd breed typically comes in a variety of colors. The most common and recognized color for German Shepherds are:

It’s worth noting that while these are the standard colors, there can be other color variations that are less common or considered non-standard. These variations include:

Liver German Shepherds and Fading Livercolored Genes

liver color german shepherd in snow

Liver German Shepherds have a unique reddish-brown coat color that distinguishes them from the standard black and tan or sable-colored German Shepherds.

This distinctive color is caused by a recessive gene that is inherited from both parents. The liver gene, also known as the b allele, is responsible for producing a liver-colored coat in dogs.

The fading liver-colored gene can cause the liver German Shepherd’s coat to lighten over time, resulting in a white or cream-colored coat. 

This fading process occurs gradually and may not be noticeable until the dog reaches adulthood.

While some people find this change in color appealing, others prefer their Liver German Shepherds to maintain their original reddish-brown hue.

Liver German Shepherds: Health Issues

While liver German Shepherds are generally healthy, they may be more prone to certain health issues such as skin allergies and eye problems. 

Skin allergies can cause itching, rashes, and hair loss in dogs.

Eye problems such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) may also occur more frequently in liver-colored dogs than other colors of German Shepherds.

The liver gene can also affect the dog’s nose and paw pads, causing them to be a lighter color than usual.

This condition is known as “dudley nose” or “snow nose.” It does not typically cause any health problems but may affect the appearance of the dog’s nose.

It is important to note that while Liver German Shepherds may have some unique health concerns, they are generally healthy dogs when properly cared for. 

Regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, and exercise can help keep these dogs in good health.

Breeding Red German Shepherds

Breeding black and red German Shepherds is a complex process that requires careful attention to detail. 

Breeders must ensure that both parents have the correct coloring and temperament to produce offspring with the desired traits. 

They also need to make sure that they are breeding from healthy dogs to avoid passing on any genetic disorders.


If you’re interested in purchasing a black or red German Shepherd for show purposes, it’s important to find a reputable breeder who specializes in this type of dog. 

You should look for breeders who have experience breeding these dogs and who can provide you with references from satisfied customers.


Black and red German Shepherds require regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. 

Daily walks or runs are essential for maintaining their physical health, but they also benefit from mental stimulation such as training sessions or puzzle toys.

What Makes the Showline Black and Red German Shepherd Special?

Show Line German Shepherds are a popular breed of dogs that have been bred for their physical appearance and conform to strict breed standards. 

They are known for their striking black and red coloration, which is highly sought after in the show ring.

But what makes the Showline Black and Red German Shepherd special? 

In this section, we will explore the unique characteristics of Show Line German Shepherds and why they are different from Working Line German Shepherds.

Physical Appearance

Show line German Shepherds have a distinct physical appearance that sets them apart from other breeds. 

They have a straighter back, sloping hindquarters, and a more angled croup than working line German Shepherds.

Their coat is longer and thicker, with a fuller mane around the neck area. 

The black and red coloration is one of the most desirable traits in Showline German Shepherds, making them stand out in the show ring.


Show-line German Shepherds have a more laid-back temperament compared to working-line German Shepherds. 

They are not typically used for tasks such as police work or search and rescue due to their less intense drive and energy levels.

Instead, they make great family pets due to their calm demeanor, loyalty, and affectionate nature. 

However, it’s important to note that every dog has its own personality regardless of its breeding lines.

Grooming Needs

Show line German Shepherds require consistent grooming and maintenance to keep their coat looking its best. 

Regular brushing helps prevent matting, tangles, and shedding hair all over your furniture or clothes while also keeping your dog’s skin healthy by distributing natural oils throughout his fur coat.

Bathing should be done once every few months unless necessary because too much bathing can strip away natural oils from your dog’s skin making it dry or flaky.


While Showline Black and Red German Shepherds may not possess the same level of drive and energy as their working line counterparts, they still require proper training to become well-behaved pets.

Training should start at a young age to establish good behavior habits and socialization skills. 

Positive reinforcement techniques work best with Showline German Shepherds, as they respond well to praise and treats.

Health Concerns

Like all breeds of dogs, Show Line German Shepherds are prone to certain health issues. 

Hip dysplasia is a common problem in the breed due to their sloping hindquarters. 

They may also be prone to other genetic conditions such as elbow dysplasia, bloat, and allergies. 

It’s important to choose a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings on their breeding stock.

Is a Red & Black GSD Right Dog For You?

gsd in the field

It is important to note that while coat color may be an important factor in choosing a puppy, it should not be the sole determining factor. 

Here are a few questions that you must ask yourself before bringing home a red and black GSD puppy.

Do you have enough place for a large dog?

German Shepherds are considered large dogs and typically require a spacious living environment to be comfortable and thrive.

They need room to move around, play, and exercise. It’s important to provide them with enough space both indoors and outdoors to meet their needs.

If you’re considering getting a German Shepherd, ensure that you have enough space in your home and access to suitable outdoor areas for them to stay happy and healthy.

Are you active enough?

These dogs are known for their athleticism and require plenty of exercise to maintain their physical health.

Can you deal with the shedding?

German Shepherds are known to be moderate to heavy shedders. They have a dense double coat that requires regular grooming to manage shedding effectively.

German Shepherds typically “blow” their coat twice a year, during which they shed their undercoat more heavily.

During shedding seasons, you can expect a significant increase in loose hair around your home.

The Cost of Owning a German Shepherd Puppy

While puppies may seem cute and cuddly, they require a lot of care and attention which can add up quickly.

Some expenses include food, vet bills, grooming supplies, training classes, and toys. 

It’s essential to budget accordingly so that you can provide your new furry friend with everything they need without breaking the bank.

Tips for Choosing a Red German Shepherd Puppy from a Breeder

Look for a Reputable Breeder Who Specializes in Red German Shepherds

Choosing the right breeder is crucial when it comes to getting a healthy and well-bred red German Shepherd puppy. 

You want to find a breeder with a good reputation who specializes in breeding red German Shepherds. 

It’s important to research different breeders and read reviews from previous customers.

When you find a breeder that you’re interested in, ask them about their experience with breeding red German Shepherds. 

Find out how long they’ve been breeding this specific color of German Shepherd and what their goals are for their breeding program.

A reputable breeder will be more than happy to answer any questions you have and provide you with information about their breeding practices.

Ask to See the Puppy’s Parents and Their Health Clearances

It’s important to see the puppy’s parents before making your final decision. 

This will give you an idea of what your puppy will look like when they’re fully grown, as well as an idea of their temperament.

Additionally, ask the breeder if both parents have had health clearances for common issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and eye problems.

A responsible breeder will be able to provide documentation proving that both parents have been cleared of these issues by certified veterinarians or organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or PennHIP.

Observe the Puppy’s Behavior and Temperament

When choosing a red German Shepherd puppy, it’s important to observe their behavior and temperament. 

You want a puppy that matches your lifestyle – whether that means an active dog who loves hiking or a more laid-back dog who enjoys cuddling on the couch.

Observe how the puppy interacts with people – are they friendly? Shy? Aggressive? Do they seem curious about their surroundings? 

These are all important factors to consider when choosing your new furry friend.

Check for Any Physical Abnormalities or Health Issues in the Puppy

Before bringing your new puppy home, it’s important to check for any physical abnormalities or health issues. Look for signs of skin problems, such as redness or flakiness. 

Check their eyes and ears for discharge or inflammation. Additionally, check their coat for fleas or ticks.

If you notice any abnormalities or health issues, discuss them with the breeder before making your final decision. 

A responsible breeder will be upfront about any potential health problems and may even offer a health guarantee.

Inquire About the Breeder’s Socialization and Training Methods for the Puppies

Socialization and training are crucial aspects of raising a well-behaved dog. When choosing a red German Shepherd puppy from a breeder, ask about their socialization and training methods. 

Find out if they expose their puppies to different environments, people, and animals to help them become well-rounded dogs.

Additionally, ask about their training methods – do they use positive reinforcement? Do they have experience with crate training? These are all important questions to ask when choosing a breeder.

Red German Shepherd Puppies Breeders and Availability

Finding a reputable breeder who specializes in breeding red German Shepherd puppies can be challenging. These puppies are a rare color variation of the breed, and as such, they are highly sought after by many dog lovers.

However, it’s important to do thorough research on potential breeders to ensure they prioritize the health and well-being of their puppies.

Red German Shepherd puppies may be more expensive than traditional black and tan puppies due to their rarity. 

This is because breeders who specialize in breeding red German Shepherds have invested time, effort, and resources into creating this unique color variation. 

As such, they charge a premium for their puppies.

Many breeders have waiting lists for red German Shepherd puppies due to their high demand. 

If you’re interested in adopting a German Shepherd, it’s essential to get on a waiting list as soon as possible. 

This will increase your chances of getting the puppy you want from a reputable breeder.

Tips for Choosing a Good Breeder

When looking for a breeder who specializes in breeding red German Shepherds, it’s crucial to consider several factors.

First and foremost, you should look for a breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs above all else. 

A good breeder will conduct regular health checks on their dogs and take steps to ensure that they are free from genetic disorders that could affect their quality of life.

It’s also important to look for a breeder who has experience working with red German Shepherds specifically. 

These dogs require specialized care and attention due to their unique coat coloration.

A good breeder will have experience working with this breed and will know how to provide them with the care they need.

Another factor to consider when choosing a breeder is their reputation within the dog breeding community. 

Look for breeders who have positive reviews from other dog owners or organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC).

This can help give you peace of mind knowing that you’re working with a reputable breeder who has a track record of producing healthy, happy puppies.

Adopting a red German Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder can provide a lifetime of love and companionship. These dogs are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature, making them excellent family pets.

However, it’s important to remember that owning any dog is a significant responsibility. 

You’ll need to provide your new puppy with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and affection to ensure they lead happy and healthy lives.

Preparing Your Home for a Red German Shepherd Puppy

Secure Your Home and Yard for Your German Shepherd Puppy

Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting time for any family. 

However, it’s important to prepare your home and yard to ensure the safety of your new furry friend, especially if you’re bringing home a German Shepherd puppy.

German Shepherds are known for their high energy levels and need for exercise. They are also intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to secure your yard with a fence that is at least six feet tall to keep them from escaping or wandering off.

Additionally, make sure there are no holes in the fence or gaps that they can squeeze through.

Inside your home, consider using baby gates or barriers to block off areas that may be unsafe for your puppy. 

This includes rooms with valuable items or hazardous materials such as cleaning supplies or sharp objects. 

You should also invest in sturdy chew toys and provide plenty of opportunities for playtime and exercise.

Keep in Mind That GSD Puppies Require Energy and Attention

German Shepherds are highly active dogs that require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. 

As puppies, their energy levels are even higher than adult dogs. 

Therefore, it’s essential to have enough time in your schedule to devote to playing with them and taking them on walks.

Additionally, German Shepherds thrive on attention from their owners. 

They enjoy being around people and can become anxious when left alone for long periods. 

If you work long hours or travel frequently, it may not be the best time to bring home a German Shepherd puppy.

Visit the Breeder or Shelter Beforehand

Before bringing home a German Shepherd puppy, it’s important to visit the breeder or shelter beforehand. 

This will give you an opportunity to meet the puppy and get a sense of their temperament. It also allows you to ask any questions about their health history and care.

When visiting the breeder or shelter, pay attention to how the puppies interact with each other and with people. 

Look for signs of aggression or fearfulness as these can be indicators of future behavior problems.


The black and red German Shepherd is a fascinating breed that boasts unique physical and temperamental traits. They are highly trainable and versatile, making them suitable for a wide range of working roles and as family pets.

However, it’s important to note that they also have specific health and grooming needs that require attention and care. 

Before getting a black and red German Shepherd, it’s crucial to research and consider the responsibilities and commitments that come with owning one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the difference between a black and red German Shepherd and a regular German Shepherd?

Black and red German Shepherds have a distinct coat color pattern, with a primarily black coat and red markings on their feet, legs, chest, and face.

Are black and red German Shepherds more aggressive than other German Shepherds?

No, aggression is not necessarily linked to coat color. A dog’s temperament is determined by a combination of genetics, training, and socialization.

What is the lifespan of a black and red German Shepherd?

The average lifespan of a black and red German Shepherd is around 10-12 years, though with proper care and nutrition, they can live longer.

Are black and red German Shepherds good with children and other pets?

Yes, they can be excellent family pets and get along well with children and other pets when properly socialized and trained.

Can black and red German Shepherds live in apartments?

While black and red German Shepherds are adaptable and can live in smaller spaces, they require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Therefore, apartment living may not be ideal for them.

How do I find a reputable breeder of red german shepherd?

Look for breeders who prioritize health testing, provide socialization for their puppies, and have a good reputation within the breed community.

Do black and red German Shepherds have any health issues to watch out for?

Like all dog breeds, black and red German Shepherds are susceptible to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and bloat. Regular vet checkups and proper care can help prevent or manage these conditions.

How much exercise does a black and red German Shepherd need?

They require regular exercise, including daily walks and vigorous play sessions. They also benefit from mental stimulation such as obedience training and interactive toys.

Can the red German shepherds be good service dogs?

Yes, black and red German Shepherds are commonly used as service dogs due to their intelligence, trainability, and loyalty. They can be trained for roles such as guide dogs, hearing dogs, and mobility assistance dogs.

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