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Isabella German Shepherd: Pictures, Price & Traits

isabella german shepherd

An Isabella German Shepherd or Lilac German Shepherd is a specific color variation of the German Shepherd breed. These dogs have a rare and unique coat color that sets them apart from traditional-colored German Shepherds.

These dogs aren’t just beautiful to look at, but they make amazing family pets as they possess the same characteristics of standard colored GSDs such as loyalty, high intelligence, and trainability.

In this article, we are going to discuss their traits, price, and where you can buy an Isabella German Shepherd puppy.

isabella german shepherd

Isabella German Shepherd Overview

BreedGerman Shepherd (GSD)
DescriptionUnique variation of German Shepherd breed with light brown to pale tan fur and greyish or silver undertones
Coat ColorIsabella/lilac, caused by blue and liver dilution genes
Height24-26 inches (male)22-24 inches (female)
Weight65-90 pounds (male)50-70 pounds (female)
RecognitionNot officially recognized by major kennel clubs like AKC or UKC
AppearanceStrong, muscular body; erect ears; alert expression
Health IssuesCan be prone to hip/elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, bloat, color dilution alopecia (CDA)
TemperamentIntelligent, loyal, alert, energetic, trainable, affectionate, strong work drive
Suitability for FamiliesGood with proper socialization and training; loyal and protective companions
Price$1,500 to $5,000+
Where to BuyReputable breeders, breed clubs, online directories, specialty shows, rescue organizations
Grooming RequirementsRegular brushing, occasional bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, dental care, occasional trimming
Isabella German Shepherd puppies
Isabella German Shepherd new born puppies (Source: @Irieshepherds)

What is an Isabella German Shepherd?

An Isabella German Shepherd is a unique variation of the traditional German Shepherd breed, characterized by light brown to pale tan fur with a greyish or silver undertone, often accompanied by a light brown or pinkish nose and light-colored eyes that are either light hazel or amber.

Their coat color is the result of the blue and liver dilution in their genes. An isabella-colored German Shepherd is also called the lilac German Shepherd, or lavender German Shepherd.

This rare coloration sets them apart from standard German Shepherds and makes them highly sought after by enthusiasts and breeders alike.

However, other than the coat color, these dogs are similar to the standard German Shepherd dogs in terms of traits, behavior, and health issues. The lilac/isabella coat color does not affect the health of the dog in any way.

Are Isabella German Shepherds Recognized by the AKC?

Isabella German Shepherds are not officially recognized by major kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC), but this doesn’t affect their purebred status.

These clubs adhere strictly to breed standards that specify acceptable colors for German Shepherds. The AKC standard only recognizes specific coat colors such as black, sable, bi-color, and black & tan.

isabella german shepherd
Source: lyla.gsd_ 

What Do Isabella German Shepherds Look Like?

The isabella coat color Isabella color is a diluted liver shade and its hues can range from a pale greyish-brown to a light fawn, depending on the dog. The color extends to their nose (light brown/pink) and paw pads, which often share the same brownish-lilac tones as their coat.

This isabella/lilac-colored fur is present on their entire body including their snouts, eyelids, tail, and ears.

Some isabella-colored German Shepherds may even carry a mix of lavender and muted gold, giving their coat a unique purplish hue.

These dogs can have blue, grey, amber, or in some cases blue-green or sea-green eyes.

Beyond their coat, Isabella German Shepherds possess the same sturdy and athletic build as standard German Shepherds, with a strong, muscular body, erect ears, and an alert expression.

The males typically stand between 24 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder, while females are a bit smaller, ranging from 22 to 24 inches. They typically weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds, depending on their gender and build.

Despite their unique appearance, isabella-colored German Shepherds retain all the characteristic traits that define the breed, including intelligence, agility, and loyalty, making them both visually stunning and highly capable working dogs or family companions.

Long haired Isabella German Shepherd puppy with blue eyes

German Shepherd Isabella Color Genetics

The isabella color in German Shepherds is the result of recessive genes — liver and blue color genes.

The Isabella coloration arises from a dilution gene which dilutes the eumelanin (black pigment) to a lighter shade. This dilution results in the characteristic light brown or pale tan coloration seen in Isabella/lilac dogs.

Isabella German Shepherds typically inherit this dilution gene from both parents, as it is a recessive trait.

This means that both parents must carry at least one copy of the dilution gene to produce an Isabella German Shepherd puppy.

When two carriers of the dilution gene breed, there is a chance that some of their offspring will inherit two copies of the gene, resulting in the Isabella coloration.

Source: @Irieshepherds

Temperament & Personality of Isabella GSDs

The personality and temperament of Isabella German Shepherds largely mirror those of standard German Shepherds, with a few potential nuances attributed to individual personality traits. Here’s an overview of what to expect:

  1. Intelligence: Isabella German Shepherds, like their counterparts, are highly intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and excel in various training activities. Their intelligence makes them versatile and adaptable, capable of fulfilling a range of roles, from family pets to working dogs.
  2. Loyalty: Loyalty is a hallmark trait of the German Shepherd breed, and Isabella German Shepherds are no exception. They form strong bonds with their families and are dedicated and protective of their loved ones.
  3. Alertness: Isabella German Shepherds are naturally vigilant and alert. They possess keen senses and are often watchful of their surroundings, making them excellent watchdogs. Their alertness also makes them responsive to changes in their environment.
  4. Energetic: Like all German Shepherds, Isabella German Shepherds are energetic dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They thrive in environments where they have ample opportunities to expend their energy through activities such as walking, running, playing, and training.
  5. Trainability: Isabella German Shepherds are highly trainable due to their intelligence, willingness to please, and strong work ethic. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and enjoy having a job to do. Training should be consistent, firm, and fair to bring out the best in them.
  6. Affectionate: While Isabella German Shepherds are known for their protective nature, they are also affectionate and loving companions. They form deep bonds with their families and enjoy spending time with them, whether it’s engaging in activities or simply lounging together.
  7. Work Drive: Many Isabella German Shepherds retain the breed’s innate work drive and excel in tasks such as obedience, agility, tracking, herding, and protection work. Engaging them in activities that stimulate their minds and bodies helps fulfill their need for mental and physical stimulation.
Isabella GSD dam with her new born puppies

Do Isabella German Shepherds Make Good Family Dogs?

An Isabella German Shepherd’s loyalty, intelligence, and affectionate nature can make them wonderful companions for families who are willing to provide them with the attention, training, and exercise they require.

Prospective owners should be prepared to engage them in daily activities such as walks, runs, play sessions, and training exercises to keep them physically and mentally fit. Without adequate exercise and stimulation, they may become bored or restless, leading to undesirable behaviors.

Also, proper socialization is crucial for these dogs to ensure they develop into well-rounded and well-behaved dogs. Early and ongoing socialization

Families should dedicate time and effort to socializing their Isabella GSDs from a young age with people of all ages, other animals, and various environments to help them feel confident and comfortable in different situations.

Isabella Colored German Shepherd Health Issues

Isabella German Shepherds, like regular German Shepherds, may be prone to certain health issues, some of which may be associated with their unique coat coloration.

While there is no direct link between the Isabella coloration and specific health problems, potential owners and breeders need to be aware of potential genetic concerns and health issues that can affect German Shepherds in general.

Here are some health issues to consider:

  1. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: German Shepherds, including Isabella-colored ones, are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which are developmental conditions affecting the joints.
  2. Degenerative Myelopathy (DM): DM is a progressive neurological disease that affects the spinal cord, leading to hind limb weakness and eventual paralysis.
  3. Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus): Bloat is a serious and life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach fills with gas or fluid, causing it to expand and potentially twist on its axis (volvulus).
  4. Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA): Color Dilution Alopecia is a skin condition commonly seen in dogs with diluted coat colors. It is characterized by hair loss, dry, flaky skin, and increased susceptibility to skin infections. While not life-threatening, CDA can impact the appearance and comfort of affected dogs.

Prospective Isabella German Shepherd owners must work closely with reputable breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs. Responsible breeding practices, including health screenings and genetic testing, can help minimize the risk of passing on hereditary health issues to future generations.

Isabella German Shepherd Price

Expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 or more for an Isabella German Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder. Show-quality or champion bloodline Isabella German Shepherds may command even higher prices.

The price of an Isabella German Shepherd can vary widely depending on various factors such as the dog’s pedigree, lineage, age, health, and the reputation of the breeder. Additionally, availability and demand in your specific region can also influence the price.

Additionally, keep in mind that the initial purchase price is just one aspect of the total cost of owning a dog. Be prepared to invest in ongoing expenses such as veterinary care, food, grooming, training, and other supplies to provide a happy and healthy life for your dog.

Check out this cute video of an Isabella German Shepherd getting a bath…

Where Can I Buy an Isabella German Shepherd Puppy?

Finding a reputable breeder who specializes in Isabella German Shepherds is crucial to ensure that you acquire a healthy and well-bred dog.

Here are some avenues you can explore to find Isabella German Shepherds for sale:

  1. Breed Clubs and Organizations: Contact German Shepherd breed clubs or organizations in your area or region. They may have lists of reputable breeders who occasionally have Isabella German Shepherd puppies available or can point you in the right direction.
  2. Online Breeder Directories: There are online directories and databases dedicated to listing reputable dog breeders. Look for directories specific to German Shepherds or those that allow you to search for Isabella GSD breeders.
  3. Specialty Shows and Events: Attend specialty dog shows, events, or exhibitions where Isabella German Shepherds might be showcased. This can be an opportunity to meet reputable breeders in person, ask questions, and potentially find available puppies or upcoming litters.
  4. Referrals: Ask for referrals from trusted sources such as veterinarians, fellow dog owners, or breed enthusiasts who may know reputable Isabella German Shepherd breeders.
  5. Online Platforms: While online platforms like classified ad websites or social media groups may have listings for Isabella German Shepherd puppies, exercise caution and thoroughly vet any sellers you encounter.
  6. Rescue Organizations: Consider checking with German Shepherd rescue organizations or breed-specific rescue groups. While Isabella German Shepherds may be less common in rescues, it’s possible to find one in need of a loving home through these channels.

Regardless of where you find a potential Isabella German Shepherd puppy, it’s essential to conduct thorough research, ask questions, and visit the breeder’s facilities if possible.

To buy an Isabella German Shepherd puppy, you can get in touch with @Irieshepherds. They are CKC registered breeders and they always have Liver and Isabella GSD puppies available.


isabella german shepherd sitting on the beach
Source: lyla.gsd_ 

Tips For Buying an Isabella German Shepherd Puppy

When buying an Isabella German Shepherd, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you’re getting a healthy and well-bred dog from a reputable source.

Here are some tips to guide you through the process:

  1. Research Breeders: Take the time to research and identify reputable Isabella German Shepherd breeders. Look for breeders who have a good reputation, are involved in breed clubs or organizations, and prioritize the health and welfare of their dogs.
  2. Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask the breeder plenty of questions about their breeding program, the lineage of the dogs, health testing performed on the parents, and the socialization and care provided to the puppies.
  3. Visit the Breeder: Whenever possible, visit the breeder’s facilities in person to see how the dogs are raised and cared for. Pay attention to cleanliness, the temperament of the dogs, and the overall environment. Meeting the parent dogs can also give you insights into the temperament and appearance of the puppies.
  4. Health Guarantees: A reputable breeder will provide health guarantees for their puppies and may offer to take the dog back if any health issues arise. Ensure that the breeder conducts health screenings on the parent dogs for common breed-related conditions such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy.
  5. View Documentation: Ask to see documentation for health clearances and certifications for the parent dogs. This may include OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certifications for hip and elbow health, as well as genetic testing for inherited conditions.
  6. Meet the Puppy: Spend time interacting with the Isabella German Shepherd puppy you’re interested in to assess its temperament and personality. Look for a puppy that is curious, alert, and well-socialized.
  7. Avoid Red Flags: Be wary of breeders who have multiple litters available at the same time, are unwilling to provide health information or documentation, or pressure you into making a quick decision. These can be signs of irresponsible breeding practices or puppy mills.

By following these tips and taking your time to find a reputable breeder, you can increase your chances of bringing home a healthy and well-adjusted Isabella German Shepherd puppy.

isabella german shepherd in water

Do Isabella German Shepherds Have Special Grooming Requirements?

Isabella German Shepherds do not have inherently different grooming requirements compared to standard German Shepherds. However, some general grooming practices apply to all dogs, including those with Isabella coloring.

  1. Regular Brushing: Isabella German Shepherds have a double coat consisting of a dense undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. Regular brushing helps remove loose fur, prevent matting, and distribute natural oils throughout the coat. Aim to brush your Isabella German Shepherd at least a few times a week, if not daily, especially during shedding seasons.
  2. Bathing: Only bathe your dog as needed, using a mild dog shampoo to avoid stripping the coat of its natural oils. Over-bathing can lead to dry skin and coat issues.
  3. Nail Trimming: Regular nail trims, usually every few weeks, can help keep them to a comfortable length to prevent them from becoming overgrown or causing discomfort while walking.
  4. Ear Cleaning: Clean the ears as needed using a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaner and cotton balls or pads.
  5. Dental Care: Brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent tartar buildup, gum disease, and bad breath.
  6. Trimming: Occasionally, you may need to trim the fur around your Isabella German Shepherd’s paws, ears, and hindquarters for hygiene purposes.

By incorporating these grooming practices into your Isabella German Shepherd’s routine, you can help keep their coat healthy and their overall appearance looking its best.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Isabella German Shepherds purebred?

Yes, Isabella German Shepherds are purebred dogs.

Are Isabella German Shepherds rare?

Yes, Isabella German Shepherds are relatively rare compared to standard-colored German Shepherds.

Because isabella coloration is a recessive trait, both parent dogs must carry at least one copy of the dilution gene to produce Isabella offspring.

As a result, Isabella German Shepherds are not as commonly seen as their standard-colored counterparts, making them relatively rare within the breed.

Are Isabella German Shepherds suitable for families with children or other pets?

Yes, Isabella German Shepherds can be excellent family pets when properly socialized and trained. They are typically loyal, protective, and adaptable, making them good companions for children and other pets.

What type of training do Isabella German Shepherds require?

Isabella German Shepherds benefit from consistent and positive reinforcement training methods. Obedience training, socialization, and mental stimulation are essential to harness their intelligence and work ethic.

How much exercise do Isabella German Shepherds need?

Isabella German Shepherds are energetic dogs that require at least 1 hour of daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. They thrive on activities like walks, runs, play sessions, and training exercises.

Can I participate in dog sports or activities with an Isabella German Shepherd?

Yes, you can still participate in various dog sports and activities with an Isabella German Shepherd, even if they are not officially recognized by organizations like the AKC (American Kennel Club) or UKC (United Kennel Club).

Many dog sports and activities, such as agility, obedience trials, herding, scent work, and rally obedience, are open to all breeds, including those not recognized by specific kennel clubs.

Additionally, some many independent organizations and clubs host events and competitions for various dog sports and activities. These organizations may have their own set of rules and regulations, allowing Isabella German Shepherds and other non-recognized breeds to compete and showcase their abilities.

What are the different colors of German Shepherd dogs?

Below are the 11 German Shepherd colors that are recognized by the AKC:

Here is a list of the rare German Shepherd coat colors that are not recognized by AKC:

Final Remarks

Remember, when looking for your Isabella German Shepherd, always prioritize reputable breeders to ensure the health and well-being of your GSD. Now that you know what to expect from these beautiful dogs, you’re better equipped to make an informed decision when welcoming one into your family. So, go ahead and embark on this exciting journey of finding your perfect furry companion!

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