Most representatives of the German Shepherd breed are represented by a black-backed color. More than 90% of specimens of this breed are distinguished by black body coats with large tan marks on the chest, paws, and belly of the pet. This is partly why in the minds of people far from cynology, the erroneous opinion has formed that the shepherd cannot be of any other color.
German Shepherd: Black-Backed Coat Color
Black-backed color is strength and status. A dog in this form looks strong, stately, and beautiful. Potential owners of shepherd dogs are mostly looking for just such pets in order to participate in exhibitions and competitions, as well as to be admitted to breeding.
Important! With the age of the dog, the black-and-back color tends to lighten. Some pets by the middle of their life change the standard black-and-back color to roan, and can no longer build a further show career.
Black-Backed Coat Color
The shade is the main black color, located along the body of the pet in the form of a V-shaped “mantle”. Sometimes it goes down to the sides to the very elbows. In this case, the belly, chest, and paws of the animal are painted in a light shade of wool, tan.
3 options for tan are allowed:
- yellow or fawn;
- brown (chocolate).
A prerequisite for admission to a show career is the presence of a black mask. The dog should have an almost blackhead. Only the presence of small markings on the eyebrows and cheekbones of the animal is allowed.
Defect or Breed?
The black-and-back color is one of the four basic colors of German Shepherds. It is included in the standard description of the breed. Puppies with black-and-back color successfully pass registration and are promising in a show career.
A defect in this color can only be the absence of a charcoal mask or a faded black color of the case. This happens more often with age when the dog begins to “turn gray”. The coat becomes lighter, loses the pigment responsible for the black color on the back. As a result, the color changes.
Other Coat Colors of German Shepherds
Each dog breed has shades of coat that are included in the standard description or that are unusual for a particular breed. German Shepherds are no exception. The standard includes only 4 colors, while there are many more non-standard colors.
Standard Coat Colors
In addition to the main black-and-back color, pets, according to the standard, can be zoned, coal-black or black and tan. In all cases, except for coal, the presence of small tan areas with red hair is allowed. Black specimens of the breed should have a dark coat, as well as dark nails, nose, and eyes. Otherwise, the puppy is discarded.
Unusual Coat Colors
Absolute white is referred to as non-standard shades of the coat. But these dogs are not considered albinos. Their snow-white hair, a black nose, and dark claws, as well as brown eyes, are harmoniously combined. Also, spotted and roan pets can be attributed to unusual colors. In addition, shepherd dogs can be completely gray or red with varying color intensities.
Despite the variety of shades, without exception, all shepherd dogs have good characteristics. They are excellent companions and guards, watchmen, and search engines. They are versatile dogs suitable for all owner training levels.