Blue German Shepherd Dog

FAQ's About Blue and Liver German Shepherds
(Frequently Asked Questions)

Question: Are Blue and Liver German Shepherds a different breed from traditionally colored German Shepherds? Are they a mixed breed?
Answer: Blue and Liver German Shepherds are no different from traditionally colored German Shepherds. They are in fact purebred GSDs, and often are born in a litter with traditionally colored littermates. The Blue and Liver coat colors and skin pigmentation are each caused by receiving two copies of a recessive gene. The Blue gene is a dilution gene which dilutes any black pigment present on the dog, and the Liver gene completely blocks the formation of black pigment alltogether. Visit our Genetic Information Page for a simplified explanation of the genetic activity that causes these two colors to be expressed.

Question: Can Blue and Liver German Shepherds be registered as GSD's?
Answer: Yes, since it is simply a color variation, they are fully registerable by the AKC (American Kennel Club), the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club), the UKC (United Kennel Club) and all other applicable registries.

Question: What sanctioned events can Blue and Liver German Shepherds compete in?
Answer: Blue and Liver German Shepherds can compete in any sanctioned event except in the Conformation ring. The object of winning in the Conformation ring is to exhibit a dog who most closely meets the breed standard which in the case of the German Shepherd Dog states that the Blue and Liver coat colors are faults, and a nose leather that is not predominantly black is a disqualification from the ring. Because of the effect of the Blue dilution gene and the Liver blocking gene, Blue and Liver German Shepherds don't have black nose leather. Here is an excerpt from an article published in the June 1960 issue of the GSDCA Review:

"We believe that many have wondered why the new Standard explicitly demands a black nose. As the blues have grey noses and the few surviving livers have brown noses, we think the reason is clear. It is the one means to bar off-colors in the show ring. If they are not allowed to be shown, they will not be bred from by serious breeders. There is no more reason to allow a German Shepherd Dog with a grey or brown nose in the ring, than to allow a white German Shepherd Dog with a black nose, in our opinion. The off-colors are due to recessive genes, and they could become so strongly entrenched in the various bloodlines that an average of 25% of every litter could be off-color."

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