Last Updated on August 3, 2021
There is a lot to say about the Australian Shepherd, from the history of this breed to their personality and so on, they are just so amazing and interesting.
Let’s assume that you are highly familiar with their exercise needs or suitability as family pets, but what about the colours of an Australian Shepherd?
Have you ever wondered how many different shades of colours the Aussie can appear?
This is a commonly asked question when people research the breed. For that reason, keep reading and we’ll have a look at each of these colours.
How many are possible Australian Shepherd colours?
Officially, there are currently four recognised Australian Shepherd colours:
- Blue merle
- Red merle
*Please note that when we say merle it means the coat patterns. Merle is the mottled blend of the dog’s colour (black or red) to the nearest white & white.
However, there are even more different colours of Australian Shepherds that are not yet fully discovered. For example, there are some who are white or yellow. Have you ever spotted an Australian Shepherd who is considered to be yellow? YES! Well, just because the colour isn’t standard doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Is it possible to find solid black Australian Shepherds?
If you are planning to become an owner of this sweet-natured and energetic dog, it would be interesting for you to find out what other colours you might see in your Australian Shepherd.
In fact, four officially recognised coat colours of this dog breed can be successfully mixed into various combinations. Have you always dreamed of buying a totally black Aussie but thought that was impossible? The good news is that you’ve got such an opportunity.
Black Australian Shepherds may have white or tan spots. However, you still can see black Aussies without any additional coat colour. All-black Australian Shepherds usually have brown eyes. The fascinating beauty of these dogs will never leave you indifferent.
What is the rarest colour of the Australian Shepherd?
It’s worth mentioning that solid-coloured Australian Shepherds are rare indeed. But if you want to buy a solid red Aussie puppy, be ready to spend some time to find the one you need. Solid red coat colour is particularly rare in Australian Shepherds.
You already know that black gene is dominant in Aussies. And the red gene is recessive. It can appear only when the black gene is absent. The owners of solid red Australian Shepherds agree that this type of Aussies is more difficult to breed. That is the main reason why totally red Australian Shepherd dogs are so rare.
In fact, there are several amazingly beautiful shades of red you may find in the Australian Shepherd including
Cinnamon is the lightest shade of red. This gorgeous colour is very close to gold and looks fantastic indeed. Liver is the darkest shade of red. The Australian Shepherd that is liver looks dark red and may even appear brown.
No doubt, you are a lucky person if you meet a solid red Australian Shepherd. But you are even luckier if you become the owner of this brilliant Aussie dog.
But, what about markings?
Firstly, the markings are very important when we talk about this breed. They can be an indicator that the dog has inherited tan markings. Usually, they are highlighted on areas from the “Shepherd’s spots” above the eyes, the muzzle and cheeks as well as his feet, front legs and hind legs. Also, they can be accented in the spot under the tail. Even more, this is the only location that the tan colouring is in evidence.
For that reason, we say that they are tan points. As such they may appear in many variations. Somehow, we can group them into two groups:
- White markings (lighter cream colour)
- White markings with tan points (rich copper)
How do blue merle Australian Shepherds look like?
If you see a blue merle Aussie at least once, you will definitely agree that the dog with this coat colour looks stunning. These puppies have a fantastic combination of white, gray, black and even blue hairs.
If you are new to the Aussie world and know little about their coat colours, it will be interesting for you to find out that white is the dominant colour in blue merle Australian Shepherds. This colour serves as the base with different patches on it. The patches differ in shape and size.
Plus, they can be found all over the dog’s body.
What are the other variations of blue merle Aussie dogs?
When you visit a reputable Australian Shepherd breeder to choose a puppy, you are likely to see different types of blue merle puppies including
- Blue Merle tri colour Australian Shepherd
- Blue Merle and White Australian Shepherd
- Blue Merle and Tan Australian Shepherd
If you are a first-time Aussie owner, you may have a hard time differentiating between the blue merle coat colours. But if you look more attentively, you will realise that each colour has its own characteristics.
Due to a fascinating combination of black, white and copper colours, the blue merle tri colour Aussies have gained huge popularity. No doubt, their unique coat patterns are pleasing to the eye.
These elegant dogs have white and copper markings around ears, muzzle, bottom, chest and legs. Their eyes may have different shades of blue or brown. However, some blue merle tri colour Aussies have marbled eyes. That means that each of the dog’s eyes is a mixture of two or even more colours.
The breathtaking beauty of the blue merle and white Australian Shepherds has captured so many hearts around the globe. Dog owners find it hard not to fall in love with this fabulous breed. These Aussies have the blue merle coat with white markings. The distinguishing feature of the dogs is that they have no copper highlights on the coat.
Blue merle and tan Australian Shepherds are exceptionally beautiful in their own way. These fantastic dogs have copper or tan markings on their eyebrows. Sometimes, they have tan beards as well.
What is so special about Red Merle Australian Shepherds?
Red merle Aussies are amazing pets with exotic appearance. They are usually less common in comparison with the other Australian Shepherds. So, it makes them even more interesting and exquisite.
It’s interesting to know that in order to produce red merle Aussie puppies, both parents need to carry the red coat gene. In fact, they do not have to be red merle themselves. It’s worth mentioning that the reputable breeders do not mate two merle Aussie dogs just because in this case the puppies are likely to have white coats. Unfortunately, white Aussies run the risk of developing serious health issues. That’s why, the breeders avoid producing them.
The Australian Shepherds can be solid red merle, bi colour red merle and tri colour red merle. The red merle Aussie has red markings around its tail, face and chest. Red merle bi colour coat patterns have white patches on the dog’s neck, face and legs. In some cases, red merle bi colour Australian Shepherd has white and red spots mixed together. It adds even more beauty and elegance to this fabulous dog.
A red merle tri colour Australian Shepherd has tan patches and white trim. The white colour can usually be seen on the dog’s face, chest, belly and legs. The tan is found on the dog’s paws and above the eyes.
What colour is the most common for this breed?
When we talk about black, the most common and simple colours combinations of this dog is the black tri colour Australian Shepherd. Immediately after them, there are many black bi colour Aussies (with a mix of black and white colours).
Black bi colour Aussies traditionally have black and white coat colours. You may also find black tri colour Australian Shepherds. In fact, three-coloured black Aussies are extremely popular among dog owners. These dogs usually have tan and white highlights that make them look so fantastic. Due to the fact that black is the main colour in these dogs, they still have brown eyes.
Blue merle Australian Shepherds are by far the most popular. The colour is very unique and shows up a little differently in each dog.
Does this dog breed’s colours involve their behaviour and health?
There are many theories about colours being linked to health issues, but at this time none have been proven. Many breeders believe white Aussies may be more likely to have blindness and deafness issues. This has not been proven and is continued to be researched.
In fact, the Aussies with different coat colours make loyal friends and devoted companions. They are obedient and eager to please. However, you should know how to treat your Australian Shepherd the right way in order to build a stronger bond between the two of you.