Last Updated on July 4, 2023
There is a lot to say about the Australian Shepherd; from the history of this breed to their personality, they are unique and exciting.
Let’s assume you are highly familiar with their exercise needs or suitability as family pets, but what about the Australian Shepherd Colours?
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 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, even more, different Australian Shepherd Colours are not yet fully discovered. For example, some are white or yellow. Have you ever spotted an Australian Shepherd who is considered to be yellow? YES! 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 plan to become an owner of this sweet-natured and energetic dog, it would be interesting to find out what other Australian Shepherd colours.
Have you always dreamed of buying a black Aussie but thought that was impossible? The good news is that you’ve got such an opportunity. In fact, four officially recognised coat colours of this dog breed can be successfully mixed into various combinations.
Black Australian Shepherd colours dogs may have white or tan spots. However, you still can see black Aussies without any additional coat colour. All-black Australian Shepherd colours dogs usually have brown eyes. The fascinating beauty of these dogs will never leave you indifferent.
What Is the Rarest Australian Shepherd Colours?
It’s worth mentioning that solid-coloured Australian Shepherds are rare indeed. Solid red coat colour is particularly rare in Australian Shepherds. But if you want to buy a solid red Aussie puppy, be ready to spend some time to find the one you need.
You already know that the 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 Shepherd colours agree that this type of Aussies is more challenging to breed. That is the main reason why red Australian Shepherd colours dogs are so rare.
In fact, there are several lovely 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. The liver is the darkest shade of red. The Australian Shepherd colours that are 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?
The markings are significant when we talk about this breed. They are highlighted in areas above the eyes, the muzzle, and cheeks, as well as his feet, front legs, and hind legs. They can be an indicator that the dog has inherited tan markings.
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)
What 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, grey, black, and even blue hairs.
If you are new to the Aussie world and know little about their coat colours, it will be interesting 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 need help to differentiate between the colours of blue merle coats. 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 immense popularity. No doubt, their unique coat patterns are pleasing to the eye.
These elegant dogs have white and copper markings around their 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 each dog’s eyes are a mixture of two or more colours.
The breathtaking beauty of the blue merle and white Australian Shepherds has captured so many hearts around the globe. These Aussies have a blue merle coat with white markings. The distinguishing feature of the dogs is that they have no copper highlights on the coat. Dog owners find it hard not to love this fabulous breed.
Blue merle and tan Australian Shepherds are gorgeous 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 Shepherd Colours?
Red merle Aussies are excellent pets with exotic appearances. They are usually less common in comparison with the other Australian Shepherd colours. So, it makes them even more exciting and exquisite.
It’s interesting to know that both parents must carry the red coat gene to produce red merle Aussie puppies. In fact, they do not have to be red merle themselves. It’s worth mentioning that 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 severe health issues. That’s why the breeders avoid producing them.
The Australian Shepherd colours 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 Australian Shepherd colours have mixed white and red spots. 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, this dog’s most common and straightforward colour combination 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 fantastic. Because black is the primary colour in these dogs, they still have brown eyes.
Blue merle Australian Shepherd colours are by far the most popular. The colour is unique and shows up differently in each dog.
Do This Dog Breed’s Colours Involve Their Behaviour and Health?
There are many theories about colours being linked to health issues, but none have been proven at this time. Many breeders believe white Aussies may more likely 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 to build a stronger bond between you.
The colour has anything to do with an Australian Shepherd’s behaviour. Whatever colours you have in mind, you will still be unable to resist this wonderful dog breed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there Any Brown Australian Shepherd?
There is technically no brown-coloured Australian Shepherd. However, Red Merle Australian shepherds can sometimes come extremely close to being slightly light brown. Australian Shepherd puppies are born white or light brown. As they mature, they turn darker until they reach adulthood. Therefore, if one is looking for a brown Australian shepherd, then a red merle Australian shepherd may fit this description.
Are all Australian Shepherds Merle?
Australian shepherds come with a ‘merle’ mutation of the genes; it is a dominant pattern in the genes, to be precise. However, Aussies can also come in different colours, such as black tri-colour, Red, and white, with the latter being the rarest among Aussies.
The Merle gene is responsible for the characteristic black or dark brown colouration of the coat of Australian Shepherds. This distinctive feature gives them a distinct appearance.
This particular gene is passed down from parents to offspring. If both parents carry the gene, their puppies will inherit it too. And if only one parent has the gene, the puppy will be born with a lighter-coloured coat.
Do Aussies Change Colour As They Age?
Australian Shepherds do change colour when they age. This is due to changes in their coat. Some colours include black, brown, red, tan, white, grey, blue, yellow, and orange. As dog’s age, their coats become dull and grey. The reason behind this is that the hair follicles stop producing pigment.
Some Aussies can change their colours as they age, the effect being that their coat colour becomes lighter. However, they may display darker coat colours if they stay far too much in the sun. While this is rare in all Australian Shepherds.
What Are The Three Types of Australian Shepherds?
Australian shepherds come in the following types: Standard, toy, and mini. Each has its own characteristics. For example, the standard Australian Shepherd is larger and heavier than the toy or miniature varieties.
The standard type is the largest and has a long coat, and they are generally friendly and gentle. The toy type is smaller and has a shorter coat, and they tend to be playful and energetic. The miniature type is the smallest and has a short coat which is often reserved and shy.
The standard variant is around 18-23 inches, the toy is 10-14 inches tall, and the mini-Aussie is around 13-18 inches. All of these generally are of the same breed except for the differences in size and weight.
Are yellow Australian Shepherds Rare?
Australian Shepherds come in several colours: black, blue, red, white, and tan. Yellow is the rarest colour. Yellow Australian shepherds, despite being uncommon, aren’t specifically rare as the colour may come due to recessive genes. On the contrary, the rarest colour of an Aussie is white, which is slowly getting reduced as more breeds of Aussies are being bred.