Liver and Tan Colored German Shepherds Guide

German Shepherd is one of the most favorite in American homes because of its muscular body, terrific work ethic and smartness. Apart from giving endless love and a lot of hugs, you can be rest assured that your pet will be an honest and faithful friend till death separates you from them. Hitler’s famous dog, Blondie is one of the best examples of a German Shepherd who was with Hitler till his death in 1945. Hitler gave poison to his dog first so that he can test if the poison works or not. Needless to stay the dog died soon after it took the poison. GSD never disappoints you be it the loyalty, protection or cuddles.

Like any other breed of dog, there are many other varieties and colors of German shepherds. However, the most popular German shepherds are black, red and tan/black breeds. Other breeds which are found are silver, solid black, red sable, white, golden, blue and panda shepherd. In the below guide you will come to know about the Liver colored German shepherd. The article will be providing you an in-depth knowledge about the GSD and the questions surrounding them.

What Is a Liver German Shepherd Dog?

As per the name, a liver German Shepherd has fur and a coated coat. The color is generally brown which is caused by the recessive gene known as B locus. When you compare the German shepherd varieties you will find that the liver gene affects the look of the coat and fur. Every other feature of the dog is more or less the same.

So, the liver-colored GSD which may have a black color look or a tan or reddish look will have a feature of brown. The color can range from brownish color to a deeper brown color or it may look reddish. The brown color appears on the GSD’s skin and fur which also the nose, eye rims, nose and lips.

How Does A Liver GSD Puppy Look Like?

Although adult German Shepherds have a brown color on their skin. Puppies have a different color. The color of the skin and fur are liver colored except the nails of the toe. This is generally white in color and the pad of the foot is pink in color. Once the puppy becomes adult the toe nails change to liver. Additionally, both the pad of the food and the toe nails change to liver when they grow old. The eyes of the German Shepherd puppies are green or blue in color, which later changes to light brown and sometimes amber when they are six months old.

What Causes The Liver Color?

The liver German Shepherd has brown color which is caused because of the recessive gene called B locus. The gene occupies some location in the chromosomes, thus changing the pattern of the dog’s body. Canines possess different locations where some of the genes are dormant then the other. Now what happens is that the recessive B locus gene dominates the black color of the coat of the dog, thus, the color becomes liver which has one exception that is the eyes.

The liver gene is transferred down from the parent dog to the small puppy. Apparently, the material is a natural gene which is found in the gene pool. If the puppy has a brown color, then both the parents have to transfer it though the DNA material to their children. The parents of the liver German Shepherd also are liver colored. As long as the B locus gene is present in the puppy, they will be liver colored.

It is also referred to as dilute liver color. Mainly this means that the black color which is present in the German Shepherd is diluted and the German Shepherd appears to be browner when they have the gene of liver German Shepherd. In blue and grey German Shepherd, the gene is diluted to more blue or grey.

It is very important to mention that the liver gene does not affect coat patterns. Hence you can have:

  • Solid liver
  • Bi-color liver
  • Sable liver
  • Liver and tan saddle back

When a pattern is solid liver it implies that the German Shepherd has inherited two copies of the recessive black GSD pattern gene. The self-coloring or solid gene pattern is not a black color gene. It just blocks the formation of black pigmentation, which created the solid Liver.

Does The Color of Liver German shepherd Change by Age?

The answer to this is a complete no. The only change in the color which changes or the GSD undergoes are the Black & Tan & sable. German Shepherd puppy are born black but tan color changes when they are about 6 months old. Similarly, when they are 6 months to 2 years old, A GSD with a sable color may become lighter or darker. The other colored GSD do not change with age. To be precise, your liver German shepherd will have this color for the rest of his life. 

Are Liver German Shepherds & Isabella German Shepherds Similar?

Most people don’t understand the difference between the Isabella color of a German shepherd and Liver German shepherds. However, they do resemble a lot but they are not equal all together. Fawn color is the trademark for Isabella German shepherds and are also known as “double dilutes” or “diluted livers”. A liver German shepherd has one recessive gene whereas the Isabella GSD carries two copies of the blue recessive gene which is very infamous.

Both are activated during pigmentation. The first thing that happens on the liver gene that helps from pigmentation resulting in a brown color. The other thing which happens is that the blue gene dilutes the brown color and gives it a fawn color with a pink nose. You would find that some of the Isabella breeds have a nose which is dark gray. An Isabella has a rather light brown (fawn) color physically which when compared to a liver GSD has a color which is deep brown or reddish.

GSD’s Character- Is It Affected by the Color and Temperament?

Studying about the breed from the above article you now are aware that the recessive gene alters the pattern and the coloring of a dog’s coat and fur. All others part of the dog is pretty much the same, like the other breeds. The coat fur stays the same. If you think that the dog would not shed the color if the color is different. You are totally wrong. They might also suffer from separation anxiety like all breeds of German Shepherds and may also need a lot of exercises. The liver-colored German shepherd loves to cuddle, play and work. They would love you a lot and they also have good social skills.

Health Problems That You Should Know About?

Color of the fur or skin does not affect the health at all. If you think a liver-colored coat puppy is what you are looking for, then you can surely go for it. However, you should always think about your choice, before you bring the puppy home. You might be aware that many breeders are known for malpractices such as overbreeding or inbreeding, these are the only causes that can be a reason for the pet’s health condition.

However, German shepherds are known to be a healthy dog. If you take care of the dog properly the dog will enjoy a disease-free long life. There are a few health-related concerns that this breed generally is prone to. The health of a dog depends on his work type, size, level, the care offered & love. Some of the conditions which affect the GSD are:

  • Aortic stenosis, pericardial effusion
  • Musculoskeletal issues
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Diabetes
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Hemophilia
  • Epilepsy
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Bloating

To make sure that the dog is in good condition, you should offer him a balanced diet to boost your GSD’s immunity. Make sure the vaccinations are up-to-date. Always keep a close eye on your Pet. If you see that your dog’s condition is deteriorating, then you should consult a vet.

Does The American Kennel Club Recognize Liver GSD’s?

The American Kennel Club has very specific rules and regulations regarding dog breeds which are acceptable. These rules can determine whether a dog can be certified by them or not. This is done so that breeding dogs have a moral standard made sure that they are adhered to. If they are recognized by the American Kennel Club, they can participate in sporting events and get many benefits.

When you look at GSD’s there are six colors and five color patterns which are recognized by the AKC. The colors are blue, grey, black, sable, liver and white. The patterns are black and tan, black and cream, bi-color, black and red and black and silver. AKC always prefers “strong rich colors” over “pale or washed-out colors”. White breed is not qualified and the AKC claims that it is a danger for breeding. The reason being that there is absence of pigmentation making the breed genetically weak.

The cream, liver and blue varieties are termed as “faulty” breeds by many However, liver-colored GSD is recognized by the AKC. You need to note down the fact that although the AKC recognizes liver GSDs but it does depend on the pattern. The color of the breed has to be solid liver. They would not recognize any other color such as liver, black and liver or tan as per the breed standards.

Where Do You Get A Liver GSD Puppy?

If you have fallen in love with the beautiful color of a liver GSD and want a pet one then you need to get in touch with a good breeder to buy your puppy.

If you go to the breeder, always make sure that you have a reputable person in the field who has a full health information of the puppy. According to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), all GSDs should be checked for the following diseases:

  • Temperament test
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Cardiac issues
  • Eye problems

A good breeder makes sure all the pre-tests are done before selling a liver-colored puppy. This information will help you know what to take care of when you are taking responsibility for a pet.

Liver German shepherds are rarely found. Hence you may find that their cost is more. The price may vary from $500 and $1500 for a liver German shepherd puppy. However, ones which have detailed information such as regulated breeding history or proof, can cost more than $2500.


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