The Definitive Guide to The Liver German Shepherd

Liver German Shepherd

The Liver German Shepherd is a variation of the conventional tan and black German Shepherd (GSD) breed. Liver Shepherds have A distinct coloring to their nose, eyes, and fur, but some can argue that the color appears more light brown. The color is considered dilute since a recessive gene dilutes the black color, making the coat A lighter brown hue.

The nose and eyes of Liver German Shepherds are also a little bit different compared to the regular German Shepherds. They have brown or pink noses compared to the black noses of regular German Shepherds, and their eyes are usually a lighter amber, not dark brown. This breed is notorious for its coat that sheds all year round because it has a double-layer coat, an insulation coat underneath, and a wiry coat on top.

The topcoat feels wiry and protects them from bugs, weather elements, and external factors. The inner coat is lush and soft, and it insulates the dog against hot and cold weather. The breed’s life expectancy is nine to thirteen years. Liver German Shepherds grow up to 24 inches tall. Males weigh about thirty to forty kilograms and females weigh twenty to thirty-two kilograms.

There are larger Liver German Shepherds and miniature ones because of breed mixing and dwarfism. If you are looking forward to adopting this breed or you just want to learn more about it, this is the right place. Below, we’ll expound on everything you need to know about the breed, including how its color comes about, its working ability, caring for it, and its temperament, among other things. Here is a guide to the liver-colored German Shepherd.


German Shepherds, just the like name suggests started being bred in Germany in the late 1800s. According to Anything German Shepherd, they were bred to protect and herd flocks of sheep. Shepherds worked to create a breed that had the qualities of strength, a keen sense of smell, intelligence, and speed.

They formed a Phylax society, whose goal was to create and promote standardized breeds. However, conflicts arose in the society, and it lasted for only three years. Fortunately, in 1899, Max von Stephanitz, who previously belonged to the Phylax Society, discovered a German Shepherd that had been bred when attending a dog show. The breeding of the dog made German Shepherds popular because their characteristics were suitable for herding and protecting sheep. This breed has gained popularity worldwide and has developed other types of coat colors, such as black, white, panda, blue, and liver.

Why does this breed have a liver coat color?

The Liver German Shepherd has a Liver coat color due to a recessive gene. Both parents must carry one or more liver genes for their offspring to grow a liver coat. It is not a must for Liver German Shepherd parents to have a liver color if both their genetic material carries the recessive B Locus gene. A mutation in this gene brings about the liver or brown coloring in a dog’s nose, coat, and footpads.

Three mutations of the B Locus gene exist, affecting the pigmentation of dark brown or black fur. For German Shepherds to have liver-colored coats, they need to get 2 copies of one of the 3 B Locus gene mutations and this helps in preventing the black hair strands or black noses and feet pads from appearing on German Shepherds.

The gene mutations provide it with a distinct liver color and light look because of limited pigmentation. Liver German Shepherds cannot have both black and liver strands on their bodies since the B Locus gene suppresses the production of a dark brown or black pigment called eumelanin pigmentation. Dogs that lack the B Locus gene have eumelanin skin, which makes their coats appear black. The coat of dogs that have the B Locus gene is usually light brown.

This also takes place for the Blue German Shepherds that inherit genes, preventing black pigmentation. This results in the diluted blue fur appearance. When dogs have a double copy of the B Locus gene, their coats are referred to as being reddish-brown in color. For that reason, some of these dogs are often called Red German Shepherds. The second gene determines the variation in color for Liver German Shepherds. This dictates whether a dog’s coat will be solid in color or will have a distribution of other colors. The various coat patterns for this dog breed include:

  • Saddleback pattern – This is where the second color covers most of the dog’s legs and back like a saddle.
  • Solid liver – This is where the coat of a dog is one color only.
  • Blanket back pattern – In this case, a second color covers most of the dog’s legs and back like a blanket.
  • Panda pattern – In this case, the second color gets dispersed across the dog’s coat randomly, such as in a Panda bear.
  • Sable pattern – The liver patches get distributed among blotches of darker tan, lighter, or brown colors.
  • Bi-color pattern – One color is predominant, and the second one is limited across the dog’s body.

Most Liver German Shepherds have a sable pattern, solid pattern, or a panda pattern. However, Liver German Shepherds can’t have black strands. Therefore, other color variations might be slightly lighter or darker brown.

Differences between Liver German puppies and adults

Liver German Shepherd puppies have a lighter color all around. They develop additional pigmentation as they age. Their coat is a pale liver color all around, and their toes are pale pink. Their toenails are white, and their nose is light pink. In addition, their eyes are often a pale blue or green color. These dogs start developing more pigmentation in their skin, coats, and eyes as they get older.

Their coats can develop different shades amongst the Liver shade, and this cannot be controlled. Their noses and feet darken slightly into a Liver color. Therefore, they are primarily the same color all over. When it comes to their eyes, the color darkens into a brown shade when they attain the age of about six months. If your dog has a bi-color pattern, its coat might change patterns and shades for the first two years of its life.

As it gets older, the color will cease to develop and stay as it is. Liver German Shepherd puppies grow fast from a young age. Two weeks after birth, they double in size, and they usually weigh around 8.5 kilograms. During the first year, the puppy continues to gain ten percent in size every month. Liver German Shepherd puppies stop growing and reach maturity at the age of two. That is also when their coat color ceases to develop.

Are they rare?

This breed is perhaps the rarest color of the German Shepherd. Even though they are rare, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes them. The AKC’s standards are based on how moral It is to breed dogs. It recognizes blue, liver, tan, sable, red, gray, and black German Shepherds. However, it does not recognize White German Shepherds because of the danger of breeding. They lack pigmentation, and this causes genetic weakness. However, Liver German Shepherds are not usually recognized in show rings. If they lack a solid Liver color, they are called faults by the breed standards. If you are planning to submit this dog breed into a dog competition, there is a chance that you might be turned down.

Possible health problems

The Liver German Shepherd is as strong as all other German Shepherds. It has a muscular working body and a strong straight back. According to the, the Liver Shepherd breed has great physical capabilities, and people usually breed them for agility events, sports, and law enforcement. No scientifically proven health risks are linked to the B Locus gene or the Liver coloration of the dog’s coat. Nonetheless, like other German Shepherds, this breed went through a lot of inbreeding during the earlier days of breed standardization. It faces some health challenges because of inbreeding and the fact that it is a large working dog. If you own a Liver German Shepherd, it is essential to watch out for the signs of the following health issues:

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
  • Hemophilia
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Nose infections
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Dental health issues
  • Bladder stones
  • Temperament

The only difference between the regular German Shepherd breed and the Liver German Shepherd is their colors. The B Locus gene does not affect the temperament of the dog. German Shepherds are well known for their strength, speed, and intelligence since they were bred to function as working dogs. They are also energetic, and they love to exercise and play despite their age. Apart from being energetic, all types of German Shepherd breeds are affectionate, loyal, and protective.

They make great family pets because they are protective. They are particularly fond of kids. German Shepherds can be shy and anxious dogs. They must get used to new faces before developing an undetachable loyalty to them. After developing this attachment, they protect their owners for life. However, Liver German Shepherds can experience separation anxiety problems when left for long periods. All dogs experience various degrees of anxiety problems. Therefore, it all depends on how you treat and train your pet. If you socialize and train your Liver German Shepherd well, it is not likely to experience anxiety issues.

Interaction with families

There is a misconception that since German Shepherds are large dogs, they are not ideal for families. This is not true since German Shepherds are generally gentle, and they are, therefore, one of the best dog breeds to have around kids. In the opinion of, German Shepherds are child-friendly when trained and socialized properly. This breed is highly intelligent and has been specially selected throughout history for its watchful, loyal temperament with its family.

They usually bond fast with their families and tend to protect them. Due to their intelligence and history, German Shepherds are excellent guard dogs, working dogs, brilliant companions, and emotional support dogs. Often, German Shepherds are bred to offer emotional support for individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism and mental health problems like anxiety. They have a protective and caring nature, meaning that they can notice the symptoms of a meltdown or panic attack to keep humans safe.

Since they have a protective nature, Liver German Shepherds are great family pets. If you raise a Liver German Shepherd beginning from when it is a puppy, it will remain loyal. It might take a little bit more time for any German Shepherd to become loyal and protective if you purchase or rescue it as an adult. This happens because it takes time for dogs to get accustomed to voices and faces.When searching for a Liver German Shepherd to keep as a family pet, bear in mind that these dogs are energetic, strong, and fast. Therefore, it is not wise to let children hold the leash. Make sure that an adult is present when taking your German Shepherd for a walk. German Shepherds are also well-known for shedding. Therefore, your house will get hairy, and you need a vacuum cleaner to eliminate the hair.

Why the breed is useful as a working dog

Originally, Liver German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs. Therefore, they are trustworthy companions in various working situations, including:

  • Nose work and detection
  • Guide dogs
  • Herding
  • Therapy dogs
  • Law enforcement
  • Military
  • Entertainment
  • Rescue and search

These dogs can also participate in competitions, but this depends on their coat color. The only Liver German Shepherds that are allowed to compete are those with a solid liver color. Since they are highly intelligent and energetic, Liver German Shepherds do well in dog-based sports. They are suitable for disc sports, agility competitions, flyball, protection sports, Mondioring, or French, among other sports.


Like with other dogs, the food you feed a Liver German Shepherd should change throughout its life based on circumstances and age. In general, large dogs require more calories and food, which is true for German Shepherds. According to the, the nutritional requirements of this dog breed is a minimum of 22 percent protein during the growth stages and 18 percent protein for adult dogs. Puppies require 8 percent fat, and adults need 5 percent fat to meet their energy needs.

They also need vitamins, carbohydrates, water, and minerals to remain healthy. You need to provide your dog with low carb and high protein diet. The protection will help It gain the lean muscle mass that supports the breed’s large joints and bones. Veterinarians recommend food supplements like glucosamine for the joint health of Liver German Shepherds as they get older. Since these dogs may suffer from dental issues, kibble is excellent because it supports oral hygiene. This breed also loves drinking lots of water- about 1.5 liters daily.

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