Liver German Shepherd: 9 Powerful Inquiries That You`ll Find Intriguing!

The fact that German Shepherds are so well known worldwide is mostly related to the breed`s trademark black & tan coats.

Many of them are familiar with German Shepherds from the sable working line and white or black ones.

Still, not everyone knows that these are, in fact liver German Shepherds! (“The Liver German Shepherd (Explained) – German Shepherd Dog HQ”, 2022)

On our day’s topic, we`ll talk about the liver of German Shepherd dogs in general from various perspectives by answering a few different inquiries. – Click this link!

What Is a Liver German Shepherd?

As its name implies, this dog has a liver-colored coat. This can either be liver & white or a solid liver & tan. Also, this canine has amber eyes with pink or brown lips. (“The ABCs of Owning a Liver German Shepherd: 10 FAQs Answered – Healthy Homemade Dog Treats”, 2022)

Normally, the noses of liver GSDs are somehow distinct as well. Most of the time, they are brown or pink, not necessarily black. (“The Liver German Shepherd (Explained) – German Shepherd Dog HQ”, 2022)

Dogs of this type are seen as dilute canines as there`s a recessive gene (called the B Locus) that dilutes the coat`s black color to turn it into a lighter brown color. (“The Liver German Shepherd: A Complete Breed Guide”, 2022)

Are Liver German Shepherds Rare?

This type of GSD is rare for two different reasons. Firstly, there aren`t too many hereditary compounds to produce them.

Since it takes two liver-colored parents that carry the allele, or at least one, to make liver offspring, it`s completely understandable why they aren`t common.

Secondly, legit dog breeders aren`t really interested in producing this color as canine clubs don`t consider it a desirable trait.

Regarding prestige and reputation, dog kennels have a specific preference for dogs with real potential of conforming to the best possible traits regarding dog breed standards. (“The Liver German Shepherd (Explained) – German Shepherd Dog HQ”, 2022)

What Leads to the Liver Color in These Dogs?

As mentioned above, this is believed to have happened due to a recessive gene called the B locus. Unlike other types of GSDs, this gene will affect the coat`s appearance only. (“The ABCs of Owning a Liver German Shepherd: 10 FAQs Answered – Healthy Homemade Dog Treats”, 2022)

For a German Shepherd to be an actual Liver GSD, this dog`s parents must pass on a liver gene to the hereditary material.

Frequently, at least one of the parents might not be liver-colored; still, they both might have the B Locus gene.

This recessive gene blocks the black pigmentation in the coat color of the German Shepherd. Also, this specific gene is a tyrosinase-related protein, meaning it will play an essential role in synthesizing the eumelanin pigment. (Reed, 2022)

Do Liver GSD Puppies Change Color As They Grow?

Not all GSDs change their coat`s color over time, and liver GSDs are exactly one of those breeds.

Carter (2022) states that a Liver German Shepherd pup typically has a pink footpad with a white toenail. Then, they`ll change their liver color as they grow.

The only noteworthy color changes among German Shepherds are those with sable and black & tan colors.

Although they don`t change their color, their tan color starts appearing when the pup reaches 6 – 12 months old. (Carter, 2022)

Are Liver German Shepherds a Recognized Standard Dog Breed?

Liver GSDs are a recognized dog breed by the AKC. This club is made for pedigree canines, who believe they must be bred to specific standards for their overall well-being and health.

For instance, the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize inbred canines because of their possible health issues. (Bataille, 2022)

The GSD lines which this dog club recognizes are:

  • Czech working line
  • West German show line
  • West German working line
  • Canadian & North American show line

On the other hand, Bataille (2022) briefly explains that there isn`t much difference for a canine if it isn`t really recognized, as the club only recognizes a dog if it exhibits the same solid color along their body.

Other Liver GSD variations are seen as “faults,” meaning they aren`t within the show standards. However, this won`t mean the canine isn`t a pedigree dog.

Are Liver German Shepherds Healthy Canines?

Liver GSDs are generally healthy canines. They`ll certainly enjoy a lifetime free of any illnesses if they are cared for the proper way.

Like most GSD variations, a Liver German Shepherd is a strong dog. These canines are mostly bred for events and sports that involve agility and, at times, even agencies that involve law enforcement. (Decker, 2022)

Decker (2022) clearly states that one shouldn`t assume these dogs are completely immune to any health issues in the article, which involves comprehensive guidelines and tips about Liver German Shepherds. Therefore, some of the health problems a Liver GSD might have involve:

  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Bloating
  • Aortic steriosis
  • Epilepsy

What Pros & Cons Come with this Breed?

Just about any German Shepherd lover needs to acknowledge this dog`s pros & cons. They are extraordinary additions to a family. Still, will their traits really suit your needs? (Davis, 2022)


  • Very smart
  • Appealing look
  • Handsome canines
  • Athletic dogs
  • Enjoy physical activities & challenges
  • Loyal to their family
  • Intimidating look for strangers


  • Certain dog kennel clubs may disqualify Liver GSDs from shows
  • They need a lot of attention & physical exercise
  • They require careful socialization
  • They aren`t easy to train
  • They may sometimes be aggressive to strangers
  • They shed …pretty much all the time

Where Can One Adopt a Dog of this Breed?

It`s easy to adopt a Liver GSD nowadays. You can actually find one at a rescue or shelter center. In addition, one can also buy this variation of German Shepherd from a dog breeder, considering that it`s a reputable one.

 It`s recommended that adoption be considered a first option as there are so many great, sociable canines out there that need a loving home.

If not possible, one can also turn to a good breeder as there are many around from which to choose for sure. (“Liver German Shepherd: 7 Interesting Facts”, 2022)

Note: One should always remember to research before deciding to adopt a Liver German Shepherd.

How Much Does This GSD Cost?

According to Cosgrove (2022), these aren`t dogs you can find easily at just about any dog breeder. There aren`t too many chances to find one at a dog shelter.

Because of its rarity, you may usually pay a bit more for this type of GSD, with prices ranging from $500 to $1.500. – More like this!

As Tourino (2022) states, AKC-registered canines that have a very good lineage might cost around $2.000 to $2.500.

You may also get lucky enough and actually find one at a shelter, in which case you could spend around $50 to $500. (Cosgrove, 2022)

Final Remarks

Even though Liver German Shepherds are so rare, their color occurs naturally within the German Shepherd gene pool.

Despite certain kennel clubs that might dismiss Liver GSDs as faulty, there`s no proof of temperament or health problems related to B Locus genes, which are believed to be responsible for the liver-colored coats of these canines. (“The Liver German Shepherd: A Complete Breed Guide”, 2022)

The final conclusion is that this type of dog is very similar to all the other varieties of GSDs besides its color.

If you don`t mind its liver color too much, why shouldn`t you choose this lovely canine as your next pet? (“The ABCs of Owning a Liver German Shepherd: 10 FAQs Answered – Healthy Homemade Dog Treats”, 2022)

Reference List:

Bataille, C. (2022). Liver German Shepherds: The Complete Breed Guide. Anything German Shepherd | A Real Guide About German Shepherds. Retrieved 14 January 2022, from

Carter, J. (2022). Liver German Shepherd: All You Need to Know About Liver GSDs. Bubbly Pet. Retrieved 13 January 2022, from

Cosgrove, N. (2022). Liver German Shepherd: 5 Interesting Facts, Info & Pictures | Hepper. Hepper. Retrieved 12 January 2022, from

Davis, J. (2022). Liver German Shepherd: What’s So Unusual About These GSDs?. PupVine. Retrieved 14 January 2022, from

Decker, P. (2022). Liver German Shepherd – Your Complete Breed Guide – TheGoodyPet. TheGoodyPet. Retrieved 14 January 2022, from

Liver German Shepherd: 7 Interesting Facts. The Daily Shep. (2022). Retrieved 14 January 2022, from

Reed, H. (2022). The Liver German Shepherd: A Complete Breed Guide. The German Shepherder. Retrieved 12 January 2022, from

The ABCs of Owning a Liver German Shepherd: 10 FAQs Answered – Healthy Homemade Dog Treats. Healthy Homemade Dog Treats. (2022). Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

The Liver German Shepherd (Explained) – German Shepherd Dog HQ. German Shepherd Dog HQ. (2022). Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

The Liver German Shepherd: A Complete Breed Guide. The German Shepherder. (2022). Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

Tourino, A. (2022). Everything to Know About The Rare Liver German Shepherd – Jubilant Pups. Jubilant Pups. Retrieved 12 January 2022, from

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