Steel Blue German Shepherd: The Ultimate Breed Guide

In the vast world of dog breeds, each possesses its own unique charm and characteristics that make it stand out from the rest. However, among these extraordinary canines, there is one that captivates the hearts of many with its striking appearance and remarkable qualities: the Steel Blue German Shepherd. With its regal bearing, formidable strength, and mesmerizing coat colour, this exceptional breed has carved a special place in the hearts of dog enthusiasts and families alike.

Steel Blue German Shepherd History

The history of the Steel Blue German Shepherd is intertwined with the rich heritage of the German Shepherd breed as a whole. Originating in Germany in the late 19th century, the German Shepherd was initially bred for herding and guarding livestock. However, it quickly gained recognition for its exceptional intelligence, versatility, and loyalty, leading to its widespread popularity around the world.

The Steel Blue variation of the German Shepherd is characterized by its unique coat colour, which displays a striking combination of steel grey and blue hues. While the traditional colour of German Shepherds is predominantly black and tan or sable, the steel blue coat is a recessive genetic trait that has captured the attention of enthusiasts and breeders alike.

The emergence of the Steel Blue German Shepherd can be attributed to specific genetic variations within the German Shepherd gene pool. These variations involve the presence of the dilution gene, known as the “D” locus, which affects the expression of pigmentation in the coat. In the case of the Steel Blue German Shepherd, the dilution gene dilutes the black pigmentation, resulting in unique and captivating steel blue colouration.

The appearance of steel blue German Shepherds

The appearance of steel blue German Shepherds is fairly distinct, with a blue-grey or charcoal base coat over which the tan or reddish-brown markings are distributed. They often have black masks, but some dogs can have solid colours in their masks. Steel blues are also known to have white on their chests and legs, as well as white on their tails.

Weight And Size

Steel blue German Shepherds have a weight range of 40-85 pounds and a height range of 24-28 inches.

The temperament of steel blue German Shepherds

Steel blue German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and loyalty. They are stubborn but not aggressive. They like to be in charge but are willing to obey if you have the right leadership skills. They’re independent thinkers and can be a bit mischievous when they’re bored or when they don’t feel like following orders. They are also very protective of their owners, which is why they make great guard dogs.

Training & Exercise

Steel blue German Shepherds are energetic, intelligent and very social. They are eager to please their owners and need a lot of mental stimulation.

These dogs need plenty of exercise and training to prevent them from becoming destructive or developing behavioural problems. They should be walked several times a day and given time to run off-leash or swim in a pool.

They enjoy playing and interacting with other dogs, so it’s important for owners to make sure their pets have plenty of opportunities for socialization with other canines.


They require regular bathing, brushing and clipping. Clipping can be done at home or by a professional groomer. Your steel blue German Shepherd will need to be bathed at least once every three weeks, but more often if they get dirty or play outside in the dirt. Your dog should also be brushed daily for at least five minutes to help remove loose hair and prevent matting.

If you don’t clip your dog regularly, their coat will become matted, which is painful for them and can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. Clippers are relatively inexpensive, so it’s worth purchasing one just for this purpose if you don’t already own one!


Steel blue German Shepherds are a rare breed, and they can be hard to find. If you’re looking to buy one, expect to pay upwards between $3,000 – $5,000.


The life expectancy of a steel blue German Shepherd averages between 10 and 13 years.

Common Health Problems of steel blue German Shepherds

If you are considering adding a Steel Blue German Shepherd to your family, it is important to be aware of the following common health problems:

Hip Dysplasia

This is a common condition in large dog breeds, including German Shepherds. It occurs when the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to instability and degeneration. Hip dysplasia can cause pain, lameness, and arthritis. Regular hip X-ray (PennHIP or OFA) screening can help identify potential breeding dogs with good hip health.

Elbow Dysplasia

Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is a condition that affects the elbow joint. It involves abnormal development of the elbow, leading to malformation and potential joint problems. In addition, elbow dysplasia can cause lameness, pain, and arthritis. Screening through elbow X-rays (OFA) can help detect any abnormalities.

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

This is a progressive neurological disease that affects the spinal cord. It typically manifests in older dogs and can result in hind limb weakness, loss of coordination, and paralysis. DM is a genetic condition, and responsible breeders perform DNA testing to identify carriers and avoid breeding affected dogs.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

EPI is a condition where the pancreas fails to produce enough digestive enzymes, leading to malabsorption of nutrients. This can result in weight loss, poor coat condition, diarrhoea, and increased appetite. EPI can be managed with enzyme replacement therapy and a specialized diet.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

Also known as bloat or twisted stomach, GDV is a life-threatening condition that can occur in deep-chested breeds like German Shepherds. It involves the stomach filling with gas and twisting on itself. GDV requires immediate veterinary attention and can be prevented by feeding multiple small meals, avoiding vigorous exercise after meals, and using slow feeders.


Commonly referred to as “growing pains,” panosteitis is a condition that affects the long bones of young dogs. It causes inflammation and pain in the bones, leading to lameness and reluctance to move. Panosteitis usually resolves on its own as the dog matures, but supportive care and pain management may be required.


Steel Blue German Shepherds, like other German Shepherds, can be prone to allergies, including food allergies, environmental allergies (such as pollen or dust mites), and contact allergies (like certain fabrics or cleaning products). Allergies can manifest as itching, skin irritations, ear infections, and gastrointestinal issues. Identifying and managing the allergens can help alleviate symptoms.

Eye Conditions

German Shepherds, including Steel Blue ones, can be predisposed to various eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and eyelid abnormalities like ectropion or entropion. Regular eye examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist can help detect and manage these conditions.


What is the rarest German Shepherd colour?

The rarest colour of a German Shepherd is Isabella. This is a combination of black and tan but with a reddish hue. It’s not quite as red as the colour red itself, but it’s definitely very close.

How much is a blue GSD?

A blue GSD will typically sell for around $1500.

Are blue German Shepherds rare?

Yes, blue German shepherds are rare.

Final Thought

The steel blue German shepherd dog is a relatively new colour offered by various breeders and has started to gain popularity in the last few years.

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