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Are Brindle German Shepherds Rare?

Not every breed of dog has the same-colored coat. 

Some species can come in a variety of colors and there are some breeds that have 1 or two looks. 

Within those species that have more variety, some colors can be very rare or very common. 

Are Brindle German Shepherds Rare?

Brindle German Shepherds have become very rare. While the Isabella color coats of German Shepherds are considered the rarest, the brindle German Shepherd no longer even makes the list of possible types of German Shepherds. 

How Many Colors of German Shepherds Are There?

The American Kennel Club (or AKC) recognizes only 11 different colors of German Shepherds. 

However, there are 13-15 different colors that can be found today in German Shepherds. 

Not every kind of German Shepherd can take part in Kennel Club shows.

Here are the different colors of German Shepherds:

  • Solid black
  • Solid white
  • Black and tan combination (this is the most common color associated with German Shepherds)
  • Black and red combination
  • Black and silver combination
  • Black and cream combination
  • Bicolor (mostly black with brown paws and brown or silver markings)
  • Sable/Tricolor
  • Gray
  • Liver
  • Live and tan combination
  • Blue
  • Isabella (lavender)
  • Black and White combination (Panda)
  • And brindle!

There are probably many colors on this list that you couldn’t have even imagined for German Shepherds. 

Many of these colors are super rare and nearly impossible to occur naturally. 

Blue German Shepherds pretty much have to exclusively be bred for their blue color, though the health complications that can come with make it a controversial breed color. 

On most lists, you won’t even see brindle German Shepherds listed.

There hasn’t been a brindle German Shepherd registered with the AKC since 1922. 

However, brindle German Shepherds have not been declared extinct even though some enthusiasts argue otherwise. 

Don’t get your hopes up about owning a brindle German Shepherd as you would have an extremely hard time finding a breeder that has them. 

Why Are Brindle German Shepherds so Rare?

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It is currently unknown why brindle German Shepherds have become so rare, especially since they didn’t use to be. 

Instead, they were once the more common version of German Shepherds, coming from the original family of German Shepherds.

Recessive Traits

Some say that brindle German Shepherds have become so rare because the brindle gene is recessive. 

With recessive genes, there is always a chance that they could have been bred out of the breed. 

You will always need at least one brindle German Shepherd to breed another brindle German Shepherd.

Today, there’s more protocol for breeders to follow so that good traits don’t get completely bred out. 

However, there weren’t always these rules and protocols so irresponsible breeding can be part of the reason for the rarity of brindle German Shepherds. 

A Purebred Dog

Brindle German Shepherds are also purebred, which are inherently rarer than mixed breeds, especially because of overtime breeding. 

This also means that you can’t mix other breeds of German Shepherds to get a brindle German Shepherd. 

This makes it harder to breed for this kind of breed. 

Not A Lot of Information and Understanding

Figuring out what all goes into the brindle recessive gene is a difficult process.

It’s already so difficult to figure out what DNA makes what in humans, so it is also very difficult for dogs as well. 

There is some knowledge of the different kinds of genes that make the brindle colors in these German Shepherds, such as eumelanin and phaeomelanin, but there are so many other factors that play too.

There’s not a ton of understanding on how the genes make their brindle shapes or what genes factor into color intensity and patterns. 

This all makes it very difficult for scientists to both understand how brindle happens and also figure out how they could genetically modify shepherds for the brindle gene. 

How Much Would a Brindle German Shepherd Cost?

While many believe that it would not be possible to even find a brindle German Shepherd to purchase, some have still wondered what their value would be.

The average standard German Shepherd costs around $800. 

This isn’t bad for a dog as German Shepherds are a more common breed overall. 

If you were to ever find a brindle German Shepherd at a breeder, you can expect to pay a lot more for them.

Anywhere up to $3000 can be expected for a brindle German Shepherd. 

What is The History of Brindle German Shepherds?

Brindle German Shepherds are believed to have been the original standard of German Shepherds. 

While the history is not 100% certain, the origination of German Shepherds is believed to have been from Captain von Stephanitz. 

He may have used wolf-dog hybrids in his original breeding methods, and he insisted that he was working to create the perfect working dog.

His first registered German Shepherd appears to have been a brindle color pattern based on old black and white photos. 

The first brindle German Shepherd was then bred and had a few more brindle puppies, though the statistics of the color pattern was 2 puppies out of around 33. 

Where Can You Find Brindle German Shepherds?

It would be very difficult to find a brindle German Shepherd out there for purchase.

There aren’t many breeders across the world that will breed brindle German Shepherds, especially since it would be so difficult to do so.

In fact, many places will refuse to even try based on difficulty and the fact that they are no longer recognized by the AKC. 

If you were to find a brindle German Shepherd, you would most likely find it in a rescue shelter. 

Some people like to go for rare looks in breeds, but there are more people out there that prefer the standard. 

If someone who was in the dog show scene were to come across a brindle German Shepherd, they would probably put it up for adoption since brindle German Shepherds can’t do shows. 

If you do find a breeder that is willing to breed a brindle German Shepherd, make sure you do your research and see if they have a good reputation and good ethics.

Already, there is controversy within breeding German Shepherds since some breed colors, such as the blue German Shepherd, can come with a lot of health issues.

Finding a reputable breeder can make sure that all the dogs they breed are healthy and well taken care of. 

Breeders with poor ethics may try to breed a brindle German Shepherd no matter the cost, even if it means health problems for the puppy. 

Are Brindle German Shepherds any Different than Other German Shepherds?

The only difference that these German Shepherds have is their look.

Brindle German Shepherds can have the same size, face shapes, health problems, and the other traits that any other German Shepherd can have. 

Brindle German Shepherds may be more likely to have health problems simply due to irresponsible breeding practices.

This isn’t from the dog itself though. 

It is up to the breeder to make sure that they practice safe and healthy breeding practices. 

This means looking into the parent’s health files and noting any health problems that they have had. 

Breeders should not breed dogs who have severe health problems for fear of them being genetically passed down.

Especially for such a rare gene as the brindle gene, breeders should be especially careful to breed healthy brindle German Shepherds who can continue to pass down the gene. 

Final Thoughts

When people think of German Shepherds, only a few color combinations might come to mind. 

They might think of black and tan German Shepherds, black and red combinations, or even the stable combination.

However, most people are not familiar with rare color combinations such as Isabella, blue, and especially brindle.

Brindle German Shepherds are so rare that they aren’t even classified in the AKC list of recognized German Shepherds anymore. 

There hasn’t been a documented brindle German Shepherd since 1922, which is a very long time for a dog type to no longer be present.

While some insist that the brindle German Shepherd has become extinct, they don’t have an official classification yet. 

There is still a chance for the brindle gene to pop up in future German Shepherds and to continue the very rare line. 

It would be nearly impossible to find a brindle German Shepherd of your own with both a breeder and in a dog shelter.

Some breeders who don’t practice responsible breeding might try to breed a brindle German Shepherd, but they are likely to have health problems. 

There is a lot more research that is needed to be done on the brindle gene in dogs so that we can all understand what causes this colorful mutation.

If we can have a better and deeper understanding, then we can use that knowledge to bring the brindle German Shepherd back into popularity. 

Right now, brindle German Shepherds are somewhat of a myth. 

However, there is still a chance for them to come back.