Different Colors Of Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherds are friendly, loving, affectionate, and smart. Various personality traits of Aussies make them one of the best breeds for families and loving owners. The Australian shepherd is the 17th most popular dog breeds in the United States and it is also one of the most popular dog breeds as well.

When it comes to owning a new dog breed, there are different things you need to keep in mind. Some important things are temperament of the breed, grooming requirements, maintenance requirements, etc. Apart from this, many people look for a dog’s physical appearance before adopting it.

In terms of appearance, you will find Australian shepherds in different variations. Aussies are available in different coat variations as well as different colors. If you are planning to adopt a new Aussie dog and its coat color is important to you, then this post is for you. In this post, we will talk about the different colors of Australian shepherd dogs. Before that, let’s first understand are there any differences among Aussies with different coat colors.

Australian Shepherds

When it comes to adopting a new dog breed, there are so many factors you need to keep in mind. The factors may differ from person to person. For some people, considering the temperament or personality of the dog is very important, while some people give more importance to the physical appearance of the dog.

If you are looking for a family-friendly dog, Australian shepherd could be a great choice. The general temperament of Aussies is friendliness, intelligence, lovingness, and affection.

Australian shepherds are also very playful and active. Your Aussie will be always ready to play with you or your kids.

If you are looking for a couch potato or if your lifestyle is not active, then the Australian shepherd is not for you. This is a herding dog breed and it has a very high energy level. Due to the high energy level, it is important to provide Aussies with regular exercise and physical activities to help them burn off their energy the right way.

Not providing enough exercise and not fulfilling the physical activities needs may lead to destructive and negative behavior. Some signs of destructive behavior in Aussies are excessive chewing and barking for long.

Are there any differences among Aussies with different coat colors?

The answer is no. It is not possible that the change in the coat color of an Aussie dog will affect the personality or temperament of the dog. If we talk about the general temperament of Aussies, they are energetic, active, loving, friendly, and intelligent. You will find these personality traits in all the Australian shepherd dogs.

However, the individual personality will differ from one Australian shepherd dog to another. This doesn’t mean this the reason behind the change in the coat color of the dog. The chances are you may have heard about this from someone. But, there is no scientific evidence on this.

What many dog breeders do is they lie that their Aussie puppy with a particular color has some special or unique temperament or personality. They do this only for the sake of making more money. And, some breeders are misinformed.

Here we have talked about personality traits and temperament of Aussies with different colors. Aussies with different colors also don’t have any physical differences.

Colors of Australian Shepherds

You will find Australian shepherds in different colors and variations. They come in beautiful colors. The main four coat colors of Aussies are:

You need to select the Aussie dog from these four colors. These four colors also come in different variations. Though these are the four main colors, you will find these colors in different variations.

There are 14 main colors of Australian shepherds. These are just variations from the main colors we have also discussed – black, blue merle, red, and red merle. Now, let’s get into each of these colors one by one.

Black Australian Shepherds

Black color Australian shepherds come in four different coat color variations. This varies in terms of patches on the dog’s body, the number of colors, etc. The four variations of black Australian shepherds are black tri-color, black bi, black & tan, and solid black.

Black Tri Australian Shepherds

Tri color Australian shepherds also come in red combination. Talking about black tri Australian shepherds, this is one of the most common and basic color combinations of the Australian shepherd dog. From the photo of a black tri Aussie dog, it looks like a Bernese Mountain dog.

In a black tri Australian shepherd dog, the colors on the Aussie’s body will be black, white, and copper. Among these three, the main color will be black. In a black tri Aussie dog, you will find the dog with a black coat and white markings on its face, chest, belly, and legs. The copper or tan color highlights will be sometimes present on the face as well as legs of the Australian shepherd.

It is not necessary that you will find black tri Aussie with the color variations exactly we have said, It also differs from one individual black tri Aussie to another.

Black and white Australian Shepherds

Another coat color variation in the list of different Aussie colors is black & white Australian shepherd. As this variation consists of two main colors, i.e., black and white, it is known as black bi Australian shepherd.

As we have seen, Black tri is the most popular color variations of Australian shepherds, however, you will also find Aussies with just black and white color. But, they are quite rare as compared to black tri Aussies.

If we talk about markings on black bi Aussies, most of the time, you will find white markings on the face, chest, belly, and legs of the black & white Australian shepherd. In a nutshell, black & white Australian shepherd is much more like a Black tri Aussie, the only difference is it does not has any copper or tan markings on any of the body parts.

Black and tan Australian Shepherds

This one is another coat color variation of a Black Australian shepherd dog. The two colors of this Aussie variations are black and tan/copper. Black and tan Australian shepherds are the second rarest version of black Australian shepherds.

It is much more black & tan Aussie coat variation. Here, the only difference is instead of white markings, the Australian shepherd has copper or tan markings around his face, chest, and legs.

The main coat color will be black. Except for the Australian shepherd’s face, chest, and his legs, the complete body will be of black color. This coat color variation of Aussie looks very similar to Rottweilers.

Solid black Australian Shepherds

The last color variation of black Australian shepherd is solid black Aussie. This color variation of the Australian shepherd dog is not much popular.

A solid black Australian shepherd has no white or copper or tan markings or patches on its body. The only main color is black.

Some Aussies just have a small white marking on the chest, still many classify them as solid black Australian shepherd.

So, these are the four different variations of Black color Australian shepherds. Among these four variations, Black Tri Aussie (with colors – black, white, and tan on the body) is the most popular Black Australian Shepherd coat color variation. The look of Black Tri Aussies is very similar to Bernese Mountain dogs.

Blue Merle Australian Shepherds

Blue merle is another popular Aussie color. This is the most unique color combinations among the four colors of Australian shepherds. Blue merle Australian shepherd dogs are not of complete blue.

Blue merle means the dog has a grey coat and the coat has black spots. This creates a blue effect. This is why they are called as blue merle. You will find Blue merle Aussies in different variations. There are four main variations – Blue merle tri color, blue merle & white, blue merle & tan, and solid blue merle.

Blue merle tri color

Just like black tri Australian shepherd color variation, blue merle tri color also consists of three colors. The only difference between both the color variation is black tri Aussie’s primary color is black, while this color Aussie’s primary coat color is a blue merle.

The base color of this Aussie’s color variation is a blue merle. The blue merle color means black spots on the gray coat of Aussie.

Apart from blue merle, the other two colors of blue merle tri color Aussies are white and copper. The Aussie has white & copper markings around the face, legs, chest, and body.

Blue merle and white Aussie

Another beautiful Australian shepherd color variation includes blue merle and white. This is another popular version of blue merle Aussies. As the name suggests, blue merle & white Aussies have two colors on their body – blue merle and white.

A blue merle & white Aussies have blue merle as its base coat and have white markings. There are no copper or tan markings on the body of this color variation Aussie.

Normally, the markings are on the face, legs, and chest of the dog. Due to the white and blue merle color, this Aussie version looks very similar to Aussie dogs. Earlier, they have been mistaken with huskies.

Blue merle and tan

Blue merle and tan Aussies are quite rare. There are very less chances that you will find them. Blue merle and tan Aussie means the Aussie’s body only has blue merle and tan/copper colors, and there are no white markings.

Generally speaking, when there’s a tan or copper color in an Australian shepherd’s body, there is also the white color. But, in the case of this Aussie’s version, there’s just tan/copper color and no white color on the body. This is the reason why this Aussie color version is quite rare to see.

Solid blue merle

This is another variation in this blue merle color group. As the name suggests, solid blue merle Aussies’ body has no white or tan or copper patches or markings on the body.

A solid blue merle Australian shepherd has a grey color coat with black spots in arbitrary locations. This creates a blue effect, hence, Aussies with this color variation are known as solid blue merle.

The gray color on the solid blue merle Aussies’ body can range from silver to a dark-smoke gray. Talking about black color, it can be small markings or even large patches on the Aussie’s body.

Red Australian Shepherds

This is another main color group of Aussies. Red Australian shepherds come in three different color variations. The three color variations are – red tri Australian shepherd, red & white Australian shepherd, and solid red Australian shepherd. Let’s take a look at these three variations one by one:

1. Red tri Australian shepherd

The first one is a red tri Aussie. A red tri Australian shepherd dog’s base coat color is red. The red coat color of this variation does not mean the Australian shepherd is of fire red color. The red tri Aussie’s base coat color could range from light cinnamon to a dark liver color.

Apart from red as a base coat color, the red tri Australian shepherd has white markings on his chest, face, legs, and belly. They also have copper or tan markings on their face and legs.

You may also find red tri Aussie with copper markings on the chest as well. The combination of the three colors – red, white markings, and tan markings make a red tri Aussie.

2. Red & white

Red and white is another popular variation of this color group. Apart from three colors in a red Australian shepherd, you will also find red Aussies with just red and white, no tan or copper markings, or patches.

Red & white Aussies have red as a base coat color and the color is normally found on the chest, legs, and face. Due to the combination of red and white, this version of Aussies doesn’t look like Aussie. And, due to the different color combination, this color variation of red Australian shepherd is gaining popularity.

You may also find minor markings or patches of copper or tan color in the red Australian shepherd. However, they still are considered as red and white Australian shepherd.

3. Solid red Australian shepherd

Just like solid blue merle Australian shepherd, this one is a solid red merle Australian shepherd. Solid red Aussies are rare and you will rarely find them. The reason is they are not much interesting. They do not have an as beautiful physical appearance as other variations of Aussies.

This Aussie color variation dogs have no white or tan or copper markings or patches on their body. Nowhere on face, chest, body, belly, legs. The only main coat color they are of is solid red.

The red doesn’t mean they are of fire red color. This color could range from light cinnamon to a dark liver color.

Red Merle Australian Shepherds

Red merle is another color group out of four main color groups of Australian shepherds. You will find red merle Australian shepherds in three main variations. The three variations of red merle Aussies are – Red merle tri Aussie, red merle and white Aussie, and solid red merle. Let’s take a look at these three variations one by one:

Red merle tri Aussie

From the name of this color variation, you can get an idea about this merle Aussie dog will have a combination of three coat colors. The base coat color of Red merle Tri Aussies is Red merle. The Red Merle Tri Australian shepherd has red spots on top of a buff (a light orange-brown) to the silver base color. There are white markings on his face, chest, belly, and legs. Talking about the third color of Red merle Tri Aussie, it is copper/tan. You will also find copper highlights on the face and legs of a Red merle Tri Aussie dog.

Red merle and white

Red merle & white Aussies have only two colors on their body – red merle and white. Because red merle color and copper or tan markings on the Aussie’s body look very similar, it can be quite difficult to differentiate between a red merle tri Aussie and red merle & white Australian shepherd dog. For a newbie, it may not be easy to tell which one is red merle tri and which one is red merle & white Aussie dog.

Solid red merle

Solid red merle is another variation of this color group. This color variation of red Australian shepherd looks very similar to the two red Aussie variations we have discussed previously – red merle tri Aussie and red merle & white. The red patches on the body of a solid red merle Aussie could differ in sizes, colors, and shapes. It can be tiny spots or large patches depending on the dog. There can be so much confusion between red merle & white and solid red merle Aussie. From the appearance, both look very similar. However, when we focus on its details, we can spot the difference.

So, these were the Australian shepherd variations of main colors – black, red, red merle, and blue merle. Here we have seen 14 different colors of an Australian shepherd. Apart from 14 Australian shepherd colors we have seen above, you will also find Aussies in other colors. These were the main colors.

Australian Shepherd Non-Standard Colors

The 14 colors of Aussies we have seen above were from four main colors. The majority of Aussies come under the four color groups – black, red, red merle, or blue merle. However, you will also find some Aussies with different colors than the four main color groups. Aussies come in different color variations. Some most common non-standard Aussie colors are white (excessive white), dilute, and yellow. Let’s talk about these non-standard Aussie colors, one by one:

Dilute color

Dilute color has become one of the most common non-standard colors on Aussies. Dilute is not a particular color, it is a recessive mutation that causes the colors on a coat to be a different shade. Mainly, this affects black and liver-colored hair. Dilute color does not affect copper or tan coat color of the Aussie dog.

Mostly, a dilute Aussie will also likely to have noses and eyes of different colors. Their eyes get lighter and their noses get light liver color. Note that dilute color Aussies don’t experience any health side effects.

Yellow Australian Shepherd

In the case of dilute Australian shepherd, we have seen that it does not affect copper or tan color. Talking about yellow Aussie, the inherited yellow recessive gene will affect the copper or tan highlights on the dog.

The yellow color produced may vary based on the dog. For example, some yellow Australian shepherds may develop a light yellow, while some Australian shepherds may develop a deeper goldish yellow color.

Black Australian Shepherd Eyes

No matter whether it is a black tri Aussie, black & white Aussie, black & tan Aussie, or solid black Aussie, the majority of Aussies with these color variations have two brown colored eyes. Brown is the color you will find in most black Aussies. However, you may also find a black Aussie with different eye color.

Talking about brown eyes color of black Australian shepherds, it can also come in different shades of brown. The most common brown color shade in black Aussies is darker brown. Apart from this, you may also find black coat color Australian shepherds with hazel colored eyes (the combination of brown and green).

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd Eyes

After black, blue merle is another popular coat color of Australian shepherds. Talking about eyes color, blue merle Australian shepherds are known to have brown or blue colored eyes. The majority of blue merle Aussies have solid eye color. But, some may have eyes containing specks of other colors.

Blue merle Australian shepherds may also have two different colored eyes. For example, one of blue color and another one of brown color.

Red Australian Shepherd Eyes

Another coat color that comes in the list of Aussies with four main colors is red. Red Australian shepherds are very much likely to have amber colored eyes. This is the eye color which also matches so much with their coat color.

Apart from amber eye color, you may also find a red Australian shepherd dog with blue eyes color, however, it is rare to find. And, it is also very rare to find a red Australian shepherd dog with one blue eye and another one amber color eye.

Red Merle Australian Shepherd Eyes

The last one on the list is red merle Australian shepherd eyes. The majority of red merle Australian shepherds have solid-color eyes. And, you may also find red merle Aussies with marble look into their eyes. The marbled look to the eyes gives a great overall appearance to the dog.

Red merle Aussies may have brown or blue colored eyes. Blue colored eyes could have specks of brown, while brown colored eyes could have specks of blue. Mostly, you will find red merle Aussies with blue eyes color than brown color.

What is the most common Australian Shepherd color?

In this article, we have talked about different colors of Australian shepherd dog breed and also talked about the eyes colors of different color groups Aussies. From this post, you can see, there are around 14 common variations of Aussies. These 14 Aussie variations are from four main color groups – black, blue merle, red, and red merle.

Now, the question you may have is among different color variations of Aussies, which one is the most common. Here’s the answer.

Among different color variations of the Australian shepherd dog, the most common one is Black Tri. The black tri Australian shepherds have three colors in their coat – black, tan or copper, and white. Among these three colors, black is the base coat color.

From the photo, it looks very much like a Bernese Mountain dog. In a black tri Aussie dog, you will find the dog with a black coat and white markings on its face, chest, belly, and legs. The copper or tan color highlights will be present on the face as well as the legs of the black tri Australian shepherd dog.

Final Thoughts

So here we have seen different colors of Australian shepherd dog breed. We have talked about the variations of the main four coat colors of Aussies. The four Aussie coat colors have 14 different variations.

Note that no matter what Aussie coat color or coat variation you pick, this would not change the temperament or personality of your Aussie. In short, change in coat color or version of Aussie does not change the temperament. However, the individual personality may differ from one dog to another.


Tab Winner

Hello my name is Tab Winner. My wife and I have been around Australian shepherds for 20+ years and we definitely love them. We currently have a pair of Toy Aussies one is a Tri-color and the other is a blue merle that are both 10 and 11 years old.

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