Tri Colored Australian Shepherds (Rare Tri Facts)

Australian Shepherd is a loving, affectionate, friendly, and energetic. So if you are planning to adopt a loving dog breed for your family, then you may consider adopting an Australian shepherd. The breed is not affectionate & loving, its beautiful color variations & appearance also attracts people.

Aussies come in different variations like blue merle, red merle, red tricolor, black tricolor, black, and red. These are color variations you have available to choose from. As all of these color variations are not common, the demand and price of the Australian Shepherd may differ depending upon the color variation you choose.

Apart from beautiful coat color variations, there are so many things about Aussies that make them the best dog breed. Their intelligence and high energy level are the reasons why most people are fond of Australian shepherds.

In this post, we will discuss one of the most beautiful variations of Aussie dogs, tri-color. If we talk about tri color Australian shepherd, it is of two variations: black tricolor and red tricolor. Both of these tricolor variations have their own beauty and attractive appearance. Let us start with a black tricolor variation.


What is A Tri Australian Shepherd?

As we know, Aussies come in different color combinations and variations. A Tricolor Australian shepherd is the red or black dog with a combination of copper and white trim. There are two common Tri Aussies types: black tricolor Australian shepherd and red tricolor Australian shepherd.

Tri Aussies come in different color variations and combinations. Tri is one of those combinations. The Australian shepherd coat color can be blue merle, red merle, black, red, blue tricolor, and red tricolor. Talking about tricolor Aussies, two main tricolor Australian shepherds are:

Black Tricolor Australian Shepherd

Among the four basic coat colors, black is the common one. The black tricolor Aussies have combinations of black, white, and copper.

The three color combinations appear on the different parts of the body. The white markings appear on the face, chest, legs, and underparts. The copper points are normally seen on the face and legs of the Aussie. And, black Aussies normally have brown color eyes.

Red Tricolor Australian Shepherd

This one is another popular tricolor Aussie breed. The Red tricolor Aussies have combinations of red, white, and copper.

The color of a red tri Aussie could be light cinnamon to dark liver. It appears on the major body part of the dog and it has light to dark color combinations. A red tricolor Australian shepherd also has white markings on the body parts like face, chest, legs, etc. And copper points of red tricolor Aussies are face and legs. The red tricolor Aussies normally have amber-colored eyes.

So here we have seen the basic characteristics of both tri-colored Australian shepherds: Black tricolor Aussies and Red tricolor Aussies. The Australian shepherd dog with a black coat color gene is known as dominant, and the Australian shepherd with a red coat color gene is known as recessive coat gene.

Genetics of Tri-Color Australian Shepherds

As we have seen Aussies have different color variations and combinations. Tricolored Aussies also have two color combinations. To understand the coat color variation in tri-color Aussies, we have to understand their genetics.

Tri-color Australian shepherds either have a combination of black, white, & copper, or red, white, & copper. The coat of these types of Aussies is formed through genes expressed to either red or black color.

The black coat color gene is known as dominant and the red coat color gene is known as recessive coat gene.

Aussies come in a variety of color combinations. Tricolor Aussies are not limited to red and black. You will also find them in merle combinations as well.

Tri-Colored Australian Shepherds

Here we will see tri-colored Aussies with different color combinations. The four main colors you will find in any Australian shepherd dog are black, blue merle, red, and red merle. These four colors that change the appearance of different Aussie dogs with their unique combinations. Here is the list of tri-colored Australian shepherds, depending on the colors:

1. Black Tri Australian Shepherd

One of the most common colors combinations of Australian shepherds breed. It includes a combination of black, white, and copper. All these colors appear in the different parts of the Aussie. The body parts where the black, white, and copper color appears may slightly differ from one black tri Aussie dog to another.

The black coat with white markings appears on the face, chest, belly, and legs of the dog. And the copper or tan markings may appear on the face and legs of the dog.

2. Blue Merle Tri-Color

Blue merle tri color is another beautiful color combination. The blue merle tricolor Australian shepherds have the color combinations of blue merle, white, and copper. The appearance of the color combination may differ from one blue merle tricolor Aussie to another.

The base coat color of this color combination Aussie dog is a blue merle. The shapes & sizes of black spots on the gray coat would differ. This variation of Australian shepherd has a combination of white & copper markings around the face, legs, chest, and belly.

3. Red Tri Australian Shepherd

The red tricolor Australian shepherd is the variation that has red as the base color. The color could differ from light cinnamon to dark liver color. The markings and color combinations will differ from one red tri Australian shepherd to another.

The three colors of red tri Australian shepherds are red, white, and copper. Mostly, the dog has white markings on its chest, face, legs, and belly. Talking about copper marking, it appears on the face and legs of red tri Aussies.

4. Red Merle Tri Aussie

Under red merle Aussies, there are three different color variations: red merle tri Aussie, red merle & white, and solid red merle. Just like blue merle tri Aussie, red merle tri Aussie is another color combination.

This tri-color Aussie comes with three colors red merle, white, and copper. It has white markings on its face, legs, chest, and belly. Talking about copper markings, they are normally seen on the face and legs.

So here we have all the tricolored Australian shepherds color combinations.  The common colors on these all four tri-color Australian shepherd variations are white and copper. The shape and sizes of color patches or markings will differ from one tricolor dog to another.

Other Color Variations of Australian Shepherds

As we have seen, Australian shepherds come in a variety of color combinations and variations. In the above list, we have seen Australian shepherds’ major tricolored variations. Except for tricolor, other color variations of Aussies are:

1. Black & White Aussie

This color combination is also known as the Australian shepherd black-bi color combination. The major difference between black tri Australian shepherd and black & white Australian shepherd is copper highlights. In this color combination, there are no copper highlights. There are white markings on the chest, face, belly, and legs. The color combination will be very similar to black tri-color Aussie, but it will not have copper color.

2. Black and Tan

Black and Tan Aussies are the second rarest versions of black Australian shepherds. The base color of this kind of Aussie will be black. And, there will be copper or tan highlights around the chest, face, and legs of the dog.

3. Solid black Aussie

This version of the Australian shepherd does not have any white markings or tan or copper highlights on its body. As minor color differences are common, some Aussies just have little white markings on their chest, but still, they are considered as a solid black Aussie dog.

4. Blue Merle and White

Blue merle and white color Aussie dogs are very popular. The Australian shepherd is blue merle & white when its base coat is of blue merle and there are white markings. The white markings are on the chest, face, and legs of the dog. Due to color similarities, sometimes people also mistake them with huskies.

5. Blue merle and tan

This is one of the rarest color versions of Australian shepherds. You will rarely find an Australian dog with blue merle as a base coat and copper or tan markings.

6. Solid blue merle

The solid merle Aussie is when there are no white markings or copper/tan markings on the dog’s body. Basically, it has a gray coat with black spots. This combination creates a bluish effect, which makes them solid blue merle Aussies. The effect of gray color could range from silver to dark gray.

7. Red and white Aussie

Another color variation of Aussies is red and white. The popularity of Red & white Aussies is increasing nowadays. They have red as the base coat. The white markings are generally found on the chest, legs, and face of the Aussie. This version is called red & white, it doesn’t mean there no presence of copper/tan color in it. You may find little copper markings, but still, they are called red & white Aussies.

8. Solid Red Aussie

Solid red Aussies have red as their base coat and there is no presence of white or copper markings/patches on the body.

9. Red Merle & White

This color version includes the presence of red merle and white colors. Sometimes it can be confusing to understand the difference between red merle tri Aussie and red merle & white Aussie. This is because of the similarity between the colors. So there would be some confusion between tri red merle and red merle & white, which is fine.

10. Solid red merle

Solid red merle Aussies look similar to tri red merle as well as red merle & white. Understanding the difference between solid red merle and tri red merle can be a bit easy. Solid red merle Aussies have one and only color, that is, solid red merle. They don’t have copper or white markings on their body.


Australian shepherds are loving, energetic, friendly, and beautiful. The high energy level and different beautiful color variations of Aussies attract people towards them. If you are planning to adopt an Aussie dog, you have so many color variations available. In this post, we have listed different tri-color Australian shepherds as well as Australian shepherds with other color variations.

The price and availability of a particular Aussie breed color version are based on the demand and appearance of that color variation. No matter what color the Australian shepherd you choose, the temperament and personality of the dog would remain the same.


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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