Everything To Know About The Rare Liver German Shepherd

If you have ever seen a picture or met a Liver German Shepherd in real life, then you already know the beauty of this breed and why they are sought after. The fur is a unique and alluring color that will make your dog the center of attention everywhere you go. If you are interested in adopting a Liver German Shepherd into your home, you must be educated on the breed and know what you are getting yourself into. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the specifics of Liver German Shepherds. We will discuss the pros and cons of living with this breed and provide all the information you will want to know if you choose to adopt.

How Rare Is A Liver Colored German Shepherd?

Liver-colored German Shepards are a sought-after breed.  Many people love this color because of its obvious beauty and how unique the look is. Liver-colored German Shapards are rare and usually only available through specific breeders or a design-breed program specializing in breeding dogs to get a customer the look they want.

What Causes A German Shepherd To Become Liver Colored?

The liver color is a gene that is passed down from generation to generation. It is caused by the recessive gene known as the B locus. The B Locus gene essentially dilutes the black coloring of a German Shepherd turning their coat much lighter, commonly known as a liver color. This gene doesn’t affect the other markings of the dog, meaning you can have a solid livered colored Shepard, a multi-colored Shepherd, a liver and tan Shepherd, etc.

Does Their Color Change As They Age?

The answer is no; their liver color will not fade or enhance as they age. The aging process usually doesn’t affect this coat color. Your Shephard will flaunt their beautiful coat for as long as they live. The only coat which may start to change in color throughout life is a sable-colored German Shepherd. These are the Shephard that have black tips on all of their hairs; these hairs can fade or even darken over time.

Where Can You Get A Liver Colored German Shepherd?

Because of how rare a Liver German Shepherd is, you will have to look for specific breeders who are lucky enough to have two livered colored parents. The AKC website is an excellent place for you to start. You may also want to seek out a design breed program. This is a program that is set up specifically to match up dogs for breeding based on their genetics and the best breeding strategies to get a specific outcome.

How Much Do Liver German Shepherds Cost?

Due to the rarity of this specific breed, you will end up paying more for them than you would your average bi-colored Shepherd. A Liver German SHepherd is going to come with a hefty price tag that ranges somewhere between $500-$1500 for local breeders or even mixed pets. If you are looking for AKC registered dog with great lineage, it will cost more like $2000-$2500.

Does A Liver German Shepherd’s Temperament Differ From Common Colors?

The gene that changes the German Shepherd’s coat color doesn’t affect the breed in any other way. This means that you are not going to have a different temperament from this dog compared to the other Shepherd colors. No matter what their coat color is, your Sheperd will still be protective, loving, loyal, and intelligent.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Liver German Shepherd?

There are pros and cons to having a Liver German Shepherd just like any other breed of dog. They come with their own sets of health concerns, behavioral issues, and traits that may not be suitable for all families. On the other hand, these fluffy teddy bears also sport some amazing qualities that may have you overlooking some of the ones that gave you pause.

Pros of the Liver German Shepherd

This breed is not only beautiful but full of so many sought-after characteristics and traits, making them one of the most popular dogs to own.
  • They are well built and strong- If you are looking for a dog to be not only your companion but also one that is suitable to protect you and your family, this is the perfect breed.
  • Beautiful and Unique colors- The liver color of these dogs is not a very common look and will stand out in a crowd.
  • Brilliant and easy to train – Shepherds are known to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are easy to train and quick to pick up commands.
  • Loyal- Once a Shepherd forms a close bond with you and your family, it will be by your side and 100% loyal.
  • Intimidating- Most of the time, shepherds do not have to become aggressive to warn of danger. Their look and bark alone will keep strangers at bay.
  • Healthy– Although they may have some health concerns, they are already prone to developing. Overall, they are very healthy animals and don’t need much health care throughout their lives.

Cons of the Liver German Shepherd

Nothing can be perfect; although the Liver German Shepherd comes close, they still have a few flaws. Some are only flaws depending on the home you plan on placing them in, and others are ones they can not control.
    • Very high energy – Liver German Shepherds, just like all other Shepherd, are full of energy and need much more exercise and stimulation than other dog breeds.
    • Needs strong command- You have to be firm and consistent with Shepherds, or they can be difficult to train.
    • Can Be Aggressive- German Shepherd can be aggressive towards anyone other than their families if not trained properly.
    • Constantly Shedding- Shepherds have a heavy coat and shed a lot year-round and even more during the spring and fall months.
    • Can develop separation anxiety- Shepherds are loyal pack dogs and may develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
  • Prone to serious health conditions- Yes, they are relatively healthy dogs, but if they do end up with one of their common health conditions, they are serious and sometimes fatal.
  • Expensive-The unique color of this Shepherd and the rareness make them very expensive to get.

Is the Liver German Shepherd a Recognized Breed Standard?

The AKC does recognize the solid Liver German Shepherd and the Liver and Tan Shepherd as breed standards. However, there are, unfortunately, many judges that will disqualify Liver colored German Shepherds from a show because they are not believed to be a recognized breed standard.

How Do You Care for a Liver German Shepherd?

Caring for a Shepherd isn’t much more difficult than any other breed as long as you know about their traits, characteristics, and needs.

How to Feed Your Liver German Shepherd

All Shepherds are going to have a different feeding schedule base on their age, size, activity level, and health. With that said, on average, a German Shepherd puppy should be fed about two cups of food throughout that day that is high in proteins and low in fat. This is going to help keep their bones strong while they are still growing while also keeping them lean. The average Adult German Shepherd should be fed according to their weight and the amount of exercise they get throughout the day.
  • 10-30 pounds – 1 ¼ – 2 ¼ cups a day
  • 30-50 pounds – 2 ¼ – 3 ½ cups a day
  • 50-80 pounds – 3 ½ – 4 ½ cups a day
  • 80-100 pounds- 4 ½ – 5 cups a day
  • Over 100 pounds- 5 cups a day
A general rule of thumb for any German Shepherd over 100lbs (and healthy) should get an extra ½ cup of food a day per every additional 10 lbs. When feeding your puppy, you should always feed them in intervals or feed them with dishes designed to help them slow down. Liver German Shepherds are known for chowing down, and that leads to over-eating and obesity. (it will also make them vomit). If in doubt, always check with your vet to see if your Shepherd is receiving the right amount of food and is growing at a healthy pace. Once your liver German Shepherd has hit the 8-9 year age mark, their nutritional needs are going to start to change as their bodies start to age. This is when you should consider purchasing new foods that are made specifically for aging dogs.

What Food Should be Incorporated into a Liver German Shepards Diet

Although most reputable dog food companies provide high-quality kibble that has all of the nutrition your dog needs to live a long healthy life, some people choose to make meals for their dogs themselves. To do this properly, you should have a good understanding of what foods your LIver German Shepherd needs and the food you should never feed them.

Foods That Are Essential For Your Shepherd

  • Vegetables
  • Organ meats
  • yogurt
  • Bone broth
  • Lean red meats
  • Chicken
  • Soup bones
  • Eggs
  • Cod liver oil (for some fatty acids)
  • Fish
  • Peanut butter
Foods To Avoid Giving Your Shepherd
  • Avocado
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Garlic
(If you’re not sure what food to get your German Shepherd, then I’d suggest (Merrick Grain Free Large Breed Dog Food.)

How to Groom Your Liver German Shepherd

Grooming any Shepherd is a time-consuming job and takes care and patients. This breed of dog is known for its long, full coats that are shed all throughout the year. Besides shedding more during the spring and fall months, they also tend to shed excessively because of stress and dehydration. Although your Shepherd is always going to shed, keeping them calm and providing water all throughout the day will reduce the shedding substantially. A de-shedding comb is going to be one of your best friends when it comes to grooming time with your Liver German Shepherd. This specific comb is designed to help remove the loose fur that gets stuck under your dog’s topcoat. You are going to want to brush out your Shepherd multiple times a week, and an excellent tip to consider is doing this outdoors; there will be a lot of fur flying around. As far as bathing goes, Shepherd, on average, never require frequent baths. Unless your Liver German Shepherd is being used for show, bathing twice a year or if they end up getting into messy situations should be sufficient. Another thing to consider when grooming your Shepherd is trimming their large, strong, and sharp nails. Clipping your dog’s nails shouldn’t be too much trouble and can be easily done from home. However, it is important to know what you are doing and be careful while doing it. Once a dog has a bad experience, all future clips are going to be a chore. If you walk your Shepherd mostly on the sidewalk covered in concrete, you may never actually need to clip your dog’s nails. The hard rough surface does a great job of keeping their nails trim on their own. However, if you have a Shepherd who spends most of its time on soft surfaces like grass or carpeting, nail trimming should be done once a month. ( do your research and know what and where your dog’s quick is.) (Here are some great dog nail clippers.)

How to Exercise Your Liver German Shepherd

Liver German Shepherds are one of the most active dog breeds on the planet. These dogs are high-energy and will need to spend a lot more time running and playing than most other breeds. Although the exact amount of time will differ between dogs, most adult Shepherds should be getting about 1 ½ hours of exercise throughout each day. Exercising your Shepherd can look different for everyone. You can take them for multiple long walks where they have the ability to explore and play, take them to a dog park and allow them to get their energy out while socializing, or training them on a homemade dog course in your back yard. It doesn’t really matter how your pup gets its workout. It’s just essential that the workout gets done. This is not only important for their health, but it will keep them from becoming bored, causing them to become creatively destructive in order to entertain themselves.

How to Train Your Liver German Shepherd

Liver German Shepherds are not only considered known for their being high energy but they are also known for being one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Training your Shepherd should be fairly easy as long as it is done right. These dogs have a great memory and can retain commands and instructions very well. It is up to the owner to keep them engaged, stay authoritative, and be consistent.

Here Are Some Tips To Help Make Training Your Liver German Shepherd A Breeze.

  • Start as soon as possible. Puppies as old as eight weeks old can begin simple commands.
  • Stay consistent, never give in or give up (they will notice and push you)
  • Do not expect overnight success. Training any dog takes time.
  • Use positive reinforcements such as treats.
  • Never yell or punish your dog if they get it wrong. (this will deter them and cause fear)
  • Ignore bad behavior- If your dog is jumping or barking at you, do not pay any attention to them.
  • Give rewards even when not in a training session. If your dog sits while waiting to go outside, provide a treat to encourage that behavior.
  • Redirect their attention when doing someone “bad”. If a puppy is chewing on a shoe, loudly clap your hand to grab their attention and then offer them a toy instead.
  • It’s all about body language. Your dog may not understand your commands at first, but they do know your body language and tone, use that to your advantage.

Want To Train Your German Shepherd With Peace Of Mind?

If you haven’t trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup. The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs. With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class. So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them! And in most cases, it’s still going to be:
  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try! So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results! (You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)

Are Liver German Shepherds Prone To Health Problems?

All dogs are prone to certain health conditions, and the Liver German Shepherd is no exception. There are multiple serious concerns all Shepherd owners should be aware of and prepared to tackle.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is when the ball and socket part of your dog’s hip joints do not properly align, and they can grind or give out. This is painful and crippling for any dog. If your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia, there are a few ways it can be treated. If it is serious enough and your dog is a good candidate, surgery can be performed.  Other ways to treat or reduce symptoms include physical therapy, weight loss, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Signs Of Hip Dysplasia

  • Is less active
  • They cannot move their hind end well
  • Has a hard time climbing stairs, jumping, or getting onto bed or couches.
  • Awkward sway and stance
  • Grinding noises from the hip joints
  • Noticeable loss in hind leg muscles mass
  • Noticeable Pain
  • Stiffness in the hind end or limping


Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your dog’s body stabilizes glucose levels in the blood. If your Liver German Shepherd has diabetes, they are unable to provide enough insulin or any insulin at all. This will lead to a build-up of a high glucose level in the bloodstream, causing hypoglycemia. Your dog will start to lose weight and become very ill if not treated. Treating Shepherds with diabetes can be done through a few different methods, including insulin treatments, monitoring their glucose levels carefully, keeping up with a healthy diet and exercise, and staying connected with their vet. Signs Of Diabetes In Your Liver German Shepherd
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Cloudy or foggy eyes

Aortic stenosis

An Aortic Stenosis is a birth defect that is commonly found in Liver German Shepherds along with many other dog breeds. This is an issue where the aortic heart valve is more narrow than it should be. Because of this narrowness, your dog’s heart has to pump harder to get the blood through, and that can lead to many serious health complications. A mild form of aortic stenosis may not need any treatment at all and should be monitored by your veterinarian as your dog ages. If the condition is moderate or severe, it will be treated with long-term medications, including beta-blockers and exercise restrictions. Surgery is an option but very rarely performed due to the complication associated with it. What is it

Signs Of Aortic Stenosis In A Liver German Shepherd

  • Lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Cant sustain long periods of exercise
  • Heart murmurs
  • Chronic coughing


Bloat, also referred to as gastric dilatation-volvulus, is said to kill about 30% of dogs who suffer from this condition. This condition is extremely lethal and should be treated as a high-level emergency. Bloat is when your Shepherd’s stomach fills with a lot of air, continuously building and increasing in pressure. This will eventually start to block the blood flow f to your dog’s hind end, causing the blood already there to build up and less room for active blood flow to get through the body, eventually causing your dog to go into shock. Once your dog goes into shock, the stomach will then flip and pull vital organs along with it cutting off the blood flow to them, releasing toxins from their pancreas, which soon makes its way up to the heart and stops it from beating. If treated immediately, bloat can be corrected through emergency surgeries, and dogs have a good chance of surviving.

Signs Of Bloat In Your Liver German Shepherd

  • Your dog’s stomach will be enlarged and protruding
  • Retching or gagging
  • Access Salivation
  • Increased Restlessness
  • Pain in the stomach area


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes dogs to suffer from re-occurring seizures. This is the most common form of neurological issue found in dogs and the Liver German Shepherd breed. These seizures are unprovoked and can occur without triggers or warnings. They can be controlled through medications, including anti-epileptic drugs, and some people will also try homeopathic remedies such as CBD oils. It is essential to check with a vet before treating your pet with any type of medicine.

Signs Of Epilepsy In Your Liver German Shepherd (Signs Of Seizures)

  • Jerking movements in body and limbs
  • Body stiffening
  • Muscle twitching
  • Drooling.
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Chewing on tongue
  • Urinating or defecating un-consciously
  • Complete loss of consciousness
Your Liver German Shepherd is not guaranteed to develop any of these conditions in its lifetime, but understanding the diseases and how to prevent, treat, and spot them can save your dog’s life.


The Liver German Shepherd is a beautiful and interesting breed. They are kind, loyal, gentle, and strong. They make great family pets and just as amazing guard dogs. If you are willing to put in the time, effort, and love these dogs require, you will definitely benefit in the end.