Hello there, and welcome to the complete Black and Silver German Shepherd dog guide! This specific German Shepherd dog is special because of its milky, colder-toned colors. Some people argue that this is because this dog is a wolf descendant. What do you think?
What we can notice is that this dog is not much different from any other GSD because they all are the same dog breed. But, as we know… there is a variety of German Shepherd colors.
If you love German Shepherds, the color won’t be a huge dealbreaker for you because these dogs have the same personality no matter the color of their coat.
But, everybody has a preference for some physical attributes of their desired dog breed, so it is completely understandable if you want to go for a specific coat color, such as the Black and Silver German Shepherd, for example.
What Is The Black And Silver German Shepherd?
Well, right off the bat, we can agree that this is not your usual GSD coat color. It is pretty unique since when we think of a German Shepherd dog, we usually think of the black and yellow one.
The Black and Yellow (Tan) GSD is the one that had the most appearances online, the one that was famous in its TV show and film acquisitions, and the one that we have in our mind when we first think of a German Shepherd dog.
The Black and Silver German Shepherd is a German Shepherd dog with unusual coat colors that appear much more cold-toned and faded.
In contrast to the regular Black and Tan German Shepherd dog, this dog seems as if it has the ‘Buenos Aires’ instagram filter applied to it. The silver coloring is probably a result of nature activating a passive gene that the German Shepherd dog breed was carrying for centuries.
We can often see this cold-toned shade in wolves. As many people agree upon the fact that German Shepherds, Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes are the dog breeds closest to the Wolves’ bloodline, this might give us something to think about.
Most definitely, all dog breeds have descended from a wolf, and they carry similar genetic traits. But, does this unique coat color have something to do with the wolf ancestry?
A Bit About The History Of The German Shepherds
Around the late 18th century and the early 19th century, there was a dog breed called a Continental Shepherd that was probably a progenitor of the German Shepherd that we know of today.
But, the day when the GSD started its official bloodline was the day when Max von Stephanitz first saw this dog breed on a dog show in 1899, founded a society that revolved around this dog breed specifically, and made some breed standards for other dog breeders to follow.
Max von Stephanitz liked this dog breed because he thought that it would be the perfect working dog breed in every field that can utilize dogs for work.
The physical characteristics of this breed was the number one factor for von Stephanitz that made him think of this dog breed as a potentially successful working breed.
And, he wasn’t wrong… right? 100 years after Max recognized this breed as a well-rounded working breed, the GSD became the official breed of World War I and World War II.
These dogs were not only utilized as guidance dogs, but also as guard dogs since they were always alert, and eager to help their masters as well as friendly people in general.
Later on, German Shepherd dogs were employed to do much more than be guard dogs. People understood their capacity as well as their working abilities, and started employing them for various roles, which we’ll discuss later.
The German Shepherd dog was officially approved as a dog breed all the way back in 1908 by the American Kennel Club.
Physical Traits Of The Black And Silver German Shepherd
German Shepherds, in general, are seen as strong, robust, and powerful dogs that were bred to work and to endure any kind of working condition.
As they were officially bred to be shepherd dogs, or as people usually call them – herding dogs and livestock dogs, they were made to be capable of running for miles, and have extraordinary stamina and power to do all of that.
These dogs are everything but small since they are qualified as a large dog breed. They will be around 55 to 90 pounds heavy, and 21 to 26 or 27 inches tall, depending on whether your German Shepherd dog is a male or a female, and on the size of its parents.
They are characterized by their pointed, always-alert ears, with which they aren’t born. Their puppy ears and adult ears are quite different since they become up-right as they get older. Their puppy ears are actually folded!
The Black and Silver German Shepherds have a powerful, athletic body that is wrapped with a thick and dense double coat that protects them from harsh environmental factors.
There are many German Shepherd colors for you to choose from; however, this one is indeed quite unique and rare.
Behavioral Traits Of The Black And Silver German Shepherd
German Shepherds, as dogs, are characterized by their exquisite work ethics, their intelligence (since they are among the smartest dog breeds out there), their loyalty, and their friendliness.
These dogs have such temperaments that they are the top dog breed when it comes to working-dog abilities. They are great when it comes to search and rescue jobs, and they are great as therapy dogs, herding dogs, police dogs… you name it.
They are the type of dog breed that needs constant attention as well as constant mental stimulation. Without having a goal, these dogs might become depressed, anxious, or even destructive in certain cases.
They need space where they can run freely; therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this dog breed for apartment living, especially in smaller apartments.
The Black and Silver German Shepherd would thrive in a household that has active family members, a huge yard or a farm where they can have certain tasks, and at least have room to roam around freely.
However, with their family members, these dogs are absolute sweethearts that love to cuddle. They are gentle with kids, and will be extremely protective over them.
Health Issues Of The Black And Silver German Shepherd
Different from many other dog breeds, the color of the coat of a German Shepherd has nothing to do with its health. However, we need to look at the whole breed, not just the Black and Silver German Shepherd, to make some conclusions about its health problems.
These dogs are susceptible to several health issues, and because of that, it is highly important to find a reputable dog breeder who does responsible GSD breeding.
Alongside responsible breeding, it is important that the breeder of your choice also does screening, together with regular vet checks and genetic mutation tests.
Since this is a large dog breed, hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are the most prevalent health issues that the GSD faces. Both dysplasias are seen as badly adjusted joints, which, as the dog grows, become more painful, making the dog have problems with movement.
Treating both of these dysplasias with prevention would be the best possible version of fighting this health issue.
Prevention of these health issues is by purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder. However, sometimes even breeders cannot predict the dog’s health. Luckily, there is always a surgery option available.
German Shepherds are also prone to several other health conditions such as osteochondritis dissecans, degenerative myelopathy, bloat, Von Willebrand’s disease, as well as skin allergies and ear infections.
One thing in common with black and silver German Shepherds and people from their 30s and older are back problems. Since this breed became a favorite on a large scale, breeders modified their looks to get a distinct breed standard.
Because their back became naturally curved – sloped, with legs that are angular, the GSD can suffer back pain and back problems. Yes, this helps the GSD with its agility and quickness; however, it also causes some aches and pains.
Therefore, try not to focus only on the color of the GSD, but the overall disposition of the dog, its health, and how healthy the dog looks in general.
How To Take Care Of A Silver And Black German Shepherd
Due to their high energy levels, German Shepherds need to be exercised every day for at least an hour a session. In response to their loss of goals and boredom, GSDs that don’t get enough daily exercise may begin to engage in undesirable and harmful activities.
Silver German Shepherds need mental stimulation just as much as they need physical activity. Make sure to keep yours mentally and physically active by challenging them with tasks like agility training or trick-learning.
These dogs are considered low-maintenance since they don’t require any crazy upkeep methods.
They need to be brushed at least twice a week since they do have a double coat that sheds a lot, especially during the autumn and spring months, which are known as the shedding season.
Their nails need to be clipped regularly if they aren’t worn down by themselves. Also, cleaning their ears with a dog wet wipe is highly recommended since they can get ear infections just as any other dog breed out there.
It is also important to take care of their dental hygiene, and brush their teeth or give them dog toys that help reduce plaque buildup.
Other than that, this dog only needs the right amount of socialization, exercise, and an owner who loves him, respects him, and cherishes him deeply in order to thrive.
The Black and Silver German Shepherd is a unique version of the popular German Shepherd, but it only differs in coat color.
However, there are people who want to have a more distinct version of this dog breed, and if you ask me… why not? You should be happy with the dog breed that you choose, but the one thing I would want you to do is pick your GSD from a reputable breeder.
This does not only mean that you will get a dog that is probably healthier, but also a dog that has hereditary predispositions of being well-behaved, gentle, hard working, and everything its parents are.
The temperament of this dog breed is outstanding, making it one of the most intelligent dogs in the world, and that speaks for itself.