Skip to main content

Australian Shepherd Colors and Coat Patterns: A Visual Guide

As an Amazon Associate, The Autralian Shepherd Blog earns from qualifying purchases via links on this blog—at NO extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Only a few breeds of dogs have coats that are as gorgeous as Australian Shepherds'. The breed, nicknamed Aussie, comes in four acceptable coat colors, including red, black, blue merle, and red merle. However, purely black and red Australian Shepherds are quite rare, Albeit technically accepted by the breed standard. 

Moreover, red and black Aussies are difficult to breed, plus most breeders are put off even trying. While solid black and red Aussies are rare, they do exist. And when you do find them, they are some of the best-looking dogs out there! Below, I have compiled a list of eight Aussie color combinations, recognized by the American Kennel Club.

1. Black Bi: Black and White

A Black and White Australian Shepherd puppy

Australian Shepherds with two coat color combinations are called Black Bi. The Black Bi Aussie, for the most part, is black but has white markings over their face, chest, and legs. Black Bi Aussies can have dark brown eyes, blue eyes, or two different colored eyes, aka heterochromia. They have black noses. Black Bi Aussies resemble Black Bi Border Collies. As I mentioned earlier, all-black Aussies are extremely rare.

2. Black Tri:  Black, White, Copper

A Black Tri Australian Shepherd

Also called tricolor Aussies, Black Tri Aussies are mostly black with copper markings on both legs, eyes, and chin. The most common color combination among tricolor Australian Shepherds is the Black Tri. Black Tri Aussies typically have white patches on their abdomen, chest, and mouth. They usually have brown or black noses and their eye colors can vary from light to dark brown.

3. Red Bi: Red and White

A Red Bi Aussie puppy

Like the Black Bi, the red bicolor Aussie is mostly red with white markings on its face, chest, neck, and legs. Red Bi Aussies are not as common as black bi Aussies. They typically have brown noses and dark brown eyes. All-red Aussies do exist but are extremely rare.

4. Red Tri: Red, White, Copper

A Red Tri Aussie

Red Tri Australian Shepherds are rare and gorgeous dogs with tri-coloring—a red body, a white chest and collar, and copper legs and face. Most red tri Aussies have white markings on their faces. They typically have brown noses.

5. Blue Merle with Copper and White Trim

A blue merle Aussie puppy

The blue merle with copper and white markings is the most common coat among merle Aussies. These dogs are often seen in canine competitions thanks to their gorgeous look. Merle is defined as a genetic pattern in a dog's coat, resulting in different colors and patterns, and can affect skin pigment as well. The merle gene is dominant, making it more likely to be passed on to a dog's offspring than non-merle genes. This genetic characteristic is most commonly observed in Australian Shepherds. Blue merle Aussies commonly have two different colored eyes.

6. Bi Blue Merle With White Trim

Not to be confused with black and white Aussies, bi-blue merle Aussies with white trim have the beautiful silver speckled coat of a regular blue merle, but with extra white markings. There are also blue Merle tri-colored Aussies. These dogs have the regular blue merle coat but with extra tan markings on their eyebrows, cheeks, and legs.

7. Red Merle with Copper and White Trim

A Red Merle Aussie with Copper and White Trim

Red merle Australian Shepherds with copper and white trim have red spots that can be small speckles to patches that cover large areas of their body. In addition, they have white markings on the face, chest, legs, and underparts. They also have copper points on the face and legs. There are three types of red merle Aussies, including red merle and whitesolid red merle, and red merle with white and copper.

8. Red Merle with White Trim

Red bicolor merle Aussie puppy

Red merle Aussies with white trim are very similar to those with copper and white trim. However, these dogs are bicolored merles, with white markings on their face, chest, and legs. 


Popular posts from this blog

What 2 Breeds Make an Australian Shepherd?

MOST dog breeds, including the Australian Shepherd, were not originally created by crossing two different breeds. In Australian Shepherds' case, their origin is rather uncertain. By all accounts, the Australian Shepherd, aka Aussie, was developed in the United States but was so named by observant Americans who believed the dog's ancestors came from Australia. As I mentioned earlier, there are no two dog breeds that make up the modern Australian Shepherd breed. The Aussie is believed to have been developed by mixing various herding dogs. According to legend, Australian Shepherds' ancestors were brought, along with sheep, to the United States by Basque shepherds from Australia. The exact combination of sheepdogs used to create the Australian Shepherd we know today is unknown. However, two breeds are believed to be among the breeds involved in the Australian Shepherd's development. These include the Collie and the Pyrenean Shepherd . Collies, which form a distinctive typ

Australian Shepherd vs Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Shepherd and Australian Cattle Dog are both medium-sized breeds of herding dogs bred for droving cattle over long distances across rough terrain. However, though both dogs belong to the same group, they differ in terms of intelligence, characteristics, and origin. If you’re looking to bring home a smart dog with a strong herding instinct, these two dog breeds are worth considering. Origin Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd did not originate from Australia . It was developed in California, United States, in the late 1800s and was so named by Americans who believed the breed's ancestors came from Australia. Australian Shepherds' ancestors are believed to be sheepdogs that Basque immigrants brought with them to the US from Australia. On the other hand, the Australian cattle dog is native to Australia. The first Australian cattle dog was created in the 1880s by Jack and Harry Bagust of Sydney. Australian cattle dogs' ancestors are believed to be Halls Heel

7 Celebrities Who Own Australian Shepherd Dogs

According to a recent survey by Forbes, the Australian Shepherd, or Aussie is America's most favorite dog breed . The breed is winning hearts and souls with its smarts, playful nature, and gorgeous look. Speaking of gorgeous looks, Aussies arguably have the most beautiful coat and prettiest face. Plus, they are heartbreakingly cute as puppies, albeit insanely cute as adults, too.  Initially bred and used as farm dogs, Aussies, as well as other herding dogs,  have found their way into family homes instead of out in the fields, as the traditional livestock industry dwindles. That includes celebrities' homes as well. In this article, we will look at a few celebrities who have welcomed Australian Shepherds into their homes. 1. Amanda Seyfried Actress Amanda Seyfried owns an adorable Red Bi Australian Shepherd that is almost as famous as her. She regularly shares pictures of her and her Aussie, named Finn Seyfried, with her millions of followers on Instagram. What's more, Finn h