Liver German Shepherd – Everything You Need To Know

Liver German Shepherd is only a Standard GSD with a liver – colored coat. Liver German Shepherds are rare because of the recessive gene that causes the liver color in the coat. German Shepherd dogs are large breed dogs. German Shepherds belong to Germany which originated in late 1800. They are one of the most intelligent and responsive breeds among dogs. They were created from the local Shepherd dogs for herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. Also, these dogs have dome-shaped heads with a long, square muzzle. That’s how this breed ended up with the name German Shepherd. German Shepherds are known for their loyalty, kind-heartedness, bravery, and confidence. In addition, they are loving, affectionate, and very protective of those they love. Notably, German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent dog breeds globally. 

Liver German Shepherds are no different from the Standard German Shepherd except for the coat color, and they share the same characteristics. Liver German Shepherds are considered a fault by the AKC, and the liver coat color does not come under the Standard colors of GSD listed by the AKC. According to the AKC, “The German Shepherd Dog varies in color, and most colors are permissible. Strong, rich colors are preferred. Pale, washed-out colors and blues or livers are serious faults. A white dog must be disqualified.” However, Liver German Shepherds are considered purebreds and are qualified for the AKC shows.

Liver German Shepherd Pros And Cons

Great working dogsSheds a lot
Very intelligentAggressive
LoyalNeeds a yard
Intensely trainableProne to specific health conditions

Liver German Shepherd Basic Information

  • Name: Liver German Shepherd
  • Height: Male- 26” tall & Female- 24” tall  
  • Weight: Male: 75 – 95 pounds Female: 55 – 73 pounds
  • Coat: Double coated with medium or long coat
  • Color: Light brown, liver, liver and tan, liver and white
  • Group: Herding group
  • Energy: Medium to high 
  • Activities: Agility, herding, conformation, obedience, rally, tracking
  • Barking Level: Frequent
  • Shedding Level: Normal to high
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 1 – 15 puppies
  • Life Span: 9 – 13 years
  • Other Names: –

Standard German Shepherd vs Liver German Shepherd – A Comparison

FeaturesStandard German ShepherdLiver German Shepherd
HeightMale – 24-26″  Female- 22- 24″Male – 24-26″  Female- 22- 24″
WeightMale – 60-90 PoundsFemale –  50-70 PoundsMale – 60-90 PoundsFemale- 50-70 Pounds
GroupHerding and Working DogsHerding and Working Dogs
Children CompatibilityHighHigh
Family CompatibilityHighHigh
Pets CompatibilityhighHigh
Barking LevelHighHigh
Shedding LevelHighHigh
Grooming NeedsEasy to groomEasy to groom
Overall HealthHighHigh
Energy LevelHighHigh
Exercise NeedsHighHigh
TrainabilityEasily trainableEasily trainable
ActivitiesAgility, herding, conformation, obedience, rally, trackingAgility, herding, conformation, obedience, rally, tracking
Complication in BreedingOccurs due to unethical breedingOccurs due to unethical breeding
Litter size8 – 15 puppies8 – 15 puppies
Life Span9 – 13 Years9 – 13 Years
Other NamesAlsatianGerman Shepherd DogBerger AllemandDeutscher Schäferhund

Liver German Shepherd Personality

Liver German Shepherds are large-sized dogs and belong to the herding group. Same as any other GSD and shares the same personality and temperament. The Liver coat color is due to the dilution of the recessive gene called the B Locus. The recessive gene dilutes the standard black to a much lighter color. Therefore, the coat color wholly depends on the gene game. Here, both the parents must carry the B Locus gene, and one gene at least should be passed on to the puppies. Usually, the coat color comes in solid brown but sometimes can be seen in combinations of liver & tan and liver & white. They are double-coated with medium or long coats. The top is thick and wiry and gives protection from external forces. 

The undercoat is soft, lush, and protects from hot and cold weather conditions. They are not hypoallergenic and shed all through the year. The male Liver German Shepherd has a height of 24 to 26 inches, while females stand about 22 to 24 inches. The male dogs weigh about 65 to 90 pounds, and the female dogs weigh about 50 – 70 pounds. Liver German Shepherd puppies look different from adult dogs. The adult dogs are entirely brown, including the nose and paws, while the puppies have pink paws, blue or green eyes, and pink noses. As they grow older, the eye color changes to red – brown. They have dome-shaped heads with long, square muzzles. Like any other dog breed, they also have a pointy head, officially called the occiput, that protects the dog’s skull. Their ears are long and erect. As being called a strong breed, they are also said to resemble their wolf ancestors. 

Friendliness Overview

Affection LevelHigh

Adaptability Overview

Good for New Pet OwnersLow
Good for Apartment LivingMedium
Sensitivity LevelHigh
Tolerates being aloneLow
Heat ToleranceMedium to high
Cold ToleranceMedium to high

Liver German Shepherd Temperament

Liver German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent dog breeds globally. They make great family pets with proper training, given their kind-hearted and protective nature. Male Liver German Shepherds are more territorial than females. They are very cautious about their environment, making them the perfect guard dog. Best suited as police dogs, and they carry out the instructions perfectly. Male Liver German Shepherds are more severe than females. The female counterparts are more affectionate and good with human babies. Also, they are more independent than the males. 

One should always note that the male and female Liver German Shepherds are wary of strangers. They bark a lot, and the barking levels of these dogs are frequently loud. For example, according to a study, the Liver German Shepherd was louder than a moving truck that emitted 86 decibels of sound. Liver German Shepherds love to play with children if trained well. They are compatible enough to protect the children as their siblings. Also, they love their families unconditionally. They are adorable, protective of their families, friendly, and make an excellent companion. Liver and other Standard German Shepherds are generally good towards other dogs. They are very adaptable and friendly towards other pets of similar size and temperament. Their overall disposition includes:

  • Affectionate
  • Loyal
  • Hardworking
  • Friendly
  • Loving
  • Intelligent
  • Protective
  • Energetic

Liver German Shepherd Training

Liver German Shepherds are obedient, highly intelligent, and easy to train. They are highly energetic and require plenty of activities to optimize their health and wellbeing. They need a lot of attention, play, and exercise to keep themselves happy and healthy. Activities to keep them engaged include walking, swimming, flyball, herding, tracking, playing fetch, and obedience training. These activities satisfy the natural “working dog” instinct instilled in them. In addition, games and activities keep their mental health stable and prevent anxiety in dogs. Like any other dog, they need early socialization and puppy training classes. 

The training requires patience and consistency during the period. They are sensitive to any adverse reactions and need positive reinforcement while training. They love being around people, and treats and cuddling do wonders while training. They are highly energetic and active and look forward to the training sessions and playing fetch, which helps in training regarding behavioral corrections. They do not respond to harsh commands, and lots of praises, cuddles, and treats work wonders during the training. Obedience training and socialization help behavioral correction and bring out the best in any dog. Their training can include the following:

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Trainability Overview

Easy to TrainHigh
Prey DriveHigh
Tendency to Bark or HowlMedium to high
Wanderlust AbilityLow
Mouthiness TendenciesHigh

Liver German Shepherd Exercise Needs

Liver German Shepherds are highly energetic working dogs and need exercises of 90 minutes per day. The training can vary, including walking, running, and playing. It can also be spread across the day and need not be continuous. A daily walk of 30-40 minutes will be ideal. Liver German Shepherds live a healthy and long life with the right amount of exercise and activity. Above all this, they are happiest when around their human friends. Walking 2-3 times a day with a bit of running and play keeps the dog happy and healthy. They excel in canine activities like agility and flyball. Liver German Shepherd is delighted with a yard to run, loves playing ball, Frisbee, and fetch, and excels in agility. They enjoy running, walking, hiking, agility, and indoor games. A proper exercise routine helps the dog with the following benefits.

  • Social interaction
  • Weight Control
  • Stress Relief
  • Behavioral Corrections like excessive chewing, persistent barking
  • Brain stimulation
  • Strengthening Muscles
  • Routine Toileting
  • Mental health and happiness

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy Level                                High
Exercise Needs                           High
Playfulness                                  High

Liver German Shepherd Grooming

Liver German Shepherds are easy to groom compared to many other dog breeds. Most Liver German Shepherds have a double coat with a thick undercoat and a smooth, short-haired outer coat usually shed in early spring and the late fall. Their coat needs brushing every couple of days. The hair at its paws has to be trimmed to avoid the floor getting dirty. They are easy to groom, and the coat must be brushed 2-3 times per week. They may need extra brushing during their shedding season. Brushing helps remove matted hair and pull out the loose fur during shedding. One of the essential parts of grooming is bathing which keeps the dog clean. However, frequent bathing causes dry skin and itches. Bathe your dog using shampoos with balanced pH. for dogs. Pet wipes keep your dog’s coat fresh, clean, and shiny. They can also be bathed once a week. However, daily brushing helps to keep the fur from knots and tangles.

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They are prone to collect ear wax quickly. Hence, Ears should be cleaned and regularly checked as they are prone to ear problems. Brush their teeth daily to prevent plaque and other dental problems. Never brush the teeth with a stiff brush as it will harm the gums and teeth. Also, make sure to use dog-friendly toothpaste. 

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Also, clean their eyes and trim their nails as a part of everyday grooming needs. Their toenails must be checked weekly as longer nails may harm and injure the dog. You can trim the toenails with a commercial dog nail trimmer or with the help of a vet or professional groomer.

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Grooming Overview

Easy to groomMedium to high
Drooling tendenciesLow
Amount of sheddingHigh

Liver German Shepherd Health

Liver German Shepherds are generally healthy dogs. Still, like any other dog breed, they are also prone to specific health conditions.

Health Overview

Basic HealthMedium to high
Weight Gain PossibilitiesLow to medium

Degenerative Myelopathy: Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive spinal cord disorder, specifically affecting the part of the spinal cord that carries information to the brain regarding the hind legs. Dogs with DM behave as if they don’t know their back legs and cannot move them well. The disease progresses to a case where the dog cannot walk. Unfortunately, there is no cure most of the time, and the dog is put to rest. However, in some rare cases, the condition is related to lacking vitamin E or vitamin-12. If this is the case, vitamin supplements might uphold the situation.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is a pancreatic genetic disease in which the cells that produce digestive enzymes are damaged. As a result, the dog cannot digest and consume food. The first signs are gas, weight loss, loss of appetite, and change in stools. Next, the dog becomes lean and very hungry. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is diagnosed with a simple blood test, and treatment is simple as the pancreatic enzymes are added to the dog’s food. With proper medication guidance, most dogs recover.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: Commonly called bloat, a life-threatening disease that affects large, deep-chested dogs like German Shepherds, especially if fed one large meal a day, eat fast, drink large volumes of water after meal, and exercise vigorously after eating. Bloat occurs when the stomach is swollen due to pressure with gas or air and then twists. The dog cannot vomit to get rid of the excessive air in their stomach, and the average remit of blood to the heart is impeded. Blood pressure falls, and the dog goes into shock. Without prompt medical attention, the dog can expire. Suspect bloat if your dog has a swollen abdomen, is drooling excessively, and is retching without throwing up. They also may be restless, lethargic, depressed, and weak with a rapid heart rate. Getting your dog to the vet as soon as possible is crucial.

Elbow Dysplasia: This is a heritable disease common to large-sized dog breeds. It’s caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow, causing joint loosening. This can lead to painful lameness. Your vet may recommend medication to control the pain or even surgery to correct the problem.

Elbow Hygroma: An elbow hygroma is a fluid-filled (usually yellow to red) swelling occurring over the elbow joint. This problem is commonly seen in short-haired, large breed dogs such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Mastiffs, and Great Danes. These dogs frequently lay on hard surfaces, such as tile, hardwood floors, or concrete which repeatedly causes minor trauma to the dog’s thin skin over a bony prominence. They can grow about two inches in diameter. Regardless of size, hygroma is generally non-painful. If allowed to become large enough, your dog may experience pain and discomfort to the point of ulceration and abscessing. Your dog will probably not show any signs of illness or distress unless the hygroma becomes infected.

Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is an abnormality of the hip joint where the socket portion does not entirely fit the ball portion, resulting in an ascending risk for joint dislocation. Hip dysplasia may occur at birth or in early life. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. Some dogs exhibit discomfort and lameness on one or both rear legs. The Orthopedic Foundation does x-ray screening for hip dysplasia for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program. Dogs who suffer from hip dysplasia should not be bred.

Allergies: Few German Shepherds suffer from various allergies, differing from contact allergies to food allergies. Allergies in dogs are similar to those in humans. If your German Shepherd dog is scratching, licking at their paws, or rubbing their face, suspect that they have an allergy and take them to the vet.

Bleeding Disorders: German Shepherd is prone to a bleeding disorder. After several diagnostic tests, the surgery is performed depending on the type.

Hyperadrenocorticism is caused by the malfunction of adrenal glands that produce excessive steroid hormones. The condition develops gradually and may be ignored, but one should be aware of the symptoms to prevent necessary damage. Symptoms include increased appetite, drinking, and urinating than usual.

Cancer: German Shepherd has a higher life expectancy than the other breed, so they are prone to cancer as they grow older. Cancer can be cured by surgical removal of tumors and chemotherapy. However, it is essential not to ignore the symptoms and diagnose them earlier.

Anal Gland Problems: The area around the anus becomes inflamed or develops sores. The German Shepherd is more prone to this long-term disease. Symptoms include constipation, bleeding, licking of the area, straining or apparent pain when defecating, and smelly discharge around the rectum. Treatment includes lifelong medications and surgery.

Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus is a common disease among dogs. The German Shepherd has a higher vulnerability than other breeds. In diabetes, the dogs cannot metabolize blood sugar, causing increased drinking, eating, urination, and weight loss. Treatment includes medication and insulin injection.

Cataracts: It is a common cause of blindness in older German Shepherds. The lens of the eyes becomes cloudy and opaque. Treatment might require surgery for good results.

Pannus is a disease in which the inflammatory cells penetrate the cornea (the clear part of the eye) and darken when exposed to ultraviolet rays, causing blindness.

Epilepsy is of three types—reactive, secondary, and primary or idiopathic epilepsy. Reactive seizures are caused by the brain’s reaction to metabolic problems like low blood sugar, toxin, or organ failure. Secondary seizures are due to a brain tumor, trauma, or stroke. If the above condition is not present, the disease is primary or idiopathic epilepsy. The signs of seizures begin as early as six months and three years of age.

Dental Disease: It affects 80% of pets by age two. It causes tartar build-up on the teeth, infection of the gums and roots, and in extreme cases, loss of teeth and damage to the kidneys.

Infections: German Shepherds are prone to bacterial and viral diseases such as rabies, parvo, and distemper. You can prevent the viral infection by vaccinating based on the dog’s age.

Parasites: Liver German Shepherds can be infested with worms, bugs, fleas, and ticks that can get into their systems through unclean water, contaminated soil, or bitten by an infected mosquito. It can also be transmitted to you and your family. Symptoms include discomfort, pain, and even death.

Obesity: It is a significant health condition in German Shepherds. Excess weight can cause joint problems, back pain, digestive disorders, and heart disease. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to prevent this lifestyle disease.

Spay or Neuter: In spay, the ovaries or uterus in females is removed, and in the neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are removed. It eliminates the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancer.

Liver German Shepherd Diet and Nutrition

Liver German Shepherds are medium-sized dogs. They need high nutritional food that provides them with enough energy that helps them to thrive. Depending on weight, age, and activity, they need about 1740 and 2100 caloric intake per day, on average. Therefore, it is recommendable to use the calorie calculator tool. Protein and fat are essential ingredients for a Liver German Shepherd dog. The puppies need 22% of the protein in their food, whereas the adults need about 18% of protein. 

Liver German Shepherd puppies need 8% fat for growing puppies and 5% for maintenance. Protein-filled diets like chicken, lamb, fish, and lamb help the dog’s brain and muscles work correctly. Also, omega-3 DHA fats from food like fish oil and vitamin E add to the good fat value for the puppy’s brain development. Never hesitate to consult a vet to meet your pup’s dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy.

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Liver German Shepherd Living Condition

Liver German Shepherds are large breeds and are not suitable for apartments. They need outdoor space, preferably a yard. They are inactive indoors, and outdoor space best suits their athletic body. A female German Shepherd is independent by nature, while the male German Shepherd needs to be accompanied. Liver German Shepherds are great escapers and must be leashed or kept in a fenced area. 

Liver German Shepherds are active working dogs with high energy and hence get bored easily with insufficient activities. This leads to destructive behavior like barking, chewing, and digging. In addition, they are highly sensitive and do not tolerate being alone. Liver German Shepherds can live in both hot and cold weather conditions.

Adding Liver German Shepherd to Your Family

Things to remember before adding a Liver German Shepherd to your family

Getting a Liver German Shepherd from a reputable breeder is best to prevent unavoidable circumstances like health disorders and provide you with vaccination certificates. It is best to check with the puppy’s parents to ensure his health and happiness. Always remember the following red flags to avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills.

  • Puppies are available around the year.
  • You can choose from a variety of litter that is always available.
  • One will be promised any puppy they want. 

Cost of a Liver German Shepherd Puppy

The cost of a Liver German Shepherd puppy ranges from $1200 to $2000.

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