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Colours of the Australian Shepherd:

Coat Colours:

The Australian Shepherd comes in 16 variations of colour. The 4 standard coat colours are Black, Red, Blue Merle and Red Merle. All of these colours can be seen with or without copper and white.


Solid Black

Black and Copper

Black & White

Black Tri (Black with white and copper trim)


Solid Red

Red & Copper

Red & White

Red Tri (Red with white and copper trim)

Blue Merle

Self Blue Merle

Blue Merle and Copper

Blue Merle and White

Blue Merle with White and Copper

Red Merle

Self Red Merle

Red Merle and Copper

Red Merle and White

Red Merle with White and Copper

They also come in some non standard colours (colours that are not recognised in the breed standard), markings and patterns.

Eye Colours:

As well as having a varied coat colour, Australian Shepherds can also have varying eye colours. The standard colours are Brown, Blue & Amber.  Both eyes do not have to be the same colour and can include flecks, marbling or can be split (one eye with more than one colour).

obi eyes.jpg

The dog above has 1 blue eye and 1 split eye.

Photo Credit: Julie Swallow

Nose Colour:

The colour of an Australian Shepherds nose usually denotes the colour of the dog. A black dog will have a black nose, a red dog will have a liver nose. If this is not the case then the true colour of the dog will be in question. Some puppies can have pink marbled noses, but these do usually fill in over time.


The 4 photos above are of the same dog: 

Top/Left at 8 weeks

Top/Right at 3 months

Bottom/Left at 7 months

Bottom/Right at 12 months

Photo Credit: Jo Morley

For a more detailed explanation on the colouration of the Australian shepherd, including the genetics and health implications visit the ASHGI Colour page compiled by Lisa McDonald.

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