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Shetland Sheepdogs

Sheltie & Aussie Colors

This is not a complete list of all Sheltie and Australian Shepherd colors, but only an example.  All photos are property of Sailen Acres and not to be copied without permission.  All photos on this page are dogs we have owned over the years.

Blue Merle

This is an example of a Blue Merle.  A Blue Merle is created by the merle gene found in Shelties and Australian Shepherds which places a dilution on a Black, Tan, & White Coat to give the Blue Merle Coat.  If you did not have the dilution gene, it would be a Tri-Color in both Shelties and Aussies. 

Tri Color

This is an example of a Tri Color.  The Tri Color Coat has a base coat of Black with a degree of White and Tan points.  Some Shelties and Aussies may exhibit more White than others which may include White from the feet on the front side of the back legs running to the belly, Dogs which exhibit this feature are sometimes referred to as White Factored.

Bi-Black

This is an example of a Bi-Black Sheltie.  As you will notice, a Bi-Black coat does not contain any Tan.  This is one of the rarest colors today to find on a Sheltie, but was one of the Original Coat colors to come to the United States in the early 1900’s.

Bi-Blue

This is an example of a Bi-Blue Sheltie.  A Bi-Blue is a dilution on a Bi-Black Coat to give the Bi-Blue Sheltie Coat.  A Bi-Blue coat may contain different levels of White around the Collar and legs, but does not contain any tan.  The Coat may also contain more or less Black within the coat pattern.

Sable

Sable is basically a red/gold/tan/brown color, with varying degrees of black overlay. Extremes in overlay may vary from red, gold or tan with black confined to the whiskers to a dog that at first glance looks black with tan on the face and legs. All sables have some tan in the undercoat of the body.  This is an example of a redder colored sable & white Sheltie.  Sables may also be a deep Mahogany in color or very light in color.  Sable is not an acceptable coat color in Aussies (not to be confused with Red).  Sable is based upon black where red is red.  You can always look at a dogs nose to define the difference between Sable and Red.  A Sable or Sable Merle dog should have a Black Nose, a Red or Red Merle dog will have a brown nose.

Sable-Merle

This is an example of a Sable Merle.  A Sable Merle is created by the merle gene found in Shelties
which places a dilution on a Black, Tan, & White Coat to give the Sable Merle Sheltie Coat.  Sable or sable merle coat color is not an acceptable color in Aussies and should not be confused with Red Merle in Aussies.  Sable is based upon black where red is red.  You can always look at a dogs nose to define the difference between Sable and Red.  A Sable or Sable Merle dog should have a Black Nose, a Red or Red Merle dog will have a brown nose.

Australian Shepherds

Red

RED

Red-Merle

Red Merle