One of the most unique and striking coat colors a dog can have is blue. So much so that when it comes to a few different breeds, blue is hands down the most sought-after color. But in the dog world, “blue” doesn’t mean a crazy bright blue – you won’t see real-world blues clues dogs walking around anytime soon.
Instead, “blue” in the dog world means a smoky gray to light silver with deep blue undertones. The actual color ranges even more, some dogs will have a more pale color than others, while some will have an icy or steely appearance.
Why are Blue Dogs Popular?
Besides simply being an attractive, eye-catching dog, blue-coated dogs are popular because of their rarity. Not every dog breed is even capable of producing a puppy with a blue coat. And in the breeds that can, it is usually a recessive mutation that causes the color which can be difficult to breed for.
There are a few dog breeds that only have blue coats and no other colors, eliminating the rarity factor, but it doesn’t make them any less intriguing.
In most cases, blue dogs will have a higher price tag as puppies compared to their differently colored siblings.
What Causes the Blue Color?
In simple terms, the blue color in dogs is caused by a gene mutation that dilutes black. Without this mutation, the same dog would be dark black instead of having this interesting blue color. Depending on the individual dog, the dilution gene can affect all or part of the dog, sometimes giving them a smoky look instead of a solid color and sometimes only affecting the tail, ears, or a foot or two.
Other influences can also play a factor, like any coat color, blue can change over time. Lightening or darkening with seasonal change, shedding, or merely as the dog gets older.
10 Dogs with Blue Coats
There are many dog breeds that can have a blue coat, either as a standard or as a variation. But we’re going to show 10 popular dogs with blue coats, some you might have never heard of or at least didn’t know they could have blue coats.
The first on our list, the Blue Heeler, is one of the few breeds that only come in blue – even though they aren’t actually a breed on their own. Blue Heelers are actually Australian Cattle Dogs, but ones with this coat color are instead affectionately referred to as Blue Heelers. So, all Blue Heelers are Australian Cattle Dogs but not all Australian Cattle Dogs are Blue Heelers.
The coat of a Blue Heeler has a speckled or mottled look, with some visible black, that creates a blueish-gray appearance.
In some ways, the breed has recently rocketed to stardom thanks to the show “Bluey” (which features a family of blue heelers). If you have kids, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
The Weimaraner is a German dog from the Weimar region, originally used for hunting big game. They have a short, smooth, almost shiny-looking coat that can be silver, gray, black, or blue.
Blue is a fairly common color for a Weimaraner, and while the AKC accepts it as a purebred color, it is a disqualification from shows. There are many who believe the only “true” color a Weimaraner should have is silvery-gray.
Blue Bay Shepherd
A newer hybrid designer breed that popped up in the last 10 years is the Blue Bay Shepherd. Originally developed in Florida, this breed resembles a German Shepherd with heightened wolf-like characteristics – which makes sense considering it’s a wolf hybrid.
The most notable feature, however, is their beautiful blue coat which they were purposefully bred to have. Blue Bay Shepherds are gorgeous dogs that have taken the social media world by storm, but if you’re interested in owning one of these wolf-hybrids, make sure you check your local laws first.
Neopolitan Mastiffs are giant dogs originally serving as war dogs in the Roman armies before becoming estate guardians in ancient Italy – after the fall of the Roman empire, of course.
Unlike Neopolitan ice cream, Neopolitan Mastiffs are almost always solid-colored, and blue is a fairly common color for this breed. They can have a few different coat colors, including black, blue, gray, brown, and varying shades of any of them – as well as occasional brindling.
Poodles famously come in many different colors, including blue. In fact, there are at least 9 different colors recognized by the AKC, not including the various shades. The main thing required is that the coat is one solid color.
There is some debate about what the rarest poodle color is, but the general consensus is that the title belongs to either blue or apricot. Regardless, a blue Poodle is sure to draw some special attention.
Chow Chow’s have a few different coat colors, with black and red being the most common. Blue is considered a rare Chow Chow color, but it’s the one with the most interesting history. Blue Chow Chows were considered the finest-looking Chows and became a favorite of the ancient Chinese and Mongolian people.
Buddhist monks in the Manchuria and Mongolian regions kept and bred these blue Chow Chows in their monasteries for centuries – with few outsiders ever laying eyes upon them. At the time, foreigners were forbidden from entering a Buddhist temple, making these dogs, by proxy, a well-guarded secret.
Today, it’s possible for anyone to enter a Buddhist temple as long as you’re respectful of their rules and customs – you may even see some beautiful blue Chow Chows in the temples, where monks continue to breed them to this day.
Blue Great Danes are considered rare due to the recessive nature of the genes required to create the color, but there are many breeders out there specifically with “blues,” so they aren’t terribly hard to find if you want one. Though you might have to sit on a waiting list.
Blue is an officially recognized color for Great Danes, meaning they can be registered as purebred dogs and are eligible to be shown in shows. The AKC standard describes the requirements for the color as “The color shall be a pure steel blue.”
Blue Italian Greyhounds have become commonplace thanks to breeders intentionally working with the coat color – though the gene is still considered rare.
The popularity of the blue coat color went through the roof when it comes to Italian Greyhounds, and it’s now the most sought-after color worldwide, according to many sources. In some cases, the coat may look more like a true gray rather than grayish-blue, but it depends on how much the gene dilutes its color.
Possibly the most shocking breed on this list is the German Shepherd. Most of them are black and tan, solid black, or black and red (like mine), but there are a couple of other possible colors, including blue.
Blue-coated German Shepherds are exceptionally rare for two reasons. It is considered a serious fault for this breed according to the major breed associations, and on top of that, the color never became popular like it did with many other dog breeds.
I found a few breeders in Europe specifically working with this color, but I couldn’t find anyone in the United States. In most cases, a German Shepherd puppy born with a blue coat happened by accident.
The French Bulldog has been getting substantial attention recently, taking 1st place as the most popular dog in America as well as being the new dog of the celebrities. Both Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have been seen showing off their Frenchies – to name just a few famous celebrities with a dog of this breed.
I’m sure there are a handful of reasons for the popularity growth, but I firmly believe the numerous different coat colors play a significant part because it gives perspective owners more options. Frenchies come in standard colors like red, black, white, and cream, but they also have numerous rarer colors like blue, lilac (Isabella), liver, platinum, and chocolate. Add in the combinations and patterns, and it becomes nearly endless.
In terms of rarity, blue French Bulldogs are rare, but it’s even less common to see lilac or blue fawn Frenchies. Blue Merle Frenchies are possibly the rarest of all.