The Colorful Breed

The Australian Shepherd is well known for a rainbow of coat colors.

Black Tricolor

Solid black with tan points on face, chest, and legs. Eyes are typically brown or golden, unless touching white markings. Amount of white varies and is separate genetically.

Black Bi

Solid black (no tan points). Eyes are typically brown or golden, unless touching white markings. Amount of white varies and is separate genetically. Often seen in border collies.

Red Tricolor

Similar to the Black Tricolor, but with red/brown/chocolate tones instead of black. Lighter brown tan points on face, chest, and legs still noticeable. Darker skin (nose, etc) is also brown. Can vary in darkness from caramel to chocolate brown. Eyes are typically brown or golden, unless touching white markings. Amount of white varies and is separate genetically.

Red Bi

Similar to the Black Bi, but with red/brown/chocolate tones instead of black. Darker skin (nose, etc) is also brown. Can vary in darkness from caramel to chocolate brown. It is a different color than Sable (commonly seen in Collies). Eyes are typically brown or golden, unless touching white markings. Amount of white varies and is separate genetically.

Blue Merle

Base of either the Black Bi or Tricolor, with the merle gene turning the black hairs grey with black splotches. Amount of greying can vary from almost white to almost black. Tan points may or may not be present. Eyes are often blue or mottled, even if not touching white markings. Amount of white varies and is separate genetically.

Red Merle

Base of either the Red Bi or Tricolor, with the merle gene turning the chocolate hairs very light brown with chocolate splotches. Amount of lighter coloring can vary from almost white to very dark brown. Tan points may or may not be present. Eyes are often blue, green, or mottled, even if not touching white markings. Amount of white varies and is separate genetically.

Double Merle / Lethal White

Double merles are either blue or red merles that have two copies of the gene (meaning both parents were merle). Double merles are often mostly white with smaller merle splotches. Read more about double merles here.