Have you ever heard of the Blue Bay Shepherd? Well, you’re in for a treat. This handsome blue wolf German Shepherd-type dog is a stunning breed that has recently made an appearance in the dog world.
Curious to learn about the Blue Bay Shepherd? Read on to be delighted by this new dog you didn’t know you were going to fall in love with!
What Is a Blue Bay Shepherd?
Have you ever dreamed of owning a dog with the graceful good looks of a wolf? They are a stunning sight to behold. The only problem is dogs that look more like wolves tend to have wolf-like personalities. And an anti-social, somewhat aggressive pet is not what most people are looking for.
A Blue Bay Shepherd is an attempt to create a dog with the beauty and grace of a wolf, but the happy, friendly temperament and trainability of a dog. Thus far, it has been quite a success.
Blue Bay Shepherds were created by breeding specifically bred wolf-dogs with old-style blue German Shepherds. They were aiming to get the wolf-like look, with all the trainability and loving personality of a German Shepherd — and the results have been stunning.
The History of the Blue Bay Shepherd
The history of the Blue Bay Shepherd does not go back very far. It starts with the vision of one woman, Vicki Spencer, a dog breeder living in Palm Bay, Florida.
She had two very specific lists of traits when creating the Blue Bay Shepherd. Those she wanted to breed for and those she wanted to avoid.
Her list of desirables included:
- The lupine (wolf-like) look
- Willing and loyal nature
- Affectionate and gentle temperament
- The deep blue color
- Robust health
But she wanted to avoid:
- The steeply sloped back of modern GSDs (and the hip dysplasia problems)
- Dark eyes
- Large ears
To lay the foundation for the Blue Bay Shepherd, Vicki began by breeding her own wolf dogs. Once she had those dogs the way she wanted them, they were F5 wolfdogs — meaning they were five generations away from their wolf ancestors.
There are 8 different dog breeds mixed in Vicki’s dogs’ DNA. She has been secretive about exactly which breeds she used in an attempt to protect her new breed from unscrupulous breeders trying to poorly create their own versions.
However, DNA testing has revealed Malamute and Husky dogs as part of the lineage.
When her wolf dogs were ready, Vicki then needed the old-style German Shepherds. These are GSDs that don’t have sloping backs and over-angulated hind legs. She also needed them to be blue to help maintain the color she was looking for.
She found exactly what she needed from a breeder in France. After importing two of them, Passion and Jordan, she bred them with her own dogs. The first official litters of Blue Bay Shepherds was born in March 2011.
They got their name because they are blue German Shepherds mixed with the name of their birthplace, Palm Bay, Florida.
Are Blue Bay Shepherds Rare?
Yes, at this point, Blue Bay Shepherds are quite rare.
The only true Blue Bay Shepherds come from Vicki’s Southern Breeze Kennels. Since only Vicki and a handful of her helpers are overseeing the development of these dogs, only a few Blue Bays are added to their numbers each year.
Properly developing the breed also requires care and very selective breeding to encourage the desired traits. Since Vicki is not breeding these dogs left and right, even fewer dogs can be produced.
However, the popularity of the breed is catching on. One Blue Bay Shepherd named Kurgan even has his own YouTube channel with nearly 300,000 subscribers. As the trend continues, there will be people who will try to market their dogs as Blue Bay Shepherds.
However, all Blue Bays are given a registration number and Vicki hand-signs a certificate. This documentation proves that a dog is a true Blue Bay Sheperd.
How Much Wolf Is In a Blue Bay Shepherd?
The first batch of Blue Bay puppies contained approximately 30% wolf blood. But once she created the dog she was looking for, Vicki began only breeding Blue Bays to each other. Thus, with each generation, the amount of wolf blood is dwindling.
Some Blue Bays can still have as much as 12 or 16% wolf DNA. But, in general, Vicki aims to keep that percentage down to around 6%.
Blue Bay Shepherds look exactly like what you would expect from what Vicki was aiming for. They are large dogs with a wolf-like appearance. They have long hair that is a beautiful shade of blue or slate gray.
They’ll have a blue or black nose and light-colored eyes, usually somewhere between amber and yellow — sometimes with greenish tints. Some Blue Bays even have blue eyes.
They are well-built, athletic dogs. Though their wolf heritage shows through, they also hold a distinct resemblance to their German Shepherd parents. This is most noticeable in the shape of their heads.
How Big Will a Blue Bay Shepherd Be?
As such a new breed, there is still a bit of variation when it comes to the size of Blue Bay Shepherds. However, they will always be on the larger end of the spectrum.
As usual, males tend to be larger than females and can stand more than 30 inches tall. Though strong, they are slender dogs with females usually weighing around 70-85 pounds and males around 85-105. However, some Blue Bays can tip the scales at 130 pounds!
If there is anything a Blue Bay Shepherd is not — it’s a cute little lap dog that can be happy living in a tiny apartment.
Do They Come In Any Other Colors?
Though blue was the desired color, keep in mind that various other dog breeds were mixed in to create the Blue Bay Shepherd. Thus there are a few other coat colors that can and will pop up until the breed has become standardized.
- Beige and cream
- Black and tan
Once the breed becomes standardized, these coat colors may become official. But, for now, the goal is to create the blue version as much as possible.
Blue Bay Shepherd Temperament
Though Vicki was aiming for the lupin look with these dogs, she will sacrifice the look for the temperament. Her primary goal was to create a family pet though getting them to look like wolves was a close second.
Regardless, she succeeded at both.
Blue Bay Shepherds have a sweet, loving temperament without the aggression and aloofness of their wolf ancestors.
Of course, the dog’s attitude also depends on training and being properly socialized as a puppy. But the dogs naturally tend to be sociable, gentle, affectionate, and playful. You can even trust them around livestock and other animals!
Sociability with Other Pets
Does getting a Blue Bay Shepherd mean you have to be a one-pet family? Can you trust this dog that looks so much like a wolf with other pets?
Owners report that their Blue Bay pups have done well with other dogs and cats. They should be properly socialized and raising them with other pets is best. However, this is common amongst dogs in general — not just ones that look like wolves.
Are Blue Bay Shepherds Good Pets?
Their sweet, affectionate nature makes the Blue Bay Shepherd a great family pet. But they will do best in a specific type of home.
As you might imagine with GSDs and huskies in their parentage, Blue Bay Shepherds are very energetic dogs. They also tend to be huge. So a home with a large yard and lots of space to run is an ideal place for them.
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Blue Bays can also be prone to separation anxiety, so an active family that will be spending lots of time with the pup is best.
Homes with small children may not be the best choice for them purely because of their size. They are gentle, but they are still big and energetic which means they can accidentally harm tiny family members.
Wondering if your home would be a good fit? The best way to find out is to ask Vicki herself. For now, she’s the only source of a true Blue Bay Shepherd and she likes to make sure that her dogs go to homes where they will be happy and loved.
Food and Health
One of Vicki’s goals for the Blue Bay Shepherd is that they would be healthy and strong. However, because the breed is so new, there are no established health patterns and no way to know if there are common problems.
Dogs with wolf blood in general tend to be healthy and have a long life expectancy. However, counter this with the tiny gene pool. All Blue Bays come from the same place and the breeders at Southern Breeze Ranch have to be cautious to avoid inbreeding and the problems this can cause.
Vicki specifically used the old-style German Shepherds to avoid the modern GSDs' sloped back and the hip dysplasia that commonly comes with it. However, this doesn’t completely rule out both elbow and hip dysplasia.
Plus, the Shepherds she used may still pass down issues like epilepsy, degenerative myelopathy, pituitary dwarfism, and eye abnormalities.
Also, it’s important to note that Blue Bays can be prone to bloat like many large breed dogs. To help prevent this, avoid feeding within 30 minutes of exercise — either before or after. You may also consider using a slow feeder bowl if your dog tends to eat too fast.
Well, GSDs have thick double coats that shed twice a year — 6 months in the Spring and 6 months in the Fall. And wolf dogs are exactly the same.
A Blue Bay Shepherd requires daily brushing during the worst seasons to keep this shedding under control. The rest of the year, you can get away with brushing them 1-3 times a week. Regular brushing will also help keep their long hair free of tangles and give it that shine that makes them so beautiful.
Regardless, brushing your dog is a great way to bond with him and helps him to feel safe and loved in your home.
Since they are so active, Blue Bay Shepherds will generally wear down their own nails running around on hard ground. If not, you should have clippers on hand to keep them from overgrowing.
Note that ear infections are common in German Shepherds. So you should keep your Blue Bay’s ears clean and dry to avoid the same.
Where To Find Blue Bay Shepherd Dogs?
The only place you can get a true Blue Bay Shepherd dog is from Southern Breeze Ranch in Palm Bay, Florida. Since there are so few and the breed is still in development, there is commonly a one or two-year waiting list for these pups.
The pups can also be quite pricey, though less than you might expect from an exclusive breeder.
Keeping your Blue Bay Shepherd Safe
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Do you love the idea of adding a blue wolf German Shepherd-type dog to your family? The gorgeous Blue Bay Shepherd could be a great option for you.
Plus, you would become part of the development of a new breed!
Vicki keeps in contact with all the owners of her pups to monitor their development and behavior over time. She wants to create and maintain a standard with her new breed and well as make improvements with each new generation.
If you become the lucky owner of one of these pups, you will join a new adventure that is more than just getting a new dog. Plus, you will be the lucky recipient of more love and loyalty than you might have bargained for!