If you love the idea of owning a wolf-dog breed but prefer one that’s more dog than wolf, a blue shepherd dog is one to consider. Also called blue bay shepherds or just blue bays, they are a rare and expensive breed that has been bred since the 1990s.
While the current breeding stock is being kept a secret, we know the lineage can be traced back to both blue German Shepherds and wolf-dogs. The breed is basically a blue wolf-dog that has a sweet personality and is appropriate for families.
What Is a Blue Shepherd Dog?
In simple terms, a blue bay shepherd dog is a new type of German Shepherd. It got its name from the fact that it was first bred in Palm Bay, Florida, and its unique blue color. If you look at the most-recent blue bays, you’ll find a mix that looks like this:
- 60% German Shepherd
- 22% Other breeds
- 6% Alaskan Malamute
- 6% Eastern timber wolf-dog
- 6% Siberian husky
The reason they were bred in the first place is because the breeder wanted a dog that looks like a wolf-dog but has a sweet temperament and is not aggressive.
The original breeding used German Shepherds that were chosen specifically because they were very calm, loving, and gentle. And since guard dogs are usually aggressive, the German Shepherds chosen had no guarding ability.
Blue bays are indeed a beautiful dog with a coat that has a gorgeous blue tint to it. Although they are wolf-like, they are very sweet and a lot healthier than standard German Shepherds.
One of the reasons that blue bays are so rare is because there is only one breeder of the dogs. Her name is Vicki Spencer and she has spent the past 20 or so years perfecting the breed.
Characteristics and Traits of Blue Bay Dogs
Blue bays are always easy to spot because of their subtle blue color. It’s a gorgeous dog indeed, with a blue-gray color and distinct eyes that range in color from green to hazel and sometimes even a pale blue. They have a mane of fur around their face, and you can tell they’re a wolf-dog because of their unique features.
Nevertheless, blue bays have a sweet disposition and love to cuddle with their owners. In fact, you can tell that these dogs were bred specifically for their temperament because they are not aggressive like many wolf-dogs but instead have a gentle and loving personality.
Keep in mind, however, that they have to be socialized while they’re very young.
As soon as your blue bay is fully vaccinated, you should start training and socializing them so that proper socialization is successful.
In addition, because these dogs are part German Shepherd, remember that they need a lot of attention and a lot of exercise on a regular basis. If they don’t get it, there’s a chance they may become aggressive at some point.
How Big Do Blue Bay Shepherds Get?
We’re all used to German Shepherds being large dogs, and this is also true for blue bays. In fact, the average blue bay shepherd size is 30 inches at the shoulders and has a weight of between 70 and 100 pounds or more.
Males tend to be slightly bigger than females, with the former usually weighing 85-105 pounds and the latter weighing between 70 and 85 pounds.
What you need to remember is that because this breed is still “developing” and changing, there are sometimes variations in the size of blue bay shepherds.
Having said that, most blue bays have the average sizes listed above, with only slight differences between them. Still, if you buy a blue bay shepherd dog, you can expect to have a big dog on your hands.
This is one of the reasons socialization is so important. Their large size intimidates many smaller animals and even some adults. With proper socialization and training, kids and other adults will quickly realize that they have nothing to be scared of if they see you coming from the other direction.
Other Things to Know About Blue Bays
We don’t know everything about blue bay shepherds simply because they are relatively new, but we do know that based on their parentage, the blue bay shepherd lifespan is roughly 12-15 years.
This is an estimate, of course, but if you purchase one of these dogs, that number should be realistic. While Ms. Spencer started her breeding practices in the 1990s, it wasn’t until 2011 that the first blue bay dog arrived.
One interesting fact about blue bays is that the older they get, the more the color of their coat changes. While they all start out a bluish-gray color, blue bays’ coats tend to get more gray than blue the older they get. They are still very attractive dogs at this point, however, so people will still notice your beautiful pet every time you go out in public.
It is also recommended that you give your blue bay shepherd a minimum of one full hour of exercise every single day. You can take them for walks, run or jog with them, or simply play fetch with them, and the hour doesn’t have to happen all at once.
In fact, four 15-minute sessions or two 30-minute sessions every day are enough to keep the dog from becoming restless or aggressive.
Good With Kids and Other Dogs, but Are They Good for Everyone?
Blue bays are also known for being very good with kids and even other dogs. Despite their size, blue bays are gentle with even young children and small dogs.
Of course, this was done on purpose because creating the perfect family dog was one of the main goals of Ms. Spencer when she first got started. You do have to socialize and train them early, though, for this to happen.
This being said, are blue bays a good choice for everyone? Not necessarily. If you are not ready to commit to making sure you train and socialize your dog starting when they’re puppies, if you don’t like dogs that shed a lot, and if you’re not ready to commit to providing them with at least an hour of exercise daily, this is not the dog for you to choose.
And speaking of shedding, blue bays do shed nearly year-round and will require brushing at least a few times per week. They tend to shed even more when the seasons change, so be ready to brush them more than a few times a week when this happens. Still, you’ll need to be ready with the vacuum cleaner just to make sure you scoop up all of that fur.
A blue bay shepherd dog is a mix between certain types of German Shepherds and wolf-dogs, with the result being a large dog that is nonetheless gentle and loving instead of aggressive.
Blue Bay Shepherds are a beautiful blue-gray color and weigh between 70 and 100 pounds or even more. They were bred to be great family dogs, and they are certainly that.
If you love wolf-dogs but don’t want a dog that’s aggressive, blue bays are a great option. They make a great addition to your family, are gorgeous dogs, and allow you to enjoy them for up to 15 years.