Blue Bay Shepherd: Everything You Need To Know

Blue Bay Shepherds are a type of wolf-dog shepherd mix. They are different from most shepherd dogs we currently know and love.

Blue Bays were first bred to look like a wolf, but without the wild temperament. They were first bred by Vicki Spencer in the 1990s. Vicki wanted a blue wolf dog with a sweet personality suitable for families.

The Blue Bay lineage can be traced back to a wolf-dog and blue German Shepherd mix. But, the current breeding stock is now kept a secret.

Want to learn more about this rare and expensive wolf shepherd? Keep reading…

What Is A Blue Bay Shepherd?

Blue Bay Shepherd Social
(c) Conway Jericho

The Blue Bay Shepherd is a new type of German Shepherd mix.

Blue Bays were first bred in Palm Bay, Florida, hence the name. The “blue” part of their name describes their beautiful blue coat. This rare blue color is present in its blue German Shepherd parent.

This breed has been in development for the last 20 years. The first breeder Vicki Spencer spent many years looking for the right German Shepherds and wolf-dogs before officially starting the Blue Bay line.

The original was a cross between a blue-coated German Shepherd and a Southern Breeze wolf-dog. The “Southern Breeze Wolf” is a mix of an east timber wolf and a variety of unknown dog breeds.

Since the first generation, Vicki has added other breeds to the gene pool. However, she has kept the breeds a secret from the public. Current owners suspect that Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies have also been added to the mix.

Current Blue Bay Shepherds are mostly a German Shepherd mix:

  • German Shepherd – 60%
  • Unknown breeds – 22%
  • Eastern Timber Wolf-Dog – 6%
  • Alaskan Malamute – 6%
  • Siberian Husky – 6%

Blue Bay Shepherds were bred to create a dog with the appearance of a wolf, without the aggressive temperament that can be present in wolf-dogs or German shepherds. The first German Shepherds used to start the breeding program were specifically chosen for their loving personality and gentile, calm nature.

Breeders purposefully chose German Shepherd dogs that were not known for their guarding ability. Guarding is sometimes thought to be linked with aggression, and this is being purposefully bred out.

The blue German Shepherds used also were American Kennel Club certified and determined to not have any of the genetic health issues that plague many German Shepherds today.

By selecting these dogs, the Blue Bay Shepherd could be a sweeter, more wolf-like, healthier shepherd dog.

Breeding Program

Blue Bay Dog
(c) Conway Jericho

Vicki Spencer is both the founder and the only current breeder of Blue Bay Shepherds. She lives currently on the Southern Breeze Ranch where she has been working for the past 20 years on the development of this breed.

Vicki had always envisioned a shepherd dog with a blue fur coat, a loving, gentle personality and excellent health. However, she was unhappy with the current personality, color, and health issues present in the standard German Shepherd.

She set to solve these problems by creating a new breed.

Vicki began creating her ideal dog using wolf-dogs and blue German Shepherds.

In March 2011 Vicki bred the first Blue Bay Shepherd, but the breed still has a long way to go.

The ultimate goal for Vicki is to have the Blue Bay breed registered with the American Kennel Club and be officially recognized.

Technically they are not currently an official breed. This is because each dog is a unique mix of other officially recognized breeds and wolf-dogs. It is thought that she is on the 5th generation of breeding stock.

Currently there is a “secret recipe” for the breeding program. All that is known is that the first few generations were wolf-dogs and blue German Shepherds.

They are still officially in their development phase.

As of 2021, an F2 Blue Bay has not been bred. This means she has not yet mated two Blue Bay Shepherds together. She is still currently crossing Blue Bays with other breeds.

Are They Purebred?

A purebred dog is a dog whose parents are both the same breed.

All of the current Blue Bay Shepherds are technically mixed breeds, they are not purebred. The original mix was a blue German Shepherd and a wolf-dog hybrid. According to the founder, the Blue Bay Shepherd is really an original German Shepherd. The original studbooks for German Shepherds included cross breeding to wolves.

The breeding program will continue to mix other breeds into the gene pool until the appearance, temperament, and personality meet the original goals.

Not being a purebred dog is not a bad thing!

Blue Bay Shepherds have an extremely diverse genetic background because they are a mix.

This means they are much less prone to the genetic diseases that are common in the purebred German Shepherd population in the US. The founder specifically chooses dogs for their excellent genetic background.

Do Blue Bay Shepherds Have Wolf in Them?

Blue Bay Shepherd Puppies
(c) Conway Jericho

Blue Bay Shepherds are part wolf, 6% of their genetics come from the eastern timber wolf.

The original wolfdogs that produced the first generation were about 50-60% wolf. The third generation were about 15% wolf. Past the fourth generation, it is estimated that they are currently ~6% wolf.

Vicki wants to keep around 6% wolf for the final genetic profile.

Blue Bay Shepherds are specifically mixed with wolf-dogs that are part eastern timber wolf (Canine lupis lycaon). The eastern timber wolf was chosen because of its blue coat that does not fade with age. They tend to become even more wolf-like as they age.

This is due to the eastern timber wolf that is in their bloodline. Eastern timber wolves tend to be blue when they are young. Their blue color seems to last 6-8 years on average. At around eight years of age, they start to gain more silver and white in their coat.

Purebred blue German Shepherds can change from blue to a silvery gray within their first few years.

Appearance

american blue bay shepherd
(c) Conway Jericho

You can spot a Blue Bay Shepherd almost instantly!

The style of their coat is typical of a German Shepherd’s, but it will be distinctly blue in color. It is less deep blue and more of an ashy bluish gray. They also have stunning eyes that are completely distinctive to the breed; they are always pale, ranging from green to hazel.

Their general appearance from a distance is very wolf like.

The original goal was to create a dog that looks like a wolf.

Blue Bay Shepherds are particularly wolf-like in their appearance. Some of the early generations are almost indistinguishable from a wolf.

All Blue Bays have three things they all seem to have in common:

  1. Very light-colored eyes.
  2. Signature blue fur coat.
  3. Wolf like appearance with a mane of fur around their face.

Blue Bay Shepherds are known for their show stopping eyes. Their eye color can range from a pale green to hazel or even a pale blue. They are very different from the dark brown eyes of a typical German Shepherd.

Their blue coat is also a dazzling ashy blue-gray. This is different from the many blue colors of German Shepherd. Their fur can also become ashier and more silver with time making them appear even more wolf like.

They have a bushy mane framing their face and naturally pointy, upright ears.

Blue Bay Shepherds are also a very large breed. Females run from 70 to 85 pounds and males are on average 85 to 105 pounds. Some of the first generation mixes are over 130 pounds! Some small german shepherds have been known to weigh just 50 pounds.

Temperament and Personality

Blue Bay Shepherds were bred specifically to be family dogs.

Currently they are not used for any specific purpose other than to snuggle and love on their owners. Despite their wolf lineage, their personalities are surprisingly very sweet and cuddly.

Vicki wanted the breed to be family pets with very gentle temperaments.

Above all else Blue Bay Shepherds are specifically bred for their temperament. All of the dogs that are part of the breeding program are very calm and sweet dogs that love people. This is even true for the wolf-dog hybrids that were used in the original lineage.

They can be friendly and get along great with strangers.

However, they must be socialized properly.

Dogs in general should be socialized as soon as they are fully vaccinated. Due to the fact that Blue Bay Shepherds are part wolf, this socialization stage is critical.

Socializing a Blue Bay puppy will ensure that all of the sweet loving traits typical of their breed will be fully present. These traits should not be shadowed by fear of the unknown.

In general, the ideal owner of a Blue Bay Shepherd is one that will spend a lot of time with them and expose them to other dogs and small children early.

Leaving this breed alone for long periods of time can cause aggressive undesirable behaviors, especially when they are young. Being shepherd dogs, they do require an active lifestyle and lots of attention.

Some owners report that they can become destructive in their yards when left alone. This is most likely due to boredom and an inability to redirect their energy towards something more productive.

The breeding program currently matches each puppy with a household that is best for that puppy’s temperament and personality. The typical owner of a Blue Bay Shepherd is extremely active and loves to play. Some are avid outdoorsmen and meet their Blue Bay’s activity level through hiking.

Blue Bay Shepherds love to go for long hikes and have lots of space to run and play.

7 Interesting Blue Bay Shepherd Facts

blue shepherd dogs
(c) Conway Jericho

1. A Blue Bay Shepherd Is Part Wolf

The first generation was about 30% wolf. The original wolf-dogs that produced the first generation of Blue Bay Shepherds were about 50-60% wolf.

They are currently about 6% wolf. 6% is ideal in order for them to behave more like dogs, and less like wolves. The more wolf a dog has, the more timid and potentially aggressive they can be towards strangers.

2. Males Can Be Over 100 Pounds

Males are on average between 85 and 105 pounds. Larger males can grow to over 130 pounds. Females run smaller at between 70 to 85 pounds.

Their size, combined with their wolf-like appearance, can be frightening to strangers. This means that they require proper training and an owner that can control them in any given situation.

3. One Puppy Costs Over $2,500

There is currently only one breeder of Blue Bay Shepherds, this makes them extremely rare. Their price is not officially disclosed, however, current owners report paying around $2,500-$3,000 per puppy.

Each puppy comes with a certificate that is signed by the breeder for authenticity. The breed will remain in its developmental stage for several more years.

4. They Are Sweethearts

Blue Bay Shepherds are known for their very affectionate personalities. They are known to love people, despite having wolf in their blood.

5. Adults Need One Hour Of Daily Exercise

Blue Bay Shepherds need an owner that can spend lots of time playing with them and giving them lots of time to exercise.

They are not bred to be farm dogs, like the original German Shepherds, but they are part German Shepherd. This means they love to run around and be outdoors. If they are not allowed enough time to exercise, they have been known to be destructive.

6. Unsocialized Dogs Can Be Aggressive

These dogs must be appropriately socialized, or they can become aggressive.

Most of them love people, especially their families. However, they are very impressionable by negative experiences. Some have been reported to be dog and stranger-aggressive.

7. They Shed!

Blue Bays have an undercoat and will shed throughout the year, just like German Shepherds. But, their shedding is more moderate than the average German Shepherd, this may be due to the mixing with the wolf-dogs.

They are not a dog suitable for someone with allergies.

Blue Bay Shepherd vs German Shepherd Differences

Blue Bay Shepherd vs German Shepherd
These dogs are about 60% German Shepherd.

A Blue Bay Shepherd is very different than the German Shepherd that most people know.

German Shepherds were originally bred as sheep herding dogs for farmers in Germany. They were designed to be a working dog. Today, the German Shepherd is not always used for sheep herding, but it is still a working dog. It can be used for police, military, and service work.

Blue Bay Shepherds are bred to be family dogs, not for work.

Since the German Shepherd was not bred with personality in mind, they can be timid towards strangers and occasionally aggressive. This is not known amongst Blue Bay Shepherds. Although, both dogs are known to be destructive when not exercised.

The blue German Shepherd has become very rare. This is partially due to its unpopularity, but also those that are born blue tend to become a silver-gray color with age.

Blue Bay Shepherds are part blue but are much more of an ashy-blue. This makes them very different in appearance than a typical shepherd.

Finally, the price of these two puppies is different.

German Shepherds can range anywhere from $500 to $1,500 depending on the breeder. It is also easy to find rescues that work specifically with German Shepherds, if you are interested in adopting an adult.

Blue Bay Shepherds cost $2,500 and $3,000 per dog. It is not possible to adopt a rescue.

Blue Bay ShepherdGerman Shepherd
Weight70 to 105 pounds.48 to 88 pounds.
ColorAshy bluish gray.Shade of navy that is almost black.
PersonalitySweet, loving and highly intelligent.Timid, shy and cautious with strangers.
PurposeFamily pet.Sheep herding dog.
OriginAmerica.Germany.
Price$2,500 to $3,000$500 to $1,500

Summary

The Blue Bay Shepherd is a new type of Shepherd dog that was first bred by Vicki Spencer.

Her goal was to create a healthier Shepherd-type dog with a wild wolf-like appearance and gentle personality.

Blue Bays are a unique breed. All of them have an ashy bluish gray coat and pale green eyes.

Blue Bay Shepherds are not a purebred dog. The original cross was half wolf-dog and half blue German Shepherd mix. There may be other breeds that have since been added to the lineage, but the founder has kept this a secret.

Despite their wolf heritage, their personalities are very sweet and cuddly. They are known to snuggle and love on their owners. However, they must be socialized to stop fearful and aggressive behaviors.

Are you interested in a Blue Bay Shepherd now? Let us know in the comments below.

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