Black Tri Australian Shepherd: A Complete Guide

The Tricolor Australian Shepherd is one of the different variations of the Australian Shepherd’s coat colors. Black tri Australian Shepherd is one of the tricolor coat colors.

So, what makes a Black tri Australian Shepherd? How different are they in comparison to the other Australian Shepherd coat colors?

Read on to learn more about what makes a Black tri Australian Shepherd, its appearance, temperament, health concerns, price, and where to get them.

A Black tri Australian Shepherd has three colors on the coat, that is, black, white, and tan. The black color is the predominant color on the coat while white markings appear on the chest, muzzle, belly, legs, and sometimes on the tail. Tan markings commonly appear on the face, legs, and tail.

Black tri Australian Shepherd

What Does The Black Tri Australian Shepherd Look Like?

The Black tri Australian Shepherd also referred to as the Black Tri Color Australian Shepherd, looks like any other Australian Shepherd in terms of physical features, except for their unique coat color.

They are medium-sized with an athletic build, a medium-sized head, muzzle, triangular ears that are rounded at the tips that stand upright and which may bend forward or to the side, and a short natural tail that may also be docked. 

The coat is a medium double coat that is either slightly wavy or straight. Longer coat fur is found on the chest, legs, and tail.

The eye color of the Black tri Australian Shepherd ranges from light brown to dark brown.

Adult males are heavier and taller than female dogs. The males stand at 20 to 23 inches high with a weight of 50 – 65 pounds. Female dogs are 18 to 21 inches high and weigh between 40 to 55 pounds.

The coat of a Black tri Australian Shepherd has three colors, which are black, white, and tan.

Black is the dominant color on the coat, while white markings appear on the chest, muzzle, belly, and legs and sometimes may also be on the tail. 

Tan markings also described as copper color markings, commonly appear on the face, legs, and tail.

Does the American Kennel Club Recognize the Black Tri Australian Shepherd?

The Black tri Australian Shepherd is registered and recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as one of the 14 official Australian Shepherd coat colors.

The Australian Shepherd has 4 main coat colors, which are Black, Red, Blue Merle, and Red Merle. 

Variations and combinations of these coat colors make up the 14 recognized colors, which include tricolor Australian Shepherds.

Tricolor Aussies are three colored Australian Shepherds. There are 4 tricolor Australian Shepherd coat variations, this includes:

According to the American Kennel Club’s standards for Aussies, the white color on the coat should not be dominant and should vary from small to medium amounts by covering a few areas of the coat.

These areas include the middle of the face which appears as a white stripe down the center of the face, muzzle, neck, chest, underside belly area, and legs.

Related: Get to know the Black Tri Mini Australian Shepherd

The Genetics Of The Black Tri Australian Shepherd

All dog breeds’ coat color is based on a black pigment (eumelanin) and red pigment (phaeomelanin). These are the two primary coat pigments.

A puppy inherits genes from both its parents and the resulting gene interactions, as well as mutations, determine the expression of the black and red base pigments which results in the different coat color combinations and patterns.

A Black tri Australian Shepherd puppy receives one copy of the dominant black gene from one of its parents, and one copy of the dominant Agouti gene also from one of its parents.

 A dominant gene has a higher chance of being seen in a puppy than a recessive gene. This means a dominant gene will be expressed by overriding a recessive gene.

The black gene is dominant and is expressed as the predominant color on the coat of a Black tri Aussie while the dominant Agouti gene is also expressed as the tan (copper) markings on the coat.

White markings on the coat are determined by genes on the S (spotting) locus of the genetic sequence. 

The genes at the S locus limit the production of skin pigment in some areas which result in white areas on the coat.

This genetic makeup produces the Black tri Australian Shepherd.

Are Black Tri Australian Shepherds rare?

Black tri Australian Shepherds are not rare. They are the most common tricolor Australian Shepherd including the Blue Merle tri Australian Shepherd. Black tri-color Australian Shepherds are very popular and it is not hard to find one.

Tricolor Australian Shepherds are known for their unique three-colored coats which is a feature that is not common in all Australian Shepherds.

At first glance and based on these features it can seem that the Black tri Australian Shepherd is rare, but they are not.

Related: Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd: A complete guide

Black Tri Australian Shepherd Temperament

The Black tri Australian Shepherd is intelligent, very energetic, loyal, and confident. They are also easy to train.

This personality is exactly an Australian Shepherd dog breed’s personality. Despite the difference in coat color among the Australian Shepherds, their personality is the same.

The Black tri Aussie is a high-energy dog that thrives on activities that stimulate them both mentally and physically. 

If this is not provided they can become destructive around the home to release pent-up energy.

Black tricolor Australian Shepherds also have a dominant and confident personality as herding dogs that were bred to direct livestock on farms.

So they can become dominant and decide what they want to do if they don’t have strong leadership from their owner.

Therefore they need an owner that provides firm direction and meets their high energy levels.

An individual dog’s personality is also influenced and shaped by good breeding, socialization, and training, as well as care. 

Early socialization is especially important to train them to get along with people because they tend loyal to their family but are shy, and reserved around new people.

Therefore for a Black tri Australian Shepherd to be a well-rounded dog with good behavior and traits, these factors are required to contribute to their overall personality.

Black Tri Australian Shepherd Health Concerns

Research has linked a dog’s coat color to susceptibility to certain health problems. Merle, white, roan, and piebald coat colors are susceptible to deafness or hearing problems. 

Fortunately, the Black tri-colored Australian Shepherd is not prone to more health problems based on its coat color.

The Black tri-colored Australian Shepherd has white on its coat however it is not a predominant color on the coat. It only appears in small areas of the coat which are the blaze on the head, muzzle, neck, chest, underside belly area, and legs.

Black is the dominant color on the coat and covers a large area of a Black tri Australian Shepherd’s coat.

The dog is therefore not prone to more health problems linked to certain coat color pigments.

The Black tri Australian Shepherd however is still susceptible to the common Australian Shepherd breed health problems. These include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies

These are health concerns that the Black tri Australian Shepherd is susceptible to however it does not necessarily mean they develop all these conditions.

Black tri Australian Shepherd are generally healthy dogs. 

Black tri Australian Shepherd Breeders also strive to produce healthy puppies including Black Tri Aussie puppies.

It is however important to be aware of these possible health conditions which inform you on what to expect when you own a Black tri Australian Shepherd and how to take care of them so that they can live healthy lives.

Overall, raising a healthy Black tri Australian Shepherd, like any other dog breed, requires good nurturing, exercise, and a healthy diet.

Recommended reading: Australian Shepherd throwing up: why and when to worry

Black Tri Australian Shepherd Price

The Black tri Australian Shepherd price is in the range of $1000 to $2000 but prices can be much higher because they are very popular and sought after.

High demand results in high prices. Therefore expect to pay a premium price.

Black tri Australian Shepherd puppies are generally more expensive than older dogs and dogs up for adoption.

The price also varies depending on the individual breeder and their location.  

There are several backyard breeders or puppy mills that unethically produce puppies for the sole purpose of making a profit by selling them at very high prices to unaware buyers. 

The danger of unethical breeding is that puppies that are produced are often not healthy which brings additional medical costs and care to the prospective puppy owner.

Therefore be cautious and avoid being scammed.  

Where To Buy Or Adopt A Black Tri Australian Shepherd

A Black tri Australian Shepherd can be obtained from professional Australian Shepherd breeders, local shelters, or Australian Shepherd rescue centers. 

If you are interested in purchasing a Black tri Australian Shepherd, purchase one from a reputable breeder. 

Puppies from reputable breeders go through all the necessary health checks, which means that they are healthy and you will receive a healthy puppy. 

A list of approved and certified Australian Shepherd breeders is on the American Kennel Club’s marketplace which is a reliable resource. This is a good place to start your search.

The Australian Shepherd Club of America and the United States Australian Shepherd Association are the breed’s national organizations that can help in providing information on an Australian Shepherd breeder near you.

Rescue centers may also have the Black tri Australian Shepherd that need new forever homes. You can adopt a Black tri Aussie from here.

The New Spirit 4 Aussie Rescue is a non-profit rescue group committed to serving Australian Shepherds by finding adoptive homes for them.

Summary: Black Tri Australian Shepherd

The Black tri Australian Shepherd is a very interesting and popular Australian Shepherd color. This Black tri Aussie has a three-colored coat that is unique.

They look like any other Australian Shepherd except for the coat color by having the same physical characteristics as well as personality. 

Therefore if you are considering getting a Black tri-color Australian Shepherd, you will still be getting an intelligent, energetic, and loyal companion. 

They are also healthy dogs that live long healthy lives. This is also supported by good care, a healthy diet, and exercise.  

So, if the Black tri Australian Shepherd’s energy levels, personality, and expectations is a good fit for you, then they are a great choice for you.


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