Red Tri Australian Shepherd Guide: Everything You Need To Know 

The Red tricolor Australian Shepherd, also referred to as a Red tri Aussie, is an interesting Australian Shepherd color. Many are fascinated by it.

So, what is the Red tri Australian Shepherd? 

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

A Red tri Aussie has a three-colored coat with red, white, and tan markings. Red is the base coat color with white and tan marking on the coat. White markings appear on the blaze of the head, chest, belly, and legs while the tan markings occur on the eyebrows, sides of the face, and legs. 

Red tri Australian Shepherd

What Does The Red Tri Australian Shepherd Look Like?

The Red tri Australian Shepherd is a purebred Australian Shepherd and looks like any other Australian Shepherd. 

All its physical features resemble the breed’s features except for the coat color. The coat color is the differentiating feature.

The Red tricolor Australian Shepherd has a moderately long double coat and fur that is slightly wavy or straight. Slightly longer fur is found on the chest, legs, and tail compared to other parts of their body. 

The Red tri Aussie is a tricolor Australian Shepherd which means it has a three-colored coat, that is, red, white, and tan (copper). 

Red is the base coat color covering most of the body, with white and tan markings appearing on the face, chest, belly, and legs.

The white markings often appear on the blaze of the head, chest, stomach, and legs while tan or copper markings appear on the eyebrows, sides of the face (cheeks), and legs.

Physically the Red tri Aussie is a medium-sized dog, with a docked tail or short natural tail. They also have red noses and paw pads.

Male Red tri Aussies are slightly bigger than the females, with a height of 20 to 23 inches with a weight of 50 – 65 pounds. The female dogs are 18 to 21 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 40 – 55 pounds.

What color eyes do Red tri Aussies have?

Red tri Aussies have amber-colored eyes which vary from light brown to yellow. Eye color is determined by genetics and depends on the genes a puppy inherits from both of its parents.

Can a Red tri Aussie have blue eyes?

No, a Red tri Aussie cannot have blue eyes. This is because the Red tri Aussie lacks the genes that modify eye color to blue. The genetic makeup of a dog as well as an Aussie determines its coat color, eye color, and other attributes of the breed.

Blue-eyed Aussies include the Blue Merle, Red Merle, and Double Merle Aussies. These dogs have the Merle gene that modifies the brown pigment in the eyes to blue. 

Blue-eyed Aussies may also have two different colored eyes by having one blue eye and one brown eye.

Does the American Kennel Club recognize the Red Tri Australian Shepherd?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) does recognize the Red tri Australian Shepherd as one of the variations of the official Australian Shepherd colors.

The 4 official Australian Shepherd colors are Black, Red, Red Merle, and Blue Merle.

In each group of the 4 Australian Shepherd coat colors, there are different variations and color combinations that result in the 14 recognized colors. 

The tricolor Australian Shepherds are among these colors. They are three colored Australian Shepherds.

The fascinating coat color of tricolor Aussies is a feature that catches people’s attention, which makes these Aussies very popular.

There are 4 tricolor Australian Shepherd coat varieties, which are:

The Red tricolor coat also occurs in miniature Australian Shepherds as Red tri mini Australian Shepherd.

Related: Blue Merle mini Australian Shepherd

What is the difference between a Red tri and Red Merle Australian Shepherd?

The main difference between a  Red tri and Red Merle Australian Shepherd is the appearance of the coat color.

A Red tri Australian Shepherd has three colors on the coat, which are Red, white and tan, while a Red Merle Australian Shepherd has a mottled coat with golden-red speckles with patches of dark brown.

The Red Merle can also be tricolored as a Red Merle tri Australian Shepherd, which still has the mottled coat with golden-red speckles with patches of dark brown, with additional white and tan markings.

Read more: Red Merle tri Australian Shepherd: A Comprehensive Guide

The Genetics Of The Red Tri Australian Shepherd

So, how does the Red tri Australian Shepherd coat color come about? Coat color genetics can be a bit confusing but we’ll break it down simply on how this coat color occurs in the Aussie.

Dogs’ coat color starts with two primary pigments, which are the black pigment (eumelanin) and red pigment (phaeomelanin). 

The genes a puppy receives from both its parents and the resultant gene interaction modify the two base pigments which create the different dog coat colors, color combinations, and patterns.

The brown gene (TYRP1), also called the B locus gene, is responsible for the creation of the black pigment (eumelanin). The gene has a dominant form as the (B) allele and a recessive form as the (b) allele.

A Red tri Australian Shepherd puppy receives two copies of the recessive alleles (bb) of the brown gene (TYRP1) from both of its parents, and one copy of the dominant Agouti gene.

 The recessive allele (bb) dilutes the black base pigment of the coat to brown, which is the red coat color of red Australian Shepherds.

A puppy must inherit the two recessive alleles (bb) to have the red coat color.

If one copy of the recessive allele (b) is inherited as (B/b) or two dominant B alleles B/B are received, the dominant B allele will override the recessive gene which causes the black coat color to occur instead of red. 

Therefore the two recessive alleles (bb) cause expression of the red base color of a Red tri Aussie while the dominant Agouti gene causes the tan (copper) markings to occur. 

The white markings on the coat are not due to pigment but are due to the genes at the S (spotting) locus that limit the production of skin pigment in certain areas of the body.

The two recessive alleles (bb) of the Brown gene also modify the black pigment (eumelanin) in the eyes, nose, and paws.

Therefore the eye color of the Red tri Aussie is amber to light yellow with red noses and red paws. 

Are Red Tri Aussies rare?

Red tri Aussies are rare in the general Australian Shepherd coat color variations because they require recessive genes that allow the coat to be Red alongside other genes that create white and tan markings. This genetic makeup makes this tricolor Aussie less common to find.

Recessive genes can only be expressed if both parents of a puppy each have the Brown gene recessive alleles which are passed on to the offspring. 

The presence of dominant Brown gene alleles would override the recessive genes and be expressed as Black color instead of red.

Based on this genetic makeup, the production of a Red tricolor Australian Shepherd puppy is only possible if this is met, which is usually difficult to achieve.

Red Tri Australian Shepherd’s Temperament

The Red tri Australian Shepherd’s personality is similar to the breed’s personality. They are energetic, intelligent, confident, good-natured, loyal, and affectionate. 

Bred as a herding dogs, they love being active with mentally and physically stimulating activities. If this is not provided, they can develop destructive behavior. 

They are also affectionate to their family members, however, they tend to be aloof and shy around new people and strangers.

Red tri Australian Shepherd also requires early socialization and obedience training to develop confidence by exposing them to new experiences, animals, and people.

This also molds their overall personality.

Red Tri Australian Shepherd Health Concerns and lifespan

Sadly, research has shown a correlation between dog coat color and the development of certain health problems. 

Coat colors such as merle, white, roan, and piebald are prone to deafness, hearing problems, sun sensitivity, and skin cancer. 

The Red tri-colored Australian Shepherd is not susceptible to these conditions or more health problems based on its coat color.

The Red tri Australian Shepherd has white markings on its coat but it is not the predominant color and it is limited to small areas on the coat. This does not make it susceptible to more health conditions. 

The Red tri Australian Shepherd however is still prone to the common Australian Shepherd breed’s health problems which include:

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

The Red tri Australian Shepherds are generally healthy dogs despite being susceptible to these ailments. 

They have a long lifespan of 12 – 15 years, and with proper care, exercise, and a healthy diet, they tend to live healthy lives.

Related: Australian Shepherd throwing up: Why and when to worry

How much is a Red Tri Australian Shepherd?

The Red tri Australian Shepherd’s price is between $600 to $800. They may not be readily available which also increases prices especially if breeding is required to produce them to meet demand. 

The price also depends on the breeder, their location, and the age of the dogs, because Red tri Aussie puppies are more expensive than older dogs or dogs up for adoption.

Finding a Red Tri Australian Shepherd for sale

Australian Shepherd breeders, rescue centers, and shelters are places you can find a Red tri Australian Shepherd for sale.

If your heart is set to get a tricolor Australian Shepherd, always buy an Australian Shepherd from a reputable Australian Shepherd breeder.

Responsible breeders practice ethical breeding and conduct the necessary health checks for their dogs to produce healthy puppies.

Be cautious of backyard breeders or puppy mills that profit from selling unethically bred puppies that are unhealthy.

Australian Shepherd rescue groups and shelters are also reliable places to find Red tri Aussies. Many Aussies are adopted from rescue groups and you can find one as well. 

The availability of the Red tricolor Aussie may not be high in rescues and shelters and rescues because the coat color is not common, however, you might still find one. 

Reliable resources to find a Red tri Australian Shepherd include:

Summary: Red Tri Australian Shepherd: Is this the right dog for you?

The Red tri Australian Shepherd coat color is the feature that catches people’s attention. They have a fascinating tricolor coat.

If you are in the market for an Australian Shepherd, the Red tri Aussie is indeed a great selection, in addition to its pleasant personality.

Regardless of which Australian Shepherd coat color you prefer, the important thing is to consider if they are the right dog for you based on your lifestyle and personality.

You have to consider whether you can match your lifestyle with their needs and if your personality blends with them. 

If they do match with you, then, there is no doubt that the Red tri Aussie is a good selection!


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