The American Blue Bay Shepherd™
The American Blue Bay Shepherd™ is a breed of dog with a lupine appearance. Their name derives from Palm Bay, Florida, and the blue german shepherd dog, one of the breeds in their ancestry. American Blue Bay Shepherds™ are sweet, intelligent, engaging dogs. They are rare, unique and strikingly captivating with their light eyes & blue coats.
TAKE A MOMENT TO ENJOY THE VIDEO BELOW, WHEN ANNEKA FROM ANIMAL WATCH CAME TO VISIT AND MEET OUR FOUNDER, VICKI SPENCER AT SOUTHERN BREEZE KENNELS!
ARE THEY Really BLUE?
Anneka from Animal Watch interviews Vicki Spencer the owner of Southern Breeze Kennels, the creator of the American Blue Bay Shepherd™ breed.
History of the American Blue Bay Shepherd™
From Breed Founder Vicki Spencer
The American Blue Bay Shepherd™ is a breed in progress that I had been working on for over 20 years. The first litters were produced in March 2011. Some of the foundation animals were European German Shepherds imported from a top breeder in France, with bloodlines from Germany and Holland. They possessed a color known as “Blue,” which was very rare in the shepherd breed.
It had been my dream for many years to develop a dog that embodied the willingness to please, loyal nature, and trainability of a well-bred German shepherd, coupled with the excellent health, loving nature, and stunning beauty of their wolf ancestry. This proved to be very challenging and, at times, seemingly impossible because finding just the right dog was not easy. I always knew the German shepherd had most of the traits I wanted.
While I adored the appearance of the old-style German shepherd, like the Rin Tin Tin of the 1950s TV series, it had been impossible for me to find that look. When I encountered the blue color in the wolf dog, I realized that it could help achieve the appearance I desired. A “Blue” German shepherd would have resolved my issue with the dark eyes commonly seen in other shepherds. The blue-coated animals usually had lighter eyes. However, finding a "Blue" German shepherd had been extremely challenging. I had one back in the 70s, so I knew the blue variety existed, but I couldn't seem to find another one anywhere. The only blues I could find were not solid in color; they had developed a very distinct saddle and had nearly lost the blue appearance by a year old.
The search continued, and I almost gave up on finding a blue German shepherd while breeding my blue-colored wolf dogs. Sometimes things just happened when I stopped trying so hard. One day, I received an email from a breeder in France who bred Altdeustsche Schaferhund’s. They shared their website address, and there they were – the most beautiful Blue German Shepherds I had ever seen! However, crossing the shepherd with dogs of more recent wolf heritage was a challenge. I aimed to avoid producing traits that I personally found unappealing in today’s German Shepherds, such as very dark eyes and larger ears. I also wanted to address the shy and sometimes very timid nature observed in many wolf-type dogs with traceable wolf heritage.
Crossing dogs with traceable wolf heritage back to a shepherd wasn't a new concept, but it was challenging to retain the desired traits. Many previous crosses seemed to heavily favor the German shepherd's appearance. As known from studbooks, the German shepherd had traceable wolf heritage, initially used in the breed's development.
Eventually, I acquired two pups, a male and a female. I was pleasantly surprised to find everything I sought in these two pups. I considered myself fortunate to have found such a dedicated breeder. These pups had the desired color, appropriately sized ears, and the temperament I had hoped for. Their soft and sweet temperaments, more akin to a collie or golden retriever, made them ideal for family pets. My concern about aggressive temperaments in some GSDs was dispelled – Jordan & Passion loved everyone they met. Their friendly demeanor aligned with my vision for the American Blue Bay Shepherd™ – to create a gentle, family-friendly companion without the aggressive tendencies sometimes associated with German shepherds.
Continuing the breed's development, I produced the first foundation litters that year. These American Blue Bay Shepherds™ were intended to be exceptional companions with remarkable beauty. They wouldn't carry the stigma associated with names like “wolf,” “wolf dog,” or “wolf hybrid.” One parent was a full German Shepherd, while the other was five generations away from any pure wolf in their line, making the first Blue Bays F-6.
In the coming years, I planned to breed Blue Bay™ to Blue Bay™. For this initial breeding, I carefully selected animals that I had line bred for looks and temperament over a considerable time. I was confident about the direction of the breed, and I had already identified other lines to enhance its development. These first pups had exceeded my expectations, and while I was creating a standard for all Blue Bays™, I stayed connected with new owners to monitor the pups' progress. This ongoing communication helped in continually refining and improving the breed with the assistance of dedicated individuals and the blessings of God.