Bet you’ve heard about the new breed of dog that is gaining popularity — Blue Bay Shepherds?
They’re still in their beta phase of development, and only few generations have been produced so far, and guess what; this alluring breed, characterized by their wolf-like appearance and delightful personality, owes its existence to an extraordinary woman.
This pioneer of canine breeding is none other than Vicki Spencer, the only known breeder of this mesmerizing breed that has been in the game for more than four decades now.
Let’s find out more about Spencer and her amazing work.
Meet Vicki Spencer
Starting her journey in Palm Bay, Florida, Vicki Spencer has been in the canine world for quite some time now.
If you know South Breeze Ranch, you’d easily appreciate Vicky Spencer’s amazing work.
Her decades-long experience covers considerable ground in dog breeding and training, particularly with shepherds and wolf dogs.
She’s been recognized time and again for her dedication to creating a healthy and friendly breed that has not only physical strength but also an exceptional temperament.
An ‘Ethical Breeder,’ as many would label her, she values the welfare of each dog under her care above business outcomes, and for that reason, most of her blue bay dogs aren’t at risk for any genetic and hip problems like most German shepherds are.
It’s always been quality over quantity for Vicki (as it should always be)!
The Creation of Blue Bay Shepherds
The inception of the Blue Bay Shepherd breed traces back to 2011 when Vicki embarked on a project trying to develop a new type of shepherd dog with wolf-like features but without the potential aggression commonly associated with wolves.
She successfully bred the first litters in march of that year, but as with anything, it wasn’t an easy task. For Vicky, the biggest issue was finding the right foundation parents for the task.
In case you’re wondering what foundation parents are, these are the first two dogs that would start the generation or the line of new breed.
Spencer’s main objectives was to create a new breed with the looks and dominant health of a wolf, but one that has the temperament, character and personality of a well-bred domesticated dog.
Half of the equation was already solved by Spencer’s “blue coated wolf-dogs” that she specifically line bred with a consistent nice and gentle personality.
The other half of the equation was the problem. Finding a dog that will perfectly pair with the wolf dogs.
The answer turned out to be a special kind of German Shepherd.
Based on Spencer’s extensive breeding experience, she knew that the German Shepherd, particularly the rare blue-coated one, was the closest she could ever reach to achieving her goal.
This is because most blue-coated dogs tend to have lighter eye colors, which is perfect for creating the desired wolf-like appearance that deviates significantly from the typical German Shepherd look; dark eyes.
However, finding a blue-coated German Shepherd was a challenge.
She spent a considerable amount of time searching for German Shepherds with such features and almost gave up until she received an email from a breeder in France informing her of their availability.
Eventually, she managed to acquire these sought-after dogs.
In Vicki’s own words: “Within a year I got two pups, a male and female. I must say I was extremely surprised to find everything I was looking for in those two pups. These two not only had the color, but their ears were also not oversized and their temperament was everything I could have hoped for.“
Then, she knew the perfect puppy with looks akin to a wolf and the characteristics of a normally well-bred dog was just a few months away.
To bring this vision to fruition, Spencer combined her European German Shepherds (with bloodlines from Germany and Holland) with mid and high-content wolfdogs that she specifically bred herself.
She ensured that the puppies never had to carry the wolfdog stigma as these wolfdogs were five generations removed from pure wolves in their lineage; hence they are true Blue Bay dogs!
Vicki was meticulous with each selection made during this process thus ensuring these dogs are physically attractive, highly resilient against diseases, display calm temperaments, possess unmatched intelligence and most importantly are capable of bonding closely with humans.
According to Vicki, some of the second-generation Blue Bay dogs had about 10 to 16% wolf content in them, and they turned out to be quite wolf-like.
However, with each succeeding generation and strategic pairing for breeding, the wolf content seems to reduce.
Her goal throughout her breeding program, until the Blue Bays are standardized, is to produce dogs with approximately 6% wolf content, which would be perfect for her overall objectives.
Characteristics of Blue Bay Shepherds
Arguably one of the breed’s most distinguishing features is their stunning blue coat—hence their name—that tends to range from light silver-blue tones through deep slate grays while maintaining rich depth in color.
The “bay” part of the name comes from the area in Florida where Spencer lived, whereas the shepherd part is pretty obvious.
Blue bay shepherds are typically large-bodied dogs standing between 22-32 inches tall at their shoulder and weighing between 70-130 pounds.
The males, like most dog species are larger and heavier than their female counterparts. Their eyes depict enchanting shades ranging typically from yellows through greens.
One interesting this about them is that they also have straight backs which deviates from the slanted or angled backs of some GSD.
However beautiful they may be on the outside though, what truly sets them apart is what’s on the inside! They have inherited fantastic qualities like intelligence, loyalty and docility making them excellent companions.
What Have Owners Been saying?
Most testimonials around Blue bay dogs have been positive, although they are quite a few things to note.
Almost all owners agree to the following features about their blue bay’s: a calm temperament, striking looks, sharp intelligence, and high energy levels – all hallmarks of Vicki’s thoughtful breeding process.
However, some do note, especially those that have bought the very first litters of blue bay shepherds (the 10 to 16 wolf content ones), that their dogs has specific needs in terms of containment due to their high energy levels and natural curiosity; they have a some prey drive (depending on how far back the line they go) that requires careful monitoring; they require a distinct diet for optimum health; and socializing them sufficiently is key due to their sociable nature.
Care Tips for Potential Owners
Blue Bay Shepherds are naturally active dogs with high curiosity levels so they require regular mental stimulation besides daily physical exercise.
They’re also known to be very sociable creatures who enjoy human interaction—be it playtime or simply lounging around—making them perfect pet material for families.
Proper grooming routines must be followed given their semi-long coats that shed seasonally thus requiring regular brushing.
Kudos To Vicki
Whether you’re already familiar with these marvelous creatures or just discovered them today one can’t deny that credit must go where it’s due—to Vicki Spencer—the passionate breeder who’s dedication brought forth such a fascinating breed unto this world!
Her journey is not just inspiring but instrumental in helping us understand that successful breeding involves not just physical traits but also carefully considering temperaments & behaviours to create friendly pets who could truly become part of our families.
Phone: +1 561-248-4610