Do GSD puppy change color as they grow?

by Kari Wagner
(Rogers MN)

what a little cutie!

what a little cutie!


Do GSD puppy change color as they grow?



I have a GSD ((9 weeks)that is mostly black. the breeder assured me that they lighten up as they get a little older and that most GSD as born promanently black!

Is this the case? She has light feet and chest but that about it so far!

~Kari, Rogers MN


Total German Shepherd:


Hey Kari,

In response to your question about whether or not German Shepherds change color as they grow, the answer is yes, yes, and yes (except for maybe solid black or white German Shepherd puppies - and sable German Shepherds are another whole different thing).

Your girl is very typical of what I would suspect a saddleback German Shepherd puppy of her age to look like. She is a beautiful GSD puppy by the way. If you were to see any pictures of your new German Shepherd puppy even a few weeks back you would notice that she was probably very much darker than she is now.

But saddleback German Shepherd pups typically do lighten up overall as they age - the black areas on their body will shrink as the colored areas (tan,red,silver,cream,etc) grow. Usually on their legs, face, chest and back especially.

It is really quite amazing to watch the changes in color that will happen to them over time. And even litter mates never color up the same exact way so they are truly one of a kind.

So if I were you, I would take a picture of my German Shepherd puppy once or so a week (in a similar pose) and then at the end of one year go back and review the changes - you'll be amazed. Plus it's fun chronologically speaking to see where your GSD puppy was - and where your German Shepherd puppy ended up. Good luck!


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Sep 01, 2011
Your Little Cutie Pie!
by: Linda Arnold - St Louis

Congratulation on your baby! I would have loved to see her little adorable whole face. She probably will lighten up a bit or lot, it's generics. Some puppies I've seen do keep a lot of the black and some don't.

I got my Mia when she was 12 weeks old last year, she too had a lot of black not as much as yours and she did lighten up, she still has a black muzzle - love it. You didn't mention the ears but this was my BIG concern.

I love the big ears, can't help it - straight up like they should be on GSD. I don't think any other breed has that "exact" look on the ears even though some breeds their ears are up but not exactly like a Shepherd. The ears will go up and down while she is teething, which will take a few months (6 or 7 months old) maybe sooner or sometimes little longer. Try not to panic. One day right ear is up, next day its down, its half way up, the left is up, its half way, its down, its up, then one day Look they both up, straight and Beautiful!

Be careful with her ears, especially if she starts to scratch her ears if the cartlage is damaged (break) her ear won't go up. Years ago I had Kelly GSD, I got when she was about 2 yrs old, her 1 ear up, the other down she was a Great dog I wouldn't change a thing on her. But some times unforseen reason the ears just don't go up, keep in mind the ears don't make the dog, its the love and care you give her will make her a great dog.

Take care of your Little Cutie Pie and she will take care of you. Its in their blood, German Shepherd - Protector!!!

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Thank you for this web site. Very informative and well written. I often advise my shepherd people to visit here for information. Again GREAT JOB.Laura Page Warden, DVM

What a fabulous website!!! I really enjoyed reading about the history of the dogs. There is a ton of helpful information on here and defiantly something for every reader to enjoy!!!
Misty Weaver

Recently got a GSD again. Last time had GSD no internet etc. Cant believe how much info for free. Kenneth

I love and appreciate the helpful advice I found on your website! Rachelle

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