Sable German Shepherds are best known for those characteristic multi-colored individual hairs, though they may be masked by dark or black guard hairs too.
The banding of color on each and every individual hair leads to a variety of shades and colors which can vary extremely from sable dog to sable dog.
Agouti (the correct term for Sable) is the genetically dominating pattern in the entire German Shepherd Dog breed.
I have never owned a sable GSD until just recently however I have been told by many other sable owners that Sables tend to get darker with age - especially over their back. So I guess I'll see how my puppy turns out.
It is also easy to say, that as a general rule of thumb, a sable keeps developing his final color up until the dog reaches the age of three (or so) - so unlike other German shepherd colors you'll never really know what the final color of sable German Shepherd will really be until the dog is completely mature.
These dogs may appear in many shades of silver, gray, gold or mahogany colors.Most fall somewhere in between these extremes. Often times they also have the dark mask as well. Agouti German Shepherds can also go through many stages of coat development, both lightening and darkening, before they reach maturity.
Color categorization of sables can be quite difficult when the dog is tattooed or photographed early in its life as the choice of color is often incorrect when you see this dog later in its life (because the coat color can change so dramatically as the dog matures).
Sable GSDs are born all tan in color. The characteristic black tipping starts coming in after a few weeks of age and then continues until the puppy is a few years old. Sable puppies color changes immensely as they grow up. Oftentimes the German Shepherd puppy will end up either darker or lighter than they were as a small puppy.
The sable GSD often closely resembles their two-toned counterparts, such as the black and tan saddle back GSD's, but the sable dogs individual hairs have more than one color on each of them creating a very unique pattern specific only to that individual dog. There is quite an array of hues in the Sable German Shepherd colors, ranging from the lightest tans to the darkest blacks.
German Shepherd eye color should be dark, or at least blend in well with the color of the dog. Any nose color other than black is a disqualification. Any Sable GSDs coat shade is acceptable but the richer hues are always preferred. Pale washed out colors, shades of blues and livers are considered serious faults.
It is important to note that the guard hairs look as though they are banded in various shades of color and are then tipped in black. Generally speaking, there are many more of these sable German Shepherds in the U.S. than can be found in Germany.
It is also important to note that this type of coat coloration is dominant over all the others. Another name for this type of coloration is called agouti or wolf gray, and it can vary a great deal from dog to dog.
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