Sable German Shepherd Dogs
Many people, the General Public, the Uninformed, would look at a Sable Colored German Shepherd Dog (GSD or GSDs) and think that it was a mixed breed. Deron and I have been surprised how many, how many, people out here in NW SD did not know that GSD come in anything but Black and Tan. They are surprised to find out that our Black GSD are actual and Registered GSD. Some people DO know about the White GSD, but I am sure they think they are Albino (they are surely not). I am a bit concerned that out here, some might think that a Sable GSD is a Coyote or Part Coyote or Wolf.
This is a photo of Yago, he is my two Black GSD from TX Sire, that is Texas Tea and Turquoise Sire. My girls have different mothers, each black, more on the Black and Sable connection later. Yago is not only built beautiful, he has that dark rich Sable coloring that breeders strive for. There are different degrees or colors within the Sables.
Yago is DDR (former East Germany) and is the Sire of many working dogs, included, but not limited to, dogs serving on the MI Police Force.
The Sable coloring is in fact an Agouti. What is Agouti? Agouti is what many people call "the wild color", think the color or a wild Cotton Tailed Rabbit. The hair shafts are not one color, but at least three. These two photos are of rabbit fur being blown. When Agouti Rabbits are Shown, the Judge actually blows the fur to check the color in each hair shaft. If you look at the fur, when blown, it should also make a "Bullseye Target", to prove that each hair has the same amount of color on each shaft. Rabbits fur is a great way to show the Agouti Pattern because of the way it falls when you blow on it. Agouti comes in many colors. In the GSD the length of the colors per hair shaft gives the dog more of a brown, if brown is dominate on the hair shaft, or black if the hair shafts have more black length to them. Length of hair will matter as to color showing on the dog also. Sable Color is a Dominant Gene.
If you know much about genetics and watch the animals, or raise and train them, or even see them full grown, many times there is what is known as "genetic signposts". In some species, color can tell sex, either for life, like a Calico Cat, or for the first few weeks like a Emden Goose (Deron and I have both and this is a true fact we have seen), called "sex linked genes". I believe, my opinion is, that the Sable GSD have a "little more life in them". Not Hyperactive, Not Trouble Makers, but dogs that are, generally speaking, more busy learning as pups, not busy in a bad way, but busy learning all the time, and as dogs, Sable GSD seem to be even more than average, "always ready". Ready for what? For what you have taught them, or what they have learned on their own. GSD are very alert dogs. Sables to me, seem to have "spidey senses". They are very alert to everything around them at all times.
Notice that there are many Sable Colored GSD on the Police Force, in the Military, as well as in Schutzhund Training and Titled Schutzhund colored GSD.
If you are thinking that you would like to Breed Sable Colored GSD please study the Genetics of the GSD Breed. Read and study Pedigrees. I have seen some very lovely Sable colored GSD bred together that do NOT throw nice looking Sable colored GSD....they look more like a Coyote. Keep in mind that if you want to breed nice GSDs, there is far more to it than just letting a male and female breed and make puppies. Conformation, Health, Temperament, should come long before color in a breeding program.
If you are interested in a Sable Colored GSD, remember that the color variation can and does vary. Know what you are looking for. Visit websites and look at dogs photos. Know what you are looking for before you looking for before you contact the breeder. Do your research and ask Breeders any questions you might have.
Sable GSD are like any other GSD. They need to be trained to become that Great Dog we all want to own. Deron and I agree that Sable GSD do have a more active, intense personality, than other colors of GSD. In terms of Genetics it is called, a 'color factor'.
WHY SABLE, BLACK AND ALMOST BLACK/BI-COLORED GSD ARE MORE COMMON TODAY
Have you noticed that there are more and more Sable, Black and Bi-Colored GSD out and about today? Do you know why that is true?
For years the Conformational Show Ring dogs ruined the breed. That is, what Judges were looking for inside the Show Ring. Those extended and roached backs, back legs spread out so far back the hips took a hit with Hip Displasia. I say again, THANK GOD THAT THE JUDGES WERE RE EDUCATED ABOUT THE STANDARD FOR THE BREED!
So where would one begin to fix that genetic mess they created? Using Working Pedigreed GSD of course. The White GSD and the Working Lines did NOT go for the dogs that had these problems. They stayed closer to the Standard for the Breed.
Working Lines of GSD tend to have more Sables, Blacks and Bi-Colored Dogs. Those colors are also very rich. By using these dogs to improve the Breed as a whole, the colors came with it.
I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.
-- The Working German Shepherd Dogs Team
Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:14:54 -0500