Sable German Shepherds
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. If a dog has this gene present, it will
be sable in color.
Sables tend to get darker with age - especially over their back. While they are
born solid black they soon become 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. Sable German Shepherds keep developing their final color up until
the dog reaches the age of three (or so) - so you'll never really know what the
final color of sable German Shepherds will really be until the dog is completely
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).
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.
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.
Below find a few pictures representative of the Sable German Shepherd Dog.