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Sable German Shepherd pictures


“No good dog can be a bad colour”
- Capt. Max von Stephanitz, considered to be the father of the German Shepherd Dog breed, and president of the Verein fur deutsche Schaferhunde 1923.

Black and Red Male

Silver/Grey Sable Male

Solid Black Male

The colour of the German Shepherd Dog in itself is not important, and has no effect on the character of the dog or it’s fitness for work. It should be a secondary consideration for that reason. The final colour of a young dog can only be ascertained when the outer coat has developed.

Black and Tan Male

Solid White Male

Liver and Tan Female

The German Shepherd Dog comes in a variety of colours, coat patterns and coat types. Coat patterns are solid, bi colour, saddleback, and, sable. Colours which occur are black, blue, liver, silver, cream, tan, red, and white. Solid pattern dogs have a coat that is one colour.

Solid Black Female Long Coat

Solid Blue 4 ½ month old Female

Solid Blue 11 month old Male

Solid Liver Male

Solid Liver Female in whelp

Solid Liver 8 week old Female

White is a masking colour and “paints over” other coat patterns and colors. White dogs can genetically be solid, bi color, saddleback, or sable.

Solid White 1 year old Male

Solid White Female

Solid White 14 week old BrothersBi Colour 12 week old Female

In the bi colour pattern the body is primarily black with a small amount of secondary colour under the tail, on the paws and sometimes as eyebrows. They also have black penciling on toes (small black marks on toes).

The colour combinations can be:

  • Black and Silver
  • Black and Cream
  • Black and Tan
  • Black and Red
  • Blue and Silver
  • Blue and Cream
  • Blue and Tan
  • Blue and Red
  • Liver and Silver
  • Liver and Cream
  • Liver and Tan
  • Liver and Red

Saddleback pattern is similar to a bi colour but has more of the secondary colour. A ‘washed out’ or ‘lighter’ colour dog will have much more of the secondary color. The colour combinations are the same as for the bi colour.

Black and Silver Male

Black and Cream Male

Black and Tan 7 month old Male

Blue and Cream Young Female

Blue and Red Male

Liver and Tan Male

Liver and Cream 11 week old Female

The sable pattern has a coat that is one colour “underneath” that has an overlay of black. They can look very dark and black or be very light with only a small amount of black. The outer coat has banded, alternating colour, hair. A true sable has penciling on the toes and improves pigment.

You can see the penciling on the toes of this five month old sable male.

Sables can change as they grow from young puppies to adult and sometimes you will have to imagine what the colour might look like when the adult coat comes in.

Sable “Reign” at 4 weeks

Sable “Reign” at 12 weeks

Sable “Reign” at 6 months

Sable “Reign at 2 years

Sables can come in many colours.

Cream Sable Male

Tan Sable Female

Tan Sable 8 month old Female

Red Sable Female

Blue Sable Female

Liver Sable Female at 5 weeks

Liver Sable Female at 8 weeks

Grey is another coat pattern. A grey dog appears to be a sable but is lighter, having less black “overlay” in the coat and lacks the penciling on the toes.

Grey Female

The German Shepherd Dog’s coat is a double coat with an insulating inner wooly undercoat and an outer layer of coarser hairs. This coat allows the German Shepherd to work in most environments. The coat can come in different lengths, from tight to stock to plush to long. Any colour can occur in any coat length.

Tight Coat

Stock Coat

Plush Coat

Long Coat

A variety of colours is possible in a single litter and is dependant not only on the colour of the parents but also on their genetic heritage.

Sable mother with her one week old puppies, three sables, two blue sables, one solid black, and one solid blue.

The colour choice is a personal one. Certain breed registries will not accept liver, blue or white in the breed ring. They will however accept all colours in the obedience ring. The American Kennel Club, AKC, is one example of this.

Black and Tan Female


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