Sable Colored GSD Dog & Puppy Breed Guide

Does the coat color on a dog affect the type of personality they have? You will find out in this article. Sable German Shepherds are a recognized variation of the German Shepherd breed. They have a uniform color that is unique to them alone.

They develop a sort of stoic presence and a temperament only ever seen in wolves. The German Shepherds are descendants of wolves, yet these wild ancestors’ characteristics are mostly visible in Sable German Shepherds.

The classic German Shepherd adopts two primary colors, which are tan and black. Sable Shepherds undergo different training and develop a different behavior than the classic Shepherds. The way to understanding them lies in their history and, by extension, the German Shepherds.

The German Shepherd

German Shepherds are different but have so many similarities that the only striking difference they have with each other is their coats’ color. They have similar temperaments and similar health needs.

They are smart and loyal and are tenacious guards of the homes they are adopted. They learn and act out commands quickly and efficiently. They are also known to be so goal-oriented that if they have a mission to carry out, they cannot be swayed, distracted, or bribed out of it.

If they are adopted into a family, they select one member as their master and become very protective. They also look after children while they play in the yard. They are very loving dogs.

They have a double coat that protects them from the elements. They should be kept clean regularly and not trimmed. Only long coat Shepherds can have the ends of their hair trimmed, but purely for aesthetic purposes. Their coats are essential.

They require daily exercise and at least two meals a day. They need at least half an hour of exercise every day so you can take them out for a walk or you can play with them. They need high-quality food that ensures good health and growth.

They are known to develop certain health complications, so visits to the veterinary are recommended to identify any illness early and get them treated. You can take some measures to avoid or delay the progression of some diseases.

They are more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia, so when they are still young, you should give them Cosequin supplements to strengthen their hip joints as they grow older. You can also prevent bloating, a common occurrence in German Shepherds, by regulating their eating and exercise.

Other health problems they may suffer from are epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, and cataracts, among others. Those can be hard to prevent or cure, so all you can do is keep them comfortable and happy.

Difference between Sable German Shepherds and Other Shepherds

Sable Shepherds resemble the color of wolves, which is uncharacteristic of the other German Shepherd. The classic Shepherds have other tan and black colors, while Sable Shepherds have coats with these colors blended.

They have a gene also present in wolves that makes their hairs have two tones. They have a tan, silver, or white at the base and black at the tips. The gene is present in a handful of domesticated dogs.

Correlation of Color of Their Coats and Other Characteristics

Research is still being carried out to determine any correlation between the color of a dog’s eyes and coat with their health and behavior. The evidence already gathered shows this to be true.

However, these findings cannot be applied universally to all dogs. Dog breeds vary so much that it is impossible to relate their health and behavior with their fur color. Even with this being the case, studies done within the single species gene pool can clearly show the relation.

Effects of Sable Colors on the Dogs’ Health and Behavior

Studies to show whether there are any effects of sable coloring on dogs’ health has been inconclusive so far. However, what is known is that while the Sable Shepherds have specific unique characteristics, they are not entirely different from any other German Shepherd Dogs.

The findings have revealed what causes sable coloring. A gene called Agouti controls the coloring. There are four known variations of this gene that control the color and location of the colored hairs.

There is no indication that the Agouti gene is related to the health of the dogs. So, the Sable German Shepherds are like any other German Shepherds. Even though the Sable Shepherds differ in coat color, They are surprisingly similar to German Shepherds of all colors.

Predicting the Health and Behavior of Sable German Shepherds

The advancement in genetics has helped a lot in relating the characteristics of animals with the genes present in their bodies. However, it is not entirely accurate because the genes do not monopolize how the animal grows.

The surrounding environment plays a massive part in the development of dogs. Naturally, aggressive dogs can grow up to be sweet and gentle, depending on how they were raised. Mistreated dogs turn out to be skittish and, in certain instances, aggressive.

They may also grow to bias against people with similar features to the people who mistreated them, where they also grow up because domesticated dogs grow up to be well adjusted around humans, unlike their stray counterparts.

 Currently, the best insight you can get into the health and behavior of Sable German Shepherds lies with their parents. They are more likely to pass down their health risks and temperament. The dog breeder can have more insight that can help with your prediction.

You should also keep in mind that if they are not introduced to humans at an early stage of development, they may grow fearful when their setting changes to include many people. They may feel cornered and take aggressive action.

Children are curious people and may sometimes be unintentionally harmful to the dogs. If they are not taught how to play nicely with the dogs, these dogs may become aggressive towards them, resulting in serious problems.

The History of Sable German Shepherds

The German Shepherd exists because of Max von Stephanitz and Hektor’s efforts, also known as Horand von Grafrath. Together they began breeding German Shepherds in 1899. Max is the founder of the Society for the German Shepherd and launched their breeding program.

While Hektor was alive, he bred about eighty-four German Shepherds. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, around 1908, the German Shepherd received recognition by the American Kennel Club.

To this day, German Shepherds are the second most popular dog in America. The Sable German Shepherd is believed to be the original dog because it shares DNA with wolves. The dominant gene in German Shepherds is the sable gene.

How to Take Care of the Sable German Shepherd

The care does not differ from the other German Shepherds. They need at least a half-hour set aside every day for physical exercise. During this time, you can take them out to walk or play with them.

German Shepherds are intelligent dogs and need mentally stimulating exercises as well as physical exercise. It would help if you incorporated some challenging activities either during playtime or schedule a separate time for these activities.

Their training is vital to increase their mental stamina and keep them in excellent health. It is advisable to give them a goal or a mission they can accomplish. This method gives them a sense of purpose and a chance to show their prowess.

To begin, you can teach them basic commands, and as they grow in age and progress in their skill, you can switch to more specialized training. After about a year, you can begin to teach them how to sniff out things and track them.

It is also useful to train them in search and rescue; you might need them to help you one day. When they get bored, they can become quite destructive, so you should get them toys to prevent this unfortunate outcome.

Toys make them happy. They love to chew them and running around chasing them. It serves as exercise and fun. You can feed them foods high in protein to make them grow healthy. If you need food suited for your specific breed, you can get information from a veterinarian.

The Character of Sable Shepherds

The temperament of Sable Shepherds does not differ from the temperament of the other German Shepherds. They are as intelligent as the others and pick up on commands quickly. They can learn new tricks and commands without needing repetitions.

They are very loyal to their human companions. They cannot give you a moment to be alone because they will always be at your heel. It can only be explained by how their ancestors are pack animals and find strength in a family.

They have a soft side that comes out whenever they are with the family. They can also get serious when performing their duties and when they are guarding your home. So you can drop your guard to play with them, and they will always protect you from any dangers.

Sable German Shepherds are excellent with kids. They can play with them or give them company when they are on their own. However, despite the patience of the Sable, children can be testy and irritate them. This is true for all dogs.

For this reason, make sure that you teach children how to interact with dogs just as you teach the dogs how to interact with people. These lessons will ensure that the dog and your children can develop a bond.

How to Train A Sable German Shepherd

Their training has to begin at an early stage in their development to ensure that they internalize the commands as they grow. It helps to develop their responses as second nature. They need to be taught basic commands first once they get to eight weeks.

When they get to six months, you may begin teaching them more commands. At this age, they can comfortably begin learning more advanced skills. They can also begin carrying out tasks around the house, which helps to instill purpose.

Sable Shepherds enjoy working, so giving them something to do is fulfilling. They can work as service dogs like in the military or the police canine unit. They have an excellent sense of smell that can be honed to smell out drugs or improvised explosives.

Because of their excellent senses of sight and smell, they can track items and people for long distances. This ability can be channeled into search and rescue efforts in disaster areas or missing person cases. However, they need specialized training to do this.

You can enlist professional dog trainers to teach your dogs, especially if you would like them to acquire special skills. Trainers have dealt with various dogs and can specialize their training course to suit your particular dog.

Alternatively, you can learn from books with detailed guides on what to teach and how to teach your Sable Shepherd. Books are excellent resources for you and your dog because they do not only teach your dog. They also teach you how to train and interact with your dogs better.

Facts about Sable German Shepherds

Female Sable Shepherds can grow to an average height ranging from twenty-two to twenty –four inches tall. Their male counterparts grow to be taller, standing at about twenty-four to twenty-six inches at the shoulder.

Females can weigh fifty-five to seventy-five pounds when fully grown, while the male Sable Shepherds put on much more weight starting from seventy-five to ninety-five pounds. They both have a lifespan of nine to thirteen years.

They are a herding breed that loves to work and help around the household. This makes them suitable for people with active lifestyles or families with children. They can escort their human companions in their activities or play with the children to keep themselves from becoming bored.

They are available in a small array of colors. They can be sable, white, tan, black, or a mix of two or more of these colors. Their mannerisms are believed to be sweet and gentle. They are also loyal and protective. 

They can take care of small children and can demonstrate patience when dealing with challenging children. This shows the extent of their intelligence and loving nature.

More Information

The verdict is not out yet on whether the Sable German Shepherd is different from the other German Shepherd Dogs. All evidence so far points only to minimal differences that can be explained away easily with the propagation of genes.

What is still being studied is whether it is possible to predict Sable German Shepherds’ behavior because of their color. Proving this possible would mean that a relationship exists between the color of the dog and their behavior.

Some studies have been able to prove this in other breeds of dogs. Some hues of English Cocker Spaniels are aggressive than others. The relation is not always about temperament, however.

Labrador Retrievers of some colors are proven to live longer, so it is possible to know to a certain degree the characteristics of dogs by their coats’ color. Once the studies advance to include other breeds, perhaps a more precise picture will reveal itself.


In all other things, Sable German Shepherds are similar to other Shepherds. They have relatively similar temperaments. They are gentle but can be fierce if the need arises. They are loving and loyal to their companions.

They have the same exercise and dietary needs, which means they both require moderate exercise regimens each day. They need at least half-our practice and play. They also need mental stimulation through challenging games.

On nutrition and diet, they need high-quality food that is high in nutrients and proteins. They need the proteins for their growth and the nutrients to curb disease. They are prone to suffer the same diseases as the other German Shepherds.

Sable German Shepherds are easy to train and are quick to learn. They are intelligent creatures and can recognize many commands and perform tricks. You can increase the number of tricks and commands they learn by beginning their teaching early.

Perhaps one area that is true for all German Shepherds, including the Sable Shepherds, is the health risks they face. They are all prone to severe illnesses like cancer and even less risky illnesses like cataracts.

All these risks mean that you have to prioritize healthcare. Take regular visits to the vet for checkups and early detection of severe cases. With enough information, you can take steps to ensure the risks are reduced.

However, in other instances, there is not much that you can do except provide comfort. Sable German Shepherds share a lot of good characteristics with the other members of the German Shepherd family, but they are united in their sharing of health problems.

In conclusion, the relation of the sable color on German Shepherds to their other characteristics is still being explored. The only proof that has been revealed from this is that German shepherds share a lot of characteristics regardless of their coats’ color.

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