What Colors Do German Shepherds Come In?
Did you know that The GSD comes in a variety of colors? The typical German Shepherd is black and tan, as seen in dogs like Rin Tin Tin. But there are other just as beautiful GSDs that are not what you typically see in the US. Check out these different GSD breed types (follow that link, but be sure to come back!).
So let’s break down just two of the color variations in simple terms. But before we do, let me state that the solid black GSD is recognized as an official AKC breed, but the white GSD is not recognized as a breed standard for a Shepherd. Not that they are any less of a dog, but the white Shepherd is not registrable as part of the official AKC breed. I know that the White Shepherd debate is a huge one, but all I’m referring to is the ability to register them in the AKC. Here’s a specific quote from the AKC Standard for the German Shepherd (http://www.akc.org/breeds/german_shepherd_dog/):
The German Shepherd Dog varies in color, and most colors are permissible. Strong rich colors are preferred. Pale, washed-out colors and blues or livers are serious faults. A white dog must be disqualified.
So what’s the difference between sable and black and tan German Shepherds?
What’s a Sable?
Here’s my (I know, here I go again…) sable female when she was 12 weeks old. I’ll have to update her photo, as she’s almost 6 years old now:
Sable GSDs are not the typically colored Black & Tan color variety that you see. Their coat is black and tan, or black and red, but not in the saddle back configuration. And the ends of their fir contain either silver, or red, or more, hence the sable name! Now, again let me remind you that I’m not a pro at this stuff, so if you want a concise description of GSD’s and their colors, you can Google a hundred different sites for that.
What’s a Saddle back?
Saddle back is the color pattern you’ll see in most common GSD’s. Their coat can be black and tan, or black and red. They come in a variety of patters, two of those being “saddle back” and “tri color” patterns.
Here’s my (I know, I know…) black and tan male:
And again, the black and tans are the more typically seen dogs. I’m not sure why though. I mean, yes – they are very beautiful and majestic looking, but there are just as many beautiful grey, red, and black sables that people own. I would love to get another huge sable male GSD myself, but that’ll have to wait until my Zero is old enough not to care, or lives out his 15 years I plan on still having with him.