Are Sable German Shepherds Considered Rare?

I researched more about Sable German Shepherds and Bailey DEFINITELY has it in her.
When you rub her fur the opposite way, it turns a light brown colour rather than the black colour it usually is, plus, she has interesting/unique markings (check out her puppy page to see for yourself!)

Anyway, after all the research I never found out if they were considered rare? I'm no professional with dog breeds or anything, but still, I have never heard of a Sable German Shepherd!

Are they more rare then the plain German Shepherd, or just as common?

Asked by Bailey on Mar 21st 2011 in Breeds
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • This question is closed.

Best Answer

Bruno CGC

Sable is NOT recessive, Toto, it's more dominant than Black/Tan, the usual GSD color. (Though recessive to Lab-type black, because it's on a different locus.) A homozygous sable can ONLY have sable puppies, but a Black/Tan pair can only reproduce their own color, which is why sable is less common in America (early on the saddleback black/tan color became more prominant). Also because historically sable GSDs didn't do as well in dog shows, and tend to be kind of rare in that context.
Sables are really common when you look in working-line GSDs (like police and military dogs.) I would say the majority of those dogs are sable, with dark bicolor and solid black also being common (colors that are rare-ish as well.)
Bailee, google Rin Tin Tin for pictures- he was a light sable dog like yours, so the color obviously has historic precent in GSDs.

Like Toto said, though, they are not more valuable or more desirable just for their color, just different.

Bruno CGC answered on Mar 21st.

Other Answers


Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

I wouldn't say sable is rare, just that it's a lesser known color than the black and tan color that most people picture on GSDs. My uncle has a sable GSD, and they seem more common with K9 units (dogs used for police work).

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 3/21/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


It's not rare at all, and it is STILL a GSD, just a different color, just like labs can be three colors and poodles can be different colors. You wouldn't call Toto's breed a Black miniature poodle, he is a miniature poodle, who happens to be black, a sable colored GSD is just a GSD who happens to be sable colored, not a different breed. But, sable is a recessive gene so is very unlikely that Bailey's color would be from that, unless both her parents WERE German Shepherds and both of them carried the sable gene. She could, however, be a brownish color from a mix of other genes. True sable color has multiple colors within the same hair shaft..usually light cream at the base, gray, tan or red in the middle and tipped with black, all distinctly separated. Sable actually refers to the color pattern of the hair shaft and not the visible color of the coat and sable colored GSD's can be red sable, gray sable or tan sable, and also include multiple shades of those colors.

Member 641257 answered on 3/21/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer