Sable German Shepherd: 8 Interesting Facts & Info


We’ve already put together a guide outlining the different types of German Shepherds – we make mention of Sable German Shepherds in that guide.

In the guide below, we outline information specifically about Sable GSDs.

Let’s take a look!


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)


Sable German Shepherd: 8 Interesting Facts & Info


Sable German Shepherd Summary

Did you know that many casual German Shepherd fans and some experts might be referring to the Sable German Shepherd incorrectly?

Dog genetics can be a very complicated topic with different series’ of genes for different colors, dominant and recessive genes, color patterns, modifiers, dilutions and so on.

But, credible sources actually suggest the Sable German Shepherd is either a Shaded Sable German Shepherd, or more likely an Agouti German Shepherd.

Temperament is more a result of family tree genetics (which can be linked to different bloodlines), and to a lesser extent how the dog is treated and trained, rather than color

Sable/Agouti German Shepherds tend to be West German working lines, East German/DDR working lines and Czech working lines

Tan and Black German Shepherds tend to be American show lines

You can adopt friendly and loving Sable German Shepherds from rescues and shelters

You can buy Sable German Shepherds from reputable, caring and ethical breeders that place things like the health and stable temperament of the dog first


1) What Are Sable German Shepherds?

Sable German Shepherds are German Shepherds that are either tan or red, with black tipped or all black hairs dispersed over their body.

What is interesting is that the German Shepherds we refer to as sable, are most likely not sable, but actually Agouti German Shepherds.

Both sable and agouti are in the same gene series – the A series.

There are different patterns and dilutions or distributions of the red and black colored fur that affects how a sable or agouti German Shepherd looks.


2) How Are Sable German Shepherds Born, and What Are Agouti German Shepherds?

American show lines are predominantly black and tan, whilst West German show lines are usually black and red.

We don’t usually refer to those lines of German Shepherds as sable.

However, we often refer to the other bloodlines of German Shepherds as Sable German Shepherds.

These bloodlines are the East German working lines/DDR, West German working lines, and the Czech working lines

The bloodlines could be described as follows:

The East German working line German Shepherds and West German working line German Shepherds are most likely Agouti German Shepherds with red hair modifiers

Czech German Shepherd could be shaded sable – shaded sable dogs overlap with tipped sables and are red dogs with brown and black hairs.

But, they are most likely Agouti without being combined with phaeomelanin (red) color dilution.

Phaeomelanin dilution turns the red hairs cream or grey.


Let’s clear up the difference between Sable and Agouti in German Shepherds …

Agouti is fur that is banded, and can be almost identical to shaded sable.

But, the pattern is like traditional tan points.

When combined with red dilution, the red hairs become cream or greyish.

Sable dogs are born when they have one sable allele on their A series.

But, the A series can only be expressed in the appearance of the dog if there is no dominant black allele on the K locus (brindle series).

The agouti series (A series) is composed of the sable, agouti, tan points and recessive black alleles.

Sables can have three patterns – clear (solid phaeomelanin), tipped or shaded (with eumelanin).

The distribution of phaeomelanin (red) and eumelanin (black pigment, or liver/isabella/blue when modified) is controlled by the A (Agouti) locus.

This can all be a bit confusing, so Dog Genetics has Sable and Agouti photo examples and a great summary you can check out.


3) What Is A Sable German Shepherd Temperament Like?

Temperament is not scientifically related to color in dogs.

In German Shepherds, the West German working lines, East German/DDR working line and Czech working lines – were all originally bred to have a high drive and ability for working.

However, the lines have either been mostly diluted now over the years, or breeding programs for an individual line might have their own intentions for the temperament of their dogs.

Looking at the temperament of the parents can give you some indication of what the temperament of the puppy might be like.

If the parents both have stable temperaments, that’s good, especially for a family dog.

If you want a dog with say a working ability, or the temperament that matches show conformance dogs – look for that in the parents.

Temperament can also be influenced by how the dog is treated, socialised, trained and bonded with to a lesser extent.


4) Sable German Shepherd vs Black and Tan – What’s The Difference?

Black and tan German Shepherds are usually the American show line German Shepherds.

What most people refer to as Sable are usually the West working, East working and Czech working lines.


5) Where To Find Sable German Shepherd Puppies For Sale From Reputable Breeders Near You?

In terms of Sable German Shepherd breeders, you’ll want to find a breeder that cares more about the dogs, their health and the breed than the financial reward of breeding.

Here are some very helpful guides on finding reputable breeders near you, and how to spot ethical breeders:

What To Look For When Buying A German Shepherd Puppy: Ethical Step By Step Guide

Where To Find The Best German Shepherd Breeders Near You


6) Where To Find Sable German Shepherds For Adoption From Rescues and Shelters?

Despite the myth, most dogs from shelters are not broken or aggressive.

Many are probably the opposite – they are just looking for someone to give their love to.

Thousands of dogs die in shelters and rescues every day – if you are looking for a sable GSD, strongly consider them first.

Here are some very helpful guides on considerations for adopting, and where to find good shelters/rescues:

Things To Consider When Adopting or Rescuing A German Shepherd

Where To Find A German Shepherd Rescue or Shelter Near You


7) Sable German Shepherd Price – How Much Does a Sable German Shepherd Cost?

On average, you might pay anywhere from $500 to $1500 for a pet, or family dog type Sable German Shepherd from a breeder.

For Sable German Shepherds with pedigrees, papers, working titles, specific lines, and puppies who have a proven regulated breeding history – you can pay thousands of dollars.

Don’t get ripped off or buy from shady or unethical breeders – read this guide carefully.

When adopting a sable German Shepherd, you might pay anywhere from $50 to $500 – which covers adoption fees.


8) Pictures and Photos Of Sable German Shepherd Puppies and Dogs

Sable German Shepherd Dog Pictures and Photos

Sable German Shepherd Puppies Pictures and Photos


More Information & Facts About The German Shepherd Dog Breed

We’ve put together this guide with over 100 interesting pieces of information and facts about the German Shepherd Dog Breed.



Friendly Disclaimer are not veterinarians, or animal professionals/experts. Information provided is for informational purposes only – it is not a substitute for professional or qualified advice.

The information is based on either our own thorough research, and/or own experiences, as a means of free speech.

By consuming this information, you accept that do not have client or patient relationship with you, and are not advising you to act on anything you read.

You should always consult your own veterinarian, animal expert, or health care professional and follow their advice before making decisions on all matters.


You can find our full set of disclaimers and T & C’s in the footer of this site.


Enjoy your reading, and thank you for being here 


' ); } ?>

Leave a Comment