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Old 01-18-2014, 08:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Black and Tan or Bi Color?

How can one differentiate between the two? I recently got a pup whose sire appeared to me to be a Bi Color. When I got the pups AKC pedigree his father was registered as a black and tan, not bi color. He was an all black dog, only having tan on his legs and chest. From the little I have read, I thought that indicated a bi color. There is no bi color or black in his pedigree, all black and tan. I am just curious about this as I am trying to better understand German Shepherd coat genetics.

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Old 01-18-2014, 08:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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And then Bicolor only has the tan on the backs of the legs and between the toes.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Some people consider the blanket back black and tan as a bi-color.
Show a photo of your puppy, it should be easy to see what he is.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A bi-color pup and Black and Tan or Red pup almost look identical when they're young. If you're sure the dad is bi-color there is a chance the puppy is too, but its hard to tell you for sure. I had a bi-color that came from a Bl and Rd female and a saddle male. The breeder should be able to tell you what the pup will be. A good breeder knows what they're breeding for even with color.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well the pup is a Sable... His mother was a sable. No question there. I am inquiring about his sire. Here is a picture from the breeder (it is not mine) of his sire. I thought the sire was a bi color when I saw him but the sire is listed as a black and tan in the pedigree. Thats why I'm wondering the difference.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess I'm just curious as to if my Sable pup is carrying a bi color gene or black and tan... If that makes sense..
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's definitely a bi-color.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In most paperwork it's color only, like "Black and Red", "Black and Tan" etc... regardless of the 'percentage'. For example, you won't find "Saddle Black and Tan" on most paperwork, or "Blanket Black and Tan".
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My pup's dam is a bicolor, she's listed as "black and tan" on the SV registry. I haven't turned in the papers for AKC papers yet, didn't know "bicolor" was an option on AKC. In Germany a bicolor is considered black/tan. Doesn't mean the pup will be a bi-color, the dam of your pup looks bicolor to me, although she doesn't have the toe penciling and leg penciling.

The top left is the father (sable) the right is the mother, bottom right is an uncle. My boy is bicolor because he has all the characteristics, but also his pedigree has bicolors and blacks. You should post a pic of your pup! Love puppy pictures, even better if he's a bicolor (I'm a little partial of course. :-))

I think you can tell pretty early if it's bicolor, if the pup has tar heels and toe and leg penciling. Hope the pics and explanation help. :-)
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Black and Tan or Bi Color?-yos-family.jpg   Black and Tan or Bi Color?-jo-truck.jpg   Black and Tan or Bi Color?-20131205_195613.jpg   Black and Tan or Bi Color?-yo-bone.jpg   Black and Tan or Bi Color?-queena.jpg  

Black and Tan or Bi Color?-yo-hike.jpg  
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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OP, your dog's sire is a bi-color. The person registering him with AKC just picked the wrong color. It happens, as often it can be hard to tell a melanistic black/tan from a bi-color, especially when young as pups of both colors will often have what are considered "bi-color" traits like tarheels and toe penciling. The difference is that on the ones who are genetically black/tan those black markings on the feet will fade and the tan markings will enlarge as the pup matures whereas on a true bi-color those tarheels and toe penciling will remain and the tan markings will remain the same, may even recede a bit, as it matures. But when very young, especially at the ages when most puppies are being registered with AKC (8 weeks or younger) it can be practically impossible to tell which color a puppy is unless you know the genetics of the parents and only one of those colors is actually possible.

So while his AKC papers may list the wrong color, that isn't an uncommon occurrence with bi-colors and dark black/tans, and it isn't a bit deal. Genetically he's a bi-color.
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