Puppy colors - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy colors

Hello! My Tasha is an all black female. She is 1 week old today ( the waiting to bring her home is killing me! ). The mom is black and tan, short hair and the father is all black, long hair. I was also told the father has other colors in his genes. I've heard that it's possible for puppies to change color by the time they are a year old.Just wondering if this is true or not. As for the color of my girl, it really doesn't matter if she stays all black or changes! I love her anyway!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 04:55 PM
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The father may have other colours in his ancestry, but he won't have inherited any of them. Black is recessive, and to be a black dog, he has to inherit two copies of the black gene (one from each parent) to be solid black. So the only colour gene he can contribute to the puppies is black.

The Mom may have two copies of the gene for black and tan, or one copy for black and tan, and one for black. If there are only black and tans in her pedigree, then that is all she has also to pass on. If there are some blacks in her pedigree, it is possible that she carries a copy of the black gene, and has a 50-50 chance of passing on either a black and tan colour gene, or a black gene to each puppy. So depending the colour genes the Mom has, the puppies may be all black and tans (but carrying the black), or have a 50-50 chance of being either black and tan or black.

The breeder should be able to tell at birth if a pup is Black and tan (they are born almost solid black, but lighten up as they age), or if a pup is born solid black.

Solid blacks don't change colour. They stay solid black. Some dogs have what is called "bleed-through" as they mature, which is a bit of tan showing through the legs and behind the ears - but genetically they are still solid black.

Black and tans, as mentioned, are born almost solid black, and will lighten up into a black and tan pattern. Some dogs mature with a lot of black on them (called Blanket Backs - as the black covers their entire back and goes down the sides), while others will have the classic Saddle pattern. How much they lighten up and what pattern they end up with depends on their genetics. So looking at the mother and the other Black and Tans in the pedigree will give you a general idea of what you can expect.

Now Sables change a lot as they grow and their adult coat grows in. They can look like different dogs from 2 Months old to six months old to being mature, darkening, lightening, darkening, etc. But a sable is easy to tell at birth from a B&T or a solid black, and since Sablle is dominant, you need to have at least one of the parents to be sable in order to be able to pass on a sable gene. Since the parents are NOT sable, your only choices would be B&T or Black.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-26-2015, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Lucia for your reply! Well then my pup will be all black! Cool! I will be seeing her for the first time next weekend. I will post a picture of her!
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