Question about color pattern - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question about color pattern

I wasn't sure if this is the right category to post this in, feel free to move if necessary.

I have a question about color / color patters on my Jaz

When we got him, he was mostly black, with some tan - but all black on his back (Pic 1)

At four months, his back was still all black, but lighter everywhere else (pic 2)

Presently, he has some tan markings where he was all black before (pic 3, 4, and 5)

One thing I should mention is that up until last month, he was scratching / biting, until we changed his diet. The areas where he was biting were practically bald. Most of the bald areas are where the fur is now lighter on his back - not all though. I asked the groomer about this and she said it could be his summer coat coming through (what exactly is a summer coat??)

Anyways, just outta curiousity, I'm wondering what his color pattern would be classified as? Black and tan (saddle back?) or is he growing into a sable pattern? Also, will the tan hair on his back return to a black color? (they are still a little shorter than the rest of his fur, from when he was biting at it)

P.S. sorry about the thumbnails, I don't know how else to insert pics into my post. Thanks
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone???
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 04:21 PM
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I am in the same boat as you Diana! My molly looks the same, in fact Jaz looks like her twin lol( she is nearly 6 months) and I dont understand what 'colour' she is either. Molly is my first pb shep so I hope somebody can explain to you (and me) !
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 04:28 PM
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black and tan with a possible "bitch stripe" coming in. The black will fade more as the dog matures, so a saddle back, not a blanket.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 04:31 PM
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Thank you
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies! And onyx'girl, since we practically have twins, I'm sure your's is a beauty too :-)

I see you're in MI... me too! Where about are you?
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 07:34 PM
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I wanted to add a dog can't grow into a sable pattern, they are either born sable or they aren't.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 12:19 AM
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black and tan saddle back without a doubt. very cute pup you got there.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 09:12 AM
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Black and tan, the first puppy picture is a dead giveaway. The easiest way to tell a sable is how they look as a puppy. The black and tans are always a blanket black like that and the sables will have a black mask but no saddle or blanket.

Sable puppies look like this, they can be lighter or darker but you can see there is no black saddle or blanket:


Black and tans have solid black


Many, if not most black and tan dogs end up with some "salt and pepper" in their saddle, also known as bitch stripe (but males get it too). The dog will not return to black in those areas, they lighten with age.

Last edited by Liesje; 04-14-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 10:27 AM
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Zeva doesn't have the 'bitch' stripe yet. Infact, she's still sportin' the blanket back. Some red has filled in but not much. I will see a few redish hairs in her black from time to time. Her face has gotten a lot redder since we got her, that's for sure. Her red doesn't go up that far on the side of her face/shoulders or ribs like your pup. How old is he?

I can't imagine her as a saddle back at this point, I'm so used to seeing all this black now and before I wasn't all that in love w/ the darker dogs but she's just so **** pretty.

Either way, they are all beautiful!

Zeva Female GSD 10/02/2009
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