Color and genetics-Sables - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Color and genetics-Sables

If breeders had never given any thought to color when breeding from the start, do you think the majority of AKC GSD's would be sable today rather than blk & tan? Just curious.
Also wondering where the saddleback came into the breed, does anyone know?
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 06:28 PM
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Sable is dominant, so it would seem there should be more Sables than anything else. However, of all the GSDs alive today, there are probably fewer sables than there are black & tan. Whether that was always true of the breed, I'm not sure. Not sure if the saddle was selected for in the very beginning, but the Von Stephanitz book has some old photographs of of early GSDs with a saddle.

Some hounds have a saddle, too. It must have originated as a mutation, because I don't think any wild canids have a saddleback. Some wolves look sort of like saddle-patterened sables, though.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 08:30 PM
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Who said breeders don't select for color? Show line breeders especially, most certainly do consider color....

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 08:39 PM
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I think a very large portion would be sable because of how dominant it is. I think the working line people who don't care about color have done this. Its almost a givin that if you see a sable dog it has about an 85% chance of being a working line or from working lines.


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Who said breeders don't select for color? Show line breeders especially, most certainly do consider color....
They are asking IF people didn't consider color

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 09:48 AM
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the first sable I saw was over 36 years ago, and was AKC show lines, and there are tons of sables in show lines so to say 85% would be working lines could be mistaken...Also, genetics can be weird...black is usually considered dominant, yet in Belgians there is a recessive black, looks the same, but when 2 are bred together that is when you get red Tervs or Mals, also Terv color is thought to be always recessive yet 2 Tervs can and do throw black, I think you could well find some similar weird color things here too, just saying ....
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 10:03 AM
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Black is most certainly not dominant in gsds.

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 10:03 AM
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In german shepherds sable is a dominant gene , meaning that one partner minimum needs to be sable . Black is recessive to sable and black and tan . To get black both sire and dam have to carry the gene for black . Black to black can only give black.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 10:11 AM
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I don't remember the exact time frame, but there was a very influential show judge (back 40 -50 years ago?) that preferred saddles and always placed the saddle-backed dogs ahead of the other dogs. Many breeders wanting to distinguish themselves in the big shows started breeding for saddles to have a chance in placing.

I also think that Rin Tin Tin being a classic saddle-back had a huge influence in what people wanted in a GSD, and so GSD breeders started breeding for that.

I never saw a sable GSD until about six years ago, and did not recognize the dog as a GSD at first. They certainly aren't very common, but that is because working lines are not very common among the general population.

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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I also think that Rin Tin Tin being a classic saddle-back had a huge influence in what people wanted in a GSD, and so GSD breeders started breeding for that.
I thought the original Rin Tin Tin was a sable?
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 07:59 PM
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I think the original Tin Tin Tin was a black and tan, thus the popularity. However, I believe sable was most popular among the Germans. I think it all started with sable. I just had two litter of puppies and I would say that most of my buyers are more interested in the black and red color more so than the sable. I'm not sure if this is a fad or what. But my sire is a sable and those puppies seem to be moving a little slower than the black and reds (1st litter) and black and tans (second litter).
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