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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone, my dog is only half shepherd (as you will notice in the pictures). But I'm just looking for some insight as her personality and energy seem to be all shepherd. When we rescued her 2.5 years ago we didn't know what the dad was but now know he was a shepherd of some kind (we just don't know which). Anyway she was completely black when we got her as a puppy and I know most dogs' coats change a lot but I thought by 2.5 years it would have mostly stopped changing. She developed a sable double coat on her sides but on her chest and back is completely different fur. And the stripe down her back has gotten super defined. And is a completely different type of fur to the rest of her. Long and wiry and just one layer where as everywhere else is short, very soft, and double coat sable look. Is this normal for shepherds? I'm not concerned with the way she looks, I think she is beautiful (we call it her 'racing stripe') I'm just curious. Sorry for the not great quality of the pictures, she is very rarely standing still. Puppy pic added to show how much her coat has changed.


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First thing I thought of seeing the photos is you've got some Rhodesian Ridgeback in there. photo (note the shape)
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They have a ridge of hair down their backs that is growing different than the rest:
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Obviously there is some similarity there. But the only way to know for sure is a DNA test. We use Embark and have been more than satisfied with the results. They can tell you all the breeds in your dog. I also agree with Big Ozzy that your dog appears to have some Malinois in it. Whatever he turns out to be, he is a beautiful dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
have you done an Embark panel?
We did Embark and WisdomPanel. Both came back saying she is Staffy/GSD. Based on her temperment and coloring we think the dad might have been a malinois. I dont know how accurate they are but given the research I've done on breed personalities and the opinion of the trainers we've worked with, malinois fits much better than GSD. But we'll never know for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All I can say is what a beautiful dog. She looks more like a Mal. Did you do a DNA test to see what her breed is? Would love to know.
A lot of trainers we worked with assumed she was mal. Two DNA tests came back GSD/Staffy mix. The staffy part is true, we met the mother, but mal feels more accurate than GSD given her personality and temperment. But we will never know for sure, I suppose.
 

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We did Embark and WisdomPanel. Both came back saying she is Staffy/GSD. Based on her temperment and coloring we think the dad might have been a malinois. I dont know how accurate they are but given the research I've done on breed personalities and the opinion of the trainers we've worked with, malinois fits much better than GSD. But we'll never know for sure.
50% GSD 50% Staffie??
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
50% GSD 50% Staffie??
So looks like the results have changed since I last looked (they told me that was normal. As their pool increases and they get more data, our results can change based on a larger information base). These are the current results. For my purposes (not a breeder, not for dog show purposes, etc) I know she is absolutely a mutt to most people. There is no purebred anything in her and I totally understand that. I'm just super intrigued by her and want to understand as much as I can to be the best owner I can be for her.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A high drive working line GSD could very easily seem like a Mal. Embark is very accurate, if two tests say GSD, then GSD it is.
She is...a very intense dog. If I could sum up her personality in one word that word would be "extreme". I was not ready for this dog haha. Extreme obsession with me. Extreme anxiety. Extremely vocal. Extremely energetic. Extremly protective of me. Extreme pray drive. All this despite many hours and $$$ in down training. I've heard that GSDs can be like that as well but that it is less common. However I was always hesitant to say she is part mal because both tests definitely said GSD and Malinois is a result you can get but she didnt get that.
 

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Work with the dog in front of you rather than trying to analyze her personality by genetics. With less than 50% of any one breed, you aren't going to find a predominant breed behavior. German Shepherds can definitely be extreme. She has such a unique look. Use her strengths when you train. Intense can make her very successful in various types of training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Work with the dog in front of you rather than trying to analyze her personality by genetics. With less than 50% of any one breed, you aren't going to find a predominant breed behavior. German Shepherds can definitely be extreme. She has such a unique look. Use her strengths when you train. Intense can make her very successful in various types of training.
Oh yes don't worry, her individual personality and needs are what comes first and she has come a long long way and I am so proud of her. This was more of a side quest on my part. Driven by curiosity more than anything else. This dog has changed my life and I have done everything I can to understand her needs and I am constantly researching new ways to work with her and enrich her life (after all, she had no choice in who adopted her). While I am fascinated by what genetics may or may not contribute to her behavioral issues, it wont affect how I approach her or her training in the future. ❤
 

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she’s very similar in body type to my friends 1yr old pit x gsd x husky…
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her color is likely being drawn from her husky heritage… as another friend has a great dane x malamute who she resembles as well. he’s 12 in this photo so his coloring is a bit washed out…only pic i had handy.
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you should also be able to look up her color genetics on wisdom.

as far as coat texture - it is what it is and can’t always be explained. my dog is a gsd x mal x acd and by touch, doesn’t have the exact coat type of any of the three.
 
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Oh yes don't worry, her individual personality and needs are what comes first and she has come a long long way and I am so proud of her. This was more of a side quest on my part. Driven by curiosity more than anything else. This dog has changed my life and I have done everything I can to understand her needs and I am constantly researching new ways to work with her and enrich her life (after all, she had no choice in who adopted her). While I am fascinated by what genetics may or may not contribute to her behavioral issues, it wont affect how I approach her or her training in the future. ❤

Thank you, I wish everyone did this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
she’s very similar in body type to my friends 1yr old pit x gsd x husky…
View attachment 586809
her color is likely being drawn from her husky heritage… as another friend has a great dane x malamute who she resembles as well. he’s 12 in this photo so his coloring is a bit less defined…only pic i had handy.
View attachment 586810

you should also be able to look up her color genetics on wisdom.

as far as coat texture - it is what it is and can’t always be explained. my dog is a gsd x mal x acd and by touch, doesn’t have the exact coat type of any of the three.
Wow, what a beautiful dog! I definitely see the similarities!
 
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