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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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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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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.


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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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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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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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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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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The original RinTinTin brought back to the US by Lee Duncan who started the whole film saga was a sable. The following plethora of dogs called RinTinTin on US TV and movies were black/tan. Most with fading pigment, small saddles and small masks and mantles. Other GSDs of film fame, like Bullet and Strongheart, were also light black/tans, or faded patterned sables (hard to tell on old film sometimes). These are the dogs that stick most in people's heads when they think of GSDs in general.
 

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Agreed, the original RinTinTin was a sable. The RinTinTins on TV were not descendants of the original, they just carried his name.
 

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Agreed, the original RinTinTin was a sable. The RinTinTins on TV were not descendants of the original, they just carried his name.
Here's more information on the dogs used in the RTT series if anyone is interested.
The History of RIN TIN TIN

It's kind of interesting to see how the conformation changed over the years but not really that much. (heads changed for sure)
 

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I always thought Rin Tin Tin was a black and brown. Thanks for the link Whiteshepherds. That was a good read.

I never know what to exactly call the color of my sable girl.

When she was a puppy, she was red.

A teenager...she was light color with red

Now, she is a darker almost blackish sable with red highlights. I swear, every year she looks like a different dog.
 

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there was certainly brindle in the earliest of dogs, Beowulf and Pilot V Beowulf (Sonnenberg) - German Shepherd Dog

Pilot - German Shepherd Dog

Dutch shepherds were developed alongside the GSD and earliest animals were interchangeable - some speculation that Pilot contributed to Dutch shepherds meanwhile the Germans chose against the colour. Another colouration was merling and this also was selected against. The "junk" DNA is still there which is why odd colours - piebald - ticking , white spotting and white (also among the founding genetic stock) pops up.
http://www.vankamphuis.com/dutchiehistory.pdf


Seven Pines Kennel Dutch Shepherd History

Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs
 

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Interesting, I guess brindle is dominant, so it would be easy to breed away from. More's the pity--brindle is so beautiful IMO. I looked at that photo of Beowulf a long time ago and thought the legs looks kind of brindley, but figured it must be a trick of the camera.
 

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No - the original RTT WAS a sable!!!!!!!!!


up to the tenue of the Martin brothers (Weinerau and Arminius kennels) - all colors were shown in the Sieger show and blacks did occassionally go "VA" (US = Excellent Select)....the Martins, as President of the SV, were in a position to shape the breedings done by their awards at the Sieger show (President of SV traditionally judged [still does???] THE Sieger show in Germany)....through their influence and many mis-reported (shall we say ;) ) breedings (which came to light with the advent of DNA testing!!!) the present WGSL dog was shaped and became the "standard" for the show ring.

WL breedings were not as influenced by them, and in WL, you still find a vast majority of sables, with "Schwartz-Braun" dogs (any shade/pattern of black and brown) and pure black dogs.


The advantage or positive influenence of the Martins is debatable....and the foundation of the split as we know it today.

Lee
 
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