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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm just curious to see what are the odds of a puppy having a black face if the parents don't have that trait.. or can it just run in the pedigree and pop up anywhere? Like the long coat gene??
Right now Troy is 9 weeks, and I know he is way way young to be able to tell what it'll end up like, but his face was the darkest out of all of his littermates if that says anything maybe? He has those little eyebrows above his eyes but they are really light compared to the other puppies. The dam doesn't have a dark mask at all only really around her muzzle but the sire has a kind of dark face and I did see a picture of one of his puppies which had a dark face as well but she was around 7 months I believe.
I attached a picture of the two parents, if that helps at all. Thanks!!




Sire



Dam



Forgot to add the pedigree: http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/dog.html?id=2332360-crooked-rivers-troy-von-seidenbach
 

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Very cute. They do tend to lighten up a bit. I've attached a picture of Ollie when I got him and what he looked like at about a year. The black in his face may recede a little bit. Do you not like the black face or are you just curious?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No, I actually really want a black face! But I love him either way. :) Chloe's face was dark as a puppy but really lightened up, but both of her parents had a dark face.
 

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Here's another one of Ollie. More recent one and a better shot of his face I think.

It looks like your pups dad may have had a much darker face when he was born as well.
 

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Dinozzo at 8 & 9 weeks:





And four days ago:



His mask got a little smaller at first but now seems to have filled out his face again. I don't know if that means your boy will have a dark mask too, but if I had to guess I would think so! So my fingers are crossed for you! :D
 

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Both of the parents have a black mask, it's just not strong. Masking is dominant, so if both parents have it all of the pups will have a black mask unless they both carry the gene marker for no mask, then about 1/4th the litter could have no mask. But you don't see maskless GSDs very often.

Intensity/strength of the mask will vary and depends on what the parents have produced in the past.
 

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I think he will look more like the sire, a darker face but not a pure black mask. My WGSL looked very similar as a puppy. He still has a very dark face but it's not solid black. The non-black areas on his face are a very deep red, and overall my dog is very richly pigmented and colored (the black on his back is black, not salt and pepper, and the red areas are a rich red, not tan). I actually like this better, as I find his face very expressive. While a solid black mask looks very striking, I think it often makes eyes look light (or accentuates lighter eyes), which is something I don't personally like. I really like the expression of both the sire and dam you posted, especially the sire.

8 weeks meeting my sister, looks a lot like your pup


About 10 months old (with his dam to my right). His mask was a very solid black as an adolescent.


Now, 6.5 years
]
 
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