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Athena, GSD, dob 5/2021
68 Posts
You will be able to find posts from those much more knowledgeable than me, but this is my understanding:

Black and tan puppies are usually born black, and as they mature, the black recedes. The best (but by no means definitive) way to guess your puppy's adult coloring is to look at the sire and dam. Because of the possibility of both parents carrying recessive genes that will express in the pups, there is no guarantee. Sometimes their final color does not appear until they are 2 years old and they change drastically; sometimes they change very little from their appearance at 8 or 9 weeks.

This is part of the fun of owning a GSD pup--they are little surprise packages. Thena was the darkest puppy in the litter at 8 weeks. Everyone thought she was going to be a beautiful blanket back like her dad. A few weeks ago? SURPRISE--her hips began to turn tan. She is going to be a beautiful saddle back like her mom.

The below pics are Thena's litter at birth, Thena at 9 weeks, Thena at 14 weeks, and Thena now (6 months). You can see the tan creeping up. :)

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Gesture Grey
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