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My 11 month old Black and Tan/Red Male Pup's black sadle seems to be getting lighter and lighter.

Since 4 months old his back has got lighter and light and has now got what its a "bitch stripe" or salt and pepper from his shoulders down to his tail. but it seems to be spreading all throughout his saddle now which is now starting to fade.

I believe it may because of two reasons and would like to get all of your opinions

1st- He has 1 retained testicle. (I know it has to be removed and I plan and doing so FYI) I know male GSDS often develope bitch stripe once they have been neatured- even if they didn't have one before because of the lack of testosterone being produced and more estrogen being produced. My vet even said it needs to come out because the testicle hasnt come down and will produce more estrogen and unbalance is hormonal levels.

2nd- His diet i have read about other peoples GSDs coats fading away basically to nothing they then switched foods and there coat came back nice and rich. He is currently eating Advance Puppy Plus Growth Large Breed and is having about 5 cups a day.

Would love to hear your thoughts and advice on the matter
Thanks
 

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Unneutered males can get bitch stripes too. Lack of testosterone is not the issue.

His diet is also unlikely to be the issue.

It's just genetics.
 

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more than likely the dog has less than desirable pigment and what he has is fading ---

there would have been indications as a pup -- the trait would have been observable by looking at his sire , dam , ancestry.
 

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Many saddle pattern dogs have fading saddles. This does definitely seem to affect bitches to a larger degree of fading than it does males. Dogs saddles and color intensity are frequently enhanced for the show ring, few saddle pattern GSDs have rich intense black saddles. A retained testicle does not affect coat pattern at all. In fact, a dog with ONE retained testicle still produces sperm in the normal testicle, has all the normal male hormones and drives, and can breed and produce pups if permitted to do so. Higher quality foods do often result in the dog having a better healthier shinier quality of coat but won't change or enhance coat color unless the dog's color was adversely affected by malnutrition before being given high quality food.
 
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