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light eyes vs dark eyes affects the way the dog interacts with sheep.
the dilute that changes the coat color to blue or liver also comes with the light piercing eyes and the brown nose.
 

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I guess what I am getting at is WHY is it a fault? Why does it matter? That's my point. Faulty temperament I get, physical problem, no brainer. But a dog of a different color :) who is otherwise breed worthy? Don't get it.
Because when the standard was changed people thought the recessive genes that produced blues, livers (and whites) were responsible for color paling, loss of vigor and overall genetic weakness in the breed, etc. People were afraid that allowing these dogs in the ring would increase their popularity and conversely, the recessive genes for the off colors would become entrenched in the breed, bringing genetic problems with them. (letters and magazine articles during this time frame support this view) The reasoning behind the faults were good, if they had been true. They weren't.

60 years later the prejudices still exist and consequently, the blues and livers are a very small part of the breed. The only data available comes from the AKC...on average 67 livers and 91 blues are registered each year. (By comparison, almost 40,000 GSD's are registered) If I remember correctly only 48% of the pups born to AKC registered sires and dams are registered with the AKC so those numbers can almost be doubled. Still not a large representation of the breed by any means. I have no idea why whites weren't affected in the same way, they took on a life of their own.

Cowboysgirl it's people like you who help to educate people about the breed because rather than accepting things at face value you look for the reasoning and logic, you aren't afraid to ask questions and you don't accept answers that don't make sense. You make people think. Nice quality. :smile2:
 

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actually, blues and livers were never allowed. the only change was that whites were no longer allowed. So white dogs were a large proportion of the population until around WWII.

blues and livers, while not related to skin issues as they are in many other breeds, do violate other things besides coat color. Such as having light eyes - GSD eyes should always be dark. Light eyes are predator eyes and herding breeds with light eyes interact with livestock very differently than those with dark eyes.
 

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part of the confusion back then still causes confusion now. White is a masking gene. So, in the most technical sense, it isn't a color at all. Livers and Blues are dilutes, which is yet another gene. Intensity - red vs tan vs more faded washed out colors is yet a 3rd gene. And all are inherited separately.

You could have a dog that is all 3 - a pale washed out blue/liver dog that is white.
 

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To the best of my knowledge I have the AKC GSD breed standard that was used from 1943-1968. This standard was MUCH more in depth than the one used today. The standard was amended on December 9, 1958 by the AKC to delete references to monorchidsm and cryptorchidism because that was cover in the rules for all breeds. It was amended again when it was voted on in 1967.

I'm pretty good about verifying information before I post it. If I'm mistaken that's okay, I'd rather have the right information, but until someone produces an AKC standard from this same time period to dispute the one I have I'm going to disagree with some of the comments that have been made.

I've copied and pasted references to eyes, pigment (there was no distinction in the standard between pigment and coat color, no heading for color) There was no reference to noses, only muzzles, color wasn't mentioned. I've also listed all the faults, minor, major, disqualifying etc. I'd post the whole thing but it really is quite long.

So here we go....Before the whites were disqualified unless they showed albino characteristics, before the blue and liver coats were mentioned at all , and before the color of the dogs noses became important enough to mention them in the fault section.

AKC German Shepherd Dog Breed Standard. Adopted by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, approved by the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club December 9, 1958, and accepted as of this date.

EYES: Eyes--of medium size, almond shaped, set a little obliquely and not protruding. The color as dark as possible. Eyes of lighter color are sometimes found and are not a serious fault if they harmonize with the general coloration, but a dark brown eye is always to be preferred. The expression should be keen, intelligent and composed.

PIGMENT: The German Shepherd Dog differs widely in color and all colors are permissible. Generally speaking, strong rich colors are to the preferred, with definite pigmentation and without the appearance of a washed-out color. White dogs are not desirable, and are to be disqualified if showing albino characteristics.


EVALUATION OF FAULTS
Note: Faults are important in the order of their group, as per group headings, irrespective of their position in each group.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS
Albino characteristics
Cropped ears
Hanging ears (as in a hound)
Docked tails

VERY SERIOUS FAULTS
Major faults of temperament
Undershot lower jaw

SERIOUS FAULTS
Faults of balance and proportion
Poor gait, viewed either from front, rear or side
Marked deficiency of substance (Bone or Body)
Bitchy male dogs
Faulty backs
Too level or too short croup
Long and weak loin
Very bad feet
Ring tails
Tails much too short
Rickety condition
More than four missing premolars or any other missing teeth, unless due to accident
Lack of nobility
Badly washed-out color
Badly overshot bite

FAULTS
Doggy bitches
Poorly carried ears
Too fine heads
Weak muzzles
Improper muscular condition
Faulty coat, other than temporary condition
Badly affected teeth

MINOR FAULTS
Too coarse heads
Hooked tails
Too light, round or protruding eyes
Discolored teeth
Condition of coat, due to season or keeping.
 

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How's this for total heresy....let's get a group of breeding stock representing the very best of all the subcategories of GSDs (whites, wls, wgsl) and mix them all back together and call them "heritage shepherds" :grin2:

Whiteshepherds, thanks for all of your research, it is great to know what is really behind all of this.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Lol! Cute idea. But I think keeping German Shepherds together is the best! The best part about a German Shepherd is being a German Shepherd! You know how a lot of people are; they already start calling Livers, Blues, Whites, etc mixes. It really sucks having to weed through people just for them to open their eyes to see that they are actually GSDs just different colors! I hate when people spread wrong info, which is why I like to correct those that call a GSD a mix because of color. (Surprisingly, some people think sables are mixes too! I've even came across those that called blk/reds or blk/tans Malinois....go figure!)


How's this for total heresy....let's get a group of breeding stock representing the very best of all the subcategories of GSDs (whites, wls, wgsl) and mix them all back together and call them "heritage shepherds"


Whiteshepherds, thanks for all of your research, it is great to know what is really behind all of this.
 

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Okay, call them heritage German shepherds.

By the way, if light eyed dogs can't herd right, why do some aussies have blue eyes? Is that a fault in that breed? Do they not herd as well?
 

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I just found a quote on an aussie website saying studies show livestock are quicker to retreat from a dog with lighter eyes esp in contrast to dark coat. They say it like it is a good thing. I think I just read that all eye colors are allowed in that breed
 

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I just found a quote on an aussie website saying studies show livestock are quicker to retreat from a dog with lighter eyes esp in contrast to dark coat. They say it like it is a good thing. I think I just read that all eye colors are allowed in that breed

GSDs were created for a different type of herding than aussies. The light eyes drive the livestock away because they are "predator" eyes. For example, Border Collie stare. It's intimidating, even for humans. That is their primary "weapon" in handling stock.

GSDs can be used to herd and separate members of the flock but their primary function was to act as a living fence. You didn't want the stock to startle whenever they came face to face with the dog.
 

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FTR, blues were allowable and shown at one point. They weren't preferred, but they were allowed.

There is a blue AKC champion, after all.

And dilutes in some breeds do suffer from an issue called Color Dilution Alopecia. Liver is a modified color of black, but is not dilute. The dilute of liver is isabella (fawn).
 

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Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
I read up about an argument of 2 people. 1 person arguing that colors (liver, white, blue, panda, etc) caused issues in GSDs (blindness, deafness, prone to more diseases, etc), while the other person made the point of GSDs aren't "more prone" to anything because of the fault color (like other breeds), but they are more likely of having problems only because they are being bred FOR the color (and not temperament, drive, ability, etc).
Just wanted to throw this question out there.... DOES the fault colors affect GSDs? Or is it only the breeding that effects the "colored" GSDs, and not the "colors" in itself?
 

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Discussion Starter #55
This article only explained the effects of the dilution to individual dogs (or dog breeds). My question was more generalized, referring to the German Shepherd breed itself being affected to fault colors. I know Aussies, Dobermans, Collies (I believe), and some other breeds have effects with color faults in the dogs -- but I've heard German Shepherds don't have this problem.
I own a Liver GSD, (he is a family pet only, we also do some bitework with him and PPD training - he loves it.) He is perfectly healthy. His coat is shiny and thick, his weight is up there (about 110lbs), and he has a nice drive.



 

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The answer was within the link. It effects different breeds at different rates, but a breed that comes in a dilute color is not automatically immune/unaffected just because no incidences of the issue have been seen.

Blue is not common enough in our breed to make a determination on how frequently CDA appears, but it would seem it's certainly less frequent than in Dobermans.

It is wrong to say "GSDs don't have this problem" in regards to the dilutes. Just that there is not current documentation of it.

Liver is not dilute, so its useless to look to those animals
 

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Discussion Starter #57
I read the article. I'm aware that things could be wrong with no documentation to prove it.
MY point was that there was numerous people pointing out the fact that GSDs weren't affected by color; I NEVER said this. I was simply restating what others have said. I have even came upon many counts of articles/research topics that say the same. But I am the type of person that doesn't just go off of a few articles or people, I like to actually gain as much info as possible.

As for the Liver situation, I understand a liver isn't considered a dilution. I wasn't referring to the dilution part of the colors, I was stating IN GENERAL, that my LIVER GSD is perfect in health; especially for those that say livers are affected as well. Does this mean I'm saying all livers will be perfect in health due to color? No. I'm not sure. I'm going to leave it to the scientists on that one.





The answer was within the link. It effects different breeds at different rates, but a breed that comes in a dilute color is not automatically immune/unaffected just because no incidences of the issue have been seen.

Blue is not common enough in our breed to make a determination on how frequently CDA appears, but it would seem it's certainly less frequent than in Dobermans.

It is wrong to say "GSDs don't have this problem" in regards to the dilutes. Just that there is not current documentation of it.

Liver is not dilute, so its useless to look to those animals
 

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DOES the fault colors affect GSDs? Or is it only the breeding that effects the "colored" GSDs, and not the "colors" in itself?
It isn't the norm for GSD's to have genetic problems due to their coat colors like some other breeds.

As for color dilution alopecia; Studies for why some dilutes get it and others don't are inconclusive, even for the breeds who are known to have it like the Doberman.
I don't see the logic in assuming the GSD is affected by CDA when there is no documentation to back up that theory. This is the same logic that got the whites disqualified. Convoluted.

The Doberman Pinscher Club of America has a short article about CDA. It's interesting to note that the AKC Doberman Pinscher breed standard does not fault the blue coat btw, it's an acceptable color.

https://www.dpca.org/BreedEd/articles/40-health/271-color-dilution-alopecia
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Thanks for actually answering my question spot on. I was genuinely interested in knowing if the coat/recessive gened fault colors in itself gave the dog a problem.
I know dilutes of other breeds (and certain dogs) can have issues; but my question was to colors in particular, so thanks again for answering, Whiteshepherds! :)



DOES the fault colors affect GSDs? Or is it only the breeding that effects the "colored" GSDs, and not the "colors" in itself?
It isn't the norm for GSD's to have genetic problems due to their coat colors like some other breeds.

As for color dilution alopecia; Studies for why some dilutes get it and others don't are inconclusive, even for the breeds who are known to have it like the Doberman.
I don't see the logic in assuming the GSD is affected by CDA when there is no documentation to back up that theory. This is the same logic that got the whites disqualified. Convoluted.

The Doberman Pinscher Club of America has a short article about CDA. It's interesting to note that the AKC Doberman Pinscher breed standard does not fault the blue coat btw, it's an acceptable color.

https://www.dpca.org/BreedEd/articles/40-health/271-color-dilution-alopecia
 
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