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Discussion Starter #1
We originally started out our search for German Shepherds very open ended. Not particularly looking for a certain color but definitely a female. As we've researched and learned more, we decided a medium drive, working line, sable was our top choice. We are a family with a small dog so temperament is very important, interested in doing some beginner sports-obedience, rally, nosework, maybe PSA down the line.

Had deposit with a breeder that had mostly sables and a couple of solid blacks. All girls except one was sable so we were told our odds were good (breeder picks). As our date got closer, 3 sables were narrowed down as most likely ours, one male and 2 females. The male was said to be of very good temperament so far and didn't seem to pose a problem with our current male dog. We visited them and really got our hopes up with that visit. Then on 'pick' day, we were matched with the female, all black. It took us back and while I was okay with this change, the rest of the family was not. So deposit lost.

So I've been talking with lots more breeders in our area and around other parts of the country and I don't want to really take our chances with waiting for the litter to be born and then waiting for our pick knowing the strong color preference my husband and kids have.

Now I only want to find a pup from a litter that is already on the ground with all sable females. Obviously finding a reputable breeder that has pups available when they are already born is not easy, most have had deposits for awhile.
Please help!

Two options right now, one from someone local. Sire and Dam are from reputable breeders and both have great pedigree, but only OFA prelims on the dam (good) and haven't heard back about testing for the sire. DM is neg. by parentage.

The other is in the midwest, not a true breeder but a trainer in their local Schutzhund club that has litters from time to time. SV rated hips, sire is DM clear, dam is not tested. One same pair breeding a little less than a year ago from which they kept one of the pups for training.
 

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Do you have pedigree links for the litters you're considering? That will make it possible for people to give you useful insight on temperament or what to expect.

Make certain that you are 100% up front with the seller that you will decline a puppy if it isn't sable.... picking based on color opens up a can of worms.
 

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Just from your post, it sounds like you should have taken the first puppy. Neither of the two you’re talking about now sound like litters I would buy from.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sire
Dam

Sire
Dam
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just from your post, it sounds like you should have taken the first puppy. Neither of the two you’re talking about now sound like litters I would buy from.
I'm trying to balance it all. To my family, it's a dog we will hopefully have for 12-14 years so, while fickle, color is important to them. Honestly, they would be fine with black and red/tan too. They just don't much care for the solid black GSDs. My husband also grew up with a sable so is partial to that.
 

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Unless you are a very experienced handler/trainer and can handle a high drive dog in a family situation, I would recommend another sport such as SCH.

Picking a working line dog based on coat color with a limited timeframe is putting 2 things ahead of temperament. You want a dog that will be good with smaller animals and live in a family environment. I'm not saying that the right puppy doesn't exist, but meeting your criteria and your timeline is going to make finding that dog unlikely IMO.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
No, I'm definitely not a very experienced handler/trainer. Really want to find the right pup for our family. Our current dog is a rescue that bounced around from home to home until he came to us. Finding the right home is important for the dog and the owners. I'm trying to learn as much as I can, do my homework and make the right choices for the long haul.

I'm would very much appreciate any recommendations as to where to look.
 

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Hopper is very good dog. He is well known and liked by many breeders. I don't know much about that female or the lines she comes from. The von de Sleghtebruute dog I have met was a very large, very powerful, very hard female. This is a repeat breeding, so you should ask about the previous one. The first sire you listed has a lot in common with my puppy, pedigree wise. The biggest concern I have for him is hips. Aly tends to improve hip production, but it is still a concern for me. Based on the female he is paired with, I wouldn't choose that litter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for your insights!

I did ask about the previous litter and was told that 3 of the pups are in regular non-working homes. Of the litter, I'm told that the one best for us is one the most social and outgoing one, first one to come to you for attention, always tail wagging, more like the mom, less like Hopper.

I just got the prelim OFA records from the first dam and sire listed, the dam had excellent and the sire had good. Though these were the prelims only, hoping not too much would have changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sabis Mom- They are okay with moving the deposit, it will just be at least a year's wait. Their next planned litter is not expected to have good pups for pet homes. The litter after will be with the same dam as the current litter, so it will be a while until her next season.

If we don't find the right pup before then, then we will stay in contact with this breeder but I want to keep looking until then.
 

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Sentinel Hart in CA has some sable pups on the ground now and a couple litters expected in october. she tends to produce pretty dark dogs tho, so considering the range of ‘sable’, they may or may not be what your family is looking for. quite a few of the dogs are noted to be good with cats, dogs and other small animals too.
 

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I would have kept the all black puppy especially if it was a good match. I went into my search looking for temperament first. However, I’m not going to lie, those dark sables are beautiful and what I originally wanted. Instead, I now have a bi-color. Now sables look washed out to me (not totally true...still love them!).

But the sleekness of a black coat is visually stunning. My dog looks like a black panther when he’s in stalking mode. 💕

Another plus is that people are scared of black dogs. Nobody approaches me when I walk. Well, nobody approaches me on foot....lol. Many cars stop me and tell me how beautiful he is. In fact, that just happened today. I feel safe walking him at night.

On a completely shallow note, color matters less to me than correct ear structure (visually, I don’t like ears too far apart) and a reverse mask (I like a dark mask). But temperament would still win out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Fodder, I checked their site. Looks like all reserved.

IllinoisNative, it took me a few minutes to process but I was good with getting the black puppy. She was super cute. I agree on temperament, but I also need buy in from the whole family though if we are going to make this work. At least from my husband.
 

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I agree on temperament, but I also need buy in from the whole family though if we are going to make this work. At least from my husband.
I completely understand. I’m spoiled because I’m not currently married so I can chose any dog I want. I’m not so sure I could go back into a relationship if I have to compromise on dogs. LOL
 

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However, I’m not going to lie, those dark sables are beautiful and what I originally wanted. Instead, I now have a bi-color. Now sables look washed out to me (not totally true...still love them!).
Totally agree with @IllinoisNative here. I wanted a sable. I just thought they were so cool (and still do). My breeder picked out a Black and Tan for me.
Now I can’t imagine a more iconic and attractive dog. His coloring is fantastic. His personality and abilities are everything I wanted.

Keep in mind that when you get a sable, it may not appear the way your family imagined. Sables change...a lot. Even in the same breeding, I’ve seen them all look the same at 8 weeks and then totally different shades a few months later: some dark and some ‘washed’ out, some patterned and some not so much. So sables could be a bit of a lottery in how they look by maturity.
 
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