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How do we feel about "silver" and black GSDs? I've focused my breeding program on dogs with rich color and have steered clear of any dog I feel doesn't have the correct "look" even if they impress me with their working lineage.

I was contacted regarding a dog for sale. I looked at her bloodline and really liked what I saw... but she's "silver" and black.

She's really got the training and working ability I've been looking for, and that's very important to me, but I don't feel right about adding her to my breeding program because of her color.

I know lots of people like lots of different colors of dogs. I've seen liver shepherds, blue shepherds, of course the white and silver dogs... and I've never paid them any mind. I know what I like, what's "standard" acceptable and that's what I've focused on... but this girl is really pulling at me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
She's mostly black, and it's not that I don't "like" her color, it's just that it seems kind of faded and washed out to me because I am used to rich red and black dogs.

When I look at a dog, the first and most important thing I review is their lineage, their working ability, and the training they've had, because we live on a farm and it's pointless to bring a dog here if it can't or won't work. But color/coat is the second thing I look at. I don't like dogs that look washed out and have bad color. I've always known what I like and have pretty much stuck to it.
 

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Reputable breeders don't select for "silver", but if a dog is outstanding in every other way, I don't think you should throw the baby out with the bathwater... color is one of the least important things in my book, though I too prefer rich, saturated pigment. IMO, a "silver" dog could have a place in a breeding program as long as he/she is bred to partners with rich pigment.
 

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Freestep is right on, and if you are worried about customers being interested in any black and silver dogs that might come out of breeding that dog your asking about, well as for me, if it continues to produce dogs with great working abilities and the parents are both cleared of hip issues, than I would buy one from you.
 

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I would rather have an ugly dog with brains/temperament/soundness/workability than a pretty dog that had nothing between the ears:)

(Not saying the silver's are ugly, just a generalization)
 

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IMHO, if I were a breeder, the last thing I would care about is color. If you like her lines and she would contribute to what you are doing, then why not?

Taste the GSD rainbow. :) Capt. Stephanitz said himself that there are no bad colors...so the dog might surprise you.

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I would rather have an ugly dog with brains/temperament/soundness/workability than a pretty dog that had nothing between the ears:)
+1 to that.

Personally, I like all the colors of GSD. I love the rich red-and-black showlines with their leonine ruffs. But I love silver-and-black dogs too; I think there's something elegant about their silvery coloring.

And yes, far far far more important to me than a dog's color is what he or she can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
She's at a sheep farm not too far from me, so I might just have to drive out there and take a personal look at her. If she works like they say she does, then I might reconsider.
And again, it's not that she's an "ugly" dog, she's very pretty, heavily blanketed, mostly black, her coat looks good in the pictures. She's not an overly large dog, looks to have good bone structure and her OFA is good. Her color is the only thing holding me back, but I guess that's just my years of personal understanding of the standrard and striving to only to produce acceptable dogs. I my mind when I hear "pale, washed out colors are a serious fault".. that includes silver dogs, because that's "pale"... but that's probably not the most accurate way of thinking?
 

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IMHO, if I were a breeder, the last thing I would care about is color. If you like her lines and she would contribute to what you are doing, then why not?

Taste the GSD rainbow. :) Capt. Stephanitz said himself that there are no bad colors...so the dog might surprise you.

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:rofl: thats great!

And Im with everyone else, if the dog has the linage, drive, temperament, health certs.,training that you like/need/want then go for it, color should be the least of your worries
 

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And again, it's not that she's an "ugly" dog, she's very pretty, heavily blanketed, mostly black, her coat looks good in the pictures. She's not an overly large dog, looks to have good bone structure and her OFA is good. Her color is the only thing holding me back, but I guess that's just my years of personal understanding of the standrard and striving to only to produce acceptable dogs. I my mind when I hear "pale, washed out colors are a serious fault".. that includes silver dogs, because that's "pale"... but that's probably not the most accurate way of thinking?
I'm not a breeder and I know nothing about breeding, so take this with a major grain of salt, but IF silver is indeed a major fault (and I know so little about conformation that I don't even know that!), and IF it's possible to "correct" color by carefully choosing the litter's sire, and IF you can do that while also preserving the dam's exceptional working abilities (assuming for the sake of argument that her abilities are indeed so exceptional that they warrant preservation for the sake of the breed), then... that seems like a pretty good deal to me.

I guess this is my personal bias speaking, but as an owner who prioritizes performance above all, I like to see breeders working to nurture the instincts and abilities of the breed. A really great herding dog is an exceptional combination of brains, strength, good judgment, impulse control, and decisive action. To my thinking, that's a special dog. IF you truly have a dog with those traits out there, that's something worth keeping.
 

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She's at a sheep farm not too far from me, so I might just have to drive out there and take a personal look at her. If she works like they say she does, then I might reconsider.
And again, it's not that she's an "ugly" dog, she's very pretty, heavily blanketed, mostly black, her coat looks good in the pictures. She's not an overly large dog, looks to have good bone structure and her OFA is good. Her color is the only thing holding me back, but I guess that's just my years of personal understanding of the standrard and striving to only to produce acceptable dogs. I my mind when I hear "pale, washed out colors are a serious fault".. that includes silver dogs, because that's "pale"... but that's probably not the most accurate way of thinking?
If you are planning on doing conformation, then yes...you need to be hyper vigilant that your B&T is the perfect shade with no paleness or washed out color and symmetrical saddle, but it seems like you are looking for a dog to do a job, so why not have an off colored rock star who's working genetics will bring more to the table than any perfectly colored dog available to you at the moment.

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I my mind when I hear "pale, washed out colors are a serious fault".. that includes silver dogs, because that's "pale"... but that's probably not the most accurate way of thinking?
I'm not sure it is a "serious" fault, but it is a fault. But all dogs have faults, none are perfect, and if color is the worst thing you can say about a particular dog, that's probably a good dog. :)

Just curious, what is the pedigree?
 

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"I've focused my breeding program on dogs with rich color and have steered clear of any dog I feel doesn't have the correct "look" even if they impress me with their working lineage. "

its a working breed ! substance over cosmetics.

"you need to be hyper vigilant that your B&T is the perfect shade with no paleness or washed out color and symmetrical saddle,"

not if you look at the SV conformation results
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm not sure it is a "serious" fault, but it is a fault. But all dogs have faults, none are perfect, and if color is the worst thing you can say about a particular dog, that's probably a good dog. :)

Just curious, what is the pedigree?
She's got Bravo's Do or Die/Smokin Joe Nordlicht... which I've found to be great herding lines, with lots of level head and stamina.
I've had a dog previously with this line and he was one of the best I've ever had here on the farm.
 

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I think she's gorgeous:)
 
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