Sable German Shepherd- Everything You Need To Know

A Sable German Shepherd is one of the most unique and attractive German Shepherd dogs. They are familiar with ‘Agouti’ in many regions. This Agouti pattern or Sable is not visible in a patchy manner with the Saddleback or the panda German Shepherds. This novel color pattern of fur grows all over their body. The Agouti Shepherds are not born exactly like this. Their coat color increases gradually and becomes more durable as they mature. Some colors may be brighter than others because of their ancestral predisposition. Usually, their coat’s color is an amalgam of gold, grey, black, or tan. 

Sable is the original color and a recognized variation of the German shepherd breed. It is the most dominant coat color of all Shepherds. The Sable coat color results from the dominant gene and is the first of the German Shepherd species. Also, it is the only color variant that best suits the German Shepherd breed’s nature and instincts when compared to other colors of this breed.

Although these dogs look different from other GSDs, they carry the same features and characteristics as other varieties of the German Shepherd breed and are known to be very loyal. These canines are bred to serve as perfect working dogs, and GSDs have found roles in the police force, the military, and other service dogs.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes German Shepherds, and the breed standard recognizes the sable color.

Sable German Shepherd Breed Pros and Cons

Intensely TrainableNeeds a yard
Exceptional Guard DogMay be aggressive if not properly trained
LoyalMay not get along with other pets

Sable German Shepherd Basic Information

  • Name: Sable German Shepherd
  • Origin: Germany
  • Size: Large breed
  • Height: Males: 26 inches & Females: 24 inches
  • Weight: Males: 75 to 95 pounds & Females: 55 to 73 pounds
  • Group: Herding Group
  • Coat: Medium
  • Color: white, blue, liver, red, gold, gray, silver, and tan.
  • Energy: Medium
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Barking Level: Frequent
  • Shedding Level: High
  • Activities: Agility, Herding, Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Tracking 
  • Breed’s Original Pastime: Herding, Guarding
  • Litter Size: 5-9 puppies 
  • Lifespan:  9 to 14 years

German Shepherd and Sable German Shepherd: Comparison 

FeaturesGerman Shepherd Sable German Shepherd 
Origin Germany Germany 
Height 22 to 26 inches 24 to 26 inches
Weight 50 to 90 pounds 55 to 95 pounds 
Size  Large Large 
Group Herding Herding 
Children Compatibility High High 
Family Compatibility High High 
Pets Compatibility Low Low 
Barking Level Frequent Frequent 
Shedding Level Normal High 
Hypoallergenic No No 
Grooming Needs Low Low 
Overall Health Medium to High Medium to High 
Energy Medium Medium 
Exercise Needs High High 
Trainability High High 
 Activities Agility, Herding, Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Tracking  Agility, Herding, Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Tracking  
Complication in breeding No No
Litter Size6 to 8 puppies 6 to 8 puppies
Lifespan9 to 13 years 10 to 14 years
Other NamesAlsatian, Deutscher Schaeferhund 

Sable German Shepherd Personality 

Sable German Shepherd is very much related to other GSDs, and the only exception is the color of their fur. As the puppies age, their color changes. Some GSDs take 3 years to reach their lasting sable color. However, they share all the characteristics, traits, and features just like any German Shepherd. 

These large breeds have a domed shaped head with a long, square muzzle and often match their wolf ancestors. They have an alert, erect ears, and long necks, which sit low when prowling or running. 

These dogs have double coats with a denser guard layer and a soft undercoat. Most GSDs are either red and black or tan and black. The lighter brown shade is their primary color, with black markings and a black face mask on their back which usually looks like a saddle.

Sable German Shepherds come in a variety of coat patterns. However, the typical patterns are liver and cream, black and red, black and cream, and silver and cream. Gray German Shepherds are a kind of Sable GSDs with a fur color similar to a wolf. It is referred to as “wolf gray.” These dogs have black and silver or gray and silver coats.

Friendliness Overview

Affection LevelHigh

Adaptability Overview

Good for New Pet OwnersLow
Good for Apartment LivingMedium
Sensitivity LevelHigh
Tolerates being aloneLow
Heat ToleranceMedium to High
Cold ToleranceMedium to High

Sable German Shepherd Temperament 

The Sable German Shepherd’s coat color does not affect their temperament. They are incredibly loyal and family orientated. Known as working dogs, German Shepherds have the instinct to protect their families and are recognized as watchful and alert. Sometimes excessive barking suggests the impending danger. Proper socialization will guarantee their closeness with the family and other pets.  

Sable German Shepherds are very active, playful and love to be outside for physical exercise. However, they also need a lot of physical and mental stimulation as they are brilliant and do not prefer to be left alone. Suppose they are left alone for a long time. In that case, they can become bored and start to manifest destructive behavior.  So, it’s suggested that you spend some quality time with your pets or train them accurately to understand their behaviors.

Sable German Shepherd Training 

The Sable German Shepherd is an obedient and intelligent dog and is very easy to train. However, you should start training them from a very young age and use reward-based techniques and positive reinforcements. 

GSDs can be a little stubborn, so you should never scold or punish them. They will also do a lot better if you provide them enough time to exercise before conducting a training session. They are exceptional detectives too, so hiding treats and getting them to sniff them out makes it fun to play!

Trainability Overview    

Easy to Train    High 
Intelligence    High  
Prey Drive    High   
Tendency to Chew, Nip & Play-bite    Medium  
Tendency to Bark or Howl    Medium to High
Wanderlust Ability    Low 

Sable German Shepherd Exercise Needs  

Known as a working dog and a guard dog, Sable German Shepherd needs lots of physical and mental stimulation to keep her comfortable. So, it is not a wonder that this dog breed is very energetic and has high exercise needs. Training a GSD is easy as she is smart, attentive, and eager to please. You should train your German Shepherd for 60 to 90 minutes daily, including playing, walking, and mental games. Without sufficient exercise, she can exhibit unwanted and destructive behavior due to boredom and frustration. GSDs love guiding their owners on walks, hikes and love swimming too. So, ensure you have enough time to spend with them.

As GSD is a large breed, you should be extra cautious about exercising at an early age. Overexercising can be harmful to their skeletal development. Therefore, you should only train them for hardly five minutes every month of their age until they are grown-ups. 

Exercise Needs Overview    

Energy Level                                    High  
Exercise Needs                               High    
Playfulness                                      High    
Intensity                               High

Sable German Shepherd Grooming 

Coat and Hair:  

Full-grown Sable German Shepherds are comparatively large and have a double coat, with short and long hair varieties. Their coat is easy to manage with a quick brushing every two to three times a week to eliminate loose hair. However, they shed more extensively once or twice a year. So, you should brush them more often to control the shedding. 


The sable color of the GSDs indicates that almost all their hairs will have a black tip, while the base of the hair can be of a different color. Usually, this different color is tan, but there are various colors that the German Shepherd dogs can come in, including red, liver, white, blue, and gold.


It is important to check your dog’s ears for any sign of infection, regularly. To avoid ear infections, wipe their ears with a wet cotton ball dipped in a pH-balanced ear cleaner.   


You have to brush your dog’s teeth daily with dog-formulated toothpaste. By doing this, you can guarantee your pup doesn’t develop periodontal diseases.   

Grooming Overview  

Amount of Shedding                      High
Tendency to Drool    Low  
Tendency to Snore    Low  
Easy to Groom    High 

Sable German Shepherd Health 

Generally, most German Shepherds are healthy dogs. However, a reliable breeder will screen their stock for health difficulties such as Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, Degenerative Myelopathy, and hip and elbow dysplasia. You should also often check for any symptoms of these issues and regularly take them to the vet for check-ups.

Health Overview

Basic HealthMedium to High
Weight Gain PossibilitiesLow to Medium

Hip Dysplasia: This is a life-threatening hereditary disorder that occurs when the thigh bones don’t fit into the pelvic socket of the hip joint properly. 

Causes of Hip Dysplasia:  

  • Excessive weight gain 
  • Wrong exercises  
  • Injuries  

Elbow Dysplasia: This disorder happens when the bones of the elbow joint fail to join accurately. This misalignment creates abnormal pressure at the joint, leading to chronic rubbing, resulting in critical osteoarthritis. 

Bloat: Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) is a common life-threatening condition in deep-chested dogs. When bloat happens, your dog’s gut becomes inflated, twists and gas. This trapped gas hinders your dog’s capacity to vomit or belch. This inefficiency blocks the expected return of blood to the heart, letting a drop in blood pressure heading to shock. If untreated, this condition could ultimately lead to death.  

Causes Of Bloat:  

  • Exercise vigorously after eating
  • Drinking large volumes of water after eating
  • Eating rapidly
  • Feeding more than one large meal daily. 

Degenerative Myelopathy: This is a progressive spinal cord disorder, especially the part of the cord that provides information to the brain about the hind legs. Canines with DM behave as they don’t know their back legs and cannot move them well. The disease advances to a situation where the dog cannot walk. Most of the time, there is no remedy, and they are put to rest. However, in rare cases, the situation is similar to a lack of vitamin E or vitamin-12. If this is the issue, vitamin supplements might uphold the problem.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: This is a pancreatic genetic condition that destroys the cells that provide digestive enzymes. As a result, the canine cannot consume and digest food. The initial signs are weight loss, gas, loss of appetite, and change in stools. After that, they become lean and starving. With proper medication, most dogs can recover.

Hyperadrenocorticism: It is caused by the breakdown of adrenal glands that provide excessive steroid hormones. The disease occurs gradually and may be overlooked, but one should be conscious of the indications to avoid necessary damage. Symptoms include excess drinking, increased appetite, and urinating more than usual.

Cataracts: It is a general cause of blindness in aged German Shepherds. The lens of the eyes becomes opaque and cloudy. 

Parasites: The GSDs can be filled with bugs, fleas, worms, and ticks that can get into their internal systems through contaminated soil, unclean water, or being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms include pain, discomfort, and even death.

Obesity: It is a vital health situation in German Shepherds. Excess weight can cause back pain, digestive disorders, joint problems, and heart disease. The best technique to avoid this lifestyle disease is regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Sable German Shepherd Diet and Nutrition 

A Sable German shepherd will require 20 calories per lb of body weight, age, and activity level a day, which may come to around 1500 calories (3 cups of food). Make sure to avoid giving one large meal a day and having the dog swallow it down as they are inclined to stomach torsion and bloating. Instead, ensure they have access to clean freshwater. Their diet should be nutritious and healthy. It should comprise all the nutrients, including fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

You can serve a Sable German shepherd puppy three to four times daily.

Sable German Shepherd Living Condition 

If properly exercised, the Sable German Shepherd will do fine in an apartment living. However, they are relatively idle indoors and do best with at least a big yard.

Things to Remember Before buying 

A Sable German Shepherd requires a lot of exercise; hence they are proper for highly active owners. Also, they become destructive if not exercised correctly. These canines are also dominant, and it is equally essential to authenticate yourself as the pack leader.  

Cost of Sable German Shepherd Puppy

The cost of a Sable German Shepherd puppy can range from approximately $500 to $1,500. 

Adding a Sable German Shepherd to Your Family 

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