Sable German Shepherds: Why You Need to Get One

Last Updated: 7 months ago

When walking around the streets, they’re sure to get a few looks with their trademark “tuxedo” coat.

The sable German Shepherd originated in Germany in 1909 and was bred for hunting purposes. After some time, however, it evolved, and in the early 1920s, the sable German Shepherd was bred to guard livestock.

They were first imported to US ranchers before WWII. As you know, the war was detrimental for the German Shepherd population, and the same can be said for sable German Shepherds.

Physical Characteristics of The Sable German Shepherd

Sable German Shepherds: Why You Need to Get One

Sable is the color of the German Shepherd. It is a rare color, and when it is seen, it can be mistaken for black or tan. The word “sable” comes from the French word “zibeline,” which means “the fur of the sable.”

The sable-colored German Shepherd is one of the rarest colors of German Shepherds. Its coat is predominantly black, with some brown or red hairs. The long-haired sable German Shepherd is probably the rarest type of German Shepherd.

The undercoat can be tan, red-brown, or gold. The tips of the guard hairs may be silver in some individuals, and in others they may be a dark red-brown. Sable German Shepherds should always have a black lower half and a silver-tipped upper half.

The sable German Shepherd is one of the most powerful breeds of dog. It has all the features of a German Shepherd, but with more coat color diversity.

They are often used as police dogs, therapy dogs, and watchdogs. This breed needs constant attention and is not suitable for anyone who doesn’t have time to train it properly. Sables, in general, are very intelligent, hardworking, and good-natured.

They are considered to be one of the most versatile breeds of dogs. Sables have that super cuddly look that you just want to hug. They’re also great for people looking for a less aggressive dog for their family.

Common Colors

silver sabel GSD

The most common colors of German Shepherds are black and tan, black and white, and all white.

Sable German Shepherds commonly display shades ranging from tan to black, with a characteristic overlay of black-tipped guard hairs.

This distinctive coat pattern contributes to their striking appearance, making them easily recognizable among different German Shepherd color variations.

Average Weight and Height

The average weight of a sable German Shepherd is 55–65 pounds. The average height of a sable German Shepherd is 24-27 inches.

If you wonder what the measurements of black German Shepherds are, they tend to be a bit larger than sable German Shepherds.

The average weight of a black German Shepherd is 60–75 pounds. The average height of a black German Shepherd is 24-27 inches.


The lifespan of a Sable German Shepherd is typically around 9 to 13 years, influenced by factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health care.

Providing proper nutrition, regular veterinary check-ups, and a loving environment can contribute to ensuring a longer and healthier life for your Sable German Shepherd companion.

Most Common Health Issues of the Sable German Shepherds

sable german shepherd running

Sable German Shepherds, like any breed, may be prone to certain health issues.

It’s important for owners to be aware of these potential concerns and work closely with veterinarians to maintain their dogs’ well-being.

Here are some common health issues associated with Sable German Shepherds:

Hip Dysplasia

This genetic condition involves abnormal development of the hip joint, leading to arthritis and discomfort.

Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and appropriate supplements can help manage hip dysplasia.

Degenerative Myelopathy

A progressive spinal cord disorder that affects mobility.

While there’s no cure, a healthy lifestyle, physical therapy, and supportive devices can improve the quality of life for affected dogs.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

EPI affects the pancreas, reducing its ability to produce enzymes necessary for digestion.

Enzyme supplements and a specialized diet can help manage this condition effectively.

Bloat (Gastric Torsion)

A serious and potentially life-threatening condition where the stomach twists, causing gas buildup.

Feeding smaller, frequent meals, and avoiding vigorous exercise after meals can reduce the risk.


Sable German Shepherds may be prone to allergies, affecting their skin and coat.

Identifying and avoiding allergens, along with a proper grooming routine, can help manage allergy-related issues.

Elbow Dysplasia

Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia involves malformation of the elbow joint.

Maintaining a healthy weight and providing joint supplements may help mitigate the impact.


Inflammation of the pancreas, often triggered by a high-fat diet. Feeding a balanced and low-fat diet can reduce the risk of pancreatitis.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a nutritious diet, and a proactive approach to health care can contribute to a longer, healthier life for Sable German Shepherds.

Owners should be attentive to any signs of discomfort or changes in behavior and seek veterinary advice promptly.

Grooming And Care for the Sable German Shepherd

sable GSD

Grooming and care are crucial aspects of keeping Sable German Shepherds healthy and happy.

Here are some tips to ensure their well-being:

  • Regular Brushing: Sable German Shepherds have a dense double coat that sheds throughout the year. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair, reduces shedding, and keeps their coat healthy.
  • Bathing as Needed: While German Shepherds don’t require frequent baths, occasional bathing helps keep their coat clean and skin healthy. Use a dog-friendly shampoo to avoid skin irritation.
  • Nail Trimming: Regular nail trims prevent discomfort and potential injuries. Long nails can affect the dog’s gait and cause pain. Use proper nail clippers or seek professional grooming assistance.
  • Ear Cleaning: Sable German Shepherds are prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears. Regular cleaning with a vet-approved solution helps prevent infections and maintains ear health.
  • Dental Care: Good dental hygiene is essential. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a dog toothbrush and toothpaste or provide dental chews to reduce the risk of periodontal disease.
  • Eye Care: Sable German Shepherds may be susceptible to eye issues. Regularly check for signs of redness, discharge, or cloudiness. Consult a vet if you notice any abnormalities.
  • Proper Nutrition: A balanced diet is crucial for overall health, including coat condition and immune system support. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your Sable German Shepherd’s specific needs.
  • Regular Exercise: German Shepherds, including Sable ones, are active breeds that require regular exercise. Daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation help maintain their physical and mental well-being.
  • Preventive Veterinary Care: Regular veterinary check-ups are vital for preventive care. Vaccinations, parasite control, and early detection of potential health issues contribute to a longer, healthier life.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Gentle and positive reinforcement during grooming sessions creates a positive association. This helps build trust between you and your Sable German Shepherd, making grooming a more enjoyable experience.

Consistent grooming and care routines not only enhance the appearance of Sable German Shepherds but also contribute to their overall health and well-being.

Tailor these tips to your dog’s individual needs and consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice.


Sable German Shepherds stand out not only for their stunning coat colors but also for their intelligence, loyalty, and versatility.

Whether as devoted family companions, working dogs, or loyal protectors, Sables embody the best traits of the German Shepherd breed.

Their striking appearance, combined with a well-rounded care routine that includes grooming, nutrition, and regular veterinary check-ups, ensures a fulfilling and healthy life for these remarkable dogs.

As guardians, friends, and active members of the family, Sable German Shepherds leave an indelible mark, showcasing the incredible bond that can be forged between humans and their canine counterparts.


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