The Sable German Shepherd is quite a common variation of the breed. More often than not, they resemble either the saddle coat or the pure black German Shepherd. This is because their coats are black and white with different distributions of either color in different Sable GSDs.
Despite the similarities with the other variations, there are some physical differences with a few physical differences. Here are some of these features that point to a purebred Sable German Shepherd.
Skull and facial structure
The Sable German Shepherd has the same facial features and head structure as all other purebred German Shepherds. This includes a narrow forehead, long snouts, and close-set eyes. The ears are large and erect which came in handy for their different applications including as hunting, guarding, and herding dogs.
Size and build
Sable German Shepherd are related to Working Lines dogs which is most evident from their build. The dogs are typically larger than most other German Shepherd coat-based variations. They weigh up to 95 pounds and measure 24 to 26 inches.
However, the females are much smaller averaging 55 to 75 pounds and as little as 20 inches in height.
Coat color and markings
The coat on this variety can be either long or medium. The color is what sets them apart. They are characterized by a black tip marking on every strand including those where the rest of the strand is tan.
Depending on the intensity of these markings as well as how much of the coat has tan sections, the dog may look almost entirely black. However, the lack of a solid root to tip black style differentiates them from the pure black GSD variation.
Interestingly, these markings are not visible at birth. The Sable German Shepherd may actually be born tan and black then develop the black tips later on.