If you love German Shepherd Dogs, but like the thought of owning one in a more unusual color than the traditional black and tan, the silver German Shepherd may well have caught your eye. In this article, we’ll take a look at this distinct silver coloration, whether it’s different from the other coat colors, and how it may affect the health and mood of your dog.
This silver coat color is yet another beautiful variation of this breed. These dogs are from working bloodlines of German Shepherds. Lighter colored Shepherds are less prevalent in show rings than those with a more robust darker appearance.
The exact science behind their silver appearance is not yet fully understood due to their rareness, however. A silver Shepherd’s presence is a lot like the black and tan variation; the only difference is silver replaces the extensive tan markings.
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- History of Silver German Shepherd
History of Silver German Shepherd
First of all, it’s vital to note that the black and silver German Shepherd is essentially the same as any other color of German Shepherd Dog. It doesn’t have a well-defined history separate from the rest of the breed.
This means that this color also won’t affect your dog’s character, fitness, or health. The history of the German Shepherd Dog, of course, can be traced back to Germany.
The German Shepherd Dog, also frequently referred to as the GSD, has shown its versatility as a breed. It is increasing from its pastoral herding roots to showing its efficacy as a service dog and in police and military canine units global.
The Genetics of the Silver German Shepherd
Coat color genetics are complex, with the specific genes tied for silver coloration yet to be fully recognized. Within the German Shepherd breed, the gene for sable is dominant over all other colors and designs.
The first registered German Shepherd Dog was sable in color. Despite this, it’s not seen as often as the black and tan preferred by many breeders. Black and tan dogs won’t have the sable gene, which is why if two black and tan dogs are bred together, none of the puppies will be sable.
Silver is likely a passive gene, which could be why it’s not seen as often as some of the other colors. There’s more color variation in working dogs, compared to dogs bred for the show ring. While you may see a working silver sable Shepherd, that would be a very rare color combination.
Silver German Shepherd Appearance
As we’ve established that the silver Shepherd Dog is no different from a GSD of any other color, their appearance is going to be in line with the breed standard. GSDs are large dogs, weighing in 50 – 90 pounds and standing between 22 – 26 inches tall.
They have a muscular, healthy body, with pointed ears and a dense double coat. You may have seen parent dogs advertised as “black saddle silver German Shepherd,” but what does that mean? The “saddle” refers to the patch of darker colored fur, which covers the majority of the dog’s back. Any German Shepherd Dog with the silver coloration is less likely to have a silverback German Shepherd pattern. They may have a darker patch across their back.
Training your Silver German Shepherd
Puppy training classes are an excellent way to start your Silver German Shepherd’s education, as well as beginning to socialize them with other people and dogs. Their high level of intelligence means they are a joy to train and experience positive, reward-based training methods.
Health Issues of Silver German Shepherd
Unlike some other breeds, the coat color of a German Shepherd Dog has no relation to its health. So to find out what the health of a black and silver Shepherd is likely to be like, we can take a glimpse at the GSD breed as a whole.
Unfortunately, German Shepherds can be prone to a range of health conditions. It’s essential to become close with these and to assure that you speak to any breeders about health tests and their results.
Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are both normal in the breed. Parent dogs should have been awarded a score for their hips and elbows. By selecting parent dogs with high scores, you can diminish the chances of your puppy developing these conditions. GSDs are also prone to osteoarthritis dissecans (OCD). This is the result of abnormal cartilage growth.
|Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency|
|Von Willebrands disease|
Silver German Shepherd Back Problems
Another issue that affects many German Shepherds is problems with their backs. The modern shape of the GSD has changed quite dramatically since the breed was initially introduced.
The conformation for show dogs now favors a sloping back, with extreme angles shown in the hind legs. Formation related disorders can hurt dog welfare.
This is something to bear in mind when viewing parent dogs of any puppies you’re interested in. Even if you love the distinctive black silver German Shepherd color, we suggest selecting a dog based on its overall health and temperament, rather than on their color alone.
Silver German Shepherd Exercise
German Shepherds are active dogs and require regular daily exercise. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise may start to display unwanted and destructive behaviors as a reflection of frustration and boredom. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise for Silver German Shepherds. Be sure to challenge yours with activities such as agility, or learning tricks, as a way to keep both their mind and body stimulated.
Silver German Shepherd Temperament
German Shepherds have a reputation for being fiercely intelligent, intensely loyal, and enthusiastic about work or exercise. This is a brave and courageous breed, as well as being more reserved than some others.
German Shepherds will bond quickly and firmly with their families, but don’t expect them to want to make friends with everyone they meet. They are right around children and often take on a supervisor role for those within their own family. As with any breed, be sure to set boundaries for your personal and visiting children.
Make sure your German Shepherd has the choice to leave any social setting with strangers if they wish, and make sure guests know to respect your dog if they choose not to interact with them. GSDs don’t usually like being left alone for long periods. This is something to bear in mind if you work away from home.
German Shepherd Different Colors
Bear in mind as well that the final color of a puppy will only be bright once the outer coat has fully developed. This means that a relatively dark-coated puppy could develop into a mature black and silver German Shepherd Dog.
We think it’s important to emphasize that you should always prioritize the temperament and health of a puppy you’re considering taking home, rather than the color of their coat.
Strong, rich colors are generally preferred. This may be why silver-grey German Shepherd Dogs are less common. Washed out colors, including blues and livers, are considered a serious fault.
The white coat color is unacceptable within the official description and leads to disqualification from the show ring. Despite this, white German Shepherds have quite a fan club outside of the show ring. Next, let’s take a look at the genetics behind how several coat colors are expressed in this breed.
If you know any other combinations of German silver dog that we haven’t covered? Perhaps you’re the owner of a silver and tan German Shepherd, or maybe you have seen a silver blue German Shepherd, or a silver sable German Shepherd on your travels.