What’s So Special about the Sable German Shepherd?

Sable German Shepherd

You have watched series like “Hudson and Rex,” showcasing the usefulness of dogs in the police force but do you ever wonder how these dogs came to be. The dogs, mostly German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs), can detect illegal drugs, help their partners, and obey commands because of one man who decided to make them the most outstanding servant of man. Of course, they are a sight to behold, but the breeder was not going for looks. The rise of German Shepherds dates back to over a century ago, and the first dog of this breed was the Sable German Shepherd. Since they contain the original DNA shared with wolves, the Sable German Shepherds are more costly than other German Shepherds. They are indeed a special breed, as you shall learn from the details below.

It Was Bred to Produce the Ideal Dog

According to Pupvine, most people believe that a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) should have black and tan coats. However, the original GSDs were multi-colored and had black tips on their fur. As per the article, all the first GSDs were sable-colored, and the sable coat is due to a dominant gene. The sable-colored GSDs remain the only ones with the coat color which did not stray from what the founder wanted. The dog was first discovered by Max Emil von Stephanitz, a German boy from a wealthy family. He wanted to be a farmer and even studied agriculture but bowed down to family pressure, giving up on his dream. Von Stephanitz ended up in the military, where he became a German calvary member and rose the ranks to become the captain. He worked at a veterinary College in Berlin, where he rekindled his love for animal biology. For a long time, he had admired the shepherd dogs in Germany for their ability to work with minimum supervision and intelligence. However, he observed that the number of sheep herding dogs was slowly decreasing as farmland was encroached. There was no standard shepherd dog; therefore, he aimed at creating the ideal dog. In his opinion, it had to have a strong work ethic, pricked ears resembling those of a wolf, a high level of intelligence, and an incredible sense of smell. Since he loved attending dog shows, during one, he spotted a dog that had nearly all of the traits he was seeking for the ultimate working dog. The dog had pricked ears, a gray coat with a yellow tint, and a powerful demeanor. For this reason, Von Stephanitz adopted the dog, Hektor Linksrhein, which he renamed Horand von Grafrath.

It is the Founding Member of the First German Shepherd Club in the World

According to the German Shepherd Club of America, Horand von Grafrath, a Sable German Shepherd was the first-ever registered German Shepherd Dog. Horand became the standard for a German Shepherd and was bred with dogs bearing similar appearances to produce German Shepherd litters. Within a month after buying Horand for 200 German marks, Von Stephanitz, and a friend Artur Meyer, founded a club in 1899. It was the first club ever in the history of German Shepherd dog breeds. The club, Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde, besides Von Stephanitz and Meyer, comprised a magistrate, an architect, three shepherds, an innkeeper, two factory owners, and a mayor. Since Horand was the founding member of the club, his registration number was SZ1. Funny enough, Horand was deliberately bred by Friedrich Sparwasser, who was interested in having a dog with a wolf-like body and upright ears because that is what dog lovers admired. Therefore, besides Horand, his immediate family comprising his brother Luchs, parents, and paternal grandparents were registered as German Shepherds later. Von Stephanitz continued breeding Horand and Luchs to consolidate the bloodline. The breeder mated Horand’s son, Hektor, with the half-sister and other daughters of Hektor. Through intense breeding, Von Stephanitz was able to eliminate undesirable recessive traits. You should note that the Sable German Shepherd dog is the true German Shepherd, with the sable color being recognized as the original color of GSDs. Therefore, according to Bubbly Pet, Sable German Shepherds have the dominant gene in the German Shepherd dog family. Additionally, the sable color matches the color of the first German Shepherd dog, Horand.

It Was the First Dog Breed Accepted in the K9 Unit

According to Military Working Dog Team Support Association, Von Stephanitz developed the German Shepherd dog between 1899 and 1914 as a working dog. His standard was a dog that had portrayed utility and obedience; beauty was not important because, without the right temperament, intelligence, and structural efficiency, the breeder believed a dog would not make a good servant for man. As the article informs us, he was eager to show off the prowess of the new breed thus loaned the dogs to the German police department, making them the first K9 dogs. The German police appreciated how obedient the dogs were and how great they were at tracking and protecting their masters. Therefore, Von Stephanitz believed they could be useful in the military too. The dogs joined the German military in 1914 when World War I began, serving as messengers, sentries, and ammunition carriers. They led wounded soldiers to safety, thus gaining popularity. US soldiers returned home with tales of how good the German Shepherds were. The popularity resulted in breeders selling poor quality “German police dogs” that could hardly compare to Von Stephanitz’s; thus, the breed’s popularity decreased. Since the German Shepherd Dog Club of America had already been formed in 1913, the American Kennel Club had to change the name to Shepherd Dog of America; the breed was henceforth known as Shepherd Dog, eliminating any ties to German. To this day, German Shepherds are among the few breeds accepted for military and police dog training.

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