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Red Sable German Shepherd: Pictures, Price & Traits

red sable german shepherd

Originating from the same sturdy and intelligent lineage as their more traditionally colored counterparts, the red sable German Shepherd shares the breed’s renowned attributes of loyalty, courage, and adaptability.

Their unique coloration does not affect their ability or performance in work or companionship, standing as equals in police work, service roles, and, of course, as beloved family pets.

This blog post aims to delve deep into the essence of the red sable German Shepherd, exploring their history, physical characteristics, temperament, and the care they require to thrive.

What Are Red Sable German Shepherds?

A Red Sable German Shepherd is a unique color variation within the breed that sets them apart from other German Shepherds.

The term “sable” refers to a specific color pattern where individual hairs are banded with multiple colors, ranging from black to red.

In the case of Red Sable German Shepherds, the predominant color in the sable pattern is a deep, rich red, which can vary from a lighter, almost golden red to a darker, more mahogany shade.

This coloration is combined with black banding at the tips of the fur, which gives the coat its unique sable patterning. Each hair on their body fades from red to black, producing an amazing sheen reminiscent of wolves.

The intensity and distribution of the red and black can vary significantly among individual dogs, making each Red Sable German Shepherd uniquely beautiful.

RELATED: Sable German Shepherds

playful red sable german shepherd
Red sable long coat German Shepherd

Red Sable German Shepherd Overview

The following table provides an essential overview of the Red Sable German Shepherd’s key characteristics, including physical attributes, temperament, health considerations, care requirements, and suitable activities.

OriginGermany, developed late 19th century
SizeMales: 24-26 inches at the shoulder; Females: 22-24 inches
Weight50-90 pounds, depending on gender and size
Coat TypeDouble coat with dense outer and softer undercoat
Coat ColorRed sable (a blend of deep reds and rich sable markings)
TemperamentIntelligent, loyal, protective, adaptable
IntelligenceHigh; keen ability to learn and adapt
Social BehaviorGood with families and other pets if socialized early; wary of strangers
Activity LevelHigh; requires regular physical and mental exercise
Common Health IssuesHip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), allergies
LifespanApproximately 9-13 years
DietHigh-quality dog food tailored to age, size, and activity level; prone to bloat, so smaller, frequent meals are recommended
Exercise NeedsDaily exercise including walks, runs, and play; benefits from mental stimulation through training and puzzles
Grooming NeedsRegular brushing to manage shedding, especially during shedding seasons; occasional baths, regular nail trimming, ear, and dental care
Training TipsStart early, use positive reinforcement, ensure consistency, provide mental stimulation, be patient and persistent
Suitable ActivitiesAgility training, hiking, advanced obedience classes, search and rescue training
red sable german shepherd picture

Physical Appearance

Red sable German Shepherds possess a muscular and agile build, indicative of their origins as working dogs.

Males typically stand between 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder, while females are slightly smaller, ranging from 22 to 24 inches. Their weight can vary from 50 to 90 pounds, with males usually being heavier.

Their red sable pattern means that each hair strand includes a base of rich red tones, accented with darker shades, often resulting in a stunning, fiery effect that is both eye-catching and beautiful.

Their double coat consists of a dense, straight, or slightly wavy outer coat and a softer undercoat, designed to protect them from the elements.

Physically, red sable German Shepherds are built for activity and work. Their structure supports a high level of agility, stamina, and strength, making them suited for a variety of tasks and environments.

Their robust build, stunning coat, and alert demeanor not only contribute to their aesthetic appeal but also their functionality as working dogs.

RELATED: The Different German Shepherd Colors

red sable German Shepherd picture
Long Haired Red Sable German Shepherd

Temperament and Behavior

The Red Sable German Shepherd share the same exemplary temperament and behavior of their standard colored counterparts, making them a preferred choice for various roles including family pets, service dogs, and working companions.

Below are key points that highlight the temperament and behavior of this magnificent breed:

  • Highly Intelligent: Quick learners with the ability to perform complex tasks. Excel in problem-solving and are known for their keen understanding of commands and training cues.
  • Loyal and Protective: Form strong bonds with their families, showing unwavering loyalty. Natural protectors, often vigilant and ready to guard their loved ones.
  • Social Behavior: Good with children and other pets when properly socialized from an early age. May exhibit wariness around strangers, underscoring the need for comprehensive socialization.
  • Adaptable: Capable of adjusting to different living environments, provided they have enough space for physical activity. Thrive with consistent routines but can adapt to changes with proper guidance.
  • High Energy and Activity Level: Require regular, vigorous exercise to maintain physical and mental health. Enjoy activities like running, hiking, and playing fetch, which also help to strengthen their bond with owners.
  • Eager to Please: Known for their desire to please their owners, which makes them highly responsive to training. Positive reinforcement techniques work well in training sessions, enhancing their learning experience.
  • Work Ethic: Possess a strong work ethic, making them suitable for various tasks including herding, search and rescue, and assistance roles. Enjoy being challenged and engaged in tasks that stimulate them physically and mentally.

Proper socialization, training, and care will ensure that these remarkable dogs live up to their full potential, offering companionship and service that is truly unparalleled.

Red sable German Shepherd picture

Health and Care

Common Health Issues

While German Shepherds are generally healthy, they can be prone to certain genetic health conditions. Owners need to be aware of these potential issues to ensure early detection and treatment:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: A common condition in larger breeds, dysplasia is a malformation of the hip or elbow joints, which can lead to arthritis or lameness.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy: A progressive disease of the spinal cord, leading to loss of coordination and mobility in the hind limbs.
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV): Also known as bloat, GDV is a life-threatening condition where the stomach twists on itself.
  • Allergies: Red sable German Shepherds can be prone to skin allergies, which may be triggered by environmental factors or food.

Regular veterinary check-ups, including genetic screening for predisposed conditions, can help manage these health risks.

RELATED: Common German Shepherd Health Issues

Diet and Nutrition

These active and muscular dogs require a balanced diet rich in high-quality proteins to support muscle growth and maintenance, fats for energy, and carbohydrates for sustained vitality.

Essential vitamins and minerals must also be included to aid in the proper functioning of their bodily systems and to ensure a healthy coat and skin.

Given their susceptibility to certain health conditions like gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), it is advisable to feed them smaller, more frequent meals rather than large portions at once, and to avoid exercise immediately before and after eating.

Additionally, access to fresh water at all times is crucial for hydration.

Exercise Requirements

Red sable German Shepherds are active and energetic dogs that require 1-2 hours of daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being.

Daily activities such as walking, running, or playing fetch can help keep them fit, while agility training, obedience work, or participation in canine sports like herding or tracking can provide the mental stimulation they crave.

It’s essential to match the exercise regimen to the dog’s health, age, and energy level, ensuring they receive the right balance of physical and mental activity.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Tire Out a German Shepherd

Grooming Needs

The double coat of a red sable German Shepherd requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition and manage shedding.

Regular brushing is recommended to remove loose hair and distribute natural oils throughout the coat, while more frequent grooming may be necessary during their twice-yearly shedding seasons.

Bathing should be done as needed, using dog-specific shampoo to avoid drying out their skin. Additionally, regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care are important to prevent common health issues.

Long Haired Red Sable German Shepherd

Training and Activities

Training and engaging in various activities with a red sable German Shepherd not only strengthens the bond between dog and owner but also ensures that the dog’s physical and mental needs are met.

Training Tips and Strategies

  • Start Early: Begin training and socialization as early as possible. Puppies are more receptive to learning, and early exposure to different people, animals, and environments can help develop a well-rounded adult dog.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Utilize positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and play to encourage good behavior. This approach builds trust and strengthens the bond between you and your dog.
  • Consistency is Key: Consistency in commands, rules, and routines helps your dog understand expectations and learn more effectively. Ensure all family members use the same commands and adhere to established rules.
  • Patience and Persistence: Training takes time and patience. Be prepared for setbacks and challenges, and approach them with calmness and persistence.
  • Mental Stimulation: Incorporate training that challenges their mind, such as obedience training, trick training, and puzzle toys. Mental exercise is just as important as physical activity for this breed.

Check out this video of a cute Red sable German Shepherd puppy…

Suitable Activities and Exercises

  • Agility Training: Agility courses provide mental and physical challenges, catering to the German Shepherd’s intelligence and athleticism. This activity strengthens obedience and improves agility, while also being a fun way to bond with your dog.
  • Hiking and Outdoor Adventures: Take advantage of their stamina and love for the outdoors by engaging in hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. This not only provides excellent physical exercise but also stimulates their senses and satisfies their curiosity.
  • Advanced Obedience Classes: Engaging in advanced obedience or even competitive obedience can help hone their skills and keep them mentally engaged.
  • Search and Rescue Training: For those looking to channel their German Shepherd’s instincts and abilities into service, search and rescue training can be a rewarding activity. This form of training provides mental and physical stimulation while serving a greater purpose.

The Role of Mental Stimulation

The intelligence of red sable German Shepherds means they require more than just physical exercise to be truly content.

Mental stimulation prevents boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors, and keeps them happy and engaged.

Activities that require them to think, solve problems, or learn new commands are crucial for their overall well-being.

Red Sable German Shepherd Price

The price of a Red Sable German Shepherd can vary widely based on several factors including pedigree, breeder reputation, location, and whether the dog is intended for show, work, or simply as a pet.

  • $500 to $3,000+ for a pet-quality puppy from a reputable breeder. These puppies are meant for companionship and may not necessarily meet strict breed standards for show or breeding purposes.
  • $2,500 to $5,000 or more for a puppy with a top pedigree from well-regarded lineage, suitable for showing, breeding, or work. These puppies typically come from breeders with a proven track record in producing dogs that excel in various disciplines.


The red sable German Shepherd is a magnificent variant of a breed known for its intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. From their striking appearance to their remarkable capabilities, these dogs offer unmatched companionship to those willing to invest in their care, training, and well-being.

Whether you are drawn to their stunning coat, intrigued by their intelligence, or seeking a loyal companion, the red sable German Shepherd is a breed that promises to enrich your life in countless ways.


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