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Where do Sables belong?...

Sables come in all varieties. Anywhere a tan points gene can be found, one can also find sable.

Below is an example of a “clear” sable.



The BLACK variety has a Black Sable, the brown dog has a Brown Sable, and the parti-colors have a Black Sable & White and a Brown Sable & White.


                                                                      A Black Sable


                                                           A Brown Sable


                                                     A Black Sable & White


                                                     A Brown Sable & White

                                                                    Blue Roan Sable


                                                           A Brown Sable Roan


                    Blue is a rare color. I have not seen it since the early 80’s.          
 A                                                                      Blue Sable


                                A Blue Sable Parti-color            A Blue Sable Merle and White


Clear Sables can be present in Reds, Red & Whites, and Red Roans, but you would probably not recognize it, like the yellow clear sable. Or you may see a few black hairs.


It is my belief that the Irish Setter Red Cockers of the past were really sables as in the Clear Red Sable Dachshund.       

the farm fox project

'Foxes bred for tamability in a 40 year experiment exhibit remarkable transformations that suggest an interplay between behavioral genetics and development.'

Beljeav believed that genetic changes occurred through the natural course of selection, but not of size, but of tamabilitym or the ability to live with man.  Tamability means the least aggressive individuals.  He chose for his experiment a breed close to the dog, but never tamed, the Silver Fox.

Early in the process of domestication it was noted that the animals undergo a morphological and physiological change.  Their bodies changed in size and proportion.  The normal pattern of coat color that had evolved as comouflage in the wild altered as well.  Many animals were piebald, completely lacking in pigmentation in specific body areas.  Hair turned wavy or curly or longer or shorter (rex) type.  Tails change too.  Some curled up over their backs, and got shorter.  Ears became floppy.  These traits appeared after 8 to 10 generations.  After 15 to 20 generations, foxes appeared with shorter tails and legs, and underbites and overbites.

These foxes were not inbred.  Their inbreeding coefficient was kept at 0.02 to 0.07.  Also of note was the fact that some of these new traits were not recessive but were controlled by dominant to incompletely dominant genes.

I relay this research here to offer an explanation of 'where the color comes from'.  Follow the link to read the complete experiement.



Proposed Sable Color Standard

Here is a suggestion of how a standard change should be worded to include sables.

Remember: Sableing is the color of the light markings, not the dark overlay. The overlay is the color of the dog as in a Black Sable.

Color and Markings

Black Variety—Solid color black to include black with tan points and black with sableing.

The black should be jet; shadings of brown or liver in the coat are not desirable. A small amount of white on the chest and/or throat is allowed; white in any other location shall disqualify.

Any Solid Color Other Than Black (ASCOB)

Any solid color other than black, ranging from the lightest cream to darkest red, including brown and brown with tan points and brown with sable shadings. The color shall be of uniform shade, but lighter color of the feathering is permissible. A small amount of white on the chest and/or throat is allowed; white in any other location shall disqualify.

Parti-Color Variety-

Two or more colors, one of which must be white; black and white, red and white (the red may range from the lightest cream to the darkest red), brown and white, and roans, to include any such color combination with tan points or with sable shadings.

It is preferable that tan markings be located in the same pattern as for tan points in the Black and ASCOB varieties. Roans are classified as Parti-colors and may be of any of the usual roaning patterns. Primary color which is ninety percent (90%) or more shall disqualify.

Tan Points--  The color of the tan may be from the lightest cream to the darkest red and is restricted to ten (10%) percent or less of the color of the specimen; tan markings in excess of that amount shall disqualify. In the case of tan points in the Black or ASCOB variety, the markings shall be located as follows:

      1)        A clear tan spot over each eye;
2)        On the sides of the muzzle and on the cheeks;
3)        On the underside of the ears;
4)        On all feet and/or legs;
5)        Under the tail;
6)        On the chest, optional; presence or absence shall not be penalized.

Tan markings which are not readily visible or which amount to only traces, shall be penalized.  Tan on the muzzle which extends upward, over and joins shall also be penalized.  The absence of tan markings in the Black or ASCOB variety in any of the specified locations in any otherwise tan-pointed dog shall disqualify. Sable shadings in any of the colors from lightest cream to darkest red are not restricted as to amounts.