REGALWISE SHEPHERDS


What Causes Fading Pigment?

White shepherd noses often lighten in the winter due to the colder temperatures. They get darker again in the spring and summer. They often lighten with age too, so as a dog gets older they may get lighter each winter and not get as dark in the summer again. It's not a health problem at all, just cosmetic. The enzyme in the skin that is involved in the production of the skin pigment melanin is temperature sensitive like all enzymes are. Therefore, less melanin is produced when the skin is cold. 

Dark shepherds and many other breeds do this too. Dogs who live in a warmer house or in a southern climate tend to fade less. There is a genetic factor too. Dogs with blacker pigment all year round tend to produce puppies with darker pigment year-round. All of my dogs have black noses in the summer and a few of them fade to dark liver in the winter. I try to select only the ones with the best pigment for breeding so that each generation will be darker than the last.



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  This site created June 4, 1999.       
  ALL WHITE GERMAN SHEPHERD IMAGES ON THESE PAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS AND MAY NOT BE RE-PUBLISHED ANYWHERE ELSE WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THEIR OWNERS.