To be honest, I’ve never chosen a puppy based on his colour. It has always been more about the face, personality & little features that made my heart beat faster.
I really don’t care if the sable dogs are “rare” or not allowed in a show ring. Personally I find them beautiful just like I find any cocker spaniel beautiful.
Sables vary in colour a lot. They can be black, chocolate, golden or silver-looking. Often the sable pups are very similar to “approved” colours and the coat changes happen gradually and after the pup is handstripped.
So if you are looking for a sable puppy specifically and not quite sure whether or not your future baby is sable, look at both his fur and eyes. The sables will always have dark hairs (black, chocolate or red depending on their coat) running through their coat. Many may also have a mask around their eyes and running down their nose.
And all sables will have what I call “the Cleopatra eyes” – a solid liner around their eyes.
One thing to bear in mind. Sable cockers can become rather fluffy by the time they are ready to be hand-strip, so their coat will need more time, efforts and attention, both on a daily basis and when groomed. Always have a look at your puppy’s parents – if one of them is not too fluffy, your baby may just grow into the smooth and beautiful cocker, too. If both parents have rich coats, you’ve just signed yourself for plenty of grooming fun.
Photo source: Cooper, photo taken by me