The Black German Shepherd: 9 Facts You Didn’t Know

The Black German Shepherd is stunning. Do you know only 6.8% of German Shepherds have solid, all-black coats? Is the Black German Shepherd a different breed? What makes them black? Is the black fur defective? Is the Black German Shepherd more aggressive? Will the Black German Shepherd give you black luck?

Read on if you want to learn 9 interesting facts about the Black German Shepherd.

Also read: The White German Shepherd: 10 Facts You Didn’t Know

The Black German Shepherd vs standard German Shepherd

First thing first, what are the differences and similarities between the Black German Shepherd and a standard German Shepherd?

The similarities

  • They are genetically identical
  • They have a large, muscular build
  • They have erected ears
  • They have a double coat
  • They are shed all year round
  • They are loyal, intelligent and affectionate

The differences (of the Black German Shepherd)

  • They have a solid black coat
  • They can be a bit larger
  • They often have a straighter back

1. The Black German Shepherd is the same breed as the German Shepherd

Sometimes the Black German Shepherd is deemed to be a different breed than the standard German Shepherd. This is not true.

Except for their distinct solid black coat, the Black German Shepherd shows no genetic difference as compared to a standard German Shepherd.

And unlike the White German Shepherd, the black fur is recognized by the American Kennel Club in the German Shepherd breed standard. Therefore, the Black German Shepherds, like any other standard German Shepherds, are allowed in competitions as well.

2. Both black and non-black German Shepherds can produce “black” German Shepherd puppies

Both parents must have the recessive gene for solid black to appear in the litter. Two black German Shepherds or one black and one tan could also produce a black puppy.

While it may be said that the black fur is a fault, that is not true. Did the tan fur just forget to appear? 

Not really, apart from the coat color, Black German Shepherds are genetically exactly like their multi-colored counterparts in all other ways.

3. Not all black German Shepherd puppies will become solid black as they grow

As a matter of fact, all German Shepherd puppies are either born black, gray or white and their coat color changes as they grow. Their true coat color can usually be recognized at about 8 weeks of age. 

However, not all Black German Shepherd puppies are born black. Likewise, there’s no guarantee that all “black” German Shepherd will stay black through adulthood.

So, if you are in the market for a solid Black German Shepherd puppy, you will want to get her after 8 weeks of age so you can be sure that her coat will stay solid black.

4. Black German Shepherds have medium or long coat

The coat of the Black German Shepherd is either medium or long in length. Both are double-coat with a dense layer to protect them from nearly anything weather or environmental conditions. 

Shedding is a natural and constant process that replenishes fresh and new coats to keep the German Shepherd healthy. 

The Black German Shepherd does not shed lesser than any standard German Shepherd. It’s just that the black fur is less visible and this makes the shedding less annoying.

Related post: How to Deal with German Shepherd Shedding? (Other Than Vacuuming)

5. Black German Shepherds have a straighter back

Besides color, they look extremely similar to standard German Shepherds with a straighter back. 

And having a straight back will help them herd and protect sheep more quickly and smoothly. German Shepherd with no slope backs and straight backs are bred for the working line. Most GSDs from the show line are sloped backs.

6. The black color has no negative effect on its temperament

Regardless of breeds, the color of a dog does not have any negative effect on its temperament.

The Black German Shepherd is just as loyal, intelligent and affectionate as the standard variety and has no evidence to be more aggressive. Like their multi-colored counterparts, she is often aloof to strangers as their instinct. 

Black German Shepherds are also incredibly trainable and are commonly used as police dogs and military dogs, or disability aid dogs.

7. The black fur does not create any extra health issues

While German Shepherds are known for a few common health concerns as big dogs, none of these have anything to do with their coat color.

Similar to the White German Shepherd, the Black German Shepherd also carries a recessive gene that determines its coat color. 

Since the Black German Shepherd has no genetic difference as compared to a standard German Shepherd, the black fur does not create any extra health issues.

8. Black German Shepherds are rare

In fact, only 6.8% of all German Shepherds have entirely black fur. So, if you have a black German Shepherd, your pup is absolutely unique. 

That said, if you are looking to buy a black German Shepherd puppy, be prepared to pay a little bit more. Breeders charge more for rare colors in high demand.

9. Black German Shepherd is more expensive

Given their rarity, Black German Shepherds are more expensive than their multi-colored counterparts. Though the standard sable colored puppies range from $1000 and up, the black beauty will cost you an average of $1,250 – $2,500, depending on your location.

Related post: How Much Does A Purebred German Shepherd Cost?

Black Dog Syndrome: What is it and how does it affect the adoption of black dogs?

Black Dog Syndrome is a phenomenon in which black dogs are passed over for adoption in favor of lighter-colored animals.

Below are some of the perceptions of black dogs that lead to the fact that they seem to be discriminated against:

  • In popular media, folklores, and some cultures, black dogs are usually associated with the negative image of being the villain and aggressive.
  • Some owners find it hard to read a black dog’s expression to interpret what it wants. People prefer lighter coats because they are more eye-catching.
  • Because they are black, they may be difficult to see at night or when they are in darker places. 
  • It can also be dangerous to them and to other people because not many people will notice. In such encounters, they might attack people out of natural instinct.
  • Many black dogs like Rottweilers, Doberman, Pinchers, and Pit bulls are regarded as aggressive dogs and are prone to attack.

Final thoughts

While the misconception of the Black German Shepherds is still among many people’s minds, dog owners will love their dog just the same regardless of their breed and color.

That said, the black German Shepherd isn’t that much different than their multi-colored counterparts. The only big difference being their solid black, elegant, shining fur coat – making them really special. What is your thought?

Further Questions

Will black dogs give you bad luck?

While black cats are commonly associated with “bad luck”, there is a long tradition that has likewise associated black dogs with bad luck as well. But this is more of a superstition than anything based on scientific proof.

Negative portrayals of dark-coated dogs in the media and literature could also explain why some people develop an aversion towards dogs with dark fur.

Are black dogs (or Black GSD) more aggressive than the others?

Unfortunately, some black dogs, like Pit bulls, Doberman Pinchers, black Labradors, Chows, and Rottweilers, are known as dangerous dogs and are prone to aggression. But there’s no evidence showing black fur makes a dog more aggressive. (Source: Black Dog Syndrome: Is It Real? – The Dogington Post)

Are black dogs (or Black GSD) less likely to be adopted?

In 2008, the general manager of the Los Angeles Animal Services found that in a 12-month period covering 30,046 dogs, slightly more dogs that were completely or predominantly black were adopted than dogs that were not. (Source: Black Dog Syndrome: Why Black Dogs Are Less Likely To Be Adopted)

Is the song Black Dog by Led Zeppelin about a black dog?

The title does not appear in the lyrics and has nothing to do with the song itself. The band worked up the song at Headley Grange, a mansion in Hampshire, England that is out in the country, surrounded by woods. A nameless black Labrador retriever would wander the grounds, and the band would feed it. When they needed a name for this track, which didn’t have an obvious title, they thought of the canine and went with “Black Dog.” (Source: Songfacts)