Black German Shepherds: Puppies, Genetics & More

A Black German Shepherd is a purebred German Shepherd that is completely black. They are rare due to the fact that they are born only if both parents carry the dominant black gene.

Their features are much similar to a regular German Shepherd except for the colour. They possess the same intelligence, protective nature and loyalty that their counterparts are known for.

Slight differences in temperament are noted though, as Black German Shepherds are known to be more patient and less aggressive. They commonly are used in roles such as guide dogs, police dogs and search and rescue dogs due to their ability to be trained and their patience.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

German Shepherds are one the most sought-after breeds in the world, ranking 2nd out of 194 in popularity according to the American Kennel Club. These dogs can be found in many homes around the globe, despite their decline during the First World War because of their German association.

While there are many color options, the black variant is one of the most desired. Similar to long-coated GSDs ,black variants are often considered a defect. These dogs are not crossbreds and have the same attributes and traits as their black siblings .. They are rare and highly sought-after – similar the White German Shepherd .

Because the white and black variations are rare, they are almost collector type dogs ,. Because of this, their prices can be higher than normal.

Black German Shepherds

Black German Shepherd Overview

The accident that gave rise to the black German Shepherd is called *. Although it is not known when the first black Shepherd was born, it was determined that it was recessive before solid black shepherds made the breed dominant. If the parent is black, the gene will be dominant.

All German Shepherds are born with the black gene. However, it’s not common for their children to remain black beyond 8 months. True black Shepherds will be born black and stay black their entire lives. There’s a 0% chance that your litter contains brown or white puppies.

It’s much easier to get two German Shepherd parents who are black to mate than it is to have one of them be all black. It is possible to get a black Shepherd with two black parents . It is possible to still get a brown litter or a white litter with only two dominant parents. Even though the chances of having black Shepherd puppies are small, tan parents with recessive genes have a chance to produce them.

Build & Size

Black German Shepherds will have the same characteristics all other German Shepherds .. They are the same in build and genetics as their tan and black counterparts. Here is a list of physical traits that you can expect from your puppy.

  • Weight range of males is between 65-90 lbs
  • Weight range of females is between 50-75 lbs
  • Height range is similar between males and females, about 22-26 inches
  • Pointed ears
  • Long snout
  • Short legs
  • Long tail
  • Average tendency to bark
  • Average tendency to drool
  • Very energetic and requires a lot of exercise
  • Life expectancy 10-14 years

The only difference between the color and the . coat is the color. Black GSDs may be larger or shorter than other breeds. However, this is a subjective opinion. There are larger black and larger tan GSDs just as there are larger black varieties.

Coat and Color

A black German Shepherd looks very much like an average Shepherd HTML1. They have the same look as the traditional German Shepherd, with very few differences. They have a more straight back than the standard Shepherd and are larger. Their long, flowing or skirting-like coats can vary in length.

The Black German Shepherd is solid black in color, spouting either a medium or long coat. Black Shepherds come in many colors, including black with tan or cream, silver, red and sable.

These colors can be found in solid colors (the rarest), single color coats or bi-colored and particolored coats that are mostly solid but have markings of another color. Gray, liver, light and panda are other colors.

Other Unique Shepherd Colors

Although rare, . also includes pure white, solid, fawn, and pure red. These colors cannot be accepted in competitions because they are either not compatible with the breed standards or have severe genetic mutations. The color of a breed doesn’t have to be associated with health problems.

To determine if your German Shepherd truly is black, make sure that there are no stripes or patches of another color .. Black Shepherds possess unique characteristics that are linked to the color, such as a straighter back. The average German Shepherd’s back is slanted with short legs.

Black Shepherds have shorter legs than white Shepherds, but they are taller making them appear larger and more powerful . Black Shepherds can be bred with spots, creme or silver tanned patches, or with a red coat. These variants are similar to the standard Shepherd, and they are difficult to mix with the black one.


Black Shepherds are well-known for their loyal and stable personalities .. Although they are excellent guard dogs and can be trained to protect them, the negative press that they have received is not fair. They can be non-aggressive, unless they are trained to be so.

If they are socialized and properly trained, they will happily keep an eye on your baby while they sleep. They view their primary role as protecting their family. Therefore, they will be vigilant about your property and alert you if something is amiss.

They will need to get used to strangers. However, if they feel like you in their house they’ll be kind to you .. Once they become friends with you, you will be their friend for life. Family-oriented dogs can be anxious and stressed if they are left alone for too long. If they are not properly trained, this could lead to them barking loudly or destroying your home.

Black Shepherds are not suitable for first-time dog owners because they’re too intelligent for their own good. However, if properly socialized ., they can make a great family dog . Keep in mind that some Shepherd mixes might be a little more well suited for first-time dog owners.


If your dog is medium-coated, you will need to groom them low maintenance . Daily brushing is required for long coats to avoid knots and tangles. Their double coat means that they shed a lot. Two blowouts (mass shed) are common in spring and autumn. You’ll need to vacuum your home at least once per day, even with daily brushing.

There are steps that you can take to control hair shedding. A de-shedding tool is necessary for Black German Shepherds with a longer undercoat. To help reduce your dog’s shedding, you can use one of the many anti-shedding shampoos available.

Training & Exercise

The black German Shepherd is highly smart ,, which can make it easy for them to be trained – if they aren’t taught young enough. They are able to thrive on routines, positive reinforcement, rewards, and consistency. After every successful trick, tell them that they are good boys/girls. Introduce them to young people, loud machines and wearing hats if they are workers.

Shepherds must meet children young to learn that sometimes they can be annoying. Tackle bad behavior immediately or it will continue . When it comes to training on a leash, use a harness early if you plan to harness train your pup. Many dogs pull naturally so it is important to get rid of this behavior as soon as possible. The same thing applies to crate training – make sure you have the right crate for your German shepherd before you start.

*) You’ll need to take your Black Shepherd out frequently. They are highly active dogs and require up to 60 minutes of exercise per day. They love to play in the yard, hike mountains, and swim with you. You can do multiple things with them to keep them interested.


The bigger the dog is, the more food they will eat. The Shepherd puppy 4 meals per day . is the norm. Bloat is more common in larger dogs, so it’s important to give them a slow diet as they get bigger. Bloat can be fatal. As the black variant tends to be bigger than their regular counterparts, they will grow faster and require more food than average. Dogs that reach adulthood usually require 1. 19 grams of protein per pound of body weight and 0. 59 grams of fat per pound of body weight.

  • Male puppies require 2,200 to 3,000 calories
  • Female puppies require 1,700 to 2,500 calories
  • Male adults require 1,300 to 1,800 calories
  • Female adults require 1,000 to 1,500 calories

These are only guidelines. Be sure to pay attention to the needs of your dog.


There are many issues related to the German Shepherd breed ,. Unfortunately, larger breeds such as the black one tend to have more health problems than the smaller ones.

  • Hip Dysplasia – Malformed hip joints
    Elbow Dysplasia – Malformed elbow joints
    Bloat or Gastric Diatation-Volvulus – When gas builds up in the stomach from overeating
    Epilepsy – Loss of control of limbs causing violent movements
    Hemophilia – Blood that can’t clot
    Diabetes – From overeating, the inability to produce insulin

The above conditions are most common in Shepherds. However, Shepherds can develop allergies, cataracts, panosteitis and panosteitis as well as thyroid problems, cancer, and pancreatitis. Many of these problems can be prevented by breeding your Shepherd puppy. Remember that most of these issues occur when the puppy is older ..

Colors For Competition

*Color is important when showing off your dog in competition. In most competitions, multiple colors are not allowed, including pure white and solid blue, fawn and pure red, as well as spotted black and/or white. Major kennels may consider certain colors, such as gray, liver and light blue, to be faulty, but this is not always the case.

For the most commonly accepted colors, black can be included .. All points of the dog must be black (lips and nose, pads, rim around eyes, and pads). Because some kennel clubs don’t accept pure blacks with blue eyes, their eyes must also be black. All lengths of coat are acceptable. Acceptable colors include black and tan, black with cream, black or silver, red and blue, black and red, red and black, red and red, red and red, black and red.

In the past 100 years, many Shepherds have won tops awards in multiple competitions. One of the earliest was in 1899 when Krone won the Bunderssieger Zuchtschau award. It’s not often that black Shepherds are awarded in any contest.

They are often overlooked by dog shows, as they prefer the classic look of a black-and-cream breed. These dogs are not bad in competition, but it is more probable that the association with the breed will be stronger if the color scheme is sable or tan. The sable is better for show dogs than the black.

As Family Pets

The Black Shepherd is a great companion, security and loyal dog. He can get along with all animals and people. Provide a comfortable, supportive bed, plenty of chew toys, and a large backyard if possible. As they grow older, they will need more space and want their own place. Place their food and water bowls in an area that is convenient and easily accessible.

A doggy gate may be necessary for puppies, if you are trying to socialize them. They won’t require it once they are older. They can be too energetic to see new faces, but they are very protective.

Black German Shepherds are able to live outdoors because of their double, thick coats. It’s a bad idea to leave them alone for too long as they will likely miss you. You can build or buy a dog house for them outside. It should be large enough to accommodate your black Shepherd.

Keep your dog clean and well groomed. If they are not kept clean, their fur will attract dirt and mud . They may also mat easily if not cleaned regularly. It’s a good idea for you to hire a housesitter or a kennel to take care of your dog while you are away.

Finding a Puppy

Finding an reputable breeder will be the best way to find a black Shepherd. A local shelter can help you save money and possibly save your life. You can easily see a pure-black Shepherd with your eyes, even though technically there are none.

This color is a birth defect and can only be found in litters from black parents or rare litters from regular parents. This is why the Black German Shepherd is so rare. They typically only come from two parents of the same color to ensure a 100% color match, which means you are finding the rare color of the breed to mate with another rare color of the breed.

Due to their rarity, these puppies will be more expensive. We will discuss this in detail below.

Puppy Prices

Due the rarity of this breed, the average price will be slightly higher. It is difficult to predict how many puppies will be born in a litter. This means that it might not work out, even if you find a breeder who breeds the black version. Black Shepherds with longer coats tend to be more expensive. Though the standard sable colored puppies range from $900 and up, the black variant will cost you an average of $1,000 – $2,500. Be cautious if you see something outside of this range.

There are some things you should keep in mind when searching for the perfect Shepherd. Black German Shepherds are born in black and remain black for 8 weeks. Do not buy a puppy if it is younger than 8 weeks. Do not purchase a puppy whose breeder claims they can guarantee that their dog’s hair will not change in color. You won’t know until the dog reaches 8 weeks of age.

Reputable breeders will no problem showing you the parents and papers about the parentage for the puppies you are interested in buying. This is a red flag. Trust is important for a legitimate breeder. The parentage of a puppy can help determine if it is healthy or if it is a good choice.

Watch out for red flags as unscrupulous breeders will often try to pass off mixed breed puppies like a GSD/Black Labrador Retriever mix as a purebred. We are not against “designer dogs”, but all puppy buyers need to know what they’re getting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How rare are Black German Shepherds?

Black GSDs are more rare than their tan and black counterparts.

Are Black German Shepherds more aggressive?

Black GSDs are not more aggressive than other breeds. How they are raised will affect how socialized they become.

How big do Black German Shepherds get?

They will be approximately the same size as the breed standard. They will weigh around 55 to 100 pounds, variable based on their parents.

Do Black German Shepherds shed less?

They shed as much as the breed standard. The black hair will be less visible than the German Shepherds with lighter colors.

Is a Black German Shepherd a Purebred?

The black-coated GSD can be considered a purebred puppy. They are not subject to the same discrimination as the white-coated GSD.

Do they have any white in their coats?

Yes. However, they should not consume excessive amounts. You should do your research.

Do they cost more than Black and Tan colored dogs?

*They are more expensive because they are rarer. It will depend on the breeder.

Do Black German Shepherds have long hair?

*) They can have long hair, just like the breed standard. There are three length options for hair: short, medium and long. GSDs with long black hair are the rarest variant of this color.

Do they have blue or amber eyes?

Blue eyes can be born to black German Shepherds. As they age, their eyes will become darker or more amber-colored.

Do they look like a wolf?

Some owners feel Black German Shepherds do look like a wolf. They are not related to each other and are not hybrid dogs.

Final Thoughts

There are very few differences between the common German Shepherd and the black . These dogs still have a large personality and are capable of handling their own affairs. They display their strong backs and tall stature. They are rare colors and therefore have a higher price tag.

It’s quite interesting to note that what is considered a “breeder’s defect” may end up being more costly for average consumers, but the market dictates the price of puppies. This is a fact: The Black German Shepherd breed is a striking one. You will be asked questions about your dog everywhere you go. These dogs require extra care, such as daily walks and frequent grooming. However, they will be your companion for the rest of your life.

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