Black German Shepherd

Sought after for their beautiful coats, Black German Shepherd dogs are the rarest of the German Shepherd breed.

In this article, we’ll discuss Black German Shepherds, also known as Black Shepherds, in great detail. Understanding more about Black German Shepherds can help make you a better parent for your Black German Shepherd or a better friend to others’ dogs.

Black German Shepherds: History and Origins

German Shepherds were first bred in the 19th century to look over and protect the sheep in Germany. They’re one of the most popular dog breeds as of today, with Black German Shepherds being the rarest.

In 1899, a former German veterinary student and ex-military officer named Von Stephanitz visited a dog show in his town and met Hektor Linksrhein, a dog who was the outcome of a few generations of selective breeding.

Impressed with the strength, intelligence, and grace of its coat, Von Stephanitz immediately purchased Hektor and decided to create a breed centered on the dog.

He changed the dog’s name to Horand von Grafrath and declared it to be the first ever German Shepherd dog! Horand was allowed to breed with carefully selected mates, to amplify his desired traits in the next generations.

This originated the German Shepherd breed, and, in just a few decades, the German Shepherds became one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide.

As the generations kept on progressing, their genes mutated naturally and resulted in various coat colorations: tan and black, sable, gray, bi-color and pure black.

A Brief Account of The Black Breed

Black German Shepherds are neither a separate breed nor a mixed breed. Plain and simple, they’re just solid-black colored dogs, with the same features and qualities as that of any other colored German Shepherd.

Their striking black coloration is the result of a genetic mutation, similar to how some humans can have amber or hazel colored eyes.

Black coat in German Shepherds is determined by a recessive gene that might not show in the parents — that is, two standard colored German Shepherds may give birth to a black puppy, although the chances of it are slim.

However, if two pure black German Shepherds mate, the puppies are certain to have black coloration. This is because both the parents have the necessary recessive gene.

Since Black German Shepherds are rare, they’re considerably more expensive than the usual colored ones. For example, where a standard German Shepherd pup may cost around $300 to $700, a Black German Shepherd puppy is usually priced in the range of $700 to $2,000.

Black German Shepherd Puppies
A Black German Shepherd puppy enjoys some rest.

Differences Between Black And Standard German Shepherds

  • Black German Shepherds can be larger: The lovely solid black colored German Shepherds are often described as being slightly larger and higher in muscle mass than the non-black dogs of the breed.
  • Black German Shepherds usually have a straighter back: Pet owners and German Shepherd breeders report the black dogs to have thicker legs, when compared to the standard German Shepherd dogs. Additionally, they have a straighter back and a bushier tail, which adds to their beauty.
  • Black German Shepherds often have a longer and straighter coat: These dogs have a double coat, composed of a dense and straight outer coat, overlaying a soft and insulating coat underneath. The longer coat is also accompanied by a flowing mane, skirting, and feathering along the ears and under the tail.

Does Being Black Haired Affect Other Qualities?

No, apart from the minor differences in physical attributes, the black color of the German Shepherds doesn’t influence anything else. Their working ability, temperament, and trainability remain the same.

Black German Shepherds are equally as good of service dogs, shepherds, and military dogs as their non-black counterparts. Additionally, their behavior with humans — familiar or unfamiliar — is just the same as that of a differently colored dog of the breed.

The negative stigma that some people have about Black German Shepherds may stem out of their own stereotypes and misconceptions involving the black color.

Attributes of the Black German Shepherds


Contrary to popular belief, Black German Shepherds are typically very stable. They’re not any more aggressive than your average canine.

Intelligence and Adaptability:

Black German Shepherd dogs are profoundly intelligent and highly adaptable. They have durable and muscular legs which help them walk long distances without overly exerting themselves.

Their double coat allows them to work in both hot and cold climates, making them extremely adaptable to fluctuations in the outside temperature.


They are very loyal and are known to protect their owners/handlers dearly.

There have been instances where Black German Shepherd dogs have sacrificed their lives for their owners, saving them from fires and assaults.

Obedience and Trainability: Because of their high intelligence and quick learning abilities, they are very easy to train. Black German Shepherd police or military dogs can easily be taught to chase, catch, or latch onto a suspect/offender strictly on the command of the handler.

They can also be trained to discontinue their chase or hold if the suspect stops running or being offensive.


Regardless of color, most any German Shepherd dog would be open to petting and will generally be accepting towards friendly advances, even by someone unfamiliar. However, you should always verify consent with a dog’s owner before approaching.

All Black German Shepherd
An all Black German Shepherd displays its agility.

Raising Your Black German Shepherds The Correct Way

The most important part of raising and training a German Shepherd, black or otherwise, involves routine socialization to many different people, places, and things from an early age.

For example, if your Black German Shepherd pup has never seen a person in an overcoat, it may feel threatened by them in its adult life.

Because of its protective nature, the a mature Black German Shepherd might get aggressive towards a person wearing an overcoat, and may bark or growl at them regardless of any real risk.

To avoid these problematical tendencies, make sure you familiarize your puppy with different people and objects. Introduce your pup to the delivery people, the cyclists, wheelchairs, walking sticks, and so on.

Raise your puppy by appropriately rewarding it with treats and patting if it does something praiseworthy. This will reinforce positive behavioral qualities in your pup, and it’ll grow into a lovely pooch, adored by everyone!

Quick Facts: Black German Shepherds

Life Span10 to 13 years
Size22 to 26 inches
Weight50 to 90 lbs (23 to 40 kgs); dependent on gender.
TrainabilityQuick learners; Highly obedient.
TemperamentLoyal, Intelligent, Protective, Alert
Activity LevelHighly energetic; Almost tireless
Energy RequirementsAround 1300 calories each day
Health ConsiderationsProne to Elbow/Hip Dysplasia and Arthritis
Price$700 to $2000

Want to learn about more awesome dog breeds? Check out our Bernese Mountain Dog Owner’s Guide!