12 Must-Know and Majestic Facts About the Black German Shepherd!

The Black German Shepherd is usually mistaken for a completely different breed or even a mixed breed. the truth, though, is that the Black Shepherd is nothing more than a German Shepherd (and that is already enough). Beautiful, proud, and majestic, the Black German Shepherd definitely deserves an article for himself, and this is exactly why you and I are here today.

The Black German Shepherd is an excellent companion. He is smart, highly trainable, and usually makes his owners’ life easier. He is very versatile, and thus, can do any sort of job. He can be a police dog, a therapy dog, and even a disability aid for handicapped people. All in all, there is nothing the Black German Shepherd can’t do.

His solid black coat makes this dog truly good-looking, and many people have fallen in love with this handsome pooch.

Even though he and the German Shepherd are basically the same breed, there are still a few differences between these two great canines.

So, let’s learn more about the Black German Shepherd, shall we?

Take a seat, grab some tea, and get comfortable. This is going to be a long (and hopefully enjoyable) ride!

Here are the 12 must-know facts about the Black German Shepherd.

Ready, set, go!

1. The Black German Shepherd was first bred in the late 1800s

Black German Shepherd

The Black German Shepherd and the German Shepherd as a general breed was developed in the late 19th century by Max von Stephanitz. Back then, the demand for a dog that could manage large flocks of sheep in a calm way was high. And thus, Stephanitz thought about crossing native herding dogs and farm dogs from central and northern Germany. This is how the first German Shepherd was born.

Since then, Black German Shepherds have been bred to be smart, obedient, and, above all else, useful. And Max von Stephanitz had succeeded in doing just that. A few years later, in the early 1900s, the Black German Shepherd found himself in the United States. After World War I, he became extremely popular. The army started using the Black Shepherd as a service dog, using him as a sentry, a messenger, a personal guard dog, and a rescue dog.

After a while, the Black German Shepherd gained a lot of popularity and became famous for being a great family dog as well. Loyal and smart, he was the perfect dog to guard the family. In 1908, the German Shepherd was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club, with the Black Shepherd being part of the breed.

Today, the Black German Shepherd is still viewed as a GSD (German Shepherd Dog). And, although the Black Shepherd retains his shepherding instincts, he is mostly used as a companion and service dog today. Beautiful, strong, and intelligent, the Black German Shepherd is, to this day, the most expensive GSD to purchase.

Today, the Black Shepherd is a versatile dog who can do pretty much any job he is trained for. He serves and protects with pride and honor.

2. The Black German Shepherd is not a different breed from the standard German Shepherd

Black German Shepherd

You might think that the Black Shepherd is registered as a different breed. But, that would make you wrong. He is a German Shepherd, and the only thing that makes him different from the GSD is his coat color.

3. A standard German Shepherd can still give birth to a Black German Shepherd

Black German Shepherd sniffing the ground

Credit: Audrey / CC BY

It’s all about science and recessive genes. A standard German Shepherd Dog can still carry the genes that make a dog’s coat solid black, and thus, can produce Black Shepherd puppies. However, this can only happen if both parents carry the same recessive gene.

But, if you mate two Black German Shepherds, don’t expect anything else than a solid black litter.

4. The Black Shepherd is a handsome dog

Black German Shepherd

You can easily distinguish the Black German Shepherd from the standard German Shepherd Dog. Even though there are not enough differences between the two dogs for them to be considered two separate breeds, there are still some important variations that help us differentiate between the two.

The Black German Shepherd is quite rare, and yet, he is the one that has retained the more traditional German Shepherd look. He is usually larger than the standard German Shepherd with a straighter back and a different coat. Most often than not, the coat has a flowing mane, especially around the neck. It can either be short or long. The darker the coat is, the most luxurious it looks. Black German Shepherds are famous for being "Lacquer Blacks". This is because of how the light reflects on this dog's dark and shiny coat.

The male Black Shepherd usually looks strong and regal, while the female is a bit smaller with softer features to her. The bone structure is usually light and solid, making it easy for the dog to maintain his muscular body. The head is always proportionate to the body, neither too small nor too big. The nose is always black, just like the rest of the dog and the eyes are usually dark and almond-shaped, which gives this dog a beautiful face. Finally, the ears are wide and stand upright, always on the lookout for a threat.

The body is always extremely strong and muscular, with powerful shoulders and front legs. The thighs are usually thick and hardy, with round feet that have very hard soles. And the coat is either a plush coat, a double coat, or a longhaired one. There is no variation in color, as the Black German Shepherd is predominantly …well, black.

5. Unlike other German Shepherd puppies, a Black Shepherd puppy will be born and stay black

Usually, standard German Shepherd puppies are born either gray, black, or white, but will change color as they get older. More often than not, the dog’s true coat color can’t be determined until he is 8 weeks or older. However, a Black German Shepherd puppy will be born black and stay black throughout his whole life.

So, if you want to purchase a Black German Shepherd puppy, you will need to go for one that is 8 weeks or older to be sure that he is solid black.

6. Grooming the Black Shepherd can take a bit of time

Black German Shepherd puppy

The Black German Shepherd has a luxurious and beautiful coat, which is why you need to take care of it regularly. Just like the standard German Shepherd, the Black Shepherd is a moderate to heavy shedder. This means that you will have to brush your best friend's coat regularly if you want to maintain it properly. This shouldn't be too much of a hassle since it also works as bonding time between you and your pooch. Use a de-shedder comb to do that, it will help you keep your four-pawed friend well-groomed and happy.

Twice a year, during the fall and spring, your Black German Shepherd will “blow” his coat. This means that you will have to brush him at least twice a day to keep his beautiful and luxurious coat from getting tangled.

Because he is an active dog, the Black German Shepherd usually has shorter nails than other dog breeds. Still, this doesn’t mean that you won’t have to clip them every once in a while. Use special clippers to do so, and be careful as not to hurt your pooch, especially that like his coat, this dog’s nails are black, and thus, difficult to find.

Brush your four-pawed best friend's teeth three to four times a day to keep away gum diseases and other oral health problems. Either use a commercial toothpaste that you can find in any pet store or make your own at home.

Check and clean your furry friend’s ears weekly to keep ear mites and infections at bay. Use a special cleanser to do so. If you don’t know how to clean your dog’s ears, follow our guide here.

Finally, your dog will not need too much bathing. One bath once every four or five months in enough, unless your pooch gets dirty, always make sure to use a special shampoo for dogs, as human shampoo can be too harsh on your best friend’s skin and strip it from its good oils.

7. The Black German Shepherd is poised, brave, and great around children and other pets

The Black German Shepherd is definitely a great dog to keep around. Posed, alert, smart, and courageous, he is the perfect companion at all times. Usually, Black German Shepherds tend to have a stable personality. This dog is approachable but also quite intimidating, which makes him a great watch and guard dog. He is loyal, brave, and self-confident, which are all great qualities in a dog.

He is not really a friendly dog, but he is still extremely affectionate to his owners and wants nothing more than to spend time with them. He is extremely gentle around kids, and bonds well with them. Still, you will need to slowly introduce him to young kids to make it easier for both parties.

The Black German Shepherd is an extremely devoted dog, and he takes friendship seriously. As soon as he sees you as a friend, his loyalty will know no end. His mild temperament also makes him great around other pets in the household, even cats. He gets perfectly along with them and will play around with your other pets as much as he can.

The Black German Shepherd is a great dog who needs to spend time with the people he loves. He enjoys outdoorsy activities such as swimming and running and will always be up for a hike or a few days of camping with you. The Black German Shepherd can live indoors, but he needs a lot of exercise and an active lifestyle. He is, after all, a working dog, and thus, will need a job to do. He is smart and highly trainable, which makes him particularly suited for obedience training.

You can train the Black German Shepherd to do pretty much any job, from herding to accompanying blind people or being a therapy dog. All you need is the will to do so because the Black Shepherd will make the job easy for you, as he is always eager to please.

8. The Black German Shepherd is a highly trainable dog

As I have already stated before in this article, the Black German Shepherd is a highly trainable dog. Smart, confident, and eager to please, he has a lot of honor and great work ethic. This means that you won’t find a hard time making this dog listen to you.

Don’t be harsh or violent, but still, you should be assertive and show leadership and dominance. This dog is a natural born leader, and if he senses any weakness or hesitation from you, he will try and take control. And, an uncontrollable dog is never a good idea. Use positive reinforcement, praises, and treats to train your dog.

Teaching your Black German Shepherd tricks should be a piece of cake as well, as this dog is extremely intelligent. So, don’t hesitate to train him to learn some fun tricks.

Here is a video that shows how you can train your Black German Shepherd puppy:

9. The Black Shepherd needs a lot of exercise

Happy Black German Shepherd

As I have already stated, the Black German Shepherd is an extremely active dog. Sure, he can live in an apartment, but a house with a big backyard is better. There, he will be able to run and play around without feeling stuck inside.

Providing your Black Shepherd with adequate and regular exercise is a must, as he is a working dog and thus has an excess of energy. A bored Black German Shepherd will be a destructive one, and he will definitely chew on your shoes and furniture whenever he can to express his frustration.

Take your Black Shepherd on at least two long walks a day (while he is leashed) and give him plenty of play time. Take him on runs and jogs and he will be happier to it. And, if you want to bond even more with your dog, take him on a hike or go camping together.

10. The Black German Shepherd eats, and A LOT

The Black German Shepherd is a big dog and this means that he needs a lot of food. Three and a half to four cups of food daily, divided into two feedings, is the way to go. Always use high-quality dog food, and if you can, purchase food that is made for German Shepherds.

Add to this some healthy treats in the form of fruits and vegetables, and your dog’s diet will be perfect. Check out our article about human food that dogs can eat to know more.

11. The Black Shepherd can suffer from some serious health conditions

Happy Black German Shepherd

Unfortunately, the Black German Shepherd, just like the standard German Shepherd, can and will suffer from a number of serious health issues. Here is a list of the ones you should be on the lookout for:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • ​Spinal disease
  • ​Heart disease
  • ​Allergies
  • ​Eye diseases
  • Cancer

All in all, if you take care of your dog, exercise him well, and keep him on a healthy diet, he should be able to live a long and happy life as your best friend and loyal companion.

12. Finally, the Black German Shepherd can be quite pricey

Because he is a rare dog, the Black German Shepherd is expensive to purchase. He costs more than a standard German Shepherd, and that is quite understandable. Usually, you would have to pay between 700$ and 2000$ for a Black German Shepherd puppy. It all depends on the pedigree and the breeder, which is why you should always research before choosing a breeder.


The Black German Shepherd is a beautiful canine that makes a great companion and a perfect watchdog. Loyal and hardworking, he is perfect for a household with an active and loving family.

About the Author Houda Laabadi

A dog lover!

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