Black German Shepherd - Your Complete Breed Guide
Share on pinterest

Black German Shepherd – Your Complete Breed Guide

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a German Shepherd in terms of aesthetics is a black and tan thing of beauty and elegance. And while this is the most common aesthetic with this breed as far as coat colors and markings go, it is not the only one. One of the lesser known varieties is the Black German Shepherd. It is also arguably one of the most beautiful with their silky, jet black coats.

A Black German Shepherd is one that has all black fur from head to toe. They get their coat color from a recessive gene which is very rare. This means that to get a black German Shepherd puppy, two Black German Shepherds have to be bred. It may be the exact same breed as the standard German Shepherd but there are several differences especially in terms of the appearance, size, and temperament.

Let’s dive right into everything you need to know about the Black German Shepherd.

Are Black GSD Bigger?

German Shepherd dogs vary a lot in terms of size. You can have a medium-sized GSD weighing as little as 40 lbs or a large pooch as heavy as 80 lbs or even more.

Black German Shepherds are not exempted from this wide size range. However, they tend to be larger than most regular German Shepherds as well as the coat-based varieties.

Here is a bit more about what to expect in general from this dog.


Black German Shepherds weigh from 50 to 90 lbs making them objectively larger than their standard black and tan counterparts.

They are also usually taller by an inch or two with most reaching 26 inches while other GSDs commonly grow up to a height between 20 to 25 inches.

Coat Color

The coat color is by far the most striking feature with this German Shepherd variation. It is one only color variations of the German Shepherd breed that features 100% of the same, solid color. They are quite rare and are second only to liver German Shepherds and white German Shepherds in some parts of the world.

General Appearance

At first glance, it may be a little difficult to pick out any differences in the general appearance between black German Shepherds and other varieties other than the color. This is the case particularly with facial features which, on closer inspection, reveal subtle but significant differences.

One such feature that may be easy to miss is the narrower face. Black German Shepherd Dogs may also have slightly wider and taller ears that have more of a triangular shape to them.

What Are Common Health Problems In Black German Shepherds?

Black German Shepherds are in every way like the other breed variations when it comes to their lifespan and their health issues. They typically live for 12 to 14 years and start to show signs of aging including graying hair when they are 7 to 8 years old.

It is also at this age that most old age diseases in the breed start to cause issues. Here are some of these issues and a few other non-age-specific conditions that may affect your black beauty.

Hip Dysplasia

Black German Shepherds are among the worst hit by hip dysplasia due to their larger size. The condition leads to instability of the hip joint which may cause serious problems in terms of quality of life for the very active doggy.


In some cases, the hip dysplasia and other musculoskeletal issues like elbow dysplasia and luxating patella may result in cartilage and bone damage which eventually results in arthritis.

In other cases, this is caused by other issues not relating to joint abnormalities. With both, the arthritis will start to manifest during the black GSDs mid-life.


The most common illnesses in black German Shepherds and the breed as a whole are skin issues. Most of these are associated with allergies to triggers, such as parasites, pollen, and sometimes even food.


This is another group of diseases that often affect the dog in their mid to later years in life. Common cancers include spleen and bone tumors that are often life threatening for the unfortunate pooch.

How Much Is A Black German Shepherd?

Black German Shepherds will cost you about $700 to $2,000.

This is just the price for an untrained puppy with those trained for use as guard or even aid dogs costing as much as $10,000 or more. So why are they so expensive?

Unique Aesthetics

There is no denying the fact that black German Shepherds dogs are beautiful. Their jet black, silky coats and strong facial features are quite striking. This increases their demand both in the niche market and in general which in turn makes them more expensive.

High Stud Fees

You can get a black German Shepherd by pairing two German Shepherds with the same desired trait. These dogs are quite hard to find which makes it equally expensive for breeders in terms of stud fees from those who actually have spare black German Shepherds for the process.


Something else that justifies the price tag with these pooches is their versatility.

These dogs can literally do it all from hunting and guarding to serving as companion or aid dogs. This is due to their high intelligence and generally how easy it is to train them for whatever specific purpose you may have.

They Are Hard To Come By

Black German Shepherds are also expensive because they are rare. Technically speaking, they are not the rarest variety of the breed with that honor going to the liver German Shepherd.

However, they are rare enough to drive up prices. This is due to the nature of the genes involved in the manifestation of the specific traits.

Are Black German Shepherds Aggressive? Temperaments Of Black German Shepherds

To be honest, black German Shepherds can be quite intimidating mainly due to their larger build and features. However, they are not as aggressive as they are thought to be.

In fact, these dogs are sweet and even-tempered and will get along with just about anyone as long as they are socialized. Here are a few more amazing personality traits that you have to look forward to.


They may be intimidating to look at but black German Shepherds are absolute cuddle bears.

They love their human companions and prefer nothing more than to be around them all the time. They thrive in lively homes even with children around but will also settle comfortably as single-person dogs.

Attentive And Eager To Serve

Black German Shepherds are working dogs at their very core. Nothing makes them as happy as having a purpose. This is one of the main reasons why they are so popular for use as support dogs.

When raising one, this is also important to consider as lack of a purpose usually frustrates the pooch. So give them something fun to do whether it is a game, a scavenger hunt, or even some empty chore that makes the dog feel useful.


The best way to tell that your black German Shepherd is truly happy is to watch how active and playful they are. Once they feel safe and comfortable, they are super goofy and will not hold back on their ridiculous antiques.

Intelligent And Responsive

Like any other German Shepherd, the black variety is one very intelligent dog. They pick up very easily on fun new skills whether it is a new game or a complicated task they need to learn. The best part is that once they learn, they are very obedient and do not require you to keep repeating commands.

Do Black German Shepherds Shed? Grooming Tips For A Black German Shepherd

Another important aspect of giving your black German Shepherd a happy home is ensuring that they are always well groomed. Here are a few tips and guidelines that should help you take care of everything that makes these dogs beautiful.

Settle Into A Regular Brushing Schedule

Black German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic. Fortunately, they shed moderately most times of the year which makes grooming in terms of deshedding manageable. You can get away with brushing their coat one to three times a week depending on how heavily they are shedding at the time.

During those heavy shedding seasons and even the rest of the year, iRobot Roomba i3+ will come in very handy by cleaning up fur and pet dander around your home that your regular brushing may not have been able to get rid of.v

iRobot Roomba i3+

Invest In High Quality Grooming Tools

The black German Shepherd has a very thick coat. You need the right tools for deshedding and dematting in addition to having your schedule.

The Furminator Undercoat Tool is easy to use and very effective when it comes to working through thick coats. The best part is that it is easy to clean as all you have to do is press a button and all the collected fur is released.

Furminator Undercoat Tool

Wash The Dog Every 6 To 8 Weeks

For black German Shepherds with skin issues, a bath every 4 to 6 weeks would be ideal. However, those with no issues can wait for one every 2 months. Try the Pro Pet Works All Natural 5 In 1 Oatmeal Shampoo for convenience, value for your money, and most importantly, great results on the doggy’s coat.

Pro Pet Works All Natural 5 In 1 Oatmeal Shampoo

Related Questions

What Dog Looks Like A Black German Shepherd? The Belgian Shepherd Dog looks very similar to the black German Shepherd dog. This is the case especially with the Groenendael variety which has a similar black coat and similar facial features. One way to tell them apart is with the longer coats and neck ruff that is a classic trait for the Belgian Shepherd dog. They also happen to be much smaller than the black German Shepherd.

Do German Shepherds Change Color As They Age? As German Shepherds get older, they do not change color. What happens is that their existing coat colors and markings get darker and are more defined. These changes can be seen between 6 months to even 3 years. You may also notice some graying with older dogs which is the closest thing to color change that German Shepherds have.

How Many Breeds Of German Shepherd Are There? There is only one breed of German Shepherd but of several varieties. The first group of variations is based on the hair length which can either be long or medium. The group of variation is based on the coat colors and markings. These include:

  • White German Shepherds
  • Panda German Shepherds
  • Sable German Shepherds
  • Saddle German Shepherds
  • Black German Shepherds

Like it? Share it!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Recommended Reads

Leave a Comment

Rate This Article

1 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.

Related Articles


Anatolian Shepherd Mixes

Speaking of cuteness, the Akita Anatolian Shepherd Mix is a ball of fluff with a spunky personality. But if you want all-muscle and hyper loyal pups, the English Mastiff Anatolian Shepherd Mix rocks this department. Got allergies? The Anatolian Shepherd Poodle Mix should make things easy for you.

Read More »

Join Our Mailing List

Get the latest news on pets delivered straight into your inbox!