The Black German Shepherd - True or Myth?

The Black German Shepherd – True or Myth?

True! Black German Shepherds sometimes take people by surprise with their solid dark color coat.

Commonly they are even mistaken as a mixed breed or another dog breed. The Black German Shepherd has some distinct variations when compared to the standard German Shepherd.

Their uniform appearance, high trainability, and stable temperament allow them to be excellent companions, family dogs, and work as police dogs or as a disability aid for the handicap.

Find out more about the GSD service dog training.


Genetics Of The Black German Shepherd

black german shepherd

The black coat gene color can either be dominant or recessive.

This means that there is a possibility that a German Shepherd that is not all black can hold the gene and produce solid black German Shepherd pups.

If you are interested in breeding your Black GSD, you should inquire about your dog’s ancestry and bloodline.

A German Shepherd’s coat color can be determined as early as seven to eight weeks old.

Appearance Of The Black GSD

The Black German Shepherd is known to exhibit the traditional look of the breed.

They have a straighter back and are larger when compared to the standard German Shepherd.

Their coat length can range from short to long and have the appearance of feathering, flowing, or skirting.

Personality Of The Black German Shepherd

black german shepherd personality

The Black German Shepherd is not usually aggressive.

He may take the time to make friends with strangers, but once he does, he will be extremely kind. When he is with a family, he will be approachable and easy-going.

Although Black German Shepherds make great guard dogs, they also need attention and time with their companion or family.

This special trait is what makes them perfect candidates to work as service dogs for the blind, deaf, and handicap.


Have you ever been walking your Black German Shepherd outdoors only to have people cross the street to stay away from you both?

The strong appearance of a Black GSD may scare off strangers, but as a dog owner, you should be aware of the breed’s temperament.

In reality, Black German Shepherds have a pleasant temperament that is stable.

They are loyal and watchful dogs that are willing to express their self-assurance by keeping a watch over their family.

This means that if danger were to ever approach you or your family, your Black German Shepherd is known to protect you at all costs and rarely will back down against an enemy.


black german shepherd puppies playing

Early socialization is important for your German Shepherd.

It allows him to get used to a variety of different people, experiences, sounds, smells, and places. It will also teach him how to behave in each situation, and he will carry this behavior throughout his lifetime.

As soon as you bring your pup home, it is recommended that you introduce him to family and friends that will frequently be visiting your home.

Also, you will want to take him on walks around the neighborhood so he can get to know the other dogs in the area.

If you have a dog park located close-by that you plan to take him to, introduce him slowly by allowing him to first watch the other dogs and then on the next visit give him the freedom to play with the other dogs.

If you have adopted an older Black German Shepherd, it is wise to socialize him slowly.

Chances are he might have had a negative experience with people as well as other dogs. Introduce your family first and then invite guests over one by one.

Are Black German Shepherds Good With Children?

Black German Shepherds are extremely good with children.

Allow your pup to have plenty of exposure to your children under your supervision when they first meet.

Once they bond you will find that your GSD will become your children’s best friend, playmate, babysitter, and protector.

Although German Shepherds are usually gentle around children, they may bump into your toddler or young children by mistake or wag his tail with happiness and accidentally tap your children, however, this is rare.

Black German Shepherds also have the ability to get along with other pets in the house including cats and other dogs. But they need to be introduced to them slowly and usually during puppyhood.

How To Raise A Healthy Black GSD

black german shepherd puppy

Owners of Black German Shepherds will be delighted to know that raising a healthy pup is easy.

One of the first things you will want to do is bring your pup to the veterinarian for a check-up and discussing any health issues that need to be addressed.

You will always want to keep vaccinations current. Providing your German Shepherd with a healthy diet is essential to his health.

It is best to choose a dog food brand that includes healthy, natural ingredients and offers the food in dry and wet forms.

Your Black German Shepherds teeth need to be used, and it is wise to provide dry food for him to crunch and exercise his gums.

Since GSDs need daily exercise, they are usually prone to getting a bit dirty. Make sure you groom and clean your dog on a regular basis. Grooming should include bathing, nail cutting, ear cleaning, and teeth cleaning.  

Hip Dysplasia In Black German Shepherds

While Black German Shepherds are known to have a 12 to 15-year life expectancy a health issue is popular within the breed, but not life-threatening. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia is a common health concern for dog owners.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia can range from mild to severe. If you notice your Black German Shepherd exhibiting symptoms such as limping, stiffness or soreness in his hips or hind legs you will want to contact the veterinarian immediately.

After a thorough examination that includes radiographs, physical examination, and manual tests on your dog’s hips, the veterinarian will either confirm or deny the presence of hip dysplasia in your dog.

If your dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, don’t panic.

Most of the time hip dysplasia is hereditary, and there is nothing that you as a dog owner could have done to prevent it.

The veterinarian will advise you of how to care for your Black German Shepherd, which could include a change in diet, massage, joint supplements, prescription pain-reliever, surgical options, hip replacement, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Suitable Home Environments For A Black German Shepherd

black german shepherd home

If you don’t already have this breed as a pet, have you fallen in love with them yet?

What more can you ask for when one amazing dog can provide you with companionship, security, loyalty, and the capability of getting along well with children and other pets in your household.

If you have already brought your pup home or you, plan to soon, make sure you are providing a healthy environment that is suitable to his needs.

This includes a comfortable, supportive bed, plenty of chew toys, room to exercise outdoors, food and water bowls and space to call his own.

You will want to designate an area that can be blocked off with a baby gate or a large crate that he can seek refuge and relaxation in any time he needs.

Black German Shepherds can be comfortable living outdoors or indoors as long as you provide balance into their daily schedule.

This means you can’t leave your dog outdoors or indoors alone for long periods of time. Your dog needs attention from his owner and family.

If you plan to house your dog outdoors, you will need to provide a safe house for him. You can either purchase a dog house or build one yourself.

It is wise to provide a doghouse that is large enough for an adult sized Black German Shepherd to stand up in and turn around easily.

Weather conditions can cause dirt to go inside the dog house; it is essential that it remains clean at all times.

You wouldn’t want your dog to sleep in dirt or wet conditions; this can cause skin problems if exposure to dirt and harsh conditions is consistent.

If you live in an apartment and insist on bringing a Black German Shepherd into your family, you should remember that you need to provide daily exercise.

Make sure there is a park, open land, or plenty of space outdoors where you can walk with your dog and allow him to play. Placing your dog in a doggy daycare while you are at work is also a great way to exercise your dog.


Now that you are familiar with the genetics, characteristics, temperament, health needs, care needs, grooming needs, and physical needs of a Black GSD it should help you to either take care of the pup you already have or welcome a Black German Shepherd home to join your family.


Last Updated on January 29, 2021 by

20 thoughts on “The Black German Shepherd – True or Myth?”

  1. The concern for hip & elbow dysplasia and arthritis is the result of poor breeding. The color has nothing to do with it. Great breeders will have the hips tested before putting that dog in their breeding program and will stop that line if they find out any of the offspring or that dog developed issues at any point. There’s no way to guarantee your dog won’t have these problems, there are things you can do starting in puppyhood to hopefully prevent the onset of delay it. Once they have been fully weened for a few wks it’s OK to start giving them hip & joint supplements. Make sure it has glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, HA. If you can get it with silica all the better and derived from green lipped middle or shark cartilage Proper feeding. The right exercise for their age & size. Until they are full grown and bones have hardened & fused they should not jump higher than their elbow height, go on jogs, etc. Too much concussion on growing large breed puppy will be devastating later in life. Walking and swimming are excellent for their mobility throughout their lives.

    1. Sandra Truli Springer, VMD, CVA

      In 1997, the US Natiinal Institutes of Health (NIH) formally stated there is enough scientific evidence for acupuncture effectively treating musculoskeletal problems in humans that it should be offered as standard treatment. It also has wonderful venefits for canine hip dysplasia.

  2. We are in the process of adopting a black shepherd which didn’t pass the service dog program. She is two yrs old and a pure bred shepherd.
    We have owned two shepherds in the past and love them.
    Anything you can suggest on best way to transition her to our homecoming? We also have an 18 yr old cat who lived with two of our dogs in the past but is now getting fragile in old age. Thanks for your reply.

  3. Our all black GSD encompasses all of these wonderful traits! She is extremely loving with our children and unbelievably well behaved. We love her to pieces and always receive compliments on how beautiful and well trained she is. I don’t take credit for her behavior, it took very little work to teach her where to potty, coming when she’s called and not chasing after every squirrel she sees!

  4. Cool site, but black is just a color a german shepherd can be. Bloodlines are going to be what decides the structure, health and temperament of the dog.

  5. OR, you could be smart enough to get the greatest dog of ALL, the very friendly, very happy, and extremely trainable PIT BULL TERRIER. And you will never regret making the right decision!!!

  6. I’ve only seen one Black German Shepherd in my life, yet I have seen three white ones (no albinoism involved). Is there any difference between the two rarer coat morphs?

  7. Thank you that was really helpful! Ive owned GSD before but i havent owned one in a while and this was quite refreshing thank you again!

  8. Rescued mine back in 2002. She was a great dog. Unfortunately I had to put her down at 14 years old because of spinal problems. I sure do miss her company

  9. Summer and her sister Riley were the only two all black German Shepherds born in the litter. They are identical. They both have a black mark on their tongue. Is this a typical marking for the breed?

  10. I love my gsd, who is all black. Anyone considering a German shepherd should think the fact they need lots of exercise and attention. 45 minutes a day of vigorous excercise! Otherwise my dog can be destructive. A good dog for a person who can be with the dog most of the day, but not a good choice if you are away at work plus hours a day.

  11. My family just purchased an 8 week old all black german shepard. She sleeps ALOT but she is so playful and loving. We have a 3 year old boy and they have become best friends. I am very impressed on how quickly sge is learning in just 1 week of having her. But she is still going potty in the house. Hope that changes soon. I think it will. She comes when you call her and she is learning commands already. Honestly, I think german shepards are the best dogs in the world. There is a reason why they are used as police dogs and to help.the hadicapped. We are truley blessed to have Ripley. She is a gift from above.

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