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Black German Shepherds [20+ PICS] + Characteristics, Care & Training

Written by: Justin Palmer
Justin Palmer is a Certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialist and co-founder of Inspired by his rescued husky, Splash, he dedicated himself to learning about extending both the length and quality of her life. Splash lived and thrived until 18 years old, and now Justin is on a mission to share what he learned with other dog owners.Read more
| Published on February 22, 2024

Black German Shepherds are a remarkable breed of dog that have become increasingly popular over the years. These dogs are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and striking appearance. In this article, we will explore the history and physical characteristics of the Black German Shepherd, as well as their temperament, health, and care requirements.

A black German Shepherd stands alert in a grassy field, ears perked and tail raised, with a focused and intelligent expression

Black German Shepherd Breed Origins and History

The German Shepherd breed was first developed in Germany in the late 19th century by Captain Max von Stephanitz. The breed was originally used as a herding dog, but its intelligence, strength, and courage made it well-suited for other tasks such as police work, search and rescue, and military service. Black German Shepherds are a variation of the breed that have a solid black coat, which is a result of a recessive gene. While they were once considered undesirable, they have gained popularity in recent years and are now recognized as a separate breed by some organizations.

Black German Shepherd Physical Characteristics

Black German Shepherds are known for their striking appearance, which is characterized by their solid black coat, noble head, and powerful build. They are a large breed, with males typically weighing between 65-90 pounds and females weighing between 50-70 pounds. They have a double coat that is thick and dense, which provides insulation and protection from the elements. Their coat requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and shiny.

Black German Shepherd Pictures (from our Facebook Community)

The following pictures were submitted to our I Love My German Shepherd Facebook community.

Black German Shepherd Breed Origins and History

A black German Shepherd stands proudly, with pointed ears and a strong, muscular build. Its sleek coat glistens in the sunlight, exuding confidence and intelligence

Black German Shepherds are a relatively new breed that originated in Germany in the late 19th century. They were bred from the standard German Shepherd, which was originally bred as a herding dog. The black coloration is a result of a recessive gene that was introduced into the breed through selective breeding.

The black German Shepherd was first recognized as a separate breed in the United States in the 1960s. Since then, they have become increasingly popular as family pets and working dogs. They are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature.

Black German Shepherds have a long history of use as police and military dogs. They are highly trainable and have a strong work ethic, making them ideal for these types of jobs. They are also used as search and rescue dogs, as well as therapy dogs.

Despite their popularity, black German Shepherds are not recognized as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). They are considered a variation of the standard German Shepherd and are judged based on the same standards as the standard breed.

Overall, black German Shepherds are a unique and highly sought-after breed. They have a rich history and are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature.

Physical Characteristics

A black German Shepherd standing alert with erect ears, a strong muscular build, and a shiny, sleek coat

Coat and Color

Black German Shepherds are known for their striking black coat, which is usually solid black but may also have some tan or silver markings. Their coat is typically dense and wiry, providing excellent protection from the elements. Their fur is also water-resistant, which makes them well-suited for outdoor activities.

Size and Build

Black German Shepherds are typically larger and heavier than their standard-colored counterparts. They can weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds and stand up to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a strong, muscular build and are known for their agility and athleticism.

Overall, Black German Shepherds are a beautiful and impressive breed with unique physical characteristics that set them apart from other dogs.

Temperament and Behavior

Personality Traits

Black German Shepherds are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature. They are confident and courageous dogs, making them excellent watchdogs and guard dogs. They are also known for their affectionate and playful personalities, making them great family pets.

These dogs are highly trainable and excel in obedience and agility training. They are eager to please their owners and are known to form strong bonds with their families. They are also highly adaptable and can thrive in various living situations, including apartments, as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Behavioral Tendencies

Black German Shepherds have a high energy level and require daily exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. They need plenty of physical activity, such as long walks, runs, and playtime, to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

These dogs are also known to be protective of their families and can be wary of strangers. Early socialization and training can help prevent aggression towards unfamiliar people and animals. They may also have a strong prey drive and may chase smaller animals, so it is important to supervise them around other pets.

Overall, Black German Shepherds make excellent companions for active families who are willing to provide them with the exercise and training they need. With proper socialization and training, they can be loyal and affectionate pets who will protect their families with their lives.

Health and Care

Common Health Issues

Like any other breed of dogs, Black German Shepherds are prone to some common health issues. These include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat, and allergies. Hip and elbow dysplasia are genetic conditions that cause the joints to develop abnormally and can lead to arthritis and lameness. Bloat, also known as gastric torsion, is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. Allergies can cause skin irritations, itchiness, and gastrointestinal problems. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian and proper care can help prevent and manage these health issues.

Diet and Nutrition

Proper diet and nutrition are essential for the health and well-being of Black German Shepherds. A balanced diet that includes high-quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates is recommended. It is important to feed them a diet that is appropriate for their age, weight, and activity level. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which can cause health problems such as joint pain and diabetes. Fresh water should always be available, and treats should be given in moderation.

Exercise Requirements

Black German Shepherds are active and energetic dogs that require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. They enjoy activities such as running, hiking, and playing fetch. Lack of exercise can lead to behavior problems such as destructiveness and aggression. It is recommended to provide them with at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. However, this can vary depending on the dog’s age, health, and energy level. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount of exercise for your Black German Shepherd.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average lifespan of a Black German Shepherd?

The average lifespan of a Black German Shepherd is between 10 to 13 years. However, with proper care and nutrition, they can live longer.

How much does a Black German Shepherd typically cost?

The cost of a Black German Shepherd can vary depending on various factors such as breeder reputation, lineage, and location. On average, they can cost anywhere between $1,000 to $3,000.

Are Black German Shepherds considered a rare color variation?

While Black German Shepherds are not as common as their tan and black counterparts, they are not considered a rare color variation. They are still recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a valid color for the breed.

What are the distinct characteristics of a Black German Shepherd?

Black German Shepherds have all the same characteristics as their tan and black counterparts, including their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. However, their black coat color can make them appear more intimidating and imposing.

How should one care for a Black German Shepherd’s coat, especially if it’s long-haired?

Black German Shepherds with long hair require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Brushing their coat at least once a week and bathing them every 6 to 8 weeks can help maintain their coat’s health and shine.

What should potential owners know about Black German Shepherd breeders and puppy availability?

It’s important to do thorough research when looking for a Black German Shepherd breeder. Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and have a good reputation within the community. Additionally, it’s important to be patient as puppies may not always be readily available and may require a waiting list.

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