My Shepherd BFF

Black German Shepherd: Pictures, Traits & Price

Black german shepherd on grass

While some may mistakenly believe that a black German shepherd is another separate breed altogether, in reality, they are regular German Shepherds with black coat color. Other than the color, a black German Shepherd is similar to a standard German Shepherd in terms of size, temperament, traits, and health.

If you’re curious and want to learn more about these beautiful dogs then you’ve landed at the right place.

In this article, I am going to address every single myth surrounding Black Shepherds! We are going to cover their rarity, temperament, size, AKC recognition, cost, family suitability, and everything else there is to know about these dogs.

Don’t forget to go through the FAQ section of this article as it contains answers to the common questions that most prospective Black GSD owners have.

So let’s dive in!

Black German Shepherd Overview

CharacteristicBlack German Shepherd
HeightMale: 24-26 inches (60-65 cm); Female: 22-24 inches (55-60 cm)
WeightMale: 65-90 pounds (30-40 kg); Female: 50-70 pounds (22-32 kg)
CoatDouble coat with a dense outer coat and a softer undercoat
Life Expectancy9-13 years
Cost$700 – $2000
TemperamentIntelligent, loyal, confident, courageous, obedient, protective
Activity LevelHigh
Exercise NeedsRequires regular exercise and mental stimulation. Needs a minimum of 1-2 hours of physical activity per day.
TrainabilityVery trainable, excels in obedience training and various dog sports
Grooming NeedsRegular brushing to manage shedding (at least several times a week), occasional baths (as needed), nail trimming, and dental care
Health IssuesCommon health issues include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat, degenerative myelopathy, allergies, and skin problems
This table provides an overview of the key details and characteristics of a German Shepherd.
black German shepherd

What Does a Black German Shepherd Look Like?

A black German Shepherd typically has a solid black coat, although sometimes there may be subtle variations in shade, such as dark charcoal or a slight shimmer of lighter black.

They have the same muscular and athletic build as other German Shepherds. They are medium to large-sized dogs with a strong, noble appearance.

Their facial structure remains the same as other German Shepherds, with a noble head, pointed ears, alert expression, and dark eyes.

Black German Shepherds generally have the same size range as other German Shepherds.

Males typically stand between 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 65 to 90 pounds, while females are slightly smaller, standing between 22 to 24 inches and weighing between 50 to 70 pounds.

Black German Shepherd puppies
Black German Shepherd puppies

Why are Black German Shepherds Black?

For a German Shepherd to have a solid black coat, it must inherit two copies of the black recessive gene, one from each parent.

When breeding German Shepherds, each parent contributes one copy of their genes to their offspring.

If both parents carry at least one copy of the black gene (even if they don’t display the black coat color themselves), they have the potential to produce black puppies.

It’s worth noting that even if both parents carry the black gene, it’s not guaranteed that all of their puppies will be black. This is because each parent also carries other genes that influence coat color, such as genes for tan markings or sable patterns.

Female Black German Shepherd (Source: @working_germanshepherd)

Black German Shepherd Temperament

Black German Shepherds, like all German Shepherds, are cherished for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective instincts.

Known for their keen intellect, they excel in training and are quick learners. Their loyalty makes them devoted companions to their owners, often forming strong bonds with family members.

These canines also exhibit remarkable protective qualities, making them ideal candidates for roles as working dogs in various sectors such as law enforcement, and military and for tasks ranging from search-and-rescue missions to apprehending suspects.

Black German Shepherd puppy

Are Black German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

Yes, black German Shepherds can make excellent family dogs. Just like other German Shepherds, they are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature, which can make them great companions and guardians for families.

These dogs are known for their loyalty to their families. They often form strong bonds with their owners and are dedicated to protecting them.

When introduced to children from a young age and given positive experiences, black German Shepherds can form strong bonds with kids and become loving and patient companions.

However, it’s crucial to teach children how to interact respectfully with the dog and to avoid behaviors that may provoke or startle the dog.

Also, it’s essential to supervise interactions to ensure that both the dog and the children are safe.

RELATED: Are German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

black german shepherd training

Training and Exercise Requirements

Black German Shepherds are highly intelligent and trainable dogs. Early socialization and obedience training are essential to ensure they grow into well-mannered companions.

Basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and leash walking should be taught consistently and positively reinforced.

Beyond basic obedience, black German Shepherds excel in advanced training activities such as agility, tracking, herding, and protection work. These activities provide mental stimulation and fulfill their natural instincts.

Black German Shepherds are active dogs that require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Aim for at least 60-90 minutes of physical activity each day, which can include brisk walks, jogging, hiking, playing fetch, or participating in dog sports.

Providing a variety of activities will prevent boredom and help channel their energy in a positive direction.

In addition to physical exercise, black German Shepherds need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

Puzzle toys, interactive games, training sessions, and scent work can provide mental challenges and keep them mentally sharp.

RELATED: How Much Exercise Does a German Shepherd Need?

Long Haired black German Shepherd (Source: @charlie_thelackshepherd)

Health Concerns in Black German Shepherds

The recessive black gene in black German Shepherds does not affect their health in any way. However, like their counterparts of other colors, Black GSDs too are prone to certain genetic health conditions common to the breed.

These include:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition in which the hip or elbow joints develop abnormally. It can lead to pain, lameness, and mobility issues.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM): DM is a progressive neurological disease that affects the spinal cord. It can lead to hind limb weakness, loss of coordination, and eventual paralysis.
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI): EPI is a condition where the pancreas fails to produce enough digestive enzymes. It can result in weight loss, malnutrition, and gastrointestinal problems.
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV): Commonly known as bloat, GDV is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. It requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • Hemangiosarcoma: This is a type of cancer that commonly affects German Shepherds. It originates in the blood vessels and can occur in various organs.
  • Allergies: German Shepherds may be prone to allergies, including food allergies, environmental allergies, and flea allergies. Symptoms can include itching, skin irritations, and gastrointestinal issues.
  • Panosteitis: Also known as “pano,” this condition affects growing puppies and causes inflammation and pain in the long bones. It usually resolves on its own as the dog matures.
  • Epilepsy: German Shepherds can be prone to epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by recurring seizures.

To ensure the well-being of your black German Shepherd, regular veterinary check-ups are crucial.

These check-ups allow veterinarians to monitor your dog’s overall health and detect any potential issues early on.

Black German Shepherd
Black German Shepherd in a conformation event

Watch this video of a black German Shepherd grow up from 10 weeks to 7 months…

Black German Shepherd FAQs

Are Black German Shepherds Rare?

Black German Shepherds are relatively rare compared to the more common black and tan or sable variations. Since both parents must carry at least one copy of the recessive black gene to produce black offspring, it’s less common for two black gene carriers to mate compared to other color variations.

However, the popularity of black German Shepherds has been increasing in recent years as more breeders specifically aim to produce this coat color.

Are Black German Shepherds Recognized by AKC?

Yes, black German Shepherds are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). While the traditional black and tan coloration is more common and widely recognized, black German Shepherds are also accepted by the AKC and can participate in AKC events such as conformation shows, obedience trials, and agility competitions.

Are Black German Shepherds Purebred?

Yes, black German Shepherds are considered purebred dogs. The term “purebred” refers to a dog that belongs to a recognized breed and whose ancestry consists of individuals of the same breed.

These dogs can be registered with kennel clubs such as AKC and breed organizations just like their more common black and tan counterparts, affirming their status as purebred German Shepherds.

How Much do Black German Shepherds Cost?

While the price of a standard German Shepherd puppy can range from $300 to $700, you can expect to pay anywhere from $700 to $2000 for a black German Shepherd puppy.

Several factors contribute to the varying prices of black German Shepherd puppies.

Reputable breeders who have invested time and effort into breeding high-quality dogs often charge higher prices for their puppies.

If the parents of the black German Shepherd puppy come from champion bloodlines or have achieved notable titles in dog shows or working events, their offspring may be more expensive.

Also, in areas where there is high demand for black German Shepherds but limited supply, prices tend to be higher.

 6 month old Black German Shepherd puppy

Are Black German Shepherds Aggressive?

No, black German Shepherds are not inherently aggressive. Like all dogs, their behavior is influenced by genetics, upbringing, socialization, and training.

There is no inherent aggression linked to coat color; rather, it’s the individual dog’s personality and experiences that determine behavior. Any dog, regardless of breed or color, can display aggression if not properly trained or socialized.

Are Black German Shepherds Protective?

Yes, black German Shepherds, like their counterparts of other coat colors, are known for their protective instincts. This breed has a long history of serving as protectors and guardians, making them naturally inclined to watch over their family and territory.

Black German Shepherds are loyal, alert, and vigilant, making them excellent watchdogs and companions. They are known to form strong bonds with their owners and are willing to protect them from perceived threats.

black german shepherd exercise

Where Can I Buy a Black German Shepherd?

To purchase a black German Shepherd, explore reputable breeders specializing in this specific color variation. Ensure the breeders prioritize the health, temperament, and quality of their dogs, verified through referrals or online directories.

Alternatively, consider adopting from rescue organizations or breed-specific rescue groups, which often have black German Shepherds available for adoption.

Exercise caution when using online platforms, ensuring thorough research into the seller’s reputation, health clearances, and documentation.

Black German Shepherds haus von Wiese are a reputable black German Shepherd breeder based in Huntersville, NC, USA.

You can visit their website –, or

Call – (704) 577-6246, or

Email – [email protected]

You can also check out their Instagram page – @blackgermanshepherdshvw

What are the Different Colors of German Shepherd Dogs?

The following is a list of 11 German Shepherd colors recognized by the AKC:

Also, here is a list of coat colors that are not recognized by AKC:


In conclusion, black German Shepherds are captivating and versatile dogs that bring loyalty, intelligence, and companionship to any family. Their striking black coats set them apart, but it’s their temperament and abilities that truly make them stand out. Make sure you’re ready to commit to their training, exercise, grooming, and healthcare needs. These loyal companions deserve all the love and care you can give. So, if you’re up for the challenge and the joy they bring, go ahead and welcome a black German Shepherd into your life!

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