Black German Shepherd Dog Breed: Info, Pictures & Traits

Black german shepherd

In this post, we are going to talk about the black German Shepherd. We’ll talk about how it gets its black coat, and how it differs from the standard German Shepherd. Breeding can be a confusing topic for many people, and there are a lot of breeders and sellers that like to attach attributes to unfamiliar breeds like the black German Shepherd to make a quick buck on your lack of knowledge.

Let’s take an in-depth look at this breed so you can make an informed decision about if this breed is right for your home. There’s plenty of information to go over about these amazing and smart animals, so keep reading while we discuss coat color, history, temperament, and modern varieties of the German Shepherd.

The Black German Shepherd

To get it out of the way immediately, you should know, a black German Shepard is simply a standard purebred German Shepard with a black coat. The American Kennel Club recognizes the black color as part of the breed standard. The black coat gene is recessive, so German Shepherds with black coats are few, but they are no different than the others.  

The Standard German Shepherd

The German Shepherd started in Germany around 1900, so they are a relatively modern breed bred to herd sheep and protect property, a job they still do today. Due to their sharp intelligence, strength, and obedience, they are used to assist disabled people as well as participate in search and rescue missions. They also work with the police and the military. They are the second most popular dog in America, and one of the most popular dogs in the world.

Size and Shape

German Shepherds are considered a large dog. They stand about two feet tall at the withers and have a long body. They have a square muzzle, a long neck, and a dome-shaped forehead. They have large erect ears, powerful jaws, and a medium-length bushy tail.


Intelligence and strength are the two primary traits bred into the German Shepherd, so it’s no surprise that these are brilliant animals. Only the Border Collie and the Poodle surpass them in mental abilities. They can learn simple tasks after only a few repetitions and will obey orders on the fist command 95% of the time.


German Shepherds are known for being willing to learn and eager to please. They are curious and extremely protective. They are not usually outright hostile but are also not in a hurry to make friends with strangers and are somewhat aloof. Some reports state that German Shepherds are more likely to bite strangers than other breeds based on the number of reported instances of biting per year. However, the popularity of German Shepherds and the sheer number of dogs lend itself as part of the explanation. 

There are many times more German Shepherds than some other breeds, so it’s only natural that there will be more reported injuries. When we account for these numbers, statistics show the German Shepherd is no more likely to bite than any other dog. In fact, there are over thirty breeds more likely to attack and bite a stranger than the German Shepherd.  


German Shepherds have a thick double coat that can come in two variants, medium and long. The medium variant is much more common, and while the long hair is accepted, it is considered a flaw in some circles.


The German Shepherd is usually Tan and Black or Red and Black. They often have black masks and black markings on the body. The black markings can be small or resemble a blanket placed over the body.

German Shepherds can also come in several other colors, including white, sable, blue, and panda, but the only colors recognized and accepted as a breed standard, are black and sable.

Modern Changes

Modern show strains of the German Shepherd have an increasingly sloping back that many believe causes a poor gait in the dogs back legs, and also causes the dog to resemble a frog. Many also criticize this trait as drifting away from the intentions of the original breeder, who stated that German Shepherds should only breed traits for work and intelligence and to eliminate undesirable features immediately.


There are not many differences between the black German Shepherd and the standard one. Some argue they may stand slightly taller, and the hair may have a little more of a curl to it, but these differences are incredibly slight, and most people would not notice any difference outside the color. Since the black coat is an accepted color,  the easiest way to acquire a black German Shepherd is to contact a reputable breeder and have them breed one for you.

The gene that causes the black color coat is recessive, which means that to create a black German Shepherd, both the mother and father also need to have a black coat. The internet makes it very possible to find a reputable breeder with the skills to create a healthy black German Shepherd for you, and because the color is accepted, the cost will likely be about the same as a standard color Shepherd.

We hope that you have enjoyed this discussion about German Shepherds and the differences or lack of differences between the natural color and the black ones. If you have enjoyed your time here, please share this Black German Shepherd Dog Breed Info on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured Image Credit: Pickpik