Dogs have many characteristics that make them all unique, but there are some that only a few breeds share. Some dog breeds have unique traits that no other breeds share, like the backward stripe of fur of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Other breed groups may share defining characteristics that make them all related, as the bully breed group.
There are two breeds of dogs that not only have blue-black tongues, but also are required to have mostly or completely black tongues to be considered purebred. However, some breeds do have some spotting and black patches that make them look unique. Here are 4 dog breeds with black or spotted tongues:
Known for their compact build and lion-like appearance, Chow-Chows are one of two purebred dogs that are required to have black tongues. They have dense double coats, curled tails, and unusually straight hind legs. Chow males and females stand around 17-22 inches at the shoulders. Chow males weigh around 40-90 pounds and females weigh around 35-85 pounds.
These large dogs were originally bred to guard homes, having a natural suspicion of strangers and visitors. Chows need early socialization with humans and dogs, but they tend to become overprotective of their families. Aggression with other dogs can also become a serious problem if left to their own devices. However, when Chows do choose their favorite person, they’ll do anything to get their attention. They can be playful at times, though they prefer to have some alone time as well. Regardless, Chow Chows are not suitable for first-time dog owners because of their aggressive tendencies.
Energy Level & Trainability
With a little exercise and a strong leader, Chows can be quiet and calm indoors. They’re highly intelligent dogs, but their stubbornness makes them difficult to train. They don’t require hours of romping and are not a fetch-type of dog. They still require attention, usually in the form of long walks with their favorite person. Chows will also let their families know if they feel ignored by their standards.
2. Chinese Shar-Pei
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Shar-Pei dogs are an easily recognized breed for their numerous wrinkles and small, triangular ears. They have high-set, curled tails, with a limited variety of colors allowed. The second of two breeds required to have blue/black tongues, Shar-Pei dog stand at around 18-20 inches. Females weigh around 40-55 pounds and males weigh in between 55-65 pounds.
Chinese Shar-Pei dogs like calm, quiet environments and are naturally good with housebreaking. These independent, confident dogs are best in homes as the only pet as they have a strong prey drive that can be difficult to curb. These dogs can be loyal family companions, with an aloof demeanor towards new people. Chinese Shar-Pei dogs tend to be aggressive towards other dogs, which can become a serious behavioral issue if left unchecked. Shar-Pei dogs are best for experienced dog owners that can handle their inquisitive personalities.
Energy Level & Trainability
Chinese Shar-Pei dogs only require a couple of brisk walks a day, making them great apartment dogs. They have the athleticism to go for longer walks and hikes, but they don’t mind taking naps with their owners as well. Their laidback personalities and lower exercise demands make them a popular dog breed, but they can be too much for inexperienced dog handlers.
3. Dogs with Dark Points (Boxers, GSD)
There are a lot of purebred dogs that can have spotted tongues or near-black tongues, although those are not breed-standard requirements like the Chow and the Shar-Pei. Dogs with dark or black points have a higher chance of having black spots on their tongues. Here are some dog breeds with dark points that can have black spots and patches on their tongues:
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
4. Mixed Breeds with Black Tongues
Dogs Mixed with Chows
Dogs mixed with Chow-Chows and Chinese Shar-Pei dogs have a chance of getting pure purple-black tongues, depending on the mother and father. Some Chow mixes are quite popular, including the Boxer-Chow for its calmer energy and lower aggression levels. Other designer dog breeds like the Chusky (Chow-Husky mix) result in headstrong, high-energy workaholic dogs that have higher exercise needs than purebred Chows.
Dogs Mixed with Shar-Pei
There are a few popular Chinese Shar-Pei dog mixes that have become “official” designer dog breeds, like the Golden Pei. Golden Pei dogs have the temperament of a Golden Retriever with the protectiveness of a Shar-Pei. Another designer Shar-Pei mix is the Ori-Pei, a selective cross between the Shar-Pei and a pug. They resemble miniature Shar-Pei dogs with darker facial features.
Dog Genetics & Temperament
It’s important to understand that designer dog breeds like the Chusky and Boxer-Chow may not have stable temperaments due to their genetics. Careful research of every dog breeder, purebred or designer, is crucial for picking out a healthy, stable pet. When looking for a particular breed, look for the most reputable breeders that have clean bloodlines and detailed medical records.
Featured Image Credit: Josh Henderson, Flickr
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.