Black German Shepherd- Black GSD buyer’s guide & facts

The Black German Shepherd is a German Shepherd variation with a solid black coat but retaining the same qualities as a German Shepherd. It is a completely natural black color. The black GSD is also a perfect, loyal, smart, and active dog for anyone that does not mind a shedding.

There are different German Shepherd types and this is one of the variations.

Some people may think that the black color is a result of a defect in this dog but that is just a myth.

The German Shepherd’s standards recognize the black color of the GSD.

In this piece, we are going to look into the temperament, history, and what makes this dog slightly different from other German Shepherds.

Let us get right into it. 

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About the Black German Shepherd

This dog is not a separate breed from the “standard” german but is one of the most beautiful dogs. He is a solid black dog with the same personality as other German Shepherds.

GSDs were originally bred to be perfect herding dogs but their uses now have shifted to be working and companion dogs.

This is the second most popular dog breed in the US and it is not hard to see why that is the case.

They are extremely loyal, loving, brave, and smart companion and are also widely used by the security forces.

And because of their intelligence, they can easily be trained to become guard dogs although they are not naturally aggressive.

However, this is a dog that receives a bad rap often due to myths associated with them.

One of these myths is that this is a mixed dog while another myth is that this dog has temperament problems that are related to him. None of these is true as this black GSD is an adorable dog that is black due to a genetic mutation.

This coat color comes about due to a double recessive gene that can be carried by each or either of the parents.

When two black GSD are bred together you also get a Black GSD pup because both of the parents have black recessive genes. These two genes can also be passed down from one of the parents.


Pros and cons


✓ They are highly energetic.

✔ Great looking.

✓ Intelligent and highly trainable.

✔ They are highly adaptable and can tolerate extreme weather.


✗ They shed a lot and are not hypoallergenic.

✘ Need a lot of daily exercises.

✗ They are high maintenance.

✘ Black GSDs are known to bark a lot.

6 Fun facts about the Black German Shepherd dog

  1. German Shepherds are the pioneers of service dogs.
  2. They are known to have a strong work drive which is made better by their high energy levels.
  3. Some German Shepherds can suffer from a rare condition known as pituitary dwarfism which is a genetic mutation that makes some GSDs have shorter legs and generally smaller bodies.
  4. After the two World Wars, this dog’s name was temporarily changed to remove any association of this dog to the Germans. The British named them as Alastians while American named them as Shepherd dogs.
  5. They are classified as the third most intelligent breed in the world and can learn commands with as little as 5 repetitions.
  6. Black German Shepherds are the 12th fastest dogs and can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour or about 31 miles per hour.

General Appearance and characteristics of the Black GSD

Black German Shepherd’s summary table
Height Males: 24 to 26 inches, Females: 22 to 24 inches
Weight Males: 65 to 90, Females: 50 to 75 pounds
Lifespan 9 to 13 years
Breed Type Herding
Purpose Companion and working dog
Suitable For Active individuals
Grooming requirements Moderate
Color Variations Solid black
Health concerns Canine cancer. hip dysplasia, back Stiffness, and Osteoarthritis
Temperament Friendly, active, loving, intelligent, courageous, playful, loyal, and trainable
Other Names Black GSD

Height and weight

The black German Shepherd is said to be larger and muscular than the typical standard GSD. But is not known whether this was accidental or completely intentional.

Breeders that specialized in their breeding may have used dogs that were larger than average in the breeding of these Black Shepherd lines.

They tend to be 1 or 2 inches taller but with the same proportions. The size of this dog ranges from 24 to 26 inches for the males and 22 to 24 inches for the females.

This dog can reach 65 to 90 pounds for males and 50 to 75 pounds for females.


Physical Appearance

Your initial reaction to the sight of a German Shepherd might be to stop and run but do not do this. This dog might look intimidating with a wolf-like appearance but he is a charmer.

These doggos have muscular, powerful, and majestic bodies with thick and sturdy legs.

At the age of between 16 and 20 weeks, Black German Shepherds usually have floppy ears which becomes stiffer as the dog ages and the cartilage hardens.

They also have long and square muzzles with domed-shaped heads.

These Shepherds have straighter backs and avoid the controversy that surrounds German Shepherds shapes to some levels. At the end of their bodies is a bushy tail.

Their eyes are dark and almond-shaped which is also the color of their noses.

Coat appearance and shedding level

A Black German Shepherd can have a dense medium to long coat and may at times have a wiry outer coat. They also have double coats that comprise a soft undercoat.

The coat should be shorter in the head and legs and longer on the body.

However, these dogs shed a lot throughout the year, especially during spring and fall as they develop a new undercoat. If you are planning to get this dog you should consider investing in a good vacuum cleaner.

But no matter how the coat is, the primary color should be black.

Can a Black German Shepherd have white markings?

If by any chance you notice that your Black GSD pup is changing color to a lighter color or getting some white hair that means that he is not a Black German Shepherd.

Black GSD pups may come out with a lighter black shade or even grey but their true coat colors start to show when they are about 8 weeks old when they start becoming solid black.

Some of them may have some brown or white patches in their legs, chest, or paws but may darken as they age.

It is common for some black Shepherd to have some white spots.


Personality and temperament

The black coat color does not affect this dog’s personality traits or temperament in any way.

With that said, you should keep in mind that these dogs are amazing and excel at many tasks from being companion dogs to working and even guard dogs.

They are fearless, obedient, and very intelligent which makes them great for police and military work.

This does not mean that they are violent as many may have you think and this is one thing that is misunderstood about them.

He can also be trained to become a service dog assisting even people that have disabilities.

You can be sure that this dog can make a great guard dog because of his intimidating look and protective nature. This protective nature may make them aloof to strangers and so correct socialization is crucial from an early age.

Is the Black GSD a great family dog?

Black GSDs are family dogs first and working dogs second and despite having an intimidating look they are friendly and loving.

They are family-oriented and will make devoted additions to family homes.

The Black Shepherd gets along well with young children making wonderful playmates for them. You will, however, need to show your children how to correctly handle these dogs.

These dogs are also good with other pets that they have been brought up with but with the correct socialization, they become extremely pup-friendly dogs with all animals.

They generally love being around family and will put themselves on the line for the sake of the family.

However, they do not tolerate being left alone. If left alone for long periods they can get stressed and even suffer from separation anxiety. This may also become destructive and bark excessively.

Traits Rating
exercise needs
Ease of care

History of the Black German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a herding dog that traces its roots back to Germany.

A German by the name of Captain Max Von Stephanitz believed that dogs could perform better as far as working is concerned. During this time, the late 1800s, he was impressed by the character and strength that the working dogs then had.

However, he was not satisfied and did not believe that these were the perfect herding dogs.

So, he attended a dog show in 1899 where he purchased a dog by the name Hektor Linksrhein whose name was then changed to Horand von Grafrath. This is the dog that would later become the German Shepherd that we all know and adore today.

He was brought to the US in the early 1900s as a female dog that was named Queen of Switzerland.

This pooch suffered a lot of complications during breeding that led to the decline of this doggie’s popularity.

During the World wars, the German Shepherds were renamed to Alsatians by the Brits in a bid to prevent their popularity from dwindling. The name was reverted to German Shepherd in 1977.

And despite having a controversial past this dog still ranks as the second most popular dog today in the US.



Litter size:

4 to 9 puppies.


Black German Shepherd puppies may be more expensive than the Standard GSD pups and will cost you between $800 and $2000. This is because not all German Shepherds have the black recessive genes and black German Shepherd puppies do not occur as often.

It is not a cheap dog but you should avoid puppy mills although they may have cheaper prices.

You should also consider adoption which could cost you about $300.

Finding a reputable breeder

Finding a breeder that is responsible and reputable is essential and a good way to ensure that you get the healthiest puppy.

You may find it hard to get a breeder as this is a rare GSD variation and if you find one he or she may be having a waiting list.

There are a few things that you need to do to ensure that the breeder is reputable;

  • Ask a lot of questions about the puppies as the breeder is one of the best sources of information that you may have at your disposal.
  • Always make sure that you get to meet the parents and if meeting both of them is not possible, make sure that you meet the mother. This will give you a slight idea of the traits that the pup is going to have and the temperament.
  • Both of the parents should have AKC documentation which you should not be afraid to ask for.
  • Ask about the health of the puppy and the parents.

A good breeder should also ask you some questions to make sure that the pup will go to a home that is appropriate for him.

Black German Shepherd grooming requirements

These balls of fluff have moderate to high grooming needs.

Brushing their coat twice a week could easily make sure that the coat stays shiny and healthy throughout and will also get rid of mats and tangles.

You should expect the coat to shed throughout the year and to blow out twice every year.

For you to be able to deal with these shedding you may need to vacuum clean the house twice in a day to get rid of hair in your house and furniture.

Every once or twice a month you may be required to bath the doggo using a shampoo that is formulated for dogs. You should note that over bathing the dog could strip him of essential oils causing the skin to dry out.

Visiting a professional groomer two or three times every year may come in very handy for some tasks that you may not be able to undertake all by yourself.

a professional groomer will also advise you on the best grooming schedule for the adorable doggie.

Apart from taking care of the coat check and clean their ears from time to time to prevent the dog from getting infections and checking for any chances that he may have any.

The nails will also need to be trimmed when they get long and brush their teeth.


Feeding requirements

You should make sure that your dog gets a high quality and nutritional diet.

Several factors may affect how much food your dog will need:

  • The size of the dog.
  • Level of activity
  • Age
  • Rate of metabolism

The dog’s daily requirements should be met. A good way to know how much your dog needs is by taking his weight in pounds and multiplying it by 30 calories.

Taking the average weight of the Black German Shepherd which is around 80 pounds this will be about 1600 calories daily.

Black German Shepherd Daily Food Consumption
Calories 1,600
Cups of Kibble 🍗🍗🍗🍗

To make it simpler for you to understand this is about 4 cups of dry food per day.

The meals should be divided into 3 portions, one in the morning, during the day, and another one in the evening. Dividing the meals is important to make sure that the dog’s stomach does not suffer from bloat which can be lethal.

Puppies may need to eat more than the adult Black Shepherds.

Some diets are made for large dogs such as this one which meets his nutritional requirements.

The diet should have a least 25% proteins and 18% fats and should have fewer fillers.

Proteins help in the development of muscles while fats provide the dog with energy and make the coat healthy and shiny.

Follow the feeding guidelines while checking the doggo’s weight. In case you notice any weight concerns you should give your vet a visit.

Exercising requirements

These are high energy and active dogs that love to play and exercise.

They excel in swimming, speed, and agility exercises.

About one hour of exercise per day will be more than enough for this doggie divided into two sessions.

You can go for a swim with this dog, go for mountain hikes, play in the yard, or even play with other dogs in the park. Just find something that can keep him healthy and active.

When you are taking this dog for a walk always make sure that you carry a leash with you so that you can have control over him.

If your doggo is going to play in the yard, you should make sure it is well fenced.

Some mental stimulation will also come in handy in making sure that he does not get bored and destructive.

Treasure hunt, hide and go seek and ring stackers are some good mind games that you can play with your Black Shepherd.

Number of walks 2 (30 minutes each)
Exercise needs upwards of 60 minutes


How to train a Black GSD

The Black GSD is an intelligent and highly trainable dog.

He is a dog that is eager to please and ready to learn new commands and tricks.

Positive reinforcement is the best way that you can go around training. What this means is that you train the dog through a reward-based system.

You reward your Black German shepherd for every command and correct behavior while just ignoring him if he does something you may not want.

Once you bring your pup home the first thing you will need to do is giving him some housebreaking training.

Another very important thing you will have to do is to start your obedience training as early as possible.

Your pup should know how he should behave himself whether he is the house or outside.

The training process can be hectic but you will need to have patience and be firm. Avoid any form of punishment as it never ends well.

As long as you will train this dog well, you should not have any problems.

If you get any problems with the pooch’s behavior or difficulties during training you should seek help from a certified breeder.

Socialization is also an important part of the training

Your puppy should be socialized early enough so that they can know how to behave with other humans and animals.

They should be able to interact with different environments and learn to form good associations with them.

You do not want a dog that becomes over-cautious with other pets and people when he gets older.

From moving machines to cyclists wearing helmets are some of the things that he should learn not to be wary about.

When he reacts in the correct manner give him a treat or just pet him for him to know it is the right thing to do.

Some of the health concerns

These dogs are generally healthy but may also suffer from some health conditions.

One of the biggest health issues that affect the Black German shepherd is hip and elbow dysplasia. But it is less prevalent in them than in the standard GSD.

Hip dysplasia is where the hip fails to develop correctly and results in its deterioration and weakening. This is can eventually become arthritis which is painful for the dog.

Lower the risk of Dysplasia:

  • Do not ever exercise your pup especially when he is in his rapid development stages.
  • Always check for the elbow and hip scores of the parent dogs and make sure that they are not high.

Osteoarthritis is also another condition that your Black GSD could suffer from. This is a joint condition that is painful for the dog and can even hinder joint movements.

It can be treated through medication and surgery in severe conditions.

Despite all these, with the proper care and diet your dog should be able to live for 9 to 13 years which is great for such a large dog.

Black German Shepherd Summary

When this dog is trained and socialized properly he grows up to become a well-rounded and family-friendly dog.

They are very smart dogs and it does not come as a surprise that they are preferred by the security forces.

He should also be given enough exercise and be kept mentally and physically stimulated.

They do not love being left alone for long periods as they could suffer from anxiety and stress and even become destructive.

Before you bring a dog home you should always be prepared to meet his needs and know that this is a lifetime commitment.

Have you had any experience with this dog? Leave us a comment in the section below giving us your thoughts and feedback.

There you go WOOF!!!

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