7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Black German Shepherd

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Black German ShepherdThe Black German Shepherd is a pure German Shepherd and doesn’t qualify as a separate breed, but it stands out because of its color 100% black. The Black German Shepherds are very rare, and for that reason, their price is much higher, you can expect to find a Black Shepherd puppy around $700 to $2000.

Stay with me and find out 7 things you didn’t know about this black beauty.

Read also:
Best diet for German Shepherds and dog food review

The Black German Shepherd Photo Gallery

Black Shepherd Puppy sitting in front of black background, studio portraitOne black and three standard color German shepherds in a profile attentively look afarBlack German Shepherd with family in the parkSolid Black German ShepherdBlack German Shepherd on black backgroundBlack German ShepherdBlack German Shepherd puppyfun beautiful black german shepherd dog runningBlack German Shepard dog with yellow toy ball isolated on light blue background. Studio shot.Black German Shepherd - Italian Alpsbeautiful black german shepherd dog outdoorsblack german shepherd with interesting look on black backgroundBlack German Shepherd near White DogClose-up of a Black German Shepherd dogblack German shepherd dog on the background of autumn

1. The Black German Shepherd is the same breed as the German Shepherd

Sometimes people think the Black German Shepherd is a different breed to the German Shepherd. This is not true. It belongs to the same breed but is referred to as the Black German Shepherd because… well, it’s entirely black! Black German Shepherd Dog sitting in the green grass with nature background

2. The Black German Shepherd and the standard variety have some different physical differences

What’s the same?

  • They have a large, muscular build
  • They have a fluffy tail
  • Their ears are erect
  • They have a double coat
  • They are heavy shedders

What’s different?

  • They are a solid black color
  • They can be larger
  • They often have a straighter back
  • Their coat can be longer, sometimes with a flowing mane (around the rear of the neck), skirting (on either side of the body between the front and back legs) and feathering (long hair on the ears, backs of legs and beneath the tail)

3. Black German Shepherd puppies are born black

All German Shepherd puppies are either born black, gray or white and can change color as they grow. Their true coat color can usually be determined at about 8 weeks of age. Black German Shepherd puppies are born black and will stay black through adulthood.

So, if you are looking for a solid Black German Shepherd puppy, you will want to get her at this age, and not before, in order to be sure she is indeed a solid black color.

4. A German Shepherd that is not black can produce Black German Shepherd puppies

Yes, you heard right. A German Shepherd that is, say, black and tan, can carry the recessive solid black gene and produce Black German Shepherd puppies. However, both parents must have the recessive gene for solid black to appear in the litter. So if you go to meet your puppy (not before 8 weeks of age, remember) and see that the parents aren’t solid black, don’t be surprised! It can happen. The second way solid Black German Shepherd puppies are produced is by mating two solid blacks. This mix can only produce a solid black litter.

5. The black color has NO negative effect on the dog

Solid Black German Shepherd near American flag Here’s where that negative stigma comes in; people can sometimes fear this dog due to its striking black color. The color of this dog does not affect its temperament. The Black German Shepherd is just as loyal, alert, active and intelligent as the standard variety and is not predisposed to aggression. She is often aloof at first, but once you bond with her, she will be your companion for life.

Black German Shepherds are also incredibly trainable and are used as police and military dogs, disability aid dogs, and obedience dogs.

Look how obedient this 11-month old Black Shepherd puppy is:

Just like any German Shepherd, their protective instinct can be strong. These are dogs that were used to herd and protect livestock, and they will do the same with their human pack! In the case of your family coming into danger, have no doubt this dog will defend you.

As a companion dog, however, you want her to recognize that not all people are a threat. Make sure you socialize her from a young age so that she gets on well with people in adulthood.

6. They can be pricey

Black German Shepherds are quite rare and for this reason tend to cost more, especially if they have the long, luxurious coat. While for a standard German Shepherd puppy the price ranges from $300 – 900, as mentioned above for a Black German Shepherd puppy you can expect to pay between $700 – 2000.

7. Like all German Shepherds, they are prone to health problems

The German Shepherd breed can, unfortunately, suffer from numerous health issues. The number one concern for this breed is hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. This condition occurs when the ball and socket joint is malformed and can result in arthritis or even lameness. This can be helped by maintaining a healthy weight in your dog. Other potential health problems include:

  • Heart disease
  • Spinal disease
  • Eye diseases
  • Digestive problems
  • Allergies
  • Cancer

Finding a reputable Black German Shepherd breeder

When buying any dog, finding a reputable breeder is imperative. One way you can do this is by asking for referrals from your veterinarian, friends, contacting local breed clubs or going to professional dog shows. Alternatively, you can search for breeders online.

How to recognize a responsible breeder

A responsible breeder will want to meet you in person and ask you questions to find out if the puppy is a good match for you. When you meet, they should be happy to show where the puppy was raised and you should also be able to meet the parents of your puppy. Make sure you inspect the health of both parents and the litter before buying.

Black German Shepherd breeders

Cute Black German shepherd puppy posing on white background Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous Black German Shepherd breeders who are in it just for the profit. This invariably means that they are less concerned about the quality of the dog, and the puppies can have health problems.

If they are a reputable breeder, they will be able to show you the history of the puppy’s parents and detailed information on their health.

Lucky for you I have done a bit of research myself on trustworthy Black German Shepherd breeders and am going to share the fruits of my labor.

Firstly, you can check out what puppies are available on AKC Marketplace, where you can search by breed, see pictures of the puppies and read about the breeder.

And here are some reputable German Shepherd breeders who breed Black German Shepherds, all of whom are registered with the AKC:


The Black Shepherd is a beautiful variety of the German Shepherd who is just as loyal, energetic and trainable. She is born a solid black color, has a straighter back and sometimes has longer hair than the standard variety. Remember, she can be a bit pricier, especially if her coat has the longer, luxurious look.

Like all German Shepherds, Black Shepherds are prone to numerous health problems. You should make sure you buy from a reputable breeder who can ensure your puppy is healthy and will live a long life.

Are you considering buying a Black Shepherd or do you already own one of these black beauties? Leave a comment below!

47 replies on “7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Black German Shepherd”

  • Sanders says:

    Hi, we have recently gotten a black German shepherd puppy. Her ears are not standing yet (she’s about12 weeks old). Where her ears fold near her head the hair seems thin and you can see her skin. Around her eyelids the hair is also thin. Is this normal? Her vet said they checked for mites. The skin doesn’t look irritated. We’re just wondering if we should be concerned.

    • Em says:

      Hey! I have a 7 month old black German shepherd and he was a “late bloomer” w his ears. But no worries they eventually perked up beautifully. I wouldn’t stress about the ears yet.

    • Dan says:

      It’s completely normal. The fur will fill out and her ears will stand up.

    • Kevin says:

      I’ve had a couple German Shepherds, it took 6 months for his ear to stand up 100% of the time, I had another where the ears were standing at 3 months, I did a lot of research and asked a lot of breeders and all said same thing, every dog is different, do t worry his ears will stand up.

    • Bill says:

      Ours came up at 14 weeks and hes a beauty

    • No worries…. some dogs with pointed ears don’t get fully erect ears for some time and very often one will come up before the other by a week! Don’t worry…. if it’s a Shepherd, it will happen. Thin fur around the ears and eyes is normal in some individuals although it’s more common in dilute colors like blue and fawn in most breeds. If your vet did a skin scrape to check for demodex mites which are commonly found in young dogs and it seems to get worse… have your vet repeat the scrape again to check. Sometimes those suckers don’t appear until it looks worse.

    • Caron says:

      As all have said here no worries, however be sure not to let people really go near the ears and be aware that the ears and teething are in direct correlation to one another. Also be sure to give your pup lots to chew on as this will make the jaw muscles stronger thus helping the pups ears to go up. My black gsd is just a little over 5mos and one ear stands while the other tips over at the tip, but she is really losing a lot of her teeth on that side so it stands to reason. Also I got Fiona at 12 weeks and both ears were flopped over. Good luck with your new baby!

    • Ivan says:

      My black German Shepards ears were up at 5 weeks , all are different some come early some come late .

    • Hank the tank says:

      Hank the tank

      Hey there done worry about the ears lol ! They will atand up the black german is alot stonger then people realize it takes quite a bit longer to grow then thw normal german shepard. There can be 8 to 12 months diffrence in last grow spert.. i have a little guy his ears seemed to be taking along time to come up fully then aroubd 5 months they stick up mega!! Also ve perpared because when everone elses puppys slow down keep feeding your black gsd because they need it mine grew in hight in 32months old… yup.. 32.. if your got a pure breed black gsd… good luck because they will grow bigger then you exspect and have way more energy then most dogs. Be ready

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    • Lorrie says:

      GSD ears

      Not all GSD have erect ears, though most do. Ours is pure breed, American line, 120# 2yr old with droopy ears. His mom had one up and one down. It’s a genetics thing. Actually he was given to us by breeder to train as service dog because she couldn’t sell him.

  • eve says:

    Nice article..I have two german shepherds(not pure) one tan and the girl black…she is too adorable…eventhough the male tends to bark a lot n shes d quiet one, sometimes i think that she has more animalistic side…n she is very intelligent

  • Nat says:

    We just brought a 18mth old fixed male black german sherpard yesterday & intertroced him to my fixed 3 leggered female collie cross, she growled at him, he took no notice but we gave them time to stiff, get used to each other outside while hving the leads on. We took them inside, dog chased the cat, we growled at him & he sniffed around & then settled dwn fr the night. Later on he was sleeping nxt to her fr ages but after waking up, he attacked her, bit into her ear & ripped a hole into the side of her cheekbone which bleed of cause. I tore him away frm her & put him outside. This morning when she went out to go out to the toilet, he pulled forward on his train & barked at her in which made her drop to the ground & shake like anything. I had to carry her inside the house & calm her down & now she won’t go out the back section. Plz help?

  • Zero says:

    I have a black German Shepherd puppy and I absolutely adore him! Never thought I’d be lucky enough to come across with one!

  • Jackie wilson says:

    I purchased an 8 week old puppy from local animal shelter. I was told she was border collie lab cross. However as an adult she has all the characteristics of a black german shepherd. She is a beautiful dog.

  • Judy says:

    I have an 8 month on black German shepherd with beige below the knees in the inner thighs are white, I got him on PetFinders. He is very sociable and very relaxed compared to my black and tan female that I got. They’re both beautiful but like Night and day I think the black and tan is ADD and the black it’s just Joe cool . I love them both and would not trade them for the world !!!

  • Andrea says:

    I’m just starting to research the breed. I know that well informed dog owners know who the good, and less reputable breeders are of their purebred of choice. I’m hoping to maybe get pointed in the right direction. Thank you

  • Denna Zane says:

    We have a black boy, gs who is magnificent. He is four years old and so sweet and affectionate. He is
    a protection-trained but no one would ever know it. The only problem we have right now is that he is
    grieving the recent of his companion. He has placed himself in vigil over her grave and will only come to
    me. They were very close. We have tried to socialize him with the other gs’s but he won’t have any part
    of it. I am devastated to have lost Emily to renal failure. I am currently his companion but I also grieve
    her loss. He is older and quite large which is going to make it even harder to find another friend for
    him. If anyone has any ideas please contact me.

  • donna mcgirr says:

    I have a black German shepherd she is nine months old and her ears have not pricked she does. prick them sometimes when out playing when she was about four months she had one of them pricked and the other one three quarters up for a few months she did this why won’t they prick

  • Annie says:

    We own a black GS and love her so much. Is actually adopted her from an individual that had found her abandoned on the side of a road at 4 weeks old. This individual saved her and then I adopted her at 12 weeks old. I love that she’s all black and not the “typical” German shepherd colors. She’s beautiful, kind, playful, intelligent. and super protective of my and my children. I couldn’t ask for a better dog other then our other dog who is a rotti/shepherd mix. We don’t need “full blood” breeds to love our dogs. They are both just as wonderful as any full breed is. I’m just happy we found the dogs we have because they give our family so much joy and security. I can’t imagine not having them. They will both be a year old this month.

  • Gavin says:

    I have a black German shepherd as well , but it’s not all black. The under neath of her chin is white. I didn’t know if it changed its breed as not an all black or if it’s kind of like having a birth mark not changing you. She has a straight back and her ears stand straight up, very well trained. But I have no idea if she’s what we think she is because of the white part under her.

    • Proud gsd mama says:

      Magnificent gsd black w white

      My boy is pure black with a white chest, white toes and chin. He is magnificent and so good with dogs and people. He is a trained therapy dog that visits hospitals. He is no less a great gsd than if pure black. He is 7 and people who have not seen him in 6 months swear he is still growing taller. Those of you with black gsds enjoy them for who they are.

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  • Jana says:

    We have a pure white German Shepard and he’s a wonderful dog. We just purchased a black German Shepard a couple of days ago. (our fourth German Shepard. We’re addicted to these dogs, love them) She’s 7 1/2 weeks old very adorable and so far seems very smart. Can’t wait to see how the rest of our journey with her goes.

  • keith B says:

    I have breeding GSD for 46 years.
    Solid black GSD for 20 years.
    This is a FACT
    You can tell if a German Shepherd puppy is solid black and if it’s going to stay solid black all its life at a few hours old no ifs !!!
    If there is going to be any,
    any other color besides black(tan, red, creme, silver, grey)
    It will show up around the anus of the dog all the time zero, zero exceptions.
    No Ifs !!
    Yoi do not have yo wait until 8 weeks or even 1 week
    Iy can be determined within
    hours, hours after birth

    • harry kougias says:

      where are you located will be interested in buying an all black g.s. in the future no rush i have an 11year old now.. and what is your price !!!!!

  • Scott Wolf says:

    Hi just got a black beauty puppy male what a great dog!!

  • laura sherfey says:

    Hi, my husband has wanted an all black german shephard his whole life. we currently have a pure yellow lab but she is going on 13 yrs and im not sure how much left she has 🙁 I really want a rescue… any chance there is a black german shepard that is still a puppy and needs to be rescued???? that way we compromise… if anyone knows of one, please email me at [email protected] and keep my info please for the future!!! thanks!!!!!

    • Suzanne Chapman says:

      Black GSD owner

      I have a long haired pure black GSD.
      The best dog in the world.
      She is somewhat of a princess and people are scared of her but I cherish every day with this magnificent creature.
      We love our GSDs!!

    • Michelle says:

      They are. Out there!

      Yes! You can rescue a bgs puppy! We did and he is the sweetest! They are out there. Tell your local shelter you are looking for one!

  • Leigh ann says:

    I just got a black German Shepard puppy. She is 6 weeks old. Eating on her own. My question is she looks like a lab puppy. Is this normal? The parents are full blooded with mom having the general markings of brown and black. She is short haired and the dad is white and he’s really tall. I just am confused because she looks like a lab.

    • Amanda Connolly says:

      Yep it's possible!

      The gene for all black is recessive, so two parents with that gene who are grown can make a black puppy. My black gs sometimes looks lab like to people but she’s all Shepherd!

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  • Juan says:

    Hi i just have a question i have a black german shepherd he is 1 1/2 when i got him he was solid black but now that hes older his legs are changing colors looks kinda like light brown will he change solid black again or why do they change colors

    • Amanda Connolly says:

      My guess is age.

      When we got our black gs she was pure black. If the sun is on her you can see a little brown underneath and she’s getting white hairs now too. Just age!

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  • Joy says:

    Years ago I purchased a black german shepherd for my then 4 year old grandson. She was 5 months when I purchased her. She was extremely large for a female and the sweetest dog. She was protective of the family but got along with other dogs and people as long as they didn’t appear to threaten the family. The only person she didn’t like the was the mailman. In her mind he was taking something from the house. She live to be 13 years old. My grandson, my daughter and myself were with her when she passed. It was one of the saddest days I had experienced.

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  • Lesley says:

    Lovely dog

    We have a 6 year old solid black female. Beautiful dog and a lovely temperament. Big for a girl and has a straight back but still has one bad hip which she has supplements for. Great with children ( tho does try to ‘save’ them if they are in the pool or sea)
    She follows us around the house and is so gentle with our cats. She’s perfect.

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  • Jim says:

    While not all BGS are from German Working lines…most of the better ones are. European lines are better because the governing dog associations know how to control breeding. To breed in Germany the dogs go through a rigid set of evaluations concerning temperment, dna, blood lines, and confirmation. In the US…no so much. Thank you AKC.

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  • Kristina Cowling says:

    [email protected]

    I have a question… I have a beautiful black shepherd my daughter rescued from a kill shelter. He is about 7 years old… he has come down with Discoid Lupus, does anyone have any suggestions on a homeopathic treatment? Right now he takes 6 Doxycycline and 2 niacinamide every day. I feel like I’m just poisoning him… any suggestions?

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  • Ella says:

    Love my BGS

    Just adopted a 1 1/2yr old BGS male. He’s been in foster care for months after being found on the streets. He’s super smart, well trained and very affectionate. Great companion for our 2 yr old Lab female. He’s great athlete but very thin and lanky compared to the Lab. Wondering if this is due to his lack of long term home. If he’s like everyone else in house, I’m guessing he’ll fill out. Lab eats Acana, he’s been eating Blue Buffalo grain free. Any suggestion for best food to help him stay lean but muscle up?

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  • JTT says:

    Wow! Great reading. I’ve had two “regular” black and tanGerman Shepherds but the all black is so striking.
    They are definitely not for rookie owners. Nor would I recommend the breed to an owner(s) who might be working a typical 40 hour work week. Best if you can interact with them constantly. And they do shed! But overall I love the breed.

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  • Carol Fiori says:

    BGS 10 month old female puppy

    I have a 10 month old BGS and she is our “wild child”! She is scared smart and very protective! We are having a difficult time training her! She does whatever she wants! It’s like she owns us! We love her more than anything in the world! We she ever calm down? Is it just because she’s a puppy?

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  • F2 KICKS says:


    I have 2 German Shepherds, a black one and a brown and black one. They are very protective and they will love you if you give them time in your day like 2 hour every 12 hours.

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  • Brady says:

    I have a black German Shepherd female 2 and 1/2 years old absolutely the best guard dog I’ve ever had in my life with no training whatsoever seriously but only joking side if my girlfriend is mad at me for whatever reason the dog will not let her get even close to me God damn I love my dog German Shepherds are the best by No Doubt

  • meee says:

    Loki the sneaky black Shepard

    my black Shepard is too cute so loving and didn’t cost a butt load

  • Bartholomew Divine says:

    I have a black gsd it has a straight ear at 8week and can eat well .I love my black gsd hoping to get more

  • Zuca says:

    My friend owns a 3yr old male black.He is looking to breed him any suggestions.
    I have video of him and can get pictures as well…

    Good information as well thanks…

  • Beist says:

    I have trained, bred and shown conformation dogs for 50 years, worked in veterinarian medicine, physical therapy and massage for dogs and the studies of wild canids, to understand dog behavior, I also work and study of aggression and handled aggressive dogs, I’ve worked with dogs for police and military, I’ve been along time German Shepherd owner and breeder of imported working lines. I’m going to reply to some of the issues that people have mentioned, the ear issue is basically what everyone has said don’t worry about it unless it’s genetic, their ears will stand and fall while they are losing their puppy teeth which by 5 to 6 months they will have their adult teeth, to you have to be careful while the ear cartilage is soft because it they are kept where the ears are bend down will cause the ears to be broken and will not stand and if the ears are solf some people will glue a hair roller ( the form part) inside of the ears to hold them up to stand, the problem with the dog biting the ear of the other dog to me sounds like they have a very dominant dog, German Shepherds have to be watched around other dogs, but not being able to see what is going on is kind of hard to tell how to correct the issue but owners need to be in charge and have that leadership role, domestic dogs do not see it in the same way that wild canids do as far as a pack, but there is a pecking order, submissive signaling in domestic dogs does not stop or prevent a aggressive dog from fighting as it does in wild cainds, domestic dogs will fight to the dead , and some dogs can’t be kept with other dogs. The owners need to get control of the dog and do some OB training on the dog a long with teaching it the do’s and don’ts and what his is his and what’s your is yours and the comman “ leave it” and a GSD you can’t be in control like a solf voice but in a voice that you mean it just as you would do your kids, well I’m going to stop here because this comment will become a book lol

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