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Black German Shepherd Puppies – A Guide To This Rare Breed

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The black German shepherd is a rare and highly sought-after variety of the standard German shepherd dog breed.

Although multiple color variations of GSD exist, black German shepherd puppies are one of the most popular thanks to their sleek, handsome coats.

The pitch-black color that gives these dogs their magnificent appearance is the result of a naturally occurring recessive gene.

Black German Shepherd Puppy

This means black German shepherds have naturally existed for quite some time, but they are much rarer than their black and tan counterparts.

When properly socialized from a young age, black German shepherds make wonderful companions and excellent guard dogs. However, they aren’t for everyone! These large doggos are best suited for experienced owners with large homes and fenced-in yards.

If you are looking for a handsome companion that can double as a guard dog, the black German shepherd is a fantastic choice! Keep on reading to find out more about this rare variety and decide if it is the right canine for you.

Black German Shepherd Breed Overview 

  • Size – 22 to 26 inches tall; weighs from 50 to 90 pounds
  • Coat – Dense, straight or wavy double coat; black in color
  • Shedding – Heavy shedding
  • Lifespan – 9 to 13 years
  • Trainability – Highly trainable 
  • Activity – Highly energetic; needs around one hour of exercise every day
  • Best For – Experienced owners, families with kids, homes with fenced yards 

What Is An All-Black German Shepherd Puppy?

Black German shepherds are a color variation of the standard German shepherd dog. While they may look completely different, these dogs are the same breed, and the black variety is recognized in the official GSD standard. 

While purebred black German shepherd puppies can compete in dog shows, they are often overlooked in favor of the classic black and tan look. 

This doesn’t mean black German shepherds are bad in competitions. It’s more likely that black and tan and sable color schemes are simply more synonymous with the German shepherd breed standard. 

History Of The Black German Shepherd

The German shepherd breed was originally developed in 1899 by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to create the ultimate herding dog. These dogs were later used by the military as messengers, sentries, guards, supply carriers, and rescuers. 

While black and tan is the quintessential German shepherd for most people, black GSDs have existed alongside them since the breed’s creation and are just a different color variation of the same breed. 

Black German Shepherd Appearance

Black German shepherds look a lot like standard German shepherds. They possess all the same physical traits and have the breed’s classic look with a few tiny differences.

Black shepherds tend to be slightly larger than the average GSD, and most have a straighter back.

When it comes to features, you can expect your black German shepherd puppy to have a clear-cut head, pointed ears, a long snout, almond-shaped brown eyes, and a black nose.

When it comes to their general appearance, here’s what else you can expect:


Black German shepherds are large, strong, and well-muscled dogs. Males are usually around 24 to 26 inches tall at the withers and weigh between 65 and 90 pounds.

Female dogs are typically smaller and stand between 22 and 24 inches tall and weigh from 50 to 75 pounds. 

Coat Color

According to the breed’s standard, the German shepherd dog varies in color, and most colors are permissible. The average GSD can be black and tan, black, sable, grey, red and black, or even black and silver.

In German shepherds, black coats are caused by a recessive gene. This means a puppy needs to inherit two copies of a recessive gene (from both mom and dad) in order to have a black coat. 

For example, if you mate two sable German shepherds that carry this recessive gene, a quarter of their puppies will have a black coat.

However, if you breed a black German shepherd with a sable dog that carries the gene, roughly half of their litter will be black in color. 

Breeding two black German shepherds is the only guaranteed way to produce a litter of completely black puppies. 

Bear in mind that all German shepherd puppies change color as they grow.

If you are looking for a completely black German shepherd puppy, don’t purchase the pup until they are 10 weeks old to ensure that their coat isn’t going to change color later in their life. 

Coat Texture

These pitch-black canines have a medium-to-long double coat. The coat can be either straight or wavy and will shed all year long and go through two blowouts – once in the spring and again in the fall. 

If you decide to welcome a black GSD into your home, be prepared to welcome lots of loose doggy hair as well!

Since these doggos shed a lot, invest in a powerful pet hair vacuum cleaner and be prepared to vacuum every day to keep your home clean and tidy. 

Black German Shepherd Temperament And Character 

Black German shepherds are best known for their loyal, courageous, obedient, and watchful temperament. Thanks to their protective nature and working history, they make amazing guard dogs that will fiercely protect your family and your home.

Naturally protective of their owners, German shepherds are often deemed aggressive by people who aren’t familiar with this breed.

It’s important to note that German shepherds aren’t inherently aggressive and won’t exhibit aggressive behavior unless trained otherwise.

A properly trained and socialized black GSD puppy will get along well with people outside the family but remain a loyal guardian and protector. They are naturally wary of strangers, so early socialization and consistent training are a must!

Although they can be a bit aloof and standoffish around people they don’t know well, these highly intelligent and obedient pups can learn to perform a variety of complex tricks and tasks.

Although they are working dogs at heart, black GSD make wonderful companions and even get along with children and other pets when properly socialized.

The only downside of being a great family dog is these pooches don’t like to be left alone and can easily develop separation anxiety.

An anxious or stressed black shepherd will turn to destructive behavior to relieve their frustrations. As a result, your black German shepherd pup may decide to chew woodwork, destroy your home, or bark loudly

While they are not the best choice for first-time owners, black shepherds make fantastic family pets and companions when properly trained and socialized.

Because they tend to get so attached to their people, these pups are better off in homes where someone is usually around to keep them company.

Activity Level

Highly energetic and agile, these handsome solid black pups need regular exercise to stay healthy and in good shape. Luckily, they aren’t very picky when it comes to activities and are up for anything as long as it gets them moving.

Apart from at least two daily walks, your black German shepherd pup will also enjoy running, jogging, hiking, cycling, swimming, or any other activity that allows them to spend time with you.

These athletic pooches love playing dog games and will run after a ball for hours on end as long as you’re there to throw it. 

Caring For Black German Shepherd Puppy

While they are not harder to care for than standard German shepherds, your black GSD still needs a lot of love, care, and affection to stay happy and thrive.

It is crucial to design a consistent care routine for your pooch and keep track of regular veterinary check ups to detect any health problems early on. 

When creating a care routine for your GSD puppy, pay special attention to the following factors:


The black German shepherd is a highly energetic dog that needs at least one hour of intense exercise every day. As mentioned earlier, these dogs aren’t picky when it comes to activities and will do just about anything to burn off excess energy. 

Enrolling your puppy in agility classes is a great way to keep them exercised and can be a fun and entertaining experience for them.

Games such as fetch, flyball, Frisbee, tug-of-war, and hide and seek are also great options and will keep your pooch exercised and entertained. 

Intellectual Stimulation

Black German shepherds are highly intelligent dogs that can easily become bored, frustrated, and destructive when not mentally stimulated. A bored or anxious black shepherd can cause serious damage to your home and belongings. 

Invest in puzzle toys and interactive feeders to keep your pup occupied in a safe and constructive way whenever you aren’t at home.

These interactive toys are specially designed to keep clever pooches like black German shepherds mentally stimulated and entertained when you aren’t there to keep your pup stimulated. 


Loyal and devoted to a fault, black GSD puppies make superb family dogs and companions. They form strong bonds with their people and are happiest when they can spend time and interact with their families.

While they are large and intimidating at first, these pups are loving companions that crave affection and attention.

German shepherds don’t like being left alone, and they can easily develop separation anxiety when they are away from their owners for long periods of time.

If you work long hours or travel a lot, this isn’t the right dog for you. Black German shepherd puppies need company and are best suited for homes where someone is around all day. 


The black German shepherd is a high-maintenance dog when it comes to grooming. If your pup has a medium-length coat, brush them two to three times a week to remove loose hair and keep their coat in pristine condition.

If their coat is long, daily brushing is a must; otherwise, your pup’s fur will end up matted and tangled. 

Use a de-shedding tool to remove loose hair and minimize the shedding during spring and fall. To further reduce shedding, bathe your GSD with an anti-shed dog shampoo every two months or as necessary. 

As part of your regular grooming routine, inspect your pup’s ears for mites, dirt, and waxy buildup once a week and clean as necessary. You should also brush their teeth at least three times a week and trim their nails every other month. 


An ideal diet for black German shepherds should be formulated for a large-sized dog with high energy.

When choosing the best food for your pooch, make sure it contains higher levels of protein, a moderate amount of fat, and easily digestible complex carbohydrates.

Keep in mind that black German shepherd puppies grow extremely quickly between the ages of four and seven months, which makes them susceptible to bone disorders. Feed your pup high-quality, low-calorie food to prevent them from growing too rapidly.

Known Health Problems

As a breed, German shepherds are considered generally healthy. The recessive gene that causes a black coat in German shepherds doesn’t affect their health in any negative way.

Black GSD and all other German shepherds are prone to the same health problems, including:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a hereditary condition that causes malformation of a hip joint. Affected dogs may or may not show clinical signs of this condition, but in most cases, dogs experience pain and lameness in one or both hind legs. 
  • Elbow Dysplasia: This is another hereditary condition commonly seen in large breeds. This condition is caused by varying growth rates of the three bones that make up the elbow, resulting in joint looseness.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: Also known as bloat, GDV is a life-threatening condition that affects large, deep-chested dog breeds, particularly if they are fed one large meal a day, eat rapidly, drink a lot of water after eating, or exercise just after a meal. Bloat happens when a dog’s stomach gets filled with air or gas and then twists. 
  • Degenerative Myelopathy: This is a progressive disease of the spinal cord. This condition affects the part of the cord that gives information to the brain regarding the rear legs. Dogs with this condition don’t know where their hind legs are and can’t use them properly.


The black German shepherd has an average lifespan of around 9 to 13 years. With proper care and regular veterinary checkups, these pups can reach their senior years in good health. 

Training A Black German Shepherd Puppy

Black German shepherd puppies are highly intelligent and obedient, which makes them very easy to train. These pups are fairly easy to housetrain, and they also learn obedience commands after just a few repetitions. 

Like all other dogs, black German shepherds thrive on reward-based training and a lot of praise. Positive reinforcement training techniques are highly effective for training puppies and adult dogs and are much more reliable than dominance training

Besides training, you should start socializing your black GSD puppy as soon as you bring them home. Since these pups are naturally aloof with strangers, early socialization is essential and will help your dog to become friendlier to other people. 

Try to expose your puppy to as many people, places, situations, animals, children, and sounds from a young age to help them grow into an outgoing dog. 

Who Should Own A Black German Shepherd?

Properly trained and socialized black German shepherd pups make wonderful companions to people of all ages and families with children. 

Due to their large size and highly energetic nature, these dogs are best suited for large homes with spacious, fenced yards.

While they can live outdoors, black shepherds should primarily be kept indoors so they can regularly interact with their people and stay close to them.

In addition, because of their high social needs and potential to develop separation anxiety, they thrive in families where someone is at home often and able to keep them company.

If you live alone, travel a lot, or have long working hours, the black GSD isn’t the right breed for you. 

Buying Purebred Black German Shepherd Puppies

The black GSD is a highly sought-after variety of the already extremely popular German shepherd dog breed. However, when compared to other varieties, black German shepherds are quite rare and hard to come by. 

Finding a reputable breeder might require a bit of research on your part, but all the extra effort will pay off in the long run.

Since black German shepherds are rare and in demand, be mindful of puppy mills and unethical breeders who just want to make a quick buck. 

A reputable breeder will have no problem showing you the puppy’s parents and papers of parentage.

Avoid dealing with any breeder who doesn’t want to show you these or claims that the puppy’s coat won’t change color even if the puppy is less than 10 weeks old. 

In terms of price, black German shepherd puppies on average cost between $1,000 and $2,500. However, the exact price depends on a lot of factors, namely the breeder, supply and demand in your area, and pedigree and quality of both parent breeds. 

FAQs About Black German Shepherd Puppies

Are black German shepherds good family dogs?

Black German shepherds make wonderful family pets and companions. Naturally loyal and devoted to their owners, they like to be close to their people and spend lots of time by their side.

Plus, due to their protective nature, black German shepherds make excellent watchdogs and will always feel the urge to watch over you and your family. 

Wrapping Up: Is The Black German Shepherd For You?

The black German shepherd is a rare and absolutely stunning color variation of a standard German shepherd dog.

Loyal and protective of their owners, these dogs make fantastic family companions and can also serve as vigilant guard dogs. If you want to bring a black shepherd pup home, be prepared to:

  • Exercise your pooch for at least one hour every day
  • Start training and socialization from a young age
  • Groom your dog at least three times a week 

Do you own a black German shepherd dog? What do you like the most about your pooch?

Share your experience owning this gorgeous dog with us and our readers in the comment section below!

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Black German Shepherd Puppies - Everything You Need To Know - German Shepherd Mommy next to two black German Shepherd Puppies

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