Black German Shepherd: Are These GSD Dog Breeds Rare?

Last Updated on July, 2024

This beautiful black dog is a loyal companion and an aggressive and protective guard. German Shepherds are known to be good guard dogs. The Black German Shepherd is no different. 

This athletic and EXTREMELY intelligent breed is very protective of its owners. They take to training very well, which makes them the PERFECT guard dog. 

This INFO GUIDE on the Black German Shepherd will provide you with all the information you need to know to understand the breed better. 

German Shepherds are big and muscular dogs with an athletic build. Compared to other breeds of dogs, German Shepherds have a regal feel to them. 

Let’s start with the basics, where does the breed originate from?

Quick Summary

Black German Shepherds are a rare breed of dog with a solid black coat, and they originated in Germany.

Black German Shepherds require proper care and grooming, a healthy diet, and regular vet visits to maintain good health. They are also easy to train and have a variety of common health issues that owners should be aware of.

Some key points to consider when thinking about owning a Black German Shepherd include their appearance and personality, grooming and breeding, common health issues, and the importance of providing proper care and nutrition for this breed.

The History of Black German Shepherds

black dog laying down in the garden

This breed of dog was originally bred as a herding dog. Way back in the 1890s, the Black German Shepherd made its first appearance. 

The Solid Black GSD was favored as herding dogs at the time because they took directions very well and performed with very little training. 

From the origins, it is evident that these dogs, being as INTELLIGENT as they are, were easy to train. 

This is why to this day, German Shepherds are considered some of the best GUARD DOGS!

Dog owners love the appearance of the Black German Shepherd. This breed of the German Shepherd is carried in the genetics of a purebred German Shepherd, which holds the color of the coat (BLACK) in its genes.

This working dog is a wonderful dog that makes excellent family pets. However, the rare nature of the Black German Shepherd makes it an expensive pick. 

As you may have judged by the name, German Shepherds, including the Black German Shepherd, originate from Germany. They played a part in the First World War as service dogs. 

The exact year of origination hovers around 1899; however, the very year is speculated among breeders and dog enthusiasts. 

This German breed of dog makes excellent service dogs, which is why they have been selected over the years by breeders, law enforcement authorities, and dog owners alike.

About Black German Shepherds

Black German Shepherds have erect ears. It is these erect ears that make them such great guard dogs. They have EXCELLENT hearing and are very responsive to sound. Not just that, but they have a keen sense of smell and can be trained to sniff out illegal substances. 


The Black German Shepherd has a double coat and is a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

It is this double coat which makes their fur really soft. If you have ever touched a German Shepherd, you would know how smooth this double coat can be. 

They have a height of between 22 to 26 Inches and can weigh between 50 to 90 pounds. 

SOLID Black German Shepherds have a solid black coat. They shed just as much as any other German Shepherd. 

black shepherd lying on the beach sand

There are many types of German Shepherds, and the Black German Shepherd is one such breed. The Tan German Shepherd is another breed, which has a different color to the Black German Shepherd. 

The standard German Shepherd features are all present in the Black German Shepherd, erect ears, pointed muzzle, and a glaring look. They have dark-colored eyes, and bluish colors of eyes in this breed are EXTREMELY RARE!

A solid Black German Shepherd is solid black, which is how you differentiate a Black German Shepherd from other breeds of German Shepherds. 

They have a medium or long coat, which is hard to determine when looking at German Shepherd puppies. 

Two of the most common characteristics of this breed are the EYE CATCHING black coat and the unmistakable mark, which is its bushy tail. Some pups are born black, while others have black and tan counterparts.

How Big Does a Black German Shepherd Get?

These are pure black military dogs that are made black by a rare recessive gene. Like other German Shepherd dogs, the Black German Shepherd can grow to a height of about 26 inches.

This is a large dog in comparison to other breeds of dogs. Though at the puppy stage, a pure Black Shepherd will not weigh that much. 

Black German Shepherd puppies are about 1 pound when born and grow to about 15 pounds at eight weeks. 

As full-grown adults, however, they could weigh over 90 pounds. Though not as big as breeds such as Saint Bernard, who weigh as much as an average human, Black GSDs are still considered large and will grow to almost half the size of an adult human. 

A Black German Shepherd dog is a rather large dog. They make EXCELLENT guard dogs, making their size perfect for the job!

Other rare colors of Germen Shepherds.


At a young age, they are known to be very playful. Black German Shepherd puppies are adorable at a young age.

As the years pass and the Black German Shepherd grows into an adult, they become stern with a more authoritarian personality when it comes to fun. 

That being said, Black GSDs have a warm personality toward their owners.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes these dogs as courageous, confident, and intelligent.

They have a calm temperament, which is why they make such great working dogs. 

a black shepherd dog is playing

Working dogs such as the Black German Shepherd are helpful in law enforcement, farming, and other walks of life. They even make great companion dogs for the blind. 

They have a loving personality, and a properly trained Black German Shepherd can be considered safe around children.

Though I would be careful with untrained dogs of this breed, a trained and familiar pet, which is part of the family, will have the intelligence to know the children, thereby unleashing their playful side. 

These Black GSDs are very active dogs. They love playing fetch or running after squirrels. 

All in all, Black German Shepherds have an award-winning personality, making the breed great as a working dog and companions as a pet. 


True Black German Shepherds are born BLACK, solid black.

Other dogs of other colors and breeds can be easily differentiated by the apparent solid black of a Black German Shepherd puppy. 

The black puppy is an EXPENSIVE dog, which will cost you a pretty penny.

Considering the value of a German Shepherd puppy, illegal operations called puppy mills, where puppies are bred using unethical standards, are common. 

a black shepherd puppy is sitting on the floor

However, if you are searching for a Black Shepherd puppy, you should, by ALL means, AVOID even considering puppy mills. 

The Black German Shepherd puppy has a very playful nature. If you have seen German Shepherd puppies, you will note how lively they are with each other. Black German Shepherd puppies are no different. 

These are adorable creatures that make AMAZING pets. So if the Black German Shepherd entices you, maybe it is time to consider bringing a puppy home!

German Shepherds make INCREDIBLE family pets. If you can find one at a young age, you can train the dog VERY well!

Essential Facts About the Black GSD

black shepherd dog standing on the road

The Black GSD is known to be a healthy dog; however, the dog’s health depends on factors such as the breeder. The breeder is responsible for caring for the puppy’s parents, so you must consider the breeder. 

How well the breeding dogs are treated will determine the puppies’ health; hence, TRUSTING a reputable breeder is an essential necessity. 

Black German Shepherds are a double-coated breed of dog and have fur, not hair. Their fur does shed; hence you should be aware of fur shedding.

They require a high-quality diet to maintain optimum health and awareness. 

Apart from their AMAZING hearing, they have a keen sense of smell, which is why they serve well in Law Enforcement. 

Their protective nature is also another reason they make such great guard dogs.

The Black German Shepherd is black because the black gene determines the coat color. Technically, Black Shepherds are not a breed of their own. The breed is the German Shepherd. However, Black Shepherds are unique in color and rare. 

The German Shepherd is known to be a LOYAL dog breed, which is why they make EXCELLENT family pets!

The breed standard will tell you that these dogs have a GREAT personality, so they make great companion dogs. 

Living Conditions of Black German Shepherd Breed

black shepherd dog sitting down on the ground

Black German Shepherds are big dogs that need a bit of space. 

Now here is the sad part, because these dogs are known to be aggressive, many times, these dogs are caged up. However, it is essential to note that the personality of a caged animal is very different from one allowed to roam free. 

The living conditions are dependent on the dog owner. It is more likely that many people looking to get this BEAUTIFUL and rare Black GSD don’t intend to keep the dog caged up. 

Just like any pet, it is best that you create a space for them. If you can, maybe make them a lovely little Dog Home. 

You must feed a Black German Shepherd two to three times a day. These are big dogs that require quite a bit of food. 

The health of the dog is dependent on the food you feed it. The diet will play a significant role in the health and well-being of the dog. Hence, ensuring that a Black German Shepherd is fed a high-quality diet rich in nutrients will ensure better well-being. 

The health of the coat is an indication of the health of the dog. Dogs with healthy coats are generally intended to be healthy.

Further to feeding and creating a space for them, you will also have to separate a little drinking bowl because these guys get thirsty, especially when given the freedom to run around. 

The living conditions you create for the dog determine the dog’s personality. The Black GSD has a beautiful personality that deserves your attention and care. 

Though these dogs can be aggressive and are considered guard dogs, it is best not to cage them up unless necessary. 

Black German Shepherd Grooming and Breeding

Black GSDs have thick fur, which does require grooming. You will most certainly have to clean and brush the coat on an occasional basis. 

If you don’t want to pay heaps of money to have a dog professionally groomed, all you will need is some good dog shampoo and a nice brush, and you can give it a good grooming at HOME.

Apart from the fur, which will have to be cleaned, their nails do grow quite fast, and it is essential that you clip these nails so it doesn’t end up hurting due to overgrown nails.

A Black German Shepherd dog is black due to a recessive gene. The color of the offspring is in the hands of the breeder.

2 german shepherds lying on the grass ground

Though sourcing through a breeder can help you get your hands on a rare color, such as the Black German Shepherd, the local animal shelter may have dogs looking for a new home. Who knows, you may find a Black German Shepherd at the shelter. 

When it comes to breeding, reputable Black German Shepherd breeders will use ethical breeding standards to ensure that the parent dogs are adequately cared for and fed a high-quality diet. 

Similarly, if you are lucky, you may be able to source a Black German Shepherd puppy through a reputable breeder, who may have naturally bred offspring at home. 

While a male German Shepherd can start breeding after 12 months of age, a female German Shepherd will have to wait until the third heat cycle, which usually occurs between 18 and 24 months. 

How Easy Are Black German Shepherds to Train?

Black German Shepherds are EXTREMELY intelligent creatures. They are brilliant and attentive and are eager to communicate and express themselves. 

These traits make it easy for you to train a German Shepherd.

When it comes to dogs, German Shepherds are considered one of the most trainable breeds of dogs. They take quickly to instructions and can understand commands. 

A professional dog trainer can work wonders with a German Shepherd.

black shepherd dog in training

Have you seen police dogs sniffing out drugs? That is because these German Shepherds can be trained to find a smell.

You don’t necessarily need a professional dog trainer to train a Black GSD. The breed is much easier to train than other dogs. In fact, you have a better chance of being able to train a German Shepherd than any other breed of dog. 

If you need help training a German Shepherd, plenty of online resources can instruct and guide you on what you need to do to train your dog to basic and advanced commands. 

Though it may be difficult for you to master these instructions and train other breeds of a dog, like a Saint Bernard, when it comes to training a German Shepherd known to take EXTREMELY well to training, you will find it a breeze. 

The Black German Shepherd is more attentive, responsive, energetic, and alert than other dog breeds; it is considered more intelligent than other breeds of dogs. 

Considering all this, it goes without saying that you will have an easier time training a German Shepherd than most other breeds of dog. 

Common Health Issues With Black German Shepherds

Black German Shepherds have some common issues which do come about.

Conditions such as elbow dysplasia are relatively common. If your Black German Shepherd suffers from elbow dysplasia, it is essential that you take it to the vet to have the condition treated. 

Other health problems that may arise in a Black GSD include heart disease, spinal disease, eye diseases, digestive problems, allergies, and even cancer. 

Hip dysplasia is another common health issue that usually comes about as the dog ages.

Conditions like hip dysplasia will require medical intervention, and it is essential that you consult a vet if the condition arises. 

black shepherd sleeping on the bed

Diabetes, dental infections, and nose infections are also VERY common in this breed, with bloating being the most common issue most dogs experience. 

Other conditions such as cataracts, epilepsy, and thyroid issues are too common health problems with the Black German Shepherd. 

In actuality, these are healthy dogs; however, like other dogs, they have health conditions that can be common to the breed. 

These health conditions are not causes for worry. Though some of these health conditions are quite serious, most such conditions can be appropriately diagnosed and treated by a good veterinarian who can understand the health issue impacting the pup. 

The health of the dog is something that is a genuine concern to dog owners. Regardless of how trivial you may think the health condition may be, it is essential that you take your dog to frequent vet visitations to ensure that its health is in good condition. 

The health of YOUR dog is in YOUR hands; if you choose to get a Black German Shepherd, it is vital that you treat it well and ensure to care for its health and well-being. 

How to Properly Care for a Black German Shepherd?

a happy black shepherd dog sitting inside the car

When caring for a Black German Shepherd, you have to provide it the attention it deserves. 

If you keep the poor dog locked up in a cage all day and night, obvious to state the personality of the dog will be affected. Ensure that you provide adequate care to better care for the dog’s health and well-being. 

When properly caring for a Black German Shepherd, it is vital that you create a space for it that it can call its happy home. Making a Dog Home for the pup can be a great way to express love and ensure that your dog has a place it can call its own. 

Apart from providing a place to rest and sleep, you must feed the German Shepherd a high-quality diet. Without proper nourishment, the coat of this dog will look poor, establishing the fact that the dog is malnourished and unhealthy. 

It is best that you feed a Black German Shepherd about two to three times a day. They are big dogs and require constant feeding.

Black German Shepherd dogs are known to be loyal and compassionate creatures, hence it is crucial that you understand this and care for them appropriately. 

German Shepherds also have a very thick coat, which means it is essential that you properly clean the fur frequently. Depending on where your dog has been roaming, there are chances that the coat has gotten dirty. 

A good wash and proper coat brushing are necessary to ensure healthy skin, thereby a healthy dog. 

When caring for a Black German Shepherd, it is essential that you provide it with everything it needs, including access to healthcare to treat any conditions it may develop. 

Are Black GSDs Good Family Pets? 

a black shepherd dog sitting with a toy

Yes, these breeds are some of the best family pets. They are incredibly loyal and very protective of their owners, aka the family. 

Though their aggressive nature may make you wonder whether these dogs are safe around children, so long as the children and the dog live in the same home and are a part of the same family, it shouldn’t be a problem. 

A TRAINED Black German Shepherd can safely be kept around children without worry. However, if the dog is untrained, it would be best to keep an eye on both the dog and the child. 

That being the case, they are gentle with children and have a very playful side. This is precisely why children love the German Shepherd breed. 

German Shepherds have a lot of energy, and this energetic feature makes them so appealing to children who love playing fetch or anything else. 

A Black GSD is extremely loyal to the family and is easily trained. Even if you didn’t formally train the dog, the dog would still have the intelligence to know between good and bad behavior. 

Black German Shepherds are a lot of fun for the family, so they make AMAZING family pets.

How Much Does a Black German Shepherd Cost?

black shepherds sitting on a staircase

GSDs are expensive dogs, and the Black German Shepherd is rare, making it even more costly than the average German Shepherd. 

A Black German Shepherd dog can cost anywhere between $1500 to $2000. That is considering where you choose to buy the breed from. 

The cost variance is actually due to various factors such as the location of the pet store, the age of the dog, and other factors such as parents and genetics.

In general, a Black German Shepherd will cost more than a regular German Shepherd due to the rare nature of the coat and color. 

If you buy an adult dog, it will probably cost you less than buying a puppy. Depending on the breeder, a Black German Shepherd puppy can cost upwards of $2000 or more. 

Taking into consideration the initial cost of purchase, you also should consider the average cost of raising a Black German Shepherd. Taking into consideration that these are big dogs, you could be looking to spend between $150 to $300 on meals. 

Apart from this, you would also have to consider medical costs such as vet visitations. If you buy pet insurance, it will cost you about $100 to $300 a year. 

Further added costs include professional grooming, which can cost about $100 per visit, and training, which can cost upwards of $2000. 

Taking all this into consideration, apart from the inital cost of purchasing a dog or puppy, you could be looking to spend a further $5000 the first year and about $3000 from the second year onwards. 

This obviously goes to show you that the Black German Shepherd is an EXPENSIVE breed of dog. They have a high maintenance cost, added to the obvious high initial purchase price.

See the standard GSD price in this guide.

Lifespan and Exercise

The normal lifespan of a Black German Shepherd is between 9 to 13 years. The lifespan of any dog is dependent on a host of factors such as breeding conditions, parent health, environmental factors, diet, and exercise. 

Exercise is an important aspect of health and well-being for this breed, which is known to be more athletic and muscular dogs. These dogs love to run around in the park, so ensure that you get them a good amount of exercise every week. 

Your German Shepherd will need a MINIMUM of 2 HOURS of exercise per day. 

So, before anything else, consider whether you can provide access to the exercise requirements of this BREED of dog, The BLACK GERMAN SHEPHERD!

Black German Shepherd: What Makes Them Different?

black shepherd sitting on the grass ground

Black German Shepherds are also called Black Shepherds. They are varied from other German Shepherds by their distinctive black coats. 

The dog’s coat is its identity; Black Shepherds make amazing GUARD dogs, and if you are looking for a service dog, This breed is a great one at that too. 

Black GSDs are very LOYAL, and the breed standard makes them extremely TRAINABLE.

This trainable nature of these dogs makes them so POPULAR amongst dog enthusiasts. 

The standard Shepherd will do everything a Black German Shepherd can; however, any other German Shepherd may not have the jet-black look of the Black German Shepherd.

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Final Thoughts

Black GSDs are loyal and compassionate dogs capable of being easily trained. They take to instructions very well, which is why they have worked as working dogs from their origins. 

Having started as herding dogs, they now take the ranks of guard and service dogs and are even known to serve in the military. 

These dogs are a special breed, adored by dog lovers worldwide.

This info guide was intended to provide a comprehensive brief about the Black German Shepherd. If you were looking to buy this rare doggo, we hope you found all the answers to your questions. 

Black German Shepherds are EXCELLENT companion dogs known for their protective nature. 


Black German Shepherds are rare, with their availability being limited compared to other GSD colors.

Yes, Black German Shepherds may bark a lot, especially when trying to get their owners’ attention or to communicate something to them. While they have a calm temperament, they are known for their loud and powerful bark.

Yes, Black German Shepherds have a strong prey drive, due to their instinctual nature.

Yes, Black German Shepherds have a double coat made up of a thick outer coat and a thinner inner coat.

A Black German Shepherd has fur, not hair, which makes their coat thick.

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Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

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