Do You Really Want A Black German Shepherd?

Some confusion exists surrounding Black German Shepherd dogs and with it some negative stigma. To help better understand this specialized breed, here are 7 things you should know.

1. Just because they are black does not mean they are not verified members of this dog breed. The main difference is that this strain of shepherd is entirely black.

2. There are some physical differences that are identifiable within this line of dogs, but there are also many similarities.

The similarities include:

  • Large, Muscular body
  • Fluffy tail
  • Ears that are erect
  • Double coat
  • Heavy shedders

Differences include:

  • These dogs are solid black
  • They are also larger in size
  • Their back is often straighter
  • Coat is sometimes longer
  • Sometimes flowing mane at the back of the neck
  • Skirting between front and back legs
  • Feathering on ears, beneath tail and at back of legs

3. Puppies born to black German Shepherd dogs are born black and stay that way throughout their adult lives. Other pups within this breed can be born white, black or gray, but their color changes as they get older with their true color typically comes out when they are around 8 weeks of age. For that reason, if someone wants to get one that is solid black they should not get their pup before that age even if they are sure that the parents and others in their lineage are also solid black.

4. Black German Shepherd puppies can be produced by a regular GSD. You may not believe it but that is true. Even a black and tan GSD might carry a recessive gene for solid black and be able to produce a pup that is solid black if both parents carry that same recessive gene.

5. Being black in color will not negatively affect the dog you choose. However, some people may be more frightened by its appearance because it can seem more intimidating and fierce looking even though it is not inherently more aggressive.

Just like other intelligent GSDs a black one is loyal, active, and alert and therefore will make a great addition to any family or person looking for a good friend and lifelong companion. As with other members of this breed, a black one has a strong protective instinct and since they were often used as herding dogs they will use this same kind of caring attitude with any human pack to which they belong.

6. Since Black German Shepherds are rarer than other colors, they will cost a bit more than their counterparts. It is not unusual for them to be priced twice as high as other colors.

7. Some health problems are common among all GSDs. Those problems are elbow and hip dysplasia which are conditions caused by the malformation of socket joints causing arthritis or lameness. To manage this condition it is recommended that owners help their dog maintain a healthy weight.

Finding a reputable breeder might take a little work, but it is well worth the effort because doing so will eliminate many of the problems that exist when breeders are only in the breeding business for the money.