All Black GSD Dog & Puppy Breed Guide (Temperament & More)

The German Shepherd is a popular and preferred dog species around the world. Black German Shepherds are, however pretty rare, and constitute no more than 7% of the total German Shepherd population.

Most German Shepherd coats are either tanned or composites of tan and sable fur. In popularity, the Black German Shepherd came second in 2018. The black Shepherd breed originates from a herding group and serves as a working dog and companion.

Black Shepherds are pretty cool to hang around and keep as pets. In the presence of strangers, the Shepherds behave civically but often watch over their loved ones with a keen eye.

Our article will discuss the popularity of Black German Shepherds, their origin, history, traits, lifestyle, development, training schedule, care, and treatment.

The history and descent of Black German Shepherds

All German Shepherds, including Black Shepherds, originated from Horand, a German Shepherd owned and bred by Stephanitz in Europe. Stephanitz knew how to train his dogs, as they demonstrated obedience, intelligence, and remarkable agility as his herding counterparts.

The descendants of Horand finally arrived in Canada and North America in the 19th century.  Their association with Germans in The First World War tainted the reputation of Black Shepherds.

The United Kingdom kennel association renamed the Shepherds Alsatian, hoping to suppress the negative connection. In 2010, the kennel cudgel in the UK named the Alsatians and gave them their old name, German Shepherds.

Despite their contentious history, German Shepherds still stand as the first-runners up in popularity, out of a total of 194 different breeds worldwide.

Unlike the White Shepherd, the kennel association in America undoubtedly recognizes the Black German Shepherd as an authentic breed and allows their free participation in all competitions.

The Black Coat

A black pup occurs when both parents are Black Shepherds because of their regressive genes. Besides, two tan or a tan and a Black Shepherd can produce a black dog, but quite rarely.

Some people believe that the black coat occurs due to a kind of fault. The black coat color hardly results as a fault. In some way, Black Shepherds carry similar traits to their double-colored counterparts.

Another fabrication concerns the relationship between black coats and the ensuing health problems in Black Shepherds. The ebony fur does not contribute to any health complications often noticed in German Shepherds.

The rarity and appearance of Black Shepherds

Black German Shepherds constitute 6.8% of German Shepherds around the globe. The rarity of the breed makes the pups quite expensive. A breeder will charge extra bucks for a rare color.

If you are an aspiring purchaser, make sure you save up extra because you will be acquiring a unique breed. Black German Shepherds are phlegmatic and salient. The majestic posture of Black Shepherds makes them conspicuous and easy to stare.

The fur of the Black German Shepherd shines in blackness. Muscles of the breed stick intact, and their bodies are large, lean, and long. The ebony nose of a Black German Shepherd hardly outmatches the black richness of the fur.

The nose sticks out toward the periphery of a long, bulky muzzle. The ears of a black Shepherd rest upright on their heads, triangularly-shaped, and their almond-shaped eyes reserve a suntan richness.

In length, German Shepherds boast of either long or medium coats. Thick, double layers of fur gives the Shepherds insulation and shelter from harsh weather. The upper layer is waterproof, while the inner undercoat is softer and thicker for sequestration.

Colour aside, Black German Shepherds resemble other German Shepherd breeds in character and some aspects of reproduction.

However, the straighter backs of Black Shepherds reduce the risk of suffering hip or spinal problems in their aged years. The straight backs of the species also mitigate their controversial historical status.


A Black German Shepherd leads an active lifestyle. Just like any other German Shepherd, the black Shepherd can play and run around for an hour or two a day. Black Shepherds love the company of people and the thrill of playing with and around them.

Black GSDs no longer act rebelliously toward their families and society, thanks to the progressive efforts of coaching and rebreeding. A Black Shepherd will most likely sit, play at your feet all day and follow your instructions without hurting a fly.

Black Shepherds love kids and can comfortably play around children. However, ensure your children master respect when playing with dogs. Children shouldn’t pull the fur or ears of a Shepherd, and neither should they slap nor pull the ears of dogs.

When feeling threatened, a German Shepherd will snap, nip, or bud as a defensive mechanism. Shepherds demand respect and only reciprocate the virtue when treated the exact way.

If you live in an apartment, make sure you take your Shepherd out for a walk for at least an hour a day. Besides walking, training, playing, and running, instructing your dog to fetch items can provide the required level of stimulation needed for their healthy development.

Spacious houses, however, provide ideal room for Shepherds to move around freely, hunt for toys, roll on floors, and stretch for afternoon naps. A Black Shepherd loves a large backyard with enough ground to cover when chasing sticks and balls.

Please ensure that a strong fence outlines your backyard. Palisades prevent dogs from straying from your backyard and getting lost in the streets.

Which exercises and activities do Black Shepherds cherish?

Black German Shepherds like dynamic exercises to help burn their calories. When taking them out for training, feel free to include various physical drills.

Besides, if you keep multiple Shepherds, training becomes more manageable as your pups can play with each other, which amounts to decent physical activity. A Black Shepherd loves the following actions:

  • Swiftness.
  • Diving.
  • Hunting and rescuing.
  • Patrol training.
  • Disability support training.
  • Elementary obedience.

Training a Black German Shepherd

A German Shepherd demonstrates an enthusiastic response to positive or definitive reinforcement. The training technique encourages Shepherds to emulate proper values.

During training, instructors present the actions they desire and coach the Shepherd persistently until the dog masters the move.

For example, the instructor requires the Shepherd to pace by his side. He uses the word “cad.” If the dog doesn’t follow the instruction, the trainer exclaims sharply or pulls the leash in correction until the Shepherd obeys.

Definitive reinforcement offers a perfect training environment for Black Shepherds because the technique emphasizes reward upon completion and discourages punishment.

All German Shepherds are intelligent and love to impress. If you train Shepherds properly, they will readily obey instructions and complete assigned tasks for rewards.

When training Black Shepherds, primary commands carry the same weight as teaching them appropriate manners. However, trainers often ignore socialization, which is equally significant in raising confident and happy Shepherds.

Black Shepherds that socialize freely with people and other dogs stand a better chance at healthy development than those kept indoors. Socialization builds confidence; a confident and calm Shepherd can comfortably interact with strangers, regardless of the situation or location.

Sometimes dog owners lack the proper skills required to train Black Shepherds. Whenever you find yourself in such a scenario, contact a certified and professional trainer.

Professionals will teach you everything you ought to know concerning training Shepherds and pass the same knowledge to you and your family. A certified instructor not only helps you but also benefits your dog.

How to feed a Black German Shepherd

Black Shepherds require around 2,000 grams of calories a day. The high calorie provides enough energy to cater to the active lifestyle of a mature GSD. However, older Black Shepherds require lesser food because they can quickly increase weight when overfed.

Split meals for your Shepherd into at least three sessions a day. The quantity of nourishment ingested by Black Shepherds can vary, depending on their activeness, the type of meal, and the brand of the meal provided.

An average Black Shepherd consumes between three and five cups of meal daily. Make sure you feed your Shepherd lesser meals several times every day to prevent bloat.

Bloat poses a deadly health risk and can easily affect Shepherds that partake in energetic activities immediately after consuming heavy meals.

Veterinarians advise Shepherd owners to feed their dogs foods rich in fats and proteins and relatively moderate carb content. Black Shepherds maintain healthy lives and higher vitality levels with balanced meals.

Scrumptious crumbs and bits at the dining table may seem irresistibly delicious for your dog. At the table, give your Shepherd tidbits in moderation.

Fatty slabs smell delectable but pose health risks for growing puppies. However, tiny bits of apples or carrots are safe and healthy for your pups. You can feed your Black Shepherd these foods in moderateness:

  • Bananas
  • Yogurts
  • Tomatoes
  • Cooked hamburgers
  • Boiled chicken
  • Carrot
  • Apples
  • Goober butter


If feeding your Shepherds any of the mentioned foods results in an allergic reaction, immediately stop feeding the meal.

Do not give your Black Shepherd any of the following meals; feeding them could result in severe sickness or death:

  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Salty meals
  • Alcohol
  • Medication
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Grapes

Shepherds can spot poisonous meals and still feed on them. If your dog suffers poisoning, immediately take note of the time of occurrence, the amount ingested, and the ingredients involved.

Without delay, call the local veterinarian, who should guide you through the right steps to follow.

Dogs hardly differentiate right foods from wrong ones. As the owner, ensure you provide your Black Shepherd with the right amount of nutrients and avoid the poisonous and fatty foods that could cause them harm.

How to groom a Black German Shepherd

All German Shepherds have two layers of fur: the top coating and the undercoat. The upper coat of a Black Shepherd feels sinewy and straight. The waterproof upper coat prevents moisture from touching the skin of the Shepherd.

Inner coats serve insulation purposes; they protect Shepherds from extreme hot and cold weather conditions. Soft undercoats are incredibly soft and fun to rasp.

However, soft coats generate so much hair that shedding often occurs. To regulate shedding, ensure that you brush your Black Shepherd once a day. Besides picking up loose bristles, a wire hair brush effectively gets rid of dander and dirt hiding in your Shepherd’s fur.

Even with a brush to play down shedding, Black German Shepherds still discard lots of bristles during fall and spring. The best you could do is get used to rolling hairs around the house.

Nonetheless, undercoat rakes can curb the shedding rate, as the tools reach deeper into the inner coats to seize any loose bristles.

You should bathe your Black Shepherd only when necessary. Many shampoo products pull off oily layers from dogs’ skins. In the absence of oil layers, Shepherds get dry, itchy skin and will scratch often.

When your Black Shepherd gets too dirty for a fix with a brush, bathe the dog using a conditioner and shampoo approved explicitly for dogs.

Plaque can also affect the teeth of German Shepherds. Vets recommend toothpaste and toothbrushes for Shepherds with brown stains on their teeth. The pastes and brushes should come from a certified vet store and not the usual supermarket.

Always observe your Black Shepherd for long nails. Shepherds that frequently run or play outside hardly require trimmers because their toenails will naturally jade.

However, if the Black Shepherd stays most of the time indoors, make sure you purchase a nail grinder or clipper. If a Shepherd’s nails touch the ground when standing, they are long and require trimming. Long nails cause pain to Shepherds and make it difficult for them to walk.

Don’t forget to check the ears of your Black Shepherd for infections. Despite their upright stature, Shepherd ears can quickly get infected. Check the canals from time to time for soreness or discharge.

Use cotton setup pads to clean the ears of your Shepherd regularly. A vet can also provide ear drops in the event of necessity. Avoid using cotton scrubs as they can reach deeper into the canals and result in carnal damage.

The lifespan of a Black German Shepherd

An average Black Shepherd can live between ten to fifteen years. However, Shepherds can sometimes die at seven years when suffering from complications or live up to sixteen years if well nurtured.

With regular exercise routines, balanced diets, and frequent checkups, Black German Shepherds can live long, healthy lives.

Common health complications affecting Black Shepherds

Any German Shepherd breed can contract one or more of the following illnesses:

  • Skin problems – Allergic reactions can cause itching and dehydrated skin.
  • Panosteitis – The temporary infection features lameness, limping, and pain around the leg bones.
  • Digestive problems – A Black Shepherd with a digestive issue requires a special diet and a low-stress way of life.
  • Heart diseases – When suffering from heart failure, Black Shepherds tend to slow down in activity, breathe more rapidly when resting, and cough inordinately.
  • Cancer – Always observe your Shepherd for limping, lacerations that take longer to heal, duodenal problems, weakness, strained breathing, the sudden reduction in weight, and strange lumps.
  • Bloat – When more gas fills the stomach, the pressure exertion upon the midriff hinders the dog from breathing. In severe cases, stomachs can twist, resulting in immediate death or prolonged shock.

Vaccines and their benefits

Inoculation protects a Shepherd from contracting a contagious disease. Ensure you register for a consistent docket of immunization if you want your Black Shepherd to live a longer and healthier life. A vet can help with the scheduling process.

Also, ensure you obtain a prescription plan for the treatment of ticks and fleas; the parasites can cause a great hindrance for the salubrious development of a German Shepherd.

Size, cost, and availability of a Black German Shepherd

A Black male Shepherd weighs between 65 and 90 pounds, and when standing, can reach a height ranging between 60 and 66 centimeters.

Female Black Shepherds weigh between 60 and 75 pounds. Female Shepherds measure between 55 and 60 centimeters when standing in an upright posture.

The following trusted breeders can provide healthy Black Shepherd pups:

  • Black Paws Farm – Maine
  • Narnia Kennels – Ontario
  • Kennel Von Wiese – North Carolina

Different rescue institutions keep older dogs. However, Black German Shepherds are rare. It would be best if you did lots of research before embarking on your search for an older Black German Shepherd.

Black Shepherd pups cost between $700 and $1,500. When totaled, toys, nourishments, medical expenses, non-medical expenses, and supplies can cost up to $4,000 a year.


An active and outgoing family makes the perfect match for a Black German Shepherd. Besides, your kids can play and interact freely with the ever affectionate and sprightly Black Shepherd.

Spacious backyards provide ample playing ground for Black German Shepherds. Please do not abandon your Shepherds by tying them outdoors the whole day. A Black Shepherd prefers the company of family and will happily walk and play by them all the time.

If you are allergic to dander or prefer keeping a smaller dog, the Black German Shepherd might hardly answer as a suitable companion.

If you, however, aspire to learn how to take care of and own a larger, more muscular dog, then grab your savings and find the nearest Black Shepherd vendor this moment, for the most exciting adventure of your life is just about to start!

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