The Black German Shepherd is a recognized variation of the German Shepherd breed. While some people think that the black color of this dog is the result of a defect in the breed and others think the dogs are a crossbreed, we are here to tell you that this is not true!
Although these dogs are relatively rare, they carry many of the same traits and characteristics as other variations of the German Shepherd breed and are known to be very loyal. These dogs are bred to produce the perfect working dog and German Shepherd dogs have gone on to have careers in the military, the police force and as other service dogs.
If you’re interested in learning more about this dog, read on below as we go into detail about their history, their characteristics and what caring for this pup is like.
History Of The Black German Shepherd
The Black German Shepherd is the result of breeding two black GSD’s, or it is possible for a black and tan GSD to give birth to a Black German Shepherd puppy. The difference is that black GSD’s are black from the moment they are born. German Shepherds are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the black color is recognized by the breed standard.
To understand the Black German Shepherds’ breed origin, we should look at the German Shepherd’s breed origin. They were first discovered by Von Stephanitz who spotted the German Shepherd at a dog show and decided that this breed was the perfect standard for a working dog. He adopted one of these dogs and named them “Horand” and then created the “Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde”, the Society for the German Shepherd Dog.
Horand was the first breed standard for the German Shepherd breed and was bred alongside dogs with a similar appearance to give German Shepherd litters. They are thought to have first appeared in the United States in 1906 and were recognized by the AKC in 1908.
Characteristics Of The Black German Shepherd
Because the Black German Shepherd is not a mixed breed and simply a variation of the standard GSD, these dogs carry the same characteristics and temperament. Black German Shepherds are, however, more rare than other colors of German Shepherds, which can make them more expensive as puppies. The litter size for these pups will normally be 4 and 9 puppies. For a standard GSD you can expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $700 for a puppy. For the Black GSD, it is likely you will spend anywhere from $700-$2000 per puppy.
As we’ve mentioned above, the Black German Shepherd is very similar to other German Shepherds and the main difference is the color of their fur. They are a large breed dog and the males will weigh between 65 – 90 pounds and stand up to 26” tall. The females are always slightly smaller and will weigh anywhere between 50 – 75 pounds and stand no taller than 24”.
These dogs have a domed shape head with a long, square muzzle. They have erect ears and long necks, which sit low when running or prowling. One of the other differences between the Black German Shepherd to other GSDs is that it has often been found that black GSDs have straighter backs. Unfortunately, however, they do still suffer with many of the same health issues.
Coat and Color
Of course, the coat color of this dog is solid black! German Shepherds will have one of two coats, either a medium coat or long coat. They are both double coats, having a more dense guard layer with a softer undercoat.
These dogs are known to shed so they may not be the doggie for those with allergies. However, a proper grooming regime, which we will go into more detail about below, is important to reduce the amount of shedding and the amount of cleaning up!
Black German Shepherds are extremely loyal and very family orientated. Because they are a working dog, they will believe that their job is to protect you as a family and are known for being alert and watchful, sometimes barking if they feel like they are in danger. Although socialization is important for a dog at any age, proper socialization for a German Shepherd will ensure they can interact with the family properly. Socialization is also important around young people.
These dogs are very playful and active and love to be outside getting physical exercise. They also need a lot of mental stimulation as they are very intelligent and do not like to be left alone. If they are left alone for long periods of time they can become bored and begin to exhibit destructive behaviors, so it is important they spend most of their time with people or they are trained correctly to understand what behaviors are desirable.
The life expectancy of the Black German Shepherd is not as long as some of the other GSD’s. They are normally expected to live between 9 to 13 years.
Known Health Issues
Of course, as with any dog, Black German Shepherd’s are prone to some health problems. The most common issues are set out below:
- Hip dysplasia — this is when the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia.
- CDRM – Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy — this is a disease of the spinal cord which causes nerve cells to fail and can cause hind leg paralysis.
- Osteoarthritis — this is degenerative joint condition that is often seen in older dogs and causes the breakdown of the cartilage over time. It can be painful and result in the loss of movement in joints. It can be treated with medication and surgery.
- Cauda equina syndrome — this is another issue affecting the back in which the nerves are compressed which can result in lameness, stiffness and pain along the back, in the hips and in the tail.
The best way to ensure your dog is less prone to any of these health issues is to make sure that you buy from a reputable breeder. If they are a good breeder, they will show you health clearances from both your puppy’s parents. regular trips to the vets is also important so you can catch signs of any of these issues early on.
The Black German Shepherd can be a handle to care for. They have large grooming needs, a hungry appetite and need a lot of exercise to keep them entertained. However, it’s always worth it! Take a look below to see what living with a German Shepherd is like from day to day.
Food And Diet
Because the Black Shepherd is a large dog, their diet should also be large. It is recommended that you feed them a diet specially formulated for large dog breeds and you should always check the back of the dog food packet to see how much food you should be feeding your doggie based on their weight.
Experts recommend that a Black German Shepherd should be eating 20 calories per lb of body weight a day, which may come to around 1500 calories. This is around 3 cups of food. As a puppy, they should be fed three to four times a day. This is particularly important in the larger breeds as they are most predisposed to bloat, where the stomach becomes bloated and twisted and is usually fatal. These three to four meals can then be decreased to two meals a day as an adult. However, if you have a busy lifestyle then this can just be one meal a day.
Their food should be healthy and nutritious. It should cover all the nutrients that a dog of this size needs, including proteins, fats and carbohydrates. High-quality dry kibble is a great option, although some dog owners opt to feed their pup raw food.
If you are worried that your GSD is gaining weight, you can check for their ribs and check that you can see a waistline. If you are worried that your dog is overweight, take them to the vet.
It is not a surprise that this breed of black dog is very active and has high exercise needs. As a working dog and a breed that is often used as a police dog, they need lots of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy.
You should ensure that you are exercising your German Shepherd for 60 to 90 minutes a day. This includes walks, playing and mental games. Your doggie will want a big back yard to run around in too, so they will not be getting the exercise they need if you live in a small apartment. Without adequate exercise, they can develop unwanted and destructive behaviors due to frustration and boredom.
These dogs love accompanying their owners on hikes and walks and love to go swimming too, so make sure you have the time to spend with them outside before purchasing this breed of dog.
This loyal and courageous dog make an excellent family pet. With a love of being around people, the Black German Shepherd will want to spend their days by your side and, as a working dog, feel like they need to protect you. This means they can make an excellent guard dog or watchdog for the family home because they will bark when they feel like they’re in danger.
It is no lie that this pup needs a lot of exercise and so will thrive in an active family who are willing to spend time playing with them. They need both physical and mental stimulation and will benefit from a big yard that they can run around in and from people who want to want to teach them tricks. They’re also the perfect running or hiking companion and will do best if they’re not left alone for hours at a time. Again, because of their working nature, they are very intelligent and pick things up easily, which means you can give them a job to do around the house if you would like!
Despite their loving nature, they do have high maintenance needs and may be best suited to those who already have experience of taking care of a dog of this size. They get along well with both adults and children, but do have a natural prey drive so young children may need to be socialized properly with the dog to ensure there are no accidents.
The Black German Shepherd is a very intelligent dog and is therefore very easy to train. Their ease of training means that they make a great family dog as well as a dog for couples or individuals. You should train them from a very young age and always use positive reinforcement. This can include verbal praise and yummy treats to show them that they are doing a good job.
German Shepherds can be a little stubborn, so you should never punish them or scold them. They’ll also do a lot better if you have given them a lot of time to exercise before you decide to conduct a training session. They are great detectives too, so hiding treats and getting them to sniff the treats out makes a fun game to play!
We mentioned above that socializing them from a young age is also important. You should introduce them to as many new things as you can at a young age, including sights, sounds, smells, places and people. The more accustomed they are to coming into contact with something or someone they have never experienced before, the less likely they are to exhibit unwanted behavior.
If you’re lucky and have a medium coated Black German Shepherd dog, you may be able to get away with brushing them twice a week. However, if your dog has long hair, then you’re going to need to brush them daily to prevent knots and tangles forming.
These dogs do have a double coat and will shed a lot of the time. They will shed more at two times in the year and the rest of the time you can expect reduced shedding. Brushing them properly will always help with this. You can also visit a grooming salon which may help your dog’s black coat become more manageable.
Brushing their teeth is very important to prevent dental decay and gum disease, although you can give them dental chews every day to help keep their teeth clean. You should also check their erect ears because they are more likely to catch dust and dirt.
One way to ensure that grooming your German Shepherd is not a traumatic experience for them is to begin grooming them from a young age. This will show them that there is nothing to be afraid of.
Black German Shepherd FAQ’s
Are Black German Shepherds different to other German Shepherds?
There is not much difference between a Black German Shepherd to a standard GSD. The main difference is the color of their coat, which is the cause of breeding two Black German Shepherd’s together. One other difference is that Black GSD’s can have straighter backs that other GSD’s, but they are still prone to the same health issues and still have the same temperament and needs!
How much do Black German Shepherds cost?
A Black German Shepherd puppy can cost anywhere between $700-$2000. For a standard German Shepherd, the price is a lot cheaper and is normally between $300 and $700 for a puppy. If this is out of your price range, you can always take a look at your local shelter and see if there are any Black German Shepherds who need a home.
The Black German Shepherd is a loyal and loving dog that will make an excellent member of the family. A working dog, this pup will believe they need to protect you and can make an excellent guard dog. Although they can have high grooming needs and exercise needs, you will love spending time with your GSD outdoors playing games and they can make an excellent companion for running and hiking. Training them is easy too, so there’s nothing to worry about. What are you waiting for — is a Black German Shepherd going to be your new best friend?