Choosing a canine companion by breed is fairly common. But it’s also become increasingly popular to choose by color. Black dog breeds are making a comeback for various reasons. Some people like the way a certain color looks, and for some, it may match their clothing, furniture or flooring to disguise shedding. So when someone chooses a dog based on their black coat, there’s usually a reason behind it.
Some black-coated dogs can portray an image of aggressiveness or dominance. The color is also often viewed as a symbol of magic and mystery. When a black cat crosses your path, it’s meant to be a lucky omen. But what about black dogs?
Black dogs have long been regarded as guardians, guides, and loyal companions in various mythologies. This may be why they are such a popular choice with families today. To make it easier for you to find your perfect black pup, we arranged our list into three sections based on coat length.
It’s worth noting that not all of these breeds are completely black. Some are “mostly black” with a little bit of tan. But that tan can be a much lower ratio depending on the dog, giving you what looks like an all-black pup.
Black Dog Breeds With Short Coats
The following dogs are big and small, all with shorter black coats. These dogs can be either double-coated or single-coated, depending on the breed. Double coated black dogs will shed more, especially in the winter and spring.
Grooming and upkeep will be easier though, as the hair is shorter and usually less noticeable. Let’s take a look at our favorite dogs with shorter black coats.
The Pug is a spirited little dog with a coat that can be all black. Black Pugs happen to be a little bit rarer, so expect to spend a premium amount on a black Pug puppy. Pug is an ancient dog breed that originated in China. These pups were bred to become refined dogs of royalty.
The Pug is a happy and affectionate breed. They are the perfect family companion and were bred specifically for companionship. The Pug is a flat-faced breed. Because of that, you’ll need to monitor potential health issues due to their flat faces as they age. They aren’t a great fit for people living in hot climates. Pugs do have more fur per square inch than any other dog breed on this list. There’s a high likelihood you’ll have to manage their black hair, but not as much as a long-haired breed.
The Lancashire Heeler is an unusual dog that’s not often seen outside of the breed enthusiast’s domain. In fact, in the U.K., the breed was placed on the Endangered Breeds list in 2003. This is because of the small number of animals that compose the gene pool and the consequent increased risk of inherited diseases.
These pups are loving and affectionate with lively personalities. They are also very intelligent and pretty straightforward to train. These long-bodied pups were traditionally used for herding cattle. The Lancashire Heeler’s black-and-tan coat is short, smooth, and water-resistant.
The Miniature Pinscher is a feisty little pup that has quite a bit of attitude in a little package. Most breed historians suggest that the breed actually originated as a cross between a Dachshund and an Italian Greyhound. Despite their smaller size, they are a popular toy breed and are commonly used as watchdogs.
These characterful pups come in a range of colors. Their coat colors include black-and-rust, which is mostly black with rust-colored markings around the mouth, chest, legs, ears, and eyebrows.
The Great Dane is aptly named, weighing in at 180 pounds and standing up to 30 inches tall at the shoulder. The Dane is one of the largest dog breeds in the world! Danes are generally placid and even-tempered. They make wonderful family pets, getting along fine with kids and other pets too.
These dogs have short, easy-to-maintain coats, and they come in lots of different colors, including black. Usually, a black Great Danes will have some presence of white striping somewhere on their chest. One thing to note if you decide to get a Great Dane, is that these dogs have a life expectancy of just seven years. They are often referred to as “heartbreak dogs” because they don’t live quite as long as other breeds.
Black and Tan Coonhound
The Black and Tan Coonhound is a cheerful character whose carefree, happy-go-lucky attitude to life is a joy. These large, agile dogs are used as trackers and boast the reputation of having better noses than the Beagle. Their coat as implied will be partially black, with some tan coloring. Depending on their parents and genetics, though, the tan may show less, giving the appearance of an all-black pup.
They are also Athletic and dependable in the hunting field. Black and Tan Coonhounds can also make calm, chilled-out family pets. The breed does need company to keep him happy, and these pups can be destructive and noisy if left alone for long periods.
The Doberman Pinscher is a large, muscular breed. They are frequently used by the military and by law enforcement as working dogs. They are also one of the most popular breeds that are thought of when people think of as a “black dog” due to their intimidating appearance and incorrectly labeled “aggressive reputation.”
The breed is highly intelligent and trainable, as well as powerful and fast, making them perfect for a household that enjoys an active lifestyle. The Doberman’s short, shiny black and tan coat needs brushing once every week to keep it in tip-top condition.
The Dachshund is a German hound that’s one of the most famous dog breeds in the world. As with other breeds on this list, they are not entirely black. But, in many cases, their tan markings can be so dark that it gives off the appearance of an all-black coat.
Dachshunds are smaller in size and generally have shorter hair. They do have the ability to have longer hair depending on their genetics, but this is rarer. Dachshunds do shed but are relatively easy to clean up after. Their longer bodies make the breed somewhat unmistakable when identifying them from other dog breeds.
The Cane Corso can be traced right back to Ancient Rome when he was used to guard royalty. Also known as the Italian Mastiff, the Cane Corso is very well respected as a home and family guardian. Reserved with strangers, they are fiercely loyal and will protect their families with their own life if needed.
These impressive dogs are not only imposing to look at, but they are very intelligent, too, making them very trainable. The confident Cane Corso is brave and dependable while being sweet-natured, calm, and affectionate with his human family.
Black Dog Breeds With Medium Coats
Perhaps you’ve given up on a short black coat and want something that’s somewhere in the middle of the pack? There are plenty of differently sized dogs that have darker medium-length coats.
Yes, you can groom a fluffy black coated pup to a medium-length coat, but genetically speaking, most of these pups will be in the medium-length territory without much grooming. Let’s look at our favorite pups with medium-length coats.
The Jagdterrier comes from Germany, where the breed is used for hunting. These are used primarily and flushing dogs, working underground.
Despite their small size, these are lively, independent pups that need plenty of mental stimulation and physical exercise to keep them happy. Like most pups in their group, these terriers are not suitable for homes with small children or cats, and they can be stubborn and tricky to train.
The Jagdterrier can have a rough or smooth coat that’s usually black and tan. The tan markings are on the dog’s muzzle, chest, legs, eyebrows, and at the base of the tail. Your feisty black and tan pup might also have small white markings on his toes and chest.
The Schipperke comes from Belgium. They were originally bred to work on barges or ships as rat catchers and guard dogs. Standing up to 13 inches tall at the shoulder, the Schipperke is plucky, observant, and confident.
These dogs are highly intelligent, which makes them easily trainable. If you want an entertaining, loyal, and fun pet, the Schipperke could be the one for you. The Schipperke is sure to catch the eye of folks in the dog park too, with his sweet foxy face and thick, luxuriant dark coat.
The Scottie dog is brave, bold, and very independent, a trait that can make these iconic little dogs difficult to train. However, Scotties are fiercely loyal dogs that can make loving family pets and faithful companions. This is provided that they are socialized properly from an early age.
That said, these pups are generally happier in homes without small pets and young kids. These dogs have deceptively soft, dense undercoats that do require grooming each week to keep their coats healthy and prevent matting and tangles.
Portuguese Water Dog
If you want an affectionate, brave, and lively dog as a member of your family, the Portuguese Water Dog (PWD) might be just what you’re looking for.
These dogs were bred to help fishermen, so it’s no surprise to discover that they just love water! The dogs have a curly, black, water-repellant coat that can be clipped in several different styles. But if you choose not to clip your PWD, you’ll be pleased to know that they are only moderate shedders.
The breed is very intelligent and easy to train. They love nothing more than going for a hike with their human family or enjoying a game at the dog park, or a trip to the lake.
The Australian Kelpie is a hard-working breed that would suit an active family or herding or guarding job. This breed is highly intelligent, eager, and alert with seemingly boundless energy.
The Kelpie is from Australia, where they are used to herd sheep in the harsh, hot environment of outback ranches. Although they are very trainable, this breed is not suitable for first-time dog owners. This pup generally settles better in an experienced home, where plenty is going on to keep these workaholic hounds happy.
The Affenpinscher is an excitable dog with a gorgeous monkey-like face and a long, drooping mustache. These pups are under a foot tall and have a long, fluffy black coat. They are lively little dogs that enjoy a game or a walk every day, and you will need to enjoy grooming your fluffy friend to prevent tangles and mats forming in that lovely coat.
The Affenpinscher makes a loyal and loving family pet who gets on fine with kids and other pets. If you take on one of these beauties, there will never be another dull moment in your household!
The Norwegian Elkhound makes a great family pet, being affectionate, loyal, and brave. These dogs are a modern variant of the original grey version of the breed. The grey version is more common, but the black variant is becoming more sought after.
Despite its relatively small size, the breed was originally used in its native Norway to hunt large game, including various deer, elk, moose, and even bears! Elkhounds are highly intelligent, making them a breeze to train and great watchdogs.
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dogs in the world. They currently sit at number one on the AKC’s chart as the U.S.’ favorite family pet. Labs have held that crown for more than 28 years straight!
Labs are friendly, loyal, easy to train, and wonderful with kids and other pets. These super dogs do need plenty of exercise as they are a working breed. So, if you and your family enjoy days out to the forest, the lake, and the beach, the Labrador Retriever could be the ideal pet for you.
The Rottweiler is one of the most popular large dog breeds in the U.S. Standing up to 27 inches at the shoulder, these big dogs are strong, powerful, and brave. Rotties are black and tan in color, and they have short coats that need a brush once a week to keep them looking sharp. When their tan or “rust” coloring is minimized, this can give the Rottie the appearance of having an entirely black coat.
Although the Rottie looks intimidating and fierce, the breed is actually friendly, calm, and loving toward his human family. They are widely sought after as both a working dogs, as well as a faithful canine companion for families.
The Dutch Shepherd is a herding dog that’s lively, athletic, and independent-minded. These are smart pups, but their independence can make them stubborn to train. However, if you have the time and patience to devote to training your Dutch Shepherd, they can make excellent loyal companions and fabulous family pets too.
While black and tan or brindle are more common, Dutch Shepherds can have an all-black coat, just like their German Shepherd cousins. Often compared to other shepherd dogs for their coat consistency, this breed can be long, medium, or short-coated.
All varieties constantly shed, with two heavy shedding periods in the spring and fall. So, as well as buying plenty of brushes and a Furminator, you’d better make sure that your vacuum cleaner is up to the task!
Poodles come in various colors and sizes, including the larger Standard variety. These dogs have a soft, silky coat that lies in tight curls and doesn’t shed. This makes the Poodle a great choice of pet for homes with allergy sufferers.
The breed is extremely intelligent and easy to train, making them great fun to have around. Also, Poodles are loyal to their human family and make great family pets.
So prized are the Poodle’s coat type and personality that the breed has been used to create many of the most popular designer “oodle” breeds around today.
The Curly-Coated Retriever is a similar breed to the Flat-Coated Retriever, except that he has a curly coat. These dogs are superb swimmers and are one of the best gun dogs that you can find.
The dog’s curly black coat is water-resistant to keep him warm and insulated against the cold when retrieving shot birds from icy lakes in the hunting field. The coat is also perfectly adapted to protect the dog from injury by brambles and thorns.
You’ll need to groom your dog once a week or so, and it’s worth noting that female Curly-Coated Retrievers do shed their coats completely once a year. Like other retrievers, the Curly is affectionate and sweet, although they can be somewhat stubborn and independent, which can make training challenging.
The rarely seen Beauceron is gentle, eager to please, and loyal to his human family. These dogs were bred for herding and are immensely powerful and fast. The Beauceron is extremely trainable and obedient, and although they will work tirelessly in the field, they can also be sensitive and gentle family pets.
That said, these dogs are not suitable for first-time dog owners. They can be dominant if allowed to get their own way. However, if you take the time to socialize and correctly train your pup, you’ll be rewarded with an excellent family guardian and affectionate companion.
Black Dog Breeds Dogs With Long Coats
The following dogs genetically have longer, fuller, or even fluffy black coats by nature. Regardless of their size, these long-haired dogs will be the talk of the dog park anytime they set foot inside.
Keep in mind that grooming a longer-haired dog requires patience and dedication. Longer-haired double-coated breeds will shed a lot! It’s important to make sure that you are prepared to groom your dog regularly, or preferably have furniture and flooring to match your pup’s darker coat!
Border Collies are most often thought of as pups with black and white coats. But it’s quite possible to have a very limited amount of white, giving them the appearance of having an all-black coat. Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with plenty of energy. They are quite popular as both herding dogs, and family companions.
Because of their energy levels, the Border Collie is typically not a recommended dog for first-time dog owners. They are one of the smartest dog breeds on the planet and can give newer dog owners fits when it comes to tiring them out and getting them to listen.
The Pomeranian is not the first dog that many would think of when considering black dog breeds. Although rarer, Pomeranians do carry the genetic capacity to have an all-black coat. It’s quite common for Black Poms to fetch a higher price point as puppies, just due to the rarity of the color. Even though the color is slightly more rare, it does not benefit them in any way when it comes to showing or competition.
Pomeranians are small and active dogs. They are very well known as pocket pups, which people will adopt if they are looking to consider a lapdog. These pint-sized pups make the perfect family companion for dog owners looking for a small dog, with plenty of personality.
The Miniature Schnauzer is one of three variations of Schnauzers and is the smallest of them. These dogs are mostly black in color, standing up to 14 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 20 pounds.
The breed is powerful and brave, and although not the most intelligent of dog breeds, they are very eager to please their owners. Schnauzers make good family dogs and generally get along well with kids and other pets. They are high-energy dogs that need plenty of exercise to keep them happy both physically and mentally too.
The Croatian Sheepdog is another very old breed that is mentioned in manuscripts written in 1374 by the Bishop of Djakovo. Like most sheepdog breeds, the Croatian Sheepdog is extremely intelligent, athletic, and super-quick.
This is not the breed to choose if you don’t enjoy exercise! That said, these pups are super-loyal to their owners and can be wonderful working dogs if that’s what you’re looking for. They also have brilliant black coats and do require regular grooming and maintenance to keep them looking healthy.
The intelligent, playful Swedish Lapphund originates in Sweden, where it’s recognized as one of three Lapphund breeds that are derived from the dogs that the Sámi people used.
The Swedish Lapphund is a Spitz-type dog with dense, fluffy black fur and a sweet, foxy face. These lively, fun-loving dogs make fabulous companions that thrive when they’re allowed to be the center of the family’s attention. If you enjoy outdoorsy activities, these dogs can make ideal tracking partners too.
As well as exercising your dog, you’ll also need to enjoy grooming. These dogs have a very thick, fluffy coat that needs brushing twice a week to keep it mat and tangle-free.
The Puli dog is a real eyecatcher that’s sure to turn heads wherever you go! Pulis are best-known for his dreadlocks, earning him the nickname “mop dog.” The thick black coat hangs in thick, twisted cords that almost touch the ground.
Despite their rather comical appearance, the Puli is extremely powerful and athletic and was originally used for herding. Puli dogs make great family pets, being fun-loving, friendly, and extremely intelligent. These medium-sized pups stand up to 17 inches at the shoulder.
The Mudi dog comes from Hungary, where they were bred for use as herding dogs. The breed is thought to be a hybrid of the Pumi, Puli, and various other German Spitz dog breeds. They are quite rare, so it’s unlikely that you’ll see too many of them at the local dog park.
Mudi dogs are athletic and extremely agile, making them the ideal working dog for you if you need a loyal helper for your farm. That said, these gorgeous dogs are pretty hard to come by, and it’s thought that there are only a few thousand of them left.
Barbet dogs originally come from France. These unusual pups are known for their dense, curly black coat and distinctive “beard.”This ancient breed has been around since the sixteen-hundreds when they were used for flushing out and retrieving game birds for hunters.
Athletic and intelligent, Barbets are loyal and devoted to their human families. they can make great companion dogs for the right family but can be tougher to train due to their strong will. They need a firm owner that has experience in training stubborn dog breeds.
The Newfoundland dog is the epitome of a gentle giant, standing as tall as 28 inches at the shoulder and weighing as much as 150 pounds. The breed is well-known as a gentle nanny dog, getting along fine with kids and other pets. It’s a popular parent breed for many crossbreeds, and they are typically blessed with seemingly endless reserves of patience and mild, unflappable temperament.
These loyal, dependable dogs are also reputed to make great watchdogs, protecting their beloved human family from strangers that come too near. However, that thick, water-repellant double-coat does take some brushing to keep it mat and tangle-free! It’s possible for this black-coated dog to extend their genes to any dog it’s mixed with!
If you’re searching for a herding dog that’s versatile and highly trainable, look no further than the beautiful Belgian Sheepdog. Often confused with the Dutch Shepherd or a long-haired German Shepherd, these pups have long, flowing coats.
These handsome hounds, with their long black coats, distinctive fluffy collarette around the neck, and sharp, intelligent features, are versatile and obedient dogs that love to work. If you welcome a Belgian Sheepdog into your home, you’ll need to be prepared to spend time grooming and exercising him.
The noble, loyal Flat-coated Retriever is the Peter Pan puppy that never grew up! These cheerful, playful dogs love family life and get along very well with other pets and children.
The breed has a long, flat coat in solid black with feathering on the ears, legs, and sometimes on the tail. You’ll need to groom your dog once a week to keep that beautiful coat in perfect condition.
These pups are bred to work in the field, retrieving shot birds for hunters. So, you must be prepared to spend time exercising your dog to keep him fit and happy.
This ideal family dog is lovable, loving, and loyal, so it’s surprising that the Bergamasco Sheepdog is not more popular as a family pet. These seldom-seen dogs are very intelligent, making them easy to train, and they also make great watchdogs.
The Bergamasco’s double coat needs brushing twice a week to keep it from tangling and matting, and you’ll need to learn how to trim your pet’s beard too.
The Gordon Setter is a versatile breed that’s a member of the pointer group. These dogs are workers, accompanying and assisting hunters by skillfully tracking down and flushing birds.
These are confident and bold dogs, but they are also sweet-natured and friendly, making wonderful family pets. The Gordon Setter needs plenty of exercise to keep him happy and would be best suited to a home where the family enjoys a busy, outdoorsy lifestyle.
Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers are large, powerful dogs that were originally bred to be guarders. Although they’re undoubtedly brave and confident, they can also be aloof and suspicious where strangers are concerned.
That said, the breed does make a good family dog, being calm and friendly around their human owners. These are intelligent pups that are fairly easy to train, but they are bred to do a job of work, so plenty of daily exercise is necessary to keep these handsome dogs happy.
Black German Shepherd
Most people are familiar with the traditional black and tan-colored German Shepherd Dog, but they also come in jet black. The black German Shepherd could fall into the medium or long-coated category because it’s possible for the GSD to have a medium-length or long coat.
The Black German Shepherd occurs because of a recessive gene that influences the dog’s coat color. Thanks to that genetic quirk, it’s also possible for two regular colored dogs to produce a litter of puppies where one or more are black.
German Shepherds are highly trainable, loyal, and family-oriented, sometimes to the point of being overprotective when strangers call. You’ll need to have plenty of time to spend exercising your dog, as these are a working breed that requires lots of exercise to keep them happy.
When it comes to grooming duties, you should know that all German Shepherds have a double coat. The soft, fluffy underfur is prone to shedding continually, and these dogs undergo two major shedding events in the spring and fall when they “blow” their coat. At these times, you’ll need to brush your dog every day or risk disappearing under a mountain of dog hair. These pups are not called “German Shedders” for nothing!
The Hovawart is a powerful working dog that’s versatile, too, finding a role in guarding, search and rescue, as therapy dogs, and more. These are confident pups that can take time to mature, but they are also smart cookies that are extremely trainable.
Hovawarts love to be a part of an active family that has plenty of time to exercise their dog. These noble animals have a single coat that just needs brushing once a week or so to keep it from getting matted and tangled.
There are many different beautiful black dog breeds, and matching names to boot, whether you opt for a pup with a short, long, curly, or flat coat. But before you make a firm decision on what kind of dog to get, remember that every dog will need time spent grooming them to keep their coats both shiny and healthy.
Generally, the larger the dog you have, the more time you will need to spend grooming them. You’ll also need more space at home, or you’ll likely see their hair more frequently around your home. Before committing to one of these beautiful black-coated canines, keep that in mind.