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black dog types

What Are the Different Types of Black Dogs? (12 Common Breeds with Pictures) Leave a comment

Did you know that black dogs make up 30% of all dogs in shelters? Whether that’s because people are less likely to adopt them as some research suggests, or just a coincidence as other studies say is a moot point. The fact is, if you walk into any shelter on any given day, you will see more black dogs than any other color. Like black cats, people (erroneously) associated ebony-coated pups with bad luck, depression, and even evil (thanks to Sherlock Holmes and his Hound of Baskerville).  However, the truth is a dog’s coat color doesn’t indicate anything about its personality or overall temperament.

In this article, I’ll prove this today by discussing several popular “black dog types or breeds.” It’ll show dogs with black fur having various unique traits and characteristics. Hopefully, these discussions will also help you choose a black dog who could be a great addition to your life. 

But before I dive into the popular black dog breeds, let’s take a minute to define this category. It’ll provide a good starting point so there isn’t any confusion about what’s considered a black dog type or breed.

black dog types

What Are Black Dog Types or Breeds?

Experts don’t use black dog breeds/types as a specified grouping. It’s merely a simplified way for people to think about how certain dogs have black coats. If you’re wondering what determines a dog’s coat color, it comes down to eight genes among three billion total.

These genes control the development of pigment that’s split into two types: pheomelanin and eumelanin. Eumelanin is responsible for the variation in black and brown shades, while pheomelanin produces other shades like yellow, red, orange, and gold. 

Due to this, eumelanin is more abundant in any dog with a black coat coloring. These dogs usually also possess the dominant Black gene (K Locus). But in rare situations, recessive genes can produce black coats.

So with all the gene and pigment talk settled, let’s look at a few black dog breeds. These discussions will provide a better idea of what breeds could suit your home.

12 Popular Black Dog Types

It’s essential to note that color should be one of the last factors an owner uses when selecting a pup. It has little to no impact on a dog to thrive in your household. You should account for size, temperament, and exercise needs before looking into colors. But once you consider these factors, coat color can help make a final choice. 

Anyone who settles on black coloring being their preferred option should look at these 12 popular breeds. Each has a black coat variation and a stellar reputation among dog lovers! It’s just a matter of selecting the one that best suits your household’s situation.

1. Rottweiler 

Rottweilers aren’t only one of the most popular black dogs but among all canines. The popularity stems from people loving their braveness and strength. It makes them an excellent household pet who can protect a family. 

Their size doesn’t hurt this ability to protect, either. You can expect a fully grown Rottweiler to reach about 27 inches tall and weigh over 100 pounds. Some males even reach over 125 pounds when their growth periods finish. 

However, I wouldn’t take this intimidating presence at face value. Rottweilers have a calmness about them that ensures they’re perfect pets. Plus, these dogs love being spoiled by their owners and provide endless cuddles.

Rottweiler or Pit bull-which dog is stronger? The answer may surprise you! Read on to find out what it is and learn more about the breed that comes out on top.

2. Labrador Retriever 

Labrador Retrievers (for our purposes black Labs) will always be a favorite breed among humans. These dogs are suitable for household pets with their adaptable, lovable personalities. I can’t imagine many situations where this breed wouldn’t be a good fit. 

After all, these furballs are animal/kid-friendly, easy to train, and love attention. The only downside is this breed does have sizable exercise requirements. So you’d be wise to set aside some time every day for adventuring with their black Labrador Retriever. 

Otherwise, these dogs can become overweight or display behavior issues. It’s where the potential for chewed-up furniture/clothes comes into play. How else is a dog who is stuck at home all day going to release their pent-up energy? 

If you're looking for the best black dog names for your ebony-colored pup, you're in luck! We've rounded up over 150 fantastic ideas for male and female dogs. Check them out!

3. Pug 

I’ve been obsessed with Pugs since I first watched Men in Black when it was released. In particular, I became fond of the black-coated ones that are rarer than the traditional fawn coloring. 

These adorable dogs certainly met my expectations after encountering them in real life. Pugs have a sweet disposition with large personalities. Honestly, I’ve never been around a pet with more spirit than this breed. 

But don’t think this large personality makes them a difficult dog to handle. Instead, Pugs are incredibly happy and affectionate with their owners. I’d even recommend them to parents as dog breeds don’t get more kid-friendly than these flat-faced delights. 

The only downsides are a little bit of stubbornness during training and health concerns. For instance, their flat faces can make breathing more difficult. It also ensures they’re more prone to allergies than most other breeds. 

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4. Great Dane 

Great Danes are known for one thing above everything else, their size. This massive breed towers over almost every other dog reaching up to 30 inches while weighing about 180 pounds when fully grown.  You’re basically living with a horse rather than a dog.

Some readers may wonder why anyone would ever get this breed. Well, Great Danes have excellent temperaments for being a family pet. These dogs are even-keeled and display patience most dogs can’t match. 

However, black Great Danes aren’t completely one color. Most Great Danes will have a white stripe on their chests, which could be a deal breaker for some owners. Other potential issues are their size provides many health issues and a shorter lifespan (about seven years).

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5. Dachshund

People looking for smaller dogs with black coat coloring should consider Dachshunds. This German breed has a unique physique that provides them a signature look. You may have heard them referred to as a wiener dog. 

In simpler terms, they have a longer body shape with a rounded face and long, floppy ears. It’s an unmistakable build that many owners consider cute. You can count me among those people as I can’t express anything but love for Dachshunds. 

A few other standout traits of this breed include a clever mind, devolution to owners, and an independent nature. So as you can imagine, these aspects can make them a bit tricky to train.  But they reward people who gain trust and respect by offering complete loyalty.

6. Schipperke 

The dark-coated Schipperke has an interesting history, which started in Belgium. At first, these small dogs with fluffy black coats were bred to work on ships or barges. Their job was guarding them and hunting rats who spread diseases during voyages: a rough beginning for one of the more visually appealing breeds. 

But this history also shows their intelligence and trainable natures. Owners only need to use positive reinforcement, and training will come easy. Furthermore, their intelligent minds allow them to comprehend almost any learnable command or trick.

The Schipperke’s temperament is another positive, especially when having a family. These dogs have a reputation for being great with children and other animals. So anyone with a multi-pet or kid-filled home would be smart to consider this breed.

The only concern is these small dogs often let their curiosity run wild. Owners will need to keep it in check, or they’ll find them in places where they don’t belong. This trait is why a Schipperke owner will never have a boring day!

Schipperke black dogs

7. German Shepherd 

There isn’t much to introduce when talking about German Shepherds. Most people have a sizable understanding of this breed through their work with police. But the one thing many people don’t know about them is that all-black German Shepherds do exist. 

Of course, this variation is rarer than the traditional black/tan GSD. But you can find them with a little bit of research and patience. Once you do, your all-black GSD will provide all the characteristics and traits that a traditional one offers.

These dogs will be intelligent, trainable, and have top-tier protective instincts. It makes them specialists in keeping families safe. In fact, their protective natures can be a little excessive, so training and exercise should be high-priorities.

Potential owners should also be aware of their shedding habits. These dogs shed an outrageous amount during the spring and fall. So brushing will be a daily requirement to avoid investing heavily in lint rollers.

8. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers have a similar reputation to German Shepherds. These dogs are powerful, muscular breeds with an intimidating presence (height reaches up to 28 inches, and weight can get up to 100 pounds) and almost all-black coats.

 It’s a set of traits that make them an obvious candidate for police and military work. But these tendencies aren’t the entire story of Doberman Pinschers. You can also expect them to be good family pets with a cuddly side.

This breed can even get along with other pets when socialized with them at an early age. So don’t judge them simply by their intimidating presence. In the proper household, these guard dogs can be lovable couch potatoes.

9. Scottish Terrier

The dignified appearance of Scottish Terriers makes them stand out among other breeds. I have a hard time not smiling when looking at them. It’s remarkable how much their faces resemble a human being at certain points. 

Some other standout traits include a traditional black coat color, short legs, and long bodies. You can attribute this physique to why they have so much success at hunting small prey. No rat or fox wants to see a Scottish Terrier in a backyard.

Scotties also have a reputation for being confident and bold to a fault. They won’t fear any situation or other dog, so socialization is key if you want them to get along with other pets. But overall, this smaller breed is fun to have in your home.

10. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

You won’t find a more misunderstood breed than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Their history of being bred for fighting provides them with a violent reputation. Sadly, their compact and muscular frames were suitable for these awful purposes. 

But this reputation couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, these dogs are sweet-natured, affectionate goofballs who love their families completely. 

Owners just need to be aware of their sizable energy needs, which require regular training and exercise. So Staffies may not be an ideal fit for someone constantly at the office. But if you meet those needs, a Staffie will be a perfect addition to your home. 

As for the coat colors, Staffies do come in many variations. But most of them will be solid black or black/white. It also isn’t too difficult to find them as there are a ton placed in rescues and shelters. 

black Staffordshire Bull Terrier

11. Border Collie

Border Collies come in various color combinations, including solid black and black/white. So if someone considers them a suitable fit, they shouldn’t have trouble finding a perfect color. 

But before they decide on color, they better be ready for this breed’s active personality. These dogs have an energy level that can be overwhelming. You need to keep them busy with various stimulating activities, or problematic behaviors can present themselves. 

This energy level is why I often recommend them to family households. It can keep the burden off of one person to meet this breed’s needs. Instead, you can have multiple people keep them busy throughout the day. 

Once these needs are met, this dog is a top-tier family pet. Your children won’t have more fun playing with another breed than this mid-size ball of energy. Additionally, you can train them to do almost anything because of their high-level athleticism and smarts.

border collie dog names

12. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are one of the more recognizable breeds in our world. Their rounded face with long, upwards-facing ears create a charming look. It’s almost a cheat code when you place this face on a French Bulldog’s compact, muscular build. As a result, it shouldn’t be hard to understand why people find them so endearing. 

Many French Bulldogs will also have a solid black coat perfect for our purposes. Truthfully, I don’t get why the AKC doesn’t recognize it as an official breed color. But regardless, these dogs do often fit the bill of a “black dog type.” 

As for temperament, French Bulldogs are similar to Pugs. These dogs have a sizable personality with a habit of loving everyone that comes into their lives. Training them can be an undertaking for inexperienced owners. So it’d be wise to look into behavioral classes if you struggle to control them.

Are French Bulldogs hypoallergenic? Find out the answer and discover why (or why not). Plus, learn more about what causes dog allergies.


Looking at these popular black dog types should help provide clarity about your decision. But remember, coat color should be the last deciding factor when selecting a breed. First, you need to account for other essential factors like size, temperament, or care needs.  

If you have questions about these breeds or anything else, let me know in our comment section. I’ll do whatever possible to ensure you choose the perfect dog for your home. Thanks for reading!


Ben Ro

My name is Ben Roberts, and I’ve been writing about animals for many years. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a much better job, considering I’ve been around animals all my life. I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t at least one cat or dog inside my home. Currently, I’m a proud owner of a Beagle and a Pitbull who make sure my life is never dull.

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