Black German Shepherd: Appearance, Personality, and Care

If you’ve ever seen a black German Shepherd before, you’ve probably been in awe of their beauty. Like a standard German Shepherd, these dogs are large with a thick, beautiful coat. However, they have pure black fur as opposed to the typical colors of a German Shepherd.

What is a Black German Shepherd?

At first glance, most people assume that the black German Shepherd is a mixed breed or a rare breed. However, they’re actually no different from a standard German Shepherd beyond their coloring. As the name implies, black German Shepherds are just regular German Shepherds with a mutation that turns their coats pure black.

Most of the time, black German Shepherds are bred specifically due to popular demand. However, it’s possible for them to be born in a regular litter even if both the parents are standard German Shepherds.

History

German Shepherds were first bred as working dogs in Germany. They were bred in 1899 to herd and protect sheep. As years went on, they eventually became a popular choice for police dogs as well. Today, they are one of the most popular dog breeds, not only for police work, but also for families. They can be brave and strong as a working dog, but they can also be loving and gentle as a family member.

Black German Shepherds have the same history since they are the same breed. However, they’re much more popular today than they were when the breed first came into existence. That’s because before, they were only bred that way by accident, but now, some breeders breed German Shepherds specifically to get unique color variations.

Appearance

German Shepherds can actually come in 11 different coat colors, including mixtures of brown, black, white, red, and gray fur. The black German Shepherd just happens to be one of the most popular color variations for this breed. For the most part, they look the same as your everyday German Shepherd, just with a pitch black coat and brown eyes.

However, these two types of German Shepherds do have some slightly different physical appearances. One main difference is that black German Shepherds are slightly larger. They could be an inch or two taller and about 10 to 20 pounds heavier. Black German Shepherds also have a straighter back while German Shepherds typically have a more curved structure.

The two German Shepherds might also have differences in their coats. German Shepherds often have fluffy coats with fur that needs lots of maintenance. However, black German Shepherds have a coat that appears straighter and shinier.

Temperament

These dogs behave much like any other German Shepherd. They are bred to be working dogs, so they are highly intelligent and energetic. They also like having a job to do, even in a household setting. So, if you don’t find a way to keep them busy, they might find their own way to entertain themselves, which could get them into trouble.

Like most dog breeds, they learn best from frequent training and socialization. They’re great at learning new tricks and commands, but it’s good to keep up with regular training to keep them busy. They are also great watchdogs. They’re always on the lookout for danger, so they will alert you if they see anything suspicious outside.

Despite being so strong and smart, these dogs hate being alone. They get attached to their family members very easily, so they could be prone to separation anxiety. Therefore, they are best suited for experienced dog parents because they can be needy in a household setting. If they aren’t getting enough attention, it could lead to destructive behaviors.

Black German Shepherd Care Requirements

In general, black German Shepherds have the same care requirements as other German Shepherd variations. However, that doesn’t mean they are easy to care for. Caring for one of these beautiful pups takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but it’s always worth it in the end.

Exercise

Like most working dogs, this breed is energetic. They need intense exercise every day to keep them happy and in shape. They will thrive best in a home with lots of space and a fenced-in yard. Ideally, they need at least an hour of exercise each day. However, that exercise should consist of you interacting with them, not just them running around in the yard alone for most of the day.

German Shepherds love the outdoors. If possible, they’ll want to run, hike, and swim as much as they can. So, having one of these dogs also means having an adventurous lifestyle. They need variety in their exercise routines, so walking around the same block every single day just isn’t going to cut it. Try to keep things exciting for both you and your dog.

If your German Shepherd doesn’t get enough exercise, not only will they gain weight, but they’ll also become bored. Boredom can cause dogs to gain destructive tendencies. So, they might bark too much or start ripping up valuable possessions. It’s not because they want to drive you crazy, but instead, it’s because they have nothing better to do. Therefore, these dogs need a home where they can get attention regularly. If you’re gone most of the day or if you don’t have enough time to exercise your dog, then a black German Shepherd is probably not the right companion for you.

Grooming Needs

All German Shepherds have the same grooming needs. This is because German Shepherds have double coats that shed heavily at two different times throughout the year. A double coat is a thick coat that has a protective outer layer and a dense undercoat. These types of coats are designed to protect your dog from all types of weather, from extreme cold to extreme heat. Therefore, shaving a German Shepherd’s double coat is dangerous because it could permanently harm the quality of their fur.

These dogs should also be brushed as much as possible. At least two times a week is ideal in order to properly manage their shedding. Since German Shepherds love to play outside, you’ll also need to bathe them regularly, probably at least once a month. Check their coat often for dirt and mud. It might be difficult to spot in their dark-colored coats, but as soon as you notice dirt getting stuck in their fur, you should give them a bath. A deshedding shampoo is likely the best type of shampoo to use because it can keep your dog clean while also reducing their shedding.

Training

All dogs need regular training and socialization, but it’s especially important for large, active breeds. The intelligence of the black German Shepherd makes them easy to train, but if you aren’t consistent about it, they might not listen as expected. Make sure you are kind and consistent with your training methods. This means that you should not punish your dog when they do something wrong. Dogs that get yelled at often don’t know what they did wrong. Instead, all they know is that you’re angry. So, scolding your dog will only cause them to fear you and make the training processes take longer.

In addition to training, you should make sure your dog socializes with other dogs and people at an early age. This means that you should introduce your dog to as many other dogs as possible. Let them meet other people and help them get used to being around unfamiliar people and animals. It’s important not to overwhelm them at first though, so start off with only a few new people at a time, and then eventually try visiting a dog park with them. If your dog doesn’t meet enough people and dogs when they first come home, they could end up becoming aggressive later on.

German Shepherds are strong, so if you don’t properly train them, then they could quickly get out of hand. If you’ve tried everything, but your pup just won’t listen to you, then you might need to reach out to a professional trainer. It will be much more expensive, but they will be able to help your dog behave on a regular basis.

Health Concerns

German Shepherds typically live about the same amount of time as other large dog breeds. However, like all breeds, they are prone to some common health concerns. The health concerns of a black German Shepherd are generally the same as any other German Shepherd.

One of the most common health concerns for this breed is bloat. Bloat happens when your dog’s stomach swells up and twists. It could be potentially deadly for your dog, but luckily, you can try to prevent it. If you stick to a consistent meal schedule, your dog’s risk of bloat will greatly decrease. Measure out their serving sizes for each meal, and take their age, weight, and activity level into consideration when choosing the ideal serving.

German Shepherds are also prone to joint problems just like most large dogs are. Hip and elbow dysplasia are some of the most common problems that could occur. These health problems happen when your dog’s joints don’t fit together properly, which could cause extreme pain for them. Osteoarthritis is another joint problem that’s commonly seen in large dogs. If you give your dog joint supplements as they age, you might be able to prevent joint pain from occurring.

The best way to ensure that your black German Shepherd stays healthy is to take them in for regular vet checkups. By taking them in at least once a year, you can stay on top of their potential health concerns and hopefully catch a problem before it worsens. This will also allow you to keep them up to date on vaccinations and preventatives. As your dog ages, you might want to take them in more frequently just to be safe. Senior dogs are usually recommended to have two vet visits a year as opposed to only one.

How Do You Know if a Black German Shepherd is Right for You?

It’s easy for someone to fall head over heels for the beautiful appearance of a black German Shepherd. However, like any other breed, you need to make sure they’re a good fit before you bring them into your home. You should never get a dog simply based on their appearance because then that dog might not behave how you expected.

As mentioned earlier, black German Shepherds are high energy dogs that need lots of attention, love, and exercise. Ideally, they should live with a family that’s home most of the time and able to give them the attention they crave. They also thrive with a family that’s active and adventurous. If you live in a small apartment, then that won’t be enough space. German Shepherds need room to run, so they need a house with a large yard if possible.

Also, black German Shepherds are not common. These dogs are only one color variation of the popular German Shepherd breed. So, you will likely need to go out of your way to find one. Unfortunately, it’s rare that you’ll find these dogs at a rescue or shelter, but it’s always possible. However, most people purchase these dogs from a breeder, which is much more expensive. These puppies typically cost anywhere from $700 to $2,000.

If you do decide to purchase one of these dogs instead of adopting a rescue pup, you need to be extra cautious with the breeder you choose. Sadly, a lot of dog breeders are only in it for the money, so they might not care for the dog’s health and wellbeing. A reputable breeder will let you see where they breed their dogs and let you meet the parents of the puppies. They will also be very knowledgeable about the breed, so they can answer any specific questions you have. Always make sure you can meet a puppy’s parents before bringing them home. Otherwise, you might be supporting a horrible breeding business without even knowing.

Black German Shepherds aren’t for everyone, but it’s no secret that they’re beautiful dogs. Make sure you consider everything about them before deciding to welcome one into your family. You should always choose your dog based on personality rather than appearance, so don’t rush into buying an expensive puppy if you’re not ready.

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