All pups are undeniably adorable with their wagging tails and endearing smiles. But there’s something special about black dog breeds that make individuals gaze in awe. These enchanting canines exude elegance, power, and a hint of mystery.
They are often exceptional guides, guardians, and loyal companions. Depending on the pup’s genetics, they can either be solid-colored or particolored black beauties. You’ll find several kinds of canines sporting this dark, majestic coat, from fluffy big dogs to small black dog breeds.
Each dog has a unique personality and physical characteristics. But, most are often viewed as intimidating. And as a result, they are adopted less frequently than dogs of other coat colors.
Contrary to the coat color prejudice, these cute pups are lovable and ready for endless cuddles. If you’re considering welcoming a new furry member to your family, you can find one from a list of the 39 best black dog breeds below.
- 1 39 Black Dog Breeds – Medium, Mini, and Large
- 1.1 1. Labrador Retriever
- 1.2 2. German Shepherd
- 1.3 3. Great Dane
- 1.4 4. Cane Corso
- 1.5 5. Doberman Pinscher
- 1.6 6. Black Russian Terrier
- 1.7 7. Belgian Sheepdog
- 1.8 8. Bernese Mountain Dog
- 1.9 9. Schipperke
- 1.10 10. Poodle
- 1.11 11. Scottish Terrier
- 1.12 12. French Bulldog
- 1.13 13. Pug
- 1.14 14. Puli Dog
- 1.15 15. Schnauzer
- 1.16 16. Chihuahua
- 1.17 17. Affenpinscher
- 1.18 18. Portuguese Water Dog
- 1.19 19. Border Collie
- 1.20 20. Rottweiler
- 1.21 21. Afghan Hound
- 1.22 22. Newfoundland
- 1.23 23. Neapolitan Mastiff
- 1.24 24. Dutch Shepherd
- 1.25 25. English Cocker Spaniel
- 1.26 26. Pomeranian
- 1.27 27. Greyhound
- 1.28 28. Flat-coated Retriever
- 1.29 29. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- 1.30 30. Lancashire Heeler
- 1.31 31. Australian Kelpie
- 1.32 32. Black Norwegian Elkhound
- 1.33 33. Daschund
- 1.34 34. Beauceron
- 1.35 35. Hovawart
- 1.36 36. Mudi Dog
- 1.37 37. Barbet Dog
- 1.38 38. Swedish Lapphund
- 1.39 39. Croatian Sheepdog
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions about Black Dog Breeds
- 2.1 Are there specific dog breeds that are entirely black?
- 2.2 Do black dog breeds have any unique health concerns related to their coat color?
- 2.3 Are black dog breeds more aggressive or prone to behavioral issues?
- 2.4 Do black dog breeds have a harder time finding homes in shelters or rescue organizations?
- 3 Ready to Bring Home One of These Black Dog Breeds?
39 Black Dog Breeds – Medium, Mini, and Large
Black-colored dogs will certainly melt their owner’s heart, and there are plenty of different breeds to choose from. Keep reading for a list of the most beautiful dog breeds that boast a mesmerizing black coat.
1. Labrador Retriever
Labradors are best known for their intelligence, trainability, and super-friendly personalities. They are excellent family pets as well as service and guide dogs. And these loveable pups have been crowned the most popular breed in the United States for around 30 years.
They feature a short and dense double coat that comes in black, chocolate, and yellow. In the beginning, most Labradors were black, and only those pups were considered to be acceptable. Today, black labs are one of the most popular medium black dog breeds.
2. German Shepherd
Unlike the Labrador, coming across an all-black German Shepherd is rare. For most of them, the black color is a recessive gene. As such, these dogs often sport a stunning sable coat.
As its name suggests, these courageous canines originate from Germany. They are agile, medium to large-sized dogs with an athletic appearance. German Shepherds boast a thick coat, well-muscled body, and large pointed ears.
They are renowned for their strength, obedience, intelligence, and all-around noble character. Whether you’re looking for a gentle family pet or a police dog, this breed is a great choice.
Read more about the German Shepherd Black Lab mix.
3. Great Dane
The Great Dane is another black-coated pup that originates from Germany. They are elegant dogs with glossy short coats and cropped ears. When it comes to black dog breeds, short hair looks especially stately, as these dogs often boast shiny and neat coats. Although they look beautiful, it’s important to remember that Great Danes can grow to a staggering 32 inches at the shoulder and are one of the largest dog breeds.
Although they descend from hunting dogs, they are good-natured and peaceful company. These gentle giants have a friendly temperament and get along well with kids and other pets. You’ll find them in seven coat colors, with fawn being the most common – like the famous cartoon canine Scooby-Doo.
4. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is an Italian breed that was developed to hunt big game, herd cattle, and guard properties since Roman times. Black is one of the six coat colors that these mighty canines display and it certainly adds to their overall powerful appearance.
They are muscular working dogs and typically weigh around 100 pounds. With their affectionate and protective nature, these dogs love guarding their families – but you’ll need a durable dog bed to keep them comfy. If you’re looking for a furry companion to protect your home or livestock, this breed is ideal.
5. Doberman Pinscher
Dobermans are renowned for their stunning black and rust coats and elegant appearance. You’ll find these beauties in popular TV series and movies such as Magnum PI and the 1979 James Bond movie.
Unlike the black and rust pups, all-black Dobermans are found less often. They are referred to as melanistic Dobermans. These canines are extremely powerful and feature a muscular body. With their sleek silhouette, Dobermans stand between 24 to 28 inches tall. Along with the Great Dane, Dobermans are one of the tallest dog breeds.
They are known for their intelligence, responsiveness, and trainability. These affectionate dogs make great family pets, especially if you have a fenced yard for them to run around.
6. Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers were developed during the late 1940s and early 1950s. And as its name suggests, these fluffy pups come from Russia. They were bred for use as working and military dogs.
These dogs are affectionate and protective towards their families and are known as the Pearls of Russia. Although they make excellent guard dogs, these people-pleasing pups should not be outside-only dogs as they require quality time and regular grooming.
They sport a black double coat and a long beard and mustache. So, you’ll need a high-quality dog brush to keep them in top shape.
7. Belgian Sheepdog
The beautiful Belgian Sheepdog, also called Groenendael, is one of the best medium black dog breeds. They typically boast an all-black double coat that is long and shiny. But, you may find some with patches of white on their bodies.
These herding dogs are known as workaholics and are highly trainable and active. Standing between 22 to 26 inches tall, these large pups have big hearts and thrive on loving relationships.
They are known for being intelligent, vigilant, sensitive, and hard-working. With strong guarding instincts, Belgian Sheepdogs make exceptional family and security service dogs. But, like any herding dog, these medium black dogs require a lot of exercise.
8. Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog breed is a Sennenhund dog from the Swiss Alps. These large canines typically feature a tricolor coat (black, white, and tan), and black is the most dominant. However, you can also find them with a fluffy, all-black appearance.
As they descend from Roman mastiffs, you can expect these canines to be large at an average weight of 100 pounds and 23 to 28 inches tall. They are affectionate and faithful pups, but they require adequate exercise and attention.
Read more about the Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle mix.
If you’re looking for short black dogs with an affectionate and energetic personality, the stunning Schipperke might be the one for you. This brave Belgian breed was developed for rat-catching and guarding purposes.
With their soft, fluffy coat and dazzling dark eyes, these pups will capture your heart in an instant. Their coats are generally black. But, you can find them in other solid colors with shades such as ivory, cream, and chocolate.
Poodles are known for their aesthetic appearance, intelligence, and liveliness. There is controversy regarding their origin, with some believing it to be Germany and others France. But one thing that is certain is that these pups are super adorable and excellent pets.
Poodles have a puffy appearance with four size varieties: toy, miniature, medium, and standard. Most Poodles showcase a solid coat, with black being a common color.
While you’ll certainly have a wide selection of medium-sized black dogs, you’re unlikely to find one as intelligent as the poodle. These loving pups make great companions for active individuals and younger kids. They also often play a part in the development of cross-breed dogs; such as the Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle and the Golden Mountain Doodle.
11. Scottish Terrier
The Scottish Terriers are confident, independent, and fearless pups that originated in Scotland. The most popular coat color for Scotties is black. But you can also find them with brindle or wheat-colored coats.
They are short-legged and grow to an adorable height of 10 inches. This small black dog has a compact body as well as a dashing beard that complements its cute muzzle.
If you’re seeking an allergy-friendly furry companion, these hypoallergenic Scottish pups are great. But be sure to keep a hair trimmer at hand as their long fur may brush the ground if left uncut.
12. French Bulldog
There is so much to love about Frenchies, from their pointed bat-like ears to their relaxed demeanor. You’ll find these pups in several colors, such as white, black, fawn, and brindle.
Some Frenchies have black markings with cream as the dominant color. And coming across an all-black dog is rare.
These stocky pups have a mild-mannered temperament and love getting attention. This black short hair dog does well in both a single-person household and a large family.
The charming Pug breed comes from China and was originally developed to be lap dogs. They have a cute, wrinkly appearance with a small and sturdy frame. When pugs have the dominant black gene, they sport a solid black-colored coat.
The Black Pug is one of the oldest purebred dogs in history. As they are social and loving dogs, they do well in almost every kind of family. Whether you’re a senior in a one-bedroom apartment or a family with young kids, Pugs are the perfect easy-going pal.
14. Puli Dog
The Puli is a small-medium breed that was first bred in Hungary to herd and protect livestock. These canines are renowned for their unique corded coats. Their undercoats are soft, woolly, and dense, while the outer is long with a dreadlock appearance.
These cool coats can take up to four years to grow and cord completely. Puli dogs feature a solid color — with shades of black, rusty black, gray, or white. They are energetic, confident, and super dedicated to their owners.
These black medium-sized dogs surprisingly do well in most climates. Their dense coats regulate temperature really well. But of course, keeping your dog cool in the summer is essential.
The Schnauzer dog breed originates from Germany and comprises three size varieties: miniature, standard, and giant. All three are super smart, alert, friendly, and high-spirited doggos.
They boast a medium-length, wiry coat in various color patterns, including solid black, salt and pepper, and black and silver. One of their most distinctive features is their cute bearded snout.
These pups are exceptional pets and do well with kids of all ages, especially the Standard Schnauzer. When it comes to their ideal environment, the black medium size dog prefers being part of a pack to a one-person household.
Named after the Mexican state, the Chihuahua is a lovable little dog and one of the smallest breeds you’ll come across. Unlike their small appearance, these pups have an attitude that’s larger than life.
Black Chihuahuas are super adorable and portable pups – they can easily fit in a dog purse and accompany you everywhere you go. Other common coat colors include brown, fawn, red, and cream.
Chihuahuas are an aggressive dog breed. But, they are social and loving to their families with proper training. And they are excellent apartment watchdogs with their courageous and spunky doggy behavior.
Read more about the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix.
The Affenpinscher is a rare dog breed with a fun-loving and adventurous temperament. They are toy-sized dogs and stand nine to 12 inches tall with adorable monkey-like expressions.
Acceptable coat colors include black, black, and tan, beige, silver, red, and gray. They feature a medium-length, wiry coat that requires regular grooming.
If left untamed, the soft and fluffy coat becomes harsh and rough. So, it’s best to have both a brush and metal comb on hand. These hypoallergenic pups are great for individuals with allergies as well as families with older kids.
18. Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dogs breed was developed to serve as a fisherman’s helper. They were trained to herd fish and fetch broken nets around the coast of Portugal.
Portuguese Water dogs are well-muscled, medium-sized canines. Their coat comprises cute, tight curls and displays color patterns including black, brown, and white.
These water-loving beauties enjoy splashing in the sea and exercising with their loved ones. So, if you’re seeking a workout buddy or a low-shedding companion to snuggle with, these pups are perfect.
19. Border Collie
Border Collies are well-known for being exceptional herders and family pets. They are highly trainable, obedient, and intelligent.
These medium-sized athletic pups display a gorgeous double coat in several colors. Black is one of 17 standard colors, but an all-black coat is less common.
The black Border Collies typically feature spots of white, and the most common is the tri-colored pups with black, tan, and white fur. For more information on this adorable breed, check out this guide on the Blue Merle Border Collie.
Rottweilers are famous big dogs with immense strength, bravery, and power. They are protective pups with massive heads and robust bodies.
They feature short, dense coats that are mainly black, with some displaying a few tan points. Although these large dogs may appear fierce to some, they are softies towards their families.
Rottweilers are calm, protective, and affectionate towards their loved ones. They are both exceptional working dogs and loving furry family members.
21. Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is an ancient breed that originated from the cold mountains of Afghanistan. With their captivating appearance, these pups are sought-after show dogs and pets.
They feature a thick, silky coat that has a fine texture. And surprisingly, these graceful long-haired dogs do not shed as heavily as other breeds.
Afghan Hounds exude elegance and commonly feature a black, cream, or red coat. They are a bit aloof at times, but they’re also quite clownish, happy, and dignified.
The mighty Newfoundland dogs were originally bred to be fishermen’s helpers. From performing water rescues to guarding homes, these working dogs can do it all.
The most common coat color is black, but you’ll also find them in shades of brown and gray. They are delightful companions but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for them as they are an expensive dog breed.
They have an astonishing size with super furry, muscular, and strong bodies. On average, Newfies weigh around 100 to 150 pounds and stand 26 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder.
And the size of their hearts matches their appearance. Newfies are sweet-tempered and get along well with children.
23. Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiff is an ancient large dog breed that was rediscovered in Italy during the late 1940s. Today, they’re a rare breed, and the black-colored pups are highly desirable.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are massive dogs that can weigh up to 180 pounds and feature wrinkly faces, loose folds of skin, and muscular bodies. These gentle giants will love the entire family, but they’re wary of strangers.
They are not the ideal breed for apartment living. But if you have sufficient space, get ready for lots of loving cuddles and slobbery kisses.
24. Dutch Shepherd
Dutch Shepherds are excellent herding dogs that hail from the Netherlands. With their almond-shaped eyes and upright ears, these muscular canines have a stunning appearance.
You’ll find them in three different coat types: short, wire, and long. Their coat features a brindle pattern with shades of black, gray, blue, or white. However, white is often viewed as a fault.
Dutch Shepherds are obedient and affectionate canines. They excel in guarding, herding, police work, and simply rounding up kids to the dinner table.
25. English Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels are world-famous for their soft, floppy ears and notable silky coats. They are medium-sized and come in a variety of colors, including solid black, tan, and red. And the black-colored fur certainly adds to the pup’s overall elegant appearance.
These precious pups are gentle, affectionate, and quiet. They are easy-going and playful but can be snappy with small kids.
The Pomeranian is a luxurious little pup that belongs to the unofficial group of spitz dogs. They are best known for their puffy appearance and cute foxy faces.
These puffballs come in a variety of colors, including black, white, and cream. The black Pom is quite rare, and its beauty will leave you in awe.
They are intelligent pups that love being the center of attention. They can be dominant at times, and their bark is much louder than their bite. But they are excellent pets for the elderly and those living in apartments.
The Greyhound is a spectacular sprinter that was bred to hunt deer, foxes, and hare. These sleek canines can reach speeds of up to 40 to 45 miles per hour.
However, they are renowned for being lazy and love a good nap – that can last up to 18 hours per day. Despite their large size, they are excellent apartment dogs and love to cuddle.
Although they lack body fat, these slender canines have an array of admirable traits. Greyhounds are best known for being intelligent, independent, quiet, and affectionate.
28. Flat-coated Retriever
This admirable retriever breed originated in England. As their name suggests, they feature a moderately long black coat that lays flat on their medium to large-sized bodies.
Their remarkable coat protects against extreme weather conditions, ground cover, and water. And, of course, the lustrous fur adds to the pup’s overall adorable appearance.
They have an athletic build with a sleek appearance. These pups are exceptional family pets and are known for being super friendly, outgoing, and optimistic.
29. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Stafford Staffy is a stocky short-haired dog from England. They are small to medium-sized dogs and stand between 17 to 19 inches tall, with an average weight ranging between 30 to 40 pounds.
Staffies are exceptionally loving, energetic, enthusiastic, and intelligent doggos. They are also known as the nanny dogs and are great guardians for and gentle playmates with kids.
30. Lancashire Heeler
The Lancashire Heeler is a small dog breed that was bred to herd livestock as well as hunt rats and rabbits. On average, their height ranges between 10 to 12 inches at the withers, and weighs between 13 to 18 pounds.
Lancashire Heelers feature a glossy, short black coat with tan markings. The short hair black dog is intelligent, friendly, and loving. Unfortunately, they are also a vulnerable native breed in the UK.
31. Australian Kelpie
The Australian Kelpie is an exceptional working dog with an adorable, furry appearance. They boast a lush medium-length coat in several colors, including solid black, blue merle, and red merle.
They are good-natured and affectionate pups that do well in active households. Although they are highly trainable, these medium size black dogs are better suited for experienced pet parents than first-time owners.
32. Black Norwegian Elkhound
The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a stunning Spitz breed. These black medium dogs are rarely found outside the Nordic countries of Scandinavia.
These hunting dogs are very agile and move swiftly through snowy lands with their mesmerizing dark coats. They are strong-willed, intelligent, and alert. Historically, they served as hunters of elks, bears, wolves, and lynxes.
Hailing from Germany, the Daschund is one of the most popular dogs in the world. They are also known as the badger dog, wiener dog, and sausage dog. They sport a long body with adorable short legs.
You’ll find Daschunds with smooth, wire, or long-haired coats. Black is a common base color, but a solid black pup is rare as they usually feature tan markings.
Unlike their legs, the list of reasons to love Daschunds is long. They are playful, intelligent, lively, and courageous pups.
Beaucerons are highly trainable and obedient herding dogs. They sport a black, short, and smooth double coat. Although they are extremely powerful, they are also gentle with kids – but keep an eye out for playful herding and nipping.
Whether you’re looking for a helper in the fields or a protective family dog, Beaucerons are eager to please. However, they are not the best pick for first-time dog owners.
The Hovawart dog is a large-sized breed from Germany. They have soft, long coats with shades of black and gold. These powerful working dogs excel as therapy and guard dogs as well as search and rescue services.
They are active and devoted dogs that get along well with kids. However, they also have a dominant temperament, so early socialization with other pets is best.
36. Mudi Dog
The Mudi is an all-purpose farm dog from Hungary. They were originally used for herding and are known for being agile and athletic.
These short-haired pups feature adorable upright ears and smooth and straight black fur. You’ll also find this rare breed in other colors, such as white, brown, gray, and fawn.
37. Barbet Dog
Barbet is an adorable French water dog. These medium-sized pups are joyful, intelligent, affectionate, and make great family pets.
With their cute appearance and soft curls, you’ll want to cuddle with them all day. Barbet dogs boast a dense, curly coat with a charming bearded face. Their shaggy coat comes in several shades, including black, brown, gray, and fawn.
38. Swedish Lapphund
The Swedish Lapphund is one of three Lapphund breeds and has worked as a guard dog, hunter, and reindeer herder for centuries.
This rare breed is a Spitz-type dog originating from Sweden. The Swedish Lapphund is also the national dog of its homeland.
These mesmerizing pups boast fluffy black fur and an adorable foxy face. They are lively, fun-loving dogs and exceptional family pets.
39. Croatian Sheepdog
The Croatian Sheepdog is an ancient breed with roots dating back to the 14th century. These sheepdogs feature wavy or curly fur on their medium-sized frame.
Their base color is always black, and most are solid black pups. But, you can find some with patches of white on their chest and feet. If you’re looking for an exceptional working dog or intelligent family pet, these athletic dogs are always eager to please their loved ones.
Frequently Asked Questions about Black Dog Breeds
Are there specific dog breeds that are entirely black?
Yes, there are several dog breeds that are known for having all-black coats. Some of these breeds include the Black Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler, Belgian Malinois, Doberman Pinscher, Newfoundland, and the Scottish Terrier, among others.
While black dog breeds don’t have specific health concerns directly related to their coat color, it’s important to note that some breeds with darker coats might be more susceptible to overheating in warm climates due to the absorption of sunlight.
Are black dog breeds more aggressive or prone to behavioral issues?
Coat color does not directly influence a dog’s temperament or behavior. A dog’s temperament is primarily influenced by genetics, socialization, and the environment in which they are raised. It’s crucial to remember that each dog is an individual, and generalizations about behavior based on coat color are not accurate.
Do black dog breeds have a harder time finding homes in shelters or rescue organizations?
Unfortunately, there is a phenomenon called “black dog syndrome,” where black dogs, along with other dark-coated animals, may have a harder time finding adoptive homes compared to dogs with lighter coats. This might be due to various factors, including cultural superstitions or misconceptions about black dogs being less friendly or aggressive. However, responsible pet owners should focus on a dog’s individual personality and suitability for their lifestyle, regardless of coat color.
Ready to Bring Home One of These Black Dog Breeds?
Whether you’re looking for a long-haired canine or a short-legged pup, there are plenty of adorable options when it comes to all black dogs. In addition to the aesthetic coats, be sure to consider the specific grooming requirements and ideal environment before getting a dog.
If you have your eye on one of these black beauties, share your thoughts in the comment below. I’d love to know which majestic coat caught your attention.
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