When choosing a dog, we all have our preferences over looks and personality. It is very important to find the perfect dog for you and your family. If you love the aesthetics and classiness of a black dog but don’t know which breed to choose, we can help. We will be going through the 20 best black dog breeds one by one to label their pros, cons, and factors you need to know.
Finding the perfect breed of dog for you matters so much so that they are a good fit for your home and lifestyle, and vice versa. If you don’t have a lot of time to walk your dog, you will want a breed that does not require long walks. House size will also deem which dog breed is appropriate for their adult size. Traits are also a key influencer with some dogs great for children, some that are ideal guard dogs, and even agility show breeds. So let’s find your perfect black dog below.
The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog but has the personality of a giant. At only 5-8 inches on average this breed of dog truly is a lapdog that you can move with one hand with ease. Although this breed was thought to have originated in China initially, they have a lot of American ancestry and were then formally named in Mexico after the state of Chihuahua. These cuddly lapdogs will adore their owner but may have some dog and stranger aggression. They also love long walks and activity so make sure you can provide this for them daily.
2. Mini & Toy Poodle
If you are searching for an intelligent, companion breed, then consider the Mini and Toy Poodle. These are old European breeds that were used as circus acts originally due to their ease of training. Mini Poodles are slightly larger than Toy Poodles with a maximum length of 15 inches compared to 10 inches for Toy Poodles. These are very sensitive dogs so you will need to work on their socialization young and make sure their household is not loud and too busy.
3. Scottish Terrier
The Scottish Terrier is a beautiful, small, black, dog breed. Also known as the Scottie dog, this confident and independent breed was originally bred to hunt vermin. A bonus of this breed is their hypoallergenic coat that minimizes all allergic reactions. With a height of 10 inches, these little dogs are perfect for smaller homes. Be aware though that they can display dog and stranger aggression and are a more stubborn breed. Therefore training can be a little difficult.
4. Miniature Pinscher
Bred in Germany to hunt vermin, this feisty little dog breed has a whole lot of character. With a max height of 11 inches, the Mini Pinscher is another small black dog breed on our list. They are a very energetic breed so require either a lot of room or a lot of walking and play day today. They are also wonderful companion dogs and bond with their owners strongly. However, these dogs can be a bit nippy if they are not well trained and properly socialized when young. So they are not usually recommended for families.
This toy dog breed has an average height of around 7-8 inches, an ideal lapdog. Most well known for their white coat, the black-coated Pomeranian is stunning to see. This breed originated from the German Spitz and the two were even classified as subtypes of one breed for a period of time. These are very friendly and playful dogs. They are good for children but not very young children often. Also, be aware that they will need regular grooming appointments to help manage their beautiful coat.
The Puli is known for its striking appearance of their corded coat. This little herding breed only measures 16-17 inches tall and is often mistaken for a small Komondor. Obviously, this breed will need to have their coat monitored and brought to groomers regularly so be sure to do so. As for their personality, this is a bright, and energetic dog who loves nothing more than to play. These are very friendly and gentle dogs with their family. They can have some problems with strangers and are initially difficult to train so these areas will need focusing on.
7. Mudi Dog
This Hungarian bred dog was originally creative for herding. Therefore, the Mudi Dog are very active dogs that love training and are good at it. At their max height, they can be 18 inches and are usually classified as medium-sized dog. Although they are very trainable, this is because they require a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Make sure that you can give these dogs long walks, play sessions, and keep them engaged through the day.
8. Finnish Lapphund
Another medium-sized black dog breed here from Finland. The Finnish Lapphund was bred to herd Reindeer and therefore are very easy to train. They adore their family and are very gentle dogs. At maximum, they can reach 20 inches tall and have a thick coat that will require a lot of grooming maintenance. These intelligent dogs love exercise and mental stimulation so be sure to keep them busy. One noted downside about this breed is their high prey drive and need to chase.
9. Brussels Griffon
The Brussels Griffon originates from Germany as vermin hunting dogs, particularly in farms and stables. Therefore this breed has high energy levels and a high prey drive. They do not require a lot of grooming but will need the occasional visit due to their facial fur. This is a toy breed and only stands at 10 inches tall maximum. These are very sweet and affectionate dogs that adore their owners. Therefore, many say they are great family dogs.
The fearless Schipperke comes from Belgian and was used for herding more than any other purpose. They have high energy levels and are incredibly agile. Make sure to walk them enough and play with them a lot so they don’t become hyperactive or frustrated. This little dog can reach a maximum height of around 13 inches. These dogs have been trained as little guard dogs due to their ease of training and devotion to their family. Although they are very intelligent which helps their training, they are stubborn so this can make things more difficult.
11. Giant Schnauzer
The Giant Schnauzer is a large German breed of dog and was an all-round working dog. Now you can find them as police dogs due to their love of pleasing their owners and high intelligence. These traits help with training and obedience. With a height of 27 inches and weighing up to 48kg this is a big dog. They are actually a hypoallergenic breed so can be kept by those with allergies. This is a very affectionate breed but is not usually recommended to be housed with children. Because of their strength and guarding nature they can be rough and aggressive.
12. Black German Shepherd
This is a very rare coloring of the German Shepherd but is very beautiful. They are simply a color variation of the regular breed and not an independent breed from the German Shepherd. These are very brave dogs that are loyal to their families. They are also very intelligent and are a great breed for training. This breed can reach a height of 26 inches and are a very muscular breed. The German Shepherd is very affectionate with their family but can also make excellent guard dogs.
13. Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher is a large, German breed that makes excellent guard dogs. They are very loyal to their family but can possess dog and stranger aggression. These aid their ability to be effective guard dog but can make walking them and socializing them a little differently if they haven’t had proper training and socialization when they are young. They will reach maximum heights of 28 inches and are very muscular dogs. Most will recognize this dog with their pointed ears and short tail from docking, but they will usually have a long curled tail and floppy ears.
The Rottweiler is the original police and military dog. Its strength, loyalty, and high intelligence made it ideal for this purpose. Their stamina is also very good for work endurance, therefore giving them a need to be constantly physically and mentally stimulated. Due to their history and selective breeding, these dogs made wonderful guard dogs for their family. With their maximum height of 27 inches and weight of 115 pounds, it is no wonder they create an intimidating presence. Make sure you train them from a young age to maintain control over them.
The Komondor is another sheepdog on our list, this is a large breed that can reach 27 inches tall. You can recognize this breed from their cords on their coat making them look like a walking mop. Although these dogs are very affectionate with their families, behaviorists don’t recommend them to be in a house with children. This is because they are not very patient and can be aggressive. You will need to groom this dog a lot and maintain their cords regularly.
16. Great Dane
The Great Dane is a huge dog breed also known as a gentle giant. Although they can be great guard dogs they are also very affectionate and loyal to their families. With a maximum height of 32 inches, this is a dog breed for a large house. Due to their large size and power, you need to make sure you are training them appropriately and socializing them young so you can control them as they get bigger. They are very playful dogs that have high energy needs so be ready for long walks and lots of playtime.
17. Black Russian Terrier
The large Black Russian Terrier stands at 28 inches high and is a very powerful dog. This black dog breed was created in the 1940s/50s to be a working military dog. Therefore they made sure it was strong, had high endurance, and good trainability. If you are looking for a guard dog then this is certainly a breed to consider. These dogs are very brave but also have aggression at strangers which would be difficult to train away due to their guarding nature.
18. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is a strong dog used for guarding and the police. With a maximum height of 27.5 inches this is a powerful and tall large dog. Bred to attack big game, this breed is the ultimate guard and protection dog. However, they have a huge amount of muscle so you will need to thoroughly train and socialize them when young. Obedience training is crucial here. This is a very loving and affectionate breed. If they are well trained then they can be good for families, but otherwise they shouldn’t be around children.
The Newfoundland is a huge dog that originally helped fishermen. They are great swimmers with a water-resistant coat due to their purpose. At 28 inches they are one of the biggest breeds to exist and also possess a lot of muscle. They have a beautiful, thick coat but they will need regular grooming to avoid knotting and keep them clean. This is a very loving dog breed to everyone, dogs, animals, and children included. A true large family dog. Just be sure to train them else they could be unruly as they get older.
The Briard is a very old dog breed, one of the oldest in the world in fact. This is a French herding dog that is most recognized for their long fur that can cover their eyes most often. They are a very smart breed with a lot of energy so be sure to walk them regularly and involve them in training. These are very dog-friendly dogs but aren’t great with strangers. They are also relatively easy to train so you can make sure they behaving and under control throughout their life.
There is a stigma attached to the behavior of dogs that have black coats. The media have painted them to be more aggressive, and more willing and able to cause harm. In the USA American dogs and cats are the least adopted in shelters. Many attribute this to this perception, alongside it being more difficult to recognize a dog’s emotions because they are harder to see with their dark coat.
Dogs with black fur can be loving, gentle, patient, active, and so many other traits. Although research into fur coloration and personality traits is ongoing, there are so many other factors that go into personality. Genetics, environment, breed, gender, and a number of other factors.
Proper bathing, grooming, and health care can all help towards taking care of your black dog’s natural color. A healthy dog will look their best and regular care appropriate to their breed, size, age, and grooming needs will allow you to achieve that goal.
The Black Dog Syndrome is where owners will ignore black dogs in shelters, and unfortunately, this is real. Due to the stigma attached to black dog breeds and owners struggling to see their facial expressions. It affects the dog’s care within shelters and also reduces their chance of being adopted.
There are so many benefits of these wonderful, beautiful dogs. So many, that we wrote a list of the best, take a look:
– They look cleaner
– These dogs look cool
– You can see them in the snow
– They can look menacing and impressive as a guard dog
– They look great next to you while you are wearing any outfit
These are obviously more light-hearted reasons for why you should own one. But a great reason is because they are not popular in shelters but just as loving and needing of a home as other dogs.
National Black Dog Day is October 1st. It holds a wonderful purpose to bring awareness to black dogs in shelters and to help them be adopted.
So which black dog breed was your favorite? There are some wonderful choices here with dogs for all kinds of owners and families. Don’t limit a dog just because of their color like so many potential owners do year-round. Make a difference and consider one of these amazing dogs. They are beautiful, loving, and hold many different working purposes. And if you are considering doing so, check out our list of 200+ black dog names here!