21 beautiful black dog breeds (with pictures!)
Black dogs can be mysterious, regal, beautiful, and even intimidating. But when it comes to color, black is actually a pretty common shade in the canine work.
There are many pups with black markings, those that are black and white, and even tri-colored. But how many solid black doggies can you think of? Here are 21 of our favorites!
What are the genetics of a black dog?
For our furry best friends, black is considered a dominant gene. Dogs either have yellow-red pigmentation in their skin or black-brown. Dogs with different colors are the result of other genes affecting their color. As well as changing coat color, these genes can also affect the color of the dog's nose, eyes, and skin.
For a dog to be black they need to have the following three dominant genes: B (black pigmentation), C (full color), and D (dense coat).
Is color really that important?
This list of 21 black dogs includes all types of different pups – big, small, fluffy, and short-haired. But regardless of what they look like, temperament and health are much more important than whether their coat is dark enough or not. It's important you think about whether you can really provide for a dog (in terms of exercise and food) and whether you have the experience to manage them.
Whilst it's perfectly natural for many dog breeds to be black, it's not natural for every breed. Be wary of breeders trying to sell you dogs that aren't ‘supposed to be black (such as a black Samoyed). You're either being fooled or the dogs are being unethically bred.
21 black dog breeds (of all shapes and sizes)!
Here are 21 fully black dogs for you to choose from (or nearly fully black)! They're all beautiful, but it's important you think about whether they'd be a good match for you and your family.
Labradors are America's favorite dogs.
Friendly, intelligent, loving, and playful they really are the perfect family dog. These pups come in three different colors – yellow, chocolate, and black.
They're relatively easy to train but they do require a lot of exercise. Labs love swimming (and they have a waterproof coat) as well as fetch and time playing. They do shed quite a lot, but mixes such as Labradoodles are considered more hypoallergenic.
Pugs are an ancient breed from China and whilst they do come in all black, they're actually pretty rare.
You can expect to pay a bit more for a black pug as opposed to another color. These little black dogs are affectionate, playful, and very adaptable.
They are a flat-faced breed, which means they shouldn't do too much exercise and they don't do well in warm weather. Pugs are a popular choice for many families because their personality is so great!
Miniature Pinschers are feisty and cute in equal measures. Most experts think they're probably a mix between a Dachshund and an Italian Greyhound.
They're happy spending time with their family and people they know but can be wary of strangers – which means they make great watchdogs. These pups are mostly all black but some of them may have rust markings on their face.
Despite their size (these dogs really are massive), Newfoundlands are actually very gentle.
They were first bred to rescue people from the icy Canadian waters and to help fishermen go about their work. These dogs are very strong and are happy to work on land too.
Known as gentle giants, Newfoundlands are also really patient around children. They have a thick, double coat which requires brushing a couple of times a week. You can also expect quite a bit of drooling from a Newfoundland!
The Great Dane is another really big black dog breed. They come in all sorts of colors and black is definitely one of the most striking.
Just like Newfoundlands, Great Danes are gentle giants that have a really mellow personality. Because they are so big, care should be taken when exercising them when they're young as their bones are growing very quickly.
Too much exercise can cause them problems in later life. Although beautiful and a wonderful pet (for those with experience with large breeds), Great Danes have a relatively short lifespan compared to other black dog breeds.
Pulis are really easy to recognize thanks to their iconic dreads!
These amazing dogs are loyal and very quick learners which makes them ideal herding dogs. They originated in Hungary and their strong, corded coat helped to keep them warm in the fields and actually protect them from predators searching for sheep.
Pulis are very alert but as you can imagine, they require quite a lot of grooming to keep their coat neat. They can be brushed out or you can leave them corded.
Scottish Terriers (or Scotties as they're also called) are an active and independent black dog breed that's very affectionate towards their family.
As is the case with most Terries, Scotties are persistent little dogs that can do anything when they put their mind to it. Underneath their furnished coat is a strong body that loves to play.
They still have quite a prey drive so it's not recommended these dogs live in homes with other small pets.
Dachshunds are nearly all black – you'll just have to forgive little tan eyebrows and possibly some tan markings on their feet.
This German dog breed can have a black coat that's either long or short. Dachshunds are playful, alert, and adoring dogs but they can be a bit vocal (which makes them great watchdogs).
It's important to make sure they don't jump up too much or climb as this can affect their elongated spine.
This might not be one of the most popular dog breeds on this list – but it certainly should be!
Mudis are wonderful, loyal, and affectionate farm dogs that love to work. These dogs are intelligent and can do a number of jobs on the farm but they're particularly good at herding and protecting sheep.
The reason you might not have heard of this breed before is that they're very rare. In fact, there are only a couple of thousand Mudis in the world, so you'll be lucky to get your hands on one!
Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog is an exceptionally intelligent dog breed that was first bred to help fishermen.
They're bold, active, and always the first ones to get into water. These dogs have a tightly curled coat that can be brown, white, or black and there are a couple of different hairstyles that these pups can have.
They don't shed much and are easy to train (they'll be happy to do anything for their family)!
The Affenpinscher, or the Monkey Terrier as the breed is also called, can be all black, black and silver, or black and tan.
Their coat is quite fluffy and requires a good amount of grooming to keep it clean and tangle-free. Affenpinschers are excitable and active and need a good walk every day.
They're not the easiest dogs to train as they have a bit of a tendency to think they know best. Their feisty attitude means they won't give you their paw if they're not in the mood!
What's the difference between a Flat-Coated Retriever and a Golden Retriever? The main difference between these similar dog breeds is that the flat-coated variety can have a black coat.
These sporting dogs also need more exercise than Goldies as they have a lot of energy to burn.
They're active, adoring, and love to go on long hikes or excursions with their family. Some dog owners say these pups never really grow up and are puppies their whole lives. So you'll need to have a lot of energy to have one!
Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers are big, powerful dogs that were bred to guard. These pups really are big and can even grow to 140 pounds. Some say they look like a Giant Schnauzer.
They're majestic and their thick coat allows them to stand guard in some pretty chilly conditions. They're not the most affectionate dog breed in the world but they do like spending time with family. They can be wary around strangers though.
This is another one if you don't mind your dog having a bit of black and tan on its coat.
Rottweilers are confident dogs that, in contrast to what many people think of them, are actually calm and not aggressive.
They're large and muscular black dogs that are very affectionate with their family. Their confidence and alert nature make them wonderful guard dogs.
The Swedish Lapphund is the oldest Swedish breed and is thought to be one of the oldest breeds ever!
These fluffy, bear-like dogs were originally used as hunting and guarding dogs, but as the reindeer trade gained popularity, their owners soon realized they're amazing herding dogs too!
Swedish Lapphunds are very affectionate dogs that are alert and kind. They're good with kids they grow up with and are very loyal.
Again, you might have to forgive the tan eyebrows and facial markings on these otherwise black dogs.
Dobermans are considered to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds there is. They're incredible protection dogs and fiercely loyal to those they love.
They're often portrayed as aggressive pups but that's not true. Dobermans are great with children and love spending time with their families. They are big dogs though and require a lot of training.
Poodles are athletic dogs known for their tight curls and signature haircuts.
They come in three different sizes (miniature, toy, and standard) and they're very clever dogs. They love fun training sessions and are happy to please their owners.
These pooches need lots of exercise (preferably close to water) and they're a good choice for allergy sufferers as they don't shed as much as other dogs. Poodles come in many different colors including solid black – which is particularly striking!
Miniature Schnauzers are stocky and robust little dogs that were bred for farm work and to catch rats. They're strong and fearless but equally amusing and loving.
They're great with kids and love playing with their owners. Their coat is wiry and comes in three different colors – one of which is solid black. Miniatures are easily spotted thanks to their Schnauzer beard and longer leg hair. As far as dog breeds go, Miniature Schnauzers are a pretty perfect family pet!
There are many different Cane Corso colors but one of the most eye-catching is all black.
These dogs are fierce protectors that are muscular, strong, and confident. They're highly trainable dogs and love having a job to do – preferable protecting or guarding something.
Cane Corsos are one of the most loyal dog breeds you can find and desperately want to please their owners. They can come across as intimidating but a well-bred pup is affectionate towards their family and aloof around strangers.
This black dog breed loves hard work over anything else. They're an exceptionally skilled herder and are very intelligent.
Even though they're happy to be out working in the field, they're really not dogs that can be left alone for long periods of time. They crave human companionship and like attention.
Belgian Sheepdogs have very fluffy coats with extra hair around their collar and breeches. They can either be entirely black or black and white.
Afghan Hounds are an ancient dog breed that was first bred to hunt.
These long-haired dogs are surprisingly fast and nimble despite their locks. Afghan Hounds are very regal, dignified, and can be wary of strangers. They can also be very silly and playful when they want to be!
As you might expect, an Afghan Hound's coat needs a lot of regular grooming to keep it looking so sleek. The AKC accepts these dogs in nine different colors, including black. Although not the dog breed for everyone, for the right owner Afghan Hounds make wonderful pets.
All the dogs on this list can have beautiful black coats. Some are large and others are very small – but they're all very striking. Which of these black dogs is your favorite?
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!