Black German Shepherd - Rare Dark Diamond

Black German Shepherd - Rare Dark Diamond

Author WDF Staff


When we are thinking about the German Shepherd breed, we rarely think about black German Shepherds. Most of our minds go straight to the black and tan dog that we know and love. The truth is that a pureblooded German Shepherd can come in a variety of colors.

To be completely honest, our favorite color of the German Shepherd is black. There is something special about a black GSD we can’t exactly explain, but we feel it every time we see one. They look somewhat intimidating and mystical. Even though it may seem like a completely different breed, the black German Shepherd is your typical GSD.


The black German Shepherd history is the same history of your “average” black and tan German Shepherd. It is a dog breed developed by a former German veterinary student and an ex-military officer Max Von Stephanitz.

In 1899, Von Stephanitz attended a dog show and was introduced to a dog named Hektor Linksrhein. He was so impressed with the dog he had to buy the dog immediately. That dog was a product of selective breeding and had a personality similar to the modern German Shepherd’s personality.

Hektor was an impressively smart dog who had a tremendous ability to follow commands. He was also quite powerful and loyal to his family and owners. At that moment, Von Stephanitz decided to create a breed based on this dog and his abilities.

black german shepherd

What is the difference between a black German Shepherd and a black and tan German Shepherd?

The main difference between these dogs is the color of their coats. One dog has a completely black coat with possible small white or brown markings on their paws or chests. Black and tan German Shepherds have tan coats, black “masks,” and black “saddles.”

Do black German Shepherds have different temperaments?

Black German Shepherds, or black Shepherds, as they are often called, have the same temperament a “traditional” GSD will have. These dogs are alert, extremely intelligent, they have a great work ethic, and they are energetic.

Black coat color has no impact on their characters or temperaments. The most impact it will have is that it will make people ask you, “What breed is that?” Black GSD is a full member of the German Shepherd breed. The color black is accepted by all major cynology associations.

black german shepherd laying with toy

Does the black color impact their health?

No, it doesn’t. German Shepherds have some potential health problems; hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, or degenerative myelopathy, but none of these potential problems have been related to their coat color.

Does it influence their working ability?

The black color doesn’t influence the German Shepherds working ability. No matter what color these dogs are, they are still one of the most trainable dog breeds in the world. Black German Shepherds (and black and tan GSD-s) is still the breed of choice for many law enforcement agencies worldwide. These dogs are versatile and adaptable. German Shepherds are often police and military dogs, shepherds, and service dogs performing different duties humans entrust them with. 

The German Shepherd is one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, so why not get them a toy that will engage their minds? Check out this interactive toy from Nina Ottosson and Outward Hound - Smart Composite Puzzle Game.

black GSD sitting

Are black German Shepherds good family dogs?

Black German Shepherds are excellent family dogs. They are active and fun. Training them is fun because they are quick learners that can pick up commands after only a few repetitions. Black GSD-s make great guard and watchdogs. They are alert and always aware of anything suspicious going on in their proximity.

Like any other dog breed, the black German Shepherd should also be socialized while they are still young. These dogs are not naturally aggressive, but they can develop behavioral problems if they are not properly socialized. Socialization is the key if you want to have a well-rounded and well-behaved dog.

Where can I get a black German Shepherd?

Even though black Shepherds are rarer than “standard” black and tan GSD-s, they can be easily found. Many breeders specialize in breeding black German Shepherds, and you only have to contact them and ask for information about their dogs.

Statistically speaking, black dogs are less likely to get adopted from shelters, so it might be worth your while to take a look at your local animal shelters. Black dogs can be a bit frightening to some people, and they can be reluctant to adopt them.

black german shepherd puppy laying

How much does a black German Shepherd puppy cost?

Traditional black and tan German Shepherd puppy can be found in a range of $500 - $1.500. Black German Shepherd puppies are considered a bit rarer than traditional ones, so their price will most likely be a bit higher. If you are looking to buy a black German Shepherd, be prepared to spend from $800 - $2.000.

A dog’s price can be defined by different things such as their pedigree, parents, show potential, and breeder. Before you decide to look for a dog, make sure you read this article.

World Dog Finder team