18 Popular Black Dog Breeds You Will Surely Love

Last Updated on April 24, 2023

Black dog breeds are more common than one would think. There are more black dogs in the world than there are of any other color. This is all thanks to the genes and various genetic make-ups of our furry friends.

So, if you’re interested in bringing home a black dog breed, keep on reading for the list of some of the best.

Portrait of Black Labrador Retriever

The Black Genes in Dogs

Unfortunately, black dogs are often overlooked for two reasons. One, they’re portrayed as aggressive and intimidating in movies and shows.

People are more attracted to lighter-colored dogs, even though the coat color doesn’t necessarily affect a dog’s personality or temperament.

The other reason is that black dog breeds are fairly common. The rarer colors tend to get chosen first because they’re rare.

For a dog to appear black, they need the B black pigmentation (which determines the dog’s hair, skin, and eye color), D dense coloration, and C for full color. All of these are dominant genes. 

Recessive black in dogs

A dog can be all black through recessive genes. For example, herding dogs and shepherds typically become black through the recessive gene.

Big or small, let’s take a look at some dog breeds that can have a solid (or mostly) black coat color.

What are the most popular black dog breeds?

Many dog breeds appear black, and this slick coat color is more common than you think. So, here are some of the most popular black dog breeds by breed size.

Toy and Small Black Dog Breeds

1. Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher laying on the owner's legs
Source: @hannebr85 / IG

The Affenpinscher is playful and enjoys cuddling with their loved ones. They’ll be a great companion for older kids and the elderly, although they can be quite sassy.

This dog breed also has high energy levels, so they’ll need plenty of exercise and space to run around.

2. Puli

Black Puli dog tired from an agility training
Source: @maddiethepuli / IG

This small to medium dog is a herding dog from Hungary that will make a great family pet.

The Puli has a lot of hair that makes them look like a mop. Don’t let that fool you, though. They can see just fine and are agile and quick to learn.

3. Schipperke

Black Schipperke sitting outdoor
Source: @novatheschipperke / IG

Also known as a Spit, these little black dogs are energetic and make great family dog. They love children of all ages. However, they have a high prey drive, so having other small animals in the house may not be a good idea. 

4. Scottish Terrier

Black Scottish Terrier dog portrait
Source: @kibaandthescotts / IG

The Scottish Terrier has a big heart and enjoys companionship. They are loyal and affectionate with their family, including older kids.

However, this dog breed is also independent and stubborn. Scotties have a dense undercoat as well. 

Medium-sized Black Dogs

5. Australian Kelpie

Black Australian Kelpie with batman bandana
Source: @kelpiemonkeydogs / IG

The Australian Kelpie is from Australia, and they are an active dog breed. They have a lot of energy that requires plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

They will do well with experienced dog owners who are active themselves.

6. Barbet

Black Barbet dog with floral outfit
Source: @kelpiemonkeydogs / IG

This dog breed is affectionate and sweet with their family. The Barbet originated from France. They’re a cheerful breed who will give plenty of love and attention to their family.

Despite the amount of hair they have, this is an active breed that enjoys running around

7. Standard Poodle

Black Standard Poodle with tongue sticking out
Source: @galaxythepoodle / IG

The Standard Poodle is an intelligent dog breed, though they can be goofy. They love to play and are athletic, so you’ll be able to have a lot of fun with them out in the yard.

In addition, they’re eager to please, making them easy to train.

8. Portuguese Water Dog

Black Portuguese Water dog sitting near the sea
Source: @archie.pwd / IG

This dog breed is intelligent, athletic, and of course, loves the water. Their curly black coat is waterproof, and they have webbed feet from their past of helping fishermen.

The Portuguese Water Dog isn’t hypoallergenic, but they don’t shed as much.

9. Standard Schnauzer

Black Standard Schnauzer portrait
Source: @archie.pwd / IG

The Standard Schnauzer is another dog breed that can come in all black. This pooch has above-average intelligence and is highly curious. They can also be stubborn.

However, they’re protective of their family and home but will not be aggressive.

Large and Giant Black Dog Breeds

When choosing a large or giant dog breed, some things to consider are to take into account their shedding and energy levels to ensure you have space for a giant breed. Also, their lifespan is typically shorter.

10. Black German Shepherd

Black German Shepherd portrait
Source: @zara_the_black_german_shepherd / IG

While rare, the black German Shepherd does exist. This breed is brave, loyal, and smart. The German Shepherd will be great for any family as they’re easy to train, obedient, and make excellent guard dogs.

11. Belgian Sheepdog (Groenendael)

Belgian Sheepdog posing on the yellow flowers background
Source: @baileythebelgian / IG

Originating from Belgium, the Belgian Sheepdog, also known as the Groenendael, is an intelligent dog. This large dog breed only comes in a solid black color. This doggo is easy to train and full of energy.

12. Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier sitting on the grass
Source: @airon_and_zara_brt / IG

The Black Russian Terrier is calm and confident. They will take great care of their dog owners and the children in the family. They’re intelligent and respond well to training as they’re quick learners.

This sporting dog has plenty of energy and will make a great guard dog for your family. 

13. Flat-coated Retriever

Flat-coated Retriever dog wearing a flower crown
Source: @felixtheflattie / IG

Not to be confused with the Golden Retriever, the black Flat-coated Retriever is athletic and requires a lot of exercise.

This pooch is silly and energetic, so much so that the American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies this breed in the sporting group.

14. Giant Schnauzer

A Giant Schnauzer dog sitting in an autumn field
Source: @meandbeardedones / IG

Yes, this breed can come in a large size. The Giant Schnauzer is classified as a herding dog with high energy.

This doggo gained popularity during World War I and has made excellent watchdogs. They are protective of their family and affectionate.

15. Great Dane

Black Great Dane portrait
Source: @emil_dogge / IG

The Great Dane is a gentle giant that can come in a sleek, all-black coat. This pooch is affectionate with its owners, other pets, and kids alike.

This dog breed makes for an excellent family dog who sometimes doesn’t realize how big it is.

16. Black Labrador Retriever

Black Labrador Retriever portrait
Source: @thegindog / IG

The Black Labrador Retriever, or simply the Black Lab, is a loving doggo. They are friendly to other dogs, pets, kids, and even strangers.

However, they have an intimidating bark, so they’ll make a great watchdog. They’re also eager to please and easy to train, though they have an energetic side.

17. Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff roaming at the shore
Source: @annie_of_pei / IG

Despite its giant size, the Neapolitan Mastiff will think it’s a lap dog. This dog breed may look intimidating, but they enjoy their sleep and is a sweet companion dog. They will surely be loyal and loving to their family.

18. Newfoundland

Black Newfoundland playing a ball toy
Source: @that.funkymuncy / IG

This fluffy dog breed is another gentle giant. The Newfoundland can come in all black and are classified as working dogs. Their nickname is the “nanny dog” because they are so patient, kind and keep a watchful eye on their family.

Other black dog breeds

Black Pug on a Friday's day out
Source: @its_kobethepug / IG

There are many other dog breeds that can come in black coat color as well. Some of these breeds may be the following:

  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Border Collie
  • Chihuahua
  • German Pinscher
  • Alopekis
  • Canis Panther
  • Australian Silky Terrier
  • Afghan Hound
  • Giant German Spitz
  • Patterdale Terrier
  • Black Pitbull
  • Mudi
  • Pug
  • Spanish Water Dog
  • Tibetan Mastiff
  • Briard
  • Black Coonhound

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Bored Pug lying on his bed
Source: @pug_agokatsu / IG

What is Black Dog Syndrome?

Black Dog Syndrome is a phenomenon where black or dark-coated dogs are being discriminated against.

According to shelters, black dogs are always the last to be adopted, and as a result, most of them are euthanized first. 

Although black dogs are just as friendly as other colored animals, they are typically overlooked.

These could be due to several reasons, such as how they are portrayed as aggressive, because of superstitions, and some for the reason they don’t photograph well.

Watch this dog owner share the story of how they adopted their black greyhound and briefly explain what “Black Dog Syndrome” is.

What breed is a big black fluffy dog?

There are many big black fluffy dogs you can bring home to your family, such as a Bernese Mountain Dog, Tibetan Mastiff, and Gordon Setter, just to name a few. 

What kind of dog has a black face?

Dogs with a black face are Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Cane Corso, Beauceron, and other black dog breeds.

What breed of dog has a black muzzle?

A dog with a black muzzle may be a black German Shepherd, black Great Dane, black Pug, Tibetan Spaniel, and more. 

Are there any dogs with black skin?

Yes, there are several dogs with black skin, such as a Chow Chow or Pomeranian. Black skin is normal for dogs to have. However, if your dog doesn’t have black skin and starts developing it, they may have Black Skin Disease.

Black Skin Disease isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t make your dog itch, and it does cause health issues.

However, it will make your dog more prone to sunburn and frostbite, especially if they have a thin coat.

What are good names for black dogs?

If your dog is a solid black color, then there are many creative names you can choose for your new furry friend. You can give them a themed name or name them after someone famous.

To get some ideas, check out our list of best black dog names.

Which black dog breed is for you?

Black Belgian Shepherd portrait
Source: @malinandhermuppets / IG

Black dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes. The chances of your doggo being all black or mostly black are more than any other coat color. The best part is that their coloring won’t affect the dog’s personality or temperament.

Big or small, a black dog will be a great addition to any home and will make a great, fun companion to have. Plus, there are many black dog breeds to choose from. 

Out of all the black dog breeds on this list, which one do you think will fit in well with your family? Let us know in the comments below!

Further reading: other dog breeds with a singular coat color

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