Many people think that Black GSDs are crossbred dogs (like Shepskies, Shepradors..). And many others think they are a result of a defect in the ‘Traditional’ german shepherd breed. But those are myths!
They belong to the same breed! And the black color is recognized by the “American Kennel Club” as a standard color within the GSD breed.
History of the black German Shepherd
Developed originally for herding and protecting sheep in 1899 by the passionate Max von Stephanitz. He was an ex-cavalry captain and a former student of the “Berlin Veterinary College” who always admired the intelligence, strength, and ability of sheepdogs.
The breed was officially known as the ‘Alsatian’ in Britain until 1977 when its name was changed back to German Shepherd.
The Appearance of a Black German Shepherd
The owners of black GSDs can barely walk the streets! They are frequently stopped and complimented about the striking beauty of their dog’s looks.
The appearance of the black GSD is well-balanced. A muscular body, slightly longer than tall, with medium length to long coat, erected ears, and a solid black color.
Black GSDs often have a straight back and can be particularly large-sized.
Black German Shepherd Puppies
A “traditional” GSD can produce a solid black puppy! How?
The gene of the solid black color can either be dominant or recessive in a dog. So there is a possibility that a black and tan GSD holds the gene and produces solid Black German Shepherd puppies. So don’t be surprised if your puppies parents aren’t entirely black!
You should also know that the real coat color can’t be determined before 8 weeks of age. All GSD puppies are either born black, gray or white and change colors as they grow.
Personality and Temperament of a Black German Shepherd
Mistaken by their strong looks, GSDs are not aggressive as many people judge in reality, they have a pleasant personality!
They are purebred German shepherds, therefore they have the same general temperament that is stable. They have a unique combination of traits: they are loyal, intelligent, alert, dependable predictable and watchful
GSDs are incredibly trainable as well! That’s why they are widely used as police and military dogs, disability aid dogs, and obedience dogs.
Black German Shepherds can be extremely good with children if they are socialized properly. But some of them can be dominant and may show aggressive behavior toward cats or other dogs.
Remember that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.
Health Issues of a Black German Shepherd
Like all purebred german shepherds they are prone to very know health issues that are:
Hip Dysplasia/Elbow Dysplasia
Are developmental disorders leading to a malformation of joints commonly affecting large and giant breeds of dogs.
Also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus, or GDV. The dog’s stomach becomes distended with gas and puts pressure on the diaphragm, which can cause breathing problems.
Is a condition causing repeated seizures (also known as ‘fits’ or ‘funny turns’). These physical attacks can come with or without a loss of consciousness. It is the most common chronic neurological disorder in dogs.
Hemophilia A & B
Hemophilia B is caused by a deficiency of coagulation Factor IX. It was found in over 25 breeds of dogs. Like dogs with Hemophilia A, dogs with Hemophilia B may spontaneously bleed into the chest, abdomen, muscles, or joints.
A disease that happens when the beta cells of the endocrine pancreas are damaged or not working well. They either stop the production of insulin or no longer produce it in enough quantity for the body’s needs.
Refers to the cloudiness in the crystalline lens of the eye. can develop from disease, old age, and trauma to the eye, but inherited conditions are the most common cause.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Large breeds are susceptible to this condition. It is caused by disc changes (such as narrowing of spaces between discs). Resulting in bony outgrowths that can encroach on the spinal nerve root or spinal cord and cause pain.
Grooming a Black German Shepherd
Black German Shepherds are not high-maintenance dogs, but they definitely need regular care and grooming.
Medium coats are easy to maintain, a brushing once every 2-3 days can be fairly sufficient. Long coats can develop mats and skin problems if you don’t brush them regularly to remove dead hair and debris.then a brushing should be done on a daily basis.
To keep their hair silky and shiny brush it from 10 to 15 minutes.
Keep in mind that GSDs (with all coat types: short, medium, long), are heavy shedders! They shed for the whole year! You will have to frequently clean your house from hair and vacuum as well.
German shepherds are naturally clean and odor free, they don’t need much bathing. Frequent baths strip the natural oils from their coats which causes skin issues. A bath once every 3 months is more than sufficient.
Teeth and nails:
Nails require frequent trimming, they are solid and have nerves and veins causing pain and bleeding if not clipped carefully. Do not to attempt to trim them yourself unless you know what you are doing!
Consider teeth brushing as well to avoid mouth infections and bad breath (about 3 times a week)
Nutrition of a Black German Shepherd
The nutritional requirements depend on many factors including:
- Size: bigger size higher needs
- Age: Puppies require higher nutrition to fuel their fast growth
- Level of activity
- Possible Allergies
- Your budget as well
- 4 meals a day for a puppy
- 2 to 3 meals a day around 6 months old
- 2 meals a day at adulthood
Daily allowances for an adult
50% carbohydrates of body weight including 3–5% of fibers.
A minimum 5.5% of the diet must come from fats and 10% from protein.
Daily Calories :
German Shepherds are prone to stomach diseases and allergies. Which is why many experts think they should not be fed a kibble diet. This can cause or worsen these diseases. Experts recommend avoiding grains and adopting a homemade diet rich in meat and vegetables.
Remember that certain foods are poisonous to dogs. Make sure to never give your dog any of the following foods:
Training and Exercising a Black German Shepherd.
Black german shepherds are incredibly intelligent and trainable dogs. No wonder they make excellent guard dogs, police dogs, military dogs, guide dogs for the blind and search and rescue dogs.
German shepherds are mostly obedient dogs. Use food treats and praise to reinforce their good behavior and avoid punishment method, they have negative outcomes!
Most GSDs have protective instincts that must be shaped with a socialization process, It’s a big part of their training. Constantly introducing your dog to new situations, new people, animals, and new places is essential! It will help you get rid of their negative behavior toward strangers.
Providing enough mental stimulation
German Shepherds are very intelligent and thrive when you bring them interesting things that challenge their minds. To give them enough mental stimulation, you can try:
- Puzzle Toys
- Scenting and nose stimulation
- Chew Toys
- Learning new tasks
These dogs are highly energetic and require at least 1 hour of physical exercise daily. Activity is very important for their health and affects their happiness. Here are some energy burning activities for your dog:
- Flirt Pole
- Frisbee Toss
- Stair Sprints
- Running, biking with your dog
- Play with other dogs
- Dog sports
The black German Shepherd is fierce but friendly, calm, confident, always ready to protect, play a game or perform a task. When properly trained and socialized, the result is a magnificent companion that is a friend and a protector.
Do you own a black German shepherd? Let us know in the comments.