Black German Shepherd Dogs

Balck GSD Statue Laying Down

Awwww! The Lovely All Black German Shepherd Dogs (GSD).

The Totally Black GSD, might be my favorite of the colors that GSD are suppose to wear. Years ago, I had two very nice Totally Black GSD...ok, Tabitha had a little bit, very little, white on her back left toes (same foot). It looked like she has grazed a wet paint wall, it was on three of her four toes, her toenails were black. Timothy was coal black and HUGE, he also had long hair. Both had temperaments that everyone wants in their GSD. I soooo wish I had photos of my dogs, we lost them all in Black Mold in our home in WI.

My now Black GSD are BLACK, Totally and Deep Dark Coal Black!

Many people think that all GSDs are Black & Tan, and that an all Black GSD is a mutation and that White GSD are Albino. Not so. All Black GSD as well as All White GSD have to be bred correctly to produce more of the same. Yes, an all White or an all Black pup can show up in a litter from and of all Black and Tans....but the genes have to be carried by the dogs bred for this to happen. If the breeder is surprised to see them, that person probably does not know the back pedigrees of her dogs. Can they show up even after generations of not "showing themselves", yes, but it is very rare.

Back to the Pedigree of a good GSD from a Reputable Breeder. Your breeder should have given you at least a Three Generation Pedigree with your puppy at the time of purchase. But if not, you can purchase, a three of more Generation Pedigree on your dog. Why? There is too much to tell on the Black GSD Page, but if you go to the "Pedigrees, Yes! They Matter" page, I have much listed on the subject. But for this page...a good Pedigree can tell you the colors, some even have photos, of the dogs in your dog's genealogy.

When, all those years ago, 1980's, I had my first two Black GSD I wanted more, I wanted an all Black GSD Sled Dog team. I have wanted another Black GSD for quite sometime, but finding the right one, can take a lot of time. Just because a GSD is totally Black, does not mean you have a great dog. The all or total Blacks need to be measured to the same Standard for the Breed as any other color. Don't buy a GSD just because you FINALLY found a total Black. Health and Conformation should come long before color on your list of what you are looking for in your or working dog.

Black GSD TX Bred

It took me well over a year to find my GSDs Titus and Tekoa. Deron told me to keep looking for the RIGHT Black GSD female. He knew how badly I wanted another Black. After MONTHS, plus the time before that of well over a year while looking for Tekoa and Titus, my Black Saddled Tans, and looking all over the Nation, I finally found two I really liked in Texas. So after praying and thinking about it for over a week, another week or so talking or emailing the breeder, we pulled the trigger and bought both.

It is a lot of miles and many degrees difference between NW SD and Texas, so a lot of planning had to go into the sale, before it was all figured out.

Let me stop here and tell you a bit about the Breeder in TX and her website.

It was so nice to find a Reputable Breeder that had lots of photos of the parents of the puppies for sale, as well as the parents pedigrees right there on line. This saved a lot of back and fourth with the Breeder waiting for answers. It also showed me a bit about her and her breeding program. From the photos I could see how she works her dogs, and horses, and how her animals were/are cared for. When you find a good breeder with dogs of good pedigrees, you are on the right tract to a puppy that will grow into a healthy and usually happy dog. Puppies NEED that correct start in their lives to become healthy as adults.

BE WISE BEWARE! NOT ALL SO CALLED 'BLACK' GSD ARE REALLY BLACK. Shame on some 'breeders' for not knowing what BLACK is. If the dog has gray, brown, white, or a lighter colored under coat....THAT IS NOT A BLACK DOG. (SMALL white spots on black is still black, just different black genes). Many 'breeders' call Dark Sable GSD 'Black', that is, Dark Sable, a dog with very dark color, but a lighter colored undercoat, or one with parts of each hair a lighter color than black.

marna with Texas Tea & Turquoise 2012-01-03

This is me with my two Black GSD, from a Reputable Kennel in Texas, their names are Texas Tea and Turquoise. (each have their own page at this site, see Navigation at the right) I am very proud of them. They came from "good breeding", a breeder that knows what she is doing when it comes to genetics. I will say again, and again. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR WHEN YOU ARE BUYING YOUR DOG/PUPPY. AND IF YOU DARE TO BREED, LEARN ABOUT GENETICS AND STUDY THE PEDIGREES OF THE DOGS YOU ARE WORKING WITH TO BREED. Do NOT breed for color alone. Conformation, Temperament, Health have to come long before color when breeding dogs, or other animals.

As I studied genetics of the GSD I have learned that Tabitha's toes, the white toes, that looked like a she had just barely scraped her toes on one foot across a wet white paint wall, is a tell of white genes in her lines. Black is a recessive gene, white is recessive to black, but if a black GSD has white toes, and especially with white toenails, and or a white strip or area on it's chest, white dogs are in it's genealogy. (thus according to Mur-Ray Kennels who did extensive Black GSD breeding. Mur-Ray is well known for their Conformational Show Winning Dogs. Many black USA lines go back to their dogs). The Black Color on a GSD is a Recessive Gene.

To me, there is a "genetic signpost" in the Black GSD. Most I have seen, not all, but most, are built lean. They are a thinner dog. Not skinny. Not unhealthy. They just seem, to me, to be a leaner built GSD when a Black dog.

Keep in mind that, FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE BREED, there always has been all Black and all White GSD. If you want to breed lines with these colors in them, do your research on how to produce them, produce them second to Health, Conformation and Temperament, that is.

WHAT DOES COLOR MATTER THEN? On a Healthy and Happy Dog, choose the color you want to look at and enjoy for the next 13 years. Buy a dog you will be proud to own and be seen with.

Texas Tea and Turquoise 2016-11-17


All of our Bitches/Dams Carry the Black Gene and will 'express' it to their litters of puppies. Depending on how they are breed, who they are bred to, it will determine the color of the puppies, but all the pups will carry the Black Gene.


Just after WWI, Mrs. Widener, who brought an all black GSD over from German, showed the dog in conformation, winning that day. The beautiful dog went on to become, Ch. Freia of Humboldtpark.

Both parents of a Black GSD must carry the recessive gene for black to produce black GSD.

Black GSD, if both dogs bred together, carry the most recessive white GSD gene can and do have white puppies in their litters.

Because they are not common, the Black GSD, the general public does not know that there ARE totally Black (or totally white) GSDs.

The first BLACK GSD dog used by Captain Max von Stephanitz, father of the breed, was Roland v. Starkenburg, SZ-1537. He was THE Grand Champion in 1906 AND 1907.

I am often surprised that other GSD 'breeders' know so little about the black and white GSD genes.

If a Black GSD has white toes or white, even a little, on it's chest, it PROBABLY carries the white GSD gene.

Some people mistakenly call the, "Dark Sable", Black. The truth is that Dark Sable, each hair, has brown on it too. The dogs are NOT True Blacks. See our Sable GSD page to understand the Aguoti Hair Shaft. Some look black until you see them in the right light, then you can clearly see the brown, sometime almost brown stripes within their coat color.

There are different degrees of the Black color on the GSD. You can see, if you look really close in the sun light, a difference. There is a degree called Black Black achieved when the dog has both parents that are also Black.


Marna Holding Texas Tea & Turquoise

Have you noticed that there are more and more Sable, Black and Bi-Colored GSD out and about today? Do you know why that is true?

For years the Conformational Show Ring dogs ruined the breed. That is, what Judges were looking for inside the Show Ring. Those extended and roached backs, back legs spread out so far back the hips took a hit with Hip Displasia. I say again, THANK GOD THAT THE JUDGES WERE RE EDUCATED ABOUT THE STANDARD FOR THE BREED!

So where would one begin to fix that genetic mess they created? Using Working GSD of course. The White GSD and the Working Lines did NOT go for the dogs that had these problems. They stayed closer to the Standard for the Breed.

Working Lines of GSD tend to have more Sables, Blacks and Bi-Colored Dogs. Those colors are also very rich. By using these dogs to improve the Breed as a whole, the colors came with it.

I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.
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-- The Working German Shepherd Dogs Team
Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:39:32 -0500

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