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Meet 5 of Our Favorite Black-Coated Dog Breeds

The Labrador Retriever and Doberman, among others, show off their beautiful dark coats.

Lynn M. Hayner  |  Apr 14th 2017


Today we’ve moved the vibrant-colored breeds, such as the Irish Setter, off stage. Instead we’ve asked five breeds that (at least sometimes) have black coats to lead our applause for dreamily dark appearances.

1. Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher Misty courtesy Tammy Mayfield

Known both as the monkey-terrier and the little devil in a mustache, we were bred in Germany as ratters and mousers. In Europe and England today, we’re a black-coated breed. Here in the United States, acceptable colors include black, of course, but also gray, silver and a few other colors. You’ll notice the magnificence of my shimmery black coat paired with my dark mustache and beard. The dramatic black frames my charming monkey-like face, don’t you think? My renowned little lips hold an adorable pout, and lend to a comic seriousness.

2. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher courtesy Alina Fokina

You’ll see cousins of mine in red, blue and fawn, but we often display an impressive black coat. And it’s more than our appearance that’s impressive! Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a German tax collector harassed by thieves, developed us specifically for protection and companionship. We were indispensable military dogs in the Pacific during WWII. In fact, a memorial statue, Always Faithful, pays tribute to our work and spirit. I’ll let you in on a little secret: Whether we sport black coats or coats of another color, we’ll turn blue in freezing weather. But if you put a dog sweater on me, don’t make it too frilly, okay?

3. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever courtesy Steve Harmon, Kathy J. Yaccino photography

Our coat colors include yellow and chocolate, but we black-coats make up a large contingency of lovely Labs. And since we’re the most popular breed in the world, that’s quite an abundance of dark beauties. Our history explains our athleticism, adaptability and gregarious nature. My predecessors, working with fisherman off the Labrador Sea, were celebrated for energy for family fun, even after a hard day’s work. More recent forefathers were developed to hunt and retrieve in England. Whether black, chocolate or yellow, we’re an exceptional family dog. We’re also stars in obedience, tracking, hunting and field trials. We excel in service work, search and rescue, explosive detection and water and avalanche rescue.

4. Rottweiler

Rottweiler courtesy Jean Hanna

We’re always black, but we boast clearly defined rust to mahogany markings that draw focus to our noble, self-assured expression. Notice the lovely spots over my eyes, as well as my gaze. My eyes mirror my calm, confident, and courageous inner temperament, now don’t they? Developed in Rottweil, Germany, our forefathers were early Roman guard and drover dogs. In the middle ages, our ancestors were all-around farm dogs, herding livestock and hauling carts. These days we excel in family adventures, as well as sports such as barn hunts, obedience or dock diving.

5. Mudi

Mudi courtesy Laura Kinne

Some of our colors include yellow, gray and white, but today the dark black Mudik have the say. We’re a rare breed, developed in Hungary to work livestock, guard the house and keep rodent populations at bay. You may be more familiar with my cousins, the Puli or Pumi, but we may be the oldest of the Hungarian sheepdogs. Some historians say we date back to the 16th century. History aside, we make our mark as wonderful family dogs, as well as a successful obedience, fly ball or agility competitors. In Hungary, you’ll find us still reliably handling livestock. In the States, we sure do appreciate herding trials, providing us a chance to show off our natural talents.

Top photo and homepage photo: Labrador Retriever, courtesy Steve Harmon, Kathy J. Yaccino, photography.