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27 Beautiful Black Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

Written by: Matt Jackson

Last Updated on May 23, 2024 by Dogster Team

Little black affenpinscher dog in the park

27 Beautiful Black Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

There are hundreds of different dog breeds recognized around the world, and they have unique characteristics and pros and cons. While the Labrador is beloved for its loving nature, the Great Dane is adored for being soft and gentle despite its mammoth size. Some are preferred for their looks, including unusual coat colors.

A black coat isn’t that unusual in dogs, but it can be striking. Below, we have listed 27 black dog breeds to help you settle on a dark-coated pup for your home.

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How Are Black Dog Breeds Classified?

Most dog breeds come in different colors, although kennel clubs may have a limited selection of colors that they consider standard. And, while some breeds do come in all black, most combine black with another color in their coats.

In the list below, we have included breeds where black is the predominant color and where black coats are generally accepted as being standard within the breed requirements.

The 27 Black Dog Breeds

1. Affenpinscher

Image Credit: Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Weight: 7–10 Pounds
Lifespan: 15 Years

The Affenpinscher is a toy breed that was originally bred to kill vermin. It grows to a size of around 10 pounds but despite being small, it has a big temperament and a huge character. The “monkey terrier” does require regular brushing and its impressive coat needs regular trimming to ensure it retains its good looks.

2. Belgian Sheepdog

Image Credit: icemanphotos , Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Weight: 45–70 Pounds
Lifespan: 14 Years

The Belgian Sheepdog is a working dog that is intelligent, very trainable, and loves hard work. This breed can come with a solely black coat, which despite being long and luscious, only needs weekly brushing and the occasional trim.

If you intend to keep a Belgian Sheepdog as a pet, you will need to ensure that the dog has lots of ways to exercise its brain as well as its body.

3. Black Russian Terrier

black russian terrier dogs running on grass
Image Credit: Brezhneva.od, Shutterstock
Origin: Russia
Weight: 110–150 Pounds
Lifespan: 12 Years

The Black Russian Terrier is a big breed that was bred around 100 years ago as guard dogs. Its formidable size, and its history as a guard dog, means that the Black Russian Terrier needs careful handling and training from an experienced handler, and the breed is not recommended for novice owners.

The coat comes in all black and the beard and mustache do require regular maintenance to prevent them from getting dirty and disheveled.

4. Border Collie

black and white border collie fetching a stick at the park
Image Credit: Pic Media Aus, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Weight: 30–55 Pounds
Lifespan: 15 Years

Widely considered the most intelligent dog breed, the Border Collie is a hard-working sheepdog that has incredible levels of stamina, and the brainpower to match. Still used to herd sheep today, the breed needs a lot of daily exercise, but it is known for being able to learn new commands after just a few repetitions, and it will keenly follow those commands most of the time.

5. Cane Corso

Cane Corso
Image Credit: George Trumpeter, Shutterstock
Origin: Italy
Weight: 100–120 Pounds
Lifespan: 9 Years

The Cane Corso is a formidable dog that is muscular and comes in six colors, with black being one of the most popular. The breed has been used as a bodyguard and because of this history, its size, and incredible bite power, it has a reputation for being aggressive.

While aggression depends on a lot of factors, including training, socialization, and upbringing, owners do need to be aware of the power of this dog, and it should not be taken on by novice owners.

6. Chihuahua

chihuahua dog squinting during eye contact
Image Credit: Siberian Wolf, Shutterstock
Origin: Mexico
Weight: 5–7 Pounds
Lifespan: 15 Years

The Chihuahua is a tiny dog breed, typically weighing no more than 6 pounds. While it is more often seen in a light tan color, black is a generally accepted color for this breed. They can have short or long coats, but they always have a recognizable face, and the fun and lively Chihuahua makes a great companion, which has helped it become one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

7. Chow Chow

Chow Chow
Image Credit: Michael J, Magee, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Weight: 50–70 Pounds
Lifespan: 12 Years

The Chow Chow is a very old dog breed that dates back to Ancient China. It has an incredible coat that is thick and fluffy. Originally, the breed was a food source but was also used as a guard dog. Today, it is a loyal companion dog that is clever and doesn’t have too high demands regarding daily exercise needs.

8. Cocker Spaniel

Black Cocker Spaniel
Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Weight: 28–35 Pounds
Lifespan: 15 Years

The Cocker Spaniel is a bright, active, and affectionate dog. It has long, floppy ears that do need some care and attention with regular cleaning to ensure dirt and debris doesn’t get in and potentially cause infections or pain.

It also needs good grooming to help avoid coat and skin conditions, and the breed can be prone to behavioral problems. But most are great pets that are friendly and active.

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9. Doberman

Image Credit: Wynian, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Weight: 75–100 Pounds
Lifespan: 12 Years

The Doberman Pinscher is another large breed that was originally bred as a watchdog. It is muscular and can be fiercely loyal, but it is also loving and somewhat goofy with its human owners. It is also very intelligent and can be trained quite easily, but its potential for guarding means that it might not be the ideal choice for first-time owners.

10. Flat-Coated Retriever

Image Credit: Sven Mewis_Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Weight: 60–70 Pounds
Lifespan: 10 Years

The Flat-Coated Retriever looks like a black Golden Retriever but is a separate breed. The Flat-Coated Retriever is even more energetic and lively than the Golden and is best for owners who enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors exercising.

The breed can also come in a solid brown coat, but the black coat is more common.

11. French Bulldog

French Bulldog dropped its toy
Image Credit: Bianca Ackermann, Unsplash
Origin: France
Weight: 20–28 Pounds
Lifespan: 12 Years

The French Bulldog was bred as a companion dog and is one of the most popular pet dog breeds in the world. It is loving and affectionate and it has a fun side. It enjoys playing and its low energy requirements and small size make it suitable for apartment living.

The Frenchie will bark an alert if it sees a potential threat, which means despite its size it can make a very good watchdog.

12. German Shepherd

a german shepherd dog by the door
Image Credit: pryzmat, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Weight: 55–90 Pounds
Lifespan: 13 Years

The German Shepherd was bred as a sheepdog, but it has found utility in many different forms. It is used as a police dog, a watchdog, and a close protection guard dog. It is also used for search and rescue and can be trained to perform most tasks dogs are capable of performing.

As a pet, it is loyal and protective, and its intelligence makes it a good dog for training.

13. Giant Schnauzer

Image Credit: GrishaBruev, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Weight: 65–85 Pounds
Lifespan: 15 Years

The Giant Schnauzer was a cattle dog but is another breed whose role has evolved over the years. It has been employed as a police dog and is kept as a loyal pet by breed lovers around the world. The Giant Schnauzer is the larger of the Schnauzer breeds and they can be protective of their families while also requiring a lot of exercise and training.

14. Great Dane

Portrait of a Great Great Dane of black color
Image Credit: Dulova Olga, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Weight: 140–175 Pounds
Lifespan: 10 Years

The Great Dane is one of the largest breeds of dogs in the world and, despite its name, originates from Germany. They can be protective of their families, and they are large and strong dogs, but they are also known for being gentle giants because they are typically very understanding of children and smaller animals.

They know their size and they can be easily trained. They can also be very playful, however, and accidents do happen, so you need to take care when keeping this breed around kids.

15. Greyhound

Italian Greyhound dog standing on the grass
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Weight: 60–70 Pounds
Lifespan: 13 Years

The Greyhound is the fastest dog breed in the world and is capable of reaching staggering speeds of up to 40 miles per hour or more. However, they are built for short bursts of speed, and lack stamina. They spend a lot more time sprawled out on the couch than running, earning them the nickname of the fastest couch potato in the world.

16. Labrador Retriever

chocolate labrador retriever dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: Anna Darahan, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Weight: 65–80 Pounds
Lifespan: 12 Years

The Labrador retriever is arguably the greatest all-rounder dog breed for pet owners. They are intelligent and trainable and are always eager to please their humans. They do have quite high energy needs, but they are also happy to curl up on the couch with their people in the evening.

They are one of the best breeds for first-time owners because they are a joy to keep.

17. Miniature Pinscher

cute miniature Pinscher
Image Credit: Serova_Ekaterina, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Weight: 8–10 Pounds
Lifespan: 15 Years

The Min Pin is a small dog, but it has a big heart. It is a loving family dog that can be quite protective and makes a good watchdog. With family members, it is playful and fun to have around. However, the breed can be prone to excessive barking, which means you will need to provide plenty of exercise to wear it out, as well as mental stimulation to keep it busy.

18. Newfoundland

Image Credit: Marsan, Shutterstock
Origin: Newfoundland
Weight: 120–150 Pounds
Lifespan: 10 Years

The Newfie is another massive breed that is known for being a gentle giant. It is very strong, and the breed is used to compete in canine strength events. They tend to love water and have webbed feet to help propel them through the water.

That double coat, which does a very good job of protecting against weather and water, does require a lot of brushing to keep it in good condition, though.

19. Pomeranian

black pomeranian puppy on focus photo
Photo by Pearl Lynn, Unsplash
Origin: Poland/Germany
Weight: 3–7 Pounds
Lifespan: 16 Years

The Pomeranian is small, but it takes a big place in the family. It loves its people deeply and does require a lot of attention, potentially suffering separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. Its size means that while the Pom is an active little breed, it doesn’t require too much exercise.

20. Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog
Image Credit: Lisa Mounteer, Shutterstock
Origin: Portugal
Weight: 35–60 Pounds
Lifespan: 13 Years

The Portuguese Water Dog was bred to assist fishermen in their duties. As such, they are well equipped for water, and they enjoy spending as much time as possible in water. As a pet, they are lovely dogs that get along with their humans and will usually take to strangers, as well.

Their playful nature means they do need quite a bit of attention, and you will benefit from providing yours with interactive toys that engage the brain.

21. Pug

Image Credit: Ezzolo, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Weight: 14–18 Pounds
Lifespan: 15 Years

The Pug is a well-loved companion pet that is popular for its quirky features as well as its goofball attitude. It is a companion dog, and it performs its task very well, but it might not be the best choice of breed if you want a dog that gives you personal space.

The Pug will take every opportunity to sit with its owner and spend time with them.

22. Puli

puli dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock
Origin: Hungary
Weight: 25–35 Pounds
Lifespan: 15 Years

The Puli has a distinctive coat that cords as it ages, giving the appearance of dreadlocks. The coat served to protect against bad weather and also against wolves and other predators. The Puli was bred as a livestock guardian.

The breed is very active and highly alert, and it will require both physical and mental stimulation in abundance if you want a well-behaved and happy dog.

23. Rottweiler

Image Credit: PhotoDOGraphy, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Weight: 80–130 Pounds
Lifespan: 10 Years

The Rottie is believed to have descended from Roman cattle dogs and has found service as a police dog, army dog, and search and rescue dog, among many roles. It is an intimidating dog that once had a bad reputation for being aggressive but is a loving, gentle, and level-headed dog that is affectionate and caring with family members.

24. Schipperke

Schipperke dog standing indoors
Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Weight: 12–16 Pounds
Lifespan: 14 Years

Schipperkes were raised to kill rats and keep watch on ships. Although fairly small in size, they can make very good watchdogs because they are wary of strangers, despite being loving and affectionate with their owners.

They are also rugged dogs that enjoy being outdoors, especially spending time on adventures with their owners.

25. Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier
Image Credit: obsidianphotography, Pixabay
Origin: UK
Weight: 18–22 Pounds
Lifespan: 14 Years

The Scottie is another breed that was originally used to kill vermin. Their short legs and strong bodies meant they were well-equipped to get into rat holes and defend themselves while also dispatching rats.

They can be a little rowdy around other dogs, but they are still used to kill vermin today, which is a testament to their skills.

26. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

staffordshire bull terrier dog getting a head massage
Image Credit: Mariia Masich, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Weight: 28–38 Pounds
Lifespan: 14 Years

The Staffie has a reputation for being aggressive because it was bred for fighting. The muscular breed also has a very strong bite, but it is sometimes referred to as a nanny dog because it is not only protective of its young family members but also watches over them and is very understanding of their grabby hands.

However, they can be wary of strangers and have high energy needs that must be met.

27. Standard Poodle

Image Credit: o longer here_Pixabay
Origin: Germany
Weight: 40–70 Pounds
Lifespan: 18 Years

The Poodle is thought of as a French breed, but it is likely that it was first bred in Germany. It is a working breed that was used to fetch waterfowl after they had been downed by hunters. They have been used in many service roles and they make good pets because they are affectionate with their owners, intelligent, and easy to train.

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The breeds above are some of those that commonly come in black, or mostly black. They can make excellent pets for the right owners, and you should determine what you want from a dog before deciding on the best breed for you.

Consider your family and living situation, as well as how much time you can dedicate and how much experience you have.

Featured Image Credit: Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock

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