There's something dashing and sophisticated about black dogs. Lots of breeds have ebony coat colors, and ten popular types are listed below.
When it comes to choosing the best breed for you, color is the least important characteristic. Consider a breed’s temperament, size and exercise needs first. After all that is decided, then you can choose the color you love best.
01 of 10
Part of the American Kennel Club Toy Group, the Affenpinscher’s original purpose was dispatching rats and other vermin. With their small stature and adorable pushed-in face, it may come as no surprise that the name Affenpinscher is German for “monkey terrier.”
Affenpinschers have strong, bold temperaments, and are charming and entertaining companions. Their wiry coat requires bi-weekly brushing to prevent mats and they tend to be trimmed every few months.
HEIGHT: 9 to 11.5 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 7 to 10 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Short face; wiry and shaggy coat; comes in black, gray, silver, red, black and tan, or beige
02 of 10
Intelligent and watchful, the beautiful Belgian Sheepdog (known in some countries as the Groenendael) is part of the AKC Herding Group. Of four related Belgian sheepherding breeds (the others are the Belgian Malinois, the Belgian Laekenois and the Belgian Tervuren), the Belgian Sheepdog is the only one that just comes in black.
Known as “workaholics,” Belgian Sheepdogs are highly trainable and full of energy. The glossy black coat is easy to care for, requiring only weekly brushing and the occasional bath.
HEIGHT: 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 55 to 75 pounds (male); 45 to 60 pounds (female)
Physical Characteristics: Strong, agile and well-muscled; the thick double coat is always black
03 of 10
With a similar body outline, plus the long beard and mustache, the Black Russian Terrier looks a lot like a Giant Schnauzer, a breed which was used (among others) to develop the Black Russian Terrier. However, stand the two side by side and it’s easy to see that the massive Black Russian Terrier is more than twice the size of the Giant Schnauzer.
Part of the AKC Working Group, the Black Russian Terrier requires an expert owner used to training powerful, strong-willed dogs. The coarse double coat requires twice-weekly brushing and regular clipping.
HEIGHT: 27 to 30 inches (males); 26 to 29 inches (females)
WEIGHT: 100 to 150 pounds (males); 80 to 120 pounds (females)
Physical Characteristics: Strong and well-muscled; the medium-length double coat is always black
04 of 10
Bouncy, silly and fun-loving, the Flat-Coated Retriever is part of the AKC Sporting Group. Although this breed is often mistaken for a black version of the more common Golden Retriever, Flat-Coated Retrievers are more active and athletic and require more exercise.
The breed’s lustrous, straight coat lies flat against the body (hence the breed’s name). Although the Flat-Coated Retriever comes in two solid colors: black and liver (chocolate brown), black is far more common.
HEIGHT: 23 to 24.5 inches (males); 22 to 23.5 inches (females)
WEIGHT: 55 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: The moderate length coat requires weekly brushingContinue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Part of the AKC Sporting Group, the Labrador Retriever has held the number one spot as most popular dog breed in the United States for nearly three decades.
Friendly and trainable, Labs are known to be excellent dogs for families. The short coat is water-resistant and sheds heavily, so requires frequent brushing to cut down on hair in the house.
Labrador Retrievers need lots of exercise daily, preferably including off-leash running or games of fetch.
HEIGHT: Males, 22.5 to 24.5 inches; females, 21.5 to 23.5 inches
WEIGHT: Males, 65 to 80 pounds; females, 55 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular and athletic; the short, dense double coat comes in black, chocolate, or yellow
06 of 10
The majestic Newfoundland is massive, but also known as a gentle giant that is usually great with children.
Part of the AKC Working Group, Newfies were used by Canadian fishermen to perform water rescues in icy waters. Newfoundlands were well-suited to the task, thanks to their heavy, water-resistant coat, muscular, strong bodies and webbed feet. The Newfie is also an all-purpose worker on land, pulling carts and guarding the home. The thick, double coat requires brushing several times a week to prevent mats - and be prepared for a bit of slobber.
HEIGHT: 26 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 100 to 150 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Large and heavily boned, but well balanced; in addition to black, Newfies come in brown, gray or black and white (called Landseer)
07 of 10
Part of the American Kennel Club Toy Group, a Pug’s most important job is as a loving and loyal canine companion.
Although it’s much more common to see Pugs that are fawn-coloured (light yellow-tan with black ears and a black mask on the face), they also come in solid black. The Pug’s breed standard uses the Latin phrase multum in parvo, which means “a lot in a little,” and that perfectly describes the solidly built, lively Pug in both body and personality. The short coat sheds a lot, so frequent brushing is a must.
HEIGHT: 10 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 14 to 18 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Square and cobby body; smooth, short double coat
08 of 10
The medium-sized Puli is compact and square with a long, shaggy coat that naturally forms cords in adults.
Part of the AKC Herding Group, the Puli was used to herd sheep in Hungary. The unique corded coat protected this breed from the cold weather, and also served like armor against flock predators like wolves.
The Puli is vigorous, alert and active, and needs abundant exercise to keep him happy. If dreadlocks aren’t appealing, the coat can be trimmed in a low-maintenance short style.
WEIGHT: 25 to 35 pounds
HEIGHT: 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder
Physical Characteristics: Medium-boned and well-balanced; the wooly, dense double coat in solid black, rusty black, gray or whiteContinue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Schipperkes worked as ratters and watchdogs on and around ships and barges in Belgium as far back as Medieval times. The breed name means “little captain” in Flemish.
These charming and feisty little dogs are usually solid jet black (although other colors are sometimes seen) with twinkling, dark-brown eyes. The Schipperke is small but has energy to spare, and loves to accompany their favorite people on all their adventures. Great watchdogs, Schipperkes are wary of strangers and protective of their homes and people.
WEIGHT: 10 to 16 pounds
HEIGHT: 10 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder
Physical Characteristics: Small, thickset and cobby; the abundant coat is straight and slightly harsh to the touch
10 of 10
Although almost everyone who pictures a Scottish Terrier thinks of a black dog, they also come in wheaten (a yellow shade) or brindle (tiger stripes).
With their short legs and long, substantial bodies, Scotties were well-suited to dispatching rats and hunting foxes and badgers in the Scottish Highlands.
Today’s Scottie is still happy to take care of pesky rodents. Like many other members of the AKC Terrier Group, Scotties are incredibly bold and feisty, especially with other dogs.
HEIGHT: 10 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 19 to 22 pounds (males); 18 to 21 pounds (females)
Physical Characteristics: Thick bodied and heavy-boned; a hard, wiry outer coat with a soft, dense undercoat