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10 Reasons Why Black German Shepherds Are Good Family Dogs

Last Updated: December 10, 2023

Dog coat color is often used as a determining factor when bringing home a German Shepherd. When it comes to the rare solid black German Shepherds, many people associate their coat color with K9 military and police roles but are left with doubting whether black German Shepherds are good pets? Well, doubt no more! 

Here are 10 reasons why black German Shepherds are good family dogs: 

  1. Color doesn’t make the German Shepherd dog. 
  2. Black GSDs are trainable, intelligent dogs. 
  3. Black German Shepherds are gentle giants. 
  4. They are high-energy dogs. 
  5. Black GSDs are affectionate with family. 
  6. Black German Shepherds are good with children. 
  7. They are loyal and protective. 
  8. Black GSDs have an average life expectancy. 
  9. These dogs are highly adaptable. 
  10. Black German Shepherds are good for your health.  
A Black German Shepherd Puppy. Are Black German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

Keep reading to find valuable details about these 10 reasons why a black German shepherd is a good family pet.

1. Color Doesn’t Make the German Shepherd Dog

Ever heard of the saying “clothes don’t make the man?” Well, that’s true of the black German Shepherd. Like all other colors of German Shepherds, the solid black type is an intelligent, courageous, loyal, and friendly dog. 

Even though some people think the solid black coat on a German Shepherd represents a temperamentally aggressive dog, no conclusive scientific evidence has shown that coat color determines dogs’ temperament. 

Instead, studies into canine behavioral genetics have suggested that dog behavior is not encoded in simple Mendelian inheritance but is instead determined by a combination of demographic, environmental, and breed-specific factors, including: 

  • Sex 
  • Age  
  • Lack of proper training 
  • Dog parent inexperience in dog ownership 
  • Owner relationship with the dog 

All these factors underline the truth that, with the required training, black German Shepherds are as good family dogs as the black & tan, black & red, or sable German Shepherds

2. Black German Shepherds Are Trainable, Intelligent Dogs

To be a member of a family, your black German Shepherd needs proper housebreaking and obedience training. Luckily, the breed is easy to train in these areas because it has all the requirements that make a dog highly trainable. Factors include: 

The Dog’s Intelligence

Behavior psychologist Stanley Coren has suggested that dogs have mental abilities similar to your two-and-a-half-year-old child. However, dogs can rank higher or lower on the canine intelligence scale, depending on their breed. The German Shepherd ranks third on the dog intelligence scale. 

That means your black German Shepherd, like all types, will: 

  • Require you to repeat new commands fewer than five times before learning them. 
  • Obey new commands 95% of the time or more. 

This ability to learn makes the black German Shepherd easy to train. You can read details on dog intelligence in Coren’s book, The Intelligence of Dogs. I’ve read this book, and I found it a fascinating and thought-provoking read.

The Dog’s Original Breeding Purpose

The German Shepherd was bred to be a working dog, specifically a herding dog. Their agility, intelligence, and pleasant temperament informed this original breeding intent. 

Working and herding dogs are among the most trainable groups of dogs. Their high energy will keep them engaged. They also love to work collaboratively with humans, which augments your dog’s trainability.

The Dog’s Level of Attention

A trainable dog has high attention levels and low distractibility. That means your dog can concentrate on what you are trying to teach rather than noises, movements, or other forms of distraction in the environment. 

The German Shepherd has high levels of attention, which is one of the reasons it is among the most common military and police dogs. In fact, a study on long-term success among working police dogs in the UK showed that German Shepherds were the most successful police dogs (49.2%) due to their energy and attention towards positive stimuli. 

I can certainly vouch for this fact, having worked as a UK police officer for almost 30 years. These dogs are truly amazing, and I never tired of watching their endless energy and work rate.

The black German Shepherd’s level of attention is also determined by its desire to please, which is one of its key characteristics as a family dog. 

Other traits that make the black German Shepherd trainable are its obedient and curious nature.

Learn More About The Black German Shepherd…

3. Black German Shepherds Are Gentle Giants

German Shepherds are among the medium to large dog breeds with a height between 22 and 26 inches (56 to 66 cm) and weight between 50 and 90 pounds (23 and 41 kg). Also, although there’s no scientific evidence to back it up, some people suggest that the black German Shepherd grows bigger than his other coat color counterparts. 

Despite this breed’s large size, black German Shepherds are safe family dogs, often used as therapy and guide dogs for people with emotional issues like depression and PTSD. In other words, being all black does not impede being gentle. 

Additionally, you can easily train solid black German Shepherds to be neutral in public. Doing so tames their natural prey drive and gives them a friendly approach to family and other people.

4. Black German Shepherds Are High-Energy Dogs

Especially if we are talking about a family with children, a black German Shepherd makes a perfect family pet. 

They will enjoy a good swim with you during the summer beach holidays, as well as the beach sand games you’ll want to play with your family. German Shepherds also have the energy for jogging, hunting escapades, and a good long hike.

They will have no issues keeping the pace of your kids’ play energy, even if that means spending the entire day outdoors in good weather. 

5. Black German Shepherds Are Affectionate With Family

The American Kennel Club gives the German Shepherd a full mark for being affectionate with family. That means, between being independent and affectionate, they are all lovey-dovey. 

So, if you own a black German Shepherd, be ready to enjoy the warmth of his coat and a good cuddle next to you. 

Other ways your German Shepherd will show affection include:

  • Licking
  • Sitting or lying next to you
  • Following you around

Because they enjoy the company of their family, they will prefer spending time with you over being home alone. 

6. Black German Shepherds Are Good With Children

Being good with children is another of the qualities for which the breed gets a full mark. 

A black German Shepherd will remain calm with children with proper training and early socialization, even when their play behavior is unpredictable. In fact, the German Shepherd has an 85.3% score on the temperament test by The American Temperament Test Society, Inc. (ATTS). 

This means that, when exposed to different situations, such as a child’s abrupt move or noise during play, the German Shepherd will not react negatively or with aggression. Learn how to socialize a German Shepherd here.

Because of its high energy, your best friend will keep up with your child’s play rhythm and even outlast them. Besides, children will love the dog’s playful nature. 

Do you want to know more about GSDs and kids? Check out this detailed article, 5 Reasons Why German Shepherds Are Good With Kids.

7. Black German Shepherds Are Loyal and Protective

The German Shepherd dog has unwavering loyalty to its owner and family. Most people will consider them among the top three most loyal dog breeds. 

Because they were bred as herding dogs trained to obey their owners, black German Shepherds are inclined to not only please their owners but to stick with them through thick and thin. 

Their sense of loyalty also explains their readiness to protect their owner or family in case of danger. 

Black German Shepherd Puppy

8. Black German Shepherds Have an Average Life Expectancy

Dogs are part of our families, and we suffer to see them go. As such, a dog with a longer life is good news. 

Though they are not among the longest-living dogs, nine to eleven years is a relatively long time to be with your black German Shepherd. You’ll enjoy the company of your pet for some time, especially if you own the dog from puppyhood. 

Of course, exhausting all the years assigned to the breed’s lifespan will depend on how well you take care of your doggo in terms of nutrition, vet care, and quality companionship. 

Although the breed is generally healthy, care is paramount for your black German Shepherd’s health. 

German Shepherds are susceptible to health issues like: 

  • Hip & elbow dysplasia 
  • Degenerative myelopathy 
  • Arthritis 

You can reduce the risk of these conditions with good care. 

9. Black German Shepherds Are Highly Adaptable

Whether it is about your living space or changes in the weather, your black German Shepherd has the temperament and breed-specific characteristics to adapt exceptionally well. 

First off, the German Shepherd has a double coat. The inner coat is denser and can trap heat to keep your dog warm in the winter cold. The outer coat hairs are waterproof and will also contribute to keeping him warmer and dry. 

In the warmer seasons, the inner coat of your solid black German Shepherd will act as insulation to trap cold and help your pet stay cooler. It is, however, important not to expose your German Shepherd to direct sunlight and heat for long hours as the pet could suffer a heat stroke. 

Black German Shepherds are also highly adaptable when it comes to your living space. They will enjoy the ample space in and around a farmhouse and adapt well in an apartment as long as you provide the pet’s daily dose of exercise. Please be aware, though, it’s twice as hard caring for this breed in an apartment.

10. Black German Shepherds Are Good for Your Health

A black German Shepherd will need one to two hours of exercise daily, which can work to your advantage and help you keep healthier. 

According to the Harvard Medical School, a growing body of research has confirmed that owning a dog boosts its owner’s health. This is mainly because your dog’s exercise needs will push you to be more physically active. 

Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that having a dog increases your opportunities for exercise, consequently decreasing the chances of suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high triglyceride levels. 

Are you still wondering if a black German Shepherd is a good family dog? A quick recap in the next section could be of help. 

Are Black German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

Like all other coat color German Shepherds, black German Shepherds are good family dogs. They are intelligent and easy to train, devoted, loyal and protective, have a gentle and affectionate personality, and are especially good with children. They will also get along with other pets. 

Additionally, they will help you keep healthy by participating in your dog’s daily exercise sessions, and you can count on your all-black furry friend to adapt well to your living space and the weather changes.


The answer to the following FAQS will also fix any doubts you might have on the question: Are black German Shepherds safe family dogs?

Are Black German Shepherds Aggressive?

There’s no evidence to suggest that black German Shepherds are aggressive. Instead, they are friendly, intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and protective dogs like other coat colored German Shepherds. 

If a particular dog is aggressive, it means proper training has not been done. This will be true of a German Shepherd of any other coat color, or any other dog for that matter. 

To read more about this subject, check out this article, Are Black German Shepherds Aggressive? This post delves into the myth surrounding the black color.

Are Black German Shepherds More Expensive?

A search through breeder sites reveals that black German Shepherds are not more expensive as most breeders will sell them for a price between $1,500 and $2,500, the average being $2,000. This is the same as other coat color German Shepherds from a reputable and experienced breeder. 

However, you should note that the black German Shepherd is rarer than its other standard color counterparts, and some breeders may use all-black German Shepherd rarity as a ground for hiking prices. 

For more info on this topic and to see my research, head over to this article, Black German Shepherds: 9 Cool (Important) Facts You Didn’t Know, as this fact is comprehensively covered.

Are Black German Shepherds Good Guard Dogs?

Black German Shepherds are good guard dogs. It’s not for nothing that the breed is one of AKC’s best guard dogs. Besides, GSDs have won their place as police and military dogs for decades. They have the nose and eye for danger and are often skeptical of unknown faces. 

Together with their strong, watchful, loyal, and fearless characteristics, these traits make German Shepherds good guard dogs. Your solid black German Shepherd will alert you when a stranger nears your home and move fast to protect you when it senses danger around you.

Final Thoughts

Dog lovers and owners with vast knowledge and experience know that the coat does not make the German Shepherd. 

Whether sable, black & tan, tricolor, solid black, or the rare blue German Shepherd, the breed remains the loving, friendly, loyal, protective, intelligent, and courageous dog. 

Having all these qualities only concludes that a black German Shepherd is a good family dog.

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Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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