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Top 20 Black Dog Breeds: Small, Big, Fluffy & More (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Every day is a good day to chat about dogs, and today, we are excited to learn all about canine breeds with the darkest of dark coats! Each of the dogs on our list is incredibly diverse but shares the commonality of a luminous black coat. Shining a little light on these precious dogs will hopefully influence some of you to go out and adopt one of your very own, as they are often overlooked at shelters and are less likely to be adopted. Next time you are at your local shelter, give a little extra love to these dogs and if you are able, consider opening your home and heart to one as we’re sure they would love a forever home!

We have gathered a list of the top 20 types of black dog breeds and divided them into our favorite big dog breeds and small dog breeds, each detailed and pictured. If you weren’t already a fan of dark doggos—this might just be where you fall in love!

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The Top 10 Big Black Dog Breeds

You shouldn’t be fooled by the intimidating appearance of these giants, as most of these dogs are among some of the sweetest, most hardworking, and loyal breeds.

1. Great Dane

black great dane on a leash
Image Credit: monnieblazkova, Pixabay

A true icon in the canine universe, the Great Dane is revered for their size, but you can be sure their hearts are just as big. This big black dog breed is affectionate not only with their loving owners but to all other pets, should they have any furry pals running around. Great Danes are also wonderful family dogs—they adore children and the attention they receive from them. An endearing fact about these gentle giants is that they often have little awareness as to how big they are in their own bodies—sometimes to hilarious effect.

2. Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer
Image Credit: Eliska Zeiskova, Shutterstock

The Giant Schnauzer was first known for its role as a herding dog, which later gained popularity during World War I, where they were utilized as law enforcement canines. Their high energy, attention to detail, and capability to serve and protect are among some of this breed’s most notable traits. Although they are considered a family dog and are very friendly, Giant Schnauzers might be too playful for small children. Once your Schnauzer falls in love with you, don’t be surprised if they become very protective.

3. Black Russian Terrier

black russian terrier
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock

Debuting in the early 1940s this large breed is considered an excellent sporting, guard, and working companion. In addition to their calm yet confident demeanor, these dogs are ideal family pets as they are highly intelligent and incredibly receptive to training. In fact, their protective nature is reflected in their passion and love for your children, as if they were their very own!

4. Rottweiler

Image Credit: Pxfuel

Although the Rottweiler has a little bit of a bad rap, we know that with the right training and a little extra love, these dogs are capable of being lovely companions! Originally bred as herding dogs, their instinctual traits have stuck with them as the breed evolved. Independent and strong, these loyal dogs are smart, and arguably make the cutest of puppies!

5. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed Info
Image Credit: Peakpx

We admit the appearance of the Doberman Pinscher may be a bit intimidating, but let us assure you that they are complete sweethearts!  Occasionally referred to as the Dobe, this breed is truly a jack of all trades; their focus and muscular build secure their work in law enforcement, gorgeous appearance, and composed attitude make them suitable contenders for dog shows, as well as loving and warm hearts results in sweet companions for families. This would be a wonderful breed to consider if you are only looking to have one pet—unfortunately, Dobermans have the tendency to be aggressive towards other dogs.

6. Cane Corso

Black Cane Corso
Image Credit: Shutterstock, Hoika Mikhail

This insanely tough-looking breed can be an ideal family pet if socialized and trained at an early age. Of course, they will become more docile as they grow, but it is imperative that they are exposed to children and other pets early on. Their intelligence and protective instincts have made them ideal military dogs. Once a bond is created with this breed, you are overjoyed with all of the love and affection they are sure to give you.

7.  Black German Shepherd

black german shepherd
Image Credit: No-longer-here, Pixabay

The Black German Shepherd, although not a breed of its own, is incredibly rare and striking enough to make our list. As their name suggests, they originated in Germany and have acquired some of the most desirable traits a dog can have. They are loyal, obedient, fearless, and have boundless love for their owners. These qualities allow this breed to wear many hats, so to speak, and landed them roles within the military and police forces, search and rescue teams, and of course, as family companions.

8. Newfoundland

Image credit: YAN WEN, Shutterstock,

With a weight that can reach up to a staggering 150 pounds, this massive breed is soulful and beyond breathtaking. Of the breeds on this list, the Newfoundland is likely the kindest, and has one of the biggest hearts! Additionally, they are the ideal family pet as they have all the patience in the world and are completely devoted to their loved ones.

9. Briard

Black Braird
Image Credit: Pikist

Briards, with a name suspiciously close to beard, have luscious long hair that falls past and covers their faces. Their goofy appearance is balanced with a nimble body and an intelligent mind. This large and tireless breed would be best paired with a family who lives on a farm or acreage, as they require a lot of exercise.

10. Komondor

You would never mistake this breed! With a coat that resembles that of a mop, Komondor’s are arguably one of the most distinct on our list! These loving companions are ideal for those who want a bigger pup that requires little exercise. If you don’t mind having an adorable puppy as a shadow, a Komondor may be for you as they are keen on keeping their owners in sight at all times.

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The Top 10 Small Black Dog Breeds

Their dark features and petite size only add to the appeal of these small breeds. Here are our favorite small black dog breeds!

11. Pomeranian

black pomeranian
Image Credit: Lisjatina, Shutterstock

Pomeranians are happy, friendly little dogs. Fluffy in the best way possible! Great family pets and will require a bit of exercise daily. With their small stature, comes an even bigger personality, so be prepared for your little pup to bark at other pups or strangers.

12. Puli

puli puppy outdoor
Image Credit: bodzazsuzsa, Pixabay

Similar to the Komondor, their moppy tufts of hair often fall over this little dog’s compact body giving them a goofy footstool appearance. However, these dogs are incredibly agile, and their ability to learn quickly makes them excellent herding dogs.

13. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher
Image Credit: Dorena, pixabay

Sleek and shiny coats cover these pristine little pups. Known to be sensitive to the cold, this adorable small black dog breed will benefit from a sweater every now and again. Happy to play with their owners, these dogs are great companions for families with older children.

14. Schipperke

Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock

Recognizable by their bushy tail and mane-like ring of fur around their neck, the Schipperke is naturally a dog that always looks fresh, like they’ve come straight from the groomers. Unlike a few of the others on this list, they are a true black breed! Although they make for great watchdogs as their feisty barks may alert you of anything out of the ordinary, this little beautiful breed, unfortunately, won’t be much of a guard dog.

15. Scottish Terrier

scottish terrier
Image Credit: Plotitsyna NiNa, Shutterstock

Also known as the Scottie, this posh breed is notable because if its long whiskery face and perky ears. The Scottish Terrier is an alert dog. They are quite self-assured and independent which at times can result in a stubborn temperament. Originally hunting dogs, Scotties are excellent diggers and will chase small animals if they are to cross their path.

16. Mudi Dog

black mudi

With a never-ending source of energy, this agile breed excels in almost any physical activity. They are among some of the rarest breeds and are mainly found in Finland and Hungary. The Mudi is an energetic working dog and their abilities shine when they are busy herding cattle. If you are lucky enough to come across this breed, they are an ideal pet for active and outgoing families.

17. Mini & Toy Poodle

toy poodle
Image Credit: KellyNelson, Shutterstock

Poodles are models of elegance and grace. They have gorgeous, hypoallergenic coats, making them an ideal choice for a lot of dog owners. Proud and confident, Poodles are swift and athletic. Additionally, with a sweet and loving temperament, Poodles are a well-rounded breed that would fit with most families.

18. Chihuahua

Tea cup Chihuahua
Image Credit: RaeElizabethPhotography, Shutterstock

Chihuahuas are known as sassy lap dogs, with personalities larger than life. Determination and a desire to prove they are more than their size makes this breed an enthusiastic learner. We recommend this breed for individuals or families who have grown or no children.

19. Lapphund

Finnish Lapphund puppy
Image: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

Lapphunds are a breed that is eager to please—they are versatile dogs and are naturally submissive. They truly host the best qualities a dog can have. Gentle with children, obedient with their owners, outgoing, fun-loving, and an all-around wonderful dog.

20. Brussels Griffon

black brussels griffon puppy
Image Credit: Irina Malikova, Shutterstock

With a wealth of traits and a colorful personality, Brussel Griffins are comical dogs. Although they are sure to keep you entertained at times, they are a sensitive breed and require closeness from their owners. If you are wholly dedicated and don’t mind bringing your pet with you – this may just be the dog you’ve been longing for.

Featured Image Credit: PxHere

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