Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

What Kind of Dog Is Sirius Black From Harry Potter? Facts, & FAQ

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Sirius Black (Still from Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban - Characters by Warner Bros. Pictures)

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you know all the characters front and back. But if you’ve recently binge-watched the series or reread the books, it might spark your imagination. What kind of dog is Sirius Black anyway?

Though originally modeled in CGI after a Black German Shepherd, for the sequences when Sirius Black transforms into a terrifying black dog, he is portrayed by a Scottish Deerhound. Here we’re going to go over both of these things and dig deep into the details inspired by the genius of J. K. Rowling.

divider 10

Sirius Black’s Character

To figure out the dog breed in J. K. Rowling’s series, played by Sirius Black, there seems to be a little confusion about the actual breed title. Some claim that because of the connotations associated with Sirius Black, he turns into the Grim. Others argue that Sirius Black could not be the Grim.

Sirius Black is originally a misunderstood character who has quite a questionable past. The entire time Harry is at Hogwarts, he believes Sirius Black to be a very dangerous individual who is imprisoned in Azkaban.

When Sirius Black escapes from this prison, he needs Harry Potter in a mysterious and twisting turn of tales. When you are finally introduced to the character himself, you recognize that he turns into a fearsome, giant black dog.

His bark is much bigger than his bite, it seems as if Sirius Black is not a bad character but rather an ally of Harry Potter. Unlike his werewolf friend Remus, Sirius Black takes the form of an actual dog with a silly set of names.

But you might wonder, is the dog completely CGI or do they use a real replica to act as the character? It turns out that the original model for Sirius Black’s dog form was actually a black German Shepherd in the Prisoner of Azkaban, though a Deerhound named Cleod played Sirius Black’s Animagus in Order of the Phoenix.

Both roles differ slightly but depict a terrifying-looking black dog in the films.

black german shepherd
Image Credit: YamaBSM, Pixabay

German Shepherds

Are there any connotations in personality between the dog version of Sirius Black and an actual black German Shepherd? We have to say yes. Unfortunately, German Shepherds are only magical to their owners. They hold no actual superpowers.

That’s unfortunate. But what they lack in wizarding abilities, they make up for in keen intelligence, loyal companionship, and excellence in judgment.

What is interesting is that there are also long-haired German Shepherds who give more of that in chanted, fantastical appearance. Many wolves in nature also take on this type of physique and hair color. They might look more fierce or mysterious than a normal average German Shepherd.

So if you are looking for a replica closely matching that of Sirius Black in the movie, a long-haired black German Shepherd might just be your best option. Luckily German Shepherds are the third most popular dog breed in the United States and other countries.

So you won’t have any trouble locating several litters in your area, most likely. You might have to search around for all-black German Shepherds and even more for long hair. Just do a quick Google search for breeders in your area or check local Facebook groups and other forms of social media.

American Show Line German Shepherds
Image Credit Sady Muñoz , Pixabay

Scottish Deerhound

The Scottish Deerhound is known for being a gentle giant. These dogs tend to be very kind, reserved, and loyal. They work very well with a large age group of people but can be too large for very small children.

Since they are so massive, they also have a powerful presence making them perfect for a role like the one they played in Harry Potter. These dogs are naturally a bit shaggy, large-bodied, and fearsome, but we all know they are big teddy bears.

The Scottish deerhound is significantly less common than the German Shepherd. So if you like the look of this dog better, you might have to search in your area for a local breeder that specializes in this particular breed. Sometimes it could involve being put on a waiting list.

scottish deerhound
Image By: Kim Christensen, Shutterstock

Divider 2

Final Thoughts

So now you know that the dogs that Sirius Black turns into are not exactly specified other than being a big black dog. However, some say that he is a Grim and others argue that that is not the case.

No matter your stance or beliefs, we can leave that up to our imaginations and look at the character’s reality based on a German Shepherd in one film and a Scottish Deerhound in the other. Both of these magnificent creatures are quite a spectacle. Which is your favorite Sirius Black Animagus?

Featured Image Credit: Characters by  Warner Bros. Pictures.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

Ashley Bates

Authored by

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and ...Read more

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database