Black Australian Shepherd – Everything You Need To Know

Black Australian Shepherds are Australian Shepherds with pitch-black coats. Black is one of the primary colors of Australian Shepherds recognized by the AKC and UKC. The Tyrosinase-related protein1 on chromosome 11, otherwise called “B” by Aussies breeders is responsible for the coat to be solid black. Often the solid black color may turn grayish by the age of one and again turn to its original color – solid black. It is a common belief that no two Aussies have the same pattern in their coats. Australian Shepherds are believed to have originated from the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. 

Australian Shepherd dogs initially herd sheep and cattle in tough terrains. They are loyal and highly intelligent dogs. Australian Shepherds got their name because of their connection with the shepherds who migrated from Australia to the United States. Black Australian Shepherds are rare to find because of their controlled recessive genes. Australian Shepherds are quick-witted, fun-filled pooches that promise to bring new energy and happiness into your soul and home.

Black Australian Shepherd Pros and Cons

Loyal and friendlyOver protective
Hardworking and intelligentHigh maintenance
Excellent companionDestructive behavior

Black Australian Shepherd Basic Information

  • Name: Black Australian Shepherd 
  • Height: 18 – 23 inches
  • Weight: 40 – 65 pounds
  • Coat: Double-layer, medium length with a curly or wavy texture
  • Color: Black
  • Energy: High
  • Activities: Companion, sports, obedience, agility
  • Group: Working
  • Barking Level: Medium to high
  • Shedding Level: Medium to high
  • Hypoallergenic: No 
  • Litter Size: 6 to 7 puppies
  • Life Span: 12 – 16 years
  • Other names: Black Aussie

Australian Shepherd vs. Black Australian Shepherd: A Comparison

Features Australian Shepherd  Black Australian Shepherd   
Origin United StatesUnited States
Height 18-23 inches18-23 inches
Weight 40-65 pounds40-65 pounds
Size MediumMedium
Group HerdingHerding
Children Compatibility HighHigh
Family Compatibility HighHigh
Pets Compatibility HighHigh
Barking Level Medium to HighMedium to High
Shedding Level Medium to HighMedium to High
Hypoallergenic NoNo
Grooming Needs Medium to HighMedium to High
Overall Health Medium to HighMedium to High
Energy HighHigh
Exercise Needs HighHigh
Trainability HighHigh
Activities Companion, Sports, Obedience, AgilityCompanion, Sports, Obedience, Agility
Complication in breeding NoNo
Litter Size 6-7 Puppies6-7 Puppies
Lifespan 12-15 years12-15 years
Other Names Spanish Shepherd, Pastor dogs, Bob-Tails, Blue Heelers,
New Mexican Shepherds, California Shepherds
Black Aussies

Black Australian Shepherd Personality

Black Australian Shepherds are Aussies with a solid black coat. They are known for their gorgeous shiny black coats. The black-colored coat is due to the recessive gene and must be carried by both the parents. Black Australian Shepherds are longer than tall, grow up to 18-23 inches, and weigh about 40-65 pounds. They are double-coated with long, wavy, medium-length fur. The upper coat is coarse with a thick undercoat. Black Aussies are pitch black and do not have any markings or tan points on their bodies. Any pattern or markings is considered a fault by the AKC and can not be viewed as a Black Australian Shepherd. 

Further the Black  Australian Shepherd’s physical appearance is described below:

  • A short fur on the face
  • The hind legs are well-feathered. 
  • Ears are floppy and triangular. 
  • The nose and lips are all black. 
  • The eyes are dark brown or gold-flecked in hazel. 

Black Australian Shepherds are as excellent and gorgeous as the other Aussies, with healthy and muscular bodies.

Friendliness Overview 

Affection level Medium to high
Family-friendly High
Kid-friendly Medium to high
Pet-friendly High
Stranger-friendly Medium

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment living Low
Good to new owners Low to medium
Sensitivity level High 
Tolerates being alone Low 
Cold-tolerance Medium to high
Heat-tolerance Medium to high

Black Australian Shepherd Temperament 

Black Australian Shepherd share the same temperament and characteristics as the other Aussies except for the coat color. They are excellent watchdogs and companions to their humans. They are protective of their owners and bark to alert their families. They are loyal, energetic, and patient. They can also be used as therapy dogs, rescue dogs, police dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs, and drug detectors. They are also intelligent, hardworking, and require plenty of exercise. Lack of activities makes them bored and leads to destructive behaviors like barking, chewing, and digging. They have an instinct to flock to birds. Hence they may chase cars and herd children. They are obedient and well-behaved. They will also help one with the household chores like picking dirty laundry off the floor. They are affectionate and love to stick around their human pack. They get along with children and other pets, although they should be kept away from cats. However, no child should be left unsupervised with any dogs. Their overall temperament includes

  • Loyal
  • Obedient
  • Protective
  • Affectionate
  • Patient
  • Alert
  • Intelligent
  • Hardworking

Black Australian Shepherd Training

Black Australian Shepherds are intelligent dogs and easy to train. They are naturally friendly and social and make a good candidate for obedience training. Training a Black Australian Shepherds is always eager to please and does not take hard work. They can be trained in various commands, skills, sports competitions, and any task one would want to teach their dog. Like any other dog, they need early socialization and puppy training classes. The training requires patience and consistency during the period. They are sensitive to any adverse reactions and need positive reinforcement while training. They love being around people, and treats and cuddling do wonders while training. They are active and look forward to the training sessions, playing fetch, which helps in training regarding behavioral corrections. They do not respond to harsh commands, and lots of praises, cuddles, and treats work wonders during the training. Obedience training and socialization help behavioral correction and bring out the best in any dog. Black Australian Shepherds have high energy levels and become bored quickly; hence it is necessary to keep the training interesting. Their Training can include the following:

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Trainability Overview

Easy to train High 
Intelligence High 
Mouthiness tendencies Medium to high 
Barking and Howling tendencies Medium to high 
Prey drive Medium to high 
Wanderlust tendencies High 

Black Australian Shepherd Exercise Needs 

Black Australian Shepherds are muscular, energetic, and have high exercise needs. Enough exercise helps them to keep their body in shape without exerting it. A daily walk of 30-40 minutes will be ideal. The daily activities can include 30-60 minutes of running, frisbee game, or agility exercises. Black Australian Shepherds live a healthy and long life with the right amount of exercise and activity. Above all this, they are happiest when around their human friends. They excel in canine activities like agility and flyball. Black Australian Shepherds are delighted with indoor games and puzzle toys that keep them mentally stimulated. They enjoy running, walking, hiking, agility, and indoor games. A proper exercise routine helps the dog with the following benefits.

  • Social interaction
  • Weight Control
  • Stress Relief
  • Behavioral Corrections like excessive chewing, persistent barking
  • Brain stimulation
  • Strengthening Muscles
  • Routine Toileting
  • Mental health and happiness

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy level High 
Exercise needs High
Intensity Medium to high
Playfulness High 

Black Australian Shepherd Grooming

Black Australian Shepherds are heavy shedders and require frequent grooming. They have medium-length coats and are not hypoallergenic. Their coats are water-resistant and double-coated, which helps them to resist cold and hot weather conditions. They are high-maintenance dogs, and the coat needs brushing every couple of days. The hair at its paws has to be trimmed to avoid the floor getting dirty. They are easy to groom, and the coat must be brushed 2-3 times per week. They may need extra brushing during their shedding season. Brushing helps remove clump hair and pull out the loose fur during shedding. One of the essential parts of grooming is bathing which keeps the dog clean. However, frequent bathing causes dry skin and itches. Bathing your dog using shampoos with ph. Balanced for dogs, pet wipes will keep your dog’s coat fresh, clean, and shiny. They can also be bathed once a week. However, daily brushing helps to keep the fur from knots and tangles. 

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They are prone to collect ear wax quickly. Hence, Ears should be cleaned and regularly checked as they are prone to ear problems. Brush their teeth daily to prevent plaque and other dental problems. Never brush the teeth with a stiff brush as it will harm the gums and teeth. Also, make sure to use dog-friendly toothpaste. 

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Also, clean their eyes and trim their nails as a part of everyday grooming needs. Their toenails need to be checked once a week as longer nails may harm and injure the dog. You can trim the toenails with a commercial dog nail trimmer or with the help of a vet or professional groomer.

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Grooming Overview

Easy to groomLow
Drooling tendenciesLow
Amount of sheddingMedium

Black Australian Shepherd Health

Black Australian Shepherds are generally healthy dogs. Still, like any other dog breed, they are also prone to specific health conditions.

Health Overview

General healthLow
Weight gain tendenciesMedium to high

Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is outwardly a painful disease that occurs when the bones of the back legs do not fit properly in the joints. While some dogs will exhibit symptoms, the majority of canines will not. Hip dysplasia is primarily genetic, although other causes such as accidents, excessive weight gain, and inappropriate training can also cause it. Even though this disease is fatal, therapies range from medicine to hip replacement surgery. To avoid this problem, avoid breeding dogs with hip dysplasia parentage and get annual examinations.

Other Causes of Hip Dysplasia: 

  • Injuries 
  • Excessive weight gain 
  • Wrong exercises 
  • This condition causes defects or damage to the hip bones and joints and worsens without treatment.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include:

  • Reduced activity and movements
  • Reluctance to rise, jump, run, or climb
  • Lameness in the hind limbs
  • Reducing thigh muscle mass
  • Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait
  • Grating in the joint during movement
  • Enlarging shoulders
  • Pain
  • Stiffness

Progressive retinal atrophy: An eye disease that causes blindness from losing photoreceptors. It can be diagnosed earlier. Dogs with this disorder can survive for many years since they have other senses to compensate. 

The gradual deterioration of the eye’s retina marks the progression of this disease. Affected dogs exhibit night-blindness symptoms, slowly progressing to complete vision loss. Most affected dogs adapt well to their limited or lost vision if they continue to reside in the same environment.   

Collie Eye Anomaly: CEA is an inherited developmental condition usually seen in breeds like Australian shepherds, Border Collies, Shetland sheepdogs, etc. This disorder leads to blindness. 

Deafness: Some dogs are born deaf, and others may acquire it with age. While hereditary deafness is due to genetic defects, acquired deafness results from decreased blood supply to the cochlea of the inner ear resulting in the loss of hair cells necessary for sound transmission. Deafness may present unilaterally (deafness in one ear) or bilaterally (deafness in both the ears). Bilaterally deaf dogs require some special considerations. To get to know your pet better, you can subject your pet to the BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response), which helps you detect deafness in dogs. 

Epilepsy: Black Australian Shepherds suffer from a higher rate of epilepsy. Although the exact cause is unknown, a genetic base is often suspected. Epilepsy is a sudden spike in the brain’s electrical activity resulting in malfunctioning. Some of the signs to look for include:

Symptoms of epilepsy: 

  • A stiffening of the neck and legs 
  • Stumbling and falling over
  • Uncontrollable chewing
  • Drooling
  • Paddling of the limbs
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Defecating
  • Vocalizing 
  • Violent shaking 
  • Trembling

Cataracts: When your dog experiences a thickening lens, it results in cloudy vision due to age. This condition is treatable either through medications or surgery.  

Elbow Dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia occurs when the elbow joint bones don’t align properly. This misalignment causes abnormal pressure at the joint, leading to chronic rubbing and severe osteoarthritis.


  • Mild to moderate pain 
  • Lameness in the forelimbs 

Although the symptoms begin to show as early as four months, some dogs will not show these signs until later in life. Further, it involves both elbows, of which one may be heavily affected.

Osteochondrosis Dessicans: Osteochondrosis Dessicans is an inflammatory condition that occurs due to the cartilage’s abnormal development, leading to its separation from the underlying bone. Although it most prominently affects the shoulder, it may be prevalent at the elbow, hip, or knee.

Symptoms of OCD:

  • Limping in the affected leg 
  • Extremely painful when the affected leg is manipulated
  • Swollen or warm joint

Treatment generally follows a strict rest schedule, medications, supplements, and surgery, if necessary. 


  • Food-based allergies can be treated by following an elimination diet that eliminates suspected ingredients to which the dog may be allergic.  
  • Contact allergies: These allergies are caused due to the adverse reaction of a dog’s immune system when it comes in contact with a topical substance such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals. Removing the cause of the allergy reduces the symptoms.  
  • Inhalant allergies are caused when your canine accidentally inhales airborne allergens like pollen, dust, and mildew. Treatment for these allergies depends upon their severity. Often, these allergies are accompanied by ear infections.

Hypothyroidism: A dog’s metabolism is slowed due to the lack of thyroid hormone production. Symptoms are:  

  • Lethargy 
  • Gaining weight 
  • Reluctance to work out 
  • Hair Loss

Distichiasis: Distichiasis is prevalent in dogs. It results from the abnormal growth of eyelashes. It occurs when eyelashes emerge from the eyelid margin instead of its skin. Most dogs don’t experience any adverse symptoms due to soft hairs. However, other dogs experience discomfort due to eye irritation. In severe cases, this condition can lead to corneal ulcers. 

Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM): Before the birth of canines, specific blood vessels are involved in nourishing their eye lens with nutrients. When these blood vessels don’t disappear after birth, they develop into strands of eye tissue known as persistent pupillary membranes. However, most dogs don’t experience any symptoms due to it. 

Drug Sensitivity: Most herding dogs react adversely to certain medications due to a mutation in the MDR1 gene. Consequently, they experience enhanced sensitivity to certain medical drugs like antiparasitic, antidiarrheal, and anticancer drugs. 

Cancer: Cancer in dogs is treatable if detected early. Although certain dogs show no symptoms initially, some of the warning symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Prevalence of a lump or bump
  • A non-healing wound
  • Swelling
  • Enlarged lymph nodes, 
  • Lameness or swelling in the bone 
  • Abnormal bleeding 

Nasal Solar Dermatitis: Nasal solar dermatitis is a congenital condition that results from abnormal skin sensitivity to sunlight. This disorder worsens with exposure to sunlight and affects the skin, nose, eyelids, trunk, and limbs. However, its exact cause is not yet known. 

Detached Retina: Retinal detachment in dogs occurs when the retina isolates itself from the back of your dog’s eyes. This happens due to underlying medical conditions such as glaucoma, high blood pressure, and hypothyroidism in dogs. It is a medical emergency as it can lead to blindness in dogs without immediate treatment. 

Spay or Neuter: In spay, the ovaries or uterus in females is removed, and in the neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are removed. It eliminates the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancer.

Recommended Tests for Black Australian Shepherd

  • X-Rays 
  • CT Scan 
  • Eye Examination 
  • Physical Examination 
  • Blood Work

Black Australian Shepherd Diet and Nutrition

Black Australian Shepherds are high-bred dogs and need a large quantity of high-quality food. They should eat 1-2 cups of food every day. Each puppy is distinctive, and the correct amount and quality of food depend on their age, weight, activity level, health, and more. You can split the meals into two 2 cups daily. Black Australian Shepherd pups can be given dry food, wet food, or both. High protein dog food helps the dog stay fit and healthy, improves digestion, and maintains coat shine. The dog lives a long, healthy, and happy life by adding nutrients, supplements, and vitamins. However, they are prone to obesity, so overfeeding must be avoided. Black Australian Shepherds pups can be given dry food, wet food, or both. Ensure the diet contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, chondroitin, and glucosamine. They can also be fed with fruits and vegetables that give carbohydrate energy.

Never hesitate to consult a vet to meet your pup’s dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy.

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Black Australian Shepherds Living Condition

Black Australian Shepherds love to be around their humans. They are not apartment-friendly and need homes with bigger spaces or big yards. They have a high prey drive and should be leashed or kept safe in a fenced area. The fence should be such that it doesn’t allow them to dig deep or leap over to escape. They love outdoor activities like walking, running, playing,  and hiking. They love the attention of their owners and suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. Lack of activities makes them prone to destructive activities like barking, chewing, and digging. They are fond of playing with kids and other pets. Black Australian Shepherds can tolerate heat and cold temperatures equally. They have weather-resistant coats and can tolerate both hot and cold temperatures.

Adding Black Australian Shepherd to Your Family

Things to remember before adding a Black Australian Shepherd to your family

Getting a Black Australian Shepherd from a reputable breeder is best to prevent unavoidable circumstances like health disorders and provide you with vaccination certificates. It is best to check with the puppy’s parents to ensure his health and happiness. Always remember the following red flags to avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills.

  • Puppies are available around the year.
  • You can choose from a variety of litter that is always available. 
  • We recommend you visit the puppy and his parents and get health clearance and vaccination certificates, to avoid purchasing a weaker puppy.

Cost of a Black Australian Shepherd Puppy

The cost of a Black Australian Shepherd puppy ranges from $400 to $1800.

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