Can Rottweilers Be All Black?

can a rottweiler be all black

Rottweilers are one of the most interesting looking breeds around.

Okay, I might be a little biased, and while they don’t have the fancy Harlequin pattern of a Great Dane or the amazing spots of a Catahoula their sleek black and tan pattern fits perfectly with their overall look.

But could you take this sleek look a step further and find a Rottweiler that is completely black? Can Rottweilers be all or pure black?

It’s rare, but possible for a Rottweiler to be completely black. More commonly, a Rottweiler’s usually tan coloring can be very dark so from a distance the Rottweiler may appear to be all black but in reality, they have a very dark version of the usual pattern. Mixed-breed Rotties can be completely black. 

But that’s just scratching the surface, so let’s take a closer look at the mysterious black Rottweiler!

Why Are Black Rottweilers Rare?

So if Rottweilers can be all black, or at least almost all black, why don’t you see them more often?

Black Rottweilers are rare because they don’t conform to the breed standard which typically requires that Rottweilers have distinct tan or mahogany colored areas on their chest and head. That makes the darkly colored or pure black Rottweiler undesirable to anyone who plans on showing the dog and most breeders avoid breeding Rottweilers with darker markings.

Sadly, some all black Rottweilers could even be euthanized as breeders may not see them as having the same value. However, with more and more people specifically looking for black Rottweilers, this will hopefully be a thing of the past and there are most certainly buyers and adopters for a pure black Rottweiler.

Black Rottweilers Vs Dark Rottweilers

It’s important to make the distinction between a pure black Rottweiler and a dark Rottweiler.

Dark Rottweilers are much more common and these are actually Rotties that have heavily muted and very dark features. They’re still not distinct enough to meet the breed standard which requires clearly defined rust or tan markings.

You can get a better idea of what this looks like in the video below. Notice how when the camera is up close, you can clearly see a darker version of the normal Rottie patterns. But when the camera is further away, the Rottie does appear to be almost completely black (except for his feet).

Can Rottweiler Mixes Be Pure Black?

While purebred Rottweilers are much more likely to be dark, rather than pure black, mixed-breed Rotties are an entirely different situation!

These dogs may have the head and body confirmations of a Rottie with the coloring of whatever breed they’re mixed with. That means you could have a Rottweiler and black lab mix that looks like a Rottweiler but could be completely black down to their toes.

Of course, there’s still plenty of genetic variation when it comes to mixed breeds and there’s no guarantee that mixing a dark-colored Rottweiler with a black dog will result in an all-black Rottie. Or that you can’t get an all black dog by mixing two black and tan breeds like a Doberman and Rottie.

But if you do see an all black Rottie, it could be the result of just such a pairing!

Are Black Or Dark Rottweilers More Prone To Health Problems?

Some genes that cause color variations can also cause changes related to health. The most common example of this are white dogs and hereditary deafness but I haven’t seen any research on pure black or dark Rottweilers and health issues.

Because dark Rottweilers are really just variations on a normal color pattern, we wouldn’t expect any difference in health or temperament compared to other Rotties. But in the case of pure black Rotties, there may be more of a genetic shift at play that could impact health however I haven’t found any conclusive or scientific evidence of this.

Overall, I haven’t found any evidence to suggest that these coat variations will have any impact on your Rottie’s growth, lifespan, or overall attitude.

Closing Thoughts

I most certainly fall in the group of people that believe all black or dark Rottweilers are beautiful!

However, I’ve also never been a big fan of breed standards especially when it comes to unnatural changes like docking tails or cropping ears.  If you don’t plan on showing your Rottweiler, there’s really no reason to avoid the dark coloring or the all black version.

What do you think? Do you like the look of a dark or all black Rottweiler?

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