After a quick brainstorming session with your husband last night, you have decided that your next dog needs to have a black coat and short hair.
I think that there is nothing lovelier than a glossy black coat on a dog- and I’m speaking to you as a Golden Retriever owner!
I don’t know if you are thinking of buying a puppy or of providing a rescue dog with a home but if you are considering rescuing that is great.
And here is why…
We live in a crazy old world and a mark of this is what is called black dog syndrome.
In a nutshell, dogs with black coats in rescue centres are far less likely to be adopted than dogs with lighter coloured coats.
How stupid is that?
If you are thinking of rescuing a black haired dog, that is incredibly laudable.
So have dealt with that thorny issue, let me more onto some of the pros and cons of owning dogs with short hair.
Pros and cons of short haired dogs
Since you are contemplating getting a black short haired dog, let’s have a look at the advantages first.
And to me, there are five obvious ones:
- Less mess
- Less grooming
- Easier to bathe
- Quicker to dry
- Less odour
And the cons? Are there any disadvantages to a dog having short hair?
Well I can only think of two
- Might feel cold in colder weather
- Might need to be kept out of hot sun if their cot is a bit patchy.
And now, let’s start my list of seven black short haired dog breeds.
 Doberman Pinscher
All purebred Dobermans have short hair. At its best it has a real glossy sheen to it.
The overwhelming majority of this breed appear in the famous black and rust colouring.
A solid black Doberman is quite rare and other coat colours are solid fawn or solid red.
Dobermans are named after the man that developed the breed- Carl Doberman.
He was a tax collector in the late nineteenth century and not surprisingly he felt that he needed some protection in his job.
And so he created the Doberman, which have a reputation of being fearsome guard dogs.
But with that history you can see where the reputation comes from.
The reputation is a little unfair as although these dogs are big- a male can be 70 cm tall (28 inches) and weigh around 45 kg (100 lbs), they are incredibly loyal.
With the right training, socialisation and exercise these dogs can become wonderful family pets.
Their fearsomeness will be replaced by confidence and alertness.
 Great Dane
Next we have the biggest dog available on the planet, a Great Dane.
A male can stand up to 86 cm tall (which is nearly 34 inches) and they can weigh up to 90 kg (or 198 lbs.)
The largest dog in the world is a Great Dane called Freddy who was measured in 2016 as being 104 cm tall.
He didn’t have a black coat though!
Other colours that Great Danes are available in, include Brindle, Fawn, Blue, Harlequin and Mantle.
They were originally bred to protect country estates and to hunt wild boar but for most of these dogs those days are long gone.
You are more likely to find them sprawled on a sofa rather than chasing down prey.
And, of course, for all of their great height, these dogs are incredibly gentle and loving although you need to be wary of them around small children because they might accidentally knock them over.
 Curly coated retriever
Curly coated retrievers are very distinguished looking dogs.
The tallest of any retrievers, their coat gives them a very unique look with that very tight (and short) curl.
These curls extend over much of the dog’s body, including their ears and their tails.
Apart from solid black, curly coated retrievers are available in a liver colour and both colours are striking because of how rich and solid they are.
Having similar gentle and affectionate characters as other retrievers, they are slightly different because they are generally less needy.
A medium sized dog, a male can be as much as 69 cm or 27 inches tall and weigh anything up to 41 kg or 90 lbs.
However, these dogs need lots and lots of exercise, including swimming.
So that is something to bear in mind.
 Thai Ridgeback
Our next breed of dog with a black and short haired coat is the Thai Ridgeback.
You are more likely to have heard of the more common Rhodesian Ridgeback breed of dog.
Thai dogs have a short and glossy coat and as well as solid black, they are available in (solid) red, blue and very light fawn.
Their name comes from a ridge on their back which is formed by hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat.
Other fairly unique traits are that these dogs might have spotted tongues or solid blue tongues.
A male can be as tall as 59 cm or 23 inches and weigh just over 70 lbs (nearly 32 kg.)
These dogs have a tremendous physical presence- they look like athletes and true to form Thai Ridgebacks have an incredible ability to jump.
Character wise, these dogs need to be owned by experienced dog “people”.
They have a high prey drive which combined with a strong sense of self sufficiency, could make them a real challenge in the wrong set of hands.
 Staffordshire Bull Terrier
If most of the dogs that we have discussed so far just seem to be so tall then let me change tack for a moment.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is much smaller and might only be 40 cm or 16 inches tall and weigh 38 lbs or just over 17 kgs.
And in terms of colours, as well as black a Staffy can come in red, fawn, white or blue.
These dogs are known for loving people and children in particular.
In 2019 in the U.K. 10,000 people were surveyed and Staffies were voted as the most popular breed.
In another survey, Staffordshire Bull Terriers were voted the “waggiest” breed.
But the breed have also had their image problems.
In the UK they were seen in the early 2000’s as being violent dogs owned by young thugs who wanted to appear strong.
 Shar Pei
If you are after one of the most unique looking breeds of dogs, then you will not go too far wrong with a Chinese Shar- Pei.
Shar- Pei means “sand skin” and you can’t get much shorter hair than that, can you?
And you can see that in some of the photos that you might look at.
The shine and gloss that can be seen on the coats of other breeds in this list, just doesn’t exist for a Shar Pei.
It is not just the loose skin that makes this breed very unusual.
They are also one of the few breeds that have black or blue tongues and they have small triangular ears that fold over.
And black Shar Pei’s are not that common.
You are far more likely to see a sand or fawn coloured dog.
In terms of size, a male can be as tall as 50 cm or 19.6 inches and weigh around 30 kg or 66 lbs.
These are great family dogs who are naturally suspicious of strangers.
 Labrador Retriever
And now for my final black short haired dog breed- a Labrador Retriever.
According to the AKC, this is currently America’s favourite dog.
And it is not hard to see why because they are so affectionate and loving.
Their coats are very short and the hair is very dense.
As well as jet black, Labs come in solid yellow or solid chocolate.
A male can be as tall as 59 cm (or 23 inches) and weigh as much as 36 kgs or 80 lbs.
Labs are as well known for their voracious appetites as they are for their eagerness to please.
They can often be overweight because they are given too much food and too little exercise and it is important to get the balance right.
They will eat almost anything and they do need lots of exercise, whether that is playing fetch, swimming or tearing a round agility courses.
¹ Photo by Spring Fed Images on Unsplash
² Photo by Anna Kozakova on Unsplash
³ Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash
⁴ Photo by Mattias Agar on Flickr
⁵ Photo by VirtKitty on Flickr
⁶ Photo by Mac Gaither on Unsplash