As an Amazon Associate, we may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases but at no extra cost to you. Learn more.
Dogs naturally have pink tongues. The little organ of taste is filled with a healthy supply of blood and nutrients no wonder the color.
Well, there are a few breeds that break this rule by going black. These can either have complete black on their tongues or show some blue-black spots against the pink background. The spots look like freckles in our case as humans.
If you are wondering which dogs fit this description, we have just a comprehensive list for you.
In case you are planning to get one of these breeds, don’t be freaked out when you are met with a black-tongued pet. They are still as charming as all other breeds.
First things first, what causes black spots on some dog’s tongues, and should it worry you?
Well, black spots are simply extra pigmentation. Some dogs tend to develop extra pigmentations on various parts of their bodies, including lips, noses, paw pads, toenails, and tongues.
Just like freckles or birthmarks in human beings, the extra deposit of pigmentations will typically be visible upon a dog’s birth or develop during puppyhood.
The spots may also change shape and color over time in dogs but this is perfectly normal.
Generally, dark tongues or black spots on a dog’s tongue often retain the same size, shape, and texture throughout a dog’s lifetime. So, it is something that you shouldn’t worry about. In other words, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with your pup’s tongue.
On the contrary, it is a polite reminder that there is one more unique trait to love about your Fido!
When to Be Concerned
While black pigmentation in your dog’s tongue is perfectly normal, there are instances when they may not be normal at all, including:
- When the spots start to change suddenly, especially in terms of size and shape
- The texture of the spots is different from the rest of the tongue or gum
- The spots manifest other colorations besides the bluish black color
- Spots have foul smell
All these could be signs of more serious underlying health problems (such as squamous cell carcinoma, canine melanoma, oral ulcers, kidney disease, niacin deficiency, or heart/lung issues), so don’t hesitate to consult a local veterinarian.
Dog Breeds with Black Tongues
The most probable reason why some dogs manifest the extra pigmentation on their tongues is genetics and mixed parentage.
Expectedly, some breeds are more prone to black tongue colorations than others.
Here is a quick overview of dog breeds that are more likely to have black tongues:
1. Chow Chow
The big and furry Chow Chow is a beauty to behold.
Everything from her extremely furry coat and her sweet little eyes to her lion-like looks appeal to the eye.
However, her big black tongue no doubt steals the show every time. We are used to seeing dogs with pink tongues. Chow chow’s little organ sets her apart from all her counterparts.
According to the AKC, there’s no real explanation behind the breed’s color of the tongue. This rather old dog has always adorned it and despite a few myths and rumors here and there, no one really knows what caused it.
Like all other dogs, chow chows have pink tongues at birth only for the color to change to blue-black when the pup starts opening her eyes.
At about 6 months, the color change will be complete and will remain so for life.
2. Chinese Shar-pei
Besides the Chow Chow, the only other breed with an inherited blue-black tongue is the Chinese Shar-pei.
This is actually a breed standard for both breeds. Any other color of the tongue will disqualify your doggie from competing in dog shows.
This dog is born with a pink tongue which changes once the puppy is about 2.5 months old. The color ranges from lavender to blue-black.
The black tongue and the super-wrinkled body of the members of Shar-Pei give the breed an edge over everyone else.
Rumor has it that the wrinkled protected the dog during dog fights. The attacker would make away with a chunk of the loose skin but leave the dog’s internal organs intact.
3. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian ridgeback is a strong, well-built, smooth-coated dog with roots in Africa.
This wheaten pup is known for her imposing stature and her eye-catchy ridge of hair that runs across the back.
Originally bred to chase lions, this breed is fierce, muscular, agile, and fearless. At home, your ridgeback will scare any intruder only with her presence.
Although not all dogs from the breed have a black tongue, a huge majority have black spots or complete black tongues.
4. Thai Ridgeback
The Thai ridgeback is to Thailand what the Rhodesian ridgeback is to South Africa.
Both breeds have a lot in common including the ridge of hair at the back and just the general shape.
They also have spotted tongues that make them stand out from the crowd.
However, while the Rhodesian ridgeback boasts only wheaten as her coat color, the Thai Ridgeback is available in other colors such as black, fawn, red, and black.
Additionally, this breed is only common in Thailand. It is believed that only about 300 Thais are in the United States, making the breed very rare.
5. PhuQuoc Ridgeback
Of all ridgebacks, the PhuQuoc Ridgeback is perhaps the rarest.
It originated from PhuQuoc Island located in KienGiang province of Southern Vietnam.
This special breed is famous for her webbed feet, black-pigmented tongues, and beautiful swirling hair along the spine.
Because of its webbed feet, the breed is used to hunt fish and other animals.
Sadly, these dogs are less than a thousand around the world.
You will probably never meet one in your lifetime. Count yourself lucky if you do.
The Eurasier, also known as Wolf-Chow or Eurasian Spritz, is a rare mixed breed with a blue-black tongue.
She is a result of breeding the Chow Chow, Wolf Spritz, and the Samoyed with looks that lean to the Samoyed side. Well, others look more like the Chow Chow.
One of the most notable things about the breed is her black tongue which contrasts with her cute coat quite well.
As you might have guessed, the black tongue is inherited from no one but her Chow Chow side of the family.
In addition to her incredible beauty, this spritz-type breed is known for her loyalty, intelligence, and even temperament.
7. Labrador Retriever
Who knew that America’s favorite dog is also among the list of canine breeds with black tongues?
Some labs have the black pigment brought about by microscopic melanin granules present in the mouth area.
Depending on the number of these granules, your lab may have a few dark spots or have her mouth filled with them.
However, the whole tongue doesn’t become blue-black as is the case with the Chow Chow and the Shar-Pei.
The small majority of labs with a black tongue typically inherit the trait from their folks.
People believe that the coloring is a clear sign that the dog has mixed bloodlines somewhere in her history.
Whatever it is, as long as the tongue is perfectly healthy, you have nothing to worry about.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Fox Red Lab
This giant breed from Newfoundland is famous for her sheer size, tremendous strength, intelligence, loyalty, and calm disposition.
After hauling fish nets for fishermen for centuries, the breed has grown accustomed to working.
In today’s world, she does very well in water/lifesaving activities, thanks to her webbed paws, thick double coat, swimming prowess, and muscular build.
In addition to their captivating looks, some Newfoundlands have black-spotted tongues.
Extra pigmentation sometimes presents on the tongue resulting in the odd-coloring. Usually, the spots will appear in purple or blue-black at random.
Whether the breed got its spots from mixing with Chow Chows or just out of nature, the black tongue makes her extra special.
With a super-fluffy, small, and elegant body, the Pomeranian is easily one of the most favorite toy breeds.
When you are around one, you can’t resist petting her, cuddling with her, and taking endless Instagram shots of her.
The fact that she comes in a plethora of coat colors makes her even more unique and special.
To make the deal sweeter, Pomeranians are attentive, intelligent, and fun to hang with.
The tongue can either be pink or black-spotted. If you end up with the latter, you are looking at an incredibly beautiful doggie that stands out from the pack.
Pugs are as beloved as the Pomeranians –thanks to their small size and pleasant looks.
The breed is especially loved by apartment dwellers as it ticks all qualities.
Perhaps the most amazing trait possessed by pugs is being laid-back. Like the bulldog, this dog can lie down most of the day.
She is happy to share the couch with you until you finish watching an entire season of a TV show.
If you are too lazy to walk her, she won’t complain. Being silly, affectionate, and playful makes her a fantastic pet at home.
She is also one of the dog breeds with black tongues.
Not all pugs have spots on their tongues but a few of them do and are perfectly normal.
Teacup Pug Lifespan: Average Life Expectancy of a Teacup Dog
Best Pug Blankets and Comforter Sets for Pug Lovers
If you are looking for a fearless, strong, and assertive dog to own, there are a few options to choose from. One of them is the popular Rottweiler.
No doubt this breed is known for her fantastic guarding instincts. Rotties have an amazing bite force that can tear apart an intruder in minutes.
They don’t back down from a fight no matter the size of the opponent.
At home, these dogs are pretty content to just be with their human owners.
While not all Rottweilers have black tongues, it is not uncommon to see black spots on a number of them.
Some feature completely black tongues.
10 Guard Dogs That Are Good with Cats
15 Best Medium to Large Size Family Protection Dogs
15 Best Attack Dog Breeds: Alert, Courageous, Energetic, and Devoted in Service
12. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian cattle dog may also have extra black pigment on her tongue causing it to have black spots.
For those that have this distinct characteristic, the spots act as birthmarks or freckles. They can be small, huge, or somewhere in the middle. They can also be many or few depending on the pigmentation in the mouth.
When you see an Aussie with the black spots, it is easy to think that she has some Chow Chow or Shar-pei in her system.
While this could be true, it is not the case always. Some breeds are naturally designed to have black tongues and this is just one of them.
13. Bull Mastiff
The bullmastiff is another huge and fearless guarding dog like the Rottweiler. She doesn’t like strangers the least bit.
She is subtly referred to as a “silent watchdog” as she doesn’t make too much noise.
However, don’t mistake that to mean the dog is friendly.
Funny thing is that a bullmastiff can dwell in apartments and be happy about it.
If you have enough space to let her sleep and play, you can comfortably house her in your apartment.
Also, her slobber takes a little getting used to but once you are past it, you will definitely enjoy owning this breed.
The bullmastiff, like most dogs on this list, is predisposed to the condition of having a black tongue.
If she happens to have some black pigmentation on her tongue, purple or dark blue spots will appear.
Related Post: How Long Do Bullmastiffs Live?
14. The Great Pyrenees
A Great Pyrenees, also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, is a capable guardian dog with a deep affection for those he loves.
Bred to guard livestock, the breed is courageous, obedient, and loyal.
She is calm, somewhat serious, affectionate, and gentle.
Prys are big dogs that stand at a height of up to 32 inches at the shoulder. They weigh as much as 100 pounds and come with immense strength.
The coat is thick and white to protect the dog from the elements. Some of these dogs have tan, gray, or badger markings on them.
As for the tongue, most Prys have it pink but don’t be shocked to find one with black spots.
15. Belgian Malinois
The Belgian Malinois has one of those big tongues.
In all honesty, most dogs have hanging tongues but this breed takes things to the next level.
The tongue is too large for the mouth no wonder you will always catch her hanging the tongue.
Speaking of the tongue, a Belgian Malinois may also wear it pink with black spots.
16. Other Dogs With Black Tongues
Blue-black tongues are not limited to the above-highlighted dog breeds.
Canine experts suggest that there are over 40 dog breeds that may manifest black-blue pigmentation in their tongues.
Here are more breeds that may have black tongues:
- Australian Shepherd
- Belgian Sheepdog
- Bichon Frise
- Belgian Tervuren
- Bouvier des Flandres
- Cairn Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- Doberman Pinscher
- English Setter
- Fila Brasileiro
- Golden Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Gordon Setter
- Irish Setter
- Kai Ken
- Korean Jindo
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Mountain Cur
- Siberian Husky
- Shiba Inu
- Soft-Coated Wheaten
- Tibetan Mastiff.
Related Post: 30 Dog Breeds With Pictures and Prices
There it is; 15 dogs with black tongues.
The truth of the matter is that only the Chow Chow and the Shar-Pei are the only breeds that naturally have a black tongue.
The rest have spotting here and there with a handful showing complete black tongues because of heavy pigmentation in the oral cavity.
That said, the fact that your dog has a black-spotted tongue doesn’t mean that he is part Chow Chow or Shar-Pei. Well, he could be but he could also be related to the dog breeds we’ve listed above.
To be sure of your dog’s breed, conduct a DNA test for your pup.
Grey Dogs with Blue Eyes: Meet these Gorgeous 12 Breeds
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.