20 Dog Breeds with Black Gums & Black Mouths

by Stuart | Last Updated:   March 26, 2021

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You might have learned a lot about a dog’s teeth. But what about the gums that help keep those canine teeth in place?

For most dogs, gums are generally pink in colour. However, some breeds have completely dark coloured mouths while others have black spots or patches. 

Dark pigmentation inside the mouth can be attributed to your dog’s DNA. For a healthy dog, genetics are likely responsible for its dark gums and mouth. The dark colouration isn’t necessarily spread evenly throughout the mouth.

Dog with black gums chewing on dental dog treat

Dog Breeds with Black Mouth & Black Gums

Here’s a list of twenty dog breeds that have a black mouth and black gums:

1. Puli

Dog breed group: Herding group 

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 160 of 197

Temperament: Energetic, Obedient, Intelligent, Agile, Loyal, Faithful

Life expectancy: 12 – 16 years

Height: 36–42 (female), 39–45 (male)

Weight: 10–13 kg (female), 13–15 kg (male)

The Puli is an energetic and lively herding dog hailing from Hungary. It is known for its wavy and woolly coat, which resembles dreadlocks made from long corded hair.

These dogs are affectionate and love being the center of attention in your home. The Puli is a strong-willed, smart, hardworking, and athletic dog.

Grooming the corded coat of a Puli is difficult. At maturity, when the Puli is about four years of age, the coat can grow long enough to touch the ground. Some owners tie up these cords to keep them out of the dog’s face.

2. Pumi

Dog breed group: Herding group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 151 of 197

Temperament: Intelligent, Lively, Reserved, Active, Vocal, Protective 

Life expectancy: 12 – 13 years

Height: 16-18.5 inches (male), 15-17.5 inches (female)

Weight: 27-29 pounds (male), 22-24 pounds (female)

The Pumi is a small compact dog, also of Hungarian origin. These dogs have black, curly coat, short tail, and alert ears.

Pumis are known for their intelligence, agility, and boldness. They are playful and agile, and very cuddly.

3. Airedale Terrier

Dog breed group: Terrier group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 60 of 197

Temperament: Friendly, Clever, Courageous, Independent 

Life expectancy: 11 – 14 years

Height: 23 inches

Weight: 50-70 pounds

The Airedale Terrier are the largest of the terrier group and are known as the “King of Terriers.” They are muscular and strong dogs with black mouths and gums. Airedales are very loyal and devoted companions but they need a lot of attention from their owners.

Airedales are known to be intelligent and independent dogs. They are friendly, adaptable, playful, and loyal dogs. Airedales are suitable for families with children and other pets. They have an independent nature and are sometimes willful, stubborn, and dominant.

These dogs have high physical needs and require walk and physical activities to stay happy and healthy.

4. Pomeranian

Dog breed group: Toy group, companion dogs

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 23 of 197

Temperament: Inquisitive, Bold, Lively

Life expectancy: 12 – 16 years

Height: 6-7 inches

Weight: 3-7 pounds

The Pomeranian is a small dog with a big personality. These lively little dogs are adorable, feisty, and furry. They seem unaware of their small size and are very eager for adventures. 

Despite their small size, Pomeranians are quite active dogs. These foxy-faced dogs are playful and can form solid-bonds and make wonderful companions.

Being an adorable toy breed, Pomeranians have gained huge popularity around the world. These independent, bold dogs have minds of their own. Some Poms can be mischievous, outgoing, and into everything. 

5. Rottweiler

Dog breed group: Working dogs

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 8 of 197

Temperament: Loyal, Loving, Confident Guardian, Intelligent, Brave

Life expectancy: 8 – 11 years

Height: 22-27 inches

Weight: 85-130 pounds

Rottweilers are powerful dogs with strong and muscular bodies. They have a courageous, territorial nature. Rotties are very affectionate with their family but tend to be aggressive towards strangers

Rottweilers are reliable watchdogs and take pride in protecting their family. You must provide them regular exercise and physical activities in order for them to stay healthy and happy.

These dogs are considered intelligent and highly trainable. A well-trained Rottie is confident, loyal, self-assured, and calm. You need to be consistently firm and patient with their socialization and training.

6. American Staffordshire Terrier 

Dog breed group: Terrier group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 85 of 197

Temperament: Confident, Smart, Good-Natured

Life expectancy: 12 – 16 years

Height: 18-19 inches (male), 17-18 inches (female)

Weight: 55-70 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female)

The American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as Amstaff, is an incredibly sweet and friendly dog with a sound and reliable temperament. It is a medium-large dog with a muscular build and square head.

American Staffordshire Terriers are intelligent and easy to train dogs. They have good memory retention, are eager to please, and respond well to praise. 

The American Staffordshire Terrier are a family dog who loves to be around their human family members. Their courage, determination, and incredible spirit stem from their terrier ancestry. In fact, World War II posters used the American Staffordshire terrier as a symbol of courage and bravery.

7. Staffordshire Bull Terrier 

Dog breed group: Terrier group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 80 of 197

Temperament: Clever, Brave, Tenacious

Life expectancy: 12 – 14 years

Height: 14 – 16 inches

Weight: 28-38 pounds (male), 24-34 pounds (female)

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a muscular but agile dog. They were originally bred in England as fighting dogs. Now, they are valued for their gentle and sweet nature with a special “soft-spot” for kids. 

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are small to medium-sized dogs with easy-to-groom coats. They have a strong, muscular body, intense stare, and powerful stance. They have black gums and black fur on their muzzles.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are known for their love of people and trustworthy nature. They are courageous, playful, and loyal companions. These dogs are energetic and enthusiastic in everything they do and remain on alert, even in repose.

8. Portuguese Water Dog

Dog breed group: Working dogs

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 50 of 197

Temperament: Affectionate, Adventurous, Athletic, Obedient, Intelligent, Brave

Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Height: 20-23 inches (male), 17-21 inches (female)

Weight: 42-60 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)

Portuguese Water Dogs, also known as Porties, are robust, medium-sized dogs. They are fun-loving, friendly companions, and are very eager to please. 

Portuguese Water Dogs have a single coat with two coat types including curly and wavy. They are natural-born swimmers and athletes. They are highly intelligent and love learning new things.

9. Akita 

Dog breed group: Working group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 47 of 197

Temperament: Courageous, Dignified, Profoundly Loyal

Life expectancy: 10 – 13 years

Height: 26-28 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)

Weight: 100-130 pounds (male), 70-100 pounds (female)

The Akita is a strong and large-sized dog with a bold, courageous, and wilful temperament. They have a strong presence in Japanese culture and symbolize good health, happiness, and longevity. Akitas are very loyal and devoted companions and are known for their incomparable faithfulness. 

The Akita is a double-coated breed. The outer coat is harsh and straight, while the undercoat is soft and dense. These dogs should be given regular exercise to avoid health problems. 

Akita are playful dogs that crave mental and physical challenges. This is an intelligent breed that loves the company of its human companion. This breed needs a lot of attention and does best when kept near a human companion.

10. Shiba Inu

Dog breed group: Non-sporting group 

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 44 of 197

Temperament: Charming, Keen, Fearless, Alert, Confident, Faithful, Attentive

Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Height: 14.5-16.5 inches (male), 13.5-15.5 inches (female) 

Weight: 23 pounds (male), 17 pounds (female)

The Shiba Inu is one of the most popular companion dog breeds in Japan. These dogs are the most ancient and smallest of the six spitz dogs. The Shiba Inu has a special spiritual significance in Japanese culture. This medium-sized dog looks like a fox and has prick ears, black gums, and a curly tail. 

This breed has a dense double coat. The topcoat is stiff and straight while the undercoat feels soft and dense. Like all double-coated dogs, Shiba Inus have a high tendency for shedding and shed heavily twice a year.

Shiba Inus are graceful and athletic dogs. They thrive on human companionship but are difficult to train. Shiba Inus are independent and free-thinkers and can tolerate being left alone for extended periods.

11. Chinese Shar-Pei

Dog breed group: Non-sporting group 

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 64 of 197

Temperament: Suspicious, Affectionate, Devoted, Reserved, Independent, Loving

Life expectancy: 9 – 11 years

Height: 18-20 inches

Weight: 45-60 pounds

The Shar Pei is a fascinating but challenging breed with an ancient pedigree. These compact, medium-sized dogs are famous for their intelligence and loyalty. The Shar-Pei has a blue-black tongue, in addition to being a dog breed with black gums.

The Shar Pei has existed in China since ancient times. During that period, it was used as a fighting dog, and gradually became a favorite pet of Chinese emperors.

It is also an independent-thinking, sometimes aloof dog. Early training is essential for the strong-willed Shar-Pei. Due to its short nose, the Shar-Pei is prone to overheating.

12. Chow Chow

Dog breed group: Non-sporting group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 75 of 197

Temperament: Dignified, Bright, Serious-Minded

Life expectancy: 8 – 12 years

Height: 17-20 inches

Weight: 45-70 pounds

This mid-sized dog comes from ancient China. The Chow Chow are very powerful and muscular for their size. In addition to black gums, they have a distinctive blue-black tongue.

Chow Chows are dignified, serious-minded, and aloof dogs. They are loyal, clean, and unlikely to bring odour into the house. 

Chow Chows are highly territorial and protective dogs. Although they are aloof around strangers, they are incredibly loving and loyal to their owners. 

13. Bullmastiff 

Dog breed group: Working group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 51 of 197

Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Brave

Life Expectancy: 7-9 years

Height: 25-27 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)

Weight: 110-130 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)

Bullmastiffs are the result of a Bulldog and Mastiff cross. They have a large, powerful, and muscular body. These dogs have black gums and are droolers.

These strikingly beautiful dogs have a polite and affectionate nature. The Bullmastiff is an excellent family dog and a firm and fearless guardian. They get along well with kids and are usually peaceful with other pets.

14. Labrador Retriever

Dog breed group: Sporting group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 1 of 197

Temperament: Friendly, Active, Outgoing, Affectionate 

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Height: 22.5-24.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)

Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)

The Labrador Retriever is a multi-talented and athletic breed with elegant looks. It is a medium-to-large-sized dog that is loving and people-oriented. These sweet-faced dogs have black gums. 

Labs are friendly and outgoing dogs and make wonderful companions. They are intelligent, easy to train and possess plenty of energy. 

Labrador Retrievers love to eat and have the tendency to become obese very quickly if overfed by their owners. They require at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day to release their pent-up energy, and benefit from regular brushing.

15. Golden Retriever

Dog breed group: Sporting group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 3 of 197

Temperament: Friendly, Intelligent, Devoted, Affectionate 

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Height: 23-24 inches (male), 21.5-22.5 inches (female)

Weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)

Golden Retrievers are known for their beautiful, golden coat and affectionate nature. They are athletic dogs with black mouths and gums.

These are family dogs and have the tendency to panic when left alone. They are calm, gentle, and trustworthy with kids. As with Labs, Goldens love to eat and can become obese very quickly if overfed. 

Golden Retrievers are energetic dogs and need regular exercise. Their intelligence makes them suitable for participation in numerous dog sports and as service dogs.

16. Australian Shepherd

Dog breed group: Herding group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 17 of 197

Temperament: Smart, Work-Oriented, Exuberant 

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Height: 20-23 inches (male), 18-21 inches (female)

Weight: 50-65 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female)

The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog and is among the friendliest of all dog breeds. These dogs have black gums and black roofs in their mouths. They have attractive medium-length coats and dark brown, yellow, blue, green, or amber eyes.

With powerful herding instincts, Australian Shepherds love to chase. When you take your Aussies out in parks, make sure they are leashed. They make an affectionate family companion as long as they are exercised regularly.

17. Dalmatian

Dog breed group: Non-Sporting group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 56 of 197

Temperament: Intelligent, Playful, Friendly, Energetic, Outgoing, Dignified 

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Height: 19-24 inches

Weight: 45-70 pounds

Dalmatians gained much popularity after the release of Disney’s “101 Dalmatians” movie. They are an intelligent and alert dog with a short and shiny coat. Dalmatians have a muscular and athletic build with strong bones and a square-proportioned body.

They have black or liver-brown spots all over their body.

Dalmatians are affectionate and gentle when given proper care. They need plenty of exercise and companionship. They are energetic, athletic, and intelligent dogs. They must be kept busy both mentally and physically to stay happy and healthy.

18. German Shepherd

Dog breed group: Herding group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 2 of 197

Temperament: Confident, Courageous, Smart, Intelligent 

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)

Weight: 65-90 pounds (male), 50-70 pounds (female)

The German Shepherd is a multi-talented and versatile dog breed. They have black pigmented gums and a blue or black-looking tongue.

They make great pets for families with children, due to their playful and loving nature. They are also commonly used as police/security dogs. 

The German Shepherd is highly energetic and intelligent and is likely to get bored if not exercised properly. They are great guard dogs and can be aloof and suspicious of strangers.

19. Doberman Pinscher

Dog breed group: Working group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 17 of 197

Temperament: Loyal, Fearless, Alert

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Height: 26-28 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)

Weight: 75-100 pounds (male), 60-90 pounds (female)

The Doberman Pinscher possesses a magnificent physique and keen intelligence. They are fast, powerful, loyal, and very athletic. They are fearless and make great family companions.

Doberman Pinschers perform well in police and military work, canine sports, and as guard dogs. They require a lot of exercise and mental challenges.

20. Newfoundland 

Dog breed group: Working group

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 40 of 197

Temperament: Sweet, Patient, Devoted

Life Expectancy: 9 – 10 years

Height: 28 inches (male), 26 inches (female)

Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)

Newfoundland dogs are strikingly big, heavy, and strong working dogs. Newfoundlands are one of the world’s largest dogs with black gums. They have a majestic head with soft and soulful eyes and expressions.

Newfoundlands are sweet-natured and responsive and they make a wonderful family companion. They need exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.


Why is The Roof of My Dog’s Mouth Black?

You might be wondering why a dog has a black roof or black spots on the roof of its mouth. You might be concerned about where those black colors are coming from.

The complete black roof or black spots are due to natural pigmentation differences. Some breeds have black pigmentation on the roof of their mouth.

The dog breeds that have a black roof of the mouth include those listed above, as well as:

  • Great Pyrenees (Pyrenean Mountain Dog)
  • Estrela Mountain Dog
  • Komondor

When Should You Be Concerned About Black Gums In Dogs?

Perhaps you didn’t realize that there was so much to know about dog gums. Spotting whether or not your dog has healthy gums can be tricky. This is because different breeds of dogs have different varieties of gums. 

Here are the general signs of healthy gums in dogs:

  • Hydration: The gums should be slightly moist.
  • Gum color: Dogs should have either pink, black, or a mix of pink and black gums (depending on the standard gum colour for their breed).
  • Capillary refill time: When you press lightly on the gums, they should normally blanch to a white colour briefly and then quickly return to their normal colour (within 2 seconds).

There are some gum conditions and negative symptoms to look out for and some cases these may mean that the vet needs to have a look inside your dog’s mouth.

  • If the spots appear in adult or senior dogs where there were none before
  • If the dog has pale or white gums, it is the sign of a serious health concern; these dogs aren’t getting good blood perfusion and their blood pressure is likely low
  • Pale gums might also be due to severe dehydration or trauma
  • Bright red gums are typically the sign of a serious condition; they might be due to gingivitis, heatstroke, or sepsis
  • Raised gums could be a sign of a tumor
  • Blue gums or cyanosis are due to a lack of oxygen reaching the tissues
  • Yellow or Icteric gums are caused by an underlying disorder of the liver

Final Thoughts

Many dog breeds have black gums caused by genetic differences in pigmentation; just like their differences in fur type and colour. These variations are not unusual and are considered perfectly normal and healthy.

So, what’s your biggest takeaway? 

Don’t wait until you see any issues with your dog’s gums and mouth. Good oral hygiene in your furry friend sets the stage for overall health. Make the habit of checking your dog’s mouth daily.

Practicing regular tooth brushing with your dog will help you notice anything unusual on their gums.

Happy petting!

Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.