Just as their coat colors and body shape and size differ, the tongue of some German shepherd’s may have a little black spot or two that sets them apart from other dogs. Does this mean the dog is not a pure breed? Not at all, and here’s why…
The tongue of dogs can be pigmented with black spots, or pigmented skin cells called melanin, which are much like the freckles on your face. These pigmented cells appear on the tongue of some dogs, including German shepherds.
The pigmented skin cells can also show up on other parts of the body, such as gums, lips, pads, nails, and the nose of lighter dogs. There can also be an absence of pigment, such as a lighter pink spot on the gums or nose, which just adds to the uniqueness of each dog.
The fact that your dog has a black or blueish spot on its tongue is nothing to be concerned about as long as the texture of the spot is the same as the rest of the skin. The spots usually stay for the life of the dog but some may change a bit over time. However, they should remain the same skin texture as the rest of the tongue. Most dogs are either born with them or develop them as young puppies.
Unlike dogs that have completely black tongues, such as the chow chow and shar-pei, the spots of the tongue of a German shepherd are usually small. Many breeds can have these spots but most of them are dogs that also have some black fur or points, but that is not always the case. Golden retrievers, for instance, are a popular light-colored breed known have them, too.
Unlike spots on the tongue, the chow chow and shar-pei have bluish, black tongues that are not spotted. There dogs have gene phenotypes that are known to dog breeders, but not yet tackled by molecular geneticists. The two dogs typically have a melanistically pigmented tongue, whereas the tongue of most other breeds is pink or not pigmented.
Breeds with black spots on the tongue
German shepherds with black spots on their tongue are in good company. Some other breeds that are also known to have black spots on their tongue include:
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Australian Shepherd
- Belgian Sheepdog
- Belgian Tervuren
- Belgian Malinois
- Bichon Frise
- Bouvier des Flandres
- Bull Mastiff
- Cairn Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- Doberman Pinscher
- English Setter
- Fila Brasileiro
- Flat Coated Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- Gordon Setter
- Great Pyrenees
- Irish Setter
- Kai Ken
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Korean Jindo
- Labrador Retriever
- Mountain Cur
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Shiba Inu
- Siberian Husky
- Soft-Coated Wheaten
- Tibetan Mastiff
Can black spots on the tongue ever be a problem?
The black spots on your German shepherd’s tongue should stay consistent throughout their life. Meaning the skin texture should match the skin on the rest of the tongue and stay about the same size and color from puppyhood.
While the spots may change a bit, a sudden spot appearing on an adult dog or a change in the color, appearance, or if they become and raised, is a reason to have the dog checked out by a vet. If the spot starts to have a foul odor, bleed, crack, or your dog begins to drool pink or blood tinged salvia, this indicates that there is a medical problem that needs to be addressed right away.
As a loving owner, you should be familiar with the condition of your dog’s mouth, teeth, and tongue. Just because your dog has black spots doesn’t mean to need to check their mouth and tongue more often because all dogs-black spots or not-need to have their mouths regularly examined to ensure there are no problems brewing.
As far as a black spot meaning that your beautiful German shepherd is mixed with a chow chow or another breed, that’s most likely not the case. But if you’re suspicious that you do have a shepherd that is not pure bred and are curious, you can always complete a DNA for fun. However, most likely you will have noticed other many more attributes that point that direction rather than the random black spot on the dog’s tongue.
So, if someone asks you why your German shepherd has a black spot on their tongue, just tell them that your dog has something that makes them special. That the spot on their tongue is as unique as their personality and that just makes them a little extra.
As always, please feel free to share this article with all your curious, dog loving friends.
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