Why Do Some Dogs Have Black Tongues

Simply enough, black patches are pigmentation. The spots on a dog’s tongue are simply pigmented skin cells, just like other breeds have darker “points or patches. Points are a dog’s lips, nose, eye rims, paw pads, and toenails in terms of coloration. Numerous breeds have darker lips and noses, and their tongues and gums also exhibit this pigmentation.

Why do some dog breeds’ tongues have a dark color?

Does that suggest my dog has chow in him? No, well, perhaps. While black spots on the tongue are one of the most recognizable characteristics of a chow, they are not exclusive to chows. Actually, there are 38 different breeds that it might be. Have you ever seen a gorgeous golden dog with black patches on its tongue like the one pictured above? We’re here to explain what those spots are and why they are where they are, though.

Over the course of their lives, some dogs acquire more pigmentation on various areas of their bodies, including the tongue. They might imply the presence of merely additional deposits of pigmentation, similar to freckles or birthmarks on people. Dogs can also have freckle-like dark pigmentation on other portions of their bodies. When she was a puppy, my dog Eev-aa had tiny ones, and now they cover her entire tongue and the interior of her mouth. She is a shepherd’s daughter, no doubt about it.

What makes us think that dogs with these markings on their tongue are Chow-related? Both Chows and Shar Pei puppies are born with pink tongues, and at around 10 weeks old, the excess pigmentation starts to show as spots.

Being one of the oldest breeds known to man, the Chow is a possibility in any mixed breed, but there are 38 other breeds with tongue spots.

So what kind of dog am I? Among a large number of breeds, tongue spots are quite prevalent. You wouldn’t go very far if you tried to limit your breed selection only based on the spots. Although the list below helps to reduce the possibilities a little, there are still a lot of possible combinations when you take into account the 38 other breeds that it may be. The Spitzfamily includes numerous breeds, and many of them have Spaniel or Pointer forebears.

Although there are some clear commonalities across many of these breeds, no one has been able to pinpoint precisely why some breeds have tongue spots and others do not.

You can correct someone the next time they assert that your dog is partially Chow because of the shape of his tongue. The 38 dog breeds with speckled tongues are listed below; does yours match one of them?

Which canine breeds have black tongues?

The distinctive blue-black tongue of a Chow Chow is definitely something you’ve noticed if you’ve ever seen one. The breed standard for Chow Chows and Chinese Shar-Peis really stipulates that they must have a blue-black tongue. Moreover, these breeds are not the only ones that occasionally show tongues that aren’t pink. Contrary to common assumption, there are more than 30 canines with black spots on their tongues, but this does not necessarily mean that they are Chow Chow or Shar-Pei offspring.

According to the American Kennel Club, solid blue-black tongues are brought on by the same factor that causes speckled tongues, which is strong pigmentation, just like with Chow Chows, Chinese Shar-Peis, and a few other breeds. Typically, colored dots on your dog’s tongue are nothing to be concerned about. Similar to how a human may have freckles or birthmarks, these darker patches are most likely the product of microscopic melanin granules that appear as flat, pigmented areas on your dog’s tongue. There are six dog breeds known for having black tongues, which makes them even more distinctive than the many varieties that have been reported to exhibit spotted tongues.

The stately Chow Chow, one of the oldest breeds in existence, is most immediately identified by the mane-like ruff of hair that surrounds its head and shoulders. It is also known for its blue-black tongue. The Chow Chow’s characteristic blue-black tongue color has never been documented, but the American Kennel Club claims that it is still a necessity for recognizing purebreds.

The Chow Chow’s blue-black tongue sets it apart from other canines, although it actually has one canine breed in common with it: the Chinese Shar-Pei. The American Kennel Club claims that the Chow Chow and Shar-Pei undoubtedly have distant forebears in common because both breeds’ breed standards call for bluish-black colouring in the mouth and tongue.

The Miniature Shar-Pei has the same high-set ears, wrinkled face, and striking blue-black tongue as the Chinese Shar-Pei. According to Pet Guide, Mini-Peis have a similar background as Chinese Shar-Peis, with the exception that these tiny pups were purposefully bred to be smaller.

A mid-sized dog with a wedge-shaped head, triangular ears, and a thick double coat, the Eurasier is said to be a cross between a Wolf Spitz, a Chow Chow, and a Samoyed. Additionally, the Eurasier received a blue-black tongue from its Chow Chow ancestors.

The Vet Street claims that although they are clearly recognized for the ridge of hair on their back, Thai Ridgebacks are relatively infrequently seen outside of Thailand. Their tongues, which are either speckled or a solid blue-black color, akin to the Chow Chow and Shar-Pei, are another distinguishing characteristic.

Even more uncommon than the Thai Ridgeback, the Phu Quoc Ridgeback is estimated to have fewer than a thousand individuals globally by Dog Zone. The Phu Quoc Ridgeback has characteristics with the Thai Ridgeback, including a distinctive fur ridge and a tongue that is colored.

Any dog can have a black tongue, right?

There are several breeds that are more likely to develop a tongue with dark pigment that ranges in hue from blue to black, although it can occur in any breed. Some people’s tongues are fully black with little to no pink, while others have different numbers and intensities of dots and patches. On a dog’s tongue, there are spots with additional pigment that are blue or black. It resembles a birthmark or a freckle on a person. Dogs can also develop similar skin lesions, which are frequently hidden by their coat. The breeds of dogs that are most likely to have black tongues are listed on this page.

Should a dog have a black tongue?

One of a dog’s most adaptable organs is its tongue. Similar to the human tongue, your furry friend’s tongue is primarily an organ of taste. But most of us are unaware that this adaptable muscle serves a number of other purposes than devouring kibble or your lovely home-cooked supper.

The muscle in the dog’s body is possibly the most significant one. We enjoy the wet, sloppy, slobbering kisses that come from their huge tongues, which are perfect for expressing their love. The tongue is a fantastic tool for quickly slurping up food and liquids. The tongue of the dog can also be used to treat wounds, which many of us are unaware of. The expression “licking one’s wounds” derives from the dog’s natural propensity to sanitize its wound and speed healing. A built-in heat regulator is also included in the tongue. In the summer, dogs pant to let heat escape and to cool down by having moisture from the tongue evaporate. The tongue of a dog also serves as a personal health indication for your pet.

In the pink of health

Before choosing a puppy for your family, it’s important to inspect its nose and tongue, as is common knowledge. How come, though? If a dog’s nose is wet and cool, it means the animal is in good health. A dog’s genuine state of health can also be determined by observing the color of its tongue.

The tongue of a dog is often pink because it is coated in taste buds and gets a lot of blood flow. You will detect a blue-black tongue in some breeds, like the Chow Chow and Shar Pei. A spotted and speckled tongue may also be seen in some mixed breeds. All dogs should have pink tongues, aside from that. Any hue change is a sign of disease. Or, for mischievous dogs, having access to a coloring agent. You might notice some staining of the tongue if your dog has been playing with a toy that contains artificial colors. Before you rush to the vet, check out the toy first. Please make sure the color is not harmful, of course.

What to watch out for?

Any dog with a black tongue, save Chow Chows and Shar Peis, is clearly unwell. If your pet also has blood-tinged saliva and bad breath, you can infer they are sick. This condition might be an indication that your dog lacks niacin, has mouth irritation, or perhaps has ulceration.

When the tongue is both pigmented and ulcerated, it may be a sign of uremia, a toxic illness that often manifests when the kidneys’ ability to filter waste products is impaired. In this sickness, the body retains its waste products in the blood rather than eliminating them through urination.

Check the colour of your dogs tongue:

It may be a sign of cyanosis if the tongue, gums, or oral mucous membranes have gone purple or blue. This is typically brought on by a lack of oxygen in the blood, which is typically brought on by a respiratory or heart condition. Dogs can get asthma, and when an asthma episode occurs, mucus secretions obstruct the lungs, causing a dog to pant, wheeze, and cough. The blood oxygen level may drop as a result, rendering the tongue blue.

The heart’s capacity to pump blood might be weakened by a heart attack. The dog collapses as a result of not getting enough oxygen to the brain, muscles, and other organs.

A dog’s tongue that is unusually white could be an indication of anemia. A low red blood cell count may occur for a variety of causes. The dog could have an internal bleeding, a condition transmitted by ticks, or even worse, canine leukemia. A white tongue may also indicate that your pet has consumed something harmful. If that happens, you should seek immediate medical help for the dog because delaying treatment could be fatal.

A reddish, irritated tongue in your dog with lumps and black dots is unmistakably a sign of melanoma. The development of malignant tissues is what causes the redness. Additionally, you require medical help in this situation.


You must constantly be mindful of your health if you want to be a good pet parent. The dog’s tongue serves as its primary health and wellbeing indicator. Dogs have a propensity of panting, thus it is simple to see how the tongue is doing. You only need to take a short glance sometimes to see how your pet is doing.

Do all dogs that are purebred have black tongues?

Well, I checked the Wikipedia website and found out that a purebred Chow Chow has a blue-black tongue. According to the Wikipedia website, Chow mix-breed dogs do not always have black/blue black/purple markings on their tongues. In reality, according to a piece on The Great Tongue Debate, there are over 30 pure breeds whose members are known to have spotted tongues. Here are some additional fascinating details:

  • The presence of a partially black tongue in a dog does not always indicate Chow ancestry.
  • There are other breeds besides Chows that have blue-black tongues. Each Sharpei has a blue black tongue.
  • The blue-black tongue feature is documented to exist in more than 30 pure breeds.
  • A dog’s tongue spots resemble a person’s freckles or birthmarks.
  • A dog that resembles a Chow but has a tongue that is entirely pink is probably not a purebred Chow.

An example from the Great Tongue Debate

Breeds whose members are known to have spotted tongues:

  • Airedale
  • Akita
  • a cattle dog from Australia
  • Australia Terrier
  • Dutch Sheepdog
  • European Tervuren
  • European Malinois
  • Canine Bichon
  • Bouvier of France
  • Mastiff the Bull
  • Terrier of Cairn
  • Asian Shar-Pei
  • Collie
  • Spaniel Cocker
  • Dalmatian
  • Doxie Pinscher
  • American Setter
  • Eurasier
  • A Brazilian filter
  • Retriever with a flat coat
  • English Shepherd
  • Golden Doodle
  • Theodore Setter
  • Large Pyrenees
  • Ireland Setter
  • Ken Kai
  • Keeshond
  • Japanese Jindo
  • Canine Labrador
  • Mastiff
  • Cur Mountain
  • Newfoundland
  • Pomeranian
  • Pug
  • Rough Coated Ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Inu Shiba
  • Russian Husky
  • Nepalese Mastiff
  • Ridgeback Thai

For more details, see the Great Tongue Debate. They also received a ton of images of dogs with tongues that were black and speckled, which they placed on their website.

There is no longer any doubt that Linus is a mix of breeds because of his speckled tongue. According to the list, Golden Retrievers are one of the breeds whose members are rumored to have spotted tongues, although the Golden Retriever in the photograph at the top of this page may or may not be a purebred. Therefore, we cannot infer that he is a mixed breed because of the dots on his tongue.

I spend a lot of time with purebred Labrador and Golden Retrievers since I rear puppies. I’ll pay extra special attention for Labradors with speckled tongues.

Who are you? Do you know a dog with a tongue that is speckled, black, blue, or purple? Is he a purebred dog, if so?

Have purebred dogs ever had black tongues?

Which dog breeds have black tongue spots? The breed standard for some dog breeds, including the Chow Chow and the Chinese Shar-Pei, calls for a blue-black tongue. On the other hand, black spots can occur in any breed but are more prevalent in those with black tips.

What does a dog’s tongue color indicate?

A healthy tongue should typically be a rich pink in hue. The greatest time to examine your dog’s tongue is when he is at rest because when he is heated, the tongue will typically be red because of the heat that is being released from the vessels. The hue of the animal is more vibrant and pinker as it gets younger.

Why do dogs curled up at night?

One of the most popular sleeping postures for dogs is curled up. The majority of the dogs who live in wild habitats adopt it. Dogs who curl up in a ball do so to retain body heat and shield their essential organs from potential predators. However, this position prevents dogs from moving around when they sleep. The most frequent time for a dog to assume this position is while sleeping is during the winter when the temperature is chilly. This position of sleep is associated with calm, laid-back, and affectionate dogs.