The black and tan dog is one of the most common color combinations in the canine kingdom.
But does the coat color of a dog have anything to do with his temperament, health, and overall lovability?
That is what we are about to explore. Join us as we learn about the black and tan dog and how you can decide if a black and tan dog is right for you!
What is a Black and Tan Dog?
A black and tan dog is any dog with black and tan colors or markings. Some black and tan dogs are their own breed while others simply have black and tan coloring.
As we mentioned, black and tan dogs are common, and the numbers of black and tan breeds, mixed breeds, and mutts are almost endless.
But does the color of a dog affect its temperament and health? Let’s find out.
Does Color Affect Temperament and Health?
Perhaps you have heard the rumor that black companion animals are actually adopted less in shelters?
Or maybe you have heard the myth that seeing a black cat is bad luck, or that seeing a black dog is an omen of death?
Maybe you have even read somewhere that black colored animals are more aggressive?
Is any of this true?
While the rumors run rampant, the truth is that there are no conclusive studies proving that black or black and tan dogs are more aggressive than other colored dogs.
Unfortunately, superstitions still abound and, as Dr. Stanley Cohen’s points out in this article, “Black Dog Syndrome” is a real occurrence.
But that doesn’t mean black dogs are bad, mean, unlucky, or aggressive.
It simply means that black colored dogs are viewed incorrectly, and therefore adopted less.
Now, let’s talk more about the black and tan dog and the origin of that specific color combination.
What is the Origin of the Black and Tan Dog?
A number of studies have been done by scientists to determine the origin of canine coat color, and the findings are pretty much conclusive.
Coat color in dogs comes down to two basic foundation colors. In fact, according to Lynn Buzhardt, a renowned veterinarian, a dog’s coat color is determined specifically by black and red.
The subsequent colors or color patterns that develop in dogs is determined by DNA. That is to say, from their parent breeds, genetics, and careful breeding practices.
This means that dog breeds with black and tan markings are quite popular, but they all come from the same source.
So, what kinds of black and tan dogs can you come across? Let’s take a look at a few of our options!
The Black and Tan Coonhound
When it comes to large black and tan breeds, the black and tan coonhound is one of the most common.
The American Black and Tan Coonhound isn’t just a color of coonhound—it’s actually its own breed.
Named for his working days as a raccoon hunter, the Black and Tan Coon dog is a one of a kind pup. His black and tan coloring, extra-long ears, sorrowful face, and sweet disposition are easily recognizable.
Relaxed during the day and most active at night, the Black and Tan Coonhound temperament is ideal for those looking for an easy going, family-oriented breed. This is a dog who will love lying at your feet as much as he will love playing in the backyard.
The Austrian Black and Tan Hound
Although this black and tan hound dog may look similar to and share a similar name with the Black and Tan Coonhound, these are two very different breeds.
Hailing from Austria, the Austrian Black and Tan Hound is not recognized yet by the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, he is recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC).
This is a breed who was and sometimes still is used by hunters to follow the scent of wounded prey. Most fascinating of all, the Austrian Black and Tan Hound is believed to be most closely related to the ancient Celtic Hounds.
Due to his wonderful personality, the Austrian Black and Tan Hound makes a good family pet and enjoys country life.
But what if you are interested in a smaller black and tan dog that is adaptable to city life? Keep reading!
The Black and Tan Dachshund
Have you ever heard of the Black and tan Sausage dog? Well, you have now!
The black and tan Dachshund is one of the most common color combinations of Dachshund available. Other popular colors include red, cream, black and cream, chocolate, tan, brindle, piebald, and sable.
Dachshunds are friendly dogs with infectious, outgoing personalities.
However, this breed does need plenty of exercise despite its small size. Although while Dachshunds are incredibly intelligent, they can also have a bit of a stubborn streak.
The Black and Tan Chihuahua
While the most common color of a Chihuahua is typically gold or amber, the black and tan combination is still pretty popular.
Known as the national dog of Mexico, Chihuahua’s are huge personalities packed in little bodies. They require lots of time and attention from their human family members and can be difficult to train.
However, they are very human-like in their emotions and become very bonded to their people.
Chihuahuas make excellent companions for singles or older couples looking for a dog to spoil and dote on.
The Black and Tan Beagle
Beagles are famous family dogs, 5th place in the American Kennel Club’s list of America’s most popular dog breeds.
It’s hard to believe that the sweet and cheerful Beagle is one of the best hunting dogs in the world.
Of course, many of us are familiar with the Beagle being mostly white with black and tan markings on his back, tail, ears, and paws. The black and tan Beagle however, is anything but!
Many black and tan Beagles are primarily, well, black and tan. This makes them look almost nothing like a Beagle at all!
But don’t let their unique coloring deter you! Black and tan Beagles have the same loyal and friendly disposition as any other Beagle dog.
Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound
One of the four Foxhound breeds, the Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound is another purebred dog with black and tan colors built right into his name!
And while the Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound may look similar to a Beagle, he is larger by several inches and pounds.
This is a breed who was developed for hunting during the 1700s and is closely related to the Bloodhound.
Black and Tan Labrador
Most of us know that Labs come in three basic colors – black, chocolate, and yellow.
But did you know there is such a thing as a black and tan lab?
That’s right, this adorable and unique color of Labrador has the coloring of a Rottweiler. Tan markings adorn his paws, eyebrows, chest, and muzzle.
Black and tan Labrador Retrievers may well be adorable. However they are not allowed to compete in show. This is because the black and tan coloring is not depicted in their breed standard as being desirable.
Black and Tan Border Collie
One of the most intelligent black and tan dogs on this list is the black and tan Collie.
This Scottish herding breed is known for his work ethic as well as his beauty. He will do best in homes that have large backyards where he can play. It’s important also that he has owners who can offer him plenty of exercise and consistent training.
The black and tan Border Collie makes an excellent dog for show and is super easy to train. However, he must be socialized early on due to his herding instincts.
Should I Get a Black and Tan Dog?
A number of the black and tan dogs on this list are hunting dogs, but some are herding breeds.
This means that these black and tan dogs are going to be athletic and intelligent. For this reason, they will do best in homes with owners who are able to offer them exercise, socialization, and lots of training.
Also, while studies have not conclusively shown that having a black and tan coat will affect temperament or health, going through a reputable breeder or source to find the best black and tan dog is important.
Reputable breeders typically charge around $500 to over $1500 for certain dog breeds.
However, if you would like to rescue your dog and want to look into black and tan kennels, prepare to spend around $50 to $300.
Do you know of a black and tan dog breed we missed? Drop us a note in the comments below!
Stanford University Medical Center, Science News, Genetics of Coat Color In Dogs May Help Explain Human Stress and Weight
Stanley Coren PhD, Psychology Today, Are Black Dogs Less Lovable?
Lynn Buzhardt, DVM, Genetics Basics – Coat Color Genetics in Dogs, VCA Hospitals,
A. Ruvinsky, J.Sampson, The Genetics of the Dog, Chapter 4, Page 81, Genetics of Coat Color and Hair Texture
S. M. Schmutz, T. G. Berryere, Genes Affecting Coat Color and Pattern in Domestic Dogs: A Review, Animal Genetics,
Tiffani J Howell, Tammie King, Pauleen C Bennett, Puppy Parties and Beyond: the role of early age socialization practices on adult dog behavior, Volume 6, pages 143-153