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A Unique Trait of These 4 Dog Breeds is Their Black Tongue, Yup!

4 Dog Breeds That Have a Black Tongue
When it comes to looks, dogs go all out- we're talking about that extremely adorable face, the wagging tail, those gentle eyes, and of course, who can forget the tongue that licks your face all over? Whether pink or black, it makes no exceptions while undertaking its mission: to lick target all over. Read on to know more about four dog breeds that are famous for their black tongues.
Vrinda Varnekar
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2018
Fact :
The Chow-Chow breed is well-known for having a black tongue. However, Chow-Chow puppies are born with pink tongues. It is only when they become 8-10 weeks old that the tongue becomes blue-black.
Black tongues are not uncommon in dogs. In fact, several dog-owners have reported that their pet, regardless of its breed, has either a dark bluish-black tongue, or has blue-black spots on the tongue. The concept of their spots, or colored tongues is very much like the concept of birthmarks in humans, and dogs even have them on the skin, but we can't see them because of their coats.

Dark tongues in dogs are often the result of mixed parentage, or extra pigment, and some breeds are more prone to these spots or coloring than others. Some dog breeds, however, are exclusively known for the uniqueness of their tongue. Read on for four dog breeds that are famous for their unique tongue.
Chow Dog
One of the most ancient dog breeds in the world, the Chow-Chow (called Chow, for the sake of convenience) is one of the primary dog breeds that evolved from wolves. History indicates that, originally from China, the Chows guarded temples, accompanied armies and were also vital for hunting.

Height: 18-21 inches

Weight: 44-70 pounds
Chows are big, stout dogs with a large head and a broad muzzle. They have a thick fur coat, which may be either rough or smooth. The fur is especially thick in the area behind the head, which gives it a mane-like appearance. Common colors in Chow-Chows are red, black, cinnamon, cream, or gray.

One of the most distinctive features about the Chow is its dark tongue, which ranges from blue to black in color. The reason for the unique blue-black tongue in Chows is, however, still unknown to us. Some elderly Chows are known to lose their dark tongue color as they age, and develop pink spots on the tongue.

If socialized early and trained properly, Chow-Chows make wonderful family dogs and are good with children and other family pets. They are friendly, well-behaved and very loyal to their family. They are dominant dogs that require owners who are firm and calm, else they will assume dominance over the household.

Did You Know?
Walt Disney gifted his wife a Chow-Chow puppy as a Christmas gift in a hat-box. This later inspired a similar scene in the much-loved Disney animated film, 'Lady and the Tramp.'
Chinese Shar-Pei
Shar Pei Dog
Shar-Peis tend to stand out in a crowd because of their skin with creases and folds, and distinctive appearance. Though they are completely covered with wrinkles as puppies, they lose some of the folds as they grow older. The Shar-Pei was, at one time, believed to be one of the rarest dog breeds in the world, and loosely translated, its name means "rough skin".

Height: 18-22 inches

Weight: 39-64 pounds
The Chinese Shar-Pei is considerably big in size, and has folds and wrinkles covering its face, shoulder, and the base of the tail. The head of the Shar-Pei is large and flat, and it has high-set triangular ears that give it a very unique look. Common colors in Shar-Peis are black, cream, fawn, red, and brown, to name a few. However, a Shar-Pei is not considered a pure-bred dog if its coat is patchy or is made up of two different colors. The coat itself can be of two types―horse coat and brush coat. The horse coat is rough, while the brush coat has a smoother feel to it. There is another, very rare kind of coat, called the bear coat, but it is not officially recognized.

Chinese Shar-Peis also have a blue-black tongue, similar to Chow-Chows, and just like the latter, the reason for their dark tongue is unknown to us too.

If introduced to other pets and children when still young, Shar-Peis are generally good with them. Shar-Peis are friendly, loyal, and very protective of those around them. They are not difficult with strangers, and are wonderful watchdogs. Just like with any dominant breed, pet-owners need to be gentle yet firm with Shar-Peis, else they will be disobedient and difficult to handle.

Did You Know?
The Chinese Shar-Pei was listed as one of the rarest dog breeds in the world in the late 1970s by TIME magazine as well as the Guinness Book of World Records.
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback Dog
Another ancient dog breed, the Thai Ridgeback was very rarely seen outside Thailand till recently. History has it that these dogs were primarily used as watchdogs and are capable of protecting the household from even something as dangerous as a cobra. The Thai Ridgeback is famous for a ridge of hair on its back.

Height: 20-24 inches

Weight: 48-75 pounds
The Thai Ridgeback is a strong, sturdy dog breed, and this is obvious in its appearance as well. This breed has a robust build, a short, tough coat and high-set ears that always seem to be alert. Due to its short coat, shedding is minimal in this breed.

The tongue of the Thai Ridgeback ranges from spotted to blue, black or bluish-gray in color.

The Thai Ridgeback is very active, tough, and agile. A dominant breed by nature, Thai Ridgebacks need owners who are firm, calm, and confident who will lay down the rules for the dog to follow, and who will understand the nature of this breed. Thai Ridgebacks can make excellent family dogs if properly socialized.

Did You Know?
The Thai Ridgeback is one of only three dog-breeds in the world that has a hair ridge.
Miniature Shar-Pei
Chinese Shar Pei Puppy
The Miniature Shar-Pei, or Mini-Pei, as it is popularly known, is a smaller dog breed from the Shar-Pei family. The small size of this breed, thanks to a recessive gene, makes it a very good family dog.

Height: Under 18 inches

Weight: 24-40 pounds
The Mini-Pei is short and almost square in its body structure. It looks very similar to the Chinese Shar-Pei, with its wrinkled face, high-set ears and a fairly large head. The coat of the Mini-Pei is categorized similarly as well. Common colors in the Mini-Pei are fawn, cream, brown, red, and black, to name a few. The Mini-Pei also has a blue-black tongue, the reason for which is yet unknown to us.

Mini-Peis are affectionate, happy, alert, confident, and playful. They make excellent family dogs and are very good with children and other pets if socialized properly. They are fiercely protective of their family, and can sometimes be aloof to strangers.

Did You Know?
American musician Mikey Way had a Mini-Pei named Piglet Tree.
As we mentioned earlier, blue-black tongues are not limited to any dog particular breeds. Research suggests that there are over 30 dog breeds that may have black-tongued dogs. Some other breeds that may have black-tongued dogs are:

  • Collies
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Dalmatian
  • Irish Setter
  • Newfoundland
  • Mountain Cur
The dark tongue could simply be the result of extra pigment. However, it would be a good idea to take your dog to the vet if you notice any sudden color changes on the tongue, as it could also mean an underlying medical condition.
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