Tongue Out Tuesday: The Black Spotted Tongue

Wanna make out?

When Rufus was about six months old – a month after taking him in – I noticed that he had a few new black spots on his tongue. Then a few more and a few more…

The vet said everything was fine so no worries about my dog having a plague.

Some breeds are prone to this. It simply means extra pigment like freckles. And freckles, as we all know, are a sign that the gods sprinkled extra love.

There is a rumor out there that says that a black spotted tongue must mean the dog is part Chow. While the Chow is known for a black tongue (and is required by the AKC to have one for show purposes) there are also another thirty (and change) breeds that have this trait.


Breeds with Black Tongues:

Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Shepherd
Belgian Sheepdog,
Belgian Tervuren,
Belgian Malinois
Bichon Frise
Bouvier de Flandres
Bull Mastiff
Cairn Terrier
Chinese Shar-Pei
Cocker Spaniel
Doberman Pinscher
English Setter
Fila Brasileiro
Flat-coated Retriever
German Shepherd
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 Terrier
Tibetan Mastiff

The vet & I are pretty sure he has Boxer, Rottweiler, and Shar Pei in his DNA, and this theory gets extra oomph from this list.  Overall, the black tongue, or spotted tongue are fairly common. I only wish that it meant fresher dog breath.

13 Thoughts

  1. Huh! Interesting. I think I would be concerned if I started seeing black spots on my dog’s tongue, especially if they increased. Happy to hear that it’s nothing to worry about and I love “God’s sprinkles of Love”


  2. Roxy has black spots on the underside of her tongue and I love it! It’s so cute. She’s a completely unknown mix of dogs, so I’ve wondered if she has any of these breeds in her.


  3. I think spotted tongues are SO cool! I hear people say that a dog with a spotted tongue MUST be a Chow. It drives me crazy. Sure, it’s common for them to have them, but they are most definitely NOT the only breed with black (or partially black) tongues. Your pup is so cute with his tongue freckles 🙂


  4. Yes! Gonzo is a mixed breed and has a spotted tongue. We have no idea what he is, but the vet thinks he has some Shar-pei because of his coat. That coupled with the spotted tongue…..who the heck knows? Perhaps a DNA test is in our future.


  5. This is really interesting! I always thought that spots are like spots on their skin/fur but I guess not. I have a blonde Cocker that has a very pink tongue though! Sandra and Dolly


  6. I have seen black spots in just a couple mastiffs, but it doesn’t seem to be a common trait. You are right, most people think of the Chow Chow when they see a black or spotted tongue. It would be fun to check Rufus’s DNA and see what his breed make up is. The boxer, rottie and Shar pei are not far off I think.


  7. I hate to admit it, but I thought that black tongue spots or tongues were always indicative of Chow or Shar Pei ancestry. I’m glad to know better now!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s