Most dogs have pink tongues, but some breeds have naturally blue tongues, sometimes called “black tongues”. The chow chow, shar pei, eurasier and thai ridgerback are four such dogs, so read on to find out more!
The colour blue on the tongue
Dark-blue colouration (with a greyish tinge) is caused by extra pigmentation on the tongue of some dogs. In certain breeds, this excess pigmentation is a trait that is passed down from generation to generation. Some other species have blue tongues, including giraffes, polar bears, okapis, impalas and blue-tongued slender lizards.
4 blue-tongued dogs
1. Shar Pei
The shar pei, of Chinese origin, is instantly recognisable thanks to its unique wrinkled skin and large muzzle, which even resembles a hippopotamus. The true shar pei should have a bluish-black tongue, although some only have spotted tongues. This breed can be prone to many different health conditions, including skin problems, ear problems, eye problems, patellar luxation and hip dysplasia.
No one knows for sure how old this ancient breed is, but the shar pei may have existed in China for 2000 years. It almost died out in the 1970s, but foreign breeders took a fancy to this rare breed, making it a very popular breed again. The shar pei is naturally wary of strangers and needs extensive socialisation as a puppy. They are very devoted to their families, but also independent, so they can be difficult to train.
2. Chow chow
The tongue of the chow chow is also usually bluish-black in colour, in fact, it is said that the darker the colour, the purer the breed. Because the bluish tongue is an inherited trait, it is likely that the chow chow and shar-pei are distantly related.
Chow Chow puppies are born with pink tongues. They slowly turn a bluish-black colour as the puppy matures, beginning when they first open their eyes. The process is complete by 6 months of age.
Like the shar pei, the chow chow also originates from China and is as old, if not older, than the shar pei. This breed can require very solid training and socialisation by someone experienced in dog breeding, as some of them can be overly territorial and independent.
The Eurasier is a younger breed of dog, of German origin, and localised around the 1970s. It is related to several breeds, most notably the Samoyed and the Chow Chow, from which it most likely inherited its bluish tongue. The Eurasier was bred specifically to be a loving and devoted family pet.
The breed is active outdoors, but calm in the home, with a relaxed temperament. They can be aloof with strangers, but adore their closest humans. They are a very intelligent breed and easy to train, and respond readily to positive reinforcement methods.
They need a moderate amount of exercise and enjoy dog sport training such as agility or flyball.
4. Thai Ridgeback
The Thai Ridgeback is a rare, but quite ancient breed, originating in Thailand over 300 years ago, where it was used as a hunting and guard dog. Its tongue can be seen either completely dyed or with certain bluish stripes distributed horizontally. The Thai Ridgeback is a medium sized dog with short hair and a fringe of hair resembling a crest running down the entire line of its back, growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat.
The breed is active and athletic and needs plenty of daily exercise. Although the Thai Ridgeback is very intelligent, it is an independent and stubborn breed, so training can be a challenge. The breed is naturally protective, requiring extensive socialisation from puppyhood. The Thai Ridgeback is extremely loyal to its family, but can be wary of strangers.
Did you know about these 4 blue-tongued dog breeds? Do you have any at home? If so, and you are looking for a vet in Barcelona who can take care of their health, we are the perfect veterinary hospital for you. We offer you a complete veterinary service so that your pet has all its needs covered. Do you want an appointment? Call us! 932 460 805.