Why Do Dogs | Why Do Dogs Have Spotted Tongue?

Well if you just found out that your dog has some spots on his tongue, let me first say congratulations for being such a close observer. Now relax, there’s no cause for alarm.

You might have probably heard some myths about seeing spots on a dog’s tongue; an example of such myth is black spots on your dog’s tongue means he’s party a member of the ‘Chow’ family. The only truth about this is that one of the most well-known physical traits of a Chow is his blueish black tongue, it’s not a trait that’s only unique to the breed.

Contrary to the belief, other dog breeds are prone to spotted tongues, for example; labyrinths, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, etc.

Aside from the aforementioned breeds, there are over 30 other breeds that are known to develop dark spots on their tongues. And regardless of breed, some dogs develop extra pigmentation on various parts of the body throughout their life, including the tongue.

Some dogs are born with these spots while others develop them as they grow older. These spots may change shape and color gradually over time. Pigmented spots have the same texture as the rest of your dog’s tongue, the skin only appears black or blue.

Causes of spotted tongue?

One of the primary causes of spots on a dog’s tongue is extra pigmentation, these spots are just like freckles or birthmarks for humans.

Dogs can also have some freckle-looking dark pigmentation on their skin.

Against some popular belief, seeing spots on your dog’s tongue or skin does not mean they have a Chow genealogy. This does not however take away the possibility of your dog actually having a Chow in its genealogy since they’re one of the oldest breeds known to man, but there are also over 30 other breeds known for having spotted tongues.

If you’re truly curious about looking into the ancestry of your dog’s breed you could consider getting a dog DNA test done to clear your doubt.

Dark spots on the tongue are common among a wide variety of dog breeds so if you’re narrowing down your dog’s genetic makeup based on their tongue alone you’re not going to get very far.

Spotted Tongue Breeds 

The spots you’re seeing on your dog’s tongue come down to genetics. Most German and United Kingdom natives like Spitz family with Spaniel or Pointer ancestors are very likely to have spots.

So while there are some definite similarities in some of these breeds no one’s been able to determine exactly why these breeds have tongue spots while others do not.

The next time you hear someone say that dogs with spotted tongues are part Chow you can tell them that those spots aren’t exclusive to Chows. There are well over 30 dog breeds prone to developing dark spots on their tongue. Here’s a list of the 30 dog breeds known to have spotted tongues;

  • Aeirdale
  • Akita
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Belgian Tervuren
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Bichon Frise
  • Bouvier de Flandres
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Chinese Shar Pei
  • Collie
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Dalmatian
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • English Setter
  • Flat-Coated Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Gordon Setter
  • Great Pyrenese
  • Irish Setter
  • Keeshond
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Korean Jindo
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Mastiff
  • Mountain Cur
  • Newfoundland
  • Pomeranian
  • Pug
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Shiba Inu
  • Siberian Husky
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Tibetan Mastiff
When To Call a Vet for the Spots

Most Pigmented spots are normal but at some point, you really need to call in the vet should you see some ‘abnormalities’. If your dog’s spots begin to change rapidly or if the texture of the spot is raised or different from the rest of the tongue or gum, call your veterinarian. 

Colors besides bluish black, and a foul odor, are also causes for concern, as they could be signs of a more serious problem. 

If you have any questions about the black spots on your dog’s tongue, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian.

Your dog’s black spot is usually nothing to worry about. It does not mean that your dog isn’t purebred, or that there is something wrong with his tongue. What it does mean is that there is one more unique thing about him to love.

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