Black Spots on a Dog's Tongue

 

ASK AKC 

 

Dear AKC: Is there any color reasons as to why a dog would have black spots on his tongue? Is this related to the black tongue in the Chow Chow? I've seen the spots in Malamutes and German Shepherd Dogs too. -- Spotting Black Spots

Dear Spotting: What you are describing is really two different things. The spots on the tongue are a result of heavy pigmentation. Pigmentation is the coloration found in plant and animal cells. In dogs, pigment can affect the "points" of a dog and is genetically determined. Points include lips, nose, eye rims, pads and even toenails.

The Chow and the Chinese Shar Pei that both require a blue-black tongue and mouth in their standard have been bred specifically to have the black tongue and mouth.While the random spots on the tongue of other breeds is just a result of heavy pigmentation carrying over to the tongue from the black points.