Smooth Dogfish Shark
Smooth Dogfish Shark
ABout Smooth Dogfish Shark

Dogfish sharks often hunt in packs, part of the reason they got their name.

Smooth dogfish shark, also known as a dusky smooth-hound, can change their color from dark to light in order to camouflage themselves from predators.

The sharks in our touch pool at the Indianapolis Zoo are all males. The females can be found swimming with the cownose rays in the large aquarium when you enter Oceans.

Oceans Stamp
average size
Up to 5 feet, up to 27 pounds
Native Region
Western Atlantic Ocean
Asset 7
eating habits
Crustaceans, small fish, mollusks
Conservation Status
Near threatened
Visit the smooth dogfish shark at the zoo!

Look no further. Connect with our amazing animals and learn about the wild places they come from.

Where are they at the Zoo?
The Smooth Dogfish Sharks are located in the Oceans Exhibit.
View Map View Oceans
Dive In with Sharks

Majestic and mysterious, powerful and impressive — sharks are awe-inspiring animals. Go inside the sharks' underwater habitat for an up-close look at these beautiful predators.

Additional Experiences
Dog Shark Chat
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A school of dog sharks provides a wonderful opportunity for a personal encounter with these misunderstood creatures of the deep.

This seasonal animal chat includes a discussion of the smooth dogfish shark’s unique characteristics and interesting behaviors, which you can observe through close encounters. Also, during the chat, you’ll learn how important they are to their ecosystems, and how you can help sea life by making more sustainable seafood choices. The dog shark chat is held in the Oceans exhibit, which features the nation’s largest shark touch tank in the Firestone Gallery.

Conservation Efforts for Smooth Dogfish Sharks

What Can You Do?

Everyone has the power to help save wild things and wild places. That power is your individual voice, your awareness and your actions. So in addition to visiting the Zoo and meeting our animal ambassadors, here are a few simple suggestions that will help save their counterparts in the wild.

  • Before you buy, read the labels on your foods to make sure you’re purchasing sustainable fish and seafood. Download the Seafood Watch app to make shopping even easier.