The Black dogfish is a common species with wide distribution, not continuous, in temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean. In the north, it includes the Iceland to Sierra Leone, including the Faroe Islands, southern Norway, the gap Rockall and Porcupine Bay, off the coast of Ireland. In the northwest, it is found in southern Greenland and the Baffin Island to Virginia, being particularly abundant in the Laurentian Channel, and can be found further south in the Gulf of Mexico off the Alabama. In the south, it is found off the coast of Namibia and of South Africa to Cape Agulhas. In the southwest, it can be observed from the Beagle Channel, at the southern tip of Argentina .
The Black dogfish lives on the continental shelf and continental slope. It is found mostly near the bottom between 180 and 2250 m depth. It is more common at depths from 800 to 1200 m off the coast of Iceland, 1250 to 1500 m in the pit of Rockall, 500 to 1300 m off Greenland, 350 to 500 m off northern Canada, and below 500 m off the southern Africa. This species can venture near the surface in the far north of its range, especially at night during the winter months. Gender segregation has been documented in the North Atlantic, with females outnumber males at depths greater than 1000 m. Segregation by size varies by region: large individuals are usually found in deep waters off West Greenland, in the shallow waters west of Iceland, and without cause from the deep off eastern Iceland. Black dogfish prefers low temperatures 3.5-4.5 ° C, although in large northern Canada, it is most abundant in water from 5 to 6.5 ° C and can withstand temperatures up to 1 ° C. This species carries out seasonal migrations: it spends the winter and spring in shallow waters. Individuals off northern Canada perform movements related to development that are not observed off West Greenland, suggesting the presence of two distinct populations in the northwest Atlantic.