Black Dog Syndrome - RasZoBai
I knew when it came time to adopt a dog that I wanted a lab. And not just any lab, I wanted a black lab. Personally, I always found that black dogs were so striking in appearance, and have the cutest little faces. And so, I was pretty shocked to find out about something called 'Black Dog Syndrome'.

Black dogs in shelters are commonly overlooked because they're not as 'flashy' as the dogs with lighter fur. Over the years, black dogs have been associated with either evil or 'being bad'. They don't photograph as well as others, and are likely to be passed over while possible dog owners are viewing profiles online. And last but not least, black dogs are commonly thought to be only big breeds dogs, which sadly are not adopted as quickly due to their size. In the end, black dogs have a harder time getting adopted, and are often some of the last to leave the shelter.

I've begun to notice the amount of black dogs on rescue websites. Like a crazy person, I spend my morning scanning dog rescue websites looking at the dogs available. I have to say- there are quite a few black dogs. Some have been there for weeks. I really truly hope that their fate isn't being tested because their fur is dark.

Thankfully, the ever insightful Google led me to two great sites that are dedicated to educating people about BBS.
The "Black Dog Rescue Project" has created a site with many resources for people to educate themselves on black dogs. Here is a little taste of their sentiments towards the cause

The black dog is the underdog of all rescue dogs. Maybe they don't photograph as well as lighter colored dogs. Maybe it is because Hollywood teaches us that black always represents the bad guy. Maybe it is because many of the larger breeds that tend to end up in shelters and rescues are predominately black. Whatever the reason, placing a black dog in a local shelter is usually a death sentence.

"Contrary to Ordinary" Black Pearls of the Dog World site includes a saying that I really love

"Making a difference- one black dog at a time through education, awareness and action- Please adopt responsibly based on a personality and lifestyle match"

Really, the above should be applied when looking to adopt a dog. People need to research the breed(s) and make a decision based on the dog's personality rather than the shade of their fur. A dog is a dog- doesn't matter if it's a golden retriever, red heeler or black lab.

Besides, if William and Kate can adopt a black dog maybe you should consider it too. They're royalty, you know...

I'm a black dog, and I approved this message!
2/7/2012 07:22:48

Am I missing something? Is it Black Dog Awareness month or something?

A few other people have brought this subject up this week.

2/8/2012 01:59:11

Really? LOL good to know other people are talking about it I guess..

I decided to write about it because my aunt and uncle are looking to adopt a dog, and I was telling them about BDS. Wanted to make sure no dogs get overlooked :)

2/8/2012 05:15:59

Yep, three blogs about it this month so far. One was denouncing the myth, though. ;]

Saw your comment on Fred's blog about Ethan -- that would be great if he could go to rescue.

Hailey's Lady
2/8/2012 05:35:48

It is Black History month, so maybe it applies to dogs too!

My first 2 dogs were light in colour (white or light brown). They met untimely deaths, and I have decided that we have a curse of the white pet. (My sister also had a white cat that died young due to a weird thing). Due to this I will likely never own a light coloured pet again.

I had never heard of this either until I got into the rescue world. I can't imagine my life without my 2 black cats and mostly black dog. It is very interesting to think about. I think my black dog is beautiful and she does photograph well! I don't recall thinking about colour when looking for her. I was looking for size and breed. I think the only consideration for a pet is colour, you shouldn't have one! It is a lot more than colour!

2/10/2012 07:27:33

I agree! 2/3 of my pets are black and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I actually heard more about orange cats then I did black dogs/cats. (apparently orange males are incredibly affectionate and sort of crazy. I have evidence to support this theory).

2/9/2012 13:52:06

I grew up with black labs, and never knew this syndrome existed until this year. I love my little black wiener!

I just don't understand how someone could think a black dog is different from a light one!

2/10/2012 07:28:39

Absolutely! Poor black dogs, taking such a hit!

6/12/2012 06:01:12

I am so late to this post, but I couldn't agree with you more! Loki is a doberman husky, black and tan. Big black dog. I notice most "No Dogs Allowed" signage around the city looks just like him. People cross the road when they see him coming. Poor guy. He loves love. Great post!


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