Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday: Black Dogs and Black Dog Syndrome

Black Friday.  

For thousands of black dogs, every Friday is black Friday.

Black Dog Syndrome:  dogs that are large and black, especially Labrador Retrievers, shepherd mixes, pit bulls and Rottweilers are passed over time after time in favor of smaller, lighter colored dogs when it comes to animal shelter and rescue adoptions.

A Petfinder member shelter and rescue groups survey found that most pets are listed for 12.5 months on Petfinder.  Black, senior and special needs pets spend almost four times longer on Petfinder.

According to an article published in Psychology today,  Stanley Coren notes:
"There has been speculation that the reason black dogs are being rejected is part of the fabric of our cultural heritage. In ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Norse mythologies, black dogs are often associated with death and the supernatural. They are emissaries of evil and in the folklore of Britain and Europe these demonic black hounds can be found hovering around the border spaces between this world and the next, such as graveyards and places where violence has occurred. The black dogs of folklore are not too very different from normal dogs, except that they are large and very dark, and if you look at their eyes they will sometimes flash red with a fiery glow. Certainly if the Devil has a dog he is big and black."
Coren conducted a survey which allowed people to express their feelings toward dogs which differ only in color.  He tested a total of 60 individuals, targeting Labrador Retrievers using head-shot photographs.  Subjects were asked how much they liked the look of the dog, how friendly they thought it was, how good it would bge as a family pet, and how likely it would be for the dog to be aggressive.

Black dogs rated lower than the other colored (yellow and chocolate) dogs across the board.

As the Black Dog Rescue Project insists:  A dogs coat color has no affect on a dogs temperament and personality.  When adopting your next best friend, be aware that Black Dog Syndrome is real.  Take a second look around the animal shelter and make sure you have not overlooked the black dogs.


  1. I just don't know how anyone can overlook black dogs. they are just so beautiful! :)

  2. I'm proud to say that we have 3 black dogs. I tried to buy the domain 3blackdogs and threeblackdogs - both already taken. I love our dogs and I'm proud to be their mommy.

    What's really fun is that each has some white too, which I think is perfect since their mom is black and dad is white.


  3. I agree: black dogs rock! And I don't understand how they continue to be overlooked. I was shocked when I first learned about Black Dog Syndrome because I've always loved black dogs. In fact, this is the first time in my life I haven't had one of my own. I reckon we'll remedy that soon.


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