10/1/2018

Adopt a Black Dog, Save a Life

Today, October 1, is National Black Dog Day. This may sound a bit ‘odd’ at first. But, researchers at animal shelters have uncovered an upsetting truth.

When a dog lover is searching for a furry companion, dogs who are black or dark in color are passed by without the slightest consideration for adoption.

The adoption rates of black dogs is so low, the problem has now been coined ‘black dog syndrome.’

The phenomenon has also been coined as ‘dog racism.’ And, has inspired ‘black dog’ campaigns showing adorable professional photographs. The photographs are designed to show the beautiful features black dogs have and capture their personality in the portrait as well.

There are a few different reasons dog lovers may choose to pass that adorable, black lab mix.

Features Are Hidden

The color black absorbs light. Since black absorbs light, a black dog’s features may not be as apparent is a light-colored dog. This makes our adorable family friend harder to take pictures of.

The other aspect of this component is black is associated with evil. Dogs in horror movies are also generally black. People may unconsciously pass by that black dog due to misconceptions in their lifetime.

And, some dog lovers think black dogs are simply too plain. There is nothing ‘special’ about them. Dark-colored dogs are thought to be bland and ordinary.

Black Dogs Aren’t Appealing

Researchers at the University of British Columbia conducted a study where members had no idea what was going on. The participants didn’t know the purpose of the study.

The main researcher, Stanley Coren, selected 60 colleagues and students and showed each of them photographs of black, brown, and yellow Labrador Retriever.

The results were just as expected. Black labs had lower ratings regarding attractiveness, adoptability, and friendliness.

Are Black Dogs Mean?

The previous section leads us to this one. A study conducted by three psychologists from Penn State supported Coren’s findings that ‘black dog syndrome’ may truly exist.

Sixty-five participants were chosen for this study. After the participants were recruited, they were to look at pictures of dogs and cats from various breeds and colors. The participants were asked for their impression of each animal as a pet.

Not only was ‘black dog syndrome’ confirmed in this study, but ‘black cat syndrome’ was as well.

Black animals, dog or cat, ranked at the bottom of the score chart for perceived adoptability and friendliness.

Black dogs were also perceived to be more aggressive than dogs of other colors.

You Can Help: Take Action and Make a Difference

Even if you already have dogs in your household and aren’t interested in adopting another, there are other ways you can help spread ‘black dog’ awareness.

First, if you know of anyone searching for a puppy or adult dog, share a bit of information about how the black dog is least likely to be adopted.

Share as much information about Black Dog Syndrome as you can. Lets spread the word!

And, of course, if you are searching for another furry family member, remember this article and go back to the low chance of adoption. We’re not saying you absolutely need to adopt a black dog, but recommend providing them the same consideration provided to lighter-color dogs.