Did you know that black dogs have the lowest adoption rate and the highest euthanasia rate than any other color dogs in shelters? Bummer! I have TONS of friends at daycare who are black dogs, and there is absolutely nothing wrong or different about them. But October 1 is National Black Dog Day, so let’s take a moment to celebrate and honor black dogs!
National Black Dog Day was founded in 2012 by author, animal behaviorist, and rescue advocate, Colleen Paige, in an effort to fight for the lives and happiness of black dogs everywhere. Black dogs that are eventually adopted typically spend about 4-times longer in the shelter waiting for their forever family. It’s a sad and unfortunate phenomenon called “Black Dog Syndrome.”
Folklore and pop culture has depicted black dogs in a negative way that may have subconsciously affected how they’re viewed by adopters. In stories, books, and movies where a dangerous dog is depicted, that dog is very often black. The Harry Potter Series and The Omen depicted frightening black dogs. Throughout history, the color black has been most commonly used to represent negativity and evil. For this reason, some people tend to believe that black dogs are unlucky.
Blending in with the Crowd
Black dogs stand out less than lighter colored dogs in shelters. In dimly lit kennels, black dogs naturally tend to stand out less than their lighter canine neighbors. Further, many shelters and rescues use photographs to attract potential adopters. Because of their color, black dogs are harder to photograph, making it difficult to capture their personalities in photos.
Lack of Awareness
Many people are simply unaware of Black Dog Syndrome. While rescuers and animal advocates are well aware of Black Dog Syndrome, the general public are largely unaware of the phenomenon, not even realizing that they’re overlooking an amazing potential family member in favor of a lighter colored dog.
How Can You Help?
The best thing you can do is tell people about Black Dog Syndrome! It’s a subconscious prejudice that humans quickly move past once they become aware of it. If you share your heart and home with a black dog, proudly display their photographs. Let others know that black dogs are just as amazing as lighter colored dogs! Encourage friends and family that are looking to adopt to consider a black dog. The more people know about Black Dog Syndrome, the less likely these great dogs will suffer.
Black Dogs at The Hipster Hound
At The Hipster Hound, we don’t discriminate against any dog’s fur color! We proudly share photos of our black dog friends on social media all the time. But if you have any questions, my mom, Tonya, and The Hipster Hound staff are always there as a source of information and knowledge. And take it from me, Rex, that black dogs are awesome!
Rex, The Original Hipster Hound