Black Dogs are Often MisunderstoodPublished March 15, 2012
Black dogs are considered by many people to be the most unfriendly, dangerous and troublesome canines, Humane Society insiders told Care2. It's known as black dog syndrome.
For years the Winnipeg Humane Society, (WHS) staff and volunteers, along with many animal shelters and rescue groups, have been noticing that black dogs are being discriminated against, solely based on the color of their fur.
Traditionally, tales about black dogs (or cats) paint innocent animals as evil, in the form of familiars to witches and warlocks. Even today, these myths are frightening to some people.
Sadly, as a result of this strong prejudice against their color, black dogs are the first dogs to be euthanized and the last to be adopted.
Taking proactive steps to change how “canines of color” are perceived and fight this outrageous misconception about black dogs, last fall, WHS launched the “Black Dog Club”. With a goal aimed toward making a positive impression on the public, WHS’s holds regular “Black Dog Club Walks” throughout the city.
In hopes of attracting potential adopters for these beautiful black dogs, the Black Dog Club Walks demonstrate that they make excellent companions. Additionally no matter where or when the black dog was adopted, club members are offered, a small financial incentive with a WHS store discount making ownership of a black dog far more appealing.
While the WHS doesn't specifically offer “scientific” reasons why black dogs are less adoptable, it may be that in comparison with canines of lighter colors, it’s harder to observe a black dog’s facial expression and therefore connect emotionally with a black dog.
But whatever continuing justification for the prevailing biases against black dogs, these biases must be countered, because whenever increases in adoptions of dogs considered undesirable, the overall number of adoptions goes up and concomitantly the overall number of euthanasia cases decrease.
If you are planning to share your home with a dog, consider adopting a beautiful black canine. Rest assured there’s no connection between the behavior or health of a dog and its coat color.
Take a moment to check out all the dark kennel shadows to find that wonderful canine companion. And if you are already a black dog lover, why not ask your local shelter or humane society to start their very own Black Dog Club.
Read more about black dogs at Big Black Dog (and Cat) Myths.
What is your opinion about black dogs? Share in a comment.