Black Dog Syndrome


Today, 1st October, is National Black Dog Day. It's a day to celebrate our black furry woofers, especially those in rescue waiting for their forever homes. Yes, National Black Dog Day is for real and here's why.

National Black Dog Day and Black Dog Syndrome

Black dogs in rescue are often the last to be adopted, often waiting a very long time for homes. The phenomenon is so well recognised , it even has a name - Black Dog Syndrome.

The sad fact is that black dogs in rescue are much more likely to be passed by. They don't get adopted as quickly as their lighter contemporaries and, as a result, their euthanasia rates are also higher. Many of them never find homes and may have to be put to sleep.

Why might this be the case? Why are we seeing Black Dog Syndrome? Are there misconceptions about black dogs that are stopping them from being seen as good pets?

It seems this may be the case. Of course there is nothing at all to suggest black dogs are any different to any other dog yet there does seem to be some misconception that black dogs a have a poor temperament and are somehow meaner or more aggressive. Black cats suffer the same issue. The stigma of having black fur could have deep roots, founded in all kinds of myths, superstitions and folklore.

Or could it be that their dark fur somehow translates to human eyes, hearts and minds as less interesting or lacking in character? Do they visually lack uniqueness or facial expression? I'm really not sure. Either way, black dogs are of course as normal, loving, unique and wonderful as any dog.

National Black Dog Day helps raise awareness of this situation. Black Dog Syndrome needs to come to an end.

So don't over look the black dogs folks. Spread the word smiley

By the way, people also often say that black dogs don't photograph very well. This could indeed hamper their chances of adoption because so many dogs these days are viewed online before being visited. We asked our Deefers on Facebook to help us out. Look at some of the wonderful photos we were sent. Gorgeous.

black dogs

Sheila Boulton
01 October 2015  |  17:28

I have a rescue black German Shepherd, wonderful temperament, very photogenic and everyone who meets him adores him. Personally I have never met anyone biased against black dogs (or cats for that matter)

Terri Gardner
01 October 2015  |  20:59

Fab article and pics (but I may be biased as my boy is one of them and I know the owner of another hehe)
Such a shame for black dogs, he can be a nightmare to get good pics of and my mum who's in her 50s was wary of black dogs before we got him, and still isn't keen on other black dogs but aparently it's due to films she saw when she was younger? Poor pups, they've got so much to give and at least you can wear dark clothes around them.....unlike aroumd my yellow dog!

Lorraine Hagin
02 October 2015  |  9:20

Hi Sheila, Thank you for rescuing such a beautiful dog! I work for the GSD Rescue in Wales and I adore these dogs but there again I adore any dogs/animals as a world without animals would be a very sad place indeed! To think that people are bias against black dogs (cats etc) is beyond me as I really cannot see why! I would have any colour as it makes no difference to their nature whatsoever, so why deny a creature a home just because of their colour - THINK AGAIN! By doing this, these poor, dumb, innocent animals face a death sentence, it's not their fault they are black! You are right Sheila, black dogs are very photogenic and have great temperaments and people do adore them, so why Rescue Centres are seeing an increase in numbers of black dogs/cats being put to sleep is very sad indeed when there is no need! I hope with this National Black Dog Day things will improve - I/we can only hope! There should also be one held for cats too! Thank you to all that own black animals - you are all their "guardian angels"! :)

Caroline Chapman
01 October 2015  |  19:58

What a brilliant article. Very well written. It's sadly a very well known syndrome, I've really no idea why. If we are going by looks nothing looks better than a nice well groomed shiny black dog

Su Brown
01 October 2015  |  21:36

Having had the honour of sharing some 12 years with an all black xcollie, and 13 years with an all black puss-cat, both of whom were virtually 'human', then maybe people who dont like black dogs and cats are utterly unaware of the magnificent qualities these coloured animals offer us. Black is beautiful.

Jennifer Nunnery
02 October 2015  |  9:37

I have a rescue black scruffy mongrel, a complete mixture of breeds, wonderful temperament and an absolute character. I didn't realise people overlook black dogs. I think it is so sad. Give me a black dog or cat anytime, they are my favourites, along with the brown ones, white ones, mixtures ..................!

Louise Saggers
03 October 2015  |  0:14

I have a black rescue sprocker and he is gorgeous and yes he had a few issues but nothing to to do with being a black dog all down to the treatment he received from a previous owner. He is a amazingly loyal dog and would get another in a heartbeat

Chrissie Turner
03 October 2015  |  21:02

I have a beautiful black Labrador called Roxy and I picked her because I wanted a black dog I think they are beautiful black cats too. I luv them...

Chrissie Turner
03 October 2015  |  21:07

I have. Beautiful black Labrador called Roxy and I picked her because I wanted a black dog. She has the most amazing shiny Chiat and as for her temperament she has the most loving nature and lives everybody and all dogs. I also love black cats too....

Maudie Wilcutt
15 October 2015  |  5:32

my age is 70, and in those years past I have had many black, black & white, white and other spotted dogs, some of my best stories include them...

19 October 2015  |  22:41

I have a black lab who is the most photogenic & affectionate dog ever to bless my family. Not an aggressive bone in his body 😍

07 August 2020  |  4:03

What breed is that dog in the picture