Black Dog Syndrome: Getting the Facts

If you think racism is only running amongst human beings then you must be oblivious to the phenomenon called “black dog syndrome”. But what exactly is it and how is it an important issue when it comes to dog keeping?

Defining Black Dog Syndrome

As most human beings degrade or become biased between skin colors, the term “black dog syndrome” or BBD refers to the fact that most black dogs are shunned or put up for adoption, which in turn, is a biased way of favoring light-coated dogs. A lot of animal shelters, from locally to abroad, always report that they have a lot of black or dark colored dogs that are passed over.

Why Degrade Black Dogs?

Here are some reasons that most studies have concluded that the Black Dog Syndrome exists within almost any culture nowadays:

The Meaning of the Color Black

From the beginning of time, black has always been a color that is associated with the darkness, bad omen and particularly anything of bad taste or ill fate. Do you remember the “black cat” superstition? This could be one of the reasons why black dogs are degraded the same way.

Unfortunately, dogs have also been stuck into this primitive standard that human beings have set. It is just like the concept of how most people prefer Caucasian or European people over African-Americans or Latin Americans.

Appearance of Dogs Matter

In some cases, a lot of dog breeds that are in the black or dark color are those breed types that are less preferred by dog owners. The media such as films and movies that show black dogs to be the ones that are more agressive when it comes to dogs could also be the ones to blame for this phenomenon, especially large black or dark dogs.

There is also the thing about black dogs that it would be a bit harder to take photographs of them or to quickly distinguish them in the dark. In fact, a lot of studies and dog shelters notice that appearance is the number one factor that most people take into consideration when they choose a dog to own.

Size of Dogs

Just as appearance matters, the size of a dog also matters. Big dogs tend to be adopted less frequently over smaller dogs, whether it is a light colored dog or a dark colored dog. There is a misconception amongst people that big dogs equal bigger problems, but not all breeds are like that. There are also some small dogs that can require more effort and exercise or grooming over some big dogs.


How to Fight Black Dog Syndrome

Not all black dogs in all places in the world are degraded. It depends on where you live and the culture that people set in your place with regard to black vs. light dogs. You can do your share if you show your love for black dogs by doing any of the following actions:

Dog Behavior Over Appearance

Remember that dogs are like humans – don’t ever judge a dog by its coat. Remind people that appearance doesn’t always matter when you are raising a dog. You can train your dog even if its black-coated or frightening in appearance into a very obedient dog if you are really determined to keep it as a close pet and family member and if you are responsible enough.

Make Videos of your Black Dogs

If you own a black dog or a dark coated dog, you can show off to your friends just how playful, kind, obedient and awesome your black dog is! Change their perception of what a black dog is with your awesome video post!

Show Off Your Black Dog in Contests

Despite the odds going on against you and other dog owners discriminating you for having a black dog, turn things around by being triumphant on a lot of dog contests and shows and the black dogs will earn much more respect more than ever!

Take Awesome Black Dog Photos

If you think black dogs can’t be the subject of wonderful pet photography, then you might be wrong. Black dogs and other dark colored dogs can still be photographed beautifully if they have the right photography techniques and are shot at the right angles.


Remember that racism can also exist in animals, so let us do our part to get rid of the unfair bias towards light colored pets, because all dogs and even cats are supposed to be judged based on behavior and personality and not just the outside appearance.

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