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Black Dog Syndrome

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  • Black Dog Syndrome

    Honestly - how ridiculous is this:

    Three dogs were sent, courtesy of WestJet, from Saskatchewan to Vancouver Island. The shelters have difficulty placing black dogs, cats and rabbits.
    Apparently, here in the West, we do not have such prejudices.

    I think a handsome black dog is gorgeous - can't understand it.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

  • #2
    The two dogs I have chosen from shelters have been black. I don't get it either, and did not even realize it was a prejudice until someone on COTH told me. I guess if they look scarier that's a good thing because I live on my own with my black lab mix.

    I try to make a point of not obsessing over colour when choosing an animal, but from now on I might make a point of trying to get black dogs/cats.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, private shelters around here give black cats lower adoption fees to try and encourage adoption. But I think they're adorable.
      Of the heart-aching, hard-working, hope-having, horse-loving and horse-less variety. We are a sad species indeed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yea I have never gotten it and didn't realize it existed. I love black dogs!

        My current dog is black(and brown):

        Here he is:
        http://instagram.com/p/VKttyAkCa2/

        http://instagram.com/p/RD7nRWkCao/
        I love cats, I love every single cat....
        So anyway I am a cat lover
        And I love to run.

        Comment


        • #5
          With cats some people apparently associate black cats with witchcraft and evil. Silly but true. If I had another dog, it wouldn't be black, because of the summer heat season here, and there is very heavy heat over six months of the year this far south. I would be very worried about heat problems with a dark coat, especially black.
          You can't fix stupid-Ron White

          Comment


          • #6
            It is a terrible problem here. I took foster kittens that were black because the girl said they had no chance. They were beautiful and adorable and got adopted out quickly. Ironically they probably would not have gotten adopted form the shelter. The shelter is FULL of black dogs, mostly lab and pit mixes. Most do not get adopted. It's sad. Most of my dogs have been black. Had black GSD/Belgian SD, 4 schips, 2 black labs, 2 tri collies, all great dogs. I always have at least one black cat, right now I have 2 and a nearly black tabby. Personally I may be attracted to a color but if choosing from a litter or a batch I'd go for the personality
            Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

            Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think black animals are gorgeous. Nothing like a healthy shiny black coat in the sun.

              Comment


              • #8
                My understanding, until recently, was that black dogs or dogs with dark faces tended to stay longer in shelters because typically shelters have poor lighting and it's harder to make the connection if the face/expression is more difficult to see. However, I recently read a post on Patricia McConnell's blog where she talks about some studies that indicate breed/type, not color, is what primarily affects people's perceptions of dogs.

                I just read an interesting blog on the ASPCA site about the issue, written by Dr. Emily Weiss. In it she recounts the result of a study done by PhD psychologist Lucinda Woodward et al, and published in Society and Animals in early 2012. In summary, they found that breed had a significant effect on participant’s perception of the dogs, but color did not. As a matter of fact, in a study looking at breed versus color effect, black labs were rated as significantly more friendly, less dominant and more submissive dogs of dogs of seven other breeds, with only the Golden retriever rated more highly. (The breeds were: Border collie, Boxer, German shepherd, Golden retriever, Black Lab, Pit bull, Standard Poodle and Rottweiler.)

                This is not surprising when you think of it, given that black labs are the most popular breed in the U.S. last I looked. (Which in itself should give us all pause about the “black dog syndrome.”)

                In addition, in a related study that focused on color and size in just one breed, all black poodles were judged to be friendlier than all white ones (and small white poodles were categorized as the least friendly!). These results suggest that color might not be as important a factor as we have assumed. Rather, the fact that so many black dogs hang out for long periods in shelters may be attributed to the fact that there are simply more of them.

                Clearly we need a lot more research on this topic. Although this study is interesting, and I would argue important, in that it gets us into a conversation about what makes dogs attractive to people (which could help shelters place more dogs), it is just one study. It’s conclusions are indirect: just because a group of people rated some dogs as more friendly than others doesn’t mean they would necessarily adopt them from a shelter. But it is a good start.


                http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/the...act-or-fiction

                Comment


                • #9
                  I spoke with an employee at a Maine shelter that imports animals "from Away" about this, since I have adopted only black cats since hearing of the prejudice years ago. She corroborated this and her shelter also provides incentives for those who adopt all black and tuxedo kitties.

                  I loves the black critters and have had at least 1 black Lab and 1 black kitty for 30 years. The only downside is that they're tough to photograph well

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It was a problem in MD too. My brother has made it a point to only adopt black dogs because so many were going unadopted.

                    Two labs, chow and a mastiff (black and brown).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's much harder to photograph black dogs than other colors, so they may not look very appealing on Petfinder vs. dogs of other colors.

                      given that black labs are the most popular breed in the U.S. last I looked.
                      you just don't see black labs at all around here- it's all yellows.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We always had a HORRIBLE time with black cats at the store. So much so that when people called wanting us to take in their latest litter our "standard kitten speech" was:
                        "They must be at least 8 weeks old, weigh at least 2 pounds, no more than three pounds,no fleas, no ear mites, no hernias, appear healthy, and no all or mostly blacks. Cage space is first come first serve, if you want to bring them in I will take a look at them."
                        We got 8-12 calls a DAY with litters of kittens. The year the RARAS convinced the pet store to stop selling kittens the local shelter's euth rates went up like 55%. We used to place almost 3000.00 kittens a year throughout our chain before that.
                        ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
                        ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
                        ~Vet Tech Student
                        Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shayaalliard View Post
                          We always had a HORRIBLE time with black cats at the store. So much so that when people called wanting us to take in their latest litter our "standard kitten speech" was:
                          "They must be at least 8 weeks old, weigh at least 2 pounds, no more than three pounds,no fleas, no ear mites, no hernias, appear healthy, and no all or mostly blacks. Cage space is first come first serve, if you want to bring them in I will take a look at them."
                          We got 8-12 calls a DAY with litters of kittens. The year the RARAS convinced the pet store to stop selling kittens the local shelter's euth rates went up like 55%. We used to place almost 3000.00 kittens a year throughout our chain before that.
                          Well gee, why didn't you make space for the rescues to show the cats and do adoption events?

                          ****If you've not been following the slaughter threads on Off Course, my sig line is a joke as in sarcasm.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here's the article from the Saskatoon paper: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/life/B...313/story.html

                            Apparently, the Prince Albert shelter has been shipping black dogs to other shelters for quite some time now although this trip to BC is a first for them.
                            Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                            Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              The picture in the article shows a fawn dog - odd.
                              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                When we got into fostering we got told the same thing- that black cats and dogs were SO hard to adopt.

                                I, being the owner of 2 black cats at the time and actually LOVING black cats (and not white), inquired "Huh?"

                                I didn't get any fancy explanations as to lighting or inability to make emotion connection. It was explained to me that:

                                1) They're very common
                                2) They're not "pretty"- people prefer patterns, multicolors and shading. A black cat is just... black (no matter how shiny)
                                3) They show dust/dander more easily
                                4) Black cats are bad luck (okay, living in Texas, I can see people believing this)

                                I think #2 and #3 are really the sticking points for a lot of people. Perhaps especailly #3 unless the cat's skin is in flawless condition.
                                "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I've also heard the above comment that it's harder to see black pets' facial expressions in less-than-perfect lighting, and therefore less likely that someone will "connect" with them.

                                  As the current owner of a solid-black kitty, and previous owner of a solid-black lab-mix pound puppy (RIP Tilly), I think it's a shame.
                                  "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." –Bradley Trevor Greive

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    When I fostered it was just crazy how long it took black cats/kittens to get adopted. They could be the sweetest cat/kitten we had and someone would adopt an unsocialized hellion of color before them.

                                    Very sad.

                                    Two of my five are solid black and I think they're gorgeous! Shiny black coats and their eyes just pop against the black fur.

                                    This is Sammy


                                    and this is Jellybean

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      People also think black dogs with pointy ears are scarier, that might be part of the dog issue if someone is looking to adopt.
                                      Kerri

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                                        My understanding, until recently, was that black dogs or dogs with dark faces tended to stay longer in shelters because typically shelters have poor lighting and it's harder to make the connection if the face/expression is more difficult to see.
                                        I intentionally went for a black dog because the public kill shelter told me black animals die faster. It was very difficult to see the wee dog huddled in the back corner of the run. He is small so no breed perceptions there. Like another poster mentioned, shooting photos inside the shelter of black dogs has terrible results: they need sunlight and lots of it to define their features.

                                        Ranty sidenote: I'm so sick of black Labs being referred to as a breed. Black, yellow, chocolate are colors not distinct breeds! Not picking on that poster, more the article, 'Last I checked black Labs were the most popular breed...' Wrong

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