Don't Judge a Dog By Its Color! It's Black Dog Syndrome Awareness Month - The Dogington Post
About Adopting

Don’t Judge a Dog By Its Color! It’s Black Dog Syndrome Awareness Month

Did you know that black dogs have the lowest adoption rate and the highest euthanasia rate than any other color dog in the shelter? February is Black Dog Syndrome Awareness Month. This month, let’s take a moment to celebrate and honor black dogs!

black dogs

Those that are adopted typically spend about 4-times longer in the shelter waiting for their forever family. It’s a phenomenon that shelter workers and rescuers are all too familiar with called “Black Dog Syndrome.”

Why are black dogs so often overlooked?

black dogs

1. Superstition. Folklore and pop culture has, many times, depicted black dogs in a negative way that may have subconsciously affected how they’re viewed by potential adopters. In stories, books, and movies where a dangerous dog is depicted, that dog is very often black. The Hound of the Baskervilles, the Harry Potter Series, and The Omen have all depicted evil, frightening dogs – all of those dogs were black. Black has, throughout history, been the color most commonly used to represent negativity, evil and misfortune. For this reason, some people tend to believe that black dogs are unlucky.

black dogs

2. 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 brothers and sisters. 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.

black dogs

3. 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. Luckily, once people become aware of the phenomenon, they are less likely to ignore black dogs in need of loving homes.

There are countless reasons to bring home a black dog – but what’s the most important one? Black dogs are still least likely to be adopted, are most commonly euthanized, and they need people like you to give them a chance!

How can I help put an end to Black Dog Syndrome?

black dogs

Even if you’re not looking to adopt, you can still help in the fight against Black Dog Syndrome!

  • Tell people about Black Dog Syndrome! BDS is largely a subconscious prejudice that people 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.
  • Spread awareness! The more people know about Black Dog Syndrome, the less likely these great dogs will suffer.

Hopefully, with an increase of awareness, this trend will soon be a thing of the past. In honor of Black Dog Syndrome Awareness Month, why not visit your local animal shelter and add a black furry friend to your family!




  1. janice

    Feb 12, 2020 at 1:25 am

    pissed off

    ur comment is ridiculous.

  2. Roncy Roehm

    Feb 10, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    There is no such “syndrome” as Black Dog Syndrome. It was made up by shelters and rescues years ago. I cannot believe this mindless thought process. To state that this nonsense issue exists is ridiculous and brought on only by those that preach it. It’s as if these “rescue people” want to create an issue which is non existent. In running a Labrador Retriever rescue for over 30 years, we adopted BLACK Labradors and blends more than any other color. There are more black dogs simply because of genetics. But the naysayers continue to plaster their shelter walls and social media pages with this ridiculous “syndrome”. Most normal non rescue people were unaware of such an ignorant “syndrome” until rescue people cooked it up and told them it was a thing. So now you have planted a seed that black dogs are harder to adopt out than other colors. Don’t you think it is wiser to plaster your social media walls and shelter walls with “ Black dogs are the most popular color to adopt – they are all the rage” instead of telling adopters nobody wants to adopt them. Maybe changing your mindset will help your dogs be adopted instead of you chasing adopters away to other colors. We told everyone that black labs were the most popular and we weren’t making it up. It’s about the dogs and positive spins not negative ones. Idiots.

  3. Pissed off

    Feb 10, 2020 at 2:53 am

    It’s incredibly inappropriate to post this during black history month! Are you equating Black people to dogs!!! The nerve

    • janice

      Feb 12, 2020 at 1:19 am

      pissed off u are ridiculous. always got to have something to say to try make a big deal out of this..VERY TOUCHY.NOTHING TO DO W/BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

  4. A

    Feb 7, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Sooo white people hijacking Black History Month for “Black dog syndrome” ok suuuure this tracks…. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. But how tone-deaf do you have to be!!!
    I love my black cat.. but like He’s not getting a month especially not during Black history month. Do better and think next time.. srsly.

    • Harry Flashman

      Feb 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Get a life.

    • HHDB

      Feb 9, 2020 at 11:31 pm

      This is what I thought too.

      • Mari

        Feb 13, 2020 at 11:01 pm

        I love my black toy poodle and I picked him because he stood out. Stop trying to make this into something that it not. #ilovemycharlie

    • Karen

      Feb 12, 2020 at 10:03 am

      That is the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard.

  5. Joe Lorenzo

    Feb 7, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Black labs are the best. Had my baby Blue for 14 years. He was the greatest friend I ever had- and yes, he was black. LOL

  6. Babara

    Feb 6, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    Our black lab mix was adopted from the local shelter…ironically in February! He’s been with us 11 years next week….all but about 7 months of his life. He’s an awesome dog…gets the paper from the driveway & all 😉

  7. Bee

    Feb 6, 2020 at 11:08 am

    I am the PROUD MAMMA of my all BLACK terrier girl from the shelter, can’t think of a better girl.

  8. Traci

    Dec 1, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I have TWO black dogs and they are THE BEST!

  9. amyjo9

    Nov 26, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Black Labs Matter!!

  10. Sandra

    Nov 26, 2016 at 1:20 am

    I have had black dogs all my life! They are so beautiful!

  11. Melissa Salatino

    Nov 26, 2016 at 12:26 am

    I have black dogs! I Love every bit of them! Beautiful babies

  12. DD

    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I have always had black dogs! A BLACK SCHNAUZER AND NOW A BLACK POODLE MIX. They have both been rescues and they are the best! I have always been smitten with black animals- black lambs,cows, horses.They are special..not evil or posessed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

To Top
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest dog news, recall alerts, and giveaways!

You have Successfully Subscribed!