The Black Dog Syndrome is a term often used to refer to depressing emotions, more than that, it could also pertain to a very true phenomenon often seen at animal shelters.
It is highly recognized how essential animal shelters and pet adoption agencies are. According to the statistics gathered by the Humane Society of the United States, an estimated number of about six to eight million animals were taken in by shelters in the recent years. Only half of them get adopted.
This figure is the highest yet, and all the same it still leaves three to four million animals homeless. Manyof these animals are left out by potential adopters only due to their appearance. Often, a family comes in to adopt a dog but is interested only in the cutest or most purebred-looking puppy in the facility disregarding breed or behavioral requisites. This phenomenon is called the “black dog syndrome”. The name originates from the fact that black dogs are least likely to get adopted from shelters and rescue centers.
Why are black dogs left out?
The Black Dog Syndrome does not occur simply because people reject the appearance of black dogs. Sherri Skidmore manages an institution called the Black Dog Rescue Project, which works to raise awareness to black dog syndrome and to promote the adoption of these dogs. There are a several factors behind this phenomenon:
“Black dogs are challenging to photograph than the lighter or varicoloured dogs, and many potential adopters are now searching websites that post pictures of adoptable dogs in their area,” Sherri says. “Negative influences from the media may also play a part, because black dogs featured in television shows or movies are typically aggressive, menacing characters. Advertisements and print ads seldom feature black dogs due to difficulty in photographing them as compared to lighter colored dogs.”
Ways to Promote Black Dogs for Adoption
Sometimes, just the way a shelteris arranged could cause a possible adoptive pet owner to discriminate against breed, color or size unknowingly. Mediocre lighting and dark painted walls painted are two factors that can cause lower adoption chances for black dogs.
“Some shelters have tried to tackle the dilemma by having black dogs wear colorful bandanas,” adds Sherri. “They may also promote black dogs by running ‘black dog specials’ at a brought down fee or even for free. All these are excellent ideas. Anything a pet shelter does in the hopes of drawing attention to black dogs would increase their chances for adoption.”
Don’t get too emotional.
Upon taking on interest in adopting a dog, especially if it is your first time, evaluate your personal needs and lifestyle before going to your local pet adoption facility. It is likewise important not to allow your emotions to overtake you when trying to select among the available dogs.
When choosing which dog you would like to adopt, consider not only the dog’s temperament and personality, but also your own temperament and personality, too– including those living with you. The least a shelter wishes is a dog being returned because he grew too big or was overly hard to discipline. Before visiting a pet adoption center, release any preconceptions. Every dog, irrespective of his color or breed, possesses unique personality and traits, some good and others not so good, based on your preferences and needs, available time, tolerance level and lifestyle.
© 9/4/2011 Athena Goodlight on Triond