Last month when we had National Black Dog month we had very few dogs of that color. What a difference a few weeks makes. Black Dog Syndrome, and isn’t it a shame there’s a name for it, is a phenomenon where black dogs are passed over for adoption in favor of lighter-colored animals. We are proud to say that we don’t seem to have a problem finding homes for our black or mostly black dogs and the reason is because of you.
People who say it’s a thing at their shelters say that they are harder to photograph and that’s true depending upon the lighting and other factors. Others say that black dogs look scary or intimidating and we could not disagree more. Still, others say that their fur hides their personalities and to that, I scratch my head and wonder how that’s possible.
We think there are great things about all dogs, black, white, carrot top and more. But here’s a few things we love about black dogs.
1. Black dogs are loyal. News flash: all dogs are loyal, it’s in their DNA. But besides being loyal black dogs are gorgeous and they will force you to exercise. They love their people, they are protective, fun, will make you laugh, will keep you warm on a winter night, and are great companions. Oh, are we talking black dogs or dogs in general? See, there’s no difference at all between colors.
2. Okay, we’ll buy into the whole photo thing but it’s hard to catch the personality of a dog after a long trip from Kentucky and all the changes. Black dogs can get lost in the shadows but that’s no reason to not meet a black dog. In fact, remember the show Let’s Make a Deal where the contestant had the choice of choosing what they could see or something behind door number one? More often than not choosing the mystery door paid off for them and it will for you too. Most people don’t come in and adopt the first dog they see or even one that they thought was “their” dog. We certainly didn’t, we listened to the adoption counselor instead and it got us a male versus the female my husband wanted, a much smaller dog and a totally different breed mix. In other words, the perfect dog for us. Be open to being shown a black dog because they are simply a dog who will love you like any other dog.
3. We love the dog park except in spring, summer, and fall. Well, we love it except when there are puddles from rain and that can be any time during our Wisconsin year. Our dog is the kind who will find any puddle and take a bath in it. He’s light brown and so, while not as bad as a white dog, dirt shows on him. But wait, there’s more! He’s the dog that dog parents hate because he’s like the Pied Piper of Puddles. He will lead every dog into the puddle making sure that parent misery loves company. Guess who looks better than any dog emerging from the mud. Black dogs! They aren’t any easier to get clean, dirty is dirty and baths are baths, but they sure look better. When the mud dries a simple brushing might do the trick and that is never going to be the case with lighter-hued dogs.
4. Some people truly do believe that black dogs are the stereotypical junkyard dog protecting their owner’s property and willing to chew a man to death for trying to break in. Sometimes a black dog can protect you from potential attackers, as will any dogs because they will always protect you, but if a black dog will keep a person intent on harm away from you then I say that’s great. Not a reason to adopt but serendipity.
5. This last one is actually true and learned it when I lived in Africa. Black absorbs heat and that means that black fur is awesome during the colder months or even when the air conditioning is set too high. When they are outside soaking up sun they are actually way better than an electric blanket. If you sleep with your dog or you like to have them at or on your feet while watching reruns they will keep you warmer than other dogs.
Black dogs are everything any other dog is and it all depends or training, environment, patience, and love. Just like breed mix you should always choose a dog based on personality, size if you live in a restricted community, energy level, and factors that really matter. Trust me, being colorblind is the best possible thing when it comes to choosing a dog. And people to be in your circle but that’s another article for another day.