There is nothing like coming home after a trying day and seeing the smile of your best friend.
It changes your attitude, and it puts life back into perspective.
It’s called Black Dog Syndrome or Big Black Dog Syndrome (BDS or BBDS). It’s a problem that every animal shelter and dog rescue in the world understands all to well.
This phenomenon could be due to a number of things. Geographic location, fear of certain breed types or the fact that large black dogs are thought to be dangerous because they are portrayed that way in films and on television.
Did you know that black dogs, especially large breed dogs, such as Labs, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Chows, Newfoundlands, and even mixed breeds are usually the last ones to be adopted from shelters or rescue groups? Black dogs are often euthanized at a higher rate than other coat colors.
Here are some other reasons given for why black-coated dogs don’t get adopted as easily.
As to location, In European and British folklore black dogs often appear as evil forces and death. Writers like Sir Walter Scott and Arthur Conan Doyle perpetuated this superstition by using spectral hounds, usually black and fearsome, in their stories and poems.
Some people believe the superstition that suggests that “black is evil” like the symbolism of Scar vs. Mufasa in “The Lion King.” In a 2011 study by the ASPCA, appearance was the most frequently cited reason for adopters of both puppies (29 percent) and adult dogs (26 percent).
This issue has been gaining media attention since the mid-2000s. Tamara Delaney, an early activist against black dog syndrome, developed a website called Black Pearl Dogs in 2004 specifically to address the issue, both by educating the public about its existing, as well as showcasing individual dogs available for adoption.
As one who as adopted a black dog, I’d suggest that they are just a sweet, and just a loving as any other color of dog. She was a great companion and a great teacher. She was loved by everyone she met (animal and human) and when the chance arises again I’ll be the first one to adopt another Big Black Dog …
I’ll never bring about world peace. I won’t single handedly save the rain forest. I’m not a brain surgeon and I’ll never transplant an organ to save a life. I’ll never have an ear of a powerful politician or world power. I don’t have any idea how to end world hunger. I’m not a celebrity, and God knows I’ll never be glamorous! Millions of people around the world do not admire me, and in fact, very few people even recognize my name. I’ll never win the Nobel Prize. I’ll never find a way to end global warming.
There are a lot of things that I’ll never do or become while I’m here on earth, But today, I made a difference …. because I adopted and saved a dog’s life!
She was an unsure, scared, and nervous bundle of fur and bones. She was picked up by an animal shelter after she was found roaming around the countryside. She was left out there to fend for herself by unfeeling people who obviously didn’t care what happened to her. Lets not kid ourselves, she was left out there to die!
But now she has a home!
She now knows security, contentment and she gets an abundance of love. She has a warm place to sleep, plenty to eat and also has guidance, structure and leadership. Within a short distance from home, she has warm fuzzy friends to play with. They give her the things that only other dogs can give. They teach her about playing, having fun and being a dog.
In return she gives me unquestioning devotion, friendship and she is a great companion. We enjoy walks, going to the park, playing ball or just hangin’ out.
At the end of a hard day, she helps me relax. She helps me stay grounded and when life gets all mixed up, she helps me put it back in order. A great dog can do that for you!!! She also gives me a sense of security. When I’m away, I know that there is a protector and guardian keeping watch over all she surveys.
No, I’m not a rocket scientist. But today, I made a difference! For both of us!
Copyright 2007 – Michael Albee – All Rights Reserved
The right dog for you, whether you’re considering a purebred or a mixed bred dog, should always be the result of taking the time to research the dog’s breed. This research will help you to determine whether your new dog will fit your life style.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make (for you and the dog) is getting the wrong dog.
If you are thinking of a mixed breed, you need to look at the information about all of the mixes and that way you will know what to expect from your new dog. It will also make your shelter search for the right dog much easier if you already know that you want “a dog that has some previous training” or “something the size of a lab” or “some with the energy of a beagle.”
Making sure you get the right dog requires that you know the history and breed characteristics of the dog. This will give you the proper insight into what the dog will need for exercise, feeding and training. If you think you already know what breed you want, you may still want to spend some time researching it. You may learn something new – or you may find that the “right dog for you” is something much different than you hadn’t considered before.
If you have a question, be sure to ask. There are a lot knowledgeable people out there and they are very wiling to help you find the right dog. We will also be glad to offer suggestions when you want to choose a breed. When asking others, you should expect to hear the negatives as well as the positives about a breed. This is not intended to scare you away. On the contrary, you should be really sure that the breed you are choosing is the right one for you. There are over 400 recognized breeds of dog in the world today and no one breed is right for everyone.
Here are some questions for you to consider when you’re looking for a dog.
Finally, if you already have a dog or two in mind, don’t forget to think about the breed and the job that breed was meant to do. There are only a few breeds that were specifically developed to be pets. Most breeds of dog were originally bred to be hunters, herders, guards, or some other job which might be in conflict with your expectations of a perfect pet. For instance, if your lawn is important to you, you might not want to adopt a terrier; almost all breeds of terrier will dig relentlessly. If you don’t have a lot time to exercise a dog, you probably won’t want to get a Greyhound, a Dalmatian, a Husky, any kind of pointer or retriever, or most of the Herding breeds — all of these dogs were bred to run for many miles without getting tiring. Remember, if there is no breed specific work for them to do, they still crave the challenge and the exercise because it is part of their DNA. If you don’t give it to them, they’ll find ways to let you know that they don’t have enough to do. Most of these ways are very destructive.