Canine Racism: Myth or Reality?

December 9, 2008

US (ChattahBox) – In an odd story to come out of shelters country-wide, there is evidence to suggest that darker-coated dogs are less likely to be adopted, as potential owners pass them up in favor of light-coated breeds. It has been dubbed the ‘black dog syndrome’, and while many think of it as a myth, rescue leaders assure that it is, in fact, real.

“It definitely exists,” said President for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals, Madeline Bernstein. “It’s that old thing of light is good and dark is evil. The light-versus-dark thing is so ingrained in our consciousness in books and movies. It transfers subliminally in picking out a dog.”

In new data released by the Los Angeles Animal Services Department, only 27% of the 30,000 dogs in there local branch adopted were predominately or all black. He claims the likely reason for this is that darker coated dogs blend into the kennel shadows, making the dogs with lighter coats seem more distinctive.

That’s why some shelters are taking an extra step to train their dogs to come out of the shadows and into the light, making them more visible as well as friendly-seeming to potential families. They also encourage parents to bring their children along to help pick.

“Sometimes,” explained Bernstein, “kids don’t see color the way grown-ups do.”


One Response to “Canine Racism: Myth or Reality?”

  1. Janice I on December 10th, 2008 12:34 pm

    I agree with this observation. I have a black dog and a white dog, and though the black dog is much more outgoing and sweet with strangers and the white dog more aloof, people immediately gravitate towards the white one and seem “afraid” of the black one.

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