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Help stop black dog syndrome. May 14, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in pets, wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood are the delighted owners of a BIG, black German shepherd, our beloved Pioneer Hawk’s Haven Shiloh von Shiloh Special (that’s just Shiloh to you). So we were horrified to read this morning that there’s something going on in shelters that’s so common that it even has a name: Black Dog Syndrome. Apparently black dogs are the last to be adopted, and big black dogs, especially if their ears stand rather than droop, are pretty much doomed to be euthanized or stay in the shelter for life. Apparently, people are afraid of them.

We’ve had two wonderful golden retrievers, and OFB grew up with an adored cocker/Springer spaniel mix and several springer spaniels, so it’s not like we’ve always had black dogs. But our Shiloh is so loving (towards everyone), so fun-loving, such a happy dog, with her constant huge smile, that she’s more than earned her name “Special” (from her grandfather, Lucas von Shiloh Special).

The thought that someone would reject a happy, loving (and, incidentally, gorgeous) dog because she happened to be black is appalling. After all, haven’t Labrador retrievers been the most popular dogs in America for more than 20 years, and aren’t most of them black, fairly large dogs? People come up to us in parks all the time and ask who we got Shiloh from, something that never happened with any of our other dogs (all of whom were also great, people-loving, attractive dogs).

We understand that some people are “big dog people” and some are “little dog people.” For us, even in our small cottage home, big dogs rule. Let others have the pugs and chihuahuas and bichons and papillons and all the rest. But please, whatever your preference, give black dogs a chance next time you want to adopt. That black poodle is just as smart and loving as the golden one in the next pen. And so is that black German shepherd. Please help put a stop to the stereotyping of Black Dog Syndrome and give these wonderful dogs the forever home they deserve.



1. Huma - May 15, 2014

I wonder if this is an extension of endemic racism.

It’s hard not to draw that conclusion.

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