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Black Dog Syndrome


At Bark Busters Home Dog Training, we have trained hundreds of thousands of dogs from around the block and around the world! We have taught dogs that are black, white and red – and every color in between! As our motto says … any breed, any age, any size.

That is why when we continuously see a situation called “black dog syndrome” in the news, we are utterly amazed. Apparently there is a prejudice against black dogs, and most animal shelters have twice as many black dogs up for adoption versus any other color. In fact, black dogs are commonly the last, if at all, to be adopted. This phenomenon is known as black dog bias, or black dog prejudice or BBD (big black dog).  Somehow, potential dog owners associate black dogs with misfortune, similar to the superstition surrounding black cats.

Maybe the media has tainted potential dog owners against black dogs, often portraying them as aggressive on TV or in popular fiction. For instance, a big, frightening black dog can be seen in The Hound of the Baskervilles, the Harry Potter series, both movie versions of The Omen, and even on the common “Beware of Dog” sign.

But at Bark Busters, we’d like to speak out in favor of beautiful black dogs who can be just as loving or well-behaved as their white or lighter colored counterparts.

We are here to tell you that the Black Dog Syndrome is a myth.  Having worked on dog obedience issues with dogs of all colors, to say that black dogs are more hostile or less friendly is just not true.

“It’s not a dog’s color that makes him/her aggressive” says Sylvia Wilson, founder of Bark Busters Home Dog Training. “Generally, what makes a dog aggressive or prone to bite other dogs is improper dog training or unscrupulous breeders who deliberately or unknowingly breed unsound temperaments to another unstable temperament. Dogs like babies are born innocent and their personalities are more often a product of their environment than a genetic component.

“I have come across some black pit bulls that are teddy bears,” added Wilson.  “The fact that people judge dogs solely based on their color is a mistake.”

At Bark Busters Home Dog Training, we encourage you to adopt pets that are harder to adopt – dogs that are black, deaf, old or handicapped in some way to save them from being euthanized. Want to see some adorable black dogs? Pick up a copy of Black is Beautiful: A Celebration of Dark Dogs, a photographic tribute to America’s least appreciated canines by writer and photographer Pam Townsend!

Black is beautiful! If you have any problems with your dog – black or otherwise, feel free to contact the Bark Busters dog trainer nearest to your area.



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