Black Dog Syndrome

Black Dog Syndrome (also known as Big Black Dog Syndrome) is a somewhat disputed phenomenon in which black dogs are passed over for adoption in favour of lighter-colored animals. Although research is sparse, personnel from animal shelters are certain that larger dark-colored mixed-breed said to be typically passed over by adopters.

The syndrome might be due to a number of factors, including fear stigma against certain breed types and the fact that larger, black dogs are often portrayed as aggressive in film and on television.
And yes, don't ask: black cats are similarly reported to be subject to the same syndrome, with the added stigma of superstition and association with witchcraft.

A 2013 study found that “participants rated the yellow dog significantly higher than the black dog.”[1] Another study presented in 2013 showed that white cats were considered the friendliest, orange cats second friendliest, and black cats were considered least friendly. Among dogs, yellow dogs were considered friendliest, brown dogs second friendliest and black dogs least friendly. Darker pets were similarly judged less adoptable, and black dogs were considered the most aggressive[2].

[1] Fratkin, Baker: The Role of Coat Color and Ear Shape on the Perception of Personality in Dogs in Anthrozoos - 2013
[2] Lum et al: Exploring the "Black Dog" Syndrome: How Color Can Influence Perceptions of Companion Animals in Conference Abstract Book (International Society for Anthrozoology) - 2013

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