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"Black Dog Syndrome" Gets Challenged

by Jenna Gomes January 24, 2017 2 min read

A while back, we posted an article about the theory that dogs with dark fur are less likely to be adopted than dogs with lighter fur.  To recap, this theory was formed because it seemed that dogs with darker fur statistically stayed at shelters for a longer period of time than lighter colored dogs.  These studies began in 1992 and have continued since, as has the discussion and theory around "Black Dog Syndrome." 

Recently, pet photographer Fred Levy had a conversation in a local dark park about this "Black Dog Syndrome" and he wanted to make an effort to speak out against those who view black dogs as scary or bad.  

This conversation was two years ago, and prompted Levy to begin a photo project called The Black Dogs Project.  In his basement studio, Levy began to shoot pictures of black dogs against black backdrops.  

Levy's pictures got so much attention that he's preparing a book to be published in September called "Black Dogs Project: Extraordinary Black Dogs and Why We Can't Forget Them."  The book is not only photography, rather, he writes about every dog that is featured in the photographs.  He talks about their personalities, their backgrounds, and who they are as dogs.  This serves a counter myth to the theory that black dogs are evil.  

Some of the dogs include Denver, a two-year-old black lab who serves as a therapy dog, and Annabelle, a black lab mix who was adopted just three days after Levy did a feature on her.

You can check Levy's Black Dogs Project here.  Not only is he making these dogs stars, but he's getting them adopted!

Jenna Gomes
Jenna Gomes