I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but some really wonderful dogs seem to get overlooked again and again just because of the color of their fur! What silliness is that? It’s something called Black Dog Syndrome–people are probably more familiar with the superstition about black cats being unlucky, but cats aren’t the only ones being affected. Some people may think that black dogs look scary or unfriendly, but it’s not fair to the dogs (or to the potential adopter who might miss out) to generalize like that. Black coats are especially stunning in the sunlight; they shimmer in a way lighter fur can’t. And all you have to do is look at a black dog’s wagging tail, and you’ll know it’s a friendly pooch–like the three black dogs I took out this week!

First was Howard, a nine-year-old Labrador Retriever mix (I think the other part might be some type of Shepherd, based on his ears and his fur). Howard ran right between my legs in his eagerness to come out to the run with me but walked well on the leash once we were away from the other kennels.

Howard Black Labrador Retriever 1

Howard’s intelligent face

Howard really is a beautiful dog. His face has a very intelligent look (which makes sense, if he’s a Lab/Shepherd mix) so even at his older age of nine, I bet you could still teach this old dog some new tricks! His ears are especially fun: when he’s attentive, they’re perched up on top of his head, picking up any interesting sounds. When he’s calmer, they’re folded back against his head and practically disappear. Both looks are super cute.

Howard Black Labrador Retriever 2

Howard enjoying the green grass

After just a few minutes together, it was hard to get far enough away from Howard to get a picture of all of him. Every time I took a few steps back, he’d follow. When I sat down on the bench, he sat down on the ground by my feet. If I stopped petting him, he would nudge my arm, like “Wait! I didn’t say stop!” and so, of course, I would start petting him again. He will make a loyal, sweet pet!

Howard Black Labrador Retriever 3

Howard being handsome

Second was Chubby, a seven-year-old Labrador Retriever who came in with his brother Tubby (see below). They can be adopted together, but don’t need to be, in case you only have room for one big black Lab in your home. Chubby also ran through my legs as he exited his kennel (maybe I need to start standing with my legs together?) and then we hurried our way over to the run.

Chubby Black Labrador Retriever 1

Chubby gnawing on the grass

Although Chubby is indeed a big boy, he is not actually chubby. He’s solid, just like a Lab should be. Also like a Lab, he had a perpetually wagging tail while we were out. And even more like a Lab, he was so incredibly excited by the tennis balls! I would hold one up for him to see and he would start bouncing up and down, saying, “Throw it! Throw it! Throw it!” I would throw it, and he would go racing after it. Funnily enough, he never actually brought them back to me, but enjoyed carrying them around in his mouth. Maybe he just needs a refresher of what “fetch” is.

Chubby Black Labrador Retriever 2

Chubby sniffing an interesting smell

Chubby is a people-dog. He loved to get close to me. I would hold my arms open for him, and he would come galloping over. If I was sitting on the bench, he sometimes went under my leg and put his big head in my lap. Otherwise he would just put his sweet face in mine and I would give him a hug and a scratch on the neck. This big boy is ready to share his love with a permanent family.

Chubby Black Labrador Retriever 3

Chubby’s sweet face and wagging tail

Third was Tubby, Chubby’s brother. Tubby is also seven years old, but he is slightly smaller than Chubby. (They are currently in separate kennels, so you’ll be able to know who’s who when you come visit them yourselves!) He looks about as close to the standard Labrador Retriever as you’re going to get.

Tubby Black Labrador Retriever 1

Tubby exploring the run

By the time I took out Tubby, we were getting pretty close to the heat of the day. This poor guy was hot! So after exploring and sniffing around the run for a while, and saying hello to the Yorkie in the run next to us, he went behind the bench, in the shade, and started scratching in the hay and dirt there. I asked him what he was doing, but thought it looked suspiciously like he was making a little bed for himself.

Tubby Black Labrador Retriever 2

Tubby’s adorable face

And that’s exactly what he did. After scratching the ground for a bit, he plopped down and made himself comfortable (and hopefully cool). So, since I couldn’t quite fit behind the bench with him, I sat on the bench and reached over the back so I could pet him. He has one of the sweetest facial expressions I’ve ever seen, and kept looking up at me with his brown eyes as I scratched his ears. If I stopped petting him, he’d look at me like “But I was enjoying that!” You can’t say no to a face as sweet as Tubby’s.

Tubby Black Labrador Retriever 3

Tubby thinking, “It’s too hot. I’m going to find shade now.”

These three boys, as well as Chewy, Forest, and Rosemary, are wonderful dogs who shouldn’t keep getting overlooked just because of the color of their fur. If you love Labs (or Huskies, in Forest’s case) regardless of fur color, come meet them at Orphans of the Storm® and help the fight against Black Dog Syndrome!

11 responses »

  1. Marcee says:


    We have adopted/rescued many gorgeous black doggies …. each and every one were wonderful.

    My first was Nikki. She was young …. maybe a year old. You could see that she was abused. Found her wandering in the street at 10:30 p.m. She came right up to me when I called her ….. “come here sweetie-pie.” From then on this little gal was mine! Life can change in a snap. Mine certainly did. Nikki was with us for 14 years.

    I would love to adopt another black doggie.

  2. […] really hoping he gets adopted soon. He is probably having a hard time getting adopted due to Black Dog Syndrome. As I’ve said, and will continue to say, a Lab is a Lab is a Lab regardless of its fur […]

  3. […] am happy to say that all of the black dogs who were featured in Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Against Black Dog Syndrome, Part 1, were adopted shortly after I wrote about them. But there are still plenty of black dogs at the […]

  4. Erica says:

    Although a pet is not required to be of a certain hue in order to be a member of, my “all black pack”, we are biased in favor of this color..
    Currently Tula the champagne pink cat is a member. However when adding to this tumult of a group, a black coat that is original to the animal is among our considerations.
    Advantages of a black coat.
    1) stays warmer in the winter if laying in a sunny spot.
    2) dirt is less apparent.
    3) matches my attire & furniture.
    4) goes with everything
    Disadvantages of a black coat
    1) becomes too warm when laying in a summer sun
    2) there is an unusual bias against adopting a pet of this color
    3) upon completing the task of cleaning the bowl, vanilla icecream becomes more apparent
    That’s it.

    • Erica says:

      Izzy aka Wild Bill adopted me a few years ago.

      • Izzy was one of my favorites. I hope he’s doing well!

        The bias against black dogs is so silly. A dog is a dog, regardless of fur color!

      • Erica says:

        Izzy aka Wild Bill is doing remarkably well. Doesn’t scream any longer for no apparent reason. Doesn’t yelp when I pick him up. Drops items on command…usually. Still has thunder issues but less so. He is still a very dapper fellow. Reminds me of Bat Masterson. A very popular dog in this establishment. And very happy on his fenced 4 acres. Took him to the beach & he didn’t know what the expanse of water was. He’s always known that any drive up means a biscuit. =0}

  5. Anjali Aranakkal says:

    Howard looks like a Labrador – Australian Shepherd, I have one myself.

  6. Erica says:

    I wouldm’t choose any other color of dog. Black goes with every outfit & doesn’t show muddy paw prints. Schipperkes …..ofcourse! Scottish terriers, Newfoundlands,Brussels Griffons. Perhaps but only after I also take Black dogs kennel mates which are white,tan,beige,red,brown,cocolate,apricot,brindle,gray,blue,and speckled. =0}

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