Sweaters for Homeless Black Dogs

Finding a new home for abandoned pets is sometimes not easy, especially for black dogs, who are often overlooked for lighter-colored animals. However, a group of Scottish volunteers may have found an answer that’ll find these dogs the loving home they need.
Sweaters for Homeless Black Dogs

Last update: 11 August, 2019

It’s often not easy for our furry friends to find a family to adopt them when they have to go into a shelter. There are some dogs who, because of their looks, find it even more difficult to find their home. This is the case for black-haired animals. To tackle the issue, a group of volunteers from Scotland is knitting sweaters for homeless black dogs.

What is “black dog syndrome”?

A woman knitting sweaters for homeless black dogs.

Source: Facebook Scottish Women’s Institutes

Members of the Scottish SPCA, a charity that helps abandoned animals, have warned that it’s generally harder to find adoptive families for dogs with black fur.

The issue arises no matter the dog’s breed. It’s a fact that dogs with lighter-colored fur find a new family much quicker.

This is known as “black dog syndrome”. It’s thought that the dogs’ dark hair makes it more difficult to see their facial expressions and other characteristics. The problem becomes worse when those who are looking to adopt use photos on the internet to make their decision.

An initiative to help homeless black dogs find a family

To help homeless black dogs find someone to adopt them more quickly, the Scottish SPCA decided that they would step in and help these adorable critters. How? Well, volunteers of the Scottish Women’s Institute (SWI) came together to help make colorful sweaters for these dogs.

The idea is that these dogs, dressed in cozy multi-colored sweaters, will catch people’s attention. When they take a closer look, people will discover the lovable characters of these beautifully dressed pooches.

Any initiatives that help abandoned pets find a new family are always welcome. Hopefully, these Scottish dogs, regardless of their coloring, will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of a home that will love and care for them.

The idea is that these sweaters will also spark a conversation, persuading possible adopters to finally make the decision to bring a pet into their lives.

“To encourage people to adopt homeless black-haired dogs, in Scotland dogs are dressed in cute colored sweaters.”

What are the risks if dark-colored dogs aren’t adopted quickly?

Even though the issue doesn’t seem logical, “black dog syndrome” is present in several adoption centers. Many people overlook dark-colored animals, regardless of their breed, gender or age.

In several places, animals have to spend more time in a shelter. Many become true shelter veterans. However, in some cases, there’s a risk that they’ll have to put the dogs down if it takes too long to find them a home.

More information on the “syndrome” that prevents dark-colored dogs being adopted

Among the theories on why black homeless dogs find it difficult to find a family, some argue that these dogs appear more threatening than they really are. In fact, this belief goes even further than the superstitions that some people still have about black animals.

The problem is that the color black absorbs more light. This makes it difficult to see the kind-natured animal behind the dark exterior, even though these animals are just looking to give and receive love.

As their eyes are also often dark, some people also struggle to discern the mood of dark-colored animals. This makes it difficult to establish a relationship between person and dog, for which eye contact is essential.

In addition, their dark coloring also makes it difficult to take photos of the animal to really show off their best features, both physical and non-physical.

Ways to make a black dog’s beauty stand out

A homeless black dog wearing a sweater.

Source: Facebook Scottish Women’s Institutes

  • Have professional photos taken
  • Comb or cut the animal’s hair in an eye-catching way
  • Dress them up or give them eye-catching accessories

Moving beyond the fact that black is often seen as a negative symbol, colored sweaters will grab the attention of those who might adopt Scottish dogs that need a home. This will give them a better life, and it might even help to save their lives. 

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