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Showing posts with label agressive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label agressive. Show all posts

Friday, July 7, 2017

Everything about your American Pit Bull Terrier

Everything about your American Pit Bull Terrier
  The American Pit Bull Terrier has been known by many names, including the Pit Bull and the American Bull Terrier. It is often confused with the American Staffordshire Terrier, however, the United Kennel Club recognizes the American Pit Bull Terrier as its own distinct breed. Affectionately known as "Pitties," the Pit Bull is known for being a loyal, protective, and athletic canine breed.

Overview
  The American Pitbull Terrier often gets a bad rap for being an aggressive breed. This is due to the fact that these dogs are often used for dog fighting. The reality of the situation is, however, that Pitties, as they are often referred to, are not aggressive by nature – any dog will become aggressive out of pain or fear if he is mistreated by his owners. When treated properly, the American Pitbull Terrier is one of the friendliest, most gentle-hearted breeds out there. If you are looking for an energetic and fun-loving family pet, the American Pitbull Terrier may be a great option.
  The American Pitbull Terrier is one of the friendliest, most gentle-hearted breeds out there.

Highlights
  • American Pit Bull Terriers are not a good choice for people who can give them little or no attention.
  • They must be trained and socialized when young to overcome the breed's tendencies toward stubbornness and bossiness, which combined with his strength can make him hard to handle if he hasn't learned you are in charge.
  • Your American Pit Bull Terrier must be kept on leash in public to prevent aggression toward other dogs. It's not a good idea to let these dogs run loose in dog parks. While they might not start a fight, they'll never back down from one, and they fight to the finish. American Pit Bulls who aren't properly socialized as puppies can become aggressive toward other dogs.
  • Breed-specific legislation almost always includes this breed. Be aware of rules in your area as well as neighboring regions if you travel with your dog.
  • American Pit Bull Terriers have a great need to chew, and powerful jaws make quick work of cheap or flimsy toys. Give yours only tough, durable toys that can't be chewed up and swallowed.
  • American Pit Bull Terriers are best suited to owners who can offer firm, fair training, and gentle consistent discipline.
Quick Facts
  • The term “Pit Bull” is often applied indiscriminately to APBTs, American Staffordshire Terriers and sometimes Staffordshire Bull Terriers, a British breed. The term may also be used to label any dog who resembles those breeds, even if he is a Lab mix with little or no “Pit Bull” in his background.
  • An APBT comes in any color, pattern or combination of colors, except merle.
  • Celebrities who count Pitties as their best friends include actresses Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel and Alicia Silverstone; cooking guru Rachael Ray; and political satirist Jon Stewart.
  • Comparable Breeds: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier
History
  The Pit Bull Terrier was created by breeding Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs together to produce a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog.These dogs (Bull and Terriers) were bred in England, and arrived in the United States where they became the direct ancestors of the American Pitbull Terrier.
World War I poster featuring a pit bull
as representation of the U.S.
In the United Kingdom, Bull-and-terriers were used in bloodsports such as bull baiting, bear baiting. These bloodsports were officially eliminated in 1835 as Britain began to introduce animal welfare laws. Since dogfights were cheaper to organise and far easier to conceal from the law than bull or bear baits, bloodsport proponents turned to pitting their dogs against each other instead. Dog fighting was used as both a bloodsport (often involving gambling) and a way to continue to test the quality of their stock. For decades afterwards, dog fighting clandestinely took place in small areas of Britain and America. In the early 20th century, pitbulls were used as catch dogs in America for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, and drive livestock, and as family companions. Some have been selectively bred for their fighting prowess.

  Pit Bull Terriers successfully fill the role of companion dogs, and police dogs,and therapy dog. Pit Bull Terriers also constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dog fighting in America. In addition, law enforcement organisations report these dogs are used for other nefarious purposes, such as guarding illegal narcotics operations, use against police, and as attack dogs.
  In an effort to counter the fighting reputation of pit bull-type dogs, in 1996 the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals renamed pit bull terriers to "St. Francis Terriers", so that people might be more likely to adopt them. 60 temperament-screened dogs were adopted until the program was halted, after several of the newly adopted pit bulls killed cats. The New York City Center for Animal Care and Control tried a similar approach in 2004, relabeling their pit bulls as "New Yorkies", but dropped the idea in the face of overwhelming public opposition.


Personality
  Pit Bull Terriers come with a huge stigma – they are famous for being viscous fighting dogs, and evening news programs often highlight stories of Pit Bull attacks. Shelters are overrun with Pit Bulls, entire cities have banned the breed, and saying the name “Pit Bull” can strike fear into the hearts of some people. But a well bred Pit Bull who lives in a loving, caring home is the opposite of the “killer” splashed around on television. Pit Bulls are loving, loyal, clown dogs who make excellent companions or those with active lifestyles. They love being with people and want to be included in all family activities whether it's a ride in the car, a neighborhood stroll or a romp in the park. While it's true that in the wrong hands, Pit Bulls can be viscous, in the right hands, Pit Bulls can be sweethearts, which many owners describe as babies in a dog's body.

Health
  The average life span of the American Pit Bull Terrier ranges from 10 to 12 years. Health concerns associated with this breed include actinic keratosis (solar keratosis), allergies, bloat (gastric dilatation and volvulus), cancer, cataractsM,congenital heart disease (particularly subaortic stenosis), cranial crutiate ligament rupture, cutaneous hemangioma, cutaneous histiocytoma, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and von Willebrand’s disease.

Care
  Expect to spend about an hour a day walking, playing with or otherwise exercising this dog. While they love people, American Pit Bull Terriers are strong for their size and can be stubborn if left to their own devices. Begin obedience training early and continue it throughout the dog's life. Training is the foundation for a strong relationship with your American Pit Bull Terrier.
  American Pit Bull Terriers should not be left outside for long because they can't tolerate the cold well. Even regardless the climate, these dogs do best as housedogs. They form strong attachments to their families and will suffer if left alone for long periods.

Living Conditions
  Pits will do okay in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. They are very active indoors and will do alright without a yard provided they get enough exercise. Prefers warm climates.

Trainability
  Training should be started early and always done in calm-assertive manner, as they won't respond to discipline or harsh tones. Training is best done in short sessions due to Pit Bull Terriers' short attention span and they will quickly become uninterested, even if treats are used as a reward. Lots of patience is necessary when working with a Pit Bull Terrier, as training can be a long process.
  Even after a Bull Terrier is fully trained, they may decide to test their boundaries as they get older and project dominance. These situations should be handled with calm assertion; like a teenager, they just want to see what they can get away with.
  Families with children should socialize puppies early on to accept outside children as welcome guests. While Pit Bull Terriers will bond nicely with kids in their own family, they can sometimes be aggressive to to other children and should be taught early on that all kids are to be welcomed with open arms. 

Exercise Requirements
  The American Pitbull Terrier is a fairly active breed, known for its enthusiasm and eager-to-please attitude. These dogs require a long daily walk or jog to use up their excess energy. They also enjoy active play sessions and time spent in a fenced yard.

Grooming
  The grooming needs of the Pit Bull are modest. Brush his coat a couple of times a week to help manage shedding.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually twice a month. Brush the teeth frequently — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian.

Children And Other Pets
  American Pit Bull Terriers love children, and we don't mean for breakfast. Sturdy, energetic, and tolerant, they are ideal playmates. That said, no dog of any size or breed should ever be left unsupervised with children.
  When no adult can be there to oversee what's going on, dogs should be crated or kenneled, especially after they reach sexual maturity, when they may begin to test the possibility of becoming "pack" leader.
  Don't allow children to pull on a dog's ears or tail. Teach them never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away.
  Because of their dog-fighting heritage, some American Pit Bull Terriers retain a tendency to be aggressive with other dogs, but if they are socialized early and trained to know what behavior is expected of them, that aggression can be minimized or overcome, and many are dog- and cat-friendly. Just to be safe, they should always be supervised in the presence of other pets.

Is the American Pit Bull Terrier the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep. No trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Easy Training: The American Pit Bull Terrier is known to listen to commands and obey its owner. Expect fewer repetitions when training this breed.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Not Good for New Owners: This breed is best for those who have previous experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  Pit Bulls descend from crosses between Bulldogs and Terriers. The goal was to create a dog with the strength and tenacity of the Bulldog and the speed and agility of the Terrier.

Law
  Australia, Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, the territory of Puerto Rico,Singapore, Venezuela,Denmark, Israel, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Switzerland have enacted some form of breed-specific legislation on pit bull-type dogs, including American Pit Bull Terriers, ranging from outright bans to restrictions on import and conditions on ownership.The state of New South Wales in Australia places restrictions on the breed, including mandatory sterilization.
  Certain counties and cities in the United States have banned ownership of the American Pit Bull Terrier, as well as the province of Ontario in Canada. American Pit Bull Terriers are also on a list of four breeds that are banned in the UK.
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Everything about your Shih Tzu

Everything about your Shih Tzu
  Shih Tzu are lively and energetic companions. Yet, they are also amazingly low-key and satisfied—assuming they get an adequate amount of attention. They like nothing better than to be held, stroked, petted and pampered by their owners, and are perfectly happy sitting on the couch with you for hours while you dote on them. This is a noble breed—sometimes translating into arrogance and haughtiness, other times into courageousness and politeness—but they are never too proud for a roll on the floor with a treasured squeaky toy.

Overview
  Compact, yet slightly longer than it is tall, the Shih Tzu hides a sturdy body beneath its mantle of luxurious hair. It has a smooth, effortless stride with good reach and drive. Even though its function is that of companion, it should nonetheless be structurally sound. Its expression is warm, sweet and wide-eyed, imparting the impression of trust and friendliness. The long, dense coat is double and fairly straight. 
  The spunky but sweet Shih Tzu is both a gentle lap dog and a vivacious companion. It has an upbeat attitude and loves to play and romp. It is affectionate to its family and good with children. It is surprisingly tough and does have a stubborn streak.


Highlights
  • There is no such breed as an "imperial" or "teacup" Shih Tzu. These are simply marketing terms used by unscrupulous breeders use to indicate a very small or large Shih Tzu.
  • Shih Tzus are difficult to housebreak. Be consistent, and do not allow a puppy to roam the house unsupervised until he is completely trained. Crate training is helpful.
  • The flat shape of the Shih Tzu's face makes him susceptible to heat stroke, because the air going into the lungs isn't cooled as efficiently as it is among longer-nosed breeds. He should be kept indoors in air-conditioning rooms during hot weather.
  • Be prepared to brush and comb the Shih Tzu coat every day. It mats easily.
  • While Shih Tzus are trustworthy with children, they're not the best choice for families with toddlers or very young children because their small size puts them at risk for unintentional injury.
  • The Shih Tzu tends to wheeze and snore, and can be prone to dental problems.
  • While all dogs eat their own or other animals' feces (coprophagia), the Shih Tzu seems especially prone to this behavior. The best way to handle the problem is never let it become a habit. Watch your Shih Tzu closely and clean up poop right away.
  • To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • Shih Tzus are often called chrysanthemum dogs because of the way their hair grows up from the nose and around the face in all directions.
  • The Shih Tzu may have originated in Tibet, bred by Tibetan lamas to be a tiny replica of a lion, which is associated with Buddhist mythology.
  • The Shih Tzu is prized for his small size, sweet nature, flowing coat, and intelligent mind.
  • The name is pronounced SHEED-zoo.
  • Comparable Breeds: Lhasa Apso, Pekingese
History
  DNA analysis placed the ancestors of today's Shih Tzu breed in the group of "ancient" breeds indicating "close genetic relationship to wolves". Another branch coming down from the "Kitchen Midden Dog" gave rise to the Papillon and Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another "Kitchen Midden Dog" branch to the Pug and Shih Tzu.
  It is also said that the breed originated in China, hence the name "Lion Dog", in 800BC. There are various theories of the origins of today's breed. Theories relate that it stemmed from a cross between Pekingese and a Tibetan dog called the Lhasa Apso. Dogs during ancient times were selectively bred and seen in Chinese paintings. The dogs were favorites of the Chinese royals and were so prized that for years the Chinese refused to sell, trade, or give away any of the dogs. The first dogs of the breed were imported into Europe (England and Norway) in 1930, and were classified by the Kennel Club as "Apsos". The first European standard for the breed was written in England in 1935 by the Shih Tzu Club, and the dogs were recategorised as Shih Tzu. The breed spread throughout Europe, and was brought to the United States after World War II, when returning members of the US military brought back dogs from Europe, in the mid 1950s. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969 in the Toy Group.
  The breed is now recognized by all of the major kennel clubs in the English-speaking world. It is also recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale for international competition in Companion and Toy Dog Group, Section 5, Tibetan breeds. In the United States, the Shih Tzu ranked the 15th most popular breed in 2013, falling slightly in popularity since 2012, when it was placed in 11th position.



Temperament
  The Shih Tzu is an alert, lively, little dog. It is happy and hardy, and packed with character. The gentle, loyal Shih Tzu makes friends easily and responds well to consistent, patient training. It makes a very alert watchdog. It is courageous and clever.
  Playful and spunky, this affectionate little dog likes to be with people and is generally good with other pets. Some can be difficult to housebreak. The Shih Tzu needs all of the humans in the house to be pack leaders, with the rules of the house made consistently clear.   Owners who allow their dogs to take over may find them to be snappish if they are surprised or peeved. Because of this dog’s small size and its adorable face, it commonly develops Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is the boss of humans. This causes a varying degree of behavioral issues, such as, but not limited to separation anxiety, guarding, growling, snapping, and even biting. These dogs may become untrustworthy with children and sometimes adults, as they try and tell the humans what THEY want THEM to do. They will be obstinate as they take their stand and defend their top position in the pack. They may bark obsessively as they try and TELL you what they want. These behaviors are NOT Shih Tzu traits, but rather behaviors brought on by the way they are treated by people around them. Give this dog rules and limits as to what it is and is not allowed to do. Be its firm, stable, consistent pack leader. Take it for daily pack walks to burn mental and physical energy. Its temperament will improve for the better, and you will bring out the sweet, trustworthy dog in it.

Health
  The Shih Tzu has a lifespan of 11 to 16 years. Some of the minor diseases that can affect this breed are renal dysplasia (abnormal growth of tissue), trichiasis (eyelash malformation), entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), otitis externa, patellar luxation, and inguinal (groin) hernia, as well as a major concern like canine hip dysplasia (CHD). This breed is also prone to cataract and dental problems. Eye, hip, and DNA tests can be good for preventive health care, or for management of non-preventive conditions.

Care
  The Shih Tzu doesn't really mind where he lives, as long as he's with you. He's a very adaptable dog who can be comfortable in a small city apartment or a large suburban or country home. He is definitely a housedog and should not be kenneled outside, though he enjoys a bit of backyard play.
  The Shih Tzu is content with short walks each day. He is not an extremely active dog; he's content to sit in your lap, wander around the house, play with his toys, or run to the door to  greet visitors.
  Like other breeds with short faces, the Shih Tzu is sensitive to heat. He should remain indoors in an air-conditioned room (or one with fans) on hot days so he doesn't suffer from heat exhaustion.
  No, the breed cannot fly; but owners commonly report that their Shih Tzu thinks he can. It not unusual for a Shih Tzu to fearlessly jump from a bed or a chair. While they may not seem high to you, these heights are towering to the small Shih Tzu. And, unfortunately, these jumps often end in injury. The breed is front heavy and crashes forward, causing injury or even a concussion to the head. Be very careful when carrying your Shih Tzu. Hold him securely and don't let him jump out of your arms or off furniture.
Even though he's naturally docile and friendly, the Shih Tzu needs early socialization and training. Like any dog, he can become timid if he is not properly socialized when young. Early socialization helps ensure that your Shih Tzu puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
  Shih Tzus are often considered difficult to housebreak. Most important is to avoid giving your puppy opportunities to have accidents inside — you don't want him to become accustomed to using the carpet. (Some Shih Tzu owners teach their dogs to use a doggie litter box so they don't need to walk them in bad weather or rush home to take them out.) A Shih Tzu puppy should be carefully supervised inside the house until he has not eliminated indoors for at least four to eight weeks. Crate training is helpful for housetraining and provides your dog with a quiet place to relax. A crate is also useful when you board your Shih Tzu or travel.

Living Conditions
  The Shih Tzu is good for apartment life. These dogs are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. This breed is sensitive to the heat.

Exercise
  The Shih Tzu needs a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of its exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill its primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard. Do not overfeed this breed or it will quickly become fat.

Grooming
  These little dogs require a good daily grooming using a bristle brush. When kept in a long coat a topknot is usually tied to keep the hair out of the dog's eyes. Some owners prefer to have them trimmed to make the coat easier and less time-consuming to care for. Keep the ear passages and area around the eyes clean. Shih Tzus have sensitive eyes that need to be kept clean. There are special drops you can buy to put in them if needed. Ask your vet what to use on your dog. This breed sheds little to no hair and is good for allergy sufferers if its coat is kept very well groomed, due to the fact that they shed little skin dander.

Children and other pets
  The Shih Tzu is a wonderful family pet. He gets along with other dogs or animals, and his docile personality makes him a good companion for children. Kids should sit on the floor to play with a Shih Tzu puppy, however, so there is no risk of carrying and dropping him. Children should also learn to keep their fingers away from the Shih Tzu's prominent eyes, which can be easily injured.

Did You Know?
One of the more ancient breeds in existence, Shih Tzus are believed to have been bred by Tibetan lamas to be a tiny replica of a lion, which is associated with Buddhist mythology.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Stop a Dachshund Puppy From Biting

How to Stop a Dachshund Puppy From Biting
  Dachshunds were bred to track and kill pests. They had to be able to work unaided, be courageous and intelligent in order to chase down and grab hold of their prey. Today we can still glimpse these traits in Dachshunds who bark at other dogs or people, or who become aggressive. Dachshunds need to be taught at a young age to minimize problems like these associated with their breed nature. The first time you set eyes on any kind of dominance or aggression in your Dachshund puppy, especially biting, you have to act.
  When a Dachshund is a puppy they look cute and really don’t do much damage when chewing and biting. Many people think that this is OK, or even funny, but it isn’t. What they don't recognize is that these little nips are shows of dominance that may develop to direct aggression later in life. Left unaddressed your Dachshund puppy will grow up thinking that it is acceptable to chew on anything they want, causing hundreds, even thousands of dollars of damage to your expensive furniture, floors , shoes and your hands. The end conclusion is that dogs end up being taken to a shelter or, even worse, being euthanized. 
  It’s vital to learn how to stop your Dachshund biting at the puppy stage.  A lot of people think it’s okay to let a Dachshund puppy get away with biting as it seems harmless and just a bit of fun.  However this is not the case at all.  In fact your little Dachshund puppy is biting as a form of dominance because they are trying to become the leader of your pack .  Really as their owner you should be the leader – not your Dachshund.  So if you continue to let your Dachshund puppy bite, it can lead to very bad behavioural problems in the future.

Begin at a Young Age 

  Once you are searching for a Dachshund puppy ask the breeder to show you a litter. Observe the puppies playing and experimenting with behaviors and see how they learn through pointers from their litter mates. With puppy biting watch how if one puppy nips another, the one who was nipped will most likely bite back. The puppy who bit first quickly learns that when they bite, someone bites back, and the behavior soon stops. 
  When you bring your Dachshund puppy home you have to be consistent and not permit the biting restart. Begin training immediately that you spot your Dachshund puppy biting. In young puppies the biting you see is still play biting, trying out behaviors to observe which are alright and which are not. Never strike any Dachshund, in particular not a young puppy. They are still in their socialization and learning stage and will not appreciate what has happened. Dachshunds upset at an early age are more likely to develop issues with aggression when they age. 
  Consistency and even handedness are the keys when stopping Dachshund puppy biting, and in fact when training Dachshunds at all. Dachshunds react most favorably to positive training methods, particularly if they believe they are in charge! Again, consistency is vital. Be sure to give a reward  for positive/sought after behaviors and discourage unwanted behaviors. All family members have to know how to train your Dachshund so they are providing the same, constant information and rewards. Change your interactions with your Dachshund so you are not inadvertently reinforcing bad behavior. For example, with Dachshund puppy biting do not play tug of war or wrestle with them. Dachshunds were designed to be hunters and will probably notice a tug toy as prey. Don't be surprised to hear them growling and spot them biting at the toy, and you, if you play tug!

Aged One Year
  If you did not stop your Dachshund from biting as a puppy then they may still continue to bite as they reach one year of age.  If this is the case, then it’s really important you learn how to stop your Dachshund from biting at this point in their lives.
  A good place to start is to stop playing games that encourage biting such as tug of war and play fighting.

   It’s also vital that you have set rules for your Dachshund so that they realise that you are the leader of the pack, not them.  If you show your leadership position, then your Dachshund will be less likely to bite.


How to Stop a Dachshund Puppy from Biting 
  When your Dachshund puppy nips you is your first thought to spank them? If so, think again, this is not the correct action to take. The right thing to do is to demonstrate to them biting is not okay. Tell them "No" in a firm tone, or make a loud yelp . Present your Dachshund one of their own toys to play with, praising them when they start to chew it.

  When you are consistent using this system you will become aware of your Dachshund puppy quickly learns that biting you is not acceptable, but chewing their toys is. This method will work with Dachshunds of all ages, although it may be harder on adults who have not been trained or taught to not bite. 

Older Dachshund’s and Biting
  If you were unable to stop your Dachshund from biting at the puppy stage or as they reached one year of age then they have probably continued biting as they got older.  This is most likely because your Dachshund thinks they are the leader of your pack.

  At this stage of your Dachshund’s life it will be much harder to stop them from biting.  But it’s really important you still do take the steps and learn how to stop your Dachshund from biting for the safety of those around you.  The best thing to do at this point is to seek the help of a professional dog trainer.  They are the experts in situations like this and will be help you get your Dachshund’s biting under control.


  If your Dachshund is more aggressive than just giving the occasional nip or gentle bite you have to go to puppy or dog training classes or get the advice of a veterinary behaviorist. A training class will give you professional assistance in stopping your Dachshund puppy biting and will also offer an opportunity for socialization with other dogs and people, something that is very important for Dachshunds.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to Understand and Help Prevent Black Dog Syndrome

How to Understand and Help Prevent Black Dog Syndrome
   It's a truism among dog lovers that black dogs are less likely to get adopted at shelters. But is it actually true?
  Black dog syndrome or big black dog syndrome is a disputed phenomenon in which black dogs are passed over for adoption in favor of lighter-colored animals. Animal shelters often use the term BBD, or big black dog, to describe the type of larger dark-colored mixed-breed said to be typically passed over by adopters.
  The phenomenon may be due to a number of factors, including fear stigma against certain breed types, and the fact that large, black dogs are often portrayed as aggressive in film and on television.
  Some people believe that during the pet adoption process some potential owners associate the color black with evil or misfortune , and this bias transfers over to their choice of dog.Additionally, many shelters feature photo profiles of their dogs on the shelter website. Because black dogs do not photograph well, lighter-colored dogs have an advantage with potential adopters browsing the site. A study done by the Los Angeles Animal Services challenges some of these claims, saying that a full 28% of adopted dogs are black. However, the bias theory simply asserts that predominantly dark animals take longer to be adopted than their lighter counterparts, and that large dogs take longer to adopt than small ones.

History
  The issue has been gaining media attention since the mid-2000s. Tamara Delaney, an early activist against black dog syndrome, developed a website called Black Pearl Dogs in 2004 specifically to address the issue, both by educating the public about its existing, as well as showcasing individual dogs available for adoption. The website caught on quickly in the sheltering community, and helped lead
  However, appearance in general does play a role in potential adopters' selection of shelter dogs. In a 2011 study by the ASPCA, appearance was the most frequently cited reason for adopters of both puppies (29 percent) and adult dogs (26 percent).

Shelter studies
  • A 1992 article in the journal Animal Welfare, found that color was not a major factor in adoptions at a Northern Ireland shelter; black-and-white coats were most prevalent among adopted dogs, followed by yellow, solid black, gold, and black-and-tan coats.
  • A 1998 study of 1,468 relinquished dogs offered for adoption at a local humane society found having a primarily black coat color was a variable associated with euthanasia, while gold, gray, and white coats colors were significant predictors of successful adoption.
  • A 2002 study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science of dog and cat adoption in California animal shelters found pure black coat colors to be negative factors in adoption rates for both dogs and cats.
  • In 2008 the general manager of the Los Angeles Animal Services department reported that twelve months of data on the intake of 30,046 dogs showed slightly more dogs that were predominantly or all black were adopted than dogs who were not predominantly or all black.
  • A 2010 PhD thesis analyzing multiple factors found a measurable variance contributing to dogs with primarily black coats being euthanized rather than adopted.
  • A 2013 study of dogs' length of stay (LOS) at two New York “no-kill” shelters determined that canine coat color had no effect.The study noted that coat color's effect on LOS may be localized, or may not generalize to traditional or other types of shelters.
  • A Masters thesis analysis of 16,800 dogs at two Pacific Northwest shelters found that black dogs were adopted more quickly than average at both shelters.
  • A 2013 study of cat adoption rates published in The Open Veterinary Science Journal concluded that “Results indicated that black cats, regardless of age or sex, require the longest time to adopt. They are followed by primarily black cats with other colors.”
What you can do
  Whether or not you’re currently looking to adopt, you can do a lot to help pets who suffer from BDS!
  • Display your love of black pets proudly to demonstrate that there is nothing wrong with them. Share our Black Fur Badge on your website (see it below)!
  • Encourage friends to look past their first impressions of a black pet.
  • Tell people about BDS! It’s generally an unconscious prejudice and most people will move past it once they’re aware.
  • Remind people that their parents were right: personality is more important than appearance. It’s just as true for pets as for people!
Steps:
  • Understand why BDS occurs. If you're going to tackle the problem of BDS, then you need to understand the motivations behind it in order to respond to them.
  • Train the black dog. Several cute tricks may be the ticket to help get a black dog adopted. A higher education is many dogs' hope for a successful interview with a new family.
  • Use a bright background when photographing a dark dog, even a quilt will do. Dark dogs don't stand out in photos, so they don't tend to look their best photographed in a shelter. Black is a difficult color to photograph well, so select someone from the shelter staff or volunteers who loves a photography challenge!
  • Sell the breed, not the color. Think of all the qualities of the breed that will suit the person who might be adopting the dog and make these a strong selling point. For instance, rottweilers and dobermans are both very loyal breeds, and would be good for a one-master home. Perhaps print up a card or make a poster with the great new photo of the black dog and point out all the excellent traits of the dog's breed, using bullet points to make them stand out.
  • Make good points out of bad points. If the person considering the adoption of a dog says something like, "Oh, but he's too big!", promote the qualities of a big dog. Large dogs may be much more laid back than smaller, more energetic breeds, and also many large breeds have been shown to get along better with other dogs, which can be helpful for an owner looking to create a multi dog household. If the person wants a dog for security, point out that people tend to be more afraid of black dogs than dogs of lighter colors.
  • Tell everyone to spay and neuter all their pets. None of the black dogs came on a UFO from a distant planet; each came from a non-fixed pair of pets, as a result of poor human decision-making . Encourage all owners to be responsible by having the dogs spayed or neutered before they leave the shelter.

  So is Black Dog Syndrome a real thing? The best answer is "maybe-kinda-sorta." Some studies show it occurring in certain times and places, and sometimes dogs with dark coats actually get adopted faster. Fashions in what kind of dogs people want come and go with time, and there are factors that usually outweigh color, such as breed. In other words, it's there, but maybe not as important as we often are led to think.

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