October 1st is National Black Dog Day – a day when we celebrate the black dogs in our lives and call for home offers for the many black dogs that are currently spending their days in rescue shelters, overlooking in favour of their lighter-coloured canine pals.
This year, well known wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham is adding his voice to the call for homes for black dogs. Chris, who shares his home with black poodle Scratchy, says: “October 1st is National Black Dog Day. Why do black dogs need a day for us all to think about them? Well, it’s because, rather unbelievably, black dogs wait longer to find a home than any other coloured dog. Forever Hounds Trust estimate that black dogs remain in their kennels for 30% longer than their lighter coloured canine pals.
It’s a particular problem for them because most of the dogs they rescue are greyhounds, and most greyhounds are black. Several years ago there was a famous Irish racing champion greyhound called, rather fittingly, Top Honcho. Top Honcho was sleek and black and sexy. So desirable was Top Honcho’s champion genes that he sired over 10,000 puppies. With black being the predominant gene, many of those puppies were black, and some of them too went on to be racing champions and sired more puppies.
All this breeding has created a number of problems, and one of them is that there are too many greyhounds in need of homes. And as a lot of those greyhounds are black, it’s taking a longer time to find those dogs a home of their own. A kennel is no place for a dog long term. Greyhounds make fantastic pets.
We don’t really know why black dogs are chosen less often than lighter colour dogs. Anecdotally we’ve been told myths, stories and an association with guard dogs make them less popular. But, when it comes to making a great pet, black dogs are just as wonderful as any other colour.
So please, if you’re thinking about sharing your life with a dog, and I really recommend you do, visit foreverhoundstrust.org and think about adopting a black greyhound. Thank you.”
Take a look at some of the black dogs in need of their forever home right now by visiting our Dogs Page