By Emma Butler
Today is National Black Dog Day, a day created to highlight the plight of black dogs in rescue centres. For Forever Hounds Trust the problem of finding homes for black dogs is a very real one. Almost half the dogs we have in our care right now are black.
Our evidence shows that, on average, black dogs spend 30% longer waiting to be offered a home than dogs of other colours.
Nobody really knows why this is, but anecdotal evidence points to a prejudice due to myths and stories and an association with guard dogs. Of course, it is true that it can be difficult to get good photos of black dogs. Could it be that the pictures we share of our black dogs don’t catch the eye as much as the ones of the lighter coloured canines?
The reason it is such a problem for Forever Hounds Trust is because most of the dogs we rescue are greyhounds, and over 70% of greyhounds are black.
And it’s the way greyhounds are bred for racing success that has caused most of today’s greyhounds to be black. Several years ago there was a famous Irish racing champion called, rather fittingly, Top Honcho. Top Honcho was sleek and sexy. And black. So desirable were Top Honcho’s champion genes that he sired over 10,000 puppies. With black being the dominant gene, many of those puppies were black. Some of these dogs also went on to become 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 these 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 and we know greyhounds make fantastic pets.
Top Honcho’s legacy really does live on. Right now we have sixteen greyhounds in our care waiting to go to their forever homes. Ten of them are black greyhounds. We also have more greyhounds that have just arrived with us an are undergoing assessments, veterinary treatment or rehabilitation before they can be found a forever home. And as soon as one dog finds a home another will come in. There is no let-up in the number of greyhounds requiring rescue spaces.
Black greyhounds and lurchers make wonderful, loving companion animals, just as their lighter-coloured canine pals do.
Please visit our dog pages and offer a home to one of our hounds today. Not all of our dogs feature on our website, so please do get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 03000 125 125 if you are thinking of adopting a dog.