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Are we prejudiced against black dogs?

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

The dark-furred pups that are less likely to be adopted in Hong Kong

Photograph: Courtesy of SPCA (Cola is a black puppy still waiting to be adopted)

I’m sitting on the floor of a local shelter, playing with a corgi mix puppy that I was immediately drawn to when the adoption volunteer tells me that they have other puppies waiting to be adopted. She asks if I’d like to see them and I happily agree. As we step into another kennel with the cutest little dark-furred pups, she tells me that she’s glad that I’m interested since so few had asked to see the black puppies today and that they often take much longer to get adopted. I’m baffled at first. After all, I’m definitely not opposed to adopting a black dog, but at the same time, my first instinct was to adopt a lighter coloured puppy as opposed to one with darker fur. Then it struck me. Are we all unknowingly prejudiced against black dogs?

Hoping it’s not true, I’ve decided to ask around to see what others think. Sally Anderson, the founder of Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR), doesn’t necessarily agree. “I don't honestly think black or dark dogs are usually discriminated against,” says Sally. “Some older Hongkongers may still have the idea that black dogs are unlucky. But in general, it's the appearance that people are attracted to. A fluffy coat or floppy ears, for example, are always popular.

“The hardest to home are dogs with the typical Hong Kong village look: curly tail, prick ears, and heavy shoulders. These dogs are usually black or tan.” – Sally Andersen, HKDR founder

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