Photographer’s Striking Portraits of Black Dogs Aim to Thwart Black Dog Syndrome

Photographer Fred Levy took a photo series he calls Black Dogs Project after a conversation he had about how homeless black dogs have a harder time getting adopted than other dogs. The phenomenon is often referred to as “Black Dog Syndrome” or “Big Black Dog Syndrome” among animal rescuers.

Dog from Fred Levy's Black Dog Project

Denver is a therapy dog and was a first responder for the Boston Marathon bombings

Black dogs appear to be adopted at a much lower rate than other homeless dogs. Although there is no scientific study that proves there is, in fact, such a stigma, animal shelters notice potential adopters often overlook black dogs – especially the bigger, mixed breeds in favor of other fur-colored ones.

So Levy wanted to highlight black dogs by taking high-quality images to bring attention to the issue and show the dogs in all their glory.

Black dog photographed by Fred Levy

The phenomenon is often referred to as “Black Dog Syndrome” among animal rescuers. Black dogs appear to be adopted at a much lower rate than other homeless dogs. Although there is no scientific study that proves there is, in fact, such a stigma, animal shelters notice potential adopters often overlook black dogs.

Shelter dog up for adoption photographed by Fred Levy for Black Dog Project

Bo is a blind dog and was up for adoption with Happy Tails Animal Rescue.

Perhaps black dogs are overlooked because of a deep-rooted a superstition that black dogs are somehow less friendly than lighter-colored dogs. Just think of the myths around black cats!

Black dog photographed by Fred Levy

Or, it could be simply that black dogs are harder to photograph because their dark fur absorb light. And without a good quality photograph, it is harder for potential adopters to see the dogs’ personalities and beauty shine through.

Black dog photographed by Fred Levy

Fred decided to focus his efforts and his camera lens on black dogs and has taken some stunning photographs since he began in 2014.

Black dog photographed by Fred Levy

Fred wrote, “I decided to start a photo series photographing black dogs on a black background in my studio. Using social media, I’ve been recruiting local dog owners who have black dogs to photograph.”

Black dog photographed by Fred Levy

“It’s an amazing journey…” he added.

Black dog photographed by Fred Levy

Black dog photographed by Fred Levy


Black dog photographed by Fred Levy

Black dog photographed by Fred Levy

To see more of Levy’s photographs and work from his Black Dog Project visit his website and the dedicated tumblr blog “Black Dog Project“. Levy has also published a book The Black Dogs Project: Extraordinary Black Dogs and Why We Can’t Forget Them, available via Amazon.

Photos reprinted with permission of Fred Levy and was first published on DogHeirs.com on April 1, 2014

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made via these links.


Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links.

Hey there!

or

Forgot password?

Forgot your password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Close
of

Processing files…