I've always heard people are less likely to adopt black dogs. True or not, there are an awful lot of black dogs lingering a bit longer in shelters and rescue programs.
Maybe it's our obsession with finding that “perfect” family dog that most closely resembles a golden retriever.
My last dog was a golden, and when I set out to look for my next dog, I did not have a black mutt in mind. I thought I'd end up with another blond, long-haired dog like my old Brittni.
But the best advice I can give people when adopting a dog is to choose a dog based on his personality and temperament, not his appearance. Ace is the ideal dog for me, whether he is black, tan or spotted doesn't really matter.
Adopt a black dog
When someone goes through a dog rescue group or animal shelter to adopt a dog, she already has a “perfect” dog in mind before she even meets the dogs.
This makes it much easier for that person to overlook all the big, black mutts, and walk right towards the beagle or the first “golden retriever mix” that catches her eye. Tip: If you want to get a dog adopted faster, call it a golden retriever mix.
What's wrong with black dogs, anyway?
They have personality…
There are dozens of black dogs in our regional shelters and rescue organizations, but I thought I'd bring your attention to one of my favorites. Stormy is a black lab mix up for adoption with 4 Luv of Dog Rescue in Fargo. I've gotten to know her over the last few months by taking her for runs twice a week.
Reasons to adopt Stormy
1. Stormy is smart.
She might actually be the smartest dog I've worked with. This dog has amazing potential. She needs a job to do and would thrive with extra training.
When Stormy hangs out with Ace and I, she grabs his collar and leash and pulls him where she wants him to go.
2. She is unique.
That goes for her appearance and her personality! Stormy is all about socializing. She likes to pick up her toys and shove them into Ace's mouth, tricking him into playing.
Stormy has a long, shepherd-like nose and body with a thick, black coat. Her ears point up and then flop over, and she has a long tongue!
3. Stormy is friendly.
She lives with three cats and has lived with multiple dogs of different sizes. She wants to play with all other animals, but will leave cats alone as long as the human sets rules. Stormy loves all people as long as she is not startled. She cuddles, shows affection and loves being included in “the pack.” Her foster owner says she loves to give hugs and kisses. Aww.
4. Stormy has had obedience training.
Her foster mom took her through beginning obedience training where Stormy got extra practice with commands such as sit, down, stay, come and heel. This training will make life much, much easier for Stormy's new owner. When I adopted my mutt Ace, he had no concept of the word sit, let alone stay or coming when called.
5. She is kennel trained.
Although there is always an adjustment period to a new environment, Stormy currently stays in her kennel quietly while her foster owner is at work. What a good girl! She knows her kennel is her place to nap and wait patiently. Then again, it's always stocked with goodies!
6. She is housebroken.
This will save her new owner a lot of work! Stormy never has any accidents.
7. Stormy loves walks.
I run with Stormy because of her extra energy, but she doesn't mind walking either. She would love to walk for several hours and makes the perfect exercise partner. She has gotten much better at not pulling when she sees other dogs.
8. She is young.
Most people want to adopt a young dog or a puppy. Stormy is less than 2 years old, giving her new owner plenty of years to bond with her. She is passed the puppy stage, but she is still full of energy and eager to learn.
OK, so no dog is perfect.
Stormy is very large (at least 80 pounds). She is strong and needs to know the human is in control, not her. If no rules are set, she will take over. She would do best with someone who has a lot of experience with dogs and is not afraid of a few challenges.
Since Stormy is so smart, she needs daily challenges and lots of interact or she gets bored. She loves dog daycare, the dog park, training and exercise.
Stormy would love a big yard or a farm with another dog to play with as long as she gets to come inside and be with the family. And did I mention she loves to eat?
Stormy is just one rescue dog who has been waiting for a permanent home for a long, long time. Please consider adopting Stormy from 4 Luv of Dog Rescue or sending this to someone you know who might be the right person for her.
Do you own a black dog or cat? Do you know a black dog or cat that needs a home?
Email your black dog and cat pictures to Lindsay@thatmutt.com, and I will post them all next week.
8/8/10 update: Stormy was recently adopted! Woo hoo! Go, Stormy!