Beautiful Portraits of Black Dogs Help these Oft-Overlooked Pets Find a Home


As the owner of an extremely cute rescue puppy from my local humane society, I can attest to how wonderful it is to be able to rescue a pet whose life was previously in danger for some reason or another.

However, it’s not a happy ending for many of the dogs in shelters. To help with that, Massachusetts-based photographer Fred Levy has started the “Black Dogs Project,” a series that focuses on capturing portraits of black dogs against a black background.

Why black dogs? Well, although no substantial statistics are there to back this up, after speaking with workers from many animal shelters and others in the pet industry, he realized that black dogs more so than any other color are adopted at a much lower rate.

In fact, it’s so common that it’s often referred to as “Black Dog Syndrome” or “Black Dog Bias” — stereotypes that paint dark-colored dogs as somehow more ferocious or dangerous than their lighter-colored brethren.


As noted by the ASPCA in 2013, there are no statistics whatsoever to verify this claim. It seems to be nothing more than a myth, and yet certain dogs are more frequently overlooked because of it.

Myth or not though, it’s been shown before that taking photographs of shelter pets increases the adoption rate, regardless of any stereotypes. So, Levy is doing his best to take part in helping, regardless of verified studies or not.

Speaking with the Huffington Post, Levy explains:

I thought this project would be a good graphic challenge and everyone has a really great story to tell. I want to bring awareness to this issue and remind people who are searching for the perfect dog that black dogs have great personalities too.

Introduction to the product aside, now comes the fun part… the (not quite) puppies. Below is a small collection of the dogs Levy’s photographed:











If you’d like to see more photographs, support Levy’s project, or just keep up with his future endeavors, you can do so by heading over to and following the project’s Tumblr page or visiting Levy’s website.

(via Huffington Post)

Image credits: Photographs by Fred Levy and used with permission

  • Daniel Cely

    1. Beautiful images
    2. Check the spelling on the title of this article “portriats”

  • DLCade

    1. We’re glad you enjoyed them, we certainly did!
    2. It’s been fixed, thanks for pointing that out : )

  • ksporry

    nothing wrong with black dogs! had them all my life, and would trust them with my life too.

  • Felipe_Paredes

    They are different, and I love mine.

  • Will

    How could someone not adopt them? They are awesome!

  • Larissa

    wait. wait. wait. Since when do people not want to adopt black dogs? Did I miss something? what colours do they want? Aside from chocolate labs, I’ve never heard of dog colour discrimination before!

  • Larisa

    I did not know that black dogs have a harder time getting adopted until now. We adopted ours over a year ago. She is everything we wished for and more.

  • ksporry

    by the way, I agree, those pics are beautiful

  • DoKhyi

    I must admit that I’m biased TOWARDS black dogs. I know a lot of people seem to overlook the big black dogs in rescues, but I don’t think there’s much bias when picking a puppy from a litter judging by the number of black labradors and patterdale terriers locally. I think the biggest problem they have with other dogs and people is that their body language is not as clear as even a black and tan dog. The all black face emphasises their eyes and other dogs can mistake that for a threat stare.