black puppy with ball

10 Reasons We Love Black Dogs On National Black Dog Day

How could you not love black dogs?

We celebrate dogs just about every day here at Daily Paws, but National Black Dog Day gives us an extra reason to tout this particular group of good boys and girls. 

Sadly, some dog owners contract Black Dog Syndrome and avoid adopting black dogs. Black puppies will be left in shelters while their lighter-colored siblings quickly find new homes. Black dogs are also euthanized at higher rates

Animal experts speculate people avoid them because black dogs often have grim connotations or because they have a harder time identifying a personality in the dog's dark face. Evidently, some people may avoid them because they're harder to feature on Instagram. (Give me a break.) 

Our point is this: Black dogs are just as worthy of love as any other dog and have plenty to offer. Here's why we love 'em. 

1. They're Cute

I mean, you've seen a black Labrador retriever puppy, right? It's enough to make your heart melt. What about a little Scottish terrier and their tiny little legs and long flowy beards? 

Maybe you're looking for a bigger dog/a bear. Enter the Newfoundland, one of the floofiest and biggest bois around.

two labrador retriever puppies eating from bowls
Credit: Stefan Cristian Cioata / Getty

2. Some of the Smartest Breeds Are Black Dogs

Look at this list of the 15 smartest dog breeds. Poodle? Black dog (sometimes). Doberman pinscher? Black dog. Labrador retriever? Black dog (sometimes). Rottweiler? Black dog. Schipperke? Black dog.     

There you have it: beauty and brains. The perfect match.

3. The Most Responsible Dog Ever Is a Black Dog

That would of course be Carl, a rottweiler who was always left to babysit his family's baby Madeleine (portrayed in Alexandra Day's series of children's books). Carl did just about everything for that baby: meals, baths, putting her in the crib. Carl is even charged with taking care of the baby at a masquerade ball and the zoo. One time he even has to run daycare. 

Safe to say you can trust your black dog to watch over your toddler, too. (Editor's note: Do not do this. Toddlers can be a handful; no dog should have to do this. Kidding. But seriously, dogs and toddlers should always be supervised—never leave your kiddo alone unsupervised with a dog, no matter how distinguished they look.)

4. Sirius Black Was a Black Dog (Kinda)

In the Harry Potter series, Harry's godfather Sirius Black was an Animagus, meaning he could transform into an animal, specifically a black dog. A wanted man, he transformed into a shaggy black dog to avoid detection and fight the followers of You Know Who. 

Ironically, the black German shepherd who played Sirius in The Prisoner of Azkaban had to be put up for adoption after his trainer decided he couldn't look after him anymore. Luckily, there were plenty of suitors.

5. Black Dogs Are Presidential

That's right. President Barack Obama's family adopted Bo and Sunny, two Portugese water dogs, while in the White House. Before that, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James Garfield each owned Newfoundlands. 

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Scottie, Fala, was quite the celebrity. So much so that some U.S. Navy sailors cut off pieces of his fur to hold onto as keepsakes.

6. Black Dogs Are Loyal

Labs, Newfoundlands, and rottweilers are some of the most loyal dog breeds you can find out there. It's probably why some of them make excellent guard dogs, too. 

Their loyalty sometimes extends beyond the grave. Sam, a distinguished black Lab, was found next to her owner who had passed away this summer, likely standing vigil over him for a day or so. She was reluctant to leave once authorities came to remove the body. Good dog, Sam.

7. Black Dogs Are Very Helpful

Because they're so smart, black Labs are often used as service or guide dogs. Similarly, their excellent noses make them great candidates to become search-and-rescue dogs.

An example: About a month ago, a Connecticut teen graduated from her guide dog training program with her pup, a black Lab named Sadie.

8. Black Dogs Can Protect You

As mentioned earlier, some breeds of black dogs make excellent guard dogs, including Dobermans, German shepherds, rottweilers, giant schnauzers, and the muscular cane corso.

While these dogs are bigger and look intimidating, they can make good family dogs, too. What's better than both a friend and protector?

Cane Corso guard dog
Credit: Sbolotova / Shutterstock

9. A Black Dog Helped Explore the New World

At the dawn of the 19th Century, Merriweather Lewis and William Clark took Seaman, a big ol' Newfoundland, on their expedition of what is now the western United States, according to Outside.

Seaman was a great hunter, killing and retrieving birds and deer to feed his people. He also alerted them to bears and bison, the magazine says. (Lewis did have to save him after he was bitten by an angry beaver, though.)  

He even went with Sacagawea to meet with Native Americans. What a dog. 

10. Black Dogs Are Winners

Specifically, Best in Show winners at the Westminster Dog Show. Scotties are particularly decorated, winning Best in Show eight times, including in 2010. An Affenpinscher named Banana Joe took home the title in 2013.

This year, Siba the black standard poodle won the crown.


These are all good reasons to consider adopting a black dog, but you should really do it because they'll be as sweet, as loyal, and as loving as any other dog—maybe even more so. Just give them a chance.