“The Black Dogs Project” is a series of animal portraits by Massachusetts-based photographer Fred Levy, dedicated to the beauty of black dogs. Levy began the project after having conversation about the fact that dogs with dark coats often have more difficulty getting adopted. The series features a wide range of breeds photographed against a black background. There’s some debate over the validity of the claim that black dogs don’t adopt as easily, but the so-called “Black Dog Syndrome” has plenty of anecdotal evidence to back it up among shelter workers, according to USA Today.
There are no statistics, but there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence and many possible explanations, ranging from superstitions like the notion that black cats are bad luck, to a simple logistical problem: Black animals are hard to photograph well, and are therefore hard to advertise.
There is a long history of negative connotations around black dogs including, perhaps most notably, English poet Samuel Johnson who routinely referred to depression as his “black dog,” a habit later adopted by Winston Churchill.
images via Fred Levy