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Why Are People Biased Against Brindle Dogs?

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According to figures released today by the RSPCA, brindle dogs are finding it harder to find new homes from UK dog adoption shelters.

The charity says:

– Over the last three years it has taken the RSPCA on average 41 days to find loving new homes for the dogs in our care – for brindle dogs this figure is 65 days.

Black and white dogs are the most frequently seen dogs in the RSPCA’s care and take on average 37 days to rehome, black and tan dogs come in second and take an average of 40 days to rehome and brindle dogs are third but take 65 days to find their new homes.

Between 2012 and 2014 the RSPCA found new homes for 611 brindle dogs compared with 915 black and white dogs and 780 black and tan dogs.

The dogs in our care can come through to us because they have been neglected, cruelly treated or even abandoned.

On March 6 the RSPCA was contacted about a shocking discovery on Chester Road East, in Queensferry, Deeside, Flintshire. Eight brindle puppies were found in a black rubbish bin by children who called a dog warden from Flintshire County Council who then called the RSPCA. The pups were so young some of them had their umbilical cords still attached. The puppies – three male and five female – are now in the care of RSPCA fosterers and are being bottle fed around every two hours. It is unknown what breed they are.

Dog welfare expert Lisa Richards said: “It is a shame some of our brindle dogs are being overlooked particularly when their beautiful markings are matched by their brilliant characters..

“We think all dogs are beautiful and would urge people to look beyond the colour of the dogs to see their amazing personalities.

“Owning a dog can be a huge responsibility but it can also be a very rewarding experience for any family.

“Brindle dogs – like all our rescue dogs – can make great family pets and we think their distinctive markings are just as special as any other colour.” –

The colour bias is not exclusive to dogs. Cats seem to suffer similar problems as do black coloured dogs.

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Comments
  1. My niece owned a brindle that was part Akita, Greyhound, and Pitbull mix. He was the most gentle and fun dog to be around. He was huge in stature but huge in gentleness too. Not a mean bone in his great big body.

  2. My dog looks exactly like the dog pictured above. It’s uncanny. It’s hard for me to believe it would be hard for dogs that look like her to find a home. She is a beautiful dog I get compliments on her coat wherever I take her. On top of being a beauty she’s also the sweetest thing on earth.

  3. I have had several brindle dogs, all well-trained and well-behaved, along with dogs of other colors. I have observed that people who did not know any of the dogs, of whatever color, were clearly more fearful of the brindles than the others. This mystified me and I researched it to try to determine why this occurred. The only thing that finally made any sense was the following.

    In prehistory, tigers were found in almost all parts of our planet. Tigers are predators, near the top of the food chain. Virtually all early humans would have known about tigers and would have feared them. Thinking in terms of evolutionary psychology it seems likely this fear persisted across generations. Modern humans fear tigers. Many brindle dogs have coloring similar to tigers. Ergo, humans might transfer longheld fear of tigers to dogs with coloring similar to that of tigers.

    Farfetched? Perhaps, but as a theory it might explain why people with no obvious, external reason to do so fear or dislike brindle dogs.

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