Cindy’s Pet Talk

Episode 12:

Black Dog Syndrome and Dalmatian Syndrome, why do they exist?

Very simply put Black Dog Syndrome is the belief that “black dogs are less likely to be adopted than their lighter-colored shelter mates.”


There are many reasons for this belief which Cindy discusses in her blog, along with other interesting facts. As in what does Winston Churchill, the singer Prince,  the musical group America and the TV show DaVinci’s Inquest all have in common? For the answers, click here:

Here are just a few reasons why this phenomenon occurs to black dogs:

-Believed to be more violent than other dogs

-Bring bad luck

-When lingering in shelters, they are deemed something is wrong with them

-Harmful superstitions in many cultures and folklores

-Negative Labels- the color black represents feelings of depression/wearing black at funerals

-Fear-just plain being afraid of black dogs

-Too ordinary-it’s just a plain dull looking dog, as oppose to a cute fluffy white dog or a Chocolate Lab instead of black

-Overheat quicker in outdoor sport competitions


Tim also discusses the historical history of the term “black dog syndrome”.  One example of this is the things he learned on a Ghost Walk in London, England which has perpetuated the connotations of the negativity toward black dogs.


Cindy then describes her fascination of ghost tours, especially the ones in Kingston, Ontario. Which has both the walking tour and the trolly-car tours.

Pictured here is the infamous haunted Prince George Hotel/Bar/Restaurant that Cindy and most Kingstonians have frequented many a time.

Next up for discussion between Cindy and Tim was the Dalmatian Syndrome/Effect meaning the growing demand for a certain breed that becomes part of popular culture.


Of course, this is a moniker which hearkens back to 1996 when Rolly, Patch and Disney’s other 99 Dalmatians sparked a rise in these unique looking dogs.

Look no further for this phenomenon then when the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel “Elizabeth Taylor” made her debut in Season 6 of the TV show Sex in the City in 2004. Shortly after, the breed boomed in popularity due to uneducated demand by impulsive buyers. Want more proof in the fickle public wanting to be in the in; here are more examples:  

-the cute Chihuahua peeking out of Rees Witherspoon’s purse in the movie Legally Blond

-the exploits of Otis, the endearing Pug in The Adventures of Milo and Otis

-Best in Show Winners at the Westminster- what wins, unfortunately gets popular. Read what Bob Rowbotham, chairman of the Cdn. Kennel Club, had to say about his fears about spiking the popularity of beagles when Miss P (2001-2021) won Best in Show at the 2015 Westminster dog show at MSG.


Read about a Beagle Rescue (B.O.B.) “Big on Beagles” that DCPRF has supported in their fundraising efforts.

B.C. born beagle Miss P (“p” short for Peyton) is shown here with handler Will Alexander at MSG and at a promotional event for DCPRF

For more of Cindy’s opinion about the fear when any animal gets popular as a pet due to TV or movies click here:


When Cindy & Tim started talking about Dog Shows he asks her if she has had any experience at shows, which brings her to the discussion of Live Streaming her commentary up on stage with Dr. Dick Meen.


Cindy with Dr. Richard Meen, (1940-2018) an accomplished psychiatrist and royalty amongst the dog world. He was past President and Chair of the Board of the CKC. In 2016 he judged best in show at the Westminster Dog Show. It was my job at the shows to do my Fred Willard impersonation from the movie Best in Show and ask all the most obvious and stupid question to which he graciously answered. Check out this infamous clip from that movie.


One of Dr.Meen’s goals at these dog shows was to promote how proud Canada should be in leading the way in developing 5 distinct breeds. Read Cindy’s blog about this at:


These include the Newfoundland, Canadian Eskimo Inuit Dog, Labrador Retriever, the extinct Tahltan Bear Dog, and the one Cindy talks about in this podcast, the Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever scene here: (note white tip on tail, though hard to find!)

Tim & Cindy’s discussion then looks at how movies have not only affected the popularity of certain breeds, but of other pets as well, such as:

Clown Fish 

Blue Tang Fish  

Guinea Pigs

Cindy claims her favorite small pet was her G.P.’s called Beaver. View her videos  concerning rescueing them at:


Guinea Pig Rescue Booth at the Cdn. Pet Expo

Cindy mentions one of her favorite subjects and that is the gullibility of the public.  In comes in so many forms but to put it specifically regarding animals she wrote one of her venting blogs. So, check it out at:

The highlighted rescue group in this episode is Second Hope Circle. Thier goal is keeping people & pets experiencing poverty together in Ontario, via Community Programs, Financial Aid & Humane Education. Check them out at:


Remember, if you would like DCPRF to continue to support rescue groups such as…..


………please consider donating at:

Listen to Episode 12 of Cindy’s Pet Talk: