Study Suggests Looking Beyond the Breed When Adopting a Dog

A recent University of Florida study showed that identifying dog breeds is harder than it looks. The study argues that breed labels in shelters are likely wrong anyway.

When it comes to animal sheltering, identifying what breed a dog is, is often a guess and could result in an undesirable outcome for the dog.

You never know what someone’s preconceived notion is about types of dogs. That preconceived notion may result in that dog not being adopted, or even worse, euthanized.

Hamlet | Hi I’m Hamlet! I came to the shelter as a stray, but my friends here have noticed that I that I have a lot of personality and energy. They also say I’m adorable and full of love to give. If you’re looking for a new canine companion, look no further! I hope you stop by and see me today, I think we would be the best of friends ?

Instead of including what breed a dog is when we share photos online, we’ll share more about their personality, traits, likes, dislikes and demeanor instead. We”ll rely on what the shelter provides and include what we learned about them during their photo shoot.

We posted a link to the UF study in our First To Know Group on Facebook. You can take the quiz yourself. We got 0/6 correct.

This also means that we’ll be phasing out our Pit Bull Picture Project. We’re still working through potential names, so stay tuned for that as well.

Tina | Tina is a very sweet calm dog. She gets along well with other calm dogs and loves going for walks. She just wants to be snuggled on the couch!

We realize that this change will take time and it’s a step in the right direction. If we can increase a dog’s chances of adoption by listing more about them vs what type of dog they are, we’ve made the right choice.

Something else to keep in mind is that when you meet a dog you don’t know, refrain from asking, “What type of dog is that?” or “What breed is your dog”. Instead, try saying something like “What’s your dog’s name?” or “How old is your dog?”. During our photo shoots, we commonly asked what breed a dog was if we didn’t immediately recognize it. It was a conversation starter for us and we’ll be starting our conversations much differently from now on.

If someone asks what breed your dog is, you could say “the funny kind”, “the loving kind” or the “pain in the butt sometimes kind”.