Did you know 25% of shelter dogs are purebred? Why are some breeds more likely to be in shelters, and how can it be prevented? Let’s look at the 10 breeds most common in shelters and reasons they end up there.
#1 – American Pit Bull Terrier
With more breed specific legislation popping up, “pit bulls” are the most common breed found in shelters. Even where they’re legal, many apartments forbid them. Dangerous in the hands of bad people, they can be great pets with the right training.
#2 – Jack Russell Terrier (JRT)
Many people get JRTs because they’ve seen a well-trained one in a movie and think they’d be perfect pets. While JRTs are intelligent, they require lots of exercise and tend to bark. With proper exercise and training, the JRT is a great choice.
#3 – German Shepherd (GSD)
GSDs are a victim of their own popularity. Overbred for years, they’re prone to health problems. They may become aggressive if not trained properly. They would be a great fit for somebody who can handle vet bills and has experience training large dogs.
#4 – Chihuahua
Chihuahuas became the must-have accessory for a while and became hugely popular. Unfortunately, once people realize a dog needs more attention than a purse, the dog finds itself in a shelter. These little dogs also tend to have nervous personalities and can be fear biters.
#5 – American Staffordshire Terrier
This breed tends to get lumped into the “pit bull” category and faces the same discrimination. This large breed can be aggressive if not well-trained.
#6 – Beagle
The Beagle can be led away from home by its nose. Neighbors may complain about the braying (barking/howling). Owners facing pressure from neighbors or landlords might take their dog to a shelter instead of working on training them not to bark.
#7 – Boxer
Many people are unprepared for how much exercise and attention this breed requires. They’re also prone to health problems due to overbreeding. For owners who can provide lots of love and exercise and can afford some vet bills, the Boxer is a great dog.
#8 – Dachshund
If they aren’t digging, barking, or chasing the cat, they’re injuring their backs. Many owners are unprepared for the strong personality of a dachshund or can’t afford the bills that can accompany a back injury. For prepared owners, dachshunds can make great pets.
#9 – American Bulldog
Another breed that tends to get lumped into pit bull bans, the American Bulldog is a large, powerful breed that does best with owners who have experience training stubborn dogs. They can be a great dog in the right hands.
#10 – Labrador Retriever
The most popular dog in America for the last 25 years, Labs are also one of the most popular breeds in shelters. Backyard breeders are producing too many Labs with health and temperament problems. Easily trainable, the Lab can be a great pet with enough exercise.
The biggest factor contributing to dogs winding up in shelters is a lack of education. Too many people choose a breed based on looks or as an impulse purchase. If pet owners knew more before choosing a certain breed, fewer dogs would wind up in shelters.
If you think one of these breeds is right for you, please check out a shelter before buying from a breeder.
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