Common Dog Breeds Found in Shelters and Why

December 07, 2017

Common Dog Breeds Found in Shelters and Why

Did you know that each over 6 million dogs and cats are brought into shelters all around the U.S.? Looking further into this number, of this 6 million, 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. While this number has declined over the year, this is still a large number of animals entering shelters each year, needing services within these shelters, and hoping to find new homes.

In looking through the breeds of dogs housed shelters over the years, we wanted to see if there was a common breed that appeared, and sure enough there is. Let’s take a look at the 10 most common breeds found in shelters and rescues, and why we see higher numbers of these breeds versus other breeds. While this list covers 2017, many of these breeds appear on the list yearly. 

  1. American Pitbull Terrier

For many, seeing this breed at the top of the list doesn’t come as a surprise. The American Pitbull is the number one breed found in shelters, for years, by a landslide. Pitbull’s still have a negative stigma for being large, aggressive dogs- though this doesn’t hold true for every dog of this breed. While people are trying hard to breakdown the negative reputation, owning a Pitbull can hold its own set of challenges. Many apartments will not allow larger breeds and some forbid Pitbull’s. In some cases, people have even faced challenges holding home and renter’s insurance while owning a Pitbull.  Between these challenges, overbreeding, and lack of training, many Pitbull’s can be found in shelters. However, who can resist these adorable chunky monkey pups?

 

 

  1. Jack Russell Terrier

Seeing a Jack Russell Terrier as number two on the list may come as a surprise to some, as you can probably think of one right now that is a great small companion for someone you know. Some people do not have the ability to train Jack Russell Terriers the way they need to be trained, which can lead to a very hyper dog that jumps and barks a lot. Believe it or not, some people find this annoying. While very intelligent, this breed requires sufficient training and exercise.

 

 

 

  1. German Shepherd

Due to popularity, this breed has been over bred for years, thus creating many health concerns. Interestingly enough, if you view photos of this breed throughout the years, you can watch a mini slide show of just how much their body type has changed to meet our desires. Like breeds prior, this breed also requires extensive training and exercise. Without these proper outlets, this breed can become aggressive. Their smarts and loyal characteristics make them great companions, law enforcement dogs, and service dogs.

 

 

  

  1. Chihuahua

Small harmless dog that you can hideaway in your purse and go about your plans, right? Movies over the years have portrayed this breed to be more of an accessory then an actual canine which boosted their popularity. While this small breed is cute, don’t let the cuteness fool you as their small frames are packed with sass and stubbornness. Due to their small size, they can also be anxious and fearful dogs. Like many other dogs, this breed still needs training and socialization. Without, these dogs can nip and learn bad habits that don’t include napping in purses. Due to the movie portrayal, this breed to has been overbred. In fact, California is overflowing with Chihuahuas and seeks help from many shelters around the U.S. to distribute the population and help find them homes.  

 

 

 

  1. American Staffordshire Terrier

This breed gets commonly linked to the American Pitbull Terrier, thus being represented in a similar fashion. Similar to a Pitbull, this breed is smart, athletic and strong. Without proper training, these breeds can be aggressive.

 

  

  1. Beagle

Originally, this breed was bred to have a one of a kind nose that made them great hunting companions. Their nose and distinctive bark alerted their person to where an animal was. To this day, their desire to follow their nose and not give up on a trail make them stubborn and frequently lead them away from home. Due to their stubbornness and barking, many find the breed difficult to train, thus surrender them.

 

 

  1. Boxer

Boxers are commonly known for their goofy and aloof personalities. This breed, along with many others, typically make a great addition to any home and requires sufficient exercise. So why do these end lovable pups up in shelters? Due to the breed and over breeding, they generally have health problems that lead to extensive vet bills. When the bills become too much, people find themselves in a position where they can no longer afford to care for the animals and surrender them to shelters that can take on the cost of care/treatment.

   

  1. Dachshund

Okay, who can resist a dachshund puppy running up to you with those floppy ears, chunky paws, and long little frame? Who would have thought these little guys were bred for hunting? Their natural hunting instinct make them prone to barking, chasing, and digging. Due to their long frame, and our desire to breed this dog to be longer with a more of a slender frame, this breed can have back injuries. These back issues can range in severity, and almost inevitable to happen at some point. The breeds health issues can be costly, which is the common reason they are found in shelters.

 

  1. American Bulldog

American Bulldogs, like the American Staffordshire Terrier, gets linked to the Pitbull group due to their blocky heads and size. Because of their similar traits to Pitbull’s, they face the same challenges.  Their generous size, need for exercise and training, requires an owner ready to commit to this breed.

 

  1. Labrador Retriever

This breed has been one of the most popular family dogs for quite a few years, while also being one of the most common breeds found in shelter. So why is this? Overbreeding. Due to the high demand, many people are breeding these pups. This includes puppy mills, licensed breeders and backyard breeders. With all this breeding, Lab now face serious health problems and poor temperament. Many joke that labs have an abundance of energy until the very end, so this breed also needs plenty of exercise and training to nip poor habits early on.

All in all, these 10 breeds are not “bad dogs.” Some have been poorly represented and many overbred, while all of them are in need of training and exercise. If you think one of these breeds would be a good fit for your family, check out your local shelter and take one for a walk. Get to know the dog and learn more about their personal story on how they entered the shelter.



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