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Shelters "Guessing" Breeds.

Discussion in 'Dog Debates' started by SoCalPitGal, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. SoCalPitGal

    SoCalPitGal Little Dog

    Shelters "Guessing" Breeds.

    I wish that the shelters would just stop guessing breeds. Just put the facts on the information card, things like, sex, color, size, no cats or children, med size.. things that are known to be true. There are a few reasons I feel this way.

    The first reason is because the Pit bull breeds are on center stage. They are being banned, restricted, people fear them, thousands of dogs do not get adopted simply because the tag says they are a Pit bull mix. Doesn't the shelter want to get homes for these animals? Insurance companies won't insure people with Pit bull breeds.. you get the idea.

    Another reason is because so so often, the shelters are not even close to the breed they have assigned. They should at least have somebody who is somewhat educated assigning the breeds. Most of the people who are looking for a dog to adopt, have no idea what a specific breed should look like.

    They put their faith in the shelter and assume they are knowledgeable and that the dog is in fact what the shelter has assigned it to be. I don't think this is too much for the public to expect. We expect that the baker knows how to bake, the have expectations that a teacher can teach, that the judge knows the law, it is fair to expect that the shelter knows about dogs.

    Take a look at one of the pet adoption sites, the animals should at least be a fair representation of the breed. Here are a few examples. I have copied several images and pasted a photo of a pure bred of the breed the shelter has assigned, so you can see the difference..





    I have been collecting data on this topic for a long time and more then half the time, the guessed breed is not even close. I have thousands of these poorly guessed breeds. I can always tell when somebody has adopted their dog at the shelter, when they introduce me to their "Poodle" and it looks like an "Akita"

    What do you think about this? Would you like to see shelters stop guessing breeds and just put the facts on the information cards?
  2. Tiffseagles

    Tiffseagles GRCH Dog Premium Member

    I'm up on the air on this one because there are situations where dogs do very closely resemble the breed of dog that they are listed as and this can help potential adopters find a dog.
  3. JoeBingo

    JoeBingo Banned

    I agree with you, but in reality, it won't stop and there are probably several reasons why.
    One reason being that people/general public have a hard time coming to terms with a pet from completely unknown origin and pedigree.
    If a shelter has a dog available for adoption, it would probably stand a better chance of being adopted if some sort of breed name ... ANY breed name ... is associated with it.
  4. Adrianne

    Adrianne Big Dog

    Labs are *not* always a solid color. Those in glass houses should not judge others on their breed knowledge.
  5. SoCalPitGal

    SoCalPitGal Little Dog

    My bad, I supposed no dog is ever always anything, there is always a variation out there. As far as conformation and a breed standard,

    The Labrador Retriever coat colors are black, yellow and chocolate. Any other color or a combination of colors is a disqualification. A small white spot on the chest is permissible, but not desirable. White hairs from aging or scarring are not to be misinterpreted as brindling. Black--Blacks are all black. A black with brindle markings or a black with tan markings is a disqualification. Yellow--Yellows may range in color from fox-red to light cream, with variations in shading on the ears, back, and underparts of the dog. Chocolate--Chocolates can vary in shade from light to dark chocolate. Chocolate with brindle or tan markings is a disqualification.

    In general , when people look at a Labrador, they expect to see a solid colored dog, either in chocolate, yellow, black. Solid in color. They do not expect to see a spotted dog, multi colored dog, dogs with erect ears, dogs under 10 lbs.

    True, I am sure they do exist. Most likely they are a mixed breed or even a mutt.
  6. SoCalPitGal

    SoCalPitGal Little Dog

    Who was judging anybody?
  7. Ali132

    Ali132 Good Dog

    The whole thing is they are mix breeds, they could have they personality of a certain breed and look like another .
    Mixing 2 breeds can create something that looks nothing like either breed.
    That dog with the spots could have the body shape of a lab, coat of a lab and personality but another breed gave it the spots.
    The little black dog sure looks like a beagle mix to me.
  8. SoCalPitGal

    SoCalPitGal Little Dog

    I do understand that the shelters want to get the dogs into good homes. Calling the dog a Coonhound to help it be adopted I do understand why they do that. To make the dogs more desirable. If people cared they would educate themselves, right? Most people don't know one dog breed from another. They trust in the shelters and are happy.

    Because really, what does it matter, so what if the dog is not an Akita or a Rhodesian Ridgeback.. the dog was adopted into a home and is happy.

    But what about all the dogs they say are Pit bulls. Pit bull mix. Why don't they assign other breeds to these dogs, many of them don't even look like Pit bulls. People may want to adopt a dog, but due to restrictions, bans, home owners insurance, people just can't. So, why call a dog a Beagle/ Pit bull mix. Why not just call it a Beagle? It will have more chance of being adopted, simply because more people will be able to bring the dog into their home without restrictions.
  9. K9 Love

    K9 Love Good Dog

    I agree. Magazine years ago ran an article with known mixes of dog and had dog savvy people, who have been in dogs for decades guess at what mixes they were. Some mixes are easy to spot, others not so much. Doesn't mean that's not what they are, look at Liliana's Liberty, would you ever guess that mix? I sure as hell wouldn't, but she *knows* that's what she is.

    I agree that often there are some wild pitches thrown into the dark, but to say that they are all wrong, or absurd, is also off the mark.

    I mentioned this on another thread, I had two littermates in classes, one looked like a black lab the other like a golden, I had no idea they were littermates, that's how different these two dogs were. They both almost looked like purebreds. Not great examples or anything, but hardly mixes at all.

    It's a hard call, because its' absolutely possible that these dogs are off known lineage and that's what they are. I doubt they *all* are, but how can you choose which ones are/are not?

    And I agree again with Ali, that little black dog defo looks like it has some beagle in it...or not... :D
  10. phillysmom

    phillysmom Good Dog

    Kinda like this? :lol:


  11. SoCalPitGal

    SoCalPitGal Little Dog

    So we can say that this dog, [​IMG]
    is a Dachshund mix because it likes to chase rodents and has the personality of a Dachshund? I never knew that when assigning a breed to a dog that specific breeds have personality's unique to only that breed. "Oh, he is not really a Chow, he just acts like one so we say he is"?? Okay. I learn something new every day.
  12. JoeBingo

    JoeBingo Banned

    I've wondered about this before as well. The only conclusion I've come up with is due in part to the strong appeal "pit bulls" have. Regardless of their reputation in the media and with most of the general public ... there is a great demand for them ... or there wouldn't be so many.

    I guess the thing is maybe the shelters call them pit bull or pit bull mix, to try and appeal to those who would like to have a pit bull but don't want to buy one from a breeder ... dunno.

    OH and that dog you posted in the OP ... LOOKS NOTHING LIKE A LAB MIX.
    Maybe it is and maybe it isn't ... I don't think the shelter can prove it. Theirs is only a guess. My guess is they are wrong.
  13. SoCalPitGal

    SoCalPitGal Little Dog

    True, I am not arguing with the fact that specific physical features can come from a mixture of dogs. We call them mutts normally. Mixed breeds are when both parents are of one single breed but not the same breed. I am not saying sometimes we will see a dog that looks nothing like either parent or grandparent. What I am saying is the shelter person has no idea the history of the dog, most of the time. They are simply guessing. So, since they are just guessing, why add Pit bull? The whole idea is to get the dogs adopted. Why guess a breed that will give the dog less chance of being adopted?
  14. JoeBingo

    JoeBingo Banned

    But that is my whole point. SOME people are looking for pit bulls when they contact a shelter.


    On the other hand ... maybe the shelter thinking goes something like this ... (thinking out loud) "I know if we adopt this dog out, people will see the dog and tell the owner that it is a pit bull, so we may as well go ahead and call it a pit bull mix to ensure those who adopt the dog know up front what they may be in for."

    ^^^ All that is just a guess though LOL ... different shelters might have different reasons. Maybe some shelter folks will chime in specifically about "pit bull mixes"
  15. KateNLeo

    KateNLeo Big Dog

    We adopted Leo as a "Terrier Mix" and were only told that his mom was a "40 lb. pit mix" when I asked how big they thought he would get (yet another shot in the dark question that no one ever knows the answer to!).

    But I certainly didn't think he or his brother looked anything like what I knew of "pit bulls" so that, along with the "Terrier Mix" label is what got me to look at him in the first place. (Yeah, I was thinking SMALL terrier....)


    And his brother....
  16. K9 Love

    K9 Love Good Dog

    I think "pit bull" gets thrown in there because bully mixes often look like "pit bulls" to the GP.

    Even if the true mix is say AmStaff and Lab, the more popular labelling is "pit bull", so it looks like a pit bull x lab.

    At least that's my take on it. It's a lot easier to call a white bully looking thing a "pit bull" mix, than a Dogo mix. Dogo? What's that?

    Not saying that's its right, acceptable or not detrimental to the breed/breed image. In my head, that's what makes sense. It's a lot easier to call a dog what it "looks" like, than to try and pass it off as something else, especially if you don't really know and especially if you are trying to make sure that the owner knows what they're getting into.

    In some cases you want people to shy away from adopting certain types of dogs, imagine if everyone were blindfolded and told that pit bull mixes were goldens, they brought them home to their multi-dog household and little Fluffykins gets shredded apart by the golden.

    I think I'm trying to get at the same thing Joe is.
  17. Adrianne

    Adrianne Big Dog

    Not mixes at all. http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/mismarks.html

    Just be positive you know what you are talking about before you tell others they are wrong. It's a friendly tip.

    It's impressive the mixes we have proof of that come through my work and people would, could, do debate regularly.

    These are the product of purposeful mixings, can you tell me what their parents were?

    I agree some mix labels are stupid and down right hilarious but honestly these are either volunteers or crap paid workers trying to help, I'd go easy on them.
  18. catchrcall

    catchrcall Good Dog Staff Member

    If dogs labeled as pit mixes aren't getting adopted by people, then those people shouldn't have one anyway. I think it would be irresponsible to not bring up the possibility that a mixed dog could be a breed that requires a greater commitment and sense of responsibility. Like a pit, or Dogo, or guardian breed or many others. Even dogs that have a possibility of being high energy.

    How would one become "educated" enough to guess at breeds? Who sets that standard, and what test would they have to pass? I don't know why anybody would get all wrapped up and upset about somebody trying to guess a breed, especially when it's a volunteer at a shelter. Cut them some slack or help out yourself if you're good at it instead of finding something to bitch about.
  19. Team Peanut

    Team Peanut GRCH Dog

    i am on the fence with this.

    on one hand you want them to get adopted but on the other hand certain breeds are not right for certain people and homes. so i think there is a responsiblity for the people adopting out an animal to let the potential home know what breeds may be in the dog so they know if they are the right fit for each other.
  20. Tiffany3483

    Tiffany3483 Good Dog

    Some shelters do a good job, other suck. I used to do Dobe rescue and I pulled a lot of a Black and Tan coonhounds!

    One breed, I have, a Rat Terrier is also mislabeled at shelters. Mainly listed as Fox Terriers, Jack Russells, or Chihuahuas! I usually just laugh at some of the things they list dogs as.

    But Lab, GSD and pit bull tend to be shelter favorites. Seems everything is mixed with those breeds!

    Here are Dogo x Lab mixes. Mother was a Dogo, father black Lab, turned into shelter by family and female was pregnant. Rescue pulled her and put her in boarding until they get her and on the way to pick her up they received a call she was giving birth. Very underweight and didn't look pregnant. I think the pups all look more lab than Dogo.

    4 weeks old



    8 weeks old





    Pongo mother was a purebred smooth coated Jack Russell terrier, father unknown, brother was brindle, he was the only white one in the litter


    JD (dog on left) Mom 1/2 Black Mouth Cur and 1/2 Treeing Walker Coonhound Dad 3/4 American Bulldog 1/4 APBT bred for hog hunting


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