Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Those of you who work at or have experience with shelters,

How do they determine the dog breed?

Do they test? study up? Or just go with what fits?

An example,

My two dogs are brother and sister.

Shelter listed them as Boxer/Anatolian Shepard.

The boxer is pretty obvious, so it's a given.

But where would they get Anatolian shepard? Why not just say lab? It's much more common, and are very similar to the Anatolian shepard features.

Do they pick something exotic to "sell" the dog? or if it's something so odd would you assume they know the parents breed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
sometimes shelters do know the breed of the dogs but thats very few and far between, when i adopted my pup they said he was a boxer/border collie.... i dont see it i never saw it...i also think some shelters like to stay away from bullie breeds just because they have an unfortunate name so if they can say its something else and its not that obvious its a bullie breed they will say whatever will help adopt them out. IMO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,659 Posts
I'm not sure how our shelter picks determines what breed dogs are. Sometimes, it's obvious (like the cocker spaniels or the poodle).... sometimes I think they guess based on looks.
I do think that they will stray away bully breeds in general... even if it's obvious that there is some bully in there. It kind of bothers me, but when we have people come in asking specifically for "pit bulls" (and usually they seem like the kind of people that don't need pit bulls...) we just tell them we don't have any, and they go away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,071 Posts
A lot of the shelters I've been to have a poster with a whole bunch of dog breeds on it, and it seems that they typically compaire them to the poster and just guess. One time while I was visiting a shelter, a man brought in an adorable stray puppy that was brindle, very lanky, and had floppy "airplane" ears, and they got all the staff and a bunch of people in the waiting room to help guess what breed he might be. I suggested a whippit/pitbull mix, but I think they went with Basenji or something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,975 Posts
at our county shelter its a guessing game, and the shelter guy barely knows squat about dog breeds. He tried to list a Wired Haired Dachshund as a Snauzer(sp). :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,018 Posts
We have a poster and they guess. It's awful... We had a very labradoodle looking 'otterhound' the other day. ;)

Generally the shelter workers and volunteers know nothing. It's frustrating to no end. I listened to this guy (who is an employee not a volunteer mind you) talk a lady out of adopting a cocker spaniel because they were 'bred to herd sheep all day and have a ton of energy'. Um.... WHAT!?

I try to correct where I can and some of the other volunteers/workers are very knowledgeable. The problem at our shelter is the ones that are typically dont' write the cards...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,072 Posts
I get mildly annoyed by this, because EVERY big (read: typical puppy-mill/BYB bred) Pom is a "German Spitz".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
My shelter just picks whichever is easier to "sell". If it's a husky or malamute, mix or pure, they'll call it a wolf hybrid (which are illegal to own without a proper lisence, so I don't see how they can get away with adopting them out to the GP). All pit bulls and most of the bullie breeds/mixes are listed as lab mixes. And anything that's small and fluffy is usualy listed as some sort of poodle mix (this one in particular screws them up because they have lots of small dogs cramed into one cage and it's difficult to tell which dog was listed as what when it's obvious there's only one poodle mix in the cage, but there's cage cards for six of them to be in there).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,018 Posts
I should also mention that our poster is a poster of drawings and it must be from the 70s. It's really not very good, plus all the images are about an inch and a half long. So they look at that and then pick the breed/breeds. Not the best method.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,968 Posts
So how did the '25% of all shelter dogs are purebred' statistic get figured out then? Did the survey just ask shelter staff what their estimation was? If so, that's not saying much for the accuracy of that number.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,018 Posts
So how did the '25% of all shelter dogs are purebred' statistic get figured out then? Did the survey just ask shelter staff what their estimation was? If so, that's not saying much for the accuracy of that number.
No idea. I know our 'purebred otterhound' was definitely NOT a purebred anything. And a lot of the dogs we get in are so badly bred you can't tell WHAT they are. I've worked with so many papillons, owned them, shown them, and I know a lot of rescues and puppymill dogs that aren't near to standard. We still got in a dog that I couldn't tell if it was a papillon or a chi or a mix of both. The only way to know for sure would've been to have it brought in with a pedigree stating it was purebred.

So yeah... no idea how they come up with those stats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,837 Posts
A lot of guess work. When I got Smalls I was told she was a Dachshund. I knew even when picking her up she was NOT a Dachshund. Some people are better at guessing, and others just seem to know about 10 breeds and every dog is a mix of two of those :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
Sometimes the know as they have the paperwork from the owner surrender. If the owner says it's a lab mix, they're probably going to go with it. Strays have to be pure guesswork. There really is no other way to know short of expensive blood tests.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,840 Posts
I was visiting our local shelter a while back and they had a "hound mix" that was clearly a Plott hound. (Esther is a mystery hound.)

I said to one of the staff people, "Your hound mix is a Plott hound." She said, "Uh, huh."

Funny thing is, that dog was an owner surrender. It's possible the owner didn't know what they had, which would explain why they surrendered it (or, rather, why they got it in the first place.) It's also possible that the shelter knew what they had, but weren't about to label the dog as a breed that can be challenging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,837 Posts
The one beef I have with the rescue I USED to foster for is that they would get obviously pit mixed dogs/puppies, and they would label them lab mixes or boxer mixes. They said it was easier to get dogs adopted without labeling them pits, but at the same time, that's pretty deceitful if anyone actually falls for it.

My biggest LOL was when we met a guy with an obvious Bernese Mountain dog mix. More berner than not. When I commented that he was beautiful and said "What do you think? I definitely see the Bernese, but there is SOMETHING else?" and he says "Shih tzu and rottweiler." :confused: I was like "Oh? Shih tzus are very small and they have distinctive facial features.." and he says "Well, that's what the guy I got him from said he was."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Are Plott hounds challenging? I think my mutt is a Plott hound mix, so I was just curious. :)

The first vet that saw my Georgia right after she was picked up as a stray thought she was a four-month-old GSD mix. Once she was cleaned up and perhaps gained a little weight, she became a two-year-old Plott hound mix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,837 Posts
the county i live in is very open with pits and pit mixes and yes they are all there for months on end and eventually most are put down. I still think mixes are extremely difficult to determine, but im not sure if a shih tzu rott mix would look like a bernese lol
Unfortunately, my city is NOT open about pits or any thing that resembles a pit, and you'd be hard pressed finding a place to rent if you've got one and the management thinks it looks like a bully in any way.

I'm TERRIBLE at identifying breeds, but this dog looked like a slightly thinner, less shaggy, berner. When he said "shih tzu" at all I wanted to laugh. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,140 Posts
It's pretty much a best guess which sometimes isn't anywhere near accurate. Some of the labels I've seen I can only wonder, people really don't know their breeds. In other cases the owner brings the dog in and says what breed(s) the dog is, sometimes they are right and other times they don't really know either. There are also pregnant females that come in or females with pups so they at least know the moms breed so like GSD mix the pups might be labeled as if the mom is a GSD.

In your situation I would have asked the shelter about the breeds. How they know, they could have been dropped off from an oops litter in which both parents were known? There are times it seems shelters pick the most exotic to make them seem more appealing maybe and other times the dog is of a rare breed but the shelter is clueless that there are more then 12 dog breeds that exist in the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Shelters are funny *smiles*. I got my dog from a shelter 3 years ago after a couple decided they didn't want him anymore, I cringe to think of them because this was the third dog they'd given up AND they got another pooch a few months later.... even wanted to do a puppy date if you can't believe that. Sorry I'm sidetracking here *lol, so Taylor was taken to the shelter as a puppy with the rest of the litter and after a few weeks the "mom" of the litter went back to the family. So at that point the shelter had the breed of the mum and the birthdate of the litter on file and proceeded to adopt out the litter. Well when Taylor came back they recognized him, and the people as you can imagine, and for some unknown reason somewhere in the process him age and breed had changed?!?! I adopted him given the info that yes, he's such and such a mix, 6 months old, and had been returned to the shelter by a couple who didn't want him anymore. Well this place that I lived was a very small, small town so I met 3 of his littermates and his previous owners in the time that I was there. Turns out he was 9 months old when I got him, not 6 months and the breed mix was totally different. His littlermates look like black labs and outweigh him by about 30lbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,018 Posts
It's pretty much a best guess which sometimes isn't anywhere near accurate. Some of the labels I've seen I can only wonder, people really don't know their breeds. In other cases the owner brings the dog in and says what breed(s) the dog is, sometimes they are right and other times they don't really know either. There are also pregnant females that come in or females with pups so they at least know the moms breed so like GSD mix the pups might be labeled as if the mom is a GSD.
This happens sometimes too. We had one litter that looked almost like pure pointers, BUT they came in with mom who was clearly mostly pit bull. So the pups were labeled as pit bull mixes because that was the only thing we knew about them. They had very few pit bull traits as far as their looks go. We also have occasionally gotten in some very random purebred pregnant dogs. Last fall we had a pregnant female shiba inu and she'd bred with who knows what. Her pups were born at a foster home and raised by a worker. They didn't look much like shibas at all, really.

Some pups we get from people who know the breed or think they know the breed. A lot of the puppies we get were bought at the pet store so they come with their mix known. (Most are small designer mixes).

Then there's people like my cousin who adopted what was labeled as a JRT mix puppy only to have it grow up into a pit bull. I think that one was deliberate as pit bulls were illegal where he lived.

Oh, and Ron my uncle just recently got a new Plott hound puppy he's hunting with. When I met her, I thought of you.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top