Facts about The Top 8 Most Adopted Dog Breeds   
By Kristina Marshall for Halifax Humane Society
Wed, Apr 15, 2020 at 3:05PM

Facts about The Top 8 Most Adopted Dog Breeds   

A dog’s breed is a big factor that people take into account when adopting from a shelter. For example, did you know that smaller dogs are more likely to be adopted than bigger dogs? Or that expensive dog breeds are likely to be brought home since the fee for adopting is not as costly as buying one?

As dog lovers, we should be responsible for caring for our pet not just because they’re a “superior” breed but because, like us, they too, need a home and a good amount of love. However, it’s a reality that some dog breeds will be highly preferable over others. Here are some interesting facts you might not know about the most adopted dog breeds. Hopefully, this sheds some light onto why they are often favored by pet owners.

  1. Staffordshire Terriers (Pit bulls) are the most often adopted shelter dog simply because they are the most surrendered and the most found as a stray by Animal Control Officers. Contrary to the belief that all pit bulls are mean and will attack prey, the vast majority of this breed are quite gentle and obedient, although they are protective of their masters. Most shelters test all dogs with behavior and medical assessments. The behavior assessment will rank the dogs’ behavior based on food aggression, dog to dog interaction, play behavior, and more. Many dogs, regardless of breed or size will be recommended as a single dog household only pet due to not playing nicely with other animals. Pit bulls can be very loving and loyal. If you already have a dog, ask the shelter for a meet and greet to see how both dogs get along. A behavior professional will conduct the meeting and assess the outcome to protect both dogs and the people as well.

  2. Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world; they’re also the most adopted. It’s because they are highly social dogs that tend to get along well with almost anyone, kids and pets included! They do well living indoors and outdoors, and can easily adapt to different lifestyles whether you’re in the city or in the country.

  3. Poodles and poodle hybrids are another breed that don’t last long in shelters. They come in a variety of sizes and depending on the size of your home, you can pick a breed that suits your living space. Space is an important factor since poodles enjoy the outdoors and like to hunt. They’re popular among folks who enjoy grooming their dogs since poodles do tend to require more maintenance with their signature cotton candy coat.

  4. Maltese is one of the more expensive dog breeds that tend to get adopted more quickly. They’re small in size and can be exceedingly playful. They’re entertaining to play games with since they move very quickly; this also means they don’t require as much outdoor exercise. Maltese can be difficult to housebreak but once they are properly trained, they can be very polite and obedient.

  5. The German Shepherd is another one of those big dogs that pet owners are likely to adopt. They’re highly intelligent, loyal dogs that are fun to have around in your home. There’s a reason why this breed is often used by police service. They’re very easy to train and are naturally protective. With proper training and socialization, they can protect you and your family against unwanted strangers.

  6. Beagles possess a sweet demeanor that make them attractive to potential pet owners. They’re really good at sniffing around which means you have a great companion that can hunt for bed bugs in your home. They can even be your hunting companion for tracking rabbits and foxes. Beagles easily get along with cats and they’re very gentle with children as well. Just be watchful of older ones as they tend to get grumpier as they age. 

  7. The Dachshund is another irresistibly cute dog breed that has a wonderful temperament. However, most pet owners are surprised to learn that they are biters. We often associate aggressive behavior with big dogs but Dachshunds belong in the group of small dogs that bite often. The good news is that they can be trained. Just be prepared to find them burrowed under covers since Dachshunds have a reputation as diggers. Due to their long spine, Dachshunds are more prone to back injury. You’ll want to use your dog insurance to find out more from your vet if this medical service is covered.

  8. Pugs are wrinkly little dogs that are sought after as well. They can be quite lazy which means you may not need to take them out as much. However, they are very smart and playful. They love to show off and do funny things if it means they get your attention. Their highly social nature makes them a great family pet. Their short nose makes it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature so you should be paying attention to the temperature of their environment.

Never adopt a dog without spending some quality time with them first. Most shelters will allow you to foster an animal for an unspecified amount of time (up to 30-days). Bringing a dog home on a trial basis is a great way to get to know the true personality of the dog prior to making the long-term commitment of adoption. If you prefer to just adopt without fostering, then take the dog out of their kennel and into a play area before making any decisions. Never judge a dog by how they behave in their kennel. Most dogs are stuck in their kennel for as long as 23 hours a day; they go crazy when they see someone walking by the front of their kennel, so they bark and jump to get your attention. Lastly, it doesn’t matter which shelter you adopt your dog from, just adopt, don’t shop.



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