Thinking about getting a dog? Think about adopting! When you adopt you not only save a life, you also save money. Dogs adopted from shelters or rescue groups are much less expensive than those bought from pet stores or through breeders, and because most shelters take care of spaying/neutering and vaccinations, the initial health care costs will be less, too.
Of course, when you adopt a dog from a shelter you won’t necessarily get the “ideal” dog that you have in your mind: a perfectly pudgy French Bulldog puppy? A soft and fluffy Labradoodle? You might see these dogs at the shelter, but it’s not as likely as seeing one of the breeds below. These are the breeds that end up in shelters most often, for a variety of reasons, and well, they just don’t deserve it. If you’re a dog lover, consider loving one of the common shelter dog breeds below.
1. Pit Bull
These widely misunderstood dogs are perhaps the biggest populators of shelters across America. According to the ASPCA, 35% of shelters take in at least one Pit Bull a day, and in one out of four shelters, Pit Bulls make up more than 20 percent of the dog population. Why are there so many? The main reason is irresponsible breeding by individuals who are only interested in Pit Bulls for one of two reasons: fighting or protection. But these common shelter dogs are not inherently dangerous; with the proper training applied from a young age (just as you should with any other dog), they can be incredibly gentle, obedient, and friendly — and they are even great with children.
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It might be difficult to imagine someone kicking a tiny Chihuahua out of the house or dropping it off at the shelter, but in California alone, Chihuahuas make up about 30% of the shelter dog population. This is likely the result of unprepared owners who think that a small dog won’t be much work, and when they find out that taking care of a Chihuahua is not unlike taking care of a larger dog, they send it packing. Chihuahuas are strong-willed dogs who require a strong leader, but with the right training they can be fun, lively, and affectionate companions.
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Like the Pit Bull, the German Shepherd is commonly purchased or adopted with a job in mind: protection. However, German Shepherds are intelligent, sociable dogs who crave companionship and require lots of stimulation. Many owners soon realize that they can’t just plunk their Shepherd down on the front porch and leave it to its own devices. Without proper training and exercise, these dogs can become destructive, and an undedicated owner may decide dropping them at the shelter is easier than putting in the work. This is especially unfortunate given that one of the German Shepherd’s greatest traits is loyalty.
What are the most common shelter dog breeds in your area? Leave a comment and let us know. And if you’re getting ready to adopt a pet, consider signing up for PetPlus! PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.