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Breed Labels: When Guesses Turn Into Predictions

A wonderful post on the subject of how a label can ruin the life of a being – and what to do instead:

As we travel around the country, having conversations with shelters and rescues about the “pit bull” dogs in their care, we find that there are always a few big a-ha! moments that help people understand that all dogs are individuals just a bit better.

One of the more exciting moments typically happens during our Labels & Language presentation where we discuss the role of breed labeling in shelters and the assumptions we make about dogs based on those labels.

"pit bull" dog selfie source: @animalfarmfoundation

The talk helps shelters understand a number of concepts that apply not only to “pit bull” dogs, but to ALL the dogs in their care.

This one being of utmost importance:

How a dog is labeled or how they look on the outside, is not an indication of past or future behavior or their suitability for a particular adoption placement.

Too often, we make incorrect assumptions about dogs based…

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2 thoughts on “Breed Labels: When Guesses Turn Into Predictions

  1. This is such an important topic. Thanks for sharing this. So many dogs in our shelters here are Staffordshire bull terrier mixes. People don’t want them because of their appearance and misconceptions about the breed. We do have one charity, the Dogs’ Trust, careful to assess each individual dog’s personality and behaviour over a period of time, so that they can make a best fit with a family. If I do get a chance to adopt again, I would like to take the ‘ugliest’ pup in the shelter!

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