Top 10 Dog Breeds Commonly Found in Shelters

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One of the most common misconceptions about adopting a dog is that only mixed breed dogs and mutts end up in shelters. People who are set on a particular dog breed think that they have to go to a breeder if they want to get a furry companion, but they’re unaware that their dream pet might be waiting for them in their local shelter.

Bully breeds, in general, make up the majority of purebred dogs in shelters and rescues. Pit Bull Terriers are very popular for their lovable personalities, but they’re also often singled out by discriminatory breed bans, which is why they’re frequently relinquished by their owners.

And that, friends, is the sad part. There’s literally no evidence that says they’re the horrid pets they’ve been made out to be. In fact, a National Geographic article claimed they may be the most misunderstood breed out there. Sadly too, the term ‘pit bull’ is a broad term that’s come to have some really negative connotations (understandably in many traumatic cases) and that’s just not representative enough to be a reason this breed suffers and struggles. 

Statistics are both in favor and stacked against the Labrador- as the most popular dog breed in the United States, the lovely Lab is also one of the breeds you’re most likely to see in a local shelter. It doesn’t help that black Labradors are among the pooches that are least likely to get adopted, as black and big dogs rarely get a chance for a furever home. Again, we don’t understand as the lab is the quintessential family pet and year after year proves itself as a loyal companion. All too often, though, families will have a litter of puppies because they ‘just want one’ and that leads to more than you’d think that end up NOT getting adopted in forever homes. 

The feisty Chihuahuas are often chosen by their owners for their tiny size and cute looks, but people tend to overlook their nervous personality and bossy attitude. When their pet develops behavioral issues or they realize that caring for a small dog is not as some pooch-toting celebrities made it out to be, the unlucky Chihuahuas end up homeless. Chis need a pawrents that understand they can be a bit of a high-maintenance pooch, and when a pet parent realizes they’re not, trouble sets in.


These gentle giants tend to get overlooked to their size and the fact that they have a fairly high activity level. But, if you give them a chance, Boxers will impress you with their loyal nature and a pawesome, easy-going attitude. They are incredible family dogs who think they’re lap dogs and they make a great addition to any home with kids.

Who would have known that the adorable Doxies are frequently surrendered to shelters and rescues? As most small breeds, wiener dogs are often mistaken for cute toys- people tend to disregard the fact that tiny pooches have all the needs (sometimes more!) of a big-sized pooch, just in a smaller package. A common issue in Doxies is their back and that sometimes ends up making them more surrendered when vet bills come in.

More states need follow NY's lead in passing laws that allow former scientific research animals to be put up for adoption.

The cute button eyes, the big floppy ears- what’s not to love about Beagles? Sadly, these pooches end up homeless mostly because their owners didn’t expect them to be active and loud: these affectionate, sweet dogs need a lot of exercise and love to bark, which doesn’t bode well for them in apartment settings. Believe it or not, they love to run around and play too, so a backyard is one of those things that they really enjoy and is nice to have.

These impressive dogs need to lead active lives- this means both physical and mental exercise. Unfortunately, a lot of people realize too late that they’re not cut out to be the companion for the loyal German Shepherd. While they do make great guard animals, there’s a lot it takes to keep them stimulated mentally and physically in order for them to be the amazing pets they are. Otherwise? They can get themselves into a good bit of trouble.

Border Collie is considered to be the most intelligent dog breed out there- so it doesn’t come as a surprise that many humans find it hard to keep up with them. If you’re not willing to do the work–and there is a lot of it–you are likely going to be very disappointed.

Australian Cattle Dog by water

When a working dog doesn’t have a task, they’re miserable. In turn, their owners get frustrated and instead of creating a more active lifestyle for their Australian Cattle Dog, they decide on relinquishing them.

He may be small, but what the Jack Russell Terrier lacks in size, he more than makes up for in energy.

The Jack Russell Terrier might be small in size, but they sure have a big personality! For humans with a hectic schedule, what was originally a fox hunting breed, can turn out to be too much to handle.