Is it time to adopt a dog? How to be best prepared!

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The 3 Most Common Dog Breeds in Animal Shelters

Do you have a favorite dog breed?

Many people do!

The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognizes two hundred distinct breeds dating back to the 1800s all the way up until just last year, when the Bracco Italiano, Mudi, and Russian Toy were added to the list by the AKC.

However, no matter the breed, sadly all types of dogs can be found in shelters.

In fact, it’s estimated that around 25% of dogs who enter animal shelters and rescues have a documented pedigree…

Surprising, isn’t it?

At Leash Links, we believe in the potential of all dogs. With proper training using the correct tools, every single pooch (whether purebred or mixed) can learn to become a well-behaved, affectionate, and happy canine companion, including the following three dog breeds that are most often surrendered to shelters.

3 Most Common Dog Breeds Found in US Shelters

#1 American Pit Bull Terrier

Unfortunately, pit bulls have been given a bad reputation. The American Pitbull Terrier is a highly misunderstood breed that has suffered from negative stigma about aggression and human cruelty. Two of the biggest reasons why pit bulls end up in shelters are:

a) because they have been abandoned by their owner and are picked up as strays

b) prejudice

For example, pit bulls face housing discrimination.

Even if a family wanted to adopt a pit bull, many towns, cities, and states have breed specific bans in place, making it illegal to own a pit bull. Property owners can also have rules about the size and type of dog permitted on their property, adding another layer to the challenge of keeping these dogs.

Likewise, when an owner passes away or a pit bull accidently gets pregnant, the result is often surrender – through not fault of the dog!

Nevertheless, pit bulls are intelligent, and they are highly trainable. They can make lovely pets…given the chance.

#2 Labrador Retriever

Walk down a shelter hallway and you will spot many black, chocolate, and yellow Labrador retrievers.


Labs are the most popular dog breed in the United States. Therefore, mathematically speaking, it makes sense that the more common the breed, the higher the number of dogs that will enter shelters. According to Love of Labs, the #1 reason why so many end up in shelters is “lack of owner commitment.”

Labrador retrievers are:

  • High energy
  • Slow to mature with puppylike behaviors (jumping, barking, etc.)
  • Family-oriented
  • Medium size
  • Prone to chewing and digging

The Labrador retriever is NOT a dog who can be left alone all day!

People who buy a cute little puppy can suddenly feel overwhelmed by how much time, energy, and attention this breed requires. Not to mention, training!

Luckily, the Leash Links shop has leashes perfect for pups still learning to control their biting habits. 

#3 Chihuahua

Last on the list is the Chihuahua.

Despite being so small, this breed takes up a ton of space in shelters.
Chihuahuas surged in popularity thanks to Hollywood celebrities like Paris Hilton. Nowadays, dog lovers still consider Chihuahuas as a trendy “designer breed.”
Chihuahuas are a unique breed. Many people mistakenly believe that because of their tiny size, they are easier to care for. The truth is, chihuahuas are not a good fit for all families. They are prone to accidents, can be nippy and barky, live a long time (12 – 20 years) and do best on specialized diets.
This, plus decades of overbreeding, means shelters are currently full of Chihuahuas.

Final Thoughts
In summary, dogs enter shelters for many varied reasons.
Each dog has their own story, personality, and background.
Thankfully, goodhearted people like rescuers, shelter staff and volunteers, and animal lovers (such as yourself) are hard at work helping and saving our four-legged friends and educating the public about these breeds.
Whether it is a Pit bull, Labrador retriever, Chihuahua, or any other breed, Leash Links is here to make dog walking and training easy and fun!
There you have it, dog fans!
Be sure to check out the Leash Links online shop for all your difficult doggy walking solutions and training needs.

Leash Links dog logo

Happy Walking,

Demetra, Joe, Nancy & Rick

Co-Founders of Leash Links

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