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We’re getting rid of breed labels for our shelter dogs. We believe this will help potential adopters see our dogs as individuals.

When dogs enter our shelter, in truth, we can only guess what breed mix they are. We are relying on information surrendering owners tells us, or which breeds we think the dog may be based on their appearance – both unscientific methods.

American based research has consistently shown that even professional shelter workers and vets frequently mis-identify the breeds in mixed breed dogs. And as a leading animal welfare organisation, we understand that we have a responsibility to be accurate with our labelling.

Removing breed labels is a step toward acknowledging that not only can you not accurately identify a dog’s breed by their appearance, you cannot predict a dog’s behaviour based on their appearance.

We know that dropping breed categories will encourage people to look at the dog as an individual. The vast majority of our shelter dogs are mixed breed, and we think they would be happy to know they are no longer being classified by guesswork according to their appearance.

To find out more, check out this Breed Labels ebook by Maddies Fund.