You’ve heard us say all dogs are individuals. You’ve heard us say looks don’t equal behavior. You may be on board with that, which is great, we love that, but you’re unsure of how to get your shelter staff and volunteers to accept the science that breed isn’t indicative of a dog’s personality.
We’ve got the best tool for that and it’s in a handy-dandy infographic! *All of the images in this post are outtakes from the infographic.
Here’s how you can use this as an education tool for your shelter staff and volunteers.
For one, we drop some science in the infographic, like the above information about how even dogs of the same breed all behave differently. And there’s also this gem:
It’s not easy to step away from convention. Habits are difficult to break. Asking “what breed is this dog?” comes naturally to all of us. It’s really weird to hear someone say “breeds don’t matter when picking the dog that’s right for your home.” People need solid reasons to break habits and make big changes, especially when they’re dealing with lives – both human and animals.
Science helps with that. Of course, science can be overwhelming. Our infographic breaks that down into bite-sized talking points upon which you can create deeper conversations with your staff – and even potential adopters.
The fact that there’s no way to know which part of a dog’s breed may influence their behavior is powerful. Even if a dog is purebred, you still don’t know what breed traits it possesses, there are too many factors at play.
The only thing you do know for sure is the behavior you observe from the dog – and that’s what really matters.
You’re in the business of placing great pets in great homes. You can’t do that if your descriptions of dogs are based entirely on guesswork. That doesn’t make for good adoption matches, but observing the dog in front of you does.
The idea of removing breed labels seems like a great one to shelter workers (and it is!), but we know that idea usually brings up a lot of questions about how to navigate the seemingly uncharted territory of life without labels.
So, it’s a good thing we’ve mapped out answers to all of those questions for you! (more…)
As you know (because we won’t stop talking about it), visually identifying a dog is not an accurate way of determining a dog’s breed. Not only that, people make assumptions about a dog based on the labels we give them. While breed traits do exist, they are only part of what makes up a whole dog.
So many of you are on board with the idea of dropping breed labels at your shelter. You know you understand the importance of focusing on each dog’s individual personality. We also know that it’s a big change and change can be overwhelming.
That’s why we’re here. We’re here to help you overcome that hurdle and take the leap into marketing without breed labels.
One of the central goals of Animal Farm Foundation is for shelters (and, well, everyone really) to stop labeling dogs based on physical appearance. By now, you know all about the inaccuracy of visual breed identification. But what about the dogs whose breeds (purebred or mixed) are known? We know you’re wondering one thing:
“Isn’t it wrong to not tell adopters about a dog’s breed traits? Isn’t that holding back information they need?”
****UPDATE: February 5, 2017****
In December 2016, Petfinder added “mixed breed” as a primary identifier for the dogs listed on their site. Because of this excellent news, our dogs are once again listed on Petfinder.
If you’ve spent any time on our site or hung out with us on social media, you know that we stress the individuality of dogs. You also know that it’s impossible to identify a dog’s breed based on visual identification. That’s why we steer clear of labeling the dogs who come into our shelter. We don’t know the pedigree of the overwhelming majority of them. There’s no way we can honestly select a breed label. (more…)