Looks Don't Equal Behavior

A dog’s breed, assumed or known, is not indicative of how that dog will behave. Adopters need information on a dog’s personality and behavior, not on breed. It’s time to move past outdated and inaccurate visual identification. It’s time to view all dogs as individuals.
“The problem is breed identity elicits behavioral expectations on the part of the new owner, even though researchers have found enormous behavioral variability within all breeds.” Dr. Amy Marder, VMD, CAAB

Policy and Research Consultant, National Canine Research Council

FAQs about Removing Breed Labels

Find answers to all of your questions and concerns about why removing breed labels is the best thing for all shelter dogs. Get tips on helping your shelter staff make the change and learn how to answer questions from the public.

Research on the Irrelevance of Breed Labels

View studies and academic papers that show how breed labels negatively affect shelter dogs. Get data on how adoption rates increase for all dogs after shelters focus on a dog’s needs and not breed.

Learn How to Communicate Without Labels

Help your shelter staff better communicate a life without breed labels to potential adopters with these role-playing questions. Show them how to accurate and transparently answer questions about your dogs.

A Life without Labels Changed the Way These Shelters Operate

“Before the new kennel cards debuted, we had several staff training sessions to prepare everyone for what to say when people asked about breed.We figured there would be a ton of questions from people wondering why we omitted it from the kennel card, [but] the response ended up being basically no response. We get occasional questions, but people are generally satisfied when we explain why we don’t know what breed most of our dogs are.” Samantha Miller

Capital Area Humane Society

“Removing breed labels opened up a positive dialogue with our community. We encourage our adopters, volunteers, and supporters to evaluate the dogs in our care based on their known behaviors instead of assumptions or expectations. If a potential adopter asks for a specific breed, we ask them what qualities they are looking for and find them a suitable dog based on those personality traits. We steer the conversation more towards lifestyle and have found that we are able to better match adopters with dogs. ” Neely Conway

Digital Marketing Manager, Lifeline Animal Project

Find Out Which Shelters Across the U.S. View All Dogs As Individuals

View Shelters that Removed Breed Labels in a full screen map

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