Reasons Shelter Dogs Are Not Getting Adopted

Dogs are an enormous benefit to your health and I highly recommend adding one to your family. They can help you stay active, help you lose weight, improve your social life, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your heart health. Many people already know this but once they decide to bring a dog home, they don’t even entertain the idea of getting a shelter dog and contact a breeder instead.

I’ll admit, we brought a purebred dog into our home from a breeder before we knew anything about shelter dogs and the major need for people to adopt them. We did, however, go straight to a shelter for our second doggie addition to the family.

So why don’t people adopt shelter dogs? Is it due to lack of information? Is it the stigma surrounding a dog that was abandoned? I’m certain there are many reasons but the truth is, a shelter dog is no different from a dog you get from a breeder and can actually be a much better fit for many homes.

After doing some research, I’ve come up with a few reasons why I believe people don’t want to adopt a shelter dog.


Not Purebred

There are actually many purebred dogs that end up in shelters after being surrendered for a number of reasons. Many shelters have websites where they post the dogs available for adoption and some shelters even allow you to sign up for notifications to get alerted when the specific breed you’re looking for arrives at the shelter.

There are also rescues just for purebreds so if you’re absolutely set on getting a purebred and you are ready to adopt, do a quick internet search for purebred rescues in your area.

Potential Behavior Problems

It’s easy to spot if a dog has a serious behavioral issue before you adopt them. If you are concerned about bad habits like chewing, digging, or barking, these behaviors can be easily corrected with training. Even if you end up adopting a purebred puppy, you will need to train them to correct any bad behaviors anyway.

In addition, you’ll still have to work to socialize and train any dog throughout their life. When visiting a shelter, keep in mind that your first impression will be of a very scared dog and this is not a true first impression.

They’re Too Old

First of all, shelters often have many puppies to choose from so you can still find a young dog, if that’s what you’re set on. Secondly, an older dog has quite a few benefits; they’re potty trained, usually know basic commands like sit, stay or come, and they will never take your love for granted.

Shelter and Rescue Screening Takes Too Long

Some shelters don’t require much, if any, screening and some rescues require home checks and applications. The benefit of having a rescue that does a detailed screening is that they also do a thorough screening of the dog by having them in a foster home prior to adoption. That means that any temperament details will already be known and it will be more likely that the home will be a perfect fit for both the dog and the family. Either way, all shelters have one goal in mind: to find a dog a forever-home.

Possible Health Issues

Even with a purebred dog, you have no way to know if they will have health issues in the future. In fact, many purebred dogs are predisposed to genetic health conditions. Yes, some shelter dogs may already have some prior health issues, like being bow-legged or having a skin condition, but many of these can be easily managed. Either way, you’ll be taking the same risk with a dog from a breeder as you would with a dog from a shelter.

IMG_0280Snuggling with my shelter dog

Luckily, California is paving the way to save abandoned dogs by implementing a new law that bans puppy mills beginning on January 1st 2019. I hope this encourages other states to do the same so puppy mills can be completely shut down.

If you are still not convinced that getting a shelter dog is for you, try doing some research of your own and perhaps start with this article: https://www.thedodo.com/dog-shelter-guide-adoptions-1532460278.html.

If you already have a shelter dog but need to find out what breed it is, you can order a DNA kit from Wisdom Panel and get some insight. You will receive a comprehensive report with ancestry information, breed descriptions, predicted weight profile, and more.

Disclaimer: This post is the opinion of the author. Always speak to your doctor before beginning any exercise plan or changes to your lifestyle. The information provided in this post is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to provide medical, legal, or other professional advice. Read and/or use any of the information from this post at your own risk. Some or all of the links displayed on this site may be affiliate links.

1 thought on “Reasons Shelter Dogs Are Not Getting Adopted”

  1. We have two shelter dogs and they are the best dogs ever. They have issues, but I think all dogs do. I truly believe when you adopt a shelter dogs they know you saved their life and they are so relieved and grateful.

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