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It's funny reading this forum because I recently passed on a super cute dog because I wasn't convinced they knew for sure what breed he was. The foster told me they "believe the mother was xxx breed". I am looking for something specific and the more pictures I saw, the more he looked like a hound to me and it's just not what I want right now. He did end up getting adopted though so I'm happy for him.

I think it's kind of ridiculous how hard it can be to adopt from a rescue or shelter in the first place and one of their reasons is to match the right dogs up with the right owners. That logic fails when you are telling someone their new puppy is a herding breed when it looks like a hound and grows up to act like a hound and also turns out much bigger than the family wanted.
 

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People are not psychic nor can they go back in time to find when the 2 dogs mated to see what mix or single breed a puppy can be. Sometimes a guess is only a guess, so it's up to the adopter to decide on whether they want to adopt said puppy or not. I will say that some are not the greatest at guessing, but is everyone a pro at everything?....nope. If a puppy is fostered in a home, they can get a sense for how the pup will be. Plus if they socialize and do a lot with the pup, chances are greater he/she will be a good pet. It's up to the new home to continue with the work. Give people some credit for trying to do something good with limited resources and history.
 

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I often wonder who lists the breeds on the shelter websites, because a lot of the time...I just don't think they've hit the nail on the head.
I've also found they tend to label dogs as an exotic/rare dog to drum up interest. The shelters around me are pretty good, but it's rare for them to have more than 5 or 6 dogs at a time, so I don't think space is an issue.
 

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All you have to do is look at some cross-bred dogs that you know what they are but would never guess right. This is Bonnie, what do you think a rescue would label her as?
 

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Adorable!

I would have no idea where to start on breed though.


That sounds frustrating OP, some people just don't seem to be okay saying "we don't know". Our rescue was most conspcerned about us being safe; not hoarders and willing to organize a vet and obedience training. They were also keen on matching temperaments of older dogs with adopters but they made no guarantee on breed even though they were breed specific, it was always "this is our best guess". We ended up with a breeder, not a good one :(, because of breed restrictions.

What breed are you looking for?
 

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All you have to do is look at some cross-bred dogs that you know what they are but would never guess right. This is Bonnie, what do you think a rescue would label her as?
I think a shelter would call it an Aussiepoo. LOL There is one on the coast of SC that would charge $300+ for her!!!
 

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Like Timber said they're just guessing because what else can they do short of extremely expensive DNA tests? It can be hard to tell what breed/mix a dog is, especially when they're a puppy and you don't have the parents. In terms of size all potential adopters should be told that it's a crapshoot in terms of how big the dog will get. Also, even if you have one or both parents there's no guarantee what a dog's personality will be like. There are always outliers in terms of a "normal" personality for a breed.

If you want to adopt a dog knowing what the mother is you should go to a rescue/shelter that has whelped the puppies and has the mom, or seek out a good breeder who breeds a dog you want.
@purplesully I don't think $300 is a lot to ask even for a rescue dog that comes neutered and vetted. That was Stella's adoption fee! @Kyllobernese Stop keeping us in suspense! What is that puppy? I think purplesully's guess sounded pretty accurate.
 

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Bonnie's mother is a purebred Golden Retriever and her father was a grey merle and white large Miniature Poodle. As poodles do not come in merle and the people who had him also bred Aussies, it is a good guess where it got it's merle from.
Purplesullys guess was a good one as you would never guess she was half Golden Retriever. She is 9 months old now and weighs 48 lbs. She has a really curly coat so I have her clipped down short right now for the hot weather as she will be going swimming a lot.
 

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I think a lot of shelters and rescues base their breed guesses on color. Anything brown with black markings is a "shepherd mix," anything black or yellow is a "lab mix," anything merle is an "aussie or acd mix" (although there's a rescue here that's catching on to catahoulas too), black with tan markings is a "rottie mix," etc.

Oh, and pit bulls are always "terrier" or "lab" mixes :p
 

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traciek88 I didn't mean anything negative about my comment. Let me explain. Where I live, a typical adoption fee is between 85 and 150 dollars. There are a couple shelters that ask 200, but three hundred in my area is very high. No negativity meant.
 

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This is something I generally dislike about shelters. I see a lot of dogs labelled husky/shepherd/aussie/what have you, and a lot of the time it seems they do it to get people interested since those are popular (high drive) breeds. They use those breeds in mixes to get people attracted to adopting them based on breed popularity (whether it's intentional or not.) A lot of adopters end up not being prepared for these dogs and they get sent back or end up with a lot of problems.

I just wish people who determine the breeds were a little more accurate. Some of them are so obvious, it hurts to browse PetFinder.

(Not to mention those misleading descriptions for the pets to make them seem like less of a problem dog than they actually are. I hate seeing reactive dogs sugarcoated.)
 

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shelter dogs and mixed breeds are often kinder surprise eggs. people should know that when they come to a shelter.
the people in the shelter have seen many dogs and some can guess breeds really well, but as long as a dog isn't registered in the respective breeding club, you can be pretty sure that they're mixed breeds.
With puppies it is especially difficult.
for people that don't want this, there's still breeders.
buying from a registered, responsible breeder and supporting healthy and responsible breeding and breed-specific research is a form of animal welfare as well.
And then there are of course breed specific rescues where you can be relatively sure that the respecitive breed is at least part of the dogs genetic background.

A big part of the dogs in our shelter have either Schäfi or Bullybreed in them, you can realitvely simply see these breeds.
both are not the easist to adopt out,with Schäfis it is because there are so many of them and many of them are slightly "special needs"...they need someone that it able to deal with this kind of working dog, they've got to be willing to work/train with them and they shouldn't leave the dog alone too long during the day. (single, full-time worker living in an apartment or having an unfenced yard have it difficult to get a dog in the shelters.)
A lot of Schäfis also react really bad on being in a shelter in compared to other breed(mixes) and so they don't look/act as appealing as some smaller, more fluffy dogs.
A lot of Schäfis bond so strongly with their handler/owner that they feel really unhappy when they don't have a human of their own and unhappy dogs can show some weird behaviour.

with Pitties, additional to the stereotypes, it is that in many federal states Pitties are either not allowed or the dog tax is higher than for "non SoKas" (SoKa: sogenannte Kampfhunde/so-called fighting dogs).
Some of Pittie-mixes also had already a string of different owners and especially need someone being able to meet their needs and is able to invest the time.
In some shelters it takes years to adopt these dogs out and the older a dog becomes the more difficult it is to adopt them out.
I can understand why some shelters may feel it needed to call their pittie-mixes Boxer-mixes to avoid the stigma even though i don't like it because just because someone is fitting and willing to own a Boxer doesn't mean they're the right home for a Pittie.

if there are other breeds, they often come when people notice they don't stay puppies (i.e. 9 month to 3 year old adolecents) or because they're breeds that need a bit more of work (dogs with protection or prey drive for example or dogs that need more training/exercise/metal stimulation than the usually 0815-dog), or because they're sick/handicapped or pregnant.
and then there are of course the dog that get given up because the owners are stupid, dead, sick, pregnant or broke up with their partner.
 
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