The 6 Most Common Dogs in Animal Shelters — And Why You Should Consider Taking Them Home

girl kissing dog

With all the love and loyalty dogs give us, PEDIGREE® is a huge supporter of animal adoption. In our work with shelters around the world, we’ve noticed certain dog breeds are found there more than others. This is often a result of unfair breed stereotypes, overbreeding popular dogs or dogs requiring higher amounts of care than anticipated.

We want to speak out on behalf of these animals — what might not be right for one owner could be the dog of a lifetime for another, like you!

Six Common Dog Breeds in Shelters

Let’s take a look at some of these dog breeds often in search of a forever home.

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Pit Bulls

Pit bulls are long misunderstood for their athleticism, which, sadly, often makes them targets of abuse and gives them a reputation for being dangerous. In reality, they’re quite patient, fun-loving and wonderful around children. Their tenacity and courage also make them very receptive to training.

labrador in front of yellow backdrop

Labrador Retrievers

This is America’s most popular dog, which, at times, leads to overbreeding by irresponsible breeders. It’s unfortunate because they’re loyal and loving, with more than enough attention to give to an entire family. Plus, they really love playing in the water.

german shepherd in front of yellow backdrop

German Shepherds

A very popular large dog and often another victim of overbreeding, German shepherds are loyal, confident, smart and easy to train. They’re usually easygoing but can be protective when threatened, making them excellent watchdogs.

dachshund in front of yellow backdrop


Did you know these adorable “wiener dogs” were originally bred in Germany to hunt badgers? That’s why they can have such strong and stubborn personalities despite their small size. They’re also very clever, loyal to their owners and excellent snugglers.

chihuahua in front of yellow backdrop


While adorable and loving, this breed does often have a nervous personality, which can cause them to bark or snap at strangers. Chihuahuas can be alert and wary of strangers at first, but loyal and good family pets if treated properly. Their petite size makes them perfect companions for people in smaller homes or apartments.

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These strong, athletic dogs can be excitable, so they may require more exercise and attention than some owners are prepared to give. Boxers are awfully sweet and playful and love to stay busy. If you’re looking for a furry workout partner, this may be it.

Finding Your Furry Soulmate

Remember that these characteristics are just a starting point when picking a dog breed, and many shelter dogs may be a mix of several breeds. Every shelter dog has their own unique personality and temperament, so it’s important to spend some time getting to know each other at the shelter before bringing them to their forever home.

If you’d like to learn more about pet adoption and what to expect, you can find tons of helpful articles and resources at

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