Next time you’re scrolling through the available pets page on the MAC website, you may notice that none of the dogs will have a breed identification anymore. If you’re asking yourself why that is, the answer is actually super simple: MAC will no longer be labeling dogs in our care by breed, but rather, will focus on personalities, behavioral traits and circumstances unique to each dog.
The decision to remove breed labels was made after much research and consideration. Studies have even shown how impactful this focus on personality and circumstances can be for shelter pets!
An example of such a study comes from UMass Chan Medical School. The study of more than 2,000 purebred and mixed-breed dogs suggests that behavioral traits in dogs are not specific for breed. What’s more, studies show that even experts like veterinarians guess wrong 75% of the time when attempting to identify mixed breed dogs.
See the UMASS study here: https://bit.ly/UMASSDogBreedStudy
Dogs have roughly 20,000 genes that make up their entire genome, but only 50 of those make up the way they look — that’s less than 1%! Based on that, it’s easy to agree that looks don’t always indicate the behavior or temperament you will receive from a dog. Because breed labels are so often incorrect or misleading, removing them actually will allow potential adopters to make more informed and objective decisions about which dog is the best fit for their home and family.
“Rather than focusing on how a dog looks or how it is labeled,” says Executive Director Inga Fricke, “adopters will be able to choose a new family member based on more relevant factors like size, energy level, and compatibility with other pets and children. We believe this will not only make better matches between people and pets, but will ensure that wonderful companion dogs are not overlooked simply because of labels that are often just educated guesses.
This decision does not mean that MAC is no longer interested in the breed or breed mix of the dogs in our care. We will still consider factors such as size, energy level, and compatibility with other pets and children when matching dogs with potential adopters. However, we believe that by removing breed labels, we can create a more inclusive and fair environment for all of the animals in our care.
MAC believes that every dog deserves a chance at a loving home, regardless of their breed. We hope that this decision will help more people open their hearts and homes to the wonderful dogs in our care.
To see all of the wonderful pets currently looking to be adopted at MAC, click here: https://bit.ly/MACPets