did the shelter/rescue you got your dog from tell you your dog was something they clearly aren't?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Theodore aka- Teddy - **CGC**

Big Head. Big- Heart.
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 10:33am PST 
After talking to a few friends, it became clear that many shelters, whether purposely or not, tell potential adopters that their dog is a breed mix that they clearly aren't. I will give you my example, and then I would love to hear yours!

I was told when I got Teddy at 9 weeks that he was a shepherd mix (I knew this wasn't true right off of the bat) who would be 30-40 pounds when he is full grown (I believed this BOL).

At 18 months, I can assure you that he is not a shepherd mix at all, but rather some sort of bully mix. In addition, he weighs in at a whopping 70 pounds. I love him dearly and wouldn't trade him for the world, but it is interesting to think that he isn't exactly what I "signed" up for.

Has anyone else come home with a dog that they were told was one thing, only to find out they were clearly something else?
Shane DEC- '08-JAN '12- RIP

In dreams I walk- with you..
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 10:56am PST 
Yep, Shane was allegedly a mastiff mix, and according to the councellor that spent the most time with him, he was dominant, toy and food aggressive, and difficult to train. In just a couple minutes I had him sitting on signal and playing fetch right in front of her! Sometimes shelter volunteers have huge hearts but just not a lot of knowledge.

"To err is- human, to- forgive,- canine."
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 11:13am PST 
Yes they said Buddha was a beagle mix,somehow I doubt that BOL


Only my cover is- scary. Read my- book.
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 12:00pm PST 
Agree with Shane. I know they mean well, but plenty are just regular folks who love animals, but aren't that breed savy. Best to take someone with you who is if you're not familiar. I go on Petfinder all the time. I see some American Bulldogs listed in the Bullmastiff section. There are no white Bullmastiffs.
Pippin CGC

King- Dingleberry!
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 12:15pm PST 
I know that the H.S. I used to work with once had a stray dog listed as a Pyrenean Mastiff which was laughable because there are like 2 breeders in the U.S. & I doubt there was one just running around as a stray!laugh out loud
Theodore aka- Teddy - **CGC**

Big Head. Big- Heart.
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 12:15pm PST 
I agree that most rescue agencies/volunteers mean well, but I wonder how many times their lack of knowledge has had serious consequences--like people returning dogs when it gets much larger than they were told.

I was savvy enough to know that Teddy was some sort of bully mix from the beginning, but I did for some reason believe what they said about his likely size. He is double that! Luckily, I grew up with large dogs, and like them, so it wasn't a real issue for me, but I imagine that for some people it would be.

I wonder if there is a way to volunteer at the shelters simply to help them "label" their dogs more appropriately....
Gray Dawn- Treader

Don't Tread on- me
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 12:16pm PST 
Treader was listed as a Sheltie mix. He's clearly mainly Papillon, though I'm certain he's got at least some Sheltie in there.
Tucker, CGC,- TDI

Bloggin' Dog
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 12:24pm PST 
Ha - yes!

Tucker was listed as a terrier mix when I adopted him, and the funny part is that it wasn't even as if he were a stray. He was an owner turn-in! There was a whole form they had to fill out about the dog and why they were giving him up - I still find it amazing that one of the questions on there was not "What breed/breed mix is the dog?"

I had Tuck for four years before the evaluator for his CGC test clued me in to what he was - she thought she was evaluating the wrong dog or had the wrong paperwork. I later confirmed the evaluator's "diagnosis" by sending photos of Tucker in various poses to some Crested breeders who all confirmed what she had said. Now that I know what he is, I can't believe I didn't see it, but I guess I'd just never seen a Puffy Crested before, and of course the ear set was off because his ears hadn't been taped as a baby. And of course, when I first got him, he was such a mess and had so many food allergies that he barely had any hair, so he certainly wasn't looking very "puffy!" BOL!

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 12:31pm PST 
I've seen a short haired, bully mix type dog labeled as "Ovcharka" on Petfinder.. and the summary said, "Nobody knows what one is so he might as well be one!" .. thinking

I'm also any number of small to medium sized black and tan dogs called "Miniature Pinschers" although nothing else matched, as well as any number of smaller husky purebred/mixes labeled as Alaskan Klee Kai, although from the tail set and ears alone, it's easy to tell..

Along the lines of Pippin's story, I've also seen a person label a dog as a "Shikoku" although there is only 1 breeder in the US and like 2 in the whole North Americas and less than I'd say 20 or 30 individually owned as pets. shrug

Edited by author Sun Nov 8, '09 12:32pm PST


I put the- energizer bunny- to shame!
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 1:07pm PST 
Ah yes Chino's paperwork was messed up somehow and was totally mislabeled....laugh out loud

When I went to adopt her the shelter said she was mostly smooth collie with a bit of ACD (never mind how she got her spots and merling). Since I knew collie's were generally good first owner dogs, I figured it would temper the ACD. Then after I filled out the paperwork I saw her vet records list her as a Catahoula/ACD. By that point I didn't want to un sign everything so I just figured I'd try to learn more about houla's when I got her....not much of a learning curve but more of a learning cliff eek

Although shelter's try their best to make a good guess, I do think that it'd be nice to have a more accuracy. My living situation makes having a DA dog very, very, very, difficult, and if I'd known that Chino were a mix of two high energy, high drive breeds prone to DA...I would have waited for a better match. Well...everything happens for a reason smile
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