Every Christmas we have lots of fun starting relationships with new puppies or kittens. We can tell from our first visit with you whether you've gotten a "lemon" or not, and we will immediately begin coaching you in things to say or do (or sometimes NOT to say or do!). The following is a look at five breeds that are often left abandoned or euthanized. Their worst offense? Their human owners never should have bought them. Ideally, people should choose the right dog to match their lifestyles.
Rottweilers (and Rottweiler Mixes)
These large dogs can exceed 130 pounds. This dog is not for everyone because they're big, strong and can be headstrong. If they don't have good training as puppies then they will have behavioral problems as adults. This breed (along with the Pit Bull) suffers from bad press and sometimes people feel they have no choice but to give up.
Pit Bulls (and Pit Bull Mixes)
This includes any dog that resembles the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier or Bull Terrier. This is easily the most vilified, even hated, dog. Ledy VanKavage, senior director at the ASPCA, calls it a "witch hunt" and even equates it to "canine racism." If a Pit Bull runs up to a child to say "hi," authorities are called in. If that dog is a Golden Retriever, nothing would happen. Remember, though, this is also a large, headstrong dog and some come with difficult-to-deal-with behavioral baggage.
Labradors (and Lab Mixes)
People expect Labs to be perfectly trained, like service Labs who work with the physically or visually impaired. However, they have great drive and a very high work ethic — sometimes it's hard to settle them down. They are certainly great dogs for a fairly active family but not for old Grandma. Sometimes peoples' expectations are too high, and this dog finds it difficult to live up to them.
Terriers (and Terrier mixes)
Many are less than 30 pounds but don't let their size fool you. It's a whole lot of dog in a little package! They're dynamic, fast, tough and actively tell you all about it. There's a reason they're sometimes called terrors instead of terriers!
Border Collies (Border Collie Mixes)
These dogs are the smartest of all dog breeds and their exercise requirements are measured in hours, not minutes. What does a bored Border Collie do — anything it wants and most of it isn't good in an apartment or small house! An outlet for their intensity is important or they can develop problems.