Va. Dog Shelter Sheds Practice of Labeling Dogs by Breed

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A humane society chapter in Virginia is among a growing number of shelters that will no longer categorize dogs by breed.

WAVY-TV reported Friday that the Portsmouth Humane Society will refer to its dogs simply as “American Shelter Dogs.”

The shelter said breed labels can be misleading, even when they’re accurate. PHS said it can tell potential pet owners everything about a dog’s personality, the commands it knows and if they’ll be a good fit for a particular family.

Few dogs arrive at the shelter with information about their breed. And DNA tests are unaffordable for most shelters.

Breed labels can also promote preconceived notions about a dog’s temperament. Such assumptions can impact how long a dog waits to be adopted.

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