Misconceptions About Shelter Dogs: Debunking the Myths

April 27, 2023
Annette Thompson

It’s a common misconception that all shelter dogs are ‘damaged goods’. This outdated notion is akin to throwing away the key when it comes to adopting a pup.

In reality, there are countless loving and loyal animals waiting in animal shelters for their forever homes. Let’s clarify some of the most widespread myths regarding shelter dogs by taking a closer look at them.

misconception about shelter dogs


Shelter pets do not necessarily have behavioral problems or medical issues; many simply ended up in shelters due to unfortunate circumstances. These pooches can be just as healthy and well-adjusted as any other pet you’d find from another source.

Additionally, these pups come with an added bonus: they’ve already been spayed/neutered, meaning one less thing to worry about in terms of veterinary care!

What Is A Shelter Dog?

A shelter dog is a dog that has been lost, abandoned or surrendered by their previous owner and is now residing in a shelter or animal rescue organization. These dogs are typically waiting for a new family or owner to adopt them and provide them with a new home. Shelter dogs come in all breeds, sizes, and ages, and can be mixed or purebred. Adopting a shelter dog not only gives them a second chance at life, but it also helps to reduce the number of dogs that are euthanized in shelters each year.

Shelter Dogs Have Behavioral Problems

Many people believe that shelter dogs come with an array of behavioral issues, but this simply isn’t the case. The truth is, many shelters take diligent measures to ensure that all their animals are healthy and well-adjusted.

misconception about shelter dogs


For instance, some shelters have trained staff assess each animal’s behavior upon intake so they can be placed in a home best suited for them. Additionally, potential adopters must go through an interview process to make sure the dog will fit into their lifestyle and environment.

In addition, there are often rescue groups who specialize in rehabilitating hard-to-place dogs such as those who were abused or neglected. These organizations provide these animals with the love and care they need to become happy members of society again. In addition, volunteers from these groups frequently foster the dogs until they find long-term homes where they can live out the remainder of their lives in an atmosphere of acceptance and affection.

Shelter dogs may not come without any baggage, but it’s important to remember that no living being is perfect; even if you purchase a pup from a breeder or pet store its still possible for it develop undesirable behaviors down the road.

Ultimately, what really matters when considering adopting a new pet is finding one whose personality meshes well with yours and your family’s needs – whether from a shelter or elsewhere.

Adopting A Shelter Dog Is Risky

Adopting a shelter dog may seem like an intimidating and risky process, but it’s not as daunting as some would have you believe. It can be likened to taking the plunge off a tall diving board – leaping blindly into the unknown. But with careful research and preparation, adopting from a shelter could lead to your perfect furry companion.

Here are three key things to consider when thinking about bringing home a pup from a shelter:

  1. Researching shelters: Take time to research different shelters in your area, so that you know what kind of pups they typically bring in and how long their stay is likely to be.
  2. Knowing your needs: Consider what type of dog will most suit your way of life—do you want a dog who plays fetch or one that likes long strolls? Do you require someone who behaves well around children and other animals? Before signing any adoption paperwork, be sure to get all of these questions addressed.
  3. Preparing for transition: After selecting your new four-legged friend, ask staff at the shelter if they provide resources or advice on helping them adjust to life outside of the kennel walls. This could include tips on crate training, housebreaking, socialization – whatever it takes for successful integration into its forever home!

Adoptive pet parents should understand their responsibilities associated with caring for an animal before taking them in; however, contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more risk involved than buying from a breeder or store. With proper planning and understanding of expectations prior to adoption day – both parties stand to benefit immensely from such an agreement!

Shelter Dogs Are Too Expensive

One of the most common misconceptions about shelter dogs is that they are too expensive. However, this could not be further from the truth.

misconception about shelter dogs


Adopting a pet from a local animal rescue or humane society can often run significantly less than buying one through a breeder or pet store. This cost savings is because many shelters vaccinate and spay/neuter their animals before adoption, which can help reduce long-term medical costs for adopters. In addition, some organizations even provide free microchipping services as well as ongoing post-adoption support such as discounted vaccinations and other health care items.

Furthermore, adopting from a reputable organization also helps save money in terms of screening potential owners before placement occurs. Reputable rescues will ensure that any prospective adopter meets certain criteria before placing an animal into their home, which means fewer risks associated with having to return the pet later down the road if it doesn’t work out – something that can often happen when someone buys a puppy on impulse without doing proper research first.

Ultimately, while there may be some upfront costs associated with rescuing a dog, these fees should be seen more as an investment in your pet’s future rather than just another expense because you’re getting much more than just peace of mind knowing you gave them a good home; you’re saving lives in the process!

Shelter Dogs Are Unhealthy

Contrary to popular belief, shelter dogs are often healthy and happy animals. In fact, over 70% of pets adopted from shelters have been found to be as healthy or healthier than those obtained from breeders! This figure is even more amazing when you take into account that a shelter dog typically lives approximately twice as long as a wandering animal.

Shelter dogs can make wonderful family members due to their overall health and wellbeing:

  • They generally receive medical attention including vaccinations;
  • They may already be house trained, socialized with people, and spayed/neutered;
  • Many shelters offer pet adoption counseling services to help choose the right match for your home.

Adopting a shelter pup comes with many rewards such as saving an animal in need, getting exercise outdoors (especially if it’s a larger breed), and providing companionship. Not only do these benefits come without any significant risks but they also contribute positively to both mental and physical health.

All in all, taking on the responsibility of an adorable rescue dog can bring joy into anyone’s life while helping out at the same time.

Shelter Dogs Are Untrained

misconception about shelter dogs


Another common misconception about shelter dogs is that they’re untrained. While it’s true that some may lack basic obedience training, there are plenty of trained pooches available too – oftentimes even more so than those found in pet stores! Shelters often offer basic obedience classes and behavior modification programs to help new adopters get off on the right paw with their new family member.

Many potential dog owners worry about adopting a shelter pup because they don’t know what kind of personality they will have when brought home. However, most animal shelters take great pride in matching pets with families based on lifestyle and energy level. This means that you can likely find a pup who perfectly fits into your family dynamic – making them an ideal companion for years to come!

Shelter Dogs Have Special Needs

Shelter dogs do have special needs that need to be taken into consideration when adopting them. Many people believe these animals are more difficult to care for than an animal from a breeder, but this is far from the truth. In reality, shelter pups just require some extra love and patience in order to thrive in their new home.

Here’s why:

  • They may be shy or scared of unfamiliar people and surroundings due to prior neglect or abuse
  • It can take time for them to adjust after being uprooted from the only environment they’ve known
  • They often come with health issues stemming from long-term malnutrition or lack of medical attention
  • They may act out as a result of feeling anxious or stressed in a strange place

Adopting a shelter dog can bring immense joy and satisfaction into one’s life – all it takes is an open heart and mind ready to give unconditional love and understanding. With proper training and guidance, you will find your furry friend quickly becomes part of the family, providing endless companionship, loyalty, and affection throughout the years ahead.

Shelters Don’t Have Purebreds

Contrary to what we often hear about shelters having only mixed-breed mutts, there are actually plenty of purebreds available for adoption too! This means that those looking for a specific breed can find one with ease – they just might have to take their time searching through the various kennels until they spot the right pup.

misconception about shelter dogs


It’s also crucial to remember that your pup will still bring you a ton of love and happiness even if you don’t choose a purebred! Adopting an animal from a shelter doesn’t always mean losing out on quality; in fact, most rescue pets prove to be incredibly loyal companions.

So whether you’re after a certain type of pooch or simply want someone who’ll shower you with unconditional affection – look no further than your local animal shelter!

Shelters Don’t Have Puppies

Contrary to popular belief, shelters do have puppies available for adoption. Many people don’t know this and believe that if they want a puppy, they must get it from a breeder or pet shop. However, there are lots of cute puppies in animal shelters that are awaiting adoption by devoted families.

Adopting a puppy from a shelter as opposed to buying one elsewhere has a number of advantages:

  • Shelters have lower adoption fees than pet stores and breeders that often cover spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, vaccinations, and other medical costs.
  • Puppies at the shelter can receive additional training before going home with their new family so they can start off on the right paw!
  • You may even find purebreds at some shelters which gives you more options in finding the perfect pup for you.
  • Most importantly, you will be saving a life when you adopt from a shelter because these pups would otherwise face euthanasia due to overcrowding.

Adopting a puppy from an animal shelter not only saves lives but also provides countless opportunities for joy and companionship. People should consider visiting their local shelter first before looking anywhere else for their next furry family member; it could result in much fulfillment both emotionally and financially!

Shelter Dogs Are Too Old

The idea that shelter dogs are too old to be adopted is a misconception. I remember when I went to the animal shelter, there were young pups and older canines alike – all looking for their forever home.

While my heart strings tugged at me to take one of the puppies home, I ended up adopting an 8-year-old dog instead. She had been in the shelter for over a year and was always overlooked by potential adopters because she wasn’t a puppy anymore. Little did they know how much joy this pup would bring into our lives!

Adopting an older pet has its advantages; you don’t have to go through potty training or dealing with destructive behaviours that often come along with younger animals. Older pets are usually already house trained, which makes them easier to care for than puppies or kittens – plus they offer unconditional love from day one!

When visiting a shelter, it’s important not to overlook those older dogs waiting patiently for someone to give them a chance. You never know what kind of bond you’ll share until you meet your furry friend face-to-face.

Adopt don’t shop, and make sure age isn’t stopping you from finding your new best friend!

Shelter Dogs Are Unsocialized

Another misbelief about shelter dogs is that they are unsocialized or unstable. This simply isn’t true – in fact, many rescue organizations make sure their animals receive necessary socialization and training prior to being offered up for adoption. So while it may take some extra time and effort to get your new pet acclimated to its surroundings, you can rest assured knowing it has been well taken care of before coming into your home.

misconception about shelter dogs


Many people mistakenly think that adopting a shelter dog requires more work than buying one from a breeder, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! With proper exercise and plenty of affection, any rescued animal can become an integral part of the family in no time at all.

All they ask is for patience, understanding, and unconditional love – something anyone with a heart full of compassion should be able to provide.

Shelter Dogs Are Unlovable

Although it’s widely believed that shelter dogs are unlovable, nothing could be further from the truth. These animals actually have a ton of affection to give and can be fantastic companions; they just require someone who is ready to spend the time getting to know them.

misconception about shelter dogs lovable


They may act timid or shy at first, as any creature would in an unfamiliar environment, but all it takes is a gentle touch and some patience to unlock their true personality and show how much they care.

A shelter dog’s capacity for love often goes unrecognized due to misperceptions of what these pets are like. That doesn’t mean there aren’t issues that require attention — many of them come from traumatic backgrounds or lack basic training — but those things don’t stop them from loving and being loved in return.

Even the most timid dog can develop into a devoted friend who enjoys nothing more than playing catch in the backyard or curling up on your lap after a hard day with enough patience and understanding.

When you open your heart to one of these amazing creatures, you will receive tenfold in affection and loyalty — if only people could see past their initial impression of shelter dogs!

By giving them a chance, anyone can discover all the joys that having one brings; it’s not just about rescuing an animal in need – it’s also about experiencing life with unconditional love by your side.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do I Have To Wait To Adopt A Shelter Dog?

Adopting a shelter dog can be an exceptionally rewarding experience, but it’s important to know how long you should wait before taking one home.

Generally speaking, the amount of time required between when you first express interest in a particular pet and when you’re able to take them home will depend on the individual animal’s needs and the policies of your local shelter or rescue organization.

In most cases, however, it shouldn’t take longer than 1-2 weeks for everything to come together and complete the adoption process.

Can I Foster A Shelter Dog Before Making A Commitment To Adoption?

Yes, you can foster a shelter dog before making a commitment to adoption.

In fact, fostering is an excellent way to make sure the pup is the right fit for your lifestyle and family.

Many shelters offer trial programs so that people can take their time getting to know the pet without any longterm obligations or commitments.

Fostering also allows potential adopters to give dogs who are still looking for homes some much-needed love and attention in a safe environment.

Are There Age Restrictions For Adopting A Shelter Dog?

When it comes to adopting a dog, age limitations are not unusual in shelters.

Generally, adopters must be 18 years of age or older in order to adopt from most shelters.

Depending on the state and local laws, this may vary but typically being 18 is a requirement.

In some cases, if you are between 16-17 years old, you may still be able to adopt with parental consent or supervision.

Some organizations also require adoption applicants to pass a background check as part of the process.

What Is The Process For Adopting A Shelter Dog?

Adopting a shelter dog is not only an incredibly rewarding experience, but it also helps to save lives!

The process for adopting from shelters can vary depending on the organization, however.

Generally speaking, you will need to fill out an adoption application and provide proof of residence as well as valid identification.

Following approval, you will meet with a representative from the shelter to explore your needs and lifestyle in order to discover the best possible fit.

Shelter staff are highly trained and dedicated to finding good homes for their furry residents – so rest assured that you’re in good hands when going through this process!

Are There Any Discounts For Adopting A Shelter Dog?

Adopting a shelter dog can be an affordable option for those looking to add a furry friend to their family.

Many shelters offer discounts and financial assistance when it comes to adoption, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.

Be sure to ask your local shelter if they have any special offers or payment plans available before committing to an adoption.


The process of adopting a shelter dog may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Shelters are more than willing to help you find the perfect fit for your family, and they will provide guidance on every step of the way.

Plus, discounts are often available so that everyone can afford to give a pup in need a forever home.

There’s no time like the present – don’t let false misconceptions stop you from taking this life-changing plunge!

As the old saying goes; “A house is not a home without a loving companion – adopt one today!”

At Bone Voyage Dog Rescue, our goal is to find loving homes for dogs who have been abused or ignored.

The goal of our adoption program is to find each dog the best home possible. We take the time to learn about each dog’s unique personality traits so that we can match them with the best people. Bone Voyage’s scheme for adopting dogs is like giving them a second chance at life.

If you want to help but can’t commit to adoption, fostering is a great way to help. Through foster care, a dog that needs a home can find one. It’s a great way to help out without making a long-term commitment. Please send us an email at [email protected].

We couldn’t do anything without the hard work of our workers. Volunteers are always welcome for any job, from walking dogs to putting on parties. Your time and effort will make a huge difference in the lives of our dogs, and we would be very grateful for whatever you can give. If you would like to help, please email us at [email protected].

For more information about our adoption, please call us at +52 3329718011 or email us at [email protected].

Help them have their forever home

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