Published on: 17 Nov, 2021
Why can't I search by breed?
There are several reasons why we don't have the ability to search by breed on our website, and have now removed the breed listing from the front page of search results.
One of the best reasons to adopt a rescue pet is finding a pet that’s perfectly matched to your lifestyle, family and circumstances. The majority of pets listed on PetRescue are being cared for in foster homes, so the carers are able to provide a fairly accurate description of the pet's personality and what sort of home they'd suit.
The breed listings, on the other hand, are almost always a guess when it comes to rescue pets. There's now a lot of research around that shows that even animal professionals are often very wrong when guessing the breed mix of a dog with unknown heritage.
This means that, for example, when you scroll past a dog that's listed as a "Kelpie X" on PetRescue because you think the dog will be too energetic for you, that dog may actually have no Kelpie in him at all! He may in fact be a couch potato, and maybe he would have been a great match for your home!
Even if the guesses on breed by rescue groups were accurate, all dogs are individuals and the idea that all pets of a certain breed have the same behavioural traits is a bit like claiming that all Australians love to surf, or all kids from the same family have identical personalities. This infographic by Animal Farm Foundation is a really great resource for understanding dog genetics and how they influence behaviour. In short - a dog's appearance is not a good predictor of how it may behave, especially when it comes to mix-breed dogs (which the vast majority of dogs in rescue are).
Our goal is to help all of Australia's homeless pets find their perfect match, and by relying on someone's guess as to a dogs breed or mix you may be excluding the very pet that would be your perfect match. The search filters on our site encourage adopters to look beyond broad generalisations about breed, and focus more on the pet's personality, how they suit you, your lifestyle and your family. We're also looking to add more filters soon that will allow you to search for more behaviour-based traits, like for example being able to search for only dogs that have been identified as lower energy by the organisation that has them in care.
Banner image: Pepper, available for adoption via RSPCA Dakabin.