Dogs Least Likely to Be Adopted

In Leader of the Pack, Cesar Milan is hoping to find a home for dogs that are deemed unadoptable. Not just any  a home, but one in which they can thrive. In fact, there are thousands of dogs in shelters and rescues who are incredibly difficult to adopt out even without behavior problems. Next time you decide that it is the right time to adopt a new canine companion, consider a dog that falls into one of these difficult-to-adopt categories.

Over-represented Breeds

Pitbulls and Chihuahuas are the two most common breeds found in shelters and because there are so many of them it is difficult to find them all homes. Neither of these breeds inherently has behavior problems, but like any dog they can be difficult to manage. Chihuahuas are high-energy dogs in a tiny package. So they are not for everyone and can also live well into their teens. If you love travel-sized dogs with a whole lot of energy, you don’t have to look any further than your local shelter. There are also more pitbulls in shelters than homes for them. As a large and powerful breed, not every home is suitable for these sweet and fun-loving dogs. They also get a lot of unfair negative press in the media, which makes people reluctant to choose them. However, if you are confident with a larger dog, you are sure to find a wonderful pitbull in your local shelter.

Elderly Dogs

Elderly dogs have a difficult time finding homes because so many people are hoping for puppies or young dogs, thinking that they will have less behavior problems and more fun with a young pooch. Many older dogs had loving homes and may have been given up for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with the dog. Just because an older dog is homeless doesn’t mean that it is a problem dog. In fact, many elderly dogs already know basic commands and are housebroken as well as home friendly.

Black Dogs

Large black dogs have a harder time being placed than most dogs, no matter their breed. People are often intimidated by them and overlook them as potential companions. It could be that in movies and the media, it is always large menacing black dogs that depict evil. Or perhaps it is that they are difficult to read and hard to photograph well. They just don’t get good PR. Many shelters say that big black dogs are more likely to be euthanized than to find a home. There is also an overabundance of them in shelter situations. So if you are looking for your next best friend, maybe take a closer look at a black dog who needs a good home.

In this week’s episode of Cesar Millan’s Leader of the Pack, two-year-old German Shepherd Mojo is having a hard time finding a new home because of his excessive barking and jumping. Thinking that Mojo needs some direction and a purpose in life, Cesar is looking for the perfect family to keep this energetic dog busy, but who will it be. Tune in to Leader of the Pack: Too Much Mojo this Tuesday, March 12 at 8PM et/pt and find out!


  1. Anne Reed
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    March 12, 2013, 1:25 pm

    “Black Dog Syndrome” appears to be a myth that may be actively harmful to shelter dogs with black coats. This study of more than 1200 shelter dogs found that size, age, and breed were all correlated with length of stay, but coat color was not:

  2. Kate
    April 6, 2014, 2:06 am

    Not adopting a dog cause it’s black? That’s really stupid! Although I know this is really how ignorant people are at times! Regarding uthanization, I also feel that what we do to gods creatures without a voice will be done to us or our loved ones eventually!

  3. Trace
    December 10, 2014, 12:15 pm

    Everyone knows stats and studies can say whatever a anyone wants them to say. BDS is quite real and can be scientifically explained. One minor article or study neither proves nor disproves a thing. It’s one study built on limited sampling with limited number of people doing the observations and calculations, observations being based on one’s own perceptions which are different from one person to the next due to life experiences and enculturation and indoctrination and done with the intention of proving BDS is not real. I suppose climate change isn’t real either because their are studies which argue that it is not. People, even a republican senator, has written books refuting the validity of climate change. Studies are a joke. Real life, in the trenches people who work shelters across the United States are saying that BDS is real. I am more likely to believe them then a few interlopers who observe and research for a short duration in a limited sampling pool. Stat studies are a mind yank used to sway public opinion to whatever end is desired, oh, and earn the degree, regardless of reality.

    There are hundred more from researchers and shelter workers that give a god deal more testament to the validity of BDS than your posted limited study.

  4. […] And though it may seem counterintuitive, National Puppy Day is actually the perfect day to honor senior canines. That’s because the real purpose behind National Puppy Day, which was founded by author Colleen Paige in 2006, is to “help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills.” And while adopting a puppy from an animal shelter is a great way to save a life and not support puppy mills, there are also millions of adult dogs who need homes, and finding families for elderly pets is notoriously difficult. […]

  5. […] in the city pound, she probably would have been put down. Unfortunately, pit bulls tend to be the least adopted dogs, and over 200 pit bulls are euthanized every day in Los Angeles County […]

  6. Kayee
    October 15, 2016, 2:52 am

    I think the reason black dogs have a harder time finding homes is because they are easier to overlook. When my daughter’s Girl Scout troop went to the local Humane Society for a tour, the dog-loving girls literally overlooked the black dogs. I pointed out hey, did you girls see this dog, and even the troop leader and assistant leader were surprised that there were dogs they didn’t notice. Black blends in and isn’t flashy, meaning people are gravitating to the ones they see first and falling in love before the black ones get their chance.

    This also happens to black cats.

    Which is why the last time we adopted an animal, we specifically sought a black one.

  7. julie
    October 26, 2016, 1:11 pm

    It’s not just dogs – it’s black pets in general. I went to adopt a guinea pig and the black one I inquired about had been there a while. They said they have a harder time adopting out the black ones. Goes for cats too, people think they’re bad luck. I just want them all ♥

  8. […] said this, research would seem to point to the fact that certain types of dog have a harder time finding good and […]

  9. […] in the city pound, she probably would have been put down. Unfortunately, pit bulls tend to be the least adopted dogs, and over 200 pit bulls are euthanized every day in Los Angeles County alone. Go to the next page […]

  10. Kenneth
    New England
    May 11, 4:19 pm

    I’ve been fortunate to mostly have medium to large black (with a few specks of other colors) dogs as companions during my life. They seem smarter than others as far as I.Q. But then again they were mixed from labs. and sheps. collie, husky. Basically large boarder collies is what you have. If you didn’t know, they are THE most intelligent of all the breeds! Traits like loyalty, honesty, protectiveness, not hostile, good with children and older folks. I did have to train a pup, retrain or accommodate (adjust) a few mature dogs. Sometimes they’re not good enough to be military or service dogs. But they’re MORE than qualified to be great companions, house sitters, swimming pals, yard and garden security. Females, liked to watch T.V. while granny (and kid) sittig. Males liked to ride and watch me work on the car or pick up.