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Labels no more | Scott County Humane Society is going 'breed free'

The Humane Society is removing breed labels from its dogs in an effort to lessen barriers to adoption.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Humane Society of Scott County is straying away from breed labels for its dogs in an effort to minimize inaccurate labeling and remove barriers to adoption.

Identifying dog breeds based solely on appearance is highly inaccurate, according to the humane society's website. A majority of shelter dogs are mixed breeds. Without DNA test results or breed papers, there's no way for a shelter to know what's in a dog's genes, and guessing leads to false behavior predictions.

Many of the stereotypes about the behavior of certain dog breeds aren't supported by science, according to a study of more than 2,000 purebred and mixed-breed dogs from the UMass Chan Medical School. Genetic differences between breeds primarily affected genes that control coat color, fur length and other physical traits far more than breed differences affected behavioral genes.

RELATED: 'Designer' dog breed craze has unforeseen consequences

Dogs are complex, and their behaviors are influenced by many different internal and external factors. Moving away from breed labels means a greater focus on each dog's personality and lifestyle needs, according to the humane society. As a result, the dogs will hopefully be placed in homes that are more compatible with their needs.

Click/tap here to view all adoptable pets at the Humane Society of Scott County, located at 2802 West Central Park Ave. in Davenport.

Interested in fostering a dog? Fill out the humane society's foster home application and agreement.

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