Small, medium or large? Which size of dog are adopted more?

Ayla Soriano on 16/02/2021

We wanted to understand whether the size of a dogs is an important factor for its adoption. To do that, we looked into real historical data from several shelters and studied the adoptions for the last 10 years.

The data shows that there is an important bias: 23% of the adopted dogs are of small size, 50% of medium size and 27% of large size. This bias however, is not related to the preference of the adopters but rather to the availability of dogs, there are many more medium-sized dogs available for adoption in shelters.

How the size of a dog affects its adoption
How the size of a dog affects its adoption

In order to verify this, we looked into the relationship between the time a dog passes in the shelter and its size; that is the time between the day it entered the shelter until the day it was adopted. On average, small dogs spent 2.7 months in the shelter, medium-sized dogs 4.5 months and large dogs 10.4. This means that a large dog needs almost 4 times more the time until it gets adopted in comparison to a small dog.

This fact shows clearly that the smaller the dog, the easier it is for it for find its permanent home. People in cities with small apartments prefer smaller animals as they fit better their living conditions. This fact is consistent over the years and among all the shelters we have studied.

Source of the data

11pets: Adopt is the most complete platform available today for the management of animal welfare organizations and is used by more than 100 shelters from all over the world. The data presented in this report come from the actual operation of the shelters that are using the platform and participated in this study. This is why the give a so accurate picture of the reality. The data regard the adoptions made in the last 10 years from different European shelters, mainly in Spain and more specifically in Catalonia.

You can use information from this report only for personal purposes and by including the corresponding citation to the site. For the use of the data for implicit or explicit commercial purposes, it is necessary to previously obtain the written consent of 11 PETS LTD.