Dogs are wonderful pets but some breeds have earned terrible reputations due to their stern appearance and occasional behavior issues. It’s important to note, however, that any dog can attack or bite, emphasizing the need to train and socialize your pup properly during those crucial early months. Every dog owner has been in a situation where another canine has become aggressive. And, if we’re honest, this usually has very little to do with specific breeds – but rather the owner of that animal.
And, as we know, there are some irresponsible owners out there who deliberately manipulate certain dogs into being aggressive. Unfortunately it’s these abused dogs we hear about on the news, tarnishing entire breeds as overly hostile in the public mind. But as many dog lovers know – these perceptions simply aren’t true and there is no such thing as an innately bad dog breed.
Here are 5 dog breeds that are often (and wrongly) defamed in the media:
1. Pit Bulls
Pit Bulls are probably the first breed that comes to mind when you think of an a aggressive dog. But this is mostly down to human involvement. Careless individuals interested in dog fighting keep Pit Bulls for participation in these barbaric activities and deliberately train them to be aggressive. However, Pit Bulls are not naturally aggressive and are instead known for their loving and protective nature. Provided they receive proper training and nurture, they are in fact very much people-oriented dogs and are no worse than any other breed.
There’s no getting around it, Rottweilers are extremely strong, muscular dogs with very powerful jaws and, to the uninitiated, a somewhat intimidating appearance (though they are just adorable as puppies!). As such, this breed is often defamed simply due to its “aggressive” look. But the truth is, Rottweilers can be sweet, friendly and loyal dogs. They are intelligent and strong-minded too, meaning lots of exercise and mental stimulation is necessary – preferably under firm leadership and in a home that is used to larger breeds. After all, they can weigh up to a massive 135 lbs! If properly trained and socialized, they’ll flourish in any family unit.
3. German Shepherds
Playful and energetic by nature, German Shepherds are another breed that’s gotten a bad rap over the years. German Shepherds are often used as police and military dogs – even as service animals – because they’re fearless, intelligent and highly trainable. This versatility makes this breed very popular and they make exceptional companion animals. Though it should be noted that they require strong leadership, lots of exercise and frequent, constructive activity. If properly trained and socialized, they make great family pets and are known for their protective, loyal qualities – as their name implies.
4. Doberman Pinschers
Another large, intimidating-looking breed with a bad rep. Dobermans are in fact sweet-hearted, loyal and adore affection – despite how they’re portrayed in Hollywood movies! While it’s true that they are very protective of their humans, they don’t need to be trained to do so – it’s in their nature. To nurture this instinct, they simply require lots of love and attention and they will thrive as guardian to their family. They’re also highly intelligent meaning plenty of exercise and training is essential to prevent any unwanted destructive behavior.
Weighing up to 130 lbs it’s easy to understand why some people become worried by the sight of this giant breed. And it’s this characteristic alone that gives them a place on the list. But the reality is, Bullmastiffs are loving, family-friendly dogs who form deep bonds with the people around them. It’s true that they can have a slightly aggressive temperament towards other dogs (particularly those of the same gender), but rarely with people. The only real issue comes with their sheer size. Early training and socialization is essential to install common sense – so that they don’t go around jumping on people, and that they obey the leash at all times.