Why Certain Dog Breeds are Unfairly Judged

BevHills_iStock_000043106632_Large-1.jpgFor many, the idea of a dog attack or bite brings to mind specific breeds. These are typically Rottweilers, pit bulls, and Dobermans. And, this negative stereotype has been detrimental to dogs who are viewed as inherently aggressive. It has also contributed to a misunderstanding about the potential for bite incidents in any dog breed.

But, there are some truths to being an informed pet parent with an unfairly maligned dog.

Dog Breeds Deconstructed

While there are some breeds that are more likely to bite, it’s both harmful to the dogs as well as our own sense of safety to make assumptions. All dogs are capable of biting, and some of them are actually small or toy breeds.

However, the dog breeds that get the most negative press around attack incidents are often the following:

  • American Staffordshire Terriers (pit bulls)
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds

Unfortunately, the view that certain breeds are somehow innately prone to attack has resulted in strict laws regarding the care and ownership of them. To this extent, certain breeds, such as those that are in the pit bull family, have been banned from some municipalities in Michigan and nationwide.

This discrimination has veered us away from seeing the cause at hand, which is very much the result of irresponsible ownership and selective breeding.

There are also some characteristics with certain dog breeds that make them more susceptible to behavioral challenges. These are often the result of lack of understanding from the owner as well as a lack of socialization.

No matter what type of dog you admire, it is necessary to do your research. Some breeds require a little more training around resource guarding, for example. This is why knowing your dog is important to providing him or her with the resources and skills needed.

Responsible Dog Ownership

Getting back to the need for responsibility, the first step to creating a safe home for your dog is to know the breed and whether there are any laws prohibiting the whereabouts of such breed.

Other ways to be a stellar dog owner include:

  • Providing obedience training and socialization skills when your dog is a puppy or at the time of adoption
  • Helping to raise awareness of breed discrimination through breed-specific advocacy groups
  • Being a good example of pet ownership by keeping your dog on a leash when at the park or other public places and maintaining control of his or her behavior
  • Assuring others that your dog is safe (and wonderful) through attentive supervision and communication
  • Addressing any behavioral issues by consulting with your veterinarian

Realistically, we are up against some public negativity of dogs that deserve our care and love. But, it is within our power as dog champions to provide the best care for our best friend, to enhance safety, follow common sense guidelines, and continue to advocate for all dogs, big and small.

For more information about breed and temperament, call the team at Beverley Hills Veterinary Associates.