The 2 Most Misunderstood Dog Breeds (Who Are Actually Major People Pleasers)
Like humans, dogs have all kinds of personality traits. Some are big cuddly toys, others want their place. Some are super open-minded and can make friends with virtually anyone, while others need more time to warm up. However, there are two specific races that tend to be misrepresented. Often referred to as “aggressive,” they are usually not considered cute or family-friendly. So we asked Erin Askeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, Animal Health and Behavioral Advisor at Camp Bow Wow to give us an overview of these canines and debunk the myth.
Which are the two most misunderstood dog breeds?
Unfortunately, pit bulls and rottweilers have a bad reputation. Before we give you the details, it is important to note that the term “pit bull” generally refers to a group of breeds that includes dogs such as American Bulldogs, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and American Bull Terriers. It is commonly associated with the American pit bull terriers.
These puppies, along with Rottweilers, are often misunderstood because they tend to be larger and more energetic than most dogs. “Both the Rottweiler and Pitbull breeds can be tall, muscular, powerful, and their body language can be intimidating,” says Askeland. “Often times, these dogs are portrayed as villainous dogs in entertainment and the media, which adds to their bad reputation and misunderstandings.”
OK, but are they actually more aggressive?
Most dogs are more about grooming than nature. Sure, it’s dogs that are more protective than others. Some are stubborn while others are better with children. But no breed has a monopoly on aggression, although larger dogs can do more harm when they bite a person.
“Pit bulls and rottweilers can also be abused by people who either train them to appear aggressive or not train them at all, which makes them appear unruly or scary to others,” says Askeland. “It is important to understand that any dog is able to bite or show aggression if placed in a situation that scares them. Aggression is a term that is often used to describe a wide variety of behaviors, not just biting / injuries / damage, shown in the media. Some breeds may be better at protecting their families, being less friendly to other animals, or being aloof to strangers, which leads to their being labeled as aggressive. Energetic breeds like rottweilers and pit bulls can appear stubborn when they aren’t [given] enough exercise and mental stimulation. ”In other words, don’t skip the game of fetch and keep your routine walk to the park consistent.
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So are pit bulls and rottweilers harder to train?
As energetic as they may be, pit bulls and rottweilers are like any other dog when it comes to training: just have some treats ready and they’ll be happy to show you who a good boy is. “An exercise program that uses reward-based methods and positive reinforcement will help pet parents build great relationships with their dog,” explains Askeland. “A big part of this is figuring out what your dog loves and using that to aid the training process. Most Rottweilers enjoy learning and strive to please their families so that they can be fun and make the workout exciting. American pit bull terriers are generally cannibals too. “
Still, like humans, dogs are individuals. What applies to most does not apply to everyone and there are always exceptions to the rule. If you notice any worrying behavior, Askeland urges you to address the problem immediately. “Don’t wait for behavior to worsen before seeking help from a qualified professional,” she advises. “Every breed has its quirks and it is important for dog owners to do their research before introducing a dog into their family to find out what will suit them best.”
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