Top 4 Misunderstood Dog Breeds

You wouldn’t think owning a pet would be such a big responsibility, but different breeds and different dogs come with their own unique needs and quirks. Unfortunately, due to a lack of research and responsibility on the owners’ end, many dogs have ended up with bad reputations.

This can lead to a real-world consequence like some apartments and cities banning the ownership of certain breeds or even increases in insurances like Siberian husky homeowners insurance.

Let’s take a look at what some people believe are the most disliked, aggressive, dangerous, annoying, and unpredictable dog breeds and the common misconceptions that surround them.

1. Pit bulls

Lately, pit bulls are probably one of the most misunderstood dog breeds in the United States. Owners of pit bulls can attest to the sweet temperament and loyal personality of this dog breed.

Many of its critics may mistake this dog’s excitement for aggression, which is why people see them as aggressive. Let’s run down the list of questions and common misconceptions that many people have about this breed and try to clear some things up.

Do pit bulls’ jaws lock when they bite?

No, jaws locking when a dog bites are a myth. Not only do pit bulls’ jaws not lock when they bite, but there also isn’t a single breed of dog whose jaws lock. It’s hard to say where this myth originated from, but it likely has its roots in how strong pit bulls are and their unfortunate association with dogfighting.

Are pit bulls overly aggressive?

No. Every pit bull I have ever come across is very friendly and ecstatic to meet me. I have also owned a pit bull before, and I can attest to this fact. They are more likely to maul you with kisses than with their teeth.

Are pit bulls used in fighting rings?

This part is, unfortunately, true. Pit bulls are very loyal to their owners, which makes them easy to train. They are also descended from English bull-baiting dogs; a breed commonly used to bait rather than bite and hold bears, bulls, and other large animals.

Over time, this transitioned into using the breed for dogfighting and later breeding with smaller and more agile terriers. This is how the pit bull breed was thus born.

This doesn’t make pit bulls by nature more aggressive or dangerous than other dog breeds. It rather instead leads to misconceptions that unfortunately harm the dogs. Like any dog, pit bulls are eager to please and, with the right environment and training, can become very loveable companions.

2. Siberian Husky

The Siberian husky is a beautiful dog breed and one that is commonly compared to wolves. Despite their looks, Siberian huskies are not any more closely related to wolves than any other dog breed. They are descended from wolves, but they are very much domesticated dogs, far removed from their wild ancestors.

This doesn’t stop many people from conflating huskies with wolves, so let’s outline a few of these misunderstandings.

Are Siberian huskies mostly wolves?

They are not. As stated before, they are not any more closely related to wolves than any other domesticated dog breed. While their coats do look like wolves, if you were to compare a Siberian husky to a wolf, it becomes far more obvious just how different in appearance they are.

Are Siberian huskies aggressive?

This is a question you will see repeated throughout this article with the other breeds. Siberian huskies are not aggressive. They are, however, very intelligent and energetic. As such, they require lots of stimuli, exercise, and training. Any prospective dog owner should do their research on the breed before they consider getting a husky.

Can Siberian huskies live in apartments?

Yes, so long as they get the proper exercise. This is true for many dogs, regardless of their size. This is especially true for energetic dogs like huskies. Huskies can live in apartments if you walk and play with them often.

3. Rottweilers

Though pit bulls are the breed of dog most commonly misunderstood these days, I can remember a time when Rottweilers were making the headlines as the most dangerous dog breed—which isn’t fair to them.

Have you seen those pictures? Those big eyes, those silly eyebrows, their smiles—They’re massive teddy bears.

Are Rottweilers bad with children?

Not especially. Yes, Rottweilers are very large dogs, and yes, they potentially could be very dangerous to a young child. However, they aren’t bad with kids. They are very loyal and loving dogs. It’s important to remember that you both train your dog on how to behave around young children and teach your kids to respect dogs and animals and how to behave around them.

Are Rottweilers outdoor dogs, and should they be kept outside?

Rottweilers, like with every other dog breed, are a pack animal. As such, they do their best when they stay close to their family. When left outside by themselves or even with another dog, this can lead to depression and social behavioral issues. This doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy some time outside, but they shouldn’t be left outside.

Can you own other animals with a Rottweiler?

Yes. Like most breeds, as long as the Rottweiler has been well trained and you have taken the appropriate steps to slowly introduce any new animals to your Rottweiler, then you shouldn’t have any problems. Some Rottweilers may chase smaller animals like cats, rodents, and other dogs, but this is where good training can curb these habits. Spay or neuter any other dogs in the house. This helps.

4. German Shepherds

America’s favorite guard dog and one of the sweetest puppies out there. Unfortunately, like the rest of the breeds on this list, many people seem to misunderstand just how great this dog breed is. Let’s go down the list.

Are they violent?

This is a misconception that is likely caused by the way we portray German shepherds in the media and their associations with the military and police. No, German shepherds are not any more aggressive to humans than their other dog counterparts. Most cases of German shepherds attacking their owners or others are usually linked to neglect on their owners’ end, or a case of the dog feeling threatened and provoked to attack.

As a larger dog breed, German shepherds can do a lot of damage in a fight, but as long as they are in a loving home and are well taken care of, they are very sweet and loyal to their family.

Are German shepherds dumb?

I’m not sure why, but this is often asked. No, they most certainly are not dumb. They are very intelligent, and this is one of the reasons they are a popular breed to use as service dogs. Their ability to learn and adapt quickly makes them fast learners, and like many dogs, they are eager to please.

Are they good with kids?

German shepherds are often ranked as one of the most popular family dogs with the American Kennel Club. So long as they are properly trained, there shouldn’t be any problems introducing them to young children. It is, however, equally important to teach children the best way to interact with dogs to avoid any conflicts.

How to Better Understand Dogs

Most dog behavior will be determined by how they are raised. Even in the case of some dog temperaments that are influenced by their breeds, this ultimately will not be the only factor in their personalities. Even two dogs of the same breed can have vastly different personalities that are influenced by many other factors.

This is why it’s important when you want to adopt a pet to educate yourself on what kind would best fit your needs. Otherwise, you may end up contributing to further misconceptions.

And if any of this inspires you to take a more active role in helping like becoming a vet, be sure to check out some of these veterinary books. Also, be sure to look up your local shelters if you wanted to help locally.

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Breanne Lingo

Breanne Lingo writes and researches about insurance for