Have you ever seen someone cross the street to avoid a Rottweiler, or forbade your children to play near the home of a pitbull owner? If so, you’re not alone. Rottweilers, pit bulls, and Doberman Pinschers are all given a bad rap in our society for various reasons.
Here at AIMSS we love all pets and hope to educate current and future pet owners about the truly wonderful qualities of the misunderstood dog breeds in our society.
The pit bull (aka American Staffordshire Terrier or the Staffordshire Bull Terrier) is probably the most maligned dog breed in North America. Originally bred as a “bull baiting” dog in the UK, the pit bull was commonly used to help kill large predators. Over time, the Pit Bull morphed into a prized family companion in many homes due to their calm nature and gentleness with children.
A few things prospective pit bull owners should know:
- Pit bulls love people, but they need consistent training and socialization beginning at a young age to help them become the best “citizens” they can be.
- A pit bull owner will need to be available to provide ample love and attention, as well as fair and gentle discipline
- Pit Bulls need to chew, and their powerful jaws can make short work of flimsy toys. Make sure your pit has access to strong, durable chew toys that won’t break or can’t be swallowed.
- If you adopt a pit bull as an adult, we recommend that you consult with a professional trainer and a veterinarian to determine if your dog could use some extra help with…
Rottweilers are not generally viewed as “family dogs” due to their intimidating size and reputation as menacing guard dogs. Although Rotties tend to shy away from strangers, they can actually make loving and loyal companions and family members.
- Rottweilers are territorial and aloof by nature. Proper training and socialization at a young age is necessary to keep these traits in check and pointed in the appropriate direction.
- Rotties are not “apartment dogs”. A Rottweiler needs a lot of exercise on a daily basis.
- These dogs thrive under the care of an assertive owner who can..
Although they were bred for aggressiveness, the majority of Dobermans are highly intelligent, calm, and extremely loyal. Under the right circumstances Dobermans can make wonderful family pets. Prospective Doberman owners should keep the following in mind:
- Dobermans are extremely sensitive to cold and heat; this is not a dog that should be housed out of doors.
- Dobermans can be stubborn and not as eager to please as some other breeds, but with the right training by a dedicated owner these dogs can become excellent companion animals.
- It’s especially important to take your Doberman into the vet for regular wellness exams, as this breed has a tendency toward genetic health issues.
Modeling Responsible Dog Ownership
While breeds such as Pit Bulls, Dobermans, and Rottweilers get the most press for attacking and biting people, the truth is that any dog will bite under the right circumstances. Educating others about misunderstood dog breeds along with modeling responsible pet ownership will go a long way toward changing these negative stereotypes:
- Always keep your dog leashed while in public. Never allow your dog to run free at parks or to roam the streets.
- Provide early and consistent obedience training and socialization.
- Care for your pet through regular wellness visits, good oral care, and proper nutrition.
The Bottom Line With Any Dog Breed
It’s true that certain breeds were bred specifically for traits such as strength and aggressiveness, but genetics don’t exist in a vacuum. While you should always do your research before deciding to one of these misunderstood breeds, it’s important to keep in mind that all dogs, regardless of breed, become whatever we as humans turn them into.
As pet owners, we have a great responsibility to our dogs to raise them with love, care, and respect. By helping our dogs reach their full potential through proper care, we can change the negative image of misunderstood dogs breeds, one dog at a time.