German Shepherd Puppy via Shutterstock
Have you ever been out in public, minding your own business, simply walking your dog, and people start moving to the other side of the street in fear? There are many dog breeds that don't deserve the bad rap society places upon them. Perhaps your dog is one of the breeds or mixed mutts that get a bad rap.
Dogs of certain breeds are not born dangerous by default. This, coupled with breed legislation, media focus on particular breeds, and the sensationalizing of certain incidents of attack have lead to an overall generalizing that ultimately hurts a dog, and may cost him his life.
"The behavior of any dog is best understood at the individual level. While the breed tendency for a Jack Russell Terrier may be to chase, dig and hunt, any one Jack Russell Terrier may or may not chase, dig or hunt. Behavior is influenced by so many factors - from experience and learning to the environment - including the environment within the womb," according to Dr. Emily Weiss, Vice President of Shelter Research & Development for the ASPCA. "Speaking in breed generalities risks not only the likelihood that we will miss identify behaviorally sound pets, but could also mean that we may put ourselves at risk of assuming that another pet is friendly and safe simply because of his breed."
Dr. Weiss helped develop the Meet Your Match program for the ASPCA, and it is in use by hundreds of shelters across the country for this very purpose - to encourage adopters to focus on the behavior and personality of the individual dog or cat, and not on the breed.
Check out this list of dogs that often get a bad rap and then weigh in: Do these breeds get unfairly judged?
Pit Bull Puppies via Shutterstock
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Doberman via Shutterstock
4. Cocker Spaniel: A breed near and dear to my heart, the American version of the Cocker Spaniel descends from Spanish import. The breed standard calls for a merry disposition, yet time and again the Cocker Spaniel is dubbed a "snappy" breed. Any dog of any lineage of any age or size can and might snap, for one reason or another. This breed is generally a trusting, happy, Velcro dog who wants nothing more than to retrieve a ball and cling to his owner's side.
Rottweiler via Shutterstock
6. Mutts: Although not purebred, dogs who are a combo of more than one breed are sometimes sneered down upon by certain segments of society. This is a sad statement, as mutts are as loving and loyal as their purebred counterparts. All breeds of dogs have, at one time or another, been cross-bred to become the breed they are today, so in a world full of mutts, how about giving the non-pedigreed pooches a break?
German Shepherd via Shutterstock
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