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Stereotypes are common when talking about humans. But there is a lot of discrimination that affects dog breeds as well.  So much so that Breed-Specific Legislation or laws are enacted which range from making it illegal to possess certain breeds, to regulating ownership with the intention to reduce dog attacks. Technically, these dogs are thus labeled legally as “dangerous.”

According to the ASPCA though, there is little evidence to support the claim that these laws make communities safer for people or other companion animals. The organization also says that the CDC also decided not to support the BSL after following a thorough study of human fatalities resulting from dog bites.

Here is a list of Breed-Specific Laws by state.

The following dogs are often subject to the horrible human habit of stereotyping, and here are some common labels they have been given:

1. Chihuahuas are Yappy

5 Common Myths About 5 Dog BreedsHappy Cooper/Wikimedia Commons

Any dog breed is prone bark if it is not trained and socialized properly, and Chihuahuas are no different. They can be very quiet, well-behaved although at times wary of strangers. Patience and calm is what it takes to raise or be around a Chihuahua as they tend to be fiercely protective of their owners and do not like being rough-handled.

2. Pit Bulls are Vicious

5 Common Myths About 5 Dog BreedsBecky Stern/Flickr

Pit bulls are no more vicious than any other breed of dog, and their temperament highly depends on the socialization and training they receive as puppies. In fact the blanket breed name “pit bull” refers to many different breeds with boxy heads and bulky bodies including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier or a mix of any. Pit bulls don’t automatically become fighting dogs, they have to be trained to do so. In fighting rings, Pit bulls are often chained to one place, live in filthy conditions, are often beaten and antagonized to exhibit aggression, are given steroids, and receive little to no love from their owners.

3. Pugs are Lazy

5 Common Myths About 5 Dog Breeds5 Common Myths About 5 Dog BreedsJmatthew3/Wikimedia Commons

Pugs don’t require a lot of exercise and are therefore thought to be lazy. They may not be built to be running dogs, but they still enjoy running around, chasing you, or chasing a ball. They also like to follow their owners around where ever they go, and are hence called “shadow dogs”.

4. Greyhounds Need Lots of Exercise

5 Common Myths About 5 Dog Breedsr3vIIcla/Flickr

Greyhounds while made to run in races, they require the same amount of exercise as other dog breeds of their size. They were bred to be  short distance runners and have little endurance, like the cheetah. Greyhound lovers will agree that they are big couch potatoes, and spend most of their day sleeping. They do enjoy walks and will be content to laze around in a yard.

5. Dobermans Turn on Their Guardians

5 Common Myths About 5 Dog BreedsJuanedc/Flickr

The craziest myth with this breed, is that the Doberman’s brain will swell up to a size larger than its skull and it will attack its guardian. The only time a Doberman (or any breed for that matter), would turn on its guardian is if they were being mistreated, abused or were doing so in self-defense. A properly trained, socialized and loved dog would never do such a thing.

Lead image source: GTIKitty/Wikimedia Commons 

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0 comments on “5 Common Myths About 5 Dog Breeds”

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5 Months Ago

Great material!

3 Years Ago

I had a Pug and she was very active. She lived for almost 12 years and we enjoyed her immensely. We also had a Basset Hound at the same time. We have so many wonderful memories of our fur babies.

3 Years Ago

Pit bulls are not fighting dogs....they are dogs that are made to fight for their lives....by humans.

3 Years Ago

Myth is right. This article is obviously written by a pitbull lover probably with the main agenda to spread more pitbull propaganda. YOu are sadly and dangerously misinformed. Your denial of the facts of the damage that pitbulls are capable of compared to ANY other breed of dog and your obsession with this breed has clouded your better judgment.

This article may actually cost a child or elderly person\'s life when some naive and uninformed person read it and thinks wow! so it\'s OK to have a pit bull as a pet! Let\'s go out and adopt one now! A year later that thing gets out of the yard and annihilates the neighbor child\'s face.

12 Apr 2015

You are ignorant and you are speading irrational fears! While "pit bulls" especially mixes range trough a variety of breeds and mixes lets stay with the American Pit Bull Terrier: They are medium sized dogs (below 60 pounds) with MEDIUM bite force! Because bite force is connected to body mass. So bigger breeds can bite harder of course but says nothing about how likely they will use their power. American Pit Bull Terrier have a history as fighting dog but that has never been their single use! They have always been family dogs and watch dogs too. They were never bred to be aggressive against humans (different to other breeds like german shepherds) fighting dogs who bit humans were not used for breeding - this cannot be said for ANY other breed! This is only logical if you think about how owners had to be able to interrupt in dog fights and keeping them with their family and kids.

3 Years Ago

I\'ve had two dogs bite me, a wolf-hybrid rescued from an abusive family and a golden retriever, both were unprovoked. Dogs, in general, have a sweet demeanor towards humans as it has been an evolutionary advantage. To say that one breed is more aggressive towards humans is like saying all blacks are niggers, white\'s are mayonnaise sandwich eating crackers, and all Asian\'s get straight-A\'s, etc etc. Essentially it\'s canine racism (breedism?).

Fred Mertz
3 Years Ago

Sorry a majority of pits are vicious. I dont trust them and if they look at my herding dogs the wrong way I will protect my property at all costs. My herding dogs are worth $50K a piece and that cheap since each can do the work a at least humans on farm working stock. So I put a a slug in a Pit to protect my investment. Problem is pits are status symbols for young punks and the meaner the better. Its not the dogs fault but you dont take chances with a pit because of its bite.

03 Aug 2014

No one cares about the price of your \'herding dogs\' mate. The entire purpose of this article was to abolish myths associated with dog breeds. Yes, a Pit bull\'s bite can cause more damage then say a Jack Russel, which is why Pit Bulls are notorious for dog fighting, but that does not mean that "a majority of pits are vicious". Like any animal, all dogs can attack unprovoked. But a dog\'s \'vicious\' demeanor is largely dependent on it\'s owner.

04 Aug 2014

You sound like an idiot. Who the hell cares how much money you so unthoughtfully spent on your dogs? You need to open a proper book or something. Pits are not dangerous, why were they named the nanny breed in the 1920\'s? Until some douche loser decided that fighting them looked fun and an easy way to spend money.

You make money out of the misery of others. No one is going to listen to your opinion..winner....Not.

12 Apr 2015

It\'s totally bullshit to state MOST pits are vicious. There MILLIONs of pits of all kind and yet bites rarely occur - they score better at temperament tests than many other popular breeds. So get your facts straight.

3 Years Ago

All I have to say about the Pit Bull aggression is this, there is a reason people don\'t try to make fighting dogs out of Golden Retrievers.

02 Aug 2014

Except that in regions of the world where these types of dogs don\'t exist, such as the Middle East, they fight whatever is available. The nature of criminals is to be opportunistic. Dog-fighters in Afghanistan might use a herding dog, or a random mongrel.

12 Apr 2015

You compare different types of dogs - pit bulls were fighting dogs and retrievers are hunting dogs. I don\'t see the point why a hunting dog should be more trustful than a fighting dog. Hunting and dog fighting is blood sport and has nothing to do with their attitude towards humans. And yes you can fight Retrievers but with their longer coat they are not well equipped because dog fighters wanna see bite marks. Last but not least did you know that many fighting dogs will refuse to fight (over 80%) and that fore are dumped by their exploiters? So educate yourself.

3 Years Ago

Any intelligent person will realize that it is false to state that a dog will NEVER turn on an owner if its raised without any sort of abuse.This is what makes apologists for certain dog breeds like pitbulls hard to listen to.

02 Aug 2014

Honestly, a dog that is healthy, socialized, trained, and well-cared for is not going to simply turn on their owner. There is always a reason for aggression, though many people are not interested in much more than sound bytes and blurbs. Easier to simply think that a dog "snapped" than to consider complex factors that resulted in that behavior.

A dog might "turn" on their owner because of stress, injury, illness, fear and panic, possessiveness, or frustration. The most common reason for owners to be bitten is Redirected Aggression, such as when someone is attempting to separate fighting dogs.

02 Aug 2014

Can it happen? Yes. Does it happen often? No. Pit Bulls are the most maligned breed today. In the 70\'s, it was Dobermans. In the 80\'s, it was German Shepherds, and in the 90\'s, it was Rottweilers. I have known a well mannered, lovingly raised dog to turn on its owners without provocation. The dog was taken to the vet, and guess what...brain tumor. Sometimes it a health issue that causes the shift in behavior, this can happen in human beings too. I have seen brain injury turn a self-righteous, pompous ass into a sweet, shy guy. It **USUALLY** doesn\'t happen though.

Goldie lover
3 Years Ago

Your take on pit bulls is wrong. There isn\'t a vicious bone in my golden retrievers body. Every pit bull we see walking around the neighborhood practically pulls the arm off their owner trying to get to my dog. Pit bulls can\'t be trusted and are unpredictable. That\'s what makes them so dangerous.

02 Aug 2014

I love all dogs, and have had many over the years. However, your statement about golden retrievers is a generalization. I have been bitten by two different golden retrievers on two different occasions. These were unprovoked attacks when I was walking past dogs which were roaming loose in the neighbourhood. Despite this, I love golden retrievers. I also had a dog which would have been classed a pit bull who was one of the sweetest dog that ever livedShe lieved with two other dogs and six cats and never hurt a

02 Aug 2014

Sorry, a technical hitch caused posting before I had finished my message. To continue. My dog lived with two other dogs and six cats and Jesse was so gentle, she let the cats tease her and never reacted. All dogs are individuals, like humans, and I would consider humans (in general) much more dangerous than any dog, or any breed of dog.

02 Aug 2014

What you describe is indicative of poor training, as opposed to some inherent trait of a dog. Dogs that pull on the leash have bad manners, and clearly haven\'t been taught how to walk politely on lead.

Any poorly trained, poorly socialized, or poorly bred dog can be unpredictable. They are animals, and really only have cognitive abilities equal to a human toddler.

Beyond that, I have personally seen vicious Golden Retrievers. Temperament issues are universal, not reserved to one breed or type. Positive and negative stereotypes alike are harmful.

02 Aug 2014

you are wrong!!!!! I raised pits for years there is a reason their called nanny dogs they always love my kids from the day the girls where born. Please don\'t lump all dogs into one category. worst dog I ever had attitude with was a chow chow and she was just skittish didn\'t like people standing behind her.

02 Aug 2014

My Pit bull mix was attacked, unprovoked, & bitten by a Golden. We were just walking along the street, & it jumped a fence & attacked. My dog did not fight back, at all.
That said, Pit Bulls DO tend towards animal aggression, due to being bred, way back in the day, for bull baiting. But that is not an \'unpredictable\' trait, & they are not human aggressive at all, unless there is something wrong with them (abuse, training, or disease/ailment.)

12 Apr 2015

To all the good responses you got I want to add that dogs pulling towards others dogs does not necessarily mean they are dog aggressive AND it does indeed not mean they are human aggressive. That they behave like that can mean they are curious, bored, untrained and so on. If you wanna get an impression of pit bulls social behavior I really recommand you to visit the website of DOGS PLAYING FOR LIFE. There you can see shelter dogs (a lot of the pits) playing in big dog groups. That these are shelter dogs should make you realize that even pits with an unknown history and a lot of different before homes are able to keep or adopt good manners with other dogs.

12 Apr 2015

And I want to add that I visited a shelter with a lot of different dogs - their hardest case was a dog and human aggressive Golden Retriever.

Maxx The Katt
3 Years Ago

Pit Bulls! Yes...they are lovable right up to the point where they snap and rip ones throat out. Pit Bulls don\'t attack like other breeds. Most dogs may bite and back off. Pits don\'t! They go in for the kill. And they kill, and kill and kill. About the only way to stop one of them, is to kill it. Owning a Pit is a major liability that you may not be financially prepared for. If your Pit kills one of your neighbors kids, your problems are only beginning.

Visala Kantamneni
01 Aug 2014

I\'m sorry but unless you have actually owned a pit bull it\'s not on you to make that judgment call. There are plenty of people out there who own pit bulls and have not had any issues. You can\'t generalize an entire breed just because a few of them were trained to fight - because even many of tose rehabilitated after being rescued made great house pets.
Have a nice day!

02 Aug 2014

you know this because of the sensationalism you have seen from the media, but you have never owned one.
we that HAVE owned pits, that socialize them, do not let them run wild (especially in pairs or packs) know the truth.
i am on my second pit, having gotten my first because of all of the wonderful things i had read about them, and would never own another type of dog, as i have seen for myself how much they have loved EVERYONE they have met.
did you see the part where i mentioned that YOU have never owned one, and i have now had two? IDIOT.

02 Aug 2014

No, there really is not some mythical difference between them and other dogs. The vast majority of /all/ dog bites are a simple snap-and-release, since that is how dogs defend themselves or reprimand other dogs in packs. Biting and holding on, or biting and shaking, are natural behaviors all canine species perform.

The "Pit-type" is the most common mixed breed in the country, and ones that harm anyone are the exception rather than the rule. There are millions, and were they the savage killing machines people make them out to be we would have blood running in the streets and people dead every single day.

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