Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dogs suffer from stereotypes, just as people.

I recently read a blog post about seven dog breeds that don't deserve their stereotypes. It's a great post, well worth checking out. It reminded me of a few situations where people with breeds with bad reputation might have misinterpreted my behavior. I might have hurt people's feelings without thinking about it.

Staffordshire Terrier
I particularly remember one time at a dog event. I had brought my foster dog at the time, and the founder of the rescue made a point of telling me that he could be dominant, and that I needed to keep an eye on him around other dogs. (That is always sound advice, by the way.)

A couple with a large terrier type of dog walked past the tent where I sat with my foster. He wanted to creep closer, and I pulled him to me and told him to sit and stay. The woman gave me a hurt look, and I didn't understand until days later that she probably thought I assumed their extremely well behaved dog would do something to mine. The truth was the complete opposite; I asked my foster to sit and stay because I didn't want him to go start something.

In retrospect I feel awful about it. If I had been more aware I would have said something along the lines of, "I don't know if I can trust this guy, so it might be better if they don't meet."

When I'm not distracted by a four-legged companion of my own, I tell everyone I meet with a dog, "That's a beautiful dog." They all are, and who knows, it might make someone's day.

Anyway, the article on dog breeds that don't deserve their stereotypes is written by Carol Bryant for Pet360.com. She emphasizes - and I agree completely - that dogs aren't born dangerous by default. They are individuals, and behavior is influenced by many factors. All dogs need training!

~ Maria Sadowski ~


  1. She picked a lot of great breeds for that list. When I was working as a technician, I had stereotypes for a lot of breeds and types of animals - not just dogs. I will say one of the most feared breeds by vet techs might just be a Welsh Corgi lol... they can have quite the attitude, but it's just because they are spunky and don't want us messing with them. I don't blame them.

    1. Haha, I can see that they don't want people messing with them. =D

      I usually don't admit this, because it ruins my image (*fluffs hair* lol) but I'm careful around parrots, because they have such strong beaks. I know they're super-nice, smart, and friendly, but if one wants to pinch you they can do a good job with it.

  2. It is hard sometimes. Last night Mom was shopping with Bailie and there was a Rottweiler in the store with a muzzle. Mom's instinct was to grab Bailie and get away, but she didn't. She just stood there and the lady with the Rottweiler actually turned and went the other way. Who knows if the dog was dangerous or not, but the breed with a muzzle and Mom with a puppy does sadly create fear.

    1. I can see that - when a dog has a muzzle you wonder why. It might not be because they're aggressive, but you don't know.

      I tend to assume that all dogs will like each other, but that's not necessarily the truth. A lot of people in my neighborhood think it's okay to have their dogs run loose - in the middle of the city - because their "dog is nice." That really bugs me. My Bonnie doesn't like when small girl dogs run up to her and bark. (If it's a boy or a larger dog it's generally okay.) She's big and even though she's a sweetheart I can see that she gets irritated. I know it's silly, but I worry that she'll want to lecture them on good doggie behavior. Thus, I walk away, and that annoys some owners. I've had people call out across the street, "But my dog is nice!" Isn't that weird?

      One of my other rescues, Topper, couldn't care less about other dogs. If someone runs up to him and barks in his face he just looks like, "What are you doing? What's wrong with you?" LOL!