4 Misunderstood Dog Breeds, According To Pet Experts

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People put a lot of weight into what a dog's breed says about the dog. The biggest issue with this habit is that breed-related generalities are often considered true when there's not an absolute value to the claim. We've all heard golden retrievers are friendly and pit bulls are aggressive. But if you ask any pit bull owner if their dog is aggressive, they'll be quick to tell you that they're sweeter than pie. And let's be real, there are crabby golden retrievers out there, too. The most misunderstood dog breeds are the result of misinformation that unfortunately spreads much faster and farther than the truth.

When we mischaracterize dog breeds and make sweeping generalities, we do more than judge an animal that can't speak up for itself, we endanger their lives. For example, there are over 3.6 million pit bulls in the U.S., and about half of them will end up in the shelter system, and even less will get a chance to be re-homed due to said defamatory misinformation. When we stigmatize dog breeds, we perpetuate a negativity that puts dogs at risk, not just people. Bustle talked to Erin Askeland, Camp Bow Wow’s Pet Expert (CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA) about the most misunderstood dog breeds that have been marginalized and shunned for no good reason. According to Askeland, these are the breeds that are totally deserving of your love and affection and beyond capable of be obedience and praise, despite what you've heard:

Dachshund

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Because of the way these dogs look, a common misconception is that they're low-key lap dogs, but according to Askeland, "dachshunds are hearty, muscular little dogs that were originally bred for chasing badgers through their small holes and tunnels." So if you live an active life and want to share that with your pup, don't skip over the dachshunds at the animal shelter, they're faster and more spirited than you might think possible.

Rottweiler

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Rottweilers have a serious look and an intense bark, but don't hold those features against them. "Often thought of as a fearsome guard dog, Rottweilers were bred to maintain a stoic appearance to ward off thieves, predators, or other threats to herds of farm animals as they traveled," Askeland tells Bustle of how their appearance has shaped the way people think about them. Askeland goes on to stay that despite how they look, "Rottweilers were also some of the first dogs to be used as guide dogs for the blind, have performed search and rescue tasks, and worked with the police force all while being a loyal family member."

Bloodhound

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Bloodhounds are often seen as work dogs with the police force, which might give them a tough perception, but it's really just because they're great at following directions and have very impressive noses. Askeland says they're sometimes thought to be stubborn or difficult to work with, but in reality they are an incredibly smart, friendly, and sweet breed! "Their nose can get lead them anywhere, so it’s important to use their strengths and proclivity toward exploration during training to keep them engaged." AKA, if you have the time and energy to keep a Bloodhound engaged and active, you'll find a very loving buddy in the breed.

Pekingese

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This breed is another misunderstood "lap dog" that looks a lot more precious than it is, but Askeland tells Bustle that "this lapdog was bred to be a watchdog and protect Chinese royalty. They would sit in their laps or by their feet to warn off anyone who came too close," which should really change the way you view the term "lap dog"!