Aggressive Dog Breeds Are Seriously Misunderstood — Here’s What To Know If You Adopt One

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Deciding to welcome a new pup into your life is a big step. If you're adopting a stereotypically "aggressive" dog breed, you might think that this transition will be much rougher than it would be if you were bringing home a Golden Retriever or a Basset Hound. But according to one expert, breeds like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, or Chows Chows that often get a bad rap are able to be just as sweet and gentle as any other dog.

The very first thing to know if you're thinking about adopting a pup that some people consider aggressive is that your dog is not their breed's reputation. "I work with many service dogs and therapy dogs that are stereotypical 'aggressive' dog breeds and I work with Golden Retrievers that have bitten people," Russell Hartstein, CDBC, CPDT-KA, a certified professional dog trainer and founder of Fun Paw Care, tells Bustle. What your dog will be like really comes down to just that: your dog.

In addition to giving your new fur baby the same love, kindness, and healthy discipline that you'd give any other breed, having a few tools up your sleeve just in case you need some extra help could be useful, Hartstein says.

Here's what you should know about adopting a stereotypically aggressive breed, according to an expert.