I have written about many different dog breeds and the characteristics of that individual breed. What I want to do know, is make sure everyone knows that dogs are “dogs” first and THEN they are their breed and THEN their individual identity ie/”Fluffy”, “Fido” etc.
I admit that when I was younger and even sometimes more recently, I have been “doggist”. I have had a tendency to dislike certain dog breeds due to their tendency towards aggression, dominance and/or “stupidity”. I will go farther and admit that I have had a chip on my shoulder against Akitas, Chows, Chihuahua’s and German Shepherds, to name a few.
What I always understood is that the “breed” problems in most dog breeds are the fault of the humans who bred them. What I now understand more fully is that actually, some dog breeds have remained rather “pure” and true to the breed’s origin–which in a lot of cases was for use in hunting dangerous game or as protection and guardians. Therefore, we cannot expect a dog whose direct ancestors for thousands of years were guardians, to not ACT like guardians. Of course, in our modern society, this manifest itself as aggression, dominance or other bad behavior.
What I now know, is that while there is breed tendency, such as the “powerful” breeds like Rottweilers, pit bulls, Akitas, ANY dog can be made safe and friendly. On the other hand, ANY dog can also be turned into an unbalanced, unsafe nightmare. So Labs, Goldens and Schnauzers under the right (or wrong) circumstances, can become monsters.
It is VITAL that people choose appropriate dogs for their energy level, lifestyle and dog training ability. If you are a very demure, quiet, sweet person–don’t get a Rottweiler unless you know you have the inner “power” to take the lead and provide the dog with good leadership and training. On the other hand, if you are, for instance, a very dominant personality and you tend to be loud and gruff, don’t get a timid dog–of any breed. Timid dogs need leadership, but gently and quietly.
So, not ALL Rottweilers for instance, will be dominant, aggressive and strong minded. But if you want one that isn’t, you may have to keep looking for awhile.
Realize that all dogs, regardless of breed, need proper leadership. This is not a “breed” issue, but a dog issue. The type of leadership can differ by breed and then by individual. All dogs need exercise, the type, length and intensity will differ by breed and then by individual. Understand dogs, understand your breed, and then understand your individual.