Debunking 6 Myths About “Bad Dog Breeds”

by Hannah Roundy

debunking 6 myths about "bad dog breeds"

Why do some breeds have a bad reputation? We’re here with the facts to debunk the myths about Pitbulls, Rottweilers, and more “bad dog breeds”.

What are “bad dog breeds”?

“Bad dog breeds” are considered to be more aggressive, unpredictable, and harder to train than other breeds. Real dog lovers know that there is no such thing as bad breeds – rather, there are breeds with bad reputations. 

It’s unfair to label a dog as dangerous or aggressive just because their breed has a bad reptuation. Every dog is different and breed genetics may play a very little part in their personality. 

At Sundays, we don’t consider any dog breeds to be better or worse than the other. Based on our research, these are the top 10 breeds that other outlets consider to be “bad”. We are not in agreement with these people–in fact, let’s debunk a few common breed myths with real dog facts.

  1. Pitbull 
  2. Rottweiler
  3. Akita
  4. German Shepherd 
  5. Bullmastiff 
  6. Siberian Husky 
  7. American Bulldog 
  8. Boxer 
  9. Alaskan Malamute 
  10. Cane Corso 

Myth #1: Dog behavior is based on breed

Science is on our side to debunk this myth. A recent study of over 18,000 pups proved that dog behavior is not as influenced by breed as people believe. In fact, the study showed that there were no behavioral traits connected to each breed. 

Instead, dog behavior is mostly influenced by a pup’s environment and lifestyle. A Cane Corso that eats a healthy diet, sleeps well, gets enough exercise, and is well-socialized could win Best in Show. Even the friendliest breeds can exhibit aggressive behavior if they are not properly trained, socialized, and fed. 

Myth #2: Pitbulls are dangerous

Pitbulls usually top the list of “bad dog breeds”, but their reputation for aggressive dog behavior isn’t a given for every Pittie pup. In order to understand the reputation of the Pitbull, you have to look into their breed history and dog facts. 

English bull-baiting dogs were originally bred to bite and bait large animals like bears and bulls (hence the name Pitbull). It became illegal to bait large animals in the 1800s. Instead of finding another job for them to do, people trained their bull-baiting dogs to fight against each other. 

Dogfighting reinforced this aggressive behavior toward other dogs that labeled Pitbulls as a dangerous breed over the years. But this stereotype does not apply to every single Pitbull and they actually have a long history as docile companions and farm dogs.

Are Pitbulls dangerous based on their history? As long as the dog is socialized, trained, and healthy, there is no reason to consider Pitbulls more dangerous than any other breed. The ASPCA agrees that Pitbulls should not be judged as bad dogs solely because of their breed.

Myth #3: Rottweilers are naturally aggressive

We can blame today’s media for Rottweilers’ bad reputation. The breed is often portrayed as guard or attack dogs for antagonists in television and movies. But are Rottweilers aggressive in real life? 

Rottweilers actually have a naturally calm and obedient temperament. The breed is known to be confident, loyal, and playful – making them great family dogs. Rottweilers are easy to train because of their high intelligence and eagerness to please their dog parents. 

The main factor why Rottweilers are on lists of bad dog breeds is because of their fierce bite force. Their jaws are capable of crushing bones with a bite force of 328 psi. Don’t let this fact scare you – Rottweilers have to be in an extreme situation to bite with that much force. 

Similar to Pitbulls, dog behavior in Rottweilers is really dependent on their training and socialization. A well-adjusted Rottweiler is no more likely to bite or attack than any other breed. But with their bite strength, it is important to kick playing nipping and biting habits while they are puppies. 

Myth #4: Alaskan Malamutes aren’t good with kids

On first glance, the Alaskan Malamute can be intimidating. The breed closely resembles Siberian Huskies with their wolf-like features and distinct howls. Welcoming such a close relative of the wolf into your home may seem like an invitation for trouble, but Alaskan Malamutes are much more bark than bite. 

Alaskan Malamutes are pack dogs–a trait picked up from their wolf ancestors. They find joy in loving and protecting their human pack. These pups are gentle giants that love snuggling and playing with even the youngest members of their human pack.

Myth #5: Akitas don’t like other dogs