We’re all drawn to different types of dogs, whether it’s a certain breed like the German shepherd or a group of dogs like terriers. Or maybe it’s “giant breeds,” “mutts” or “rescue dogs.”
There’s something special about all these dogs, and those of us who live with them – whether it’s pitbulls, border collies or shelter dogs – know there’s something unique about them as a group.
So my question for you is:
What do you want people to know about “your” breed? Or your “type” of dog?
What misunderstandings are there around Australian shepherds or French bulldogs that you’d like people to know?
For example, I have a weimaraner and a black Lab mix.
Since buying a weimaraner I’ve heard and read a few comments about the breed that are not favorable.
Those comments are along the lines of:
“Weimaraners are neurotic.”
And, “Weims are cat killers.”
These are not comments I’ve read or heard once or twice. They’re generalizations about weimaraners that are repeated on blogs, forums, rescue sites, breeder sites and from professional trainers and veterinarians.
At least three professionals have said to me in an irritated voice, “Why did you get a weimaraner?” referring to my dog’s energy.
This made me feel bad about my dog, like there’s something wrong with him for having energy. Or that there’s something wrong with me for choosing the breed or for not “reeling in” his enthusiasm.
So … here’s what I’d like to say in defense of weimaraners:
1. Weimaraners are not “neurotic.”
In general, most weims have a lot of energy and they need to run every day. Some weims feel nervous or excited in public if they’re still in training, but they can be calm in the house. Some weimaraners can live in an apartment or small space with the right owner.
See my post: How to live with a hyper dog in an apartment
2. Weimaraners can be good with cats, just like any other breed.
Yes, some weimaraners can’t be trusted around small animals but it depends on the individual dog. This is true of all breeds.
My weim was raised around cats from 8 weeks old, and he seems to view them as awkward members of our family.
Some of the weimaraners in shelters or rescue groups can safely go to homes with cats and should be allowed by the adoption organizations to do so.
See my post: Can weimaraners live with cats?
And now I want to say something about my Lab mix.
Yes, my dog looks like a black Labrador.
Yes, many Labs are friendly, including mine.
But please don’t assume every Lab or Lab mix is good with kids, good with strangers or easy to train.
Not all Labs make a good family pet or a good first dog.
Some Labs are aggressive around strangers, afraid of children or challenging to train.
My black Lab mix is perfect in many ways and sets a good example for “Labs” everywhere, but sometimes people put too much trust in a dog’s breed. Kids come bounding up to my dog as their parents smile simply because they see a “Lab” and they assume he’s safe.
Labs and golden retrievers can be great, but they can also have a lot of energy, excitement and nervousness. They’re prone to jumping on people and just like weimaraners they also need plenty of training, rules and exercise.
See my posts:
Dogs are dogs, and of course there are consistencies among breeds or groups, but it’s not fair to make generalizations. Sometimes there are myths or stereotypes around certain breeds that are not helpful, especially for the dogs waiting in shelters or rescue groups.
And so, what would you like people to know about your type of dog?
Let me know in the comments.