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What Do You Want People to Know About Your Favorite Breed?

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:

How to piss off a Labrador owner

Why we need dog awareness, not pitbull awareness

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.

Related posts:

Do you have a type of dog people are afraid of?

Do pitbull memes do more harm than good?

And so, what would you like people to know about your type of dog?

Let me know in the comments.

– Lindsay

Thank you for supporting That Mutt on Patreon.

Linda Rutledge

Sunday 29th of October 2017

I don't have a favorite breed. Of the 7 I have, all are mixed breeds except 2, and the other 5 were rescues out of shelters or off the streets. I love all dogs, and when there is more room I will probably go adopt a shelter dog, unless I see one on the street. But I also think people take in the dog breed they love whether it be a full breed or a mixed breed. And no matter what breed, they all mean doggie kisses and happy tails.


Friday 27th of October 2017

I have two retired racing greyhounds. I would love to tell everyone in the world that they do NOT need a lot of exercise! I believe this misconception keeps some people from adopting them, and there are so many that need forever homes. Greys are lazy, laid back dogs. Some are good with kids; some not. Some are good with cats; some not. The rescue organization can help you find the perfect match for your situation.

Greys make very good apartment dogs because they (literally) sleep 20 hours a day! They have little 5 minute play bursts sometimes, and a little tug or fetch with a squeaky toy will more than satisfy them. They require 20-40 minutes of walking a day, and/or a fenced yard. Some greys like other dogs and can be great in a dog park. There are groups that speak against the dog park for greys because of their lack of hair and thin skin, but my two enjoy it more than just about anything else in the world, except food!

So the bottom line is, they are laid back and affectionate, they do NOT need to run, 2 20-minute walks a day or a fenced yard is enough. They make wonderful house pets and most are calm and cuddly.

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 27th of October 2017

I like the look of greyhounds. I think they are pretty dogs.

Sarah Walker

Thursday 26th of October 2017

Between mine, my brother's and my dad's I am very familiar with German Shepherds. Yet, they are all different and have different personalities.

The most common factor in all GSD's that I have been around is that they are extremely loving, loyal and protective BUT they need LOTS of exercise! My 1 year old is a sweetheart but he acts up if he does not get to expend some of his energy. Before someone chooses a GSD I would hope they understand how much work and care they need, but that it is worth every minute!


Thursday 26th of October 2017

Rescued is my families favorite breed. Currently we have a pit mix, Pomeranian chihuahua, and a Sheppard mutt all rescues. I wish people would watch us with our dogs to see that the Sheppard mix is the one to watch out for, she'll react to about everything. The pit mix is a sweety that is still learning and the Pom mix is shy. I wish people would watch out for us and not their cell phone.

Steph Scott

Thursday 26th of October 2017

We adopted our lab at the age of 2 last November. He hadn't been well socialised when younger (previously was a working dog) and therefore he now can be anxious and fearful, particularly of kids. He would never hurt a fly but does cower behind me a lot like a frightened toddler. He's an incredibly handsome boy and because he's a lab people love to come over and put their hands all over him, which doesn't help his worries half the time (sometimes he'll be nervous of people, sometimes he'll adore them and love the attention - we haven't yet worked out the signs of what he does/doesn't feel comfy with). I wish people would be more courteous, and train their kids to be more courteous!