Are you guilty of misperception of certain dog breeds? I know I have been. Many people, including myself, use dogs as protection and early warning of possible issues. The breeds I own are a 4 year old male Belgian Malinois and a 3 year old female “Pit Bull”. Currently, I live in an apartment complex. Imagine the looks my dogs get when out on a walk or just taking them out to the bathroom. Now where do you think this comes from? It comes from people being uneducated and basing their judgments on stereotypes against certain breeds from, you guessed it, THE MEDIA. (Not that they will admit it, though)
Why Does This Misperception Happen?
For years, the media has done what they do best. Which is distribute as many negative headlines as they can. In doing so, a lot of good things have been passed by. Here is an example. Articles like this will get minimal attention from the media. Most places, it won’t even make the headlines. Why? Because it hurts the misperception they’ve caused. There is plenty of these stories across the country and the world. It is up to the public to make them known.
Training is Everything!
I can not stress training your dogs enough. I have trained my dogs and they know how to protect themselves and my family in the event of provocation and/or attack. One thing to note, my Malinois wears a muzzle when going to the bathroom. Why do I do this if he’s not a violent dog? I do it because irresponsible owners allow their dogs loose on the property without being leashed. This causes a major misperception that he is violent or will attack out of nowhere. I train with him to be able to release the muzzle quickly, in the event of an attack. This has worked well for both of us, though we haven’t needed it in a real scenario, as of yet.
The Difference in Breeds
I have been working with dogs for years and owned several different breeds. There are dogs that are perceived as “cute and cuddly” but they aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. However, this can be said of any breed. There are people that swear by large breeds. Just as there are people that swear by small breeds. Yes, some breeds are more temperamental than others, based on genetics. It is up to the owner to properly train the dog and themselves to ensure a good life for the dog.
What Can You Do to Combat Misperception?
I believe it’s going to take time and consistency to reverse the effects the media has created against these breeds. It’s going to take more people educating themselves the right way and taking the time to train their dogs. Over time, the misperception can be reversed and the world will be a better place, for both humans and dogs alike. All I ask of you are three simple things. One, do your research before getting a dog. Two, invest in training yourself and your dog from the beginning. Trust me, you’ll both be happier and better off this way. The third and most important, help educate others against the misperception of dogs. It’s the best way to move forward.
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