When you tell someone that you are considering the adoption of a pit bull, a Rottweiler, or a mastiff from an animal shelter, you are as likely to be met with a reaction of anger or condemnation as you are to be met with excitement. Over the years, these dog breeds have developed quite a reputation for being bullies and for being aggressive. Shelters nationwide are packed with abandoned, dumped, and misused “bully” dogs, and they have the lowest rates of readoption of any breed, other than the chihuahua.
So, is this bad reputation based on facts? Are they indicators that these dog breeds should not be considered for adoption?
In truth, there is no such thing as a bad dog, only owners who do not train them properly. You may be surprised to hear it, but many so-called bully dog breeds are actually some of the most loving, gentle, and caring animals in the world. The reason for these dogs having such bad reputations is mainly owing to the fact that they are often bred and trained as fighting and law-enforcement dogs owing to their larger size and great strength.
On this basis, it is important to understand that these dog breeds require firm and consistent training. Without proper training, they have no guideline for acceptable behavior, which can lead them to act in ways that are intimidating to people and other dogs.
With bully dog breeds, it is important to understand that owners must establish themselves as pack leaders. If your dog does not know that the humans in the house are higher than he or she is on the food chain, you have a recipe for disaster. The good news is that teaching your dog to accept this order can help ensure a healthy relationship. Dog-training classes are highly recommended if you don’t know where to start.
These dog breeds can make some of the absolute best pets in the world, provided you are willing to spend the time required to train them.