Throughout history, humans have created myths and stories related to events or phenomena we don’t understand. Myths encompass almost every topic imaginable and range from believable to truly bizarre. Dogs have been sharing life with humans for roughly 14,000 years, so it makes sense that we’ve dreamed up plenty of stories about these lovable companions.

Just because it’s 2019 doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of dog breed myths out there to distract and confuse well-meaning pet owners. Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions about dog breeds.

5 Common Dog Breed Myths

  1. Small dog breeds are aggressive. There’s no scientific evidence to indicate that smaller dog breeds are genetically predisposed to be aggressive. The likely reason behind this common dog breed myth has more to do with owner behavior than the dogs themselves. It’s easier to overlook a small dog’s negative behaviors due to the fact they’re much less dangerous than larger dogs. Every dog breed needs humane obedience training and socialization, preferably beginning in puppyhood, in order to grow into a well-adjusted adult dog.
  2. Large dog breeds can’t live in apartments. Although there are certain breeds that require lots of room to run (think border collies or huskies), the truth is that most dogs can live in almost any type of home provided they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. As long as they’re able to burn off excess energy each day, most dogs are content just being by your side.
  3. Poodles and certain other breeds are hypoallergenic. All animals produce dander (tiny particles of dead skin and hair that are to blame for pet allergies). While no animal is truly hypoallergenic, some breeds shed less frequently, such as poodles, bichon frise, and whippets. Less frequent shedding leads to less dander production.
  4. Small breeds are easier to care for than larger dogs. This dog breed myth couldn’t be further from the truth! Yes, smaller breeds eat less and produce less waste, but their needs for exercise, attention, training, and socialization are on par with large dogs. In addition, many smaller breeds need extensive grooming and are more prone to dental problems, making home and professional dental care an absolute must.
  5. Pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds. A peer-reviewed study conducted by the CDC analyzed dog bite incidents over a 20-year period and found that pit bull-type dogs pose no more or less of a threat than other breeds. As with any dog, training, socialization, and a good home life are all important factors when it comes to living in harmony with humans and other animals.

Which dog breed myths have you heard? Tell us about them during your pet’s next wellness exam. As always, please contact the team at Animal Medical Hospital & Urgent Care for more information or to schedule an appointment for your pet.