Consciously or not, people love stereotypes. Stereotypes help us make quick decisions and judgments. But because stereotypes are rarely 100% true, sometimes those decisions or judgments are unfair. Nowhere is that more obvious than when you start talking about dog breeds. All dogs need proper training and a loving owner, but many breed stereotypes are mean, harmful, and untrue. In fact, they rarely represent dogs of these breeds accurately.
Most dogs aren’t inherently dangerous or aggressive. However, people think certain ones are because of popular generalizations or media exaggerations of attacks by specific breeds. Not to mention, a few irresponsible owners (or breeders) can ruin the reputation of an entire breed.
Below, check out the dog breeds that have gotten an unfairly bad reputation.
16. American bulldog
The stereotype: These dogs are ferocious and dangerous.
The truth: Bulldogs make loving — and lovable — pets.
Many people stereotype the bulldog as ferocious and dangerous. But, as The Spruce explains, those labels are usually wrong. Media reports and people’s accounts of their own scary encounters with specific dogs shape public perceptions of certain breeds. While some irresponsible owners might neglect their dogs or teach them aggressive behavior, that doesn’t accurately reflect the innate personality of the breed. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop people from incorrectly labeling the bulldog as “dangerous.”
The American Kennel Club (AKC) characterizes the bulldog as “equable, resolute and dignified.” (Sounds a little less scary now, right?) The group also notes that the bulldog is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Plus, the American Temperament Test Society, which administers a temperament evaluation for many breeds, found that 86.7% of bulldogs passed the test. That’s higher than the average overall pass rate of 83.4% for all breeds.