Don't Judge a Dog By its Breed!

judging dogs behavior on their breed

Many of us blame the dog breeds for their destructive behaviors for ages. This lack of knowledge of dogs has already caused severe damage and even deaths to our beloved canines.

Many countries and states have banned pit bulls and other dog breeds like Akita, Rotts, Bull Terriers, etc... permanently labeling them as dangerous.

As a dog enthusiast living in a country where no breed is banned, I have the full power to do a personal study on any kind of dog breed, especially those labeled as such, for the sole purpose of knowing the truth.

So here's the truth - even our sweetest labrador retrievers and other commonly known friendly breeds can be deadly too! Why? Because there are other essential and more credible factors affecting a dog's behavior, to the point that having the dog's breed in question wouldn't make any sense at all.

Here are just two of the recent "unusual dog behavior-related cases" that happened to our friends. To respect their privacy, I'll change the owners' and the dogs' names.

Case #1: Lucy the Labrador Retriever

choco brown labrador retriever
A picture of a chocolate brown labrador retriever from Pixabay. This is not an actual photo of Lucy.

Although I haven't seen Lucy in person yet, I've already known her for years because she's quite the favorite topic of the group regarding unusual dog behavior-related discussions.

Lucy is a female chocolate brown labrador retriever owned by Gilbert. Even though labrador retrievers are known to be friendly and gentle to everyone, she has a history of violence towards other dogs.

Eventually, Lucy was re-homed by one of his friends, Joseph. Aside from Lucy, Joseph also owns a wide variety of dogs, including a couple of Shih tzus, pugs, a Boston terrier, a Japanese spitz, etc.

One day, she suddenly attacked the Japanese spitz and immediately killed the poor dog. The reason was unclear. However, considering her violent history, Joseph learned his lesson and immediately isolated her from his other dogs.

The latest I heard about Lucy is she's back with Gilbert.

I haven't asked Gilbert yet about how he got Lucy. Therefore, we're looking at seven possible factors behind her aggressiveness:

  1. If Gilbert got her as a puppy, and considering he already has more dogs than his two hands can handle, the issue behind her aggressive behavior could be related to the amount of attention she's getting from her owner.
  2. If he got her as a puppy, he probably got her too early - earlier than the required age of at least 2 months. Puppies immediately separated from their mothers (earlier than 60 days after birth) eventually develop behavioral issues.
  3. Like humans, some dogs can be born with mental disabilities. Perhaps the dam had ingested something toxic while she was pregnant, or something had occurred internally while she was giving birth, or maybe it was in the genes. Who knows?
  4. Honestly, I never had the chance to meet his other pets. If some of them had a similar behavioral problem as Lucy, they could have influenced her while she was growing up.
  5. If Gilbert got Lucy as a young adult, there might be some issues in the environment where she grew up.
  6. Whoever handled Lucy as a puppy may have tolerated her attitude. A significant part of responsible dog ownership is encouraging the dog to behave well and correcting every negative action/s. This is why owning dogs is compared to raising human kids. If you wouldn't fix their unpleasant behaviors, how would they know the difference between good and evil? And if they wouldn't see the difference between these two, how could we expect them to be as good as we want them to be?
  7. Lucy's social life could also be one of the culprits. I can't stress enough how vital dog socialization is. A tip? Join a local dog group on Facebook that conducts regular dog walks.

Case #2: Max the Bullmastiff

A picture of a bull mastiff from Wikipedia. Again, this is not an actual photo of Max.

Max is a young adult bullmastiff owned by a celebrity friend, Dennis. Because of his busy schedule, he couldn't devote 100% of his time to Max, especially during his growing-up stage. His large size hindered the rest of Dennis' family and helpers, as no one else had given any effort to at least pet him because of their fear of being mauled by the dog. Unfortunately, these people's lack of knowledge about raising dogs affected Max's behavior.

Although bull mastiffs are generally known to be great family dogs, Max grew up to be the opposite. He would always try to attack any living creature near his cage. Dennis is the only one who can hold him.

2 years ago, he managed to escape his cage. Unfortunately, a neighbor's dog was walking in front of their gate. The worst had happened. Before Dennis could stop Max, the innocent dog died after Max bit his neck.

During one of our friends' birthday parties, Dennis told us that he and his wife were considering putting him down or getting a female bullmastiff. According to him, a "potential wife" could probably change him. We immediately dismissed his ideas. We told him that putting him down is definitely not a solution, and giving him a wife now would be like giving fresh and expensive meat to a hungry crocodile.

I suggested advanced dog obedience training by a good and experienced dog trainer, which will surely benefit both his dog and his family. My husband also mentioned that he should consider neutering Max to lessen his aggressiveness whenever one of his kennel mates is "in heat." We also gave him some ideas on how to be the "alpha dog" because Max already acts like one.

Unfortunately, none of our suggestions had been carried out. Until one day, he bought a pair of Alaskan Malamutes. After almost a year, Max escaped again and killed one of them.

Personal Note

I have friends who also own pit bulls, German shepherds, and even rottweilers. They are all family dogs, and they don't have any issues when it comes to their temperaments. Many would expect these breeds to be unfriendly, but these dogs are one of the sweetest pets we've met.


No dog owner is perfect. But if we sincerely do our best to raise our dogs to how we really want them to be, the results will be better than what we might have expected.

Baby-talking or cuddling your cute little pets 24/7 isn't how to raise a well-behaved and obedient animal. We should not forget the true nature of these canines. They are born to be a part of a pack led by a deserving leader. In this "human + dog world," we are their pack leaders. If they see that we don't have the qualities of a good leader, they will definitely try to take over. What would happen if they took over? They will no longer see you as the "alpha dog," so there would be no reason for them to follow or fear you.

No matter what breed your dog is, if you raise him right, he can be the best and most loyal companion you can ever have in your lifetime. This is why experienced dog professionals always say that your dog's behavior reflects you as a dog owner. Those articles online about dog breeds' temperaments are only guidelines based on reported cases or studies conducted by professionals some decades ago. The way we see it, they had missed or skipped an essential factor before coming up with their conclusions - they probably didn't consider how those dogs were raised or taken care of.


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