10 Common Dog Breed Misconceptions

We at Rover love dogs of all breeds—purebred or mixed. Though dogs tend to have specific traits, certified professional dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert Nicole Ellis shared with us 10 common breed misconceptions.

Any dog can behave well in public spaces, like restaurants, given the proper training and socialization. Getting your dog into an exercise and training regimen as soon as possible will ensure your dog gets the benefit of the best traits available. Socializing to new sounds, sights, people, and pets is key to having a very confident but well-rounded dog.

Dog Breed Myths

Ten beliefs about dogs that just aren’t true!

1. Mastiffs are not friendly or low-key

While they may look intimidating, Mastiffs are really friendly and typically well-behaved dogs in public spaces. Puppies can be active, but Mastiffs do mellow out quickly with a nice walk each day: they’ll be very content snoozing, while you enjoy an outdoor meal. Be prepared to clean up some drool, though.

2. Great Danes aren’t compatible with apartments

Believe it or not, despite their size, great Danes can actually be amazingly relaxed pets. While they may physically take up more space than most breeds, they’re known for being gentle giants. Their loving, calm demeanor makes them perfect for public interaction and apartment living.

3. Greyhounds are high-energy dogs that don’t chill out

People often assume Greyhounds need a lot of exercise due to being known for the track, but they are actually often couch potatoes. That doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy a walk and some outdoor time but they make great house dogs as well.

4. Pitbulls’ jaws lock if they bite

There is a common misconception that pitbulls’ jaws lock, but this is actually not true; their jaws are the same as other dogs. Pitbulls were actually once known as the American family dog and considered nanny dogs to watch over young kids. Their athleticism and strength can lead to a powerful bite, but that’s not due to their jaws locking. Pitbulls make great additions to the family.

5. All small dogs are yappy

As a dog trainer, I work with some small breeds that are more vocal, but that’s not true for all smaller breeds. For example, the Cavalier King Charles, Chinese crested, Japanese chin and Italian greyhound are actually often very quiet dogs.

6. Shelties and miniature collies are the same breed

While Shetland sheepdogs may look like Miniature collies, they are actually different breeds, both recognizable by the American Kennel Club.

7. Poodles won’t impact those with allergies

All animals produce dander, meaning no animal is truly hypoallergenic. Poodles and some other breeds like Bichon Frise, Cavaliers, and Havanese shed much less frequently, which leads to less dander production. These breeds are great for those with allergies to dogs.

8. Small dogs won’t be able to run with you

Though there is a common misconception that small dogs are less likely to join you in your active lifestyle, many small dogs excel at dog sports. Yes, even Pugs can make it around an agility course quite well. Just watch a Toy poodle or Jack Russell terrier navigate an agility course to be surprised.

9. Long-haired dogs need to be shaved in the summer

Many people think that their long-haired dogs must be shaved for the summer to keep them cool, but it will actually do quite the opposite. While it’s okay to give some dogs a summer haircut, a double-coated dog’s fur is actually designed to help heat escape and keep them cool in warmer months.

10. Breeds like Rottweilers and Dobermans might turn on their owners

Some breeds like Rottweilers and Dobermans are stereotyped to potentially be vicious and turn on their families, but they’re not predispositioned as breeds to do so.

Though they have a big bark, these breeds can be extremely sweet and loyal. With the right socialization and training, they will greet your house guests with lots of love and attention.

To learn more about different traits of popular dog breeds, check out Rover’s dog breed selector tool.

Interested in learning more about services Rover provides?

Dog Boarding | Pet Sitting | Dog Walking | Doggy Day Care | House Sitting

America’s Most Popular Dog Breeds

Ever wonder how your favorite type of dog stacks up against the rest? At Rover, we were curious too, and took a look at dog breed data from over half a million pet parents nationwide to see which breeds reign supreme in America in 2019. We used this data to rank the top 20 most popular dog breeds nationally, and then looked at individual cities to dig up regional differences and showcase the five most beloved breeds in each city that outpaced their national rank. Unsurprisingly, mixed breeds, Labrador retrievers, and Chihuahuas take the top spots both nationally and in most cities across the U.S.Thinking of adopting a new family member? Whether your new pup is a single breed or a mix of five, learning about the best dog breeds for you can help inform your decision.

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Beyond the rank

Breed rankings by cityNational

  • #1National Ranking

Mixed Breed

Often hardy and always unique, mixed breed dogs continually top lists of the most popular dog types in America. There’s a mixed pup out there for just about everyone!

  • #2National Ranking

Labrador Retriever

Labs are one of America’s most popular dog breeds. These high-spirited sporting dogs are perfect for people who love spending time outdoors swimming, jogging, or hunting.Learn more

  • #3National Ranking

Chihuahua

Looking for a lot of personality in a compact package? Adopt a Chihuahua! They’re ideal dogs for city dwellers, but require training to temper their “big dog” attitudes.Learn more

  • #4National Ranking

Golden Retriever

Intelligence and a friendly disposition make goldens one of America’s most popular dog breeds. These smart pups do well with obedience training and make great hunters.Learn more

  • #5National Ranking

German Shepherd

Intelligent and protective, German shepherds make loyal companions. These dogs bond well with their owners through physical activities like herding, tracking, and agility.Learn more

  • #6National Ranking

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are true terriers: funny, feisty, and braver than their size implies. Known as “the tomboy toy,” Yorkies are also quite affectionate and favorites of city-dwellers worldwide.Learn more

  • #7National Ranking

Shih Tzu

Known as the “little lion dog,” the shih tzu is an outgoing and affectionate breed. Mischievous and playful, you’ll never have a dull moment with a shih tzu around!Learn more

  • #8National Ranking

Dachshund

These spunky pups are full of personality. Ever curious and alert, dachshunds are notoriously stubborn and require patience to train, though the results are totally worth it.Learn more

  • #9National Ranking

Boxer

Fun-loving and protective of their people, boxers make great companions. Consider a boxer if you’re an active individual looking for a playful, high-energy dog.Learn more

  • #10National Ranking

Goldendoodle

The goldendoodle is a fairly new crossbreed that’s growing in popularity. They’re known for their teddy bear looks, low-shedding coats, and friendly personalities.Learn more

  • #11National Ranking

Poodle

From toy to standard sizes, poodles are intelligent, athletic dogs. Bred originally as hunting dogs, these pups especially enjoy retrieving toys, swimming, and long walks or jogs.Learn more

  • #12National Ranking

Beagle

With their pleading expressions and funny personalities, it’s hard to resist a beagle. They make excellent hunting dogs and tend to be very loyal to their people.Learn more

  • #13National Ranking

Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherds are tireless partners and working dogs through and through. This incredibly smart breed makes an excellent companion for experienced dog owners.Learn more

  • #14National Ranking

Siberian Husky

Quite friendly and social, Siberian husky dogs can make great family dogs. They do well with owners who can keep them busy and active on daily walks.Learn more

  • #15National Ranking

Maltese

Outgoing and affectionate, Maltese dogs make charming companions. Requiring only moderate exercise, these pups can be sweet, if at times stubborn, family pets.Learn more

  • #16National Ranking

American Pit Bull Terrier

With naturally gentle, loyal dispositions, pit bull terriers can make great family pets. This breed responds well to training and are popular obedience and agility competitors.Learn more

  • #17National Ranking

Pug

Charming, funny, and mischievous, pugs make loving pets. Small yet solid, they’re the ideal house dog and happy in just about any home—city or country, kids or none.Learn more

  • #18National Ranking

French Bulldog

Stocky like an English bulldog but not as large, Frenchies are great for homes of all sizes. They don’t need a ton of exercise—nice walks and trips to the dog park work well.Learn more

  • #19National Ranking

Pomeranian

With their foxy faces and big dog attitudes, Poms command attention wherever they go. They’re also smarter than their cute appearance may imply, mastering tricks with ease.Learn more

  • #20National Ranking

Border Collie

This energetic workaholic is not for the novice dog owner. At the end of a long day, however, they’ll happily snuggle up with their favorite person to celebrate a job well done.Learn more

Learn more

Find the Right Breed for You

Looking to adopt a dog? Congrats! In a survey of over 1,000 dog parents, we found that nearly 80% considered their own lifestyle in the process, including their living situation (50%), family (42%), schedule (39%), and activity level (30%). Though every dog has its own personality and mixed breeds are the most popular, this tool can help you discover which dog breed traits best fit your lifestyle. Answer questions about your preferences and we’ll match you with compatible breeds from Rover’s list of the 50 most popular dog breeds.

Take the quiz

10 Common Dog Breed Misconceptions

We at Rover love dogs of all breeds—purebred or mixed. Though dogs tend to have specific traits with their own personalities, certified professional dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert Nicole Ellis shared with us 10 common breed misconceptions to watch out for.

Keep reading

Interested in learning more about services Rover provides?

Dog Boarding | Pet Sitting | Dog Walking | Doggy Day Care | House Sitting

Homemade Chicken, Beef, and Salmon Dog Jerky Treats Couldn’t Be Easier to Make

These homemade chicken jerky, beef jerky, and salmon jerky strips are great for dogs and people, though we created them specifically for the dogs in our lives. They’re just the kind of chewy, satisfying dog treat your happy hound will go wild for. And with no weird added preservatives, excess sodium, sugar, or carbs, you can feel good about sharing them with all your four-legged friends anytime.

To make these dog jerky treats, all these you need is some lean protein and a dehydrator (or your home oven, set at its lowest setting). In 4-8 hours, you can have a cheaper, healthier alternative to store-bought jerky.

Choose the leanest meats you can find for the healthiest dog jerky with the longest shelf life.

diy dehydrated jerky treats for dogs HERO

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Homemade Jerky Treats for Dogs

You can use this recipe with any lean meat you have on hand. If you’re pressed for time (or just don’t enjoy handling raw meat) check your grocery store for packages of meat sliced thin or in strips ready to go.

  • Author: Kiki Kane
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 Trays 1x
  • Category: Healthy Snacks
  • Cuisine: DIY Dog Treats

SCALE 1x2x3x

Ingredients

Protein options

  • A lean cut of beef like flank steak with little or no marbling
  • Chicken breast or thigh (there will some fat trimming for thigh but we all know it’s tastier than breast!)
  • Salmon (it’s a fatty fish so you’ll want to keep this jerky in the fridge but your dog will go WILD for the flavor). Check for bones and remove with tweezers.
  • Any white fish. Check for bones and remove with tweezers.
  • Game meat (the USDA recommends you freeze game before dehydrating to eliminate E Coli bacteria and any potential parasites. Additionally, you will want to dehydrate a little longer to ensure the meat is cooked fully.) 
  • Lamb or mutton is a tasty option if you find it on sale.

Marinade

A marinade is completely optional, of course, but makes this jerky into a recipe that works equally well for dogs and people. We use low-sodium ingredients and do not add sugar to ensure that this treat is as healthy as it is tasty. You can make as much or as little of this marinade as you need.

  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup liquid aminos (this is like low-sodium, gluten-free soy sauce you can find in the health food section of your grocery store. You can substitute with low-sodium soy sauce if you can’t find this product in your area)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • A splash of fish sauce
  • A pinch of powdered ginger
  • Optional: 1-2 drops liquid smoke

Equipment

  • We used a Nesco Snackmaster Pro Dehydrator but your oven on the lowest setting works fine, too.
  • Ziplock bag or glass or ceramic container for marinating
  • If you’re using your oven, you’ll want to place your meats onto racks on baking sheets, or a sheet of parchment paper on cookie sheets.

Instructions

Mix up your marinade. You will need one batch of marinade per pound of meat.

Prep your lean meats by first removing all visible fat and discarding.

Slice your proteins into whatever shape you like, bearing in mind that:

  • Thinner cuts will dehydrate faster
  • Uniform sized pieces will dehydrate at the same speed for even doneness
  • Cutting with the grain will make a chewier jerky treat
  • Cutting against the grain will make a less chewy jerky treat

Place your protein in the marinade, stirring to make sure everything is evenly covered.

Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-24 hours.

When you’re ready to dehydrate, preheat your dehydrator to 160 degrees F, or your oven to 160 degrees F or your lowest setting.

Remove all the trays from your dehydrator. You don’t want to get raw meat juice all over the trays you aren’t using and it will increase airflow dramatically.

  • Strain protein from marinade, patting dry with a paper towel.
  • Place sliced meats onto trays, making sure to leave enough room between every piece for good airflow.
  • Place trays in the dehydrator leaving good space between each tray if you can.

Set timer for 4 hours.

Check for doneness at 4 hours for the dehydrator, 3 hours if you’re using the oven since the temp will likely be higher.

You want to see the meat shrunk by at least half, dark and consistent in color, and dry all the way through. The meat should bend but not feel rubbery or puffy (chicken, I’m looking at you.)

When meat is completely cooled, store in an airtight container.

Thoroughly clean your dehydrator trays and the inside of your dehydrator, the bottom shelf will get sticky and you don’t really want these flavors transferring to your next cooking project!

Jerky will keep for one week on your counter or two weeks in the fridge. If you want it to last for a couple of months you could use a vacuum sealer. But we’re pretty sure your dog will help you make it disappear in a matter of days, if not hours.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @roverdotcom on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithrover.

What the Heck Is a Dehydrator?

A dehydrator like the one we use in this video is a very handy, relatively inexpensive kitchen gadget we love for making dried treats of all kinds. This includes fruits, veggies, and meats.

However, you can definitely make homemade jerky in the oven, as specified in the recipe. Just be sure to go low and slow.

NESCO Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Sturdy, easy to use, and versatile for homemade dried snacks of all kinds, for people AND dogs.Find at Amazon for $58.70The Dog People Top Pick

Homemade Dog Jerky Treats are Great for Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys can get boring with the same old stuffing. A high-value reward like jerky dog treats can breathe new life into an older toy. Get the cookie pickle here.

Tasting Notes

Cravealicious!

Homemade Dog Treats

Homemade dog treats have no preservatives, which is great for your dog, but means they won’t last as long as store-bought options. Be sure and store your DIY dog cookies and treats in an airtight container, and use your treats within a week or two at most. The less moisture in your dog treats, the longer they’ll last, so be sure and bake thoroughly for longer shelf life.

Dog treats are not a replacement for nutritionally balanced dog food. Treats should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet (though they might be the best part.)

More Great Homemade Dog Treat Recipes

How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?

Having a dog means having a schedule. You arrange work hours, social outings, and errands based on when you can get home. If you’re anything like me, you sometimes skip a night out because you feel guilty leaving your dog home alone.

Dogs enjoy the company of their humans, but that doesn’t mean leaving them home alone is bad or dangerous. Read on to learn how long you can leave a dog alone, and tips to make their time at home safe and enriching.

Consider the bladder

The first question most people ask about leaving their dog home alone is: how long can my dog last without a bathroom break? According to experts, dogs generally need to pee between three to five times a day. But the timing of potty breaks varies from dog to dog, and puppies and seniors need more frequent breaks.

How long can a dog “hold it” before needing a potty break? Here are common time limits for dogs of different life stages:

  • Puppies: one hour per every month of age (so a three month old puppy can wait three hours to pee)
  • Adult dogs age one year and up: up to eight hours, but ideally no more than six
  • Senior dogs age eight and up: depending on size and health, anywhere from two to six hours

Of course, the above estimates vary depending on a dog’s size, health, and habits. But any dog forced to hold their urine for too long is at risk for urinary tract infection, stones, or crystals. Plus, holding urine for too long is just plain uncomfortable, and can lead to accidents in the house.

For safety and comfort’s sake,  provide a potty break ever four to six hours. Standard work days are eight to ten hours long, so if you can’t swing home at lunch to take the dog out, hire a dog walker for worry-free care.

For safety and comfort’s sake,  provide a potty break ever four to six hours

Exercise counts

Beyond potty breaks, your dog needs physical activity during the day. Whatever your dog’s energy and fitness level, exercise helps them:

  • Stay healthy
  • Digest meals
  • Stimulate their mind
  • Burn calories
  • Avoid boredom (and boredom-induced destructive behaviors)

Individual exercise needs vary depending on your dog’s age, breed, and health level. Herding and sporting dogs often require more intense and lengthy activity; lower-energy breeds and older dogs can do with significantly less (source). But every dog needs to stretch its legs a couple times a day.

In general, healthy dogs need about 60 minutes of moderate activity every day, but it doesn’t have to be continuous. Before you leave your dog home alone for a length of time, spend 20-30 minutes taking them for a brisk walk or play session. Tire them out so their alone time will be more relaxing.

Then, a midday romp (with you or a dog walker) will help break up the day, and of course, spend quality time together when you’re home for the night!

If your dog acts anxious or destructive after spending time alone, it’s possible they need more frequent and intense exercise. Speak to your vet to determine an ideal fitness routine for your pet.

In general, healthy dogs need about 60 minutes of moderate activity every day

Mental activity matters, too

Beyond how long a dog can hold it, or how much exercise a dog needs each day, mental activity is important to keep your best friend healthy, happy, and well-behaved. Puppies and young dogs need more enrichment than adults, but all dogs need a certain amount of mental stimulation throughout the day (source). Without it, they may become bored, and even destructive when left alone.

Whether it’s a training session, exciting neighborhood walk, puzzle feeder, or a round of indoor games, enrichment activities help keep your dog healthy and balance out the time she spends alone.

To keep your dog busy:

The takeaway

All dogs are different, and some can handle more alone time than others. But every dog needs periodic potty breaks, exercise, and mental stimulation. If your work schedule means your dog spends most of the day home alone, consider booking a trustworthy house sitter to stop by and give your dog a break.

dog walker or sitter can give your dog the activity she needs during the day, and help you feel better about being gone—and make your homecoming all the sweeter!

How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone?

Cats have a reputation for being solitary creatures, but anyone who has one knows that’s not entirely true. In fact, some cats are social butterflies who love to be kept company at all times! Cats form strong bonds with their human and animal companions and can get distressed or lonely if left alone for too long.

Of course, every cat is different. But there are some accepted guidelines for how long you can leave a cat home alone. Read on to answer the question: how long can you leave a cat alone?

Can my cat stay home alone while I’m at work?

Many people choose to have a pet cat instead of a dog because cats are known for being more low-maintenance. And in regards to staying home alone during the day, it’s true: cats can be alone for longer than dogs. After all, their bathroom is indoors, so they don’t need someone to take them out for a walk!

In general, adult cats are content being left home alone for 8-12 hours. But cats can get bored and lonely even in a short period of time. One way to help? Entertainment! When you go out for the day, leave some safe toys and enrichment activities for them to play with. You could even leave the radio or tv on a soothing station at low volume.

Can I leave my cat alone overnight?

In general, vets say it’s okay to leave your cat alone for up to 24 hours at a time. As long as they have a clean litterbox, access to fresh water, and a full meal before you go, they should be fine for a day. Any longer than that, though, is pushing it.

If you’re going to be gone for more than one night, arrange for a friend or pet sitter to visit your cat, scoop the litterbox, and refresh the food and water bowls. Think of it this way: would you want to be stuck in a room with stale food, dirty water, and a clogged-up toilet? I sure wouldn’t. And it’s not fair to put my cat through that, either.

Even more worrisome than messes is the possibility of a sudden illness or injury. Cats can get themselves into jams; just consider the mischief they cause when you’re home to supervise! And a sudden illness or condition like urinary blockages can become serious quickly (source).

Age makes a difference

Kittens and senior cats are vulnerable and may need some extra care when you leave them alone.

Kittens age 3-6 months generally need three feedings per day, every 4-6 hours or so. In addition, kittens are awfully curious and may try to climb up the curtains or eat something they shouldn’t while you’re away. You can set them up in a kitten-proof room, but it’s also a good idea to have someone check on them during the day.

As for older cats, they can be extra-sensitive to changes in routine. Stress can turn to illness in an older kitty. In addition, senior cats may need extra feedings or medication during the day. For these reasons, senior cats should not be left alone overnight.

Help your cat stay busy while you’re away.

If you’re going to leave your cat alone for more than a few hours, you can set them up for success while you’re gone. Feed them a meal shortly before you leave, and refresh their water bowl before you walk out the door. Finally, leave them with a clean litterbox.

Oh, and don’t forget the entertainment! One way to ease cats’ time home alone is with toys, scratchers, and other forms of enrichment to keep them busy. “Play-alone” toys like fluffy balls, crinkle/crackle balls, and catnip mice provide fun and distraction when you’re gone. You can also leave the TV on low volume with a nature program running.

If your cat is extra-curious or mischievous, set up a “cat-safe” space for them to hang out in while you’re away. Bathrooms and laundry rooms make great cat rooms, too. Set them up with a litterbox, food, water, and enough toys to keep them busy until you get home.

How pet sitters can help

As mentioned, it’s okay to leave your cat alone for part or all of one day. But it’s smart to prepare for delays and emergencies. What if there’s a snowstorm, or your car breaks down, or something else prevents you from making it home in time for your cat’s evening meal? Even if you plan to be home for your cat, plans can change.

The truth is, even the most solitary cats need someone to check in on them once a day. A reliable pet sitter can give your cat the care they’re accustomed to while you’re gone. For some cats, a quick stop-in to scoop the litterbox and refresh the food and water bowls is enough. Other cats may benefit from a longer visit with a play session and plenty of pets.

Whatever level of care needed, a professional Rover sitter can help. You can have someone watch them at your home or board them at the sitter’s house. Or, you can ask a friend to fill in. The important thing is that your cat has someone looking after them until you get home.

Further Reading