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.

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