4 Myths About Scary Dogs

There is no doubt that dogs have long been our companions and protectors. However, our interactions with these pets have been influenced by misconceptions. There are several myths regarding how to manage scared dogs, all with similar ineffective results.

What Makes Them “Scary Dogs”?

A scary dog can make you shiver, run, jump, and even scream. But, what makes them so scary?

Their look, their size? Or is it their behavior? Well, you’ll discover that none of the three factors contribute to the scary nature of the dog, rather, the tales and myths surrounding it. So, let’s explore some myths and what people think about scary dogs.

Big dogs that frighten kids 

Big size: Dog breeds such as German shepherds and Rottweiler are big. This factor can cause fear in those who are unfamiliar with the dogs. 

Loud barks and muscularity: some dogs are muscular and bark loudly. The loud bark and muscularity make them scary and can frighten kids.

Behaviors: some dog breeds are scary. Creating awareness about this nature can minimize fear.

Mythological dogs 

When we talk about mythological dogs what comes into people’s mind is the category folklore dogs.  The mythology of dogs encompasses a diverse collection of legends and tales surrounding dog breeds. These narratives come along with heroic acts of dogs rescuing their owners from dangers and the roles they play in historical events. 

Culture Folklore dog Origin of fear 
European Black shuck Spectral black, roaming in rural areas 
Latin American Cadejo A night creature 
North American Skinwalker dog Metaphoric entity originating from the mythology of North American traditions. 

Here are myths about scary dogs:  

Myth 1: Big Dogs Are aggressive  

Many people believe that big dogs are more aggressive compared to smaller dogs. However, this is always not the case. The reality is, many big dogs are well mannered. 

Appearance and temperament are not equal

You can easily be deceived by the size and the look. However, many factors can lead to a dog’s temperament. And among the common factors are breeds, upbringing, and personality. While some breeds can be temperamental, some are friendly and loving. Just like smaller dogs, big dogs enjoy cuddling. So, here are reasons you should debunk the myth that “All big dogs are scary” 

  • Great Danes are labeled “Gentle giants” yet they look imposing. 
  • St. Benards are bigger yet are known to be friendly and patient. 
  • Newfoundlands are known to be loving and protective yet they’re big and muscular  

Training is the key 

Training your dogs regardless of their sizes can make a significant difference. Proper training can change the overall behaviors of your dog. 

Myth 2: particular dog breeds are aggressive 

Many people avoid specific dog breeds due to the belief that they’re aggressive in nature. However, after thorough research and studies, it turned out that dog’s aggressiveness can be triggered by many factors regardless of their breeds. This is one of the reasons the above myth was long debunked. 

Breed-specific laws lifted 

The Breed-specific laws regulated certain dog breeds that were thought to endanger the community. However, apart from being costly to enforce, there is no evidence that these laws improve safety. It was later concluded that banning specific dog breeds does not promote community safety. What promotes safety is the responsibility of dog ownership and understanding dog behaviors.

Personalities vary across different dog breeds

Human beings have unique personalities. This also applies to our companions (dogs). Personalities of these pets vary and are determined by numerous factors.   

Myth 3: Scary Dogs Are often dangerous  

Due to the scary appearance, many people believe that these guards are dangerous. However, we should not be quick to judge dogs based on their looks. Loud barks can be another way of passing a message. Big dogs with loud barks may seem scary and mean. However, this is always not the case. The true personalities and nature of these dogs are tinted by misconceptions. 

Fear-based aggression is often misunderstood

To human beings, fear is a powerful emotion. This idea applies to dogs too. Dogs may be scared but looking scary, leading to fear-based aggression. Sometimes, temperament can be a defense mechanism in dogs. All you need to know is:

  • Barking and growling are defending mechanisms when these pets are afraid
  • Acting big triggers dog’s fear 
  • Training can shape your do and make it feel safe

Aggressiveness can be a result of underlying health issues 

Underlying health problems can trigger a dog’s aggressiveness. The following are health problems you need to observe:

Health issue Signs Effects on dog’s behavior 
Dental painNot eating Grouchy and snapping 
Joint pain Limping Growling when touched 
Ear infection Shaking head Head shy 

It’s good to observe and understand the triggers of the dog’s aggressiveness. 

Myth 4: Scary Dogs are dangerous to our kids 

The last myth is also due to the scary look and the dog’s breed. However, this is just a misconception that was also debunked after a series of studies. So, what do you need to do to ensure safety for both dogs and kids?

Teach your kids to respect dogs

It’s important to establish safe interactions between kids and dogs. Teaching your kids calm dog approaches minimizes aggressiveness. As you can see, it’s beyond just how dogs behave around kids. Responsible pet ownership starts with ensuring that kids:

  • Don’t approach the dog before asking 
  • Don’t tease the dog 
  • Avoid rough approaches 

Ensure to instill these three principles earlier for mutual respect and friendship.

Good supervision

Dogs are animals. Therefore, supervision is vital whenever these guards are around kids. Proper supervision encourages positive interactions. 

The Bottom Line 

There are many misconceptions out there about dogs. These untrue beliefs contribute to nothing but fear. Responsible pet ownership begins with understanding the possible triggers of dogs’ reactions. Understanding these triggers will help establish a friendly environment for dogs and kids!

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