Ask an Expert - “Breedist” Dogs
Q: My dog seems to like some breeds and hate others. Is my dog a breedist? Is that even possible?—Egalitarian in Elgin
A: Like with people, it’s true some dogs dig each other and some just don’t. However, it’s more of an age, temperament, or sometimes, a socialization issue, than anything else. Breedist? No, although sometimes it may appear that way. I have seen it all: German Shepherds that are sweet and demure and Chihuahuas who could benefit from anger management classes. The main point to note, my lovely dog owners, is that the way you train, socialize, and manage the exercise needs of your pooch will determine your dog’s success at social events. Dominant dogs usually have high energy and prey drives, and they can come in all sizes. Other dogs can react to their energy in either a proactive way (wanting to play and party) or a reactive way (barking back), and the way you handle it determines the outcome.
Yes, some breeds can have common “wired for sound energies” that many owners can find challenging to handle. The mixology and the chemistry (love/hate) have less to do with your dog being a breedist and actually have more to do with you, the dog owner, being perceptive. Being a little more attentive to the age of the dog that is coming toward you while on a walk and communicating with other dog owners prior to approaching one another can have the most amazing “peace pipe” effect on a potentially hairy situation.
Just “paws” for a minute and assess the situation, is what I always say. Walking by a dog that your dog does not like where both dogs appear to be out of control at the end of the leash, is enough to make anyone drink! If life gets rough, your energy flow can show your dog a different way. With just a tail wag and a nod you can avert the whole disagreement and heel thyself over to the sunny side of the street.
Ah, there are SO many factors that make up the canine cocktail of love. Happy walking!