Ask an Expert - “Breedist” Dogs

Is my dog a breedist?
Ask an Expert - “Breedist” Dogs
Is my dog a breedist?


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!

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Comments (6)

I dogs prefer other snub nosed dogs. Pugs, bostons, other frenchies are far preferred and quickly approached than any other dog at a a park etc. Brachycephallic dogs look very different and have different facial cues than long nosed breeds. And I do think they remember bad experiences with other dogs and can attribute a predisposition to not like dogs that look like the original offender. I have worked with dogs for over 12years, and while I agree with the above author that energy and play styles do play a role, to say a dog cannot be breedist is wrong.
Mon, 01/21/2013 - 10:49
As a fellow trainer I respectfully disagree with your opinion on "Breedism". I have witnessed this first hand with one of my own dogs and with several others that I have trained. Yes, it may start with a particular reaction to an energy level of a particular, but can be generalized to other dogs of that same breed.
Mon, 01/21/2013 - 11:10
My oldest girl, a 13 yr. old dalmatian, who never had issues with any dogs, started showing a marked dislike to golden retrievers. She never had had a negative experience with a golden when this developed. Our other 2 dogs are fine with them. Our neighbor had a german shephard who also disliked goldens and only goldens. Her other shephards were also fine with them.
Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:33
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Sun, 11/18/2018 - 13:33
I had a mixed breed (rottie/shepherd) who dislike any light colored dog on sight, except her "cousin", a golden, who she had stayed with as a puppy when I was in the hospital. It got to the point that whenever anyone saw a light colored dog headed our way at the dog park, they'd warn me so I could leash her. My current dog, a jindo/australian cattle dog mix, loves all dogs and wants to play with them all and firmly believes they all love her back!
Sat, 05/18/2013 - 09:25

Dog of the Week!