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How Stereotypes Hurt Your Dog (and Their Training) | Pupford

June 15th, 2023

Filed under Podcasts

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While most of us know the damage stereotypes can do to us humans, what role do they play for our pups?!

We often put “labels” and stereotypes on our dogs that ultimately end up causing harm to them and specifically to their training.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can avoid these stereotypes and find more positive ways to look at your pup, regardless of breed!

Here’s some of what we will cover:

  • How “all dog”-style stereotypes don’t hold true
  • Why you shouldn't get hung up on breed-specific stereotypes
  • How stereotypes generally hurt training progress

Let’s do it! ⬇️


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dog stereotypes are often problematic

You’ll often hear things like “all dogs love getting belly rubs”.

Or, “dogs love playing with other dogs”.

While they are often true, these “all dog” stereotypes are often harmful to how we approach our pups.

Believing that all dogs love playing with other dogs can lead you to put your pup into situations that may make them uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

The truth is that every single dog is unique.

Some love getting belly rubs and others don’t. Some love playing with other dogs and others don’t.

Broad stereotypes about all dogs are troublesome and should always be taken with a grain of salt.


Similar to “all dog” stereotypes, breed-specific stereotypes can sometimes be even more damaging.

You’ve probably heard things like…

“All labrador retrievers are dog-friendly.”


“Huskys are so stubborn.”


“Pugs are lazy.”

You get the point.

When you first bring home your new puppy or rescue a certain breed, you may have some of those stereotypes swirling around your head. And truthfully, it can be challenging to not let those stereotypes dictate how you approach your pup.

Again though, the truth is that every dog is different.

Some labs are not dog-friendly.

“Stubborn” is often an excuse that makes us believe our dog is blatantly disobeying (which likely isn’t the case).

I’ve seen pugs with more energy than a toddler!

Even though our dog’s breed can sometimes dictate certain behaviors and tendencies, every single dog is different. They have unique personalities, unique needs, and unique strengths and weaknesses.


stereotypes can hurt your dog’s training progress

The biggest problem with dog stereotypes is that they often limit how we approach our training with our dogs.

We sometimes let stereotypes lead us to think our dog will be stubborn, challenging, or “untrainable”. This leads to slow dog training progress and regressions.

The truth is that with the right training methods, patience, and consistency, any dog can improve and become a well-mannered pup.

The key is to figure out your dog’s highest-value reinforcers and use those to consistently reinforce positive behaviors!


While many dogs and dog breeds have certain predispositions, blanket stereotypes are often problematic.

The most important thing to remember is to train the dog in front of you!

a pup parent meeting their dogs specific needs

Figure out your pup’s specific quirks, strengths, and reinforcers (aka treats, fetch, etc.) and use those to your advantage. No matter your dog’s breed, you can train a well-mannered pup!

If you’re looking for more training help, be sure to check out 30 Day Perfect Pup, a 100% free online dog training course. Sign up here!

What stereotypes have you heard about your dog’s breed that aren’t true?? Tell me in the comments!


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