Debunking the Aggressive Dog Breed Myth with Expert Insights

World Dog Day celebrates our furry companions, but myths about aggressive breeds persist. Expert Ana Paola Velasco Espinosa debunks the notion, emphasizing that behavior stems from human influence. Choosing the right breed involves more than aesthetics; climate and health considerations matter.

Debunking the Aggressive Dog Breed Myth with Expert Insights
Expert Ana Paola Velasco Espinosa emphasizes responsible dog ownership, dispelling myths on World Dog Day. Image by Pexels from Pixabay

On World Dog Day, celebrated on July 21, the spotlight often turns to our four-legged friends. As one might expect, conversations about breeds, dog behavior, and health come to the fore. Ana Paola Velasco Espinosa, a distinguished figure from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics at UNAM, sheds light on some commonly held misconceptions and shares advice for prospective dog owners.

No Such Thing as an 'Aggressive Breed'

A common myth is that certain breeds are inherently aggressive. Velasco Espinosa debunks this: aggressiveness in a dog largely depends on the humans around them and how they are raised. “It's about understanding what kind of guardian you can be for the type of dog you choose,” she points out.

For those contemplating pet adoption or purchase, Velasco Espinosa suggests consulting a veterinarian. Their expertise about different breed groups can guide one to make a choice aligned with their lifestyle and personality. After all, a harmonious match between dog and owner can prevent behavioral issues.

Choosing the Right Breed

The decision to get a dog often leans towards trendy or fashionable breeds. However, as Espinosa warns, it's crucial to consider if a specific breed suits the climate and environment. For instance, breeds like the Husky or Alaskan Malamute may not fare well in warmer climates.

Furthermore, some breeds come with inherent health issues. The Shar Pei, for example, requires particular care, while Pugs might suffer from respiratory problems. A veterinarian's counsel becomes indispensable here, even if one is considering adopting a mixed breed.

Taking Care of Dog Health

Veterinary medicine has seen tremendous growth recently, with a broader understanding and treatment scope for various ailments. From cardiovascular to allergy-related concerns, many conditions are now treatable, highlighting the importance of regular veterinary check-ups.

One of the significant areas Velasco Espinosa emphasizes is sterilization. Despite myths around its consequences, sterilizing pet dogs, both male and female, can prevent numerous health issues and control the rising stray dog population.

Choosing the right breed goes beyond looks. Consider climate and health factors.
Choosing the right breed goes beyond looks. Consider climate and health factors, advises Ana Paola Velasco Espinosa. Image by Josch13 from Pixabay

Dogs in Society

Recent statistics from the First National Survey of Self-Reported Well-Being (ENBIARE, 2021) show a substantial percentage of households cohabiting with companion animals. Remarkably, the dog population alone stands at 43.8 million. With 343 recognized dog breeds worldwide, the bond between humans and their canine companions is undeniable.

However, not all dogs live in suitable conditions. The essentials, as the expert elaborates, include adequate space, proper shelter from extreme weather, nutritious food, and the freedom to express natural behaviors. Neglecting these needs or subjecting dogs to maltreatment can lead to dire health consequences.

Finding the Balance

While dogs undoubtedly form an integral part of many families, it's essential to remember they have distinct needs and behaviors. The recent trend of “humanizing” animals, like placing them in strollers, can sometimes impede their behavioral freedom. Velasco Espinosa suggests finding a balance, allowing dogs to be part of the family without stifling their inherent behaviors.

In conclusion, as we celebrate World Dog Day, let's ensure we prioritize our canine companions' well-being. It's not just about having a dog; it's about understanding, loving, and providing them with the best life possible.