This week, the NCSPCA would like to correct some common misconceptions about the personalities of two breeds of dogs who tend to have a reputation for being aggressive. These are the Staffordshire Terrier (a.k.a. "Pit Bull") and the Rottweiler. In truth, neither of these breeds are natural fighters, and much of the stereotypes surrounding them relate to the way many of these dogs have been raised.

Pit Bulls were, at one time, one of the most popular family dogs in the United States, but use of them for dogfighting led to an image of an aggressive and dangerous nature. Rottweilers have a natural herding instinct and can be excellent dogs to guard family and children. Rottweilers have a history of often being mistreated and encouraged to be aggressive. For these two breeds, as in all dogs, much of their personality and behavior is determined by how they are raised and the treatment they receive.

Like a child, the dog learns the behavior that will gain the most desired result. A mistreated dog will learn to be aggressive or fearful in order to protect itself. The NCSPCA often has Rotties and Pit Bulls available for adoption, and many of these dogs have a perfect personality for families with children or other pets. Most of these dogs who do come to us from abusive homes learn more positive behavior and will adapt well to the right owners.

Our featured pet today is Samantha, a Rottweiler-mix who needs someone to shower her with love. Her living conditions before she arrived here were horrendous. However, she has an unsinkable optimism that she will find a forever home where she will be appreciated and loved. Samantha is friendly toward both adults and children; however, she would do best in a home without other cats and dogs. If you bring Samantha into your home, you will surely be rewarded with years of unselfish devotion.

Ruckus and Caesar are two Staffordshire Terriers (Pit Bulls) who are also much friendlier than their reputation might suggest. Both of these fellows do very well with adults, but do not like other pets and would do best in a home without children. Ruckus was found as an undernourished stray, and is currently being fostered outside the shelter. If you are looking for a larger dog who will be both affectionate and protective, you will want to meet these two. We are sure you will find that the stereotypes about their breed are truly unfounded.

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