Everyone loves a bad boy. They’re cute, they’re exciting, and underneath that tough exterior, they have a heart of gold. And of course, even a bad boy can be trained, right? (Are we still talking about dogs?)
Here are the rap sheets for our favorite bad boys of the canine world. These misunderstood dog breeds have played the villain in Hollywood movies, but in reality, they’re often loving family pets.
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Alias: Hell Boy
Criminal History: Rottweiler, Dogs of Hell, Beast, Man’s Best Friend, and more.
But when you get to know him: Rottweilers have a bad reputation thanks to their Hollywood portrayal and natural guard dog ability. With their thick, robust shape, Rotties can have an intimidating presence, but in reality, they’re loving and loyal pets.
Breed: Doberman Pinscher
Alias: The Dark Knight
Criminal History: The Doberman Gang, Mean Dog Blues, Mad Dog Morgan, Up, Father of the Bride, Oliver & Company and more.
But when you get to know him: Despite his dark, Batman-ish looks, the Doberman Pinscher is loyal and obedient. The breed gets a bad rap for what humans have trained them to do in the past, and how they’ve been portrayed in television and film. It seems like every 80’s and 90’s movie featured this fearless breed as a scary guard dog or dog catcher’s companion. In real life, Dobies are energetic, intelligent companions.
Aliases: Napoleon, Demon Spawn
Criminal History: The Dog Whisperer
But when you get to know him: Chihuahuas have a reputation for being temperamental, but they just need exercise like the rest of us. They sometimes lash out due to insecurity and nervousness, not aggression. With the right training and enough time outside of the purse, this little breed is still feisty, but fun and affectionate. A true “bad boy” in all the right ways!
Breed: Pit Bull
Alias: Mr. Worldwide
Criminal History: Where to begin? Pit bulls are often misrepresented in movies and television shows as criminal companions and scary junkyard dogs.
But when you get to know him: Talk about misunderstood! Have you ever seen “Pit Bulls and Parolees?” These dogs are large and muscular, but don’t forget: the heart is also a muscle. Pibbles are some of the most loyal, affectionate, loving dogs around. They didn’t choose their bad reputation, and thanks to the efforts of animal rescue workers and conscientious pit bull parents, they’re being de-stigmatized more and more.
Criminal History: Silence of the Lambs, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, a longstanding association with snottiness
But when you get to know him: There’s a reason poodles are one of the most popular breeds around. They’re super smart, wonderful dogs. It’s no wonder Buffalo Bill had one in Silence of the Lambs. And remember (spoiler alert): Precious leads to Bill’s demise in the end, so let’s call this bad boy redeemed.
Breed: Bull Terrier
Alias: Meat Head
Criminal History: Toy Story, Frankenweenie, Hell Hound, Baxter
But when you get to know him: the Bull Terrier’s distinctive looks make them popular in film and TV, but they’re not as tough as they look on screen. In real life, they’re playful and mischievous. Something tells me Scud of Toy Story fame just got mixed up in the wrong crowd.
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Alias: The Beast
Criminal History: The Sandlot
But when you get to know him: Being big isn’t a crime! Of course, if you grew up watching The Sandlot, you lived in fear of dogs that seemed larger than life. In reality, Mastiffs are just big ol’ softies. They may have big, slobbery mouths, but those are all the better to kiss you with, my dear.
Breed: St. Bernard
Aliases: Cujo, Beethoven
Criminal History: Cujo, Beethoven
But when you get to know him: Can you believe Cujo was a St. Bernard? Despite some unfair media representation (hello, Beethoven), these big, fluffy dogs are gentle and tolerant. In fact, St. Bernards are “nanny” dogs because of how sweet and patient they are with kids. Remember Nana in Peter Pan?