Stereotyping

This is where to talk about Pit Bulls!

Postby Brownies Mom » November 28th, 2009, 10:53 pm

Our A-Jay is moderately afraid of people, but loves, loves, loves other dogs. He quickly forgets about being afraid of people when he sees other dogs. So we went to our training session a couple of weeks ago, where we're taking private obedience lessons, working on building his confidence so we can go to the group Obedience II.

When you leave the training building, there is nothing to the right (southwest) and a fence rail in front of you, so you have to go left (southeast) to get to your car. I knew the instructor had a class before us, so I took A-Jay to the southwest corner of the building, where we waited for people to come out with their dogs. We were about 20 feet from the door. I was excited for him to see the other dogs, thinking it would be fun for him, plus maybe boost his opinion of strangers. :dance: When the first family walked out, their dog looked at us and was interested, and A-Jay was so good - no posturing or staring, no tension on the leash, he was relaxed and sniffing the air, but obviously paying attention to and interested in the other dog. I was so proud of him! :confetti: The family yanked their dog to the left, and off they went. :confused: Okaaaay.... Next family, same thing. WTF? :| Then again and again and again. By now I know that these people are seeing us, but do not want to approach us because he is a pit bull! I was just heartbroken for him. :sad2: He doesn't know he's a pit bull - he just knows he's a dog, and he loves other dogs. But no one was willing to even give him a chance. Just a little of my perspective on this - I used to take my yellow lab, Brownie, to greyhound adoption events and we went to the vet and cancer center alot, because he had cancer. So we met LOTS and LOTS of dogs and dog owners. My experience has been that people want their dogs to meet other dogs and interact. Usually the owners exchange a "can they meet?" or a "He's friendly - is it okay?" then upon agreement, your dogs meet. People want to do this, I swear. But not with my pit bull. :nono:

Our lesson was cancelled, and I was glad - as soon as I got in the car the tears started to fall. I decided these people are just misinformed, and I need to get out there and educate people! So I went to our rescue group's meet-n-greet and volunteered to work events. Of course, I broke into tears as soon as I saw A-Jay's foster mom and dad, so I had to assure them he is fine, and we love him very much, and he is a very good dog. I told them what happened, and they understood. It was nice to have their support. I worked last weekend's meet-n-greet, too. When I was learning about pit bulls because we wanted to adopt A-Jay, I did read to be prepared because people will be afraid of him, and will want to cross the street, etc. I thought about it and thought "yeah, I can handle that." But I never even thought about no one wanting to let their kids play with my kid on the playground because of how he looks. :sad2: It just didn't occur to me.
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Postby madremissy » November 28th, 2009, 11:55 pm

Don't feel bad. We get looks and remarks all the time. :hug3:
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Postby Marinepits » November 29th, 2009, 12:13 am

Yep, we get the "looks" and the remarks all the time, too. :nono:

It took me a LOOOOONG time to grow a thick skin about my dogs. Now, I look at it this way: if people want to be so prejudiced and close-minded as to not meet my dogs just because of their breed, it's THEIR loss, not mine and certainly not my dogs'.

If I meet someone while I'm out with my dogs and we end up talking, I will talk to that person about my dogs in the most positive way possible and educate them the best I can if they have questions. If the person is open-minded and wants to learn, yipee! :clap: If they choose not to listen and maybe learn something new, then oh well. I've at least tried and then move on without giving them another thought.

Hang in there. :hug3:
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Postby amazincc » November 29th, 2009, 1:42 pm

I'm sorry you encountered people like that. :sad2:

Ignorance is a hard thing to fight. :hug3:
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Postby Choncho » December 12th, 2009, 8:35 pm

Yeah I have come across alot of people like that everyday, but each mind its a world.
we can't change it but we can improve it.
I am working on it.
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Postby Pit♥bull » December 12th, 2009, 8:43 pm

Choncho wrote:but we can improve it.
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 12th, 2009, 8:47 pm

Well, I'm sorry you're having a hard time...

on the other side of the coin though...I don't approach strange dogs with my dogs, regardless of where I am...training building or not. My guys don't always want to play with strangers, especially on leash...they're not like labs and goldens that are always up for anything. My little herding dogs can be odd. They like other dogs, are good with other dogs, but they see many, many dogs during the week, and I don't go out of my way to "say hi" to strangers with other dogs. :| Also...many training classes are told specifically NOT to let their dogs socialize. It may not be the pit thing, but just a dog thing. ;)
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Postby plebayo » December 12th, 2009, 9:52 pm

Did it ever occur to you that maybe their dogs were not friendly and that they didn't want to take a chance at having a problem? That in a one on one situation their dogs could not handle the stress of meeting a dog in that place or time? Maybe their dog is leash aggressive?

I know that I never approach other people to have my dog "meet" their dogs. If someone approaches me I have no problems if I A.) know the dog or B.) it's a puppy because I know how my dogs will handle themselves.

Also could it be that they have seen your dogs reaction to people and it worries them that the dog is dog aggressive as well?

Even if your dog is barking out of fear, that is a lot of dog to be doing that. I have a dog like that, she's 43lbs and has a huge bark. She is afraid of people and will bark and growl. I know what it's like having someone tell me "Oh my dog doesn't bite he's just afraid!" and I know how I think to myself "Yeah, sure, whatever you say." I know LiLo would not bite someone unless they forced themselves on her and she couldn't run away, but people who see her behavior have every right to be afraid.

Even if it's because your dog is Pit Bull. Dude, your dog is a Pit Bull! He's a huge 50lb+ terrier! I had a couple approach me with a St. Bernard who they said LOVED other dogs. He scared the absolute crap out of LiLo. She thought she was going to die, and honestly, I was worried for her too when he started chasing her because she was terrified and running away. Bad, bad judgment call on my part and I had every right to be worried, this dog was twice the size of mine! So it really may not be that he is a Pit Bull, just that he is a large dog who looks intimidating. OR their dogs have dog aggression issues and they are trying to keep your dog safe.

Don't get me wrong there are people out there who don't like Pit Bulls. However if you let it bother you all the time, you're not going to be able to enjoy your dog.
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Postby mnp13 » December 14th, 2009, 5:57 pm

But I never even thought about no one wanting to let their kids play with my kid on the playground because of how he looks. It just didn't occur to me.

I used to live in the city, and though I lived in a good section, I was only a few blocks from where things began to get not-so-good.

It was a shock to me the first time that someone crossed the street to get away from Ruby. Ruby! My quiet, mild dog... with no tail, cropped ears, very dark brindleing, all muscle... oh, wait...

After a while I got used to it. Then when we got a real drug house down the street - including our very own hooker! - I actually appreciated it. The thing is, it is part of owning the breed. It's a sad part of owning the breed, but part nonetheless.

However, look on the bright side of that, I've watched idiots let their "good breeds" meet and one does something like humps the other, growls and bites, or other flat out rude or offensive thing and I'm glad that they just avoided my dog.

Also - in the long run, I am of the opinion that meeting total random dogs with total random handlers is really not in your dog's best interest. Even very well meaning people are often clueless about dog behavior. I'm sorry your feelings were hurt though.
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Postby HappyChick » December 15th, 2009, 12:30 pm

I feel your pain. We've experienced it also, but you need to remember that YOU are the better person for having a pit bull in your life! It took me awhile too, but now I love the look of surprise/horror on someone's face after they ask me what type of dog mine is and I tell them Pit Bull. :o

You should just keep on being proud of A-Jay!!! I find often times that my dogs are better behaved than the majority of the dogs we encounter. I think I've actually become a snob to dogs that are not Pit bulls! Yesterday when I took Celena to the vet, a full grown Schnauzer got VERY aggressive toward her. He was growling, barking, and lunging. Luckily, the owner had a good grip on his dog. Celena, the little stinker, growled and barked back after she realized he was not friendly.

Hang in there, you'll develop the thick skin too.
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Postby amazincc » December 15th, 2009, 4:11 pm

Sometimes other peoples' ignorance and misconception can be your "gain", so to speak... I highly doubt that anyone would ever be tempted to break into my house, knowing that I have two Pit Bulls living here.

And rightfully so... I imagine being beaten to death by those wagging tails would be pretty painful. :wink:
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 15th, 2009, 4:14 pm

amazincc wrote:Sometimes other peoples' ignorance and misconception can be your "gain", so to speak... I highly doubt that anyone would ever be tempted to break into my house, knowing that I have two Pit Bulls living here.


Especially if they were in wheelchairs... :dance:

:wink: Sorry, couldn't resist! ;)
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Postby amazincc » December 15th, 2009, 4:16 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:

Especially if they were in wheelchairs... :dance:

:wink: Sorry, couldn't resist! ;)



LMAO

I did mention that he has two Pitties himself... right? :wink:
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Postby PetieMarie22 » March 9th, 2010, 10:54 am

Of course I have gotten "the looks" because I own a pitbull, and those are very easy for me to ignore. I am pretty shocked and amazed by the incident that occured in Country Max yesterday when I brought Petie to try on harnesses.
As I entered, I checked with the man at the register, to make sure it was ok to have a dog in the store. He said hi to Petie and pointed me to the harnesses. As I was walking through the isle, I saw a lady out of the corner of my eye. She actually yelled out "I hate those dogs! I am afraid of your dog!" I was very shocked of course, I kept walking with my dog in heel position like she should be and went to the harnesses in the next isle. I could still hear her FREAKING out! After about a minute of babble that I was TRYING to ignore - I definatly the words "Nasty" and "Bad Dogs" so I knew she was still going on about Petie. She then scurried up the the front of the store where I heard a bunch of comotion, probably her bitching about my dog to the guy at the register.
A few minutes later I went to the register to pay for something else. The man spoke to me about harnesses for a minute said nothing to me about the crazy lady.
Has anyone else been verbally attacked like this? If so, what did you do? What should pitbull owners do when this happens??
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Postby Suzi » March 9th, 2010, 12:14 pm

For the "most" part,,,I live in an area that is mostly all breed friendly....But from time to time,,,there have been "occasions".
When we go to the neighboring towns Farmers Market,,,the people part like waves lol ,,,it's ok with me though,,,no lines....At the Post Office one Christmas there was a line,,,a gal came in with a baby in a stroller,,,and literally yelled to us "IS THAT A PIT BULL?", I replied "yes", in a very upbeat way,,she then spun around with a snort and exited the building, surrounding people gave what a "nutcase" look,,,,when my daughter was younger, we had a couple of people that would not let their daughters come and play....It comes with the breed,,,,It dosen't bother me,,,it's really a show of ignorance on their part most of the time which I feel sad for them....My advice to your feelings are "Don't sweat the small stuff",stand your ground and be proud,,,maybe after a little patience on your part you'll have the chance to open someone's eyes to what the APBT really is...Fun,,,energetic,,,clownish,,,loyal....You know the rest. :) I know over the years I have changed a few peoples mind,,,and it has been a good feeling. 8)
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Postby maberi » March 9th, 2010, 12:31 pm

I have to agree with Erin on this one. I personally can't stand when people let their dogs come up to mine without asking. I don't know the other people or their dogs, and that last thing I want to happen is for there to be some sort of situation in a public area because of something I can't control. This goes for my pit and for my goofy lab as well :|

As far as how random people react to my dog, at this point in my life I could care less. Most of the people who have those reactions are not the type of people I would associate myself with. In my mind my guys are saving me the time of having to chat with these numb nuts

TheRedQueen wrote:Well, I'm sorry you're having a hard time...

on the other side of the coin though...I don't approach strange dogs with my dogs, regardless of where I am...training building or not. My guys don't always want to play with strangers, especially on leash...they're not like labs and goldens that are always up for anything. My little herding dogs can be odd. They like other dogs, are good with other dogs, but they see many, many dogs during the week, and I don't go out of my way to "say hi" to strangers with other dogs. :| Also...many training classes are told specifically NOT to let their dogs socialize. It may not be the pit thing, but just a dog thing. ;)
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Postby PetieMarie22 » March 9th, 2010, 1:52 pm

I was pretty disturbed about his incident at first, it was the first time I've actually been yelled at for owning a pitbull. Then when I thought more and more about how that lady was acting, I started laughing my butt off! "NUTCASE!" :crazy2: Exactly Suzi! I sincerly hope that woman seeks professional help if she is that afraid of a dog that didn't even look at her.
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