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My dog is being misunderstood!What should I do?

Once every week I visit Petsmart and bring my dog Shadow.Many people especially children will walk up to Shadow and give him lots of pats.Once I explain what mix of breeds he his they immediatley walk away.Here is one example, a young girl about 8 years old asked to pet Shadow.I told her "Sure!".The mother of the girl asked me what breed of dog Shadow is.I explained he was a mixture of breeds including American Pit Bull Terrier.She said "I am very positive Pit Bulls are dangerous animals".Right after her statement the mother picked up her child and walked away.This has happened many times abd I am not sure how to react to this surcamstance.Has anyone ever experienced this or has any ideas to comfort the parents,children, and anyone who pats my dog Shadow?

Best Answers

  • Cassie RCassie R Posts: 7,413Member
    Accepted Answer
    They really don't know APBT's then! I've never met a Pit Bull I didn't like, I've never met a mean Pit Bull! Give them a positive history lesson on the breed. American Pit Bull Terriers (APBT's) were used as nanny dogs, the caretaker of children. Teach them positive facts on APBT's. Did you know Petey in the "Little Rascals" was a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier? Did you also know that he was born with the circle around his eye? Here's a site about great APBT history and facts that you can pass out to the people who say this to your dog or if someone comes up to Shadow to pet him, tell them some positive facts on APBT's - I bet that if you tell them something they don't know about APBT's, they'll definitely walk away with a different but good perspective on the breed. They probably don't even know that the term "Pit Bull" refers to many different breeds including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Bulldog (every Bulldog breed), Boston Terrier, Mastiff (every Mastiff breed), Boxer, and many more breeds. Tell them the facts and myths about APBT's. The American Pit Bull Terrier is from America (they originated in England, but their ancestors came to the USA). Myths include locking jaws, their brains swell up making them go crazy, their brain gets so big that it's skull breaks and they go on a rampage, they don't feel pain, they're human aggressive and dog aggressive, etc. The myths go on and on and on! Here's a site to look at APBT myths - Yes, it happens to just about every Pit Bull owner, discrimination towards the breed they chose to own. I've heard so much mean discrimination towards Pit Bulls, it really is sad that no one really knows the breed, all they "know" is that they are "killers" and "dangerous" but they don't know the true love a Pit Bull can offer, they don't know the true nature of a Pit Bull and they certainly don't know a thing about Pit Bulls, that's why we Pit Bull owners and educated Pit Bull lovers have to give them the positive information on this breed. Good luck, I hope it doesn't happen to you again.
  • Rhayden PhoenixRhayden Phoenix LevittownPosts: 335Member
    Accepted Answer
    you know there is a stigma on these types of dogs pit anything they heard they fight and kill each other, POOR MISS GUIDED PEOPLE, I know for a fact these dogs are wonderful loyal and will put their life for you in a blink of an eye like any other dog out there. Do feel bad a lot of people think other dogs are just as mean. Odd I had a english bulldog and no one ever backed away, her history is to be put in with other animals and she was to kill them. I never gave her raw foood now this is MY OPINOIN I felt it would bring out agression since her breeding is of a blood sport, she loved babys and small children but adult well she tolerated them she would rather be in with small children then me and just lick them till they were completely wet. I am sorry you have this trouble but can you bring a small child with you and sister or brothers and let people see this dog loves everyone. ? Rhayden
  • Sydney MartoSydney Marto HummelstownPosts: 6Member
    Accepted Answer
    I hate it when people think they are mean just because one dog is it doesn't mean they all are! I've met so many pitbulls I can't even count there have been some that were agressive but that is with any dog breed. I've met these two Labs who were the meanest dogs I've ever seen, meaner than any pitbull. Most pitbulls are gentle and sweet so stop discriminating against dog breeds. :)
  • Linda MatthewsLinda Matthews Plain cityPosts: 6,859Member
    Accepted Answer
    well, unfortunely many breeds are being marked! and it ticks us off bc we understand where you are coming from. Not all dogs are bad. And sorry that you had negative feedback. I would of proably said well punish the deed not the breed back to them. I mean I use to have two pits. And both of them loved children. One lady I know she has 6 of them and she has a new baby. and anybody can pet them. Or I would say sorry you're so judgemental you can see my dog is safe around ppl! I don't know I have been rallying for pitbulls but there are so many horror stories that is hard to keep trying to explain this to others. If I see Shadow in our area I'll be sure to pet him! :) I've had some very rude remarks bc I have gsds. But, you know you can't prevent it. The only thing you can keep doing is showing ppl that your dog and my dogs are excellent embassadors of our breeds :)
  • kim chamberskim chambers ONPosts: 188Member
    Accepted Answer
    I have been in the same situation. This is a lack of education. What you can do is educate on the training your dog has had, explain that your dog is not aggressive. I probably would have stated to the mother "I would not bring my dog to Pet Smart if he was going to be aggressive with a person or another dog. If you have a fear of dogs this is the best dog to get over you fear with. He is a giant breed, friendly dog". I would explain that the dog is well socialized. Unfortunatly, this happens alot with large, powerful breed dogs. You might change 1 persons way of thinking by helping to educate.
  • Barbara SchneiderBarbara Schneider Posts: 212Member
    Accepted Answer
    You can try to educate, but if it bothers you so much just tell them he is a mutt and leave it at that. Ignorance is bliss.
  • Tiffany CarsonTiffany Carson St. MarysPosts: 15,800Member
    Accepted Answer
    Oh yeah, I understand. People tend to believe whatever the friggen news media spews out. I have had nothing but good experiences with Pit Bulls so far as I can remember. They're not bad dogs at all. Some Pit Bull owners carry around copies of a pamphlet full of myth-dispelling facts about the breed. I heard that Bad Rap has one you can print out on their website, but maybe I'm wrong. Here's a couple of pages that may be helpful, though: Other than that, all you can really do is make sure your dog has outstandingly good behavior. If he's ever in a situation where you think he may bite, don't take chances. Some people are never gonna be convinced, but don't let it bother you. It's their loss.
  • Kelli YoungKelli Young MoorePosts: 7Member
    Accepted Answer
    I completely understand your frustration- I get the same thing when I take Haylee (GSD) to PetSmart or the park. All peope see is intimidation, or even fear. But it's only because they don't understand the breed. If they want to listen, try educating them.. if not, it's their loss. But either way, just let it go in one ear- out the other. Haylee gets protective- so if people walk up to me too quickly, or are too rough with her, she tenses up.. and that scares them. But, it's not her fault- I would be the same way. People just need to learn boundaries and respect for dogs.. just the same as they do with people. But of course, they just see big, mean dog- and run the other way. Ignorance is all.. nothing a little educating can't fix ;)
  • Elizabeth QuinonesElizabeth Quinones Posts: 14Member
    Accepted Answer
    People think my dog is mean and dangerous just by looking at his face (he's really a big chicken and super friendly). It does bother me. When they say things like that, I don't even respond, I immediately turn my back and walk away. I've resigned that I just don't need people that judgmental around me. So I understand how frustrating it can be. Anyway, You can just tell them he's a rescued mixed breed and not mention any specific breed, that way you avoid snotty remarks.
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