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Discussion Starter #1
So some girl I know totally flipped her lid when I stated she was missing out on a great breed by being "afraid" ot Pit Bulls. To which she replied: "I'm not afraid of any dog, thanks. I just don't trust them."

It was an interesting discussion, to say the least. And I don't mean in a good way, because apparently giving someone facts about the "Pit Bull" type of dog is unacceptable. By facts I mean an attempt at dispelling the lockjaw myth to not much avail.

Isn't "not trusting" a dog implying that a person has some FEAR that the dog is either unpredictable, aggressive, etc, and they thus are afraid of the dog? Cause that's sure as hell as I look at it.

Thoughts?
 

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I am not in the least bit afraid of B'asia, but I don't trust her with all other dogs or our cats. To me, there certainly can be a difference.

I'm not afraid that she's is unpredictable, I know she is, and that's why I know not to trust her in certain situations. But I am in NO WAY afraid of her.

Hope that helps. :)
 

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I think I understand what she means by not trusting certain dogs, though the person you were talking to doesn't sound like she was trying to promote an intellegent conversation.

I, personally, have a hard time trusting most dogs that are either strays, or owned by people I don't know. I don't fear them, I just worry that they're not properly trained or may have the tendancy to be aggressive. I honestly can't understand why people would run up to a dog and pet it without checking it out first, and I also can't understand why people get offended when others are cautious around their dogs.

That being said, I do ask to pet a lot dogs at Petsmart and such. I'm not prejudice, either; I've petted a little chihuahua that looked like a fox/rodent/ocelot mix, and I've petted a GIANT Malamute mix that must have been kin to some sort of bear! The thing is, though, I always check out the dog before coming near it to make sure it's not in an unstable state of mind, then, from a polite distance, I ask the owner if it's safe to pet their dog, then I let him sniff my hand and move slowly as to not startle the dog, and THEN I might pet him. There are several dogs, however, that I just plain avoid because I do not feel I can trust them. Sometimes the dogs I don't trust happen to be big dogs, because I know if they were to try anything I would most definitely get seriously hurt, or dogs with wrinkles, because it's difficult for me to read their expressions. So I suppose to some, I appear to be that dreaded scaredy cat that everyone seems so offended by. I really don't get it, though, since to me it seems polite not to harrass your dog.

Anyways, I guess I'll sum it up: If I avoid Dog A and turn around and love on Dog B, it doesn't mean I fear Dog A, or breeds/types/genders/sizes/whatever similar to Dog A. It just means I don't trust the way Dog A or his owner is behaving, and feel more comfortable around calm, well mannered dogs, with responsible owners, like Dog B. But if Dog A somehow managed to earn my trust, my feelings towards him would change. If it were fear-based avoidance, it wouldn't matter HOW the dog looked/acted/etc. I'd just avoid him regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
She was referring to Pit Bulls as they relate to accounts of Human Aggression and stuff like that.

I think we all "can't trust" our dogs in certain situations - Marge is off at the speed of light if she sees a squirrel :D - but to me, the way she was using it was that she doesn't "trust" Pit Bulls collectively (citing some examples of attacks she's seen and what not), yet isn't afraid of them.

I didn't want to post the exact quote as you never know who's lurking here, but here's a snip of it, to give you a better idea..

"Lots of people say pit bulls aren't vicious. However, I'd never trust one. There's a reason why people choose them as guard dogs and attack dogs. Most of the time any dog attacks you hear about are pit bulls..." etc etc etc etc :(

To me, that sounds like fear of Pit Bulls.
 

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I don't trust my friend's Aussie "Jet" but I am not afraid of him. He will growl at my dogs sometimes (and at me if I try and roll him over) and I don't trust him around strangers or little kids but I have no reservations about grabing his scruff and slamming him to the ground when he snarls at one of my pups.
 

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IMO their certainly is a difference. But in this person's respect I think not. It sounds like she has some fear of them.

I don't trust certain dogs but I don't have any actual fear of those particular dogs. I would never want to be fearful as dogs can sense that. If I know a dog has an off temperament then I don't trust that dog or if I know its bitten or bitten me before. A small dog I know for instance, I don't trust the dog not to bite me or attack other dogs. There was another, a Rottweiler I didn't trust but didn't actually know. I didn't trust that it would always be held by the kennel nor did I trust it not to attack if it escaped. I was never actually scared of the dog, though it raised hell every time I walked my dogs past. One did she did jump out of the kennel and maul someone.

I don't trust most other breeds (other then Pits) to not bite me if they get into a fight. Though I have helped separated other breeds when fighting (and got bit). It depends on the situation if I get involved or not. I also don't trust most other breeds besides Pits to not bite me if they are being DA, unless they are my own dogs of other breeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, again, this wasn't about a specific dog, because it's possible to not trust a dog but not have fear of them. In this case, we were talking about an entire breed (though no one explicitly stated APBT.. I hate to get TOO technical with people who aren't as dog crazy as I am). To me, if you find every dog of a given breed to be untrustworthy, you have a fear of that breed.
 

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As a dog groomer there are certain dogs I don't trust as far as I could throw them (literally, if I could, sometimes!), but am I afraid of them? Not a lick! I have a job to do, and I'll be darned if a show of teeth is going to stop me from doing what I need to do...especially if that is what has stopped the dog from getting groomed previously in another situation! If he's just plain scared, and that is why he is snarly, then I just move slower, and watch what is triggering him, but I still show no fear, because if I show fear, I am giving him reason to fear...which further aggrivates the problem; I also don't react negatively; whether the dog is fearful or nasty...in either situation, negativity further aggrivates the problem. Non-reactivity, however, creates a calmer situation, and the dog can figure out for himself that there's nothing to really worry about. :D
 

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The difference between fearing and distrusting is that fear is an emotion, and distrust is a way of thinking that is based on facts. Fears can be irrational, and this girl's fear of all pit bulls certainly is that. Dogs are individuals and should be judged on an individual basis. She also doesn't have the facts right. Pit bulls are generally believed to be only moderately good guard dogs, behind many other breeds. Distrusting a dog is a rational decision based on that dog's behavior. And while distrust can be constructive because it helps you avoid dangerous situations, fear is nearly always destructive because it hampers your cognition.
 

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To me, the difference is purely semantical. She probably didn't want to come off as a wuss, so she switched the language up instead.
 

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I'm not afraid of a Chi, but, I wouldn't just pet one I didn't know, especially if in the arms of it's owner! Because I've had enough experiences over the years with different Chis, all of whom would snarl and growl and bite if anyone even came near their owner! So, I don't trust an unknown Chi to not bite me, should I try to pet the dog. But then, I don't just reach out and touch any dog I don't know. It doesn't mean I'm afraid of the dog, I just don't know the individual - dog and/or owner - so I'm not about to risk getting bitten.

We had a woman come into shelter with a 9-mo old GSD bitch, who was in season, and who was going to be placed in foster care. She cried and wailed in the outdoor kennel (she's used to being w/the owner inside, and sleeps w/her, too), so I decided to bring this lonely girl inside, and keep her in the office with me. My co-worker felt afraid, because of her breed. Not unusual. My co-worker trusts me, so she was ok with this GSD pup in the office if I deemed she was safe. I had the owner get the GSD from the kennel and bring her to the office, rather than me going out there, since the dog didn't know me, and I didn't know her.

She was skittish, and had been very unsocialized, since the owner, a victim of domestic violence, was, herself, isolated by her abuser. I just let the GSD hang out w/her owner a bit in my office, and didn't attempt to pet her or engage her in any way. After a bit, I gave her a treat (always have treats in my purse), and took hold of her leash and walked her outside, then back into the office. She was restless the entire time, and jumpy when someone would come to the door. BUT, my co-worker was able to relax, and did not feel afraid of her anymore, because I had explained to her about GSDs in general, and what this girl's body language meant, etc. Both she and the GSD were ok with each other. So, now my co-worker is no longer afraid of GSDs, however, she has a healthy respect, and would not automatically trust an unknown GSD she may meet.
 

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Every new dog I meet I don't trust. Sad, but true. I work at a boarding kennel, and I treat all dogs like they might bite until I know that I won't be pushing in buttons that I wasn't aware of. If I were to walk up to every dog and assume it was a well socialized, well trained family pet I'd be sorely mistaken and would probably be bit quicker than quick.
I am not afraid of the dogs by any means, but I have a "guilty until proven innocent" approach with all of them. Generally they are proven innocent rather quickly (full body wags, happy eyes, loose movements, etc.), but some I still don't trust and still tred lightly around. I don't differentiate by breed, but by behavior.

Someone who was just hired on back in grooming is deathly afraid of Dobermans. She is going to school to be a vet tech and when she was handling a Dobe it turned around and bit her on the neck. Ever since then, she has been terrified of Dobermans. It isn't a rational fear, but she can't help it. She had the opportunity to be around a well socialized, well behaved Doberman and she knew it wasn't a mean dog, but when she went to approach it she froze and couldn't stop shaking. That, to me, is being afraid of a certain breed.
 

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Do you trust every dog you meet? Do you trust every person you meet?

Trust and fear are two different things. I think she meant that she is not afraid of every 'pit bull' but she is afraid of what it is capable of doing. I do understand it.

But that is my interpretation of it. :)
 

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Im growing used to people only admiring my dogs from a distance,it is a fear thing and i guess they cant help it,the media hyped stuff dont help either

There is a difference between fear and trust though,they are a handful of dogs i straight up dont trust but am not scared of so i just ignore them or keep a distance if im in thier domain/home.
 

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To me, not trusting a dog means I wouldn't give her the keys to my new car or leave her alone with the run of my house. I don't trust Molly. Actually, I'm pretty sure she would wreck the car or trash the house.

Being afraid of a dog means you fear she may cause you bodily harm. I've never actually been afraid of a dog, but I was scared to death of my daughter's white gerbil after he chomped onto my finger and would not let go. (I think he had LOCKING JAWS!)

Fear of dogs is interesting and foreign to me. I used to keep my big lab in my shop. He was trained to stay in the workshop, and he would watch people from the doorway. Anyone who wanted (and most did) could go back and visit with him, but he could not be persuaded to venture out into the retail area. He was a very good dog.

A lady came in one day and was browsing when she say my huge, black dog watching her. She practically fainted. She told me she had been bitten as a child and "Don't try to tell me he would never bite."

I told her I would never say that, but that she was much more likely to be bitten by me than by my dog.

I don't think I said it unkindly, but she took ten quick steps back from me and stopped worrying so much about the dog.
 

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Yeah, again, this wasn't about a specific dog, because it's possible to not trust a dog but not have fear of them. In this case, we were talking about an entire breed (though no one explicitly stated APBT.. I hate to get TOO technical with people who aren't as dog crazy as I am). To me, if you find every dog of a given breed to be untrustworthy, you have a fear of that breed.
There are lots breeds of owners I don't trust. There are also certain breeds that seem to attract those kinds of owners.

For instance, a lot of bully breeds attract the young "tough guy" type. The type that thinks it's cool to have an aggressive dog. Because of this, I feel as though I need to get to know the dog and the owner quite well before I can begin to trust their dog. Also, a lot of owners of little toy dogs, such as Pomeranians and Chihuahuas, tend to let their dogs run wild and never discipline them because they don't think they need to. Little do they know, though, little dogs can still do quite a bit of damage, and I've got a scar on my hand to prove it. I also have a hard time trusting these owners, and feel as though I need to fully evaluate the owner and dog before I put myself in any sort of danger.

That doesn't mean, though, that I fear bully breeds and toy dogs. Once I get to a point where I get to know both owner and dog, and I figure out that I CAN trust them, then I'm fine with them. It's just it's safer to use a little bit of caution.

Fear, is if no matter how well I knew the dog or owner, I still wouldn't go near any bully or toy breeds. Trust is when you assume a bit of caution when evaluating dogs and their owners, and determine if that individual is safe for you to be around.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My point is that this girl seemed as though she'd still be untrusting of a Pit even after seeing it was well trained and such, implying that she bought into the whole "all Pits turn on you" hysteria. Yet she likes other large breeds including Rotts and Shepherds, so this really is just a Pit thing.

I understand what all you guys are saying and I agree with you, my point was just that it really seemed like she was afraid by what she was saying to me.
 

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I am actually not trusting of any dog until they show me otherwise. It’s all about their behavior if you ask me, regardless of breed. Just like people.

/wait...what was the question?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I know BoxMeIn.. I think I phrased my whole original post totally wrong. LOL. I was really just asking about this girl. I just thought the whole situation was so odd that I wanted to spill to DF in some way or form.. She took such offense that I said, without even really thinking about the choice of word, that I was "sorry she was afraid of Pits," after she had said that she would never trust one. It was more a breed question rather than an individual dog question.

I think RMN hit it on the head.. the whole thing is nothing more than semantics
 

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I'm not "scared" of Pit-Bulls, like many here I agree there's a difference between "trusting" and being "scared".

Yes, I'm terrified to think I would ever be mauled by one, just because I find them so beautiful and it'd be devastating to me.

I'm not "trusting" of many Pit-Bulls, but it's because I don't trust how they were raised. When I see two teenagers who should be in school, being drug around the park by their Pits who have no respect for their owners, and who's owners don't look to have a good grip, then I don't "trust" the Pit-Bulls... I'm more leery, and nervous of their temperament and concerned with how they were trained.

But I'm not like that with all Pit-Bulls or alike dogs; I saw one at the dog-park that Donatello sniffed noses with happily, and I even stuck my fingers through the fence so he could get a sniff. He was a rescue and very shy, so I wasn't near as nervous or "leery", I wasn't sure if I could trust him 100% due to his background, but the guy that was raising him now seemed pretty doggy-smart.

To me, there's a difference, but like someone mentioned, a lot of people don't want to admit they're "scared" or "afraid" or a dog so they mix up the wording a little bit...
 
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