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Fear of black men?

4550 Views 22 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  JSporty1
My friend just recently rescued a pit bull from her work who is about 2-3 years old. He is very friendly and sweet towards everyone and extremely well trained, but seems very scared of grown black men.

Is there any way to desensitize dogs who are afraid like this? We are assuming that the dog was probably treated pretty poorly prior to his foster mom rescuing him from the pound.

My friend is really bummed out because the man that this dog is afraid of may become her new roommate soon, and she doesn't want to have to give dog back to the rescue organization or continue to traumatize it by having him over there every day.
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I'm new to these forums so I hope that no one minds if I throw my two cents at the kitty :)

My dog is very protective of the house and the family. He's usually very wary, and sometimes outright hostile, towards any strange men that come into or onto what he considers "his" property. (Akita/Chow mix and I've heard very similar things about this from other Akita and Chow owners)

But, I've noticed a few things:

1. The more the guy acts like he belongs, the quicker Chewie (my dog named for the fact that he ate an entire chair the day we got him) will relax and go back to trying to herd the cat.

2. The more I show friendliness and gregariousness towards any guy that comes into the house, the quicker Chewie goes back to herding the cat.

3. The more the guy pays attention to the dog, such as trying to make friends, the more Chewie will try to herd him out the door.

4. The more the guy ignores Chewie and goes about his business (fixing a plate of food at a party or repairing the fridge), the quicker Chewie goes back to herding the cat.

5. The more I try to keep Chewie back from herding the guy out the door, the more interested Chewie is in herding the guy out the door.

6. Eventually, Chewie will stop with his protective behavior and go back to herding the cat but it can sometimes take a while.

I haven't tried the treats thing. Perhaps I'll start keeping a box of treats outside the door every time we have company and ask them to give the dog a treat when they enter.

There was one exception to the above behavior. The husband of my wife's friend came to pick her up at the end of a Pampered Chef Party. He walked in, shook my hand, and stood in the middle of the living room while the dog made an effort at looking threatening and staying in between us. Without looking at Chewie, he took a knee gave him a good back rubbing. To my utter surprise, Chewie went from fur up to on his back with his belly exposed in less than a second.

I don't know what that means, but I think that the more nervous you are and the more nervous the man is, the more the dog will try to protect you and the "pack". If you act like everything is normal and the man acts like he belongs, the dog will accept him as a member of the pack that much quicker.
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Animals are only as racist as the humans who own(ed) them. That's all I have to say about that.
I couldn't disagree more. Mesquite was totally fine with black men until my fiancee was threatened by one with a knife while she was walking her. Since then, Mesquite has turned very reactive to black men. My fiancee is nowhere NEAR racist.

If that's all you have to say about that, you are rather ignorant. And that, as they say, is all I have to say about that.
Seeing as how I've been on these boards for all of a few hours, I think you might want to get to know me better before you call me ignorant.

Thanks for relating your experience with your dog and his(her) reaction to it. I was relating my own experience when I wrote my previous post. If you have found your experiences to be contrary, I'd be happy to read them. But, please keep your comments and arguments in context rather than calling me names or disparaging my knowledge.

I'm glad to make your acquaintance on these boards and I hope that we can have productive discussions from now on.



I wouldn't say racist. I don't think you can train your dog to sick a black man.

And it doesn't make a person racist if they don't socialize their dog with black people. Some people just don't have black friends.
I grew up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood in South Buffalo. You may not be able to train your dog to sic a black man, but the people in my neighborhood certainly tried.

All I'm saying is that I find it very hard to believe that dogs can distinguish between people of one ethnicity or another, regardless of tragic circumstances such as TrumpetJock related earlier.

And, I'll say more about this since TrumpetJock turned it from comment on my experience to a slight on my intelligence.
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You straight up called anyone who has a dog that doesn't like black people racist. That was the beginning, middle and end of your post. How am I not supposed to take offense to that when one of my dogs doesn't like black men, and neither I nor my fiancee are racist (or afraid) of them?

You've only posted a few times on this board, maybe you should take a little more time getting to know us before you call a potentially large group of us racist.
<lightbulb> I understand you now.

I don't believe that I called anyone racist. I was trying to point out, in short, that dogs cannot be "racist" in an of themselves. I find it very difficult to believe that the dog, because of the attack, is now prejudiced against all black men. I think, as Richie suggested, that Mesquite senses you and your fiance are now <insert negative emotion here> around black men and relates that <insert negative emotion here> with the attack.

I apologize if my post came off as insulting towards you or anyone else.

I fully realize this :p My dog isn't actually "racist", that's a purely human social construct. There is an associated feeling of a scary experience, that is all. She very well could have associated the attack with a baseball cap and began being "racist" against cap wearers.

Randstrauss, if that had happened I guess that would have to mean I'm racist towards cap-wearers, eh? And for that matter, my in-laws must be racist against suit-case holders, because their poodle absolutely HATES anyone carrying a suitcase.

Makes perfect sense.
Understood. It's quite possible that your in-law's poodle had a toe or two run over by someone carrying a suitcase and therefore associates suitcases with a painful experience. I'd rather not belabor the point anymore. Peace?

Poor cat! LMAO!!!!:D
Yeah, I have to say that the cat, a lovely Calimanco and gentle as can be, does not appreciate the dog's attempts at socializing. Our dog is quite jealous that she's allowed on the bed and he is not. He herds her around the house and we constantly have to admonish him with, "Chewie, leave the cat alone!" Quite entertaining. Just not so entertaining for the cat, I suspect.
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