Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As some of you may know, we just got a new dog Fergus (see sig). We've been out on walks a couple of times but I usually go at night. Well today was really nice and I had some free time so I took the boys out. Let me just say I have a new found respect for those of you w/ bully breeds. I knew because of Fergus' look that he may get some undue criticism, but I realized today that until you've lived it you can't understand how tough it is.

We had 3 "incidences" today that just made my heart drop, all during a 45 min. walk. One was a guy I knew who immediately told me that Fergus was a pit bull (as if to warn me) and blamed him for HIS OWN dog's aggression towards Fergus.

Another was a house with two kids playing in the drive way. Toby and I had stopped there several times before b/c the kids wanted to pet the dog. Today, she immediately told her kids not to go near the dogs and grabbed the youngest as if he was about to be eaten. :confused:

The last was the worst - as we are walking by a house w/ a dog barking from the front window (a fairly common occurrence) I hear the dog's owner telling her to stop barking. When the owner sees us she says, "Stop barking DOG's NAME, that's a pitbull"!!! :mad:

I really hope this doesn't turn into a BSL thread, and honestly I'm not sure I could take it if it did. I feel absolutely horrible right now. I knew Fergus had the bully look and knew that would make caring for him an even bigger struggle, I just didn't realize to what extent.

I'm sure I'm making a bigger deal out of this than it actually was, but I'm totally dejected right now. To those of you w/ bully breeds, doG Bless You and my heart goes out to you. For those without - I can tell you now from experience that the hardships associated w/ owning a bully breed are far greater than you can imagine. Wish me luck! :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I had a Pit bull.Her name was Bobber.
I always called her Elwoods sister.They went everywhere together.
While at a pet expo some who was petting her(saying how cute she was) asked what breed she was.I said pit bull and the lady just about jumped 3 feet back.
Stating she heard they were mean.I went into the whole (it's not the breed,but the owners) and she stayed there and went back to petting her.
Bobber and Elwood

Bobber winning Best puppy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,135 Posts
Welcome to our world. As hard as today was, you learn to get used to it. I was a new dog and a new bully owner when I got mac'n'roe. I didn't know what I was getting myself into with regards to the breed, and to be honest, I probably had the same fears due to ignorance.

I learned to embrace my two as "pit bull" mixes whether they are or not (they probably have a touch of pit bull in there somewhere). The general population tends to see mac'n'roe as "pits" or boxer mixes...but are similarly afraid. I just try to make sure that my two are well behaved, let them socialize with children as much as possible, and protect them around other dogs (meaning socialize them in a controlled environment...but not allowed at off leash dog parks). I've seen the scared to death moms, but I've also ran across moms that allow their children to pet them. In Atlanta, I don't get as many 'scared' looks. But when I took Mac to Mississippi, it seemed that more people were scared of him than I'm used to. Its hard to accept...at first. But again, you get used to it.

I DO WISH YOU LUCK. Ferguson looks like a real beauty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,574 Posts
I would like to tell you that you will get used to it, but the truth is, people continue to shock me every day. I own Rottweiler's and it is pretty much the same story. People pet them, love on them, tell me how well behaved they are and then say "what breed?" Once they know they are Rottweiler's the dogs immediately "look mean" or "they could turn on you anytime."

I think the best thing you can do is love your dog and train him to be an amazing ambassador for his breed type. :) He is a cutie face, what more needs to be said? ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Here is my boy at 20.5 months old. Peoples reactions are usually

1) Quiet and Avoid
2) Dirty Look and Avoid
3) Grab Kids/Dogs/Ect. and change direction
4) Can't wait to find out about him and want to pet him

#4 is worth all the 1,2,3's you will run into...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,170 Posts
Gah. I'm so sorry. People can be stupid.

I had an incident with a pit bull. I'm too embarrassed to go into details, but the pit bull was sitting, staying, and being completely silent, while my dog was . . . not.

Remember, the people who matter will see him as an individual dog, not a breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
976 Posts
I can imagine how difficult that would be. But keep in mind it doesn't matter at all what those people think. Smart people will look past it. You know what kind of dog he is and that's all that matters.
Bailey obviously isn't a bully breed but we had a smililar experience. I take her to my mom's work(she's a therapy co-ordinator at a retirement home) to interact with the residents. One resident coming off the elevator started yelling "Get that dog away from me!" and got away as fast as she could. Later that day a man also made a fuss about her being too close to him. Bailey would never hurt someone and while it definetly bothers me I try not to dwell on it because she doesn't. Luckily, your dog likely isn't aware of such things and you can easily avoid such situations and move on to much more pleasant ones. In Bailey's case it's not about her breed but it shows you it can happen to any breed and that may help a little:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,135 Posts
I would like to tell you that you will get used to it, but the truth is, people continue to shock me every day. I own Rottweiler's and it is pretty much the same story. People pet them, love on them, tell me how well behaved they are and then say "what breed?" Once they know they are Rottweiler's the dogs immediately "look mean" or "they could turn on you anytime."

I think the best thing you can do is love your dog and train him to be an amazing ambassador for his breed type. :) He is a cutie face, what more needs to be said? ;)
I guess what I meant was not necessarily that you get used to it in the sense that it won't still bother you. But, the amazement to people's reaction diminishes...you get desensitized to it.

I was in Petsmart the other night with Mac, and heard someone say to someone else as we walked by...."it must be pit bull night". I was working on focus with him by having him Heel while walking by the training class ex-pen. It still hurts...but I wasn't that shocked. There were a couple of other REAL pit bulls there (APBT)....gorgeous dogs..but one was a bit aggressive.

About a month ago, I was in MS with Mac and took him to the tennis courts where there were a lot of people watching matches. I walked up behind a gentleman. He took a look at Mac and he slowly moved three steps forward (not subtly) to get away from him. His wife asked about him later, but it was very evident that she was deathly afraid of him. She had a look of disgust on her face while looking at him. This was pretty hard to take, because I find Mac to be such a gorgeous dog.

HOWEVER, I was walking mac'n'roe once and a mom with five kids (not all hers I don't think) walked in front of us. One of the little girls begins to cry "oh look at the doggies". I could see the look of angst on the mom's face..she looked at Mac'n'Roe and I could tell she was nervous and didn't REALLY want to allow a petting session. They were pretty far in front of us (25 feet?). I said to the mom, they are kid friendly to ease her panic a little, as the one little girl was heading our way and the other following. I put mac'n'roe in a sit and the five kids oohed and awwed over them. a couple petted, a couple didn't. They were asking questions and of course commented on how Mac looks like a tiger. It was a good experience. Those are the days that I try to remember. The ones where hopefully mac'n'roe ease the fear that someone has that all "pit" looking dogs aren't ferocious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
I grew up in a breed biased household. My mother would never think to let us kids near any Dobie, Rottie, Pitt or chow (even mixed breeds). I will admit I used to be terrified of Pits until I dated a guy who had three pitbull puppies. Shadow, Budsy and Milo. Budsy was all white and everytime I went over he always climbed right in my lap. That right there made me realize they are smart sweet dogs. All cause of one little cuddle bug of a Pit bull, I changed my whole tune about "mean" and "dangerous" breeds. Hopefully, as your neighbors get to know Fergus, they will learn to love him and realize he is not gonna hurt anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,333 Posts
I can understand how you feel. When I got my first dog, Betty, I've had similar things said about her being a Blue Heeler, and that they were as bad or worse than pits. But this weekend was a great weekend, I took my new boy (Sonny) down to the park where they were having weight pulling competitions. The dogs were mostly pits and bullys. It was a lot of fun, and it was good to see something fun for the owners of the bully/pit breeds. And for the most part, almost all were very well socialized and focused on their handlers. A couple had some minor issues, but no dog is perfect, right? But the handlers handled everything very well with their dogs. I was really impressed.

Here's the news article of the one that was held last month on March 28-29.
http://wenatcheeworld.com/article/20090330/NEWS04/703309948
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Yeah, welcome to the world of pit prejudice. In our family, I have relatives who refuse to come visit/stay with me based solely on the fact that I have a pit-mix dog. One cancelled a trip here from Canada (I live in SoCal) when she found out what the breed was, and others have just said "forget it." These people have never met the dog, but know that I have raised dogs for 25 years. I give up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,351 Posts
Yeah, welcome to the world of pit prejudice. In our family, I have relatives who refuse to come visit/stay with me based solely on the fact that I have a pit-mix dog. One cancelled a trip here from Canada (I live in SoCal) when she found out what the breed was, and others have just said "forget it." These people have never met the dog, but know that I have raised dogs for 25 years. I give up.
Oh my it's their "complete" loss. I would give up my Canada anytime against SoCal and especially if there's a friendly dog welcoming me :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,942 Posts
I get similar with a German Shepherd. My neighbor says "she looks scary as h*ll but she is very sweet."

I used to volunteer at the RR station near hear for a tourist RR. When the train arrives and leaves we go out on the platform and greet or wave goodbye. Atka was not even a year old and she was/is friendly and loves kids. There was another volunteer with an absolutely vile tempered Bichon who WOULD bite.

Parents would snatch their kids away from Atka but go immediately up to the Bichon. Atka would look at me as if to say, "What the..?????" and I would tell her, "don't worry.. children have cooties.... "

I will never forget this one little girl who got off the train and the instant her parents were distracted she was hugging Atka. The parents had a look of pure terror on their faces. They DID relax when their little girl looke dup at them and said, "Nice Doggy!" while Atka leaned her head on the little girl's shoulder.

I never had hurt feelings over this stuff. I figure you can't fix stupid and you certainly can't fix prejudice. You cannot change what the media reports.

What I do instead is insure my dog is the sweetest and friendliest GSD you could ever meet. I fix the "problem" one person at a time. The best thing is at the Town Park when some Toddler comes over and gives the Vicous German Shepherd a Hug while giggling over dog kisses.

If you REALLY care, make sure your dog is the best breed ambassador ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
True story: This weekend, a group of thuggy kids was walking by as Snyder and I took a long walk. The one screams at me, "You better pull that dog back! It's a pit. Those things can kill!"

One of the other kids laughed and said, "Is he cool? Can I pet him?" I said, "Sure."

He pets Snyder then leans over and says, "Kisses." Snyder starts licking his face. The kid turned to his buddy and said, "Yeah, man. Here's a real killer. Save me!"

The other kid looked really embarrassed. The recipient of the kisses said, "I grew up with pits. Great dogs. You have a nice one."

Snyder is a mix, but I rarely make a long walk without someone making a comment on his breed. Usually it is a comment like the one the first kid made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,367 Posts
I can imagine how difficult that would be. But keep in mind it doesn't matter at all what those people think. Smart people will look past it. You know what kind of dog he is and that's all that matters.
I agree!

I used go to get very irritated when stuff like that happened when I was out with the dogs. I guess I did get used to it, and it did no good for me to get upset over it.

Lately I've had a lot better experiences. A couple of years back, most of the people would take wide circles around us on walks (cross the road), make rude comments or even run or pick up their dogs/children and run. Doesn't do them any favors since running if the dog was a threat is the worst thing to do, so it makes you realize how little they really know about dogs. Now, probably 2-3 of every 4 people I run into usually compliment me on my dogs, how well behaved/friendly/cute they are. So the people that make stupid comments or do stupid things just don't phase me anymore, I've accustomed myself to paying more attention to the good experiences over the bad ones.

I remember at Christmas I took Tysa to the parade wearing her Christmas jingle collar. There were THOUSANDS of people around, and the experience was one I'd never had before. Not one person said or did anything negative. People were ohhhing and ahhing over her, taking pictures of her interacting with their kids, and telling me how well behaved and pretty she was. One kid even went inside a pub and got her a plain hamburger and ASKED (I swear I almost fainted that he actually asked) if he could give it to Tysa. I said it was fine and promptly reached into my pocket to refund the $1 of his allowance that he'd spent to do something nice for my pooch. :p I was beaming for a good month after the parade. Tysa loved it too, and welcomed every single bit of the attention. My only regret was not bringing my camera with me that day.

So don't get disheartened. You'll have good experiences too, and they mean so much more.

I find the biggest turn off for people is a dog pulling on the leash, no matter how friendly they are. Seeing the owner with no control over the dog and being dragged along makes people wary, even concerned. No matter what breed it is, the loose leash walkers never seem to get as much flack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,445 Posts
Don't give up hope. I'm sorry you had to go through that, and people can be ignorant, but never give up or feel sorry for the dog! Feel sorry for the people. This presents a great oppotunity for you to become an embassador of the breed. Show them a new side of pits, maybe even ask him to do tricks for them. If you get comments, so what, only the blind would see the dog well behaved than make a descriminatory comment.

You have a fine pooch on your hands. Show 'em off! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
I guess LeRoy looks like a big dope, cuz I've never had a problem with him in quite a long time. China, on the other hand, people are so scared of her. I just explain to them, some people will listen, others don't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
I'm sorry. :( People can be so insensitive. I think it probably bothers us owners so much because we know what a great dog we have. And it's hurtful that others would judge our dog on its appearance alone.

We have had Mayzie for about a month and I will be honest...I was a little worried about those types of reactions. (She's a mix but because of the way she looks, I had no doubt there would be people who would just assume she's APBT.) The interesting thing is most people assume she's a Boxer puppy (even thought she's 2 years old). So our interactions have actually been mostly positive.

However, one day at Lowe's not long after we got her, I had two VERY different reactions to her. A woman walked by with her little girl, about 7 years old. The little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mom, can I pet the dog?" The woman looked at Mayzie very suspiciously and fearfully, pulled her daughter close to her, and hurried by saying, "No, not now." Well, of course my feelings were very hurt for Mayzie. (Even though she's a fearful dog, she loooooves people, and especially kids.) Not 5 minutes later, a man walked up with his 1 year old daughter and plopped her down right in front of Mayzie saying, "See the puppy??" Of course, I wouldn't recommend parents doing this with a strange dog...but I have to admit, it did make me feel better! :)

Just remember, Fergus doesn't know what people are saying so all that matters is how YOU treat him. Educate when you can and ignore the rest.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top