Though, luckily, things really haven't been like this as much for us anymore.
a couple who just adopted a young pitbull pup. They were already receiving negative comments before they even adopted:
Since we decided that we were open to adopting a pit, we have gotten some interesting reactions. One person said of a pit-lab mix we were considering that it would be "conflicted: happy as a lab and aggressive as a pit. It would never know what it wants." We went to a petstore that we *love* to get toys and supplies for our new baby, and the owner told us we should never play tug with our pit bull puppy, as it's an "aggressive breed" and "even though there are no bad dogs, just bad owners, you don't want to bring out the aggression." I did not mention to him the study showing that tug is actually a *fine* game to play with your dog, regardless of breed (http://maryhuntsberry.com/
So, all of that said, we are bracing ourselves for more comments like this and are looking for ideas about how to respond. We will be going through all the obedience classes with our pup, and hope to get her Canine Good Citizen Certified... all that is a ways away, though, and we are wondering what we can or should say in the meantime.
Have you dealt with these kinds of comments, and how do you balance the desire to educate people with the frustration that people are so closed-minded?
backpacks, bowties, even bandanas. And of course, Mr. B does much to dispel the myth by just walking around with his stuffies still intact. Once people come over to talk to our dogs, we're able to show them the true nature of pitbulls.
Be That Much More Responsible and a Good Role-Model
If anyone were to say anything negative about our dogs, I make them do a fun trick, like: waving, circling around me, or standing at our side. Even foster dog Levi who doesn't know many tricks now is learning to sit nicely at corners. I think people seeing us working with our dogs like that also does change perceptions.
We also don't let our dogs play on leash because usually that will result in the 'hungry gremlin noise' which is their play voice, but people thing it means aggression.
Outweigh the Bad with the Good
I honestly never saw that. So maybe there are some people out there who despite everything won't be changed, but I don't even really notice. I'm too distracted by all the positivity surrounding our dogs.
And if you have another breed of dog, how do you get people to overcome negative stereotypes that might be associated with your breed?