Monday, August 26, 2013

Pooches:Cat Calls or Name Calling

Just the other day as we were waiting to cross the street, minding our own business, when a guy in a Range Rover swerved dangerously close to us, hanging his head out the window and yelling: "Those are some beautiful dogs!"
Mr. B blushed while Miss M nodded in agreement.
The biker waiting at the light next to us and started laughing telling us "I can't believe your dogs just got cat-called".
The funny thing is, we do get a lot of drive-by compliments.
And walk-by compliments.
And stop to give the pooch a smooch compliments. Often several times during a single walk.
What is rare is for us to hear negative comments about being pit bull-type dogs. I can probably count on a single hand how many times people have said negative things.
I'm not sure whether it's because Chicago is an exceptionally dog-friendly city, because we live in a diverse part of the city, or because perceptions of pit bull-type dogs really are changing.
Though one of our SociaBulls friends just mentioned how things are still really hard for pit bull owners in other parts of the country.
So we were curious....what is the current perception of pit bull-type dogs in your area? Do they seem to get more cat calls? Or name calling?

Also:
Thoughts for new pit bull owners
What to say.

Winner Lisa Marie & Milo...please contact us about winning the Ruffwear  Swamp Cooler Vest Giveaway. If we do not hear from you by Wednesday, we unfortunately will need to draw another winner. Thanks!

29 comments:

Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

We get that, too! When I first got Tess, most people didn't see her as a pitbull...I think mostly because they didn't actually know what one looked like! Although lately, more and more people recognize they are some sort of pitbull-type, and are really positive about it! Erie is much less of a dog-friendly city, so it is interesting to "feel" the shift here, too!

RuthieJ said...

Holly has lovely markings and pretty brindle tiger stripes. Almost everyone we meet comments on what a pretty dog she is. After they pet her and interact with her, then they ask what kind of dog she is. I have had only one person refuse to have anything to do with her when I said that Holly is a pitbull/boxer mix. We live in Rochester, MN.

Kristen Mui said...

We live in northern VA and I think we probably get about 90% positive reactions to Layla, who is a pretty "diesel" black and white pittie. We have a lot of people stop to say how beautiful she is and admire her... physique. In great news, we are also hearing a lot of people comment on how misunderstood pit bulls are and how they are such loving animals. (Of the 90% I think maybe about 10% have asked us if we are breeding her :( --which we take as an opportunity to educate about rescuing and spaying/neutering.)

Unfortunately we have a couple of neighbors in our condo building who are incredibly rude, bordering on hostile, and have gone so far as make false claims that Layla was "harassing" them. We write them off as the nutty exception :)

bigalrlz said...

I live in Kansas City, MO and I get LOTS of positive compliments.

Funniest one-One time I was walking my two (Female, spayed) pitties and a Gangsta in a pimp mobile pulled up and asked me-"Where the puppies at?" I took that as a compliment and smiled and waved :)

Lisa said...

Leroy has stopped cars. Sometimes, he pops up from the back seat where he was napping, and I can tell he's giving his best goofy face look because the drivers smile and laugh. The best compliment was the car FULL of young (think teen) men who could not believe I had my dog.

KS said...

Vinnie (who is a big fan of Layla, whose mama posted above - hey, Layla!) has a pretty inviting smiley face/wiggle, so he generally gets a positive response from dog-friendly people/kids, and frequently sparks discussion with other 'pit bull' people. We don't get many negative comments, but I have noticed that in our new neighborhood (which has a majority immigrant population, not many English speakers), a lot of people cross the street when they see us coming or otherwise give us a wide berth. I've been asked twice this week if "he bites"!

Debra@Peaceabull said...

For the most part, we get positive comments and even the not so positive seeem to be more couched and not so overtly negative.

Ashley said...

I live in Maine which is a very pittie friendly state! We have tons of rescue organizations that bring in pit bull type dogs from southern states. I think part of the reason they're so well received in Maine is that I think about 75% of the people here can't actually identify a pit bull. I just recently took my two-year-old pittie to a festival and she was fawned over all day! So many people were just eating her up, calling her gorgeous, petting her, HUGGING her, asking for kisses. Only one person actually called her a pit bull. The rest would finish giving her some lovin' and ask "what kind of dog is this? she's so sweet!" I could only help but grin from ear to ear. What I found interesting is just how many people light up at the sight of a happy pit bull but at the same time wouldn't want one for themselves. It seems people have this fear that a pit bull will "turn". It makes me sad when people who are close to me are looking to bring a dog into the household and when I suggest they get a pit bull the usual response is "yours is nice but not everyone can be so lucky". So are Pit bulls more acceptable when they're not labeled as such? I guess all we can do is get them more public exposure so the general population can see their kind soul behind that famous "pittie smile".

Livierules said...

We get a lot of comments of "what a pretty/happy/friendly dog" on the street. More so than when I first got Petey 8 years ago. Once is a very blue moon we get some taunting, usually from guys in muscle/macho type cars.

Katherine said...

In South Carolina I get one of the above: ignored, a glance and a smile, an awww pretty pup, you have a beautiful dog, a slim group of people who will want to stop and pet but asking permission if she is friendly.
The worst I get is people who see me coming down the sidewalk who get afraid and either leave the side walk or obviously look uncomfortable and hug the wall with their back staring at the dog in fear. I respectfully lead Karma to the outside most position away from them and keep walking with a smile.
The best catcall I got was someone who actually thought my dog might be for sale and asked to buy her.
The weirdest was when someone asked me if she was a "Gator Pit" I drew a blank on that one and told them "um I don't think so..."
So that's how it is in the south....

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

I get a mixture! The other day a guy stopped me to ask me if I was breeding Zoe. When I said that she was spayed because that there are tons of great dogs just like her being euthanized in the city pound everyday, he paused, looked at me, and then said "Can I get your number?" WORST pick up line ever. But otherwise, I would say that half of our experiences with "cat calling" are positive (along the lines of yours), and half are negative (people just being afraid of her and yelling at me to keep her away). When the latter happens, I always respond and tell them that I am holding onto her tight and make sure to respect their wishes and give them lots of space.

Heatherkay said...

KS -- I live in a similar demographic neighborhood. I have a 55-pound chow-shepherd type dog, and I get the same questions. People from cultures where dogs are not routinely speutered and where they are used as security systems more than pets have different expectations from bigger dogs, not just pits.

adventuresofadogmom said...

Well, I don't know about pitties but Boomer and Dottie as large labs get quite a bit of attention here in Wichita, KS. There are always kids wanting to pet and hug them but then adults stop us just the same.

t said...

I have a Husky mix and a pit mix, and often get compliments, frequently street cred and less often asked "is that a pit bull?". I had to chuckle one day when a little boy said, "Mom, look at the wolf and the dog!"

Two French Bulldogs said...

Not only are you guys adorable, but the fact your ears are not clipped, we think, makes a difference. A few people mom speaks to run the other way when they see a pit bull. They have a bad rap. We also believe the news feeds into the negative stereotype. There is always a story on an attack or mauling. On the other paw, moms friend is VERY active in a pitbull rescue. Keep smiling guys
Benny & Lily

irene childress said...

Pitties are pretty popular here in Georgia, and I would say the response to them is 50/50. Even some people I would think of as educated don't like pits, and nothing you seem to say changes that. My dogs are Boxers and they get frowned at too! Any sort of boxy-headed dog seems to get the same response. I have seen people leave the dog park because a pitbull came in. I had a friend of a friend leave a party that I and my furbabies were at because my Boxers were "dangerous"! I was in shock. THey are only dangerous to tennis balls and squeaky toys.
I see plenty of pitbulls around my town, though, so hopefully the stereotype is changing here too.

Rachel @ My Two Pitties said...

Oh we definitely get more cat calls:D Luckily the bay area is a very pit bull friendly place but of course there are a few naysayers. Most people don't say anything but they pick up their small dog or drag away their kid:(

ohmelvin.com said...

I'm usually the one cat calling pitties! And I assure you, I'd do the same to yours!

Christine Wolfer said...

We're from the Austin, Texas area and we have only gotten one negative comment in the past couple of years. Austin is a no kill city and very pittie friendly. I've had many catcalls. Most recently, we spent the weekend in San Antonio. Walking our brindle pittie/boxer mix around in the tourist areas, we got a ton of catcalls. At the hotel, she was given lots of love from the staff. On the streets, there was one person that stopped me and said that he lost his pittie mix two days ago. Unfortunately, his neighbor shot and killed his dog. He got tears in his eyes petting our Maria because she looks like his. She gave his hand some sweet kisses.

AJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ said...

Another Bay Area peep. Every so often the negative comment comes across but we just take it in stride. However we mostly get positive comments and feedback. Especially when all the girls get together to walk the dogs. Just picture it, three to six ladies each walking one to two pitties each. Just on today's walk we got stopped about three times for other hikers on the trail to stop and greet the pups. Which of course the pups loved being the center of attention.m

Maggie said...

We've gotten a mix, but it's been really dependent on where we were living. In our neighborhood in DC, we got a lot of negative comments, but mostly people crossed the street when they saw us coming. We lived in a college town in Indiana, so people were pretty open and progressive. Now, in Louisiana, it's a mixed bag. Animal welfare here is so different altogether...

jet said...

A guy pulled over and got out of his car to talk to Olive a few nights ago!!

julz said...

I live in St. Charles just outside of Chicago and most people can't tell if my Faye is a pitbull or not. But when they ask and I tell them she's a pitbull people, their reaction is shocking but also receptive and open to approaching her for a pat on the head.

Alanna said...

I get this too! I often feel like I'm walking a celebrity because she gets so much attention :) Actually, we've even met a few human celebrities because they stopped to pet her and ask me about her! We live in NS, Canada, which is very pittie friendly, though we spend a lot of time in Toronto, which is not pittie friendly at all (the province has BSL). However, even in Toronto the perception seems to be shifting and there has been talk about getting rid of the BSL - discussion about it has increased since the Blue Jays singed on a player with a pitbull. The best compliments we've gotten have been people suggesting she'd be a great therapy dog - something we hope to do in the near future.

Mallory said...

Here in Portland, most people are friendly and interested in our pittie, Tippi. I have had a few people tell me that she looks scary (someone clipped her ears before we adopted her and she has darker hair, which probably has something to do with that), but other than that, no overtly negative comments. A lot of people stop to say hello and tell us how beautiful she is, which is great! She is even a favorite customer at our much frequented pet store down the street.

Emily said...

I volunteer a lot of adoption events with half bully breeds dogs and about half not-- I hear A LOT of ridiculous comments. I also hear a lot of the trying to be nice comments but still giving the negative association. "Oh he looks like just the kind of vicious dog someone would want but he's so sweet," "I just can't trust pit bulls," and "We have a pit bull but we don't want another one because we've faced too much discrimination," are all comments I heard today!
On the other hand I hear plenty of wonderful things too.
All I know is I'm no longer defensive--my heart belongs to pits :)

Emily said...

I also wanted to add I get tons of "Drive-by" compliments too, oftentimes by kids in the neighborhood but adults as well.

Wendy said...

Not a day goes by without someone complimenting Spot on how beautiful he is. After all these years even I can't help but admire his beauty every day:) Can you tell my dog has cast a magic spell on me? With that said, there are still some folks who are afraid and will walk away when they see us coming down the street, but we don't pay them any mind! Because Spot is a large American Bulldog/Pittie mix who is white with a black nose, he gets mistaken for a Polar Bear often;)

I am always guilty of catcalling and making kissy noises at cute dogs everywhere... can't help it!

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