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Thread: bully breed stigma?

  1. #1

    Default bully breed stigma?

    I was walking my dog this morning, basically the same route almost every morning and I walk past this home with two dogs, a small yap yap and a medium sized black lab. Every time I go by there, if they see me (about 1 in 3), they go nuts at me. Anyway, mainly the black lab starts barking at me and my dog so I quickly go by. My dog stops to have a look at them, he's like "what the hell?" but he doesn't bark or anything and I pull on his lead and he follows me quietly although whimpering a bit.

    Then this rickety lady in a purple robe (from the house next door to that one I think) comes out a gives me this massive dirty look and punches in a number on her phone. I'm thinking, "what did I do?"

    So right now I still thinking, "what did I do?" What could I have possibly done this time?

    My dog right now looks like this:

    IMG_20140331_100254.jpgIMG_20140331_100217.jpgIMG_20140331_100229.jpg

    He's seven months old and he weighs 23 kg and he doesn't look like he is going to get much bigger. He doesn't look like a bully breed but I have had people as I've walked past their home say "that's a really dangerous dog. If he bites he won't let go." I've also had compliments, "that's a really beautiful dog." It's mostly his mouth I think, when he opens his mouth people can see his staffi-ness - he is a bully breed x after all.

    Mostly for owners of a bully or an intimidating breed of dog, do you get stigmatised by the know-nothings of the world? If you do then how so and how do you deal with it? I'm really interested in hearing the opinions of people who live in suburban areas - basically where I and all the stupid people of the world with too much time on their hands live.

    I want to add that the lady who lives in the house with the two dogs was outside at the time and she didn't say anything as I went by.

  2. #2
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    I don't own a bully breed so i can't really comment on this topic, but i have to say, your dog is gorgeous

    I do however know what its like to have people think your dog is vicious. I've had a lot of people come to our property, ignore the 'Do not enter, beware of dogs' sign and then Koda starts barking at them... Later on they very happily inform me of their opinions on my dog, i hate it so much, but there isn't much i can do.

  3. #3

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    just kick them and run off quickly. seriously, everyone else does it.

  4. #4
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    I'm from a european country where most bull breeds (including staffies) are banned. As a result these unfortunate dogs have become a kind of penis extension for certain groups in society. It hasn't helped their image or their keeping.
    It's nowhere near as extreme here. But I think that here too often the wrong people get attracted to bullies image. It's a shame because people connect bullies to their owners and it damages the dogs image.

    But then I think prejustice comes in all shapes and sizes. I heard bad things about most breeds at some point in time: great danes will kill their owners if they ever show weakness, collies are notorious for biting, rotties are born killers. But everyone knows that Labs are totally harmless and never bite, which really pisses me off because my lab will snap if someone gets in his face. People are stupid.

  5. #5

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    People are incredibly stupid. My bull arab x german shepherd was a giant and the happiest, gentlest dog I have ever met. He was everyones friend and he especially loved kids and just to play and be silly. However walking him I would have people crossing the road to avoid us, frowning at me, dirty looks the whole kit and kaboodle, we could even clear out dog parks purely because he 'looked' scary. We lost him to cancer at 18 months old and our new dog who is a staffy x golden retriever (yes odd, but she's in proportion lol) she can be quite prickly sometimes to strangers and is definitely 'my' dog only. If you are not in my inner circle of family and friends, well she doesn't really want to know you. She is friendly enough to outsiders but not so tolerant of kids - BUT because she looks like a labrador I am constantly amazed at the way people just assume she is friendly and let their kids run up to her, or their small dogs etc It is extremely frustrating that people are so stupid, and very stressful for me and my her! There needs to be some education and definitely no more judging a dog by the way it looks!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
    BUT because she looks like a labrador I am constantly amazed at the way people just assume she is friendly and let their kids run up to her, or their small dogs etc It is extremely frustrating that people are so stupid, and very stressful for me and my her! There needs to be some education and definitely no more judging a dog by the way it looks!
    I get the same problem, people see my Aussie Shep and just assume that because he looks a bit like a border collie and is fluffy, he must be friendly

  7. #7
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    For me - the tail is the scariest thing about your dog - because most of my bad experiences have been with husky like dogs. And you can't tell what they're thinking from their tail - and their tail gives misleading messages to other dogs ie it stays up (and the ears too) when other dogs are expecting a bit of lower tail deference in greeting. Which can lead to misunderstandings between dogs.

    So the fence barkers - are breaking the law - in SA anyway. Dogs are only allowed to bark at and menance trespassers on their own property.

    I can't say what the people live there were thinking - I'm crap at mind reading and usually guess wrong.

    But what I did with my dog and I still do - is say hi to people like the lady in the bath robe. Ie you act as if they're all pleased to see you. If you act like you think they all hate you - chances are your face will be frowning while you try to figure it out (I doubt your mind reading is any good either), and they will think you're not pleased to see them. I've had this discussion with people I used to be at school with. "why are you always frowning"... I didn't think I was...

    I also took my dog as a puppy round all the nearby houses on my block and street to introduce her. I might do it again - because we've had so many new people move in, but I've said hi to a lot of them on our walks anyway. She's not the most polite dog when it comes to people on property she considers hers (seems to have expanded to my mum's place) but I'm not going to let her eat anyone either. And the neighbours know they can talk to me and I will listen instead of getting angry with them.

    The lady with the phone might have been ringing to complain about her neighbour's yappy dogs or she might have suddenly remembered she needs to call someone about something entirely unrelated. If you're going to make up nasty stories in your head - you might as well ask outright. "Hi - lovely morning, do you like dogs?"

  8. #8
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    I use to get funny looks when we lived in suburbia and I would take Harley for walks, but honestly I just ignored them. It is their issue not mine and Harley hasn't done anything wrong. We do get it quite a bit from guests that come over as well, Harley and Bella's excitement is quite vocal so not to many people are game enough to walk into our yard as they think they will get bitten, we once had a guy that refused to walk into our front door. As soon as they do though they realise that Harley just wants you to throw his ball and Bella wants to lick the crap out of you.

    The most negative reaction I would have had would be from my Victorian family. When I told them what kind of dogs we had they screwed up their faced and made a nasty comment about how they hope we don't get mauled , I just laughed it off.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  9. #9
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    This is interesting to me. When I go down the dog beach or dog park, people compliment me on how beautiful and happy Serena looks and behaves. She is generally well behaved and doesnt ever jump up on children or even adults but she enjoys the casual pat or scratch. I am finding that she is good at avoiding those dogs that are a bit too keen and/or snappy, even though I am sure Serena could hold her own in a scrap, not that I would ever want this to happen. Even when I had my other staff boy, who looked a little more manly and bigger, I had the same reaction from passers by. Maybe I don't notice trepidation in other people, particularly non-dog owners. Anyway, I love my staffs and wouldn't get any other breed.
    On a side note, by far the scariest dog we came across yesterday on out walk in the dog park, was a particularly snarly schitsu that had a minor snap at Serena. My good girl just ran off and came back to my side. I was so proud of her. The owners were apologetic but I just waved it off and told them no dramas as it was Serena that went up to say hello.
    So, I guess the point I am trying to make is that for me at least, here in WA, I have generally had a very positive experience as a current and past owner of a bully breed.

    cheers

    Adrian

  10. #10

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    I get the same problem, people see my Aussie Shep and just assume that because he looks a bit like a border collie and is fluffy, he must be friendly
    well he does look very friendly. he is very fluffy.

    i drove past there today and the lady on the phone was the owner of the two dogs. i got the driveways mixed up. yeah i might just say hello to her next time.

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