I know how you all feel. My in laws HATE animals and pets. It is so bad they will lash out with their feet at my dogs when they approach to say hello. P***sses me off no end. They have not even seen our cat. My rule is my house, my pets, you know I run a dog minding business so if you don't like it don't visit - hence I see my in laws 4 times a year (hubby and kids bdays and xmas). This is truly a bonus!!!
My clients do not like mixing their dogs with anything with bull in its name and they extend this hatred to german shepherds and staffies. There was a strong dislike for dobermans but we used to mind one regularly and he was such a mega sook he helped change their bad attitude. Hence, Jadielee, I am one of those people who have let you and your dogs down - sorry. As a business decision I do not (as a rule) take certain breeds of dogs.
Interestingly I recently cared for a French Bulldog and people would cross the road when I walked him and Java. To be honest I was shocked by this discrimination and took it quite personally on behalf of bulldog! The Bulldog was an absolute sweetheart and did not have a mean bone in his body. Well, they missed out because he was very friendly and loved a chest rub off anyone and everyone.
I don't know how you can change peoples attitudes - some people just hate animals regardless of their breed or because of their breed. (and I am not suggesting your family are animal haters, Jadielee, I am just generalising about those people we have all met who have to make a nasty comment about certain breeds).
As you know certain breeds are continuously targeted by media reports and the vicious cycle goes round and round. Even movies portray certain breeds in a less than favourable light. It seems to me the snarling barking attacking dog in a movie is always a GSD or doberman. No wonder people become brainwashed. Us humans forget ALL dogs have the potential to bite and invariable it is the owners fault not the poor dogs!
My advice is don't defend your dogs, don't defend their breed and don't buy into the argument. The insult here is not only towards your dogs but yourself too. Your family and anyone else for that matter should be treating you as an intelligent person who is capable of making great decisions. You are not ill informed as they would appear to be. (I hope that doesn't should too insulting towards your family).
I no longer mix with animal haters or people who constantly make remarks about my dogs, my business, animal welfare etc and this is regardless of who they are. Maybe it is time to get these type of people out of your life if they continue to be ill informed and ignorant. Next time tell them "the dog doesn't bite but the bloody owner does".
Remember the good and try and forget the bad. Hey, based on your photo of the kids I would let them sleep on my bed - no fears whatsoever!