How can I get people to look past my appearance??

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Mommy's Girl
Barked: Mon May 30, '11 7:40pm PST 
@Mr. Pibbs-- No offense was taken! big grin I am a firm believer in the power of the fix! (haha) I believe that the only people who should breed dogs are the ones who have the money, time, and energy-- and do all the necessary health and temperament tests. I would never consider breeding an American Pit Bull Terrier in my area for 2 main reasons.
1. Our county is inundated with them (Even though they are mostly badly bred, or American Bullies being passed off as the real thing).
2. I could never guarantee that my puppies would be placed in forever homes.

And with small children in my home, I would prefer not to have a protective mama dog... I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old. Keira is AMAZING with them. But I believe that spaying her will potentially prolong her lifespan, and keep her as the loving, friendly dog we love.
@Everyone else: So many people believe what they see on TV and read in the newspapers or online. I followed a story in the New York Post about a man in Brooklynn who trained his 3 dogs (One Pittie, one Cane Corso mix, and one GSD) to be viciously. He affectionately called them "Monster Dogs". The Cane Corso mix viciously mauled and killed the man's 4 year old son. Yet the accompanying picture was of the Pit Bull. shock They get the headlines, more than any other breed. You can leave comments on the stories, and there were a SHOCKING number of people basically crying "Pit Bulls should all die! You can't trust them!" Apparently they didn't read the story. The man was abusive-- punching the dogs in the head, kicking them in the ribs, training them to kill. AND it wasn't the Pittie. This was the only comment I left, because I was getting angry-- I didn't want to totally lose my temper. This man said this, and then my reply:
Stanley Karp
Mothers ignorant, now has to live with what she saw this animal did to her child, father should be prosecuted. Seems like everyone who owns a pit are just the kind of people, iresponsible, idiots who shouldn't have anykind of dog or children.
3 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · 19 hours ago

This was my reply:
Wow. Were they having a sale on ignorance that I was unaware of?
Hi. White, married, mother of two here. Raised in a loving, Christian home. Poster child for middle class. Oh, and I own a pit bull. Did you know that "pit bull" is actually a type of dog, rather than a breed? What classifies a "pit bull" is a medium to large sized muscular body, short coat, and wide head, and broad chest. Yep, that narrows it down, don't you think? I can quite easily come up with 25 dog breeds that fit that bill-- and there are countless mixes that could end up looking this way.
Unfortunately, media hype has effectively destroyed the reputation this dog long carried. A reputation that bespoke affectionate, loyal, brave, and gentle dogs who would go to any length to please their humans.
American Pit Bull Terriers are NOT bred to be aggressive. This breed is remarkable, and if you do the research, you will find that they score very, very high in stability and temperament test. Higher, even, than the quintessential "family dog"-- the Golden Retriever.

We actually were told, by our veterinarian, that an APBT was a WONDERFUL choice for a family with children. They have gentle demeanors, and a high pain tolerance that make them much more likely to take whatever a young child throws at them (figuratively, and literally speaking) without so much as a blink. My three year old will lay down on top of our dog on the couch and snuggle her. My "pit bull" laid still for 2 hours while that 3 year old took a nap on her.
Seriously. Research. It saves lives and reputations.

Haha, I got a ton of "heck yeahs" from the dog lover community for that, because I was the first person to speak up. smile Ignorance and the media is costing the breed their LIVES, and I find that ridiculous.

Canine Flash
Barked: Mon May 30, '11 8:43pm PST 
hughug lots of hugs for you darling...don't mind them..those kind of people doesn't know a thing about you...dogs behavior does not depend on the breed it depends on how you treat them..be strong and show them how lovely you are..hailhail
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Mon May 30, '11 8:44pm PST 
It's so unfortunate that so many wonderful dog get a bad rap through no fault of their own. I love pitties and I always go out of my way to say hello and ask to pet them when I see one.

Someone I know just posted on their blog that they are fostering a 12 year old APBT who spent ELEVEN YEARS at a shelter. frown


Mommy's Girl
Barked: Mon May 30, '11 9:43pm PST 
ELEVEN YEARS!?!?!?! What the heck is WRONG with people??? I am actually trying to convince my husband now, to let us go meet Jersey, a male adult Pittie at a nearby shelter. He's been there a while, and he obviously needs a home. You can actually see a picture of him on Petfinder-- the shelter he is in is atrocious. cry Go to the Petfinder tab, type in American Pit Bull Terrier, and zip code 30531 and look for Jersey. He's a beautiful boy.
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Tue May 31, '11 4:15am PST 
We had one here... a stray male, unneutered with plenty of scars!!!
It took us well over a year to find the right home for him, but we did and he's PERFECT in every way!!! Not one bit of DA at all, which is certainly surprising.

Here\'s my Wubba- - now play with- me!!
Barked: Tue May 31, '11 6:00am PST 
Oh sure, thanks Keira - thanks for making me go look at all the sad babies that need homes!!! Jersey is cute - I hope your husband gives in! We will be getting another dog but we can't at the moment because of our boarder's dog, the AmStaff - he had a rough transition to having Bailee show up (he moved in first) and I'm not sure how he'd do with another dog - plus 3 dogs (and our cat) is a little much for our lifestyle.
Dino - (R.I.P. - 4/12/2011)

I\'m not looking- at the- bone....AM TOO!
Barked: Tue May 31, '11 6:52am PST 
Oh Keira's Mommy, I could just hug you!

I'm posting first under the name of my 'late' friend, Dino, but my own 'kids' have something to say too.

Poor Dino was a victim of his breed and the ignorance that still hangs over it. He was the pet of an old high school mate of mine. When poor health caused them to need to move to a retirement apartment in Florida, they had to re-home Dino. They hit a wall as they hadn't socialized him with people or dogs. His response was to bark.

I have a nervous barker myself. I knew the sound of fear. I went to his house to meet him and asked his owner NOT to restrain him (their usual habit). He sounded excited and only slightly apprehensive. He smelled me and the bacon in my pocket. In a few minutes we were sitting on the floor sharing bacon. That sealed the deal for him!

I had only 2 weeks to train him and he made huge leaps. He took to people quickly. All he needed was 'permission' from his owners to greet and get treats from new people. What a love! He unearthed toys from all over the house to share with new friends.

What broke my heart is he was still fearful at the sound of barking dogs. As hard as many people tried, none of us could find a foster home or group that had room to take him.
Unwilling to dump him at a pound where he would be euthanized alone and afraid, his owner choose to hold him while the Vet put him to sleep on April 12th 2011.

Got food? I- can be bought ya- know....
Barked: Tue May 31, '11 7:52am PST 
Now a word from Momma's pack, Snickers, Pepper and Sonny....

As a former Pit owner myself, I also received breeding offers (she was fixed before I got her). I also dressed her in a bright pink harness, just for show, I was afraid people would miss a collar. And people would say things like, "Well you don't have children do you?". I didn't at first.
But a few years later, a husband and a cat and two babies were added to my family. Woofie and the cat were never pals, she was afraid of the (declawed) cat! She was wonderful and respectful with my children. She mentored our Chocolate Lab puppy, Candy. My sons were 4 and 6 when she died of cancer, we still miss her.

These are a few of my favorite come backs, depending on the level of ignorance or stupidity of the other party...

1. "It's the person at the other end of leash you should worry about" (expression optional - I preferred a hard stare and sardonic smile). This retort was used when my dog was likened to a gun. Guns don't kill people unless there is an idiot at one end.

2. This called for my best "dumb blond" look...."What? I was told she was a Chihuahua mix...." It doesn't take long for the ignorant to realize you're kidding, and they are stupid. They retreat quickly.

3. (Again, a sardonic smile works here..) "Well if your so afraid, why are you petting my 'killer' dog?"

4. If you think there is hope, or if children are around: Educate!

Start by saying all dogs have teeth and could bite. Puppies have to be taught not to bite. Children must always ask and have a parent and the dog owner with them EVERY TIME they want to pet someone Else's dog. (Many times children are bitten trying to pet a dog they pet before.) A polite dog or puppy should sit before getting petted.


Print out one or more of these articles: (copy and paste to browser to go to web sites)


http://www.examiner. com/animal-advocacy-in-kansas-city/kansas-city-pitbull-myths-the-vic k-dogs-today

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId =129989424

I have 3 rescue dogs now. Pepper is my anxious grumbler and people are frequently uneasy and avoid her. Whenever anyone expresses concern (usually while Snicker and Sonny are soaking up the love), I always laugh and say, "Funny, it's the little blond dog who is the reformed biter..." Just to see how quickly they stand up....
http://www.dogster.com/dogs/1131412 (Sonny, the blond Beagle X)
http://www.dogster.com/dogs/1019913 (Snickers, Mutt)

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Tue May 31, '11 8:46am PST 
Keira, you're a beautiful girl! I'm a huge fan of pibbles, so much so that I've successfully fostered and placed one pit and want to foster more...They are some of the sweetest, most people-pleasing dogs one could ever meet. They were called the 'nanny dog' for a reason: so many are simply wonderful around children. They actually enjoy kids, whereas many dogs just endure them.

Sadly, as someone else said, you will need to grow a thick skin. Ignorance is rampant out there when it comes to APBTs and other bully breeds. Wearing a bandana will help ease fears, but in the long run, raising your sweet girl to be the best dog she can be, being a great ambassador for the breed...that will set your heart and mind at ease. You'll be able to walk with confidence and pride, that swagger that comes with walking beside a lovely, well-behaved pit.wink

If you have the energy to be an advocate, go for it. If not, calmly walk away and ignore them. If you're walking Keira, it's not worth stressing her out, because she will sense that something isn't right.

My response when people said "they're mean dogs", NO dog is inherently mean, it's people who have made them that way...THIS dog is lovingly cared for and has been raised the right way.

I bet every APBT handler has been there at some point...it can be hurtful, but you've just got to shrug it off. When the ignorant idiots get you down, come to Dogster and vent anytime.


Did I hear- WALK?!?!
Barked: Tue May 31, '11 1:22pm PST 
hug I feel for ya. Some people are just stupid and/or ignorant, and will usually always stay that way. Find a great comeback (I'll suggest some when I think of them... smile ) and make them whimper and tuck their tails in under your gaze. Good luck! way to go

Also, great job for standing up for pitties online. I might've lost it completly at those comments!

P.S. 11 YEARS!!?!?!?? frown
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