|Barked: Sat Feb 9, '13 6:19pm PST |
|Regarding small dog owners picking their dogs up, you shouldn't always take it personally. Sometimes they are just being biased bigots. However, that isn't always the case. With Sandy, I tend to avoid most terriers - pit bull, yorkie, etc - on walks. Not because I think they're bad dogs, but because Sandy doesn't get along with terriers. I may walk past (as I find it ideal to get her used to being around them, at the very least), but I'll cross the street to avoid walking right next to you. She got used to Lilo, but that took a lot of time. I find a lot of pit bull owners take things too personally. Though, having had Lilo for many years, I can understand why.
I wouldn't say pit bulls are the sweetest dogs I've ever owned. But they're pretty high up there - if they are well raised AND well bred (yes, despite what many bully advocates will tell you, genetics DO play a large role in a dog's disposition). They were bred, after all, to be as people friendly as possible. For the sport they were expected to perform they had to be tolerant of their handlers. So, they were and are exceptionally loyal dogs. But "sweetest dog" is subjective. There is only one sweetest dog, and every dog owner has him.
Many pit bull owners I have known have been far too defensive, even for my liking. I was attacked by dogs a few years ago. Not pit bulls, but I always leave breed out regardless as their breed had nothing to do with it (rather than their upbringing, which was poor). Still, to this day, I'm a bit afraid around big dogs who I do not know. I'll be on edge and may even refuse to enter a house until I've interacted with them while they are on leash. Most big dog owners seem to understand this and give me time to warm up to the dog. But as soon as I tell this to a pit bull owner, they jump on me accusing me of being "one of those", completely ignoring the fact that I have Princess and had Lilo at home and loved them very much. It was never against the breed, but many people who have been attacked by animals may carry a fear for some years. [i]This is normal[/i]. If you are like me and trying to get over the fear, I do not see why people would jump down your throat and accuse you of being prejudice of their dog. I love pit bulls, I always will. But I will be afraid of strange, large dogs until I get past the fear I developed after the attack a few years back.
Many other pit bull owners, though, are pretty chill. I love these people. You know the type. They love their dog and they don't need approval from anyone. They know that their opinion about the dog is the only one that matters. They fight for their rights as dog owners. They fight BSL, may even help a pit bull rescue. But they are less likely to accuse you of being a bigot, and more likely to attempt to educate you in a kind, polite way. Pit bull owners, really, are as different as the dogs they own. (For once again, upbringing and genetics play a role in pit bulls and all dogs)
Most pit bulls I have met have been very friendly dogs. Many of them (a vast majority, actually) have been hyper. But that's to be expected from a working breed (and a breed with "terrier" in the name). I have only met a couple aggressive ones and they have all been in bad situations (over bred or outside on a chain neglected if not both). I have met one reactive one, but reactivite and aggressive are not one in the same. I disagree with BSL. It's a "solution" to a problem that doesn't really exist. It's easy to blame the dogs. Easy because the people that do are angry and want to find a scapegoat. The problem, however, was never the dogs. It has always been the owners and the breeders. It was people when it was Dobermans. It was people when it was Rottweilers. It was people when it was Akitas, and "wolf dogs", and German shepherd dogs. It is people now that it is pit bulls, and it will be people when society attacks the next breed.
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