Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CARPE DIEM - Siezing every opportunity to dispell pit bull and bull breed myths

What better topic of discussion to strike up with 3 little old ladies sitting next to me at the local cafe than pitbulls, bull breeds and their dangerous reputation?   

In the spirit of gently testing Yoda's socialization, I started taking her for walks through progressively busier streets. We have a wonderful Second Cup in a trendy neighborhood a few blocks away which is super dog friendly and people regularly sit on the terrasse outside sipping on iced caffeinated beverages with their pup by their feet. (Heaven if you ask me!)

Since she has been a champ on all her walks, we tried out the cafe with Yoda one early afternoon and it was a hit! She loved all the attention she received, from being called "Yoda, you sexy bitch!" (something you don't hear everyday) to receiving tasty bagel bits just for bring so darn cute. She's a favorite already!
That's what triggered the little ol' ladies to ask me "oh, what a nice dog, what kind of dog is it?" to which I cheerfully replied "why, she is a pit bull!"            
Silence. "Oh"

"Really? But she's so sweet... "

Then the barrage of questions of why they have such bad reputations, are they all as bad as we've all heard and if I had heard the latest news report on someone somewhere who got bit by one. I did my best to advocate for pits, bull breeds and dogs in general. I explained how many pitbull type dogs are adopted for the wrong reasons by the wrong people who exploit their loyalty in order to make them human aggressive. Pitbulls have a tendency to be scrappy with dogs due to their genetic background, but are NOT naturally human aggressive in any way. Any human aggression is due to bad owners and bad socialization. I told them the numerous abuse and neglect cases there are. I even went into the details of tempo-mandibular anatomy to explain how pitbull jaws are no different than other dogs' jaws and they don't lock. NO SUCH THING AS LOCK JAW!

Ultimately, I think Yoda lying down quietly at their feet, tail wagging at simple eye contact helped me demonstrate my point. They were pretty impressed and were happy to pet her. Of course Yoda isn't one to reject a caress!
I suppose I can't blame them for their initial apprehension and I did appreciate their sincere open-minded willingness to engage in a thoughtful discussion about the issue. Can't say the same about everyone else though.

Every opportunity to educate should be seized. Those ladies might just go tell their neighbors or their kids what a great pit mix they met.. And so on.

It all starts somewhere.

Without sounding cheesy, I think we should all be the change we want to see.

Anyone have any stories to share, positive or negative, about how other people reacted to discussions about  pitbulls or pit mixes and other powerful breeds?


  1. Good for you and Yoda and great of the ladies to actually engage you in conversation about them. I've had people tell me point blank "I don't like those dogs", "Pit bulls are mean", "Keep that dog away from me" to people curious asking what he is, which of course I tell them "Part American Bulldog, part Staffy." Some look at me and just hear bulldog. Others here pit bull. Regardless, I'm always there to educate or tell them "Sorry to hear you don't like them BUT have you ever had one?" To which most reply "No". Pfft.. ignorance is all around us. We just need to make sure to spread the truth about pit bulls and not myths or stuff we've heard. A well educated pit bull owner can help, whereas a misinformed pit bull owner will do more harm.

    Good for you again! Yoda did great!

  2. Let's keep up the good work! And thank you, I'm trying and learning in the process as I go along

  3. I had an experience with my dog ​​is bulldog mix when I was inside the train and my dog ​​and I sat quietly, then a train inspector and said that there was another dog further down. I looked down at the dog and saw a German shepherd and showed coco dog, after which he says, "it's just how they do not come up and fight" I just laugh him and says that it's only if German shepherd attacked first then coco defend itself. he said nothing afterwards and looked at coco and could see she was completely indifferent to the shepherd. 30 seconds later comes shepherd up to coco, and coco is just lying. people always expect my dog ​​to attack :/ but i do the same. tell people the truth behind these dogs. many love coco when they first pet her. and its so nice to hear it go well at the cafe with yoda

    1. Good for Coco and for you for being a good parent and responsible owner. Thanks for your post, I do what I can!!