Breed Specific Thought Processes Affect Your Own Dog

This has to do with how our own breed prejudices can have an adverse affect on how we think our own dogs behave.

Recently I went to Stewart’s, a local gas / convenience store. Whenever I go anywhere I usually take along a bunch of dogs for the ride. On this particular day I only had a couple guys with me, Bowsey-Wow a little 35 pound mix breed dog, Cassidy an older large mix breed of who knows what, and Cy-Cy an old Pit Bull that has arthritis.

As usual when Cy-Cy takes a ride he likes to lay down on the back seat with his head propped up, so he can see whats going on outside the window. On this day after I finished getting gas and was coming out of the store, I watched as a woman with a Golden Retriever was walking into the parking lot near my van.

When she got close enough to my van so her dog could see the dogs inside it, her dog starting barking and yanked her over to the van where her dog jumped up on the side and was barking like a maniac at the window that Cy-Cy was looking out of. After Cy-Cy sat up in the seat,which took him a little time he started barking back at the woman’s Golden Retriever.

I didn’t think too much about it cause it was nice to see Cy-Cy show a little excitement and I didn’t mind the woman’s dog jumping on the van.

What I did find interesting was, after the woman pulled her dog down off my van and walked past me, she shot me a look of total disgust as she shook her head and said with dripping disdain “Pit Bull”. Did she bother to apologize for her dog scratching the side of the van that was just donated to us, or did she apologize for her dog riling up our guys. No she did not, not that I mind about the scratches anyway or how her dog acted.

The point of this is twofold :
(1) – For whatever reason this woman doesn’t like Pit Bulls.
(2) – Her dog started the ruckus in the first place, yet she blames the dog that reacted to her dog. If the Golden Retriever had walked quietly past the van, Cy-Cy would have just continued to lay there checking things out.

The adverse affect that this can have on an individual’s dog should be self evident. Can anybody tell me what that effect can be ?

The Spirit Dog

Cy-Cy (Old and Happy Pit Bull)

Cy-Cy (Old and Happy Pit Bull)

copyright © 2009 a.s.papszycki


7 Responses

  1. My pitbull has been really cute for the past few years! then he went and got really fat, he’s still the greatest though.

    Seriously, can dogs get worked up and be upset over strangers/pets that have bad vibes? What about screaming kids and mad parents? Just wondering.

  2. A question I had, Al….are dogs sensitive to “negative waves” (remember the character in Kelly’s Heroes?) like humans are? I know they’re tuned in to the people/animals they live with, but can they be affected by bad vibes from strangers?
    Your question seems to have been about what was hapenning to the WOMAN’S dog….I wonder if this could have also affected Cy-Cy if it was more in-her-face disdain..

  3. You have an old dog who is ill who has a ‘trauma’ (aka known as woman who cant control her dog) you will be lucky to get him back in the car, who will retreat from being social….

    all because a woman, through ignorance, allows her dog to be aggressive and indulge in anti-social behaviour (ie clawing your car and attacking another dog)… am I right…yes

    but hey hers is a pretty golden retriver so thats ok.

    I have the same with well trained great danes & other peoples untrained yap yaps

  4. That’s too bad Natalia. The first pit that I can recall meeting was a brindle beauty at the Renaissance Festival here in MN. I was in awe of this beautiful and friendly dog. I asked the owner if she was a pitbull. At the time this meant nothing to me except it was a dog breed. The owner got al defensive and told me she was an “American Stadforshire Terrier”. Aka Pitbull. 🙂 I HATE breed specific stereotypes, of all sorts. Give me a breed stereotype and I will tell you about the dog that I have met that is the exception. Or about the lone exception that “proves” the rule!

  5. I had to deal with those looks the whole 6 years I had Shakes, who by the way is the most affectionate pitbull you’ll ever meet, I actually used to take offense to it all the time. Disdain, disgust, smirks, the whole nine. I also found that the dogs were just as uptight as their owners!

  6. Great job Adrienne! I especially agree with the tension part!

  7. Umm… Her dog is going to pick up on her tension around dogs she doesn’t like and “learn” to react against them in particular?

    Or, because she doesn’t see her dog as the problem she’s never gonna do anything effective to teach him to be calm?

    He’s going to get himself bit one day by picking a fight with the wrong dog?

    D) All of the above?


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