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Breed discrimination

(43 Posts)
MarcoPoloCX Mon 22-May-17 10:42:54

People say how we bring up our dogs will largely determine how they turn out.
The exercise they get, the socialisation and the obedience training.
But do we still practice breed discrimination?

I have two dogs.
A Pug x and a BT/Staffie x.
I sometimes walk them individually and have noticed that some of the same people will recall their dogs and their children in the park when I'm walking the Staffie x but not the Pug x.
They are both walking nicely and minding their business.
I also walk a neighbour's golden retriever and the same people allow their dogs and children come up and say hello. That one is a big fluffy thing.

Floralnomad Mon 22-May-17 10:52:57

Well I'd get my dog back if I see anybody with a SBT / bulldog or husky type because I know my dog has issues with those types of dog , off his lead he would be fine with the others you've mentioned so I would not call him back - but he wouldn't come up to any of your dogs as he doesn't approach dogs . The only reason I would call him back is in case your SBT/ bulldog / husky came up to him as I'd need to be there to stop him getting involved as he has a very short fuse with those particular breeds .

SparklingRaspberry Mon 22-May-17 13:01:44

I know how you feel OP!

When my GSD was a little cute fluffy thing everyone wanted to stroke her, I couldn't go anywhere without people stopping me. People would ask if their toddlers could say hello or have a cuddle etc.

Now she's much bigger and looks like a GSD (she's 6 months but a very big gsd) it's completely different.

Nobody stops me anymore unless they're fellow gsd owners. If people don't know me/her they'll put their dog on the lead when they see me.

They'll grab their kids hand and pull them away if they see me walking her on a public path.

Not that I mind - I'd rather random people didn't approach my dog because you can never be too sure. However she's as friendly as anything as I've socialised her from day 1!

But I know exactly how you feel

fessmess Mon 22-May-17 14:00:15

I wonder this too. My ddog has been snapped at by a JR and two or three BCs and so now I do find myself tensing when I see one approaching, chicken and egg.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 22-May-17 14:25:41

I don't think its breed discrimination necessarily, rather a fear of dogs in general. We frequently have parents pull their children out of the path of my mad slavering hell hound (who's cunningly disguised as a medium-sized fluffy orange dog who's permanently smiling).

Personally I think you'd have to try really hard to be scared by him but some people obviously are ... so I'm not surprised that more powerful-looking breeds get a not-great reaction

tabulahrasa Mon 22-May-17 15:05:55

"I don't think its breed discrimination necessarily, rather a fear of dogs in general."

You get both, anyone scared of dogs is more likely to be scared by my dog because yep he's large as he's a Rottweiler.

But you also get people who are quite happy to meet him until they ask what breed he is, especially as a puppy where they'd be all over the little dog that looked like a soft toy and then would recoil when they found out he's a Rottie.

Eolian Mon 22-May-17 15:13:49

Imo breed discrimination is often more to do with people associating certain breeds with certain kinds of dog owners, which gives the breed a bad name. Also some people are just wary of large or stocky dogs because they look as though they could do a lot of damage. I don't think there's much you can do about that tbh. If you're not a dog person, it's fairly natural to be more wary of a powerful-looking dog. It doesn't necessarily mean that people are consciously thinking that all staffies are vicious etc.

MarcoPoloCX Mon 22-May-17 15:39:20

I see families happily letting their children pet a neighbour's huge golden retriever or an old English sheepdog.
But if a German shepherd, a husky or a Staffie/ bullytype comes, the same ppl pull their dogs and kids away or they suddenly change direction.

Wolfiefan Mon 22-May-17 15:46:20

I discriminate! I bloody love Rottweilers!
I am wary of very small dogs as mine is huge and could squish them.
I'm afraid some areas do seem to have owners who want a certain breed as a status symbol. Round here there are lots of untrained and under exercised and so bonkers husky types. I avoid!

ChocolateRaisin Mon 22-May-17 15:47:27

I have a GSD and get this- and I really don't mind! He is totally friendly with dogs, people and children but I am not at all upset that people don't let their dogs run up to him.

Dairymilkmuncher Mon 22-May-17 16:05:07

We had a family dog that was scared of children and also some colours so depending on what colour jacket you were wearing we would have avoided you because of that.

With my children we avoid all dogs unless the owner is giving eye contact, saying hello and have that sort of look about them that says my dog is friendly and likes children so come over and pet them

Thewolfsjustapuppy Mon 22-May-17 16:06:45

My dog looks like one of those old fashioned toy dogs with wheels that children could ride on. Children love my dog and I'm always being asked if they can pet her. Luckily she loves children too but being a pup I always warn that she may jump and lick. I used to have a staf and the only people who ever wanted to pet her were young, tattooed men. It is discrimination and it's a bit irritating but people do judge dogs on looks.

EssentialHummus Mon 22-May-17 16:28:17

I discriminate! I bloody love Rottweilers!

Same here! grin I'm hoping that if I sneak one in as a puppy DH won't notice when it's 30kg and still trying to sit on our laps.

tabulahrasa Mon 22-May-17 16:47:09

" I'm hoping that if I sneak one in as a puppy DH won't notice when it's 30kg and still trying to sit on our laps."

Um, mine is on the small side, kept very lean and 38kg, so you might want to rethink that because yep, he thinks he fits on laps and he's a lot lighter than an average one, lol

picklemepopcorn Mon 22-May-17 16:56:04

I'm on both side of this debate! I would say I learn very much from my experiences, so:

An Akita nearly killed my last dog, and my neighbour's Akita warning bit my arm (punctured, but arm still attachedgrin). I've not met one I haven't had trouble with. I see one coming, I lead my dog and change direction.

I also put my smallish dog on a lead when I see giant breeds, because he scared off a Great Dane with his small dog inferiority complex barking. Still feel guilty. He hadn't been like that before.

I'm not keen on GSDs, either. Again, there are some unreliable ones where I walk, and I can't tell them apart.

I love a staffie or a bulldog. In fact, almost everything else.

I prefer mutts, to be honest, because they all look different so it's easier to tell if you know them!

LumelaMme Mon 22-May-17 18:18:21

TLDR: Some canine behaviour is in the genes and while upbringing and training are important, they're not everything. It's not irrational to be more cautious of certain breeds than you are of others.

Longer version:
The thing is, different breeds of dog were bred for different things: herding, livestock guardians, gun dogs, whatever. While you can't say 'all terriers are yappy and likely to nip', because of the original purpose of terriers (that is, the small ones, not black russians or staffies, which are not 'true' terriers in that they are not earth dogs) was to go underground and bark like hell. The closer a terrier is to working ancestors (that is, to dogs intentionally selected to go to ground and bark, or rid a woodpile of rats), the likelier it is to be a vocal vermin-chasing machine, and the less likely it is to be happy with life as a lapdog. It might still make a very happy lapdog, but it will be a lapdog that stands in the window and barks.

Similarly, huskies were bred for their sled-pulling capacity. Provided they let people harness them up without biting off anybody's fingers, and could run for miles in the snow, they stood a chance of passing on their genes, but no one selected them for their willingness to cuddle up with the humans inside the igloo. That is not to say that cuddly or lazy huskies don't exist, but in general, a husky is likely to be high-energy, and perhaps not as tuned in to people as a dog from a long line of dogs bred for companionship.

I have a dog bred to hunt and retrieve, and the day he caught a mixy rabbit, be brought it right to my hand, never having been trained to retrieve game in his life. There is a reason that shepherds go looking for puppies with working collies as their parents, rather than (say) pet-bred Airedales, and why anyone contemplating acquiring a gun dog might consider a springer from working lines but won't be thinking about a GSD.

I didn't want a staff when my DC were small because I didn't want a dog with massively strong jaws with 'bite and hang on' probably floating around in its genetic code in the same house with children. I know that many staffs are lovely gentle dogs, but some of them are not, and the crushing power of their jaws is terrifying. When I go walking, I am cautious of staffs, and having had one take a chunk out of my dog, I don't think I'm unreasonable.

Ylvamoon Mon 22-May-17 18:30:32

Some breeds do have a bad reputation. Right or wrong, I'm not always sure. Especially if you look at individuals that are the total opposite. (It's a bit like saying all red cars knock down pedestrians.... they don't but if 3/4 of all cars are red... Than you are more likely to be knocked down by a red car than any other colour!)

But than, this reputation didn't just appear out of nowhere.... (so red cars are popular with road hooligans that see it as a sport to knock down pedestrians and the reputation is born.)
Same with dogs, some breeds have a known usage for fighting (past or present) or a recorded history of biting, so most people believe they are dangerous.

tabulahrasa Mon 22-May-17 18:39:29

"It's not irrational to be more cautious of certain breeds than you are of others."

It kind of is though, because people aren't cautious about other breeds bred for the same purpose and with the same traits...

I'll bet you any amount of money that the people recoiling when I said the word Rottweiler about my then tiny puppy wouldn't do the same with an Airedale or an Australian cattle dog...

Booboostwo Mon 22-May-17 19:54:32

I definitely get this with all the GSDs I have had but not with my German Spitzes. What annoys me is that people judge by size and have no understanding of dog body language. They are scared of my 5mo GSD which is staying on the lead to say hello but not of my elderly fluffy dog that is backing away, looking away and is visibly stressed. It is much safer to judge each dog on how it is behaving in that moment.

LumelaMme Mon 22-May-17 20:36:01

It kind of is though, because people aren't cautious about other breeds bred for the same purpose and with the same traits...
Sure, but rotties are a lot bigger than Airedales and ACDs. The give the impression of being able to do a lot more damage, should they put their minds to it.

That said, the rotties I have known have all been as soft as lights.

What annoys me is that people judge by size and have no understanding of dog body language
Yes, agreed.

LumelaMme Mon 22-May-17 20:39:02

Actually, on rereading, that post looks contradictory. What I was trying to say was that size isn't the only metric, but a big dog will, by virtue of its size, be more concerning than a small one. If I was out in jeans and wellies, I wouldn't be worried by a stroppy yorkie, but I'd think twice about a larger dog in the same frame of mind.

tabulahrasa Mon 22-May-17 20:57:59

"Sure, but rotties are a lot bigger than Airedales and ACDs."

They're not a lot bigger, an Airedale male and a Rottie bitch could be the same height and be within breed standard.

They're heavier, but, not as much as you'd think, there's less than 10kg between my Rottie and a large Airedale because Rottie weights are based on them being 'stocky' fat hmm

ACD's aren't tiny either.

Like I said, yep definitely some people do just avoid larger dogs, but, I get mobbed when I walk my friends Dalmatian in a way I never do with my Rottie now he's an adult.

Booboostwo Mon 22-May-17 21:11:38

You aren't right in that smaller dogs can get away with bad behavior a lot more than larger dogs. A Yorkie jumping up is a nuisance, a GSD could be quite intimidating. On the other hand, a little dog like a JRT can have quite a bite in him if he puts his mind to it.

Blackfellpony Mon 22-May-17 21:29:52

I walk two german shepherds, one of which is muzzled.

As you can imagine no one speaks to me blush

I admit I am a bit wary of bull breeds due to bad experiences and would avoid them if I possibly could.

fannydaggerz Mon 22-May-17 21:39:59

One of my 4 hates Staffies, I love them though, I've never met an aggressive one.

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