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How do I educate without stepping on toes

August 11th, 2005, 02:35 PM
Ok so I moved to a nice new neighbourhood. Very dog friendly. Almost everyone has dogs. So far the response for capone has been great, refreshing in a sense. I have some poeple who live across the street and obviously are not dog lovers and for that matter pit bull lovers.

Problem is their two girls play with my stepdaughter. And the first time they came by to our backyard which is still fenceless they said they can only come back if the dog was inside. Fine. I don't know them they don't me nor do they know my dog. The little girl starts telling me how a pit bull used to live here. I said oh ya hes a pit bull too. She was kinda like disgusted. Fine she is just a kid. Anyhow these kids are not even allowed to touch any dog as far as I can see. Thats my first concern, teaching your child to be afraid of dogs certainly doesn't help in them being safe from dogs. Second they were outside telling other kids about the pit bull. I couldnt understand what exactly they were saying. But the word pit bull kept popping up. It annoyed me because they were basically telling other kids to watch out cause there is a pit bull there. Right in front of my house and at this time the mother had crossed the street with her young baby. didn'nt say for the kids to stop. This is right outside my front window.

Anyhow I would love to leave it alone but I heard my step daughter say can you please stop saying that. and they did but it bugs me so much that my 9 year old has to defend herself and her dog that she loves so much to a bunch of uneducated kids that take their que from their mother. I also dont like this family because the first time my SD sat with this mother and the next door neighbour they asked her personal questions like why aren't you living with your mother, why do you call her colleen (she will say oh thats my mom, but confuses people when she calls me colleen). And when she said that her mom is not that great and bad they asked her why.
That made me mad. Asking about me and our life.

But more so because of the dog. How and should I say anything? Should I just leave it alone? I just feel like they are now invading my space. They now say everytime when they run in my backyard is the dog inside. I just don't feel like I should lock my dog up for these kids esepcially when he is so friendly with kids. Not only that but I don't think its fair that my SD has to defend the dog. Is there something I can say that would be acceptable to teach the kids or am I stepping on the parents toes? Part of me says leave it alone and the other part says to print out some educational material for them. Send them home with it. Or maybe just ask them why they feel scared of pit bulls. Try to teach them about some small facts about pit bulls.

Its just hard to know when to educate and when to leave alone. Sorry so long.

August 11th, 2005, 02:57 PM
Are these people the only ones in the neighbourhood that seem to have a problem with dogs? They won't change their mind unless they can see for themselves that they are wrong about your dog, even then it may not work. They don't seem to have a problem placing their views with your daughter so I don't see any difference with you trying to educate these children that your dog will not hurt them regardless of the breed. I would not punish your dog by having to bring him in the house everytime these kids might come back there to play. Are the other children in the neighbourhood reacting the same way? I would bring out the dog to socialize in the front yard in perfect view of the neighbours to see your dog interacting will all of the other children/ adults of the neighhood. I would also try to find out what this other dog was like that lived in your house before you. Maybe it was a nasty dog.
I was teaching a puppy class. As the class was out loose leash walking we passed by a man and his daughter watching. One of the proud puppy parents had a very friendly Rottie puppy. They asked if the little girl wanted to pet him. The man pulled is daughter away and said no, all those kind of dogs bite. The parents of this puppy were stunned. It is wrong to pass your fears to your childen.

August 11th, 2005, 03:01 PM
Oh Colleen! It's a hard situation isn't it?? Especially when you don't want to tick people off! I mean these people are your neighbours and you have to put up with them too! You don't want them to trying to get rid of you and your dog from the neighbourhood!

I honestly swear, some people just WON'T listen to what you have to say about Pit Bulls. I have a girlfriend like this(she has children). She will not let her children near my dog! She panicks - she thinks copper will "turn." ANd WHY??? All because of the stupid media! :mad: Otherwise, she knows nothing about the breed and refuses to process through her head what I tell her. Her husband is cool with the dogs though!

Personally, this neighbour lady of yours sounds to be very nosey. Especially with all the questions she was asking your SD. If I was in your shoes, I would go about my business and ignore them. Be nice to them and do the chatting thing if conversation starts, but don't go out of your way for them.

If they don't want their kids around Capone, then it is up to the parents to do the supervision. If kids are in your yard, and Capone wants out, let him out! If the parents don't like it, they will simply tell their kids not to go to your house anymore.

I would however, educate the kids on dogs in general - not just Pit Bulls! Geeze, these kids need to learn responsible behaviour around dogs from someone!!

August 11th, 2005, 03:11 PM
Ya i have been taking him out and there are 4 kids next door (3 year old triplets and a 11 year old boy).
They pet him and hes happy and acts like an angel. Hes more gentle with children by far then adults. Adults he tries to jump up on sometimes.

I think the next time they ask to put the dog inside I will just say no. That this is his backyard and you can play in the front all you want. If I catch any pit bull talk I will ask them why they feel that way and do my best to give them some info good for kids.

August 11th, 2005, 03:15 PM
Sounds good Colleen. Just be sure not to leave Capone unattended as who knows what the neighbours would do to him!! I also wouldn't allow them to give him food or treats unless it is out of your house. You just never know what hate-mongering people will do to solve "their" problems!

August 11th, 2005, 03:17 PM
Not only that copper's mom but the last time capone came to the window they started screaming.

So I think for their own benefit giving them some info on dog behaviour and approaching and handling dogs would be in their best interest. I have always taught my daughter when in company of strange dogs never make false moves, especially screaming and flailing your arms.

I always repeat this in my head when confronted by ignorant people is "they don't know any better" over and over until I cool off.

Good thing is the kids say they are moving to New Brunswick after school starts.
Otherwise people have been really friendly with capone. I swear every house house a dog but this one. They moved into the wrong neighbourhood.

August 11th, 2005, 03:33 PM
I had a similar problem at my gf's parents place. We went to Wonderland and left Sprint with her parents for the day. My gf's Mother was a bit hesitant at first, as she listens to everything the news says. But he changed her mind of all that. He was the perfect angel all day, until her Aunt and Uncle with their 4 or 5 year old daughter(spawn of satan ;) ) and 2 1/2 month old baby. I got a phone call saying they had to put Sprint in the basement 'cause he growled at their daughter. I was fine with that, and when I got home, inquired about the situation. She was teasing him through the screen door. I took him in the back yard and was playing fetch and she wanted to come out. I said it was ok, as long as she kept her distance from Sprint. She might weigh 50lbs and he weighs 65lbs. Just an excited wiggle of his butt would knock her down. She came out and he ran up to say hello and give her a kiss and she ran inside. A few moments later, my gf's Aunt came out and asked me when I was going to "lock the dog" in the basement so her daughter could play in the back yard. I was a bit infuriated, but calmly I told her I wasn't going to "lock" lock him up because they were there. I told her that if her daughter left him alone, he would leave her alone. She followed with "but she is just a kid, you know how they are?". I was shocked. I told her that he is fine with kids and he would leave her alone. She then let her daughter out. After having him sit at my feet and introducing him to all of them, they realized how nice of a dog was. But I still felt uncomfortable, as she made sure to tell me that she was uncomfortable with dogs around small kids. I would never leave him unattended with any child, young or old. I think my gf's Aunt left a bit more educated that day.

August 11th, 2005, 03:46 PM
Luvmypit,I know some people just like that,they don't like animals period,pit-bull or not,but I would say it goes double for pit-bulls.
All the talking in the world will not change their mind...the unfortunate things is,the kids will grow up just like them :evil:
They'll be missing out on the wonderful relationships you can have with an animal.
It is your house and Capones house,the kids can play in the front.
Trying to introduce these kids to Capone to show how sweet he is,might backfire,in that the kids might get frightened and invent some story,I would not take that chance,not that I worry about Capone,but they might think he'll bite them,when in reality he's licking..being friendly.
As for the personal stuff she asked about your family,she's obviously a nosy busybody,not someone you would want as a friend anyway,I believe every neighborhood has someone just like that,I know I do :evil:

August 11th, 2005, 03:55 PM
OMG, I forgot to say what I thought about your neighbors. Your situation got me thinking about that day and got me all frustrated.

It is your's and Capone's yard. I would try to introduce him to the kids and change their opinion of him. And in turn it could backfire on their parents and make the kids want a dog. But at the same time, be very careful. Chico2 is right, kids see the world in a different way. I wouldn't let them pet him unless you were right there.

And there is always one neighbor that is extremely nosy. I would just not associate with them.

August 11th, 2005, 04:22 PM
Just a note.

If he tends to bark when he plays or gets excited may be read by these people as an attempted attack. What they think and what you know are two totally different things.

August 11th, 2005, 04:29 PM
Hey Colleen, congratulations on your new home!!!! Did you say that theyre moving out when school starts anyway? Are they leaving for good? It sounds like theyre lousy neighbours even without the Nuerotic dog phobias! I would stay away from them and when you cross their path just be polite. Capone will soon show everyone what kind of wonderful dog he is and they will just look stupid. Thats really bad that they put your step daughter through the third degree...I guess we can understand some apprehension with some people after all the hype thats been put out by the evil MB etc. but who puts a child through question period? Once youve lived there a while Im sure youll find out they've rubbed all the rest of the neighbors the wrong way as well. Just enjoy your new home and forget about them. They dont seem like the kind of people that want to be educated.

August 11th, 2005, 04:32 PM
Just a note.

If he tends to bark when he plays or gets excited may be read by these people as an attempted attack. What they think and what you know are two totally different things. Very true, Ive had people think Rocky was being vicous for barking when hes happy to see them! Maybe it would be good to keep Capone away just for your own protection...especially when theres un-defined terms like :"menacing behaviour" :eek:

August 12th, 2005, 01:33 PM
Gosh he barks when hes excited, he barks when he wants your attention. He doesn't bark at kids though. He will bark at the adult neighbours but only when we are out there and once they come to say hi he stops. And his tail is always wagging. So your right I am sure they would think that the dog is gonna eat them. Only thing is I am pretty sure they never saw the dog do that. HOnestly I think I will let the last incident go but if I hear those kids blabbing their mouths I will have to give them a lesson on dogs for starters and pit bulls in general. And I hope they tell there parents some good info and if they feel the need to come over and protest which I doubt but if they do I will let them know that i do not appreciate them grilling my SD about her mother or about me. My SD has been through enough and is still feeling the effects of an absent mother I don't need some busy body causing the child to relive all over again. And then to have to defend her dog. I am going to arm her with some info so if she feels stuck in a position where she has to defend capone at least she will have some real facts I'd like to see the adult faces when she gives them a lesson.

Me and Kayla
August 13th, 2005, 01:25 AM
My opinion for what it's worth....

Kids will be kids. You can't stop them from talking. You CAN give your own a good self esteem and the confidence and the power to repel the bad crap in life. Work on your own child first..and work on the others a little slower.

As for your dog....Protect yourself, but don't be afraid to educate the kids and neighbours. If the kids are on your property your dog can be there with them. Just don't leave them alone. Gently introduce them with the dog. Kids will be kids. I think they will 'naturally' gravitate to the dog. Never underestimate your dog though. They are not human..they are animals and will respond in different ways to different situations. They sense things that we will never understand. And this is not just a pittie deal!

Most important...don't get worked up about it, because it really doesn't help the/your cause. I have learned this the hard way. Unfortunately, as pittie owners, we are stuck with the lunacy of a government official who doesn't know his pitties from his a**. For the time being...we have to suck up this bad deal, and continue the fight, and educate the masses as we go.

Me and Kayla

August 13th, 2005, 03:18 AM
When Montana was about 9 months old I got him hooked up to his leash ready for a walk. Before I was to take him out I had to run downstairs for a moment to switch over laundry. During this few minutes my son took him outside. He went out and was back in before I returned upstairs. A few minutes later I had a neighbourhood woman and a bunch of neighbourhood kids knocking at the door. They then tried to tell me that Montana had tried to attack a little 4 yr old that was playing outside(unsupervised). The little girl had skinned knees. At the time I had no idea that Montana wasn't even outside so there was no way it could have been him. The woman left thinking I was a big lier. About an hour or so after that the child and her parents were at the door. I went outside with Montana to speak with them. The mother started saying that her child was scared of Montana at the same time her daughter and husband were petting him saying oh what a nice puppy. The mother had a hard time convincing me of her childs fear. She also tried to say that my dog was aggressive. Again the father, daughters, and Montanas actions spoke louder than words. By this time I had found out that my son had taken him outside. I also found out exactly what had happened between Montana and this little girl. The girl tripped over hie leash and fell. Montana did absolutely nothing to this girl. The mother asked her daughter what had happened and got the same story. She knew at this point she was in the wrong so she started going off about my dog being out unsupervised, I agree he shouldn't have been out there with my son but he was still supervised but this was coming from a woman who lets her dog as well as her 4 yr old run the streets alone and unsupervised. I know because of my occupation that this could have gone in another direction. If she would have called by-law stating that a dog tried to attack her daughter. Who do you think they would have believed, the one who is saying he tried to attack or the one trying to say it didn't happen.
It just goes to show you that even the well behaved dogs can be thought of being aggressive just because of their size or looks. Though it is unfair I tell those students who have larger dogs and especially the ones with pits( because of the unaccurate reputation they have received) that they must put extra care into making sure that their dog is socialized and trained better than the average dog. Our city is filled with people with a fear of dogs, it would be too easy for them to misinterpret any behaviour of a dog. As I mentioned before, it could be that the dog barks when he/ she gets excited or wants to play. He/ she may also have bad manners with jumping up for the same reasons. Bad manners don't equal aggression but who will be believed, the person clearly scared that the dog tried to attack or you trying to say he isn't.

August 13th, 2005, 08:58 PM
My neighbours kids are terrified of dogs. They would never go in our backyard unless our old dog was inside. Most of the time they played in the front yard. The kids are scared of dogs because of the parents if they say any dog the mom sheilds them and starts saying "its okay its okay" shes scared so she passes it on to her kids. This could be a dog with no legs sitting on the sidewalk. They dont know about Joey yet because theyve been away. I am sure they wont be pleased with the killer cocker spaniel that is living nextdoor. If I am lucky maybe they will move and some nice dog friendly family will move in nextdoor.

August 14th, 2005, 05:09 PM
gosh that makes me ma,d to ask a child such personal hurtful questions, that sucks. some ppl jsut have no idea, obviously that woman is a silly cow who has no idea about kids.

gosh you dont ask a little girl such questions, im sure she has to deal with alot of emotion in that area of her life nad strangers being nosy doesnt help the poor little love, but on the ohter hand humans are so rude in general and im sure the poor kid has been asked before. at least she has a good mum now so im sure she is a strong kid, you teach her to be proud of herself and her family situation, hey not every family has two parents, 3 kids and a dog. everyone is different and as long as your loved i dont think it is a matter at all. grrrrr what a awful neighbor.....

as far as capone goes, i wouldn ot let them play in the back yard at all i would only allow them to play inside or out the front. its his yard and he should not have to adjust to anyones demands. as far as the kids go, i would not let them near him, jsut let him do his thing, in time they will reaslise no one has been mauled to death and he is a nice quite boy.... keep him to yourself they dont deserve to know him....

now chin up, dont worry and stay happy..... :D

August 15th, 2005, 04:10 PM
Thanks ya'll!

As you said melanie it was just intrusive and unfair and the only reason they pressed her for info was to find out who the new neighbours were at no regard for the childs well being. And my SD has been through enough but is so strong for a 9 year old you would not believe. I heard her out there that day telling them to stop saying that about her dog. I know her she will just go on and on about how wonderful her dog is. And how he loves her so much. Some people truly think that you live with a crazy ,monster that is incapable of love. That we must have to lock him in the basement so he doesnt snack on us at night. I sit on the porch step with him all the time and he sits beside me leaning against my arm pit while I have my arm around him, occasionaly he flips his head up tenderly for a kiss. I mean how could you think that is viscious?
Apparently they are leaving sometime after school and going to New Brunswick to live. Good riddance.

I will remind myself that they are just kids but if I get the oppurtunity to hear them say anything i will make sure I do my best to educate them with simple facts. And I will arm my SD with some good knowledge that is easy for her to remember and doesnt get her into a debate but allows her to add some input.