Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Breed Bias...?

friend2animals
August 8th, 2009, 02:51 PM
Hi everyone,

I don't know if anyone has ever experienced this before, but I am becoming outraged...

OK. Here goes. I have a HuskyX breed. She is a gentle, quiet, and somewhat timid girl. She is also quite aged - 14+. In the past 2 years of living in Ontario, I have experienced a tremendous amount of disdain toward my dog. People have actually made (ugly and offensive) faces, gestures, and crossed to the other side of the street when they see my beautiful girl. And yes, I am aware that some may be afraid of dogs...
And, I am shocked that many who have behaved this way, are dog owners!
She has been bullied by other dogs, and has responded by turning her head away from them with a nose crinkle...

She is not that large of a dog - 60lbs, and it is obvious to anyone that sees her walking with me that she is frail, as well as friendly.

As far as I am concerned, this is total BS! She has all the appropriate vaccinations, and I abide by all the provincial/municipal bylaws etc...

Is it possible that in today's society that people(even other dog owners) have a dwindling tolerance for old age...? "Grrr...!":wall:

PS. I am also friendly - but not so frail...lol

- "f2a"

mollywog
August 8th, 2009, 02:56 PM
hmm. I am a bit confused by your post. Do you think you are experiencing this bias due to your dog's age, or due to her breed/ appearance.
I have a dog that has a "bully" look to her sometimes, and yes I have experienced some of what you described, but I have learned to not take it personally!
As for people avoiding you because your dog is elderly, I find that somewhat odd!

Marcha
August 8th, 2009, 03:08 PM
Isn't it sad and frustrating??

I have a shepherd x who is 11 weeks old now, mom is a small shepherd (shep x?) and we have no idea who the father is. Seeing the pup, I'd bet that the pup's dad was a American Pit Bull, probably a APB mix. The SPCA said that the pup's littermates (who were adopted out of a different SPCA than the one where we got ours) were shep/lab mixes. The pup's littermates are dark brown to black, ours was the only tan one. Mother is a brindle Shepherd x which would explain the darker colours in the other pups. I don't see a bit of lab in ours, except perhaps the webbed paws, and I am quite sure that our pup was brought to another SPCA to separate her from her littermates because she was the 'give-away' pup, looking too much like a Bullie of some kind. She'd have cast doubt on her littermates for being Shep/Lab.

We have told one person about our suspicions regarding paternity, and that person is now super cautious of the pup. She's 11 weeks old, fercryingoutloud!! So we chose to simply tell people she's a 'shepherd mix', and that we don't know who the father is. There's too much bias around breeds. It's very sad indeed. I don't know why people think that a Husky or any kind of larger breed dog is so threatening to them, regardless of their age and health.

I had to laugh at your girl turning her head away with a nose crinkle. Wonderful image. I hope she's keeping her chin up with it all too.

friend2animals
August 8th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Hi Mollywog,

I don't really take it all that personally anymore - although,I still don't like it, and find quite strange. Ha! They're probably jealous - lol
As far as my dog's facial expression, she always, always, has a big smile on her face!

Hmmmm... It could be both. Her age, and/or breed. This is why I placed the question mark after the title.

friend2animals
August 8th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Hi Marcha!

Thanx! :thumbs up Yeah... I tell myself that people are probably jealous - :laughing:

Your pup sounds very cute...and looks cute - from your photo by your name/profile.

I had to suppress a giggle when my dog did the "snubbing" thing with her nose -I was soooo impressed!
With age, comes wisdom.... We, as humans, can probably learn a lot from our canine pals!

And yes, she is very good at keeping her chin up - she is just so good natured:angel:

Just for reference, my dog's appearance is classic Husky: lovely pointy snout, and almost wolf-like shaped eyes. And of course, fuzzy all over:dog:

-f2a

Bailey_
August 8th, 2009, 04:07 PM
We've been dealing with the same thing regarding our labx, Blaze. She has a very intense face, and we were surprised after bringing her home how many people would stare uneasily at us while we passed them on the street, pull their dogs to the other side of the street, and in general just act 'scared' around us - regardless of whether or not Blaze was interested in them.

She is however the most adorable, friendly and well behaved dog you'd ever come across.

http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-sf2p/v208/138/33/516385261/n516385261_3629544_3445.jpg

Frankly the whole thing doesn't really bother me. I'd rather someone stay away from my dog if they feel uneasy about her, and I don't care if they think she looks scary. :crazy:

friend2animals
August 8th, 2009, 04:35 PM
Yeah...I know. It's better that people who are uneasy about our dogs stay clear of them...you make a good point. I just find it so ridiculous!

I am surprised, however, that people have reacted to young pups in similar fashion - I mean, they're puppies after all - how bizarre:crazy:

Bailey_
August 8th, 2009, 04:44 PM
It's true, it IS crazy, isn't it? :crazy: I feel sorry for people like that...they clearly don't know what they're missing!:shrug:

MyBirdIsEvil
August 8th, 2009, 11:18 PM
Yeah, I experience this with Walnut sometimes. It's annoying since she's the sweetest most harmless dog in existence. She lets kids hug her and do whatever they want with her and just eats up the attention.

Yet there's some people that think she looks mean. I was walking her and my minpin at the park one day and a lady walked up because she thought she recognized me. She commented on my dogs and how she thought Walnut looked mean. I explained that the minpin was actually the less tolerant of the two and Walnut was harmless. I guess people relate her to an attack dog or something because she has german shepherd in her :shrug:. She also has chow in her but you can't tell unless I mention it and I really don't mention it anymore because people assume that means she's mean. She was actually playing with a guys kids once and generally being social with the adults. They were commenting on how sweet she was and then when I mentioned that she was part chow the guy said "Oh, she must not be very social then..."
What the heck? She was just playing with everyone but now that it's known she has chow she's not social :wall:
Some people are nuts.
Look at the vicious killer!
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb142/anostomusternetzi/cuddlywally.jpg

friend2animals
August 9th, 2009, 11:50 AM
Dogs (in general) are very sensitive and responsive to human emotion/behavior - regardless of the breed. I have to wonder sometimes, if the expression on the dogs face is in direct response to the negativity/hostility they pick up from naysayers...not the owners :yuck:

PS. Over the years, I have worked and played with a variety of breeds (mixed and pedigree), and I must say that although some breeds may be predisposed to certain behaviors, good socialization is generally the way to go to secure a happy, well balanced relationship to the outside world....
I've met Chows, some are very sweet and friendly - some are not. The same goes with German Shepards...and it goes on, and on, and on.....:dog:

Bailey_
August 9th, 2009, 12:03 PM
Dogs (in general) are very sensitive and responsive to human emotion/behavior - regardless of the breed. I have to wonder sometimes, if the expression on the dogs face is in direct response to the negativity/hostility they pick up from naysayers...not the owners :yuck:

PS. Over the years, I have worked and played with a variety of breeds (mixed and pedigree), and I must say that although some breeds may be predisposed to certain behaviors, good socialization is generally the way to go to secure a happy, well balanced relationship to the outside world....
I've met Chows, some are very sweet and friendly - some are not. The same goes with German Shepards...and it goes on, and on, and on.....:dog:

Yep, true true. I do think however that some dogs, regardless of breed, look a bit more 'intense' than others - be it for their eye color, the way their ears may be perched on top of their head, whatever.
It's funny because I find that dog lovers are generally *attracted* to the unique looking ones, but other people are frightened. :shrug:

friend2animals
August 9th, 2009, 12:24 PM
I couldn't agree with you more....I can only speak for myself, but I, for one, definitely go for the "unique" looking ones. I also tend to have a preference for the ones with a "special" personality - :D You know, the ones that make you work hard to earn their love...I have found that although training can be interesting, the bonding is greater:goodvibes:

Bailey_
August 9th, 2009, 12:34 PM
Absolutley!!! I am the same way. :thumbs up Nothing better than a rewarding lick from a dog that has been through soooo much in its past. :lovestruck:

kandy
August 10th, 2009, 04:15 PM
I have people assume that the newfs are mean - just because they are large, and they are black. Of course if someone refers to Hazel as black I always correct them since she's actually pewter but you can't tell unless she stands next to Parker, who is black. I know that they can't see she's not black, I do it just to be snarky because they obviously have a phobia about black dogs. But seriously, here is a dog that might lick your face off at the very worst - and I have people cross the street to avoid her. My son also has a SharPei, and for some reason they have a reputation for being aggressive and that they won't tolerate attention from a stranger. Well - Lexi loves 99% of the people she meets, so there goes that theory. I truly believe that the dog is only as dangerous as it's owner, no matter the size or the breed.

Melinda
August 11th, 2009, 08:07 AM
I have a large black lab/shepherd and people cross the street at times.....I have one woman that daily yells at us from the other end of the bike path "she's black she's cross, you can't control her" as she is quietly walking by my side not even looking at her dog which is uncontrolable and has had the law at her place often because of it...so yes, we experience it quite often, brina (my dog) has been through 6 levels of obedience classes, is a daycare dog and loves all animals

friend2animals
August 11th, 2009, 12:19 PM
Wow!

I've met Newfs - and yes, they are a large breed, but they are known for their gentle nature. They are also protective of their people... This is a good thing:thumbs up
[I would seriously consider a Newfie dog for myself - regardless of other people's biases and reactions]
I have met only 1 Sharpei, and the interaction was fairly neutral - although the dog grumbled(subtle throat growl) a little at my dog - which really isn't that strange since other breeds have done the same( my dog has done this too), for whatever reasons. Doggie Politics:shrug:

I do find it interesting, however, that black dogs seem to get a different reaction from people than dogs that are white or multi, or blond, etc....regardless of breed.
I've heard that black dogs are the most common ones that are rejected by people when looking to adopt from a shelter..???:crazy:

I think in this scenerio, the truth lies in human psychology - and has nothing to do with the doggie:sad:

kandy
August 11th, 2009, 01:03 PM
Yes, it's true that black dogs often get passed over for adoption. I agree that it has nothing to do with the dog, it's the whole 'black = mean' thing. Maybe that's because every time you see a movie that has some kind of demon dog or whatever, they are always black. The only exception I can even think of was the movie "Cujo" where they used a St. Bernard.

Did the owner of the SharPei comment on the growl at all? My son's SharPei is very vocal, she growls alot - but she has different tones to her growls. Some are play growls, some are saying 'hi' and others are saying 'back off'. Her being growly can affect how other dogs react to her - some don't seem to be bothered by it but others will become aggressive with her. Out of all the dogs though, she is the one who suffers the most from breed based bias. When I adopted my collie mix from the Humane Society they wanted to know what other dogs were in the household. Since I have my sons dogs alot, I always include them in questions like that. When I told them that we often have a SharPei in the house, the woman said that in all the years she'd been at the HS, they had only ever had 2 SharPei's and both had been pts as soon as they were brought in because they are vicious dogs. I was shocked, and said so, but I was also very thankful that my son had taken Lexi - I was shaken to realize that this sweet little dog would've been put down had her owner elected to surrender her.

friend2animals
August 11th, 2009, 03:05 PM
Hi Kandy,

Actually, the owners of the Sharpei were quite apologetic, and volunteered an explanation - even though it didn't bother me one bit. They told me that she(the dog) had not yet had a lot of exposure to other dogs as she was still a pup. They also told me that she was being protective.

PS. Our interaction was very brief, as we were passing each other in a hotel hallway, but the owners were very nice.