How Do You Keep It Positive? (Pt. 2)

January 12, 2013  

Answers to our Community Question of the Week

Almost all of us have experienced less-than-gracious comments or gestures while out with our dogs, so we asked our Facebook friends: “How do you keep it positive when responding to negative reactions to your pit bull?”

We can be polite, we can try to educate, we can ask people not to discriminate, but most of us agree that one of the best ways to change minds is to let the dogs do the talking (or the wagging, or the kissing, or the smiling). Thanks everyone for sharing.

I try to remember that ignorance and hatred are not the same thing. I tell myself they aren’t trying to be hateful, they just don’t know. Being friendly and supportive towards people who just don’t know about dogs has gone a long way in changing peoples’ perceptions. ~Anna Parmley

You know the difference between a good pit bull and a bad pit bull? The way the owner raised it. Don’t misjudge the breed due to bad owners. Interact with them to be well informed and form an opinion of your own. ~Amy Harrison

I just tell them, don’t judge until you spend some time with my boy, Tyler. He is an American Pit Bull Terrier and an absolute lover! ~Jackie Hartman

I also say, spend the day at a pit bull rescue and then come back and tell me what you think. ~Jackie Hartman

I just let them pet my puppy and have them change their own minds. ~Caila Ashley McCarthy

I’m thankful I don’t get negative reactions to my pit bull around here. Pit bulls are everywhere in my town, they are a beloved breed here. So most people are already in love with her when they see her. ~Ashley Tenbarge

Love love love the answers! People that avoid us by crossing the street aren’t going to take our time even though I have the sweetest boy ever!. ~Julie Ona

I politely tell them to read some literature on the breed- not pit bull websites or books like the AKC. Encyclopedia, books on American Pit Bull Terriers, etc. and then if they want to meet some awesome pit bulls, call me. If they are truly interested, I volunteer to give them a copy of the paper my daughter wrote in the 4th grade about our pit bulls (she scored 110 percent and the teacher kept it for future reference). Unfortunately, a lot of the people I encounter hate the breed and have no interest in changing their minds so I mostly end up ignoring him/her. Then I smother my babies in kisses because they are awesome! ~Kelbi J. Donnell

Advise them the hype is lack of knowledge and none of the pit bull hero stories are ever told unless something bad happens. Pit bulls are the underdog now so they get the bad rap. To know a pit bull is to love one. ~Linda Golden

I simply smile and invite them to my home to see for themselves. Once Gemma does her Lady GemGem dance, Jack kisses them, and Gingey lays her head down on their lap, it’s a done deal. ~Nicole Lynn Reeder

When someone asks, “Can I pet your dogs?” but then while they’re reaching down to pet them and ask what kind of dogs they are, they ask, “Oh, do they bite?” I always respond, “Only if you bite them first!” ~Misty Beckenbach-Perez

I usually ask why they feel that way and then have them meet my goofball pit bull. ~Caryn Hersh

I say my dog doesn’t discriminate, why should you? ~Elizabeth Hart

I have three pit bulls. I invite people over to meet them…if they take me up on it, I feel they are good people, if not, well, nothing will change the way they feel. I have good dogs and nothing can make me feel bad about having them. ~Colleen Morlan

My response depends on the person, their response, the location, and which of my dogs I have with me. I have used facts, stories, I have pointed out that the news is no longer about news, that “pit bulls” are really all terriers, I have directed them to your website and others. My middle child is likely a boxer/bulldog mix I often tell people we don’t think she has any pit bull in her, because pit bulls want their people to be happy and Sara really only cares if Sara is happy, and she would be a much easier dog to own if she was actually a pit bull. ~Tabitha Riley

One of my pit bulls is my husband’s service dog. Her behavior speaks for itself and I use her shamelessly to introduce people to what her breed should be. ~Sue Cherry

Smile and say, “Best dog I’ve ever had!” ~Arlene Applebaum

I usually make a joke. A guy once said he was afraid to get bitten. When I said he won’t bite, he said, “He’s got teeth!” I said, “So do you, would you bite me?” He laughed and said, “You got a point there.” But he still walked away from us. ~Samuel Sheets

I just say, “Well, she’s a bit immature at times but is the sweetest and smartest dog I’ve ever had.” ~Betsy MacMichael

I tell them I used to feel negative about pit bulls too, so I completely understand. It wasn’t until I actually had a pit bull and got opportunities to meet so many more pit bulls, pit bulls who live with responsible dog owners, that my mind was forever changed. ~Barbara Lee Anderson

I let our dogs speak for themselves. I remind people that evidence before their eyes means more than media reports and I point them to both ours, and other reputable pit bull-type dogs advocacy sites. ~ColoRADogs

I’ve had pit bulls since the eighties and still have them. Best breed I’ve ever had. It’s how they are raised. How much simpler could you get. ~Veronica Bethan

My Ben does all the work. All I ever have to do is hold the leash and share the facts after he draws them in to his happy world. ~Tami Killingbeck

Just let Nas say it all. She patiently let’s toddlers hug her too tightly, step on her or puppies pounce on her (now when they get a bit older she teaches them boundaries) and she is 13 and mostly deaf now so I think that makes her incredible as a breed ambassador. ~Kate Righter Rhodes

My pit bull is a mix so they might not know at first. So I wait until they start really loving on each other then mention it, if they draw back I say,”Funny, what changed? Not her!” That usually gets them to thinking. ~Kathy Hakeem

I usually don’t get to say much before my 100 pound pit bull strolls up and gives that “Aren’t you going to pet me?” look. Then I tell them he’s a pit bull mix while they’re hugging and petting him. ~Christine Ciali Porto

I inform people our dogs are trained, well mannered, and are friendly, along with reminding them it’s all about how you raise a dog. ~Will Theresa McAlister

You should be so loved! ~Pamela Spencer

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