Without a doubt, certain dog breeds get a lot of bad press. Walking a Pit Bull, German Shepherd or a Doberman will make many people get out of your way in a hurry. Many assume that if your pets are big and scary-looking, they must also be aggressive. But many dog owners can wholeheartedly agree that this is a myth. Still, owning one of these unfairly judged breeds can generate a lot of tension. A young woman who owns a Rottweiler recently took to a Reddit forum to vent her frustrations at neighbors who accused her dog of being a ‘threat’.
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In a popular thread on the AmITheA**hole subreddit, user jaywearsblack described how she adopted a Rottweiler last year because she lived alone and was afraid for her safety when enjoying late night walks. She said she made sure the puppy Draco was properly trained to behave well and not act aggressively towards anyone. The lady also stressed that she always keeps him on a short leash and puts a muzzle on for extra caution. However, even with all these sensible precautions, taking her Rottweiler on daytime walks made her neighbors extremely upset.
The user wrote, “Kids were out playing and the parents saw him as a ‘threat’. During our walk he did not bark at anyone, he was leashed, and for the most part I tried to avoid people because I know some are afraid of Rottweilers. One of the neighbors walked up to me and told me that I have to refrain from taking him out on walks because he is a ‘threat’ and could harm a child. He said that his children should not be in fear when playing outside.”
She then described how during this whole exchange Draco was sitting quietly next to her, and how she tried to tell her neighbor she wasn’t going to stop taking her dog out because people had unjustified fear. This dispute only aggravated the neighbor, who tried to get the police involved. Understandably, no charges were pressed, as there was no crime.
Scarred by the experience, she asked the forum if she was in the wrong for taking her dog out, even if people were fearful.
Not long after posting the thread, the user jaywearsblack was inundated with replies from others whose dogs are the victims of unfair stereotypes.
The top reply came from user zoopest, who said, “As a Pit Bull owner I empathize. People can take their prejudices and shove them. Dogs are dogs, and yours sounds well-behaved. Be a good example and show people that rotties are good dogs by taking him on appropriate walks whenever you like.”
The reply featured a followup comment from user Excellent_Squirrel 86 who said, “The best-behaved dogs in my neighborhood are the Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Boxers. It’s those little ankle-biters that are the biggest problem. No one will train them, so they’re noisy little terrors!”
Many users were keen to stress that no dog has the capacity to hurt others if they are trained properly. Some shared harrowing stories of pet owners who didn’t put in the time and effort to bring up their puppies, consequently causing harm and fuelling the unfair stereotyping. Others were quick to agree, noting that irresponsible people are to be blamed, not the pets. And as one user pointed out, even the bad dogs need a walk and a playtime.
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