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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As you guys know, I have a beautiful 10 week old American bulldog/pit mix. I was wondering how I can educate people on her when she gets older. I know people will be rude to me and her because of her breeds.
 

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As been suggested, train and socialize her well. Make sure she knows how to keep calm, how to interact with other dogs, how to interact with people, make sure she's never put into a situation which may cause a reaction. Let her be a breed ambassador and you won't have any worries. Also don't let people's opinions get the best of you.
 
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There's always going to be people who are going to be judgemental and hate her simply because of her looks. Don't let them get to you!

As has been stated socialize her well. Proper socialization is not simply introducing her to as many things as possible but to make sure those introductions are as happy and positive as possible.

Train her to be calm around people and other dogs so that she's a good ambassador to her breed.

If you do that you can walk away from the haters and think to yourself that it's their loss, that your girl is a great dog.
 
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As other mentioned be an ambassador of the breed....and I mean by example, not preaching.

I will admit that I was a bit biased towards Pits...and while yes, they and other breeds can be trained into aggression easier than some breeds some of the sweetest dogs I have met down at the dog beach have been pit bulls. Those interactions with well trained and socialized Pit Bulls alone helped push me back from the Pit Bull stereotype.
 

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I agree with the others. Train her well and shrug off any rude comments. Try not to argue - rarely will you get the other side to agree.

It's not quite the same, but my brother has a friend who will, without mercy, ridicule my terrier mix. He has said the nastiest things about her, and she's not a bad dog. He's called her ugly, stupid, worthless because she's too small, etc. I've had strangers as well just look at her and start laughing! I used to take it all really personally but found it was pointless to argue or get bent out of shape. *I* love my dog and know she's awesome (best $20 I've ever spent, I always say!) and she's not a mean dog so nothing else matters. To heck with what others think.

Btw, your puppy is adorable :)
 

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To reiterate a lot of other points--leading by example is the best way to go. And make sure you educate yourself, too. Honestly--most of the misinformation I've heard about bully breeds have been from bully owners themselves. "They're a dominant breed that just needs a firm hand", "Oh, they were originally called 'nanny dogs' you know!", "They're just like any other dog!". When you only tell people positive things or say that American bulldogs or pit bulls are "just like a lab", you're creating expectations for a potential bully owner. People would here this from you and possibly go out and get a bully dog expecting it to be just like getting a lab, be unable to handle it, and end up with the type of dog that is responsible for maintaining their bad rep. Being honest about the breeds temperament and needs is just as important as making the breeds "look good" in the eyes of the public IMO.
 

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As you guys know, I have a beautiful 10 week old American bulldog/pit mix. I was wondering how I can educate people on her when she gets older. I know people will be rude to me and her because of her breeds.
SHE doesn't have any problems. She will be owned and loved by you. I'm sure that people have been rude to you before, you just come across them sometimes. Most people are nice, some are not. So you already have skills dealing with the not so nice people. If someone came up to me and was not so nice, my own perspective is that they don't deserve my valuable time and company, to be educated or anything else.
Since you are stressing about it though, I suggest that every time you get a compliment on your dog, put $1 in a jar. When some creep makes a rude comment, you get to spend whatever is in the jar on you and your dog, maybe you can buy a bunch of yummy stuff and go on a picnic together. I can almost guarantee that you are going to get a lot of dollars saved, that is a cute pup, and that the picnics will be few and far between.
 

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I may not be much help, because I'm a dog lover. We used to have a Rottweiler. He was actually a big gentle teddy bear, but just his appearance scared the pants off people. When he "talked" he growled and made facial expressions like an Omen dog. He would be licking my roommates face and sounding like he was about to chomp his head off. Many folks stopped coming over, that was fine. Whenever we took him out anywhere except the woods, we had to keep him leashed in case we encountered other people. Some people got to know him and others didn't, that's just the way it is.

I understand how some can be apprehensive. I photograph homes for insurance companies, and run into dogs all the time. If they are free in the yard (often an invisable fence) if I don't see the owner, I get back in my car. I've had pits run up to me with tails wagging, that just wanted to play with anyone, and some that I didn't even want to get within eyesight of their kennel. I ran into a lab last week that didn't seem to want me to walk up the drive, so I didn't. (First aggressive lab I've ever met.) If a dog approaches me, I stand still until the owner lets me know he is OK (and lets the dog know I'm OK.) The only time I've ever been bitten, was by a little yapper-type that accidentally slipped through the door.

I'm a dog lover, but I'm always cautious, and in my situation, the dogs may be harmless under most circumstances, but they are just doing their job in regards to a stranger on their territory.

Some people are afraid of any dog. Some people think it's OK to go up to any dog that "looks" friendly and try and pet.

The dog I have now is a sweetheart, but whether it's her or my former rottie, When I take my dogs out, I assume everyone will be afraid. If they approach me, I'm happy to tell them about my pooch, if not, we just move along.
 

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The very best ambassador for pit bulls I've ever personally met was a young man whose dog was impeccably behaved and who was incredibly knowledgable about the breed and the pros/cons of owning a pit bull. So I agree with the comments above: lead by example. Train your dog well and set him up for success. Know how to answer questions about him without relying on popular assumptions (the nanny dog business, for instance--no dog is really an adequate nanny for a child, so I don't think it's insulting to say that's an inappropriate thing to say about the breed; I wouldn't say it any breed). And keep him out of situations that will undermine the work you've done with him. All of which, by the way, are good things to do no matter what kind of dog you own.

Oh, and if he's so inclined, you might try teaching him a few silly tricks. For some reason it really warms people up to a dog if they see him doing things like shaking hands, doing high five etc. It also helps if the dog will respond to other people giving him commands. I had a little boy positively puff up with pride because my dog sat when he told him to do so. I've also had adults who aren't really dog people become very friendly with my dog because he was willing to take commands from them, so they felt like they were more in control of the situation. Now, my dog isn't exactly a breed (he isn't a breed at all, actually) that makes people immediately fearful, but it still helps put people at ease when it's apparent that he will listen to, and follow, basic obedience commands in public. That's going to be that much more important for you and your dog because of some people's preconceptions of what he will be like.

Another option might be to get involved in some kind of work/sport with your dog--therapy work, search/rescue, obedience, rally, agility etc. Whatever you and your dog might most love doing. Any of those activities help build a stronger bond with you and your dog and put the two of you in a position where more people will see you working as a confident team in public. And it's really hard to hate on a dog/handler team who's doing any of them even reasonably well, even at a fairly basic level (I'm consistently amazed at how many people are impressed by a simple sit-stay in public).
 

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I have a 5.5 month APBT/American staffy mix and I was in the same mindset as you...preparing myself to defend her and the breed...but turns out I didn't have to. I've been socializing her since I got her (8 weeks) and she's so incredibly friendly to anyone that walks by, more than half the time people say to me "how do people think that this breed is so terrible?" or "what a little cutie, she's so friendly!" She's still learning basic manners like not jumping on people and learning to sit and stay calm before a stranger pets her. She's improving very quickly so as long as she's well behaved and friendly, there really isn't a need to "defend" her. Just do your part in training her, keeping her balanced with good physical and mental exercise and socialize her. I highly recommend obedience classes as well.
 

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I just reread your post and realized that your dog is female, and I referred to her as a him throughout my entire post. My apologies to you and her. I've always had male dogs myself, so I have a tendency to think "he" when it comes to dogs and pronouns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just reread your post and realized that your dog is female, and I referred to her as a him throughout my entire post. My apologies to you and her. I've always had male dogs myself, so I have a tendency to think "he" when it comes to dogs and pronouns.
Lol, I completely understand. I have a habit doing that too since my old dog was a boy
 

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My dog is now 11 months old and her face is starting to change more into an adult appearance. So the eyes are seemingly getting a bit smaller, the cheeks bigger, etc.

It can be frustrating hearing people talk when they see you and your dog approach, but let me tell you, for every dismissive/mean look/comment I get, I get at least 10-15 friendly comments, people asking to pet her and just absolute in love with her.

I knew what I was getting myself into. I had no dog experience before and I still remember my first encounter with a "pit hater": I was training at Home Depot, she sat to let people pet her (she was 7 months back then). There were 3 people around us, talking to me, petting her. Then an old guy came by with his cart, looked at her, then at me and asked me what breed she is. "Pit mix", he turned away while saying "oh hell no, get this beast out of here".
I was hurt, she is my dog, she is an amazing dog, friendly to everything and everyone, but some people don't care. And that's what you have to realize.
These people don't care. The dog could get up, make them a coffee and serve breakfast, they still wouldn't change their mind. Don't ever take it personally! (even though I sometimes still do :D Because mostly I think it is unfair to my girl to talk/think bad about her, just because she has "the looks".)

I'm not trying to educate anyone, if someone wants to know something, I'm more than happy to have a conversation with them, but I won't start preaching.

Also, I have met a lot of pit (mix) owners by now myself and there are some weird people (as commented in a different post, one lady is really on the trip that "they need to know who the boss is").

In the end I don't need anyone to love my dog, my husband and I do and that's what counts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The sad thing is, I have been a victim of breed and color discrimination before. My old dog was a black chow/akita mix. Everyone told me that since he was two of the most "aggressive" breeds that he was evil(was afraid of my cats) and told me that I was a Satanist for wearing all black and having a black dog since apparently Satanists hate colors and have short black dogs who would lick you to death
 

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Seems to me that if you have an all black dog, wearing black is just a way to keep the dog hair from showing so much.

I will admit there are times when I have seen bully breeds and rolled my eyes because it was apparent that the owners could not--or would not--control them and they really were a menace, even if they were friendly dogs (I was nearly knocked to the ground by a really large, really friendly pit mix who thought it was appropriate to greet me by throwing his front feet up onto my shoulders; I wasn't afraid of the dog being vicious, but I was afraid of hitting the cold, icy pavement on my back). However, I also wanted to drop kick a chihuahua who would not let me and my dog pass on a public sidewalk. The dog had no manners, no collar, no lead, and was barking and snapping at us while the owner did nothing except look annoyed that I was telling his dog "NO!" loudly and getting between him and my dog as much as possible, while the guy's eight year old ran around chasing their dog, which only made the little cuss more hyper and nasty (the dog has a reputation for always being loose and fussing at the rest of the dogs on that street who are not allowed to run loose, all of whom are bigger than he is and some of whom could turn him into a small snack if they weren't better behaved). So, really, it isn't the breed of a dog I object to so much as the behavior (of the owners, as much as the dogs).
 

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By training her well. Having a balanced, obedient dog that does no harm and causes no problems. The best way to lead is by example. It's your responsibility now to make sure that this puppy grows into the best possible adult dog she can be.
 
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