People Are Afraid of my Pit Bull: What Can I Do?
Animal file: American Pit Bull Terrier
If you have a Pit Bull of any type, you will undoubtedly have heard that they are dangerous dogs that may attack anyone at any moment. In fact, it is very likely that your friends and family have been the first people to tell you such things; we at AnimalWised have encountered the same problems.
If your Pit Bull has been properly socialized and you have put effort into training your pet so that you have perfect control over it, you probably have ground to believe that your dog wouldn't hurt a fly. You might even have been tempted to laugh at the things people say about your dog.
But have you ever thought about why people say that Pit Bull dogs are aggressive and dangerous? What can you do if people are afraid of your Pit Bull? Stay with us at AnimalWised and find the answers to these issues.
What are they really trying to say?
Most of the time, people who say such things about Pit Bull dogs - or any other breed - are really trying to say that your Pit Bull frightens them. They are asking you to control it, as they feel threatened.
Some people are simply afraid of dogs. It's not about them hating animals, or whether or not they are right to fear dogs. Everyone has the right to feel safe in public spaces and when they visit your home.
Therefore, if you have one of these wonderful dogs, it is a good idea to show people that your Pit Bull is not dangerous. In order to do it, it is not enough to try and convince others that their fear is unwarranted. You need to be respectful towards other people's feelings and show that your dog is well behaved.
It's good to explain that not all Pit Bulls are dangerous and their character depends on genetics, type, socialization, training, handling and reproductive status. For instance, you can tell them about how Pit Bull Terriers used to be kept as nanny dogs.
By showing that you have in-depth knowledge about dogs in general and the breed in particular, you will help others feel safe. However, that is not enough.
You must not forget that...
Beyond the fear created by the many negative and exaggerated stereotypes about Pit Bulls, it is true that they are active and powerful dogs, which can cause people to fear them when they are - or appear to be - out of control.
Therefore, it is reasonable for people to feel fearful if they encounter a Pit Bull without a lead running wildly in public spaces. Don't forget that the same could happen with other dog breeds, or mixed-breed dogs.
It is very important that you always take your dog to public spaces with a lead. In many countries Pit Bulls are considered potentially dangerous dogs, so by law they must wear a lead and be muzzled in public spaces. You can let your dog off the lead in permitted places and where it will not cause others to be afraid, but a lead is required in most areas.
Do not introduce your dog to someone who does not want to meet it
It is also important that you do not force others to accept and embrace your Pit Bull. This doesn't mean you have to lock up the poor dog whenever you welcome visitors, but you do have to make sure that it does not throw itself at them, even if it's out of affection. Now, if you have dog-loving friends that like to have a Pit Bull on top them while talking to you, that is another story.
Except for very important people in your life such as your partner, a family member or a close friend, it is not necessary for everyone to meet your dog or to be happy and comfortable around it. Some people do not like animals, or they are afraid of them as much as they would prefer to love them. They do not need to get to know your dog, and your dog won't mind not meeting them.
When you meet someone, tell them you have a Pit Bull at home so that they can tell you whether they are afraid or not; if you're meeting someone outside, warn them if you want to bring your dog along.
Finally, we will discuss two situations where most people tend to get very nervous. One of them is when there are other dogs close, and the other is when there are children present. This is not due to the size of a Pit Bull, as most people are perfectly okay when the dog is an enormous Golden Retriever.
In these two cases, the best thing to do is to have your dog on a lead until you verify that the situation is under control and your dog is reacting well to everyone around it. You don't need to stop going to off-lead areas, but it is very important that you get your Pit Bull used to wearing a muzzle. If people are afraid of your Pit Bull, they will feel safer knowing that you are a responsible owner.
Moreover, you will be best ambassador for the breed if you are considerate and respect other people's right to be afraid of a dog they do not know. The only way to change the negative image of Pit Bulls and show that they are really just dogs and not monsters is to show that Pit Bull owners are empathetic people who take others into account.
And one more thing: Although the title and the rest of this article refers to Pit Bull breeds, the same can be said for all excitable dogs. An important part of knowing how to live with pets is knowing how to live with other humans.
If you want to read similar articles to People Are Afraid of my Pit Bull: What Can I Do?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.