Here’s a pet-peeve of mine. The general public (as a rule) has gotten a little stupid when it comes to large dogs. It has become so commonplace to see little pooches riding around in purses and bark-attacking pedestrians, trees, squirrels and anything else that so much as twitches, but take a big dog for a walk down the street of my city-town and suddenly people are crossing the street to avoid you, yelling profanities at you dog, and all but diving in front of cars in order to avoid your apparently “dangerous animal.” I’ve watched parents sweep their children up and out of Bear’s sightlines, as if he were a lion on the prowl, and one man went so far as to wave his cane at us…….
It seems as though in this world of miniature-micro-everything, the bigger the dog, the more the public assumes that it is dangerous. In Toronto (and most of North America) there is a ban on Pit-Bulls. At one time, German Sheppards were considered “highly dangerous” and at some point so were the Rottweilers. When Bear first fell into my lap and stole my heart, I was ecstatic…my insurance company, not so much. Turns out that having a dog identified as a Rottweiler would increase the amount of insurance I paid on my house……(Bear isn’t a Rottweiler, but still). You never hear any kill orders declared for those small teacup dogs that ride in designer purses into malls, stores, restaurants and most other places where the bigger dogs are “strictly prohibited.”
I suppose that in the end it all comes down to education. Somewhere along the line we stopped teaching our children how to behave around animals. We’ve replaced knowledge with fear and that stuff breads like wildfire.
Somewhere, somehow we, as dog owners, need to start changing the standard…..I’ve been scheduling days where I take Bear to work with me (I work in a school sort of environment) so that the children and their parents can be exposed to a larger dog. They learn to interact with him, how to approach him and how to read some basic doggy body language…and Bear adores the attention.
It’s not the whole of the general public, but I suppose it’s a start….
Keep your Tails Wagging