Labs are the most popular breed of dogs in the US. They are loyal, loving and make great family pets.

My lab happens to be dog aggressive. And cat aggressive. When we go to the vet there is a cage in the waiting room that contains rescue cats. Melvin has knocked the cage over before. He showed no remorse. While he’s always friendly to humans, I would not put it past him to knock down a pregnant woman to get to a bowl of food or to topple a child in hopes of getting to the lollipop in their hand. He is unaware that he is big; he does not harness his power well. While adorable, he is not always a poster child for the breed.

Owning labs has opened my eyes to a huge injustice in the dog world. Breedism. It’s apparently not a word but it still exists. You’ve experienced it before, someone tells another they are getting a Rottie and the person is suddenly a gasp. Tell someone that your friend has a pit bull and they might look at you like what you actually said was ‘my friend kills puppies’. Did you know that some residences have breed ‘standards’? Some do it for size limitations but some are as specific as ‘no pit bulls allowed’. I don’t think there is a more misunderstood breed than the Pit Bull. It saddens me that Melvin is received with such open arms and other equally (certainly more gentle) loving dogs are scoffed at.

I’m a forgiving person. I have forgiven some horrible deeds done towards me by other humans. I have not forgiven Michael Vick. In my opinion he did not turn his life around. He went to prison. He was told to do community service with animal welfare groups. He was told to never own a dog again. He didn’t DO anything except what he was TOLD to do. I recently had a conversation with an eight year old boy who told me his Rottie could kill any dog or person, Michael Vick style. This eight year old had nothing but admiration for Vick. While Vick didn’t single handedly bring about the Pit Bull misconception, he did a fair amount of damage.

Because of my love of blogs, I was fortunate enough to come across the wonderful Love and a Six Foot Leash. The writer of the blog has taken on rescuing Pit Bulls, one-by-one, and in the process of writing her blog is dispelling key Pit Bull myths. Check out their latest rescue, Gonzo as well as their first rescue Lollie, who has been forever-homed. Very inspiring!

3 thoughts on “Misconceptions

  1. Ok, now my secret is out and I’m reading your blog from the beginning-ish. Speaking of breedism, the other day at the shelter another volunteer and I had this conversation:
    Her: “Do you train pit bulls?”
    Me: “I’m not a dog trainer.”
    Her: “But do you train pit bulls?”
    Blank stare.

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