All types of people love dogs and dogs love all types of people. However, society has a way of labeling things and unfortunately the love of dogs is no exception. Different breeds have different labels and these labels often apply to the type of individual society deems as a potential owner. The demographics stretch across where a person lives, race, economic status, age and education. The demographic and dogs can also involve the same breed, but be viewed totally different by who, or where they are owned. Let’s cover pitbull stereotypes.
Pitbull Stereotypes Example
For example pitbull stereotypes is the American Pit Bull Terrier is often viewed as a ghetto or drug dealers dog if owned by a minority, or had in an impoverished area of a community. The breed itself is viewed as a poor persons dog, not a real breed, and often as dangerous. The image of a young African American male with a Pit Bull type dog is one that stereotypically is viewed as something “ghetto” or somehow criminal. The idea that any Pit Bull owned by an African American is mistreated, fought, or used in some illegal activity, is far from the truth, yet the pitbull stereotypes exists. No matter how preposterous or absurd, or how many times the ideal is proven wrong, the stereotype remains.
Now let’s take that same dog, that same Pit Bull and move it into the hands of a middle class white woman in a suburban setting and the stereotype changes. Now the breed often will be viewed as rescued, the owner as a savior and the breed in general as misunderstood. Often times a woman walking a Pit Bull is received less hostile than the same dog walked with a man. The dangerous dog becomes beautiful and happy. Why? Some of course is overall setting, but the truth is the thought is based deeper and on something darker. The fact is one part of the demographic is viewed as the problem while another the solution. Dogs of course are color blind and good dogs can be had by anyone, as can bad dogs.
Now flipping the script on the demographic situation. Let’s look at a twenty five year old woman that owns five Yorkshire Terriers and a sixty five year old elderly woman who also owns five Yorkies. The younger woman is often viewed as a dog lover, but not particularly crazy or living a sad life. The elderly woman is often viewed as a crazy dog lady, a hoarder, or lonely in general. This is the stereotypes put on by society while viewing a certain demographic of pet ownership.
The young girl may be in over her head with the number of pets she owns, but society often will not view her as having a problem because owning several toy breeds is the posh thing of the day.
The older woman will unfortunately fit the description of a potential hoarder and will be assumed widowed and or completely out of her mind. Stereotypes are funny things because they rarely look at situations in a logical fashion. The truth is the young girl most likely doesn’t have time for all of her pets and may keep them crated or in a room all day. Whereas the elderly woman is most likely retired and spends all day with her family of yappers. Which is truly the better situation?
Another example would be a gentleman owning a red tick coonhound in the country and a gentleman owning the same breed in the city. The country boy will almost always be viewed as a redneck or hick type, regardless if he ever hunts. The breed of dog will categorize him as such to a stereotypical onlooker. Whereas the gentleman in the city with the same dog will be viewed often as eccentric or different. The fact that he would own such a breed would show signs of intelligence, or independence. After all only a incredibly intelligent person could own such a different breed of dog. Once again where you are and how one is perceived. The truth is the city dweller would show his lack of intelligence possibly by owning such a breed in the city, and the country boy would have gotten a dog that will fit right into his living conditions and area. Stereotypes are funny that way, what seems remarkable and eccentric is often a poor attempt at being different at the well being of the dog.
The list can go on and on, the absolute truth is that dogs like people are individuals and should be judged by each individual case. We have specialized in creating breeds to fit specific tasks and perform specific functions, but the reality is even with all of the specializing dogs are still subject to environment and conditions outside of their designed breeds control. The individuals who own breeds of dogs are just that individuals. The way they raise, keep and train their pets will have the largest impact on how those dogs behave and react to the public. By automatically assuming certain breeds and their owners are automatically bad then you automatically place yourself with a segment of society that is often wrong.
Breeds and owners should be judged by themselves and the day we as a society start doing so, is a day that the world will become a better place.