When we dropped Madison off this morning to work at her cheese curd stand (blech again, sorry Tina), we brought the three boys and one of our Rotties, Kitty. We are used to casual and not-so-casual stares from people as a multi racial family, but realized quickly that one thing that causes more stares than usual is to bring your Rottweiler along.
Kitty is a fabulous dog and has earned her CGC, or her AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate already. She heels, sits, greets other people and dogs politely and is a sweet dog with a very waggly stub of a tail. Heck, even her eyes and mouth virtually smile at people. It was crowded and packed with all kinds of smells, people with strollers, kids running to pet Kitty as their parent's gasped in abject horror and recoiled, and lots and lots of noise. My dog is an awesome ambassador of well behaved, personable, engaging Rottweilers.
And then we saw the stereotypical ill informed 'Michael Vicks' of the dog world. There on the crowded street, stood a young man with lots of tattoos....not a judgment, merely an observation...spikey mohawk, Doc Marten kick ass boots, and of course, a poor Pit Bull on a spiked collar and heavy gauge chain as a leash. UGH! The dog looked large and well muscled and had the saddest eyes on any dog I've seen in a very long time. This guy and his dog are what those in the Pit Bull and Rottweiler world attempt to dispel as horrific stereotypes.
Any dog can be aggressive. ANY DOG! Just like any person can be mean and nasty for no good reason. Large dogs like Rottweilers and Pit Bulls can be wonderful family pets with some very specific parameters. First, a dog should come from a reputable breeder that breeds two dogs that have highly stable, well socialized personalities, and that have been screened for diseases like hip displaysia. Secondly, the owners of any large, strong-willed dog needs to be committed to training the dog every single day and exposing the dog to every possible situation you can imagine. Lastly, take your dog with you to show the public that well bred, well trained Rottweilers can be fabulous family dogs.
The guy with the Pit Bull on a chain is a disgrace and he is one guy who should never own a dog that could cause harm to any person. He perpetuates the stereotype and hurts those of us who are committed to having loving, family companions that are large sturdy, determined dogs.
I'll hop off my soapbox now and get ready to go get Madison. Her 2 days of working are quickly concluding and I look forward to hearing her complaints about the numerous morons that she encountered at the street fair. Maybe it's a North Dakota thing, but who buys a whole turkey leg and accessorizes it with cheese curds and wraps up the meal with funnel cake? I can't believe I just asked that question, when I've found a huge cardboard bin of bras and panties at the farm and feed store in town. Now that's as redneck as it gets, eh?
Maybe for added stares tonight, I'll take our other Rottweiler, Bunny and one of the Shelties. Yep, that and 4 black kids should just about do it!