Neighbors hate my Dog?!

User Forum Topic
Submitted by NewtoSanDiego on May 29, 2010 - 2:56am

I've had my pit bull terrier going on 1 year now, a great loyal pet. Max is one great dog, he has gone thru a few months of obedience training.

The problem is whenever I take him for walks, all the neighbors give me dirty looks and walk across the street to avoid me. They seem misinformed of dogs in general perhaps. Have other people have a problem like this?

I do a pretty good job of keeping him on a leash, he has gotten lose a couple times due to his exhuberence, but ends up licking the pedestrian. He would not hurt a fly.

Anyhow, any thoughts on how I can make people more comfortable? I do want to be at least perceived as a good neighbor.

Submitted by NotCranky on May 29, 2010 - 6:31am.

"Anyhow, any thoughts on how I can make people more comfortable? I do want to be at least perceived as a good neighbor."

Dress him up like a golden retriever when you go out for walks.

Submitted by no_such_reality on May 29, 2010 - 8:19am.

"I do a pretty good job of keeping him on a leash, he has gotten lose a couple times due to his exhuberence, but ends up licking the pedestrian. He would not hurt a fly."

More obedience training for dog and owner.

If the dog isn't heeling, then the owner isn't in control.

If the dog gets off the leash, then the owner isn't in control.

You have a pit bull and you are not in control.

You say exuberance, they see agitated.

Submitted by Coronita on May 29, 2010 - 9:43am.

I hope you let your landlord know you have a pitbull. Most homeowner's insurance won't insure, and if something did happen, you'd be in an interesting situation both by the victim and the landlord if you didn't disclose.

You have to understand, that while you're familiar with your dogs behavior/friendliness, no one knows your dog, and especially if it's a pitbull (which arguably gets a bad rap in press), even more the reason why neighbors would have some concerns about not leashing. Some people who don't have pets and have no interest in a pet perhaps don't like getting licked by a pet, less getting bitten by one.... in as much I'm sure some people without kids would be annoyed by a screaming/crying kid who's parents decided to put in business/first class on a red-eye flight or in a high end restaurant.

Though I don't dislike dogs, frankly, I get agitated at owners of big dogs that don't keep dogs on a leash in a park near around kids, especially if they let them run into sandboxes and start popping/peeing all over the place.

My second pet peeve are folks that never pick up after the dog. A year ago, one of my the folks down the street kept letting his dog off the lease and he kept pooping on my driveway. I know it was his dog, because I kept seem them same dog come over and poop all over the driveway. I told him several times that I didn't appreciate cleaning up after his dogs mess and to do something about it, especially since the HOA rules were no unleashed pets in areas. Hey, I know HOA's stink. But if you don't like the rules, move out to an area where there isn't that rule. Anyway, neighbor did squat for a few months even though I repeated asked him to cleanup, knowing it was his dog...So the day my kid stepped in on poop, I had it...For about a month, rather than scooping and dumping in my trash can, I ended up scooping and chucking on his driveway. Problem solved. Inevitably, the moved out for other reasons (financial I'm guessing).

Anyway, if you want to let your dog roam around freely, there are some dog only parks. I think there is a one on Torrey Hills, behind the Vons, for instance for folks that go there know obviously pets are not going to be leashed.

Submitted by outtamojo on May 29, 2010 - 9:48am.

no_such_reality wrote:
"I do a pretty good job of keeping him on a leash, he has gotten lose a couple times due to his exhuberence, but ends up licking the pedestrian. He would not hurt a fly."

More obedience training for dog and owner.

If the dog isn't heeling, then the owner isn't in control.

If the dog gets off the leash, then the owner isn't in control.

You have a pit bull and you are not in control.

You say exuberance, they see agitated.

You said it all perfectly NSR! Strangers don't know this dog and if I had an "exuberant" dog coming at me after getting out of the owners control, I would tend to get "aggressively" worried if my kids are with me and in the past I was the one who got the funny looks like "WTF man, my dog is an angel". I wonder if this dog owner has seen what happens when a dog in heat is in the vicinity?

Submitted by patb on May 29, 2010 - 12:04pm.

NewtoSanDiego wrote:

Anyhow, any thoughts on how I can make people more comfortable? I do want to be at least perceived as a good neighbor.

Shave his Ass and make him walk backwards.

Submitted by CDMA ENG on May 29, 2010 - 12:09pm.

Pitbulls have a very bad rep despite being a great dog.

Problem is that most owners buy them because they are a tough-guy status symbol and thier owners want them mean and train them to be that way.

When people see someone with a pitbull they can't even disconnect the fact the owner isn't of that tough-guy mentality.

Really there are no bad pits... Just owners! But the bad PR is here to stay.

I love dogs but even around pits I am cautious because YOU NEVER KNOW what the owner has taught that dog to be.

That really is root of the problem from the way I see it. My buddy owns two great pits. He is a PhD in biology and works at the research level. Despite his standing in the community and his immaculent house and yard people still treat those dogs as a threat despite not being aggressive at all.

Just the perception of the dogs...

CE

Submitted by bobby on May 29, 2010 - 12:13pm.

[quote]More obedience training for dog and owner.

If the dog isn't heeling, then the owner isn't in control.

If the dog gets off the leash, then the owner isn't in control.

You have a pit bull and you are not in control.

You say exuberance, they see agitated.[\quote]
damn good post.
I'd also add that your the pitbull breed unfortunately have a bad rep (whether they deserve it or not is another matter). You have to be extra careful with this breed.
No one will care if a chihuahua get loose and not in control, but people will care very much if a pit does.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on May 29, 2010 - 3:23pm.

Getting a better leash he can't get free of would probably make people more comfortable. Consider getting a muzzle for situations where the dog will be out in public. It may not seem "fair" to the dog, but if your primary concern is the comfort of others, it may be a necessity.

The majority of Pit Bulls are well mannered, perhaps slightly "spunky" dogs. Many do have some aggression problems with other dogs, but so does my Lab. Generally other dog owners should be understanding, although you do get the occasional stupid owner who walks their dog off-leash and gets upset when their "friendly" dog runs up to a less friendly dog and the two get in an argument.

The flip side is Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are responsible for over 50% of dog caused human fatalities. Part of this is probably self-selection, as bad owners who want to train their dog to fight or to attack intruders are more likely to pick a Pit Bull. Pit Bulls do have a reasonably fair reputation of being fiercely loyal but territorial and distrusting of strangers.

So in general your options are a muzzle or to really engage in a PR campaign to get your neighbors to meet your dog so they can see it as an individual rather than just another Pit.

Submitted by jficquette on May 29, 2010 - 5:45pm.

patb wrote:
NewtoSanDiego wrote:

Anyhow, any thoughts on how I can make people more comfortable? I do want to be at least perceived as a good neighbor.

Shave his Ass and make him walk backwards.

lol

Submitted by MANmom on May 29, 2010 - 7:16pm.

Maybe when you see someone coming, you should pull him to the side and make him either sit or lay down, put him in a submissive position, then people might not be so scared about it...is he neutered? I would suggest you neuter him, that may make him less high spirited.

Submitted by UCGal on May 29, 2010 - 7:19pm.

CDMA ENG wrote:

Really there are no bad pits... Just owners! But the bad PR is here to stay.

I love dogs but even around pits I am cautious because YOU NEVER KNOW what the owner has taught that dog to be.

This is so true. Example - I was at dog beach in OB with friends (one of whom had a dog.) Two pitbull puppies came over. They were about 6-8 months old - so they were big enough to have some mass & muscle.... One started peeing in my beach bag, the other started peeing on my friend's head (she was asleep, sunbathing.) Obviously we freaked out.

The owner made NO motion to get his pit bull pups away. No effort to chastise them, redirect them... etc. The owner was a jerk and was training his dogs to behave badly in public. He actually gave them affection/pets when we finally shooed them away from peeing on us and our stuff.

I've equated pitbulls with idiot/rude owners ever since. Unfortunately, my further encounters have reinforced this view. I don't blame the dogs, I blame the owners.

Submitted by jennyo on May 29, 2010 - 8:37pm.

The bottom line is that if your dog gets off leash and runs "at large," (which is illegal), then you are not controlling it. I feel bad that Pitties and Rottweilers end up with these bad reputations, but as someone else pointed out, many people get these dogs for their reputations, thus perpetuating the negative stereotype.

Always keep your dog on leash, and if you come across other people while walking him, make him sit or move across the street to make sure they don't get a bad impression of your dog. It can become a legal liability. For whatever reason, people don't seem to care that there are Chihuahuas that are, pound for pound, as aggressive as a fighting pit bull. Because they only weigh 5 pounds, it's seen as cute.

You can't assume that any random person is going to like your dog, however harmless it may be. For the sake of your dog, be as exemplary of a pitbull owner as you can be. You will change minds in the process.

Submitted by jamsvet on May 29, 2010 - 9:42pm.

Imagine some 6 year old that had been traumatized when she was 4 by a dog bite. You come walking down the street and your loving pitbull slips away from you and just wants to give her a kiss.

Think you've got enough insurance?

Submitted by ben_vo on May 29, 2010 - 10:04pm.

I love dogs. However, I believe large gods should be kept leashed. I can totally understand people who get scared seeing a big dog out of leash and out of the owner’s control. Imagine a running toddler or worse a toddler hugging the dog... or kicking the dog (for whatever reason). Who knows what the dog’s reaction would be… What if it bites? You probably would say “sorry… the dog is so sweet… it was just that the kid misbehaved”. I do not think you can expect people to be supportive. If the dog is under control and always leashed, I do not see any problem and I guess after some time the neighbors would accept it.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on May 29, 2010 - 11:49pm.

I assume you won't mind if i come up to you and start licking your face? if you try to swat me away, keep in mind, I'm friendly, but any sudden movement on your part especially if you're small and I might have to bite you or maybe gouge your eyeballs out or knock you over. But I'm friendly! and cute! I went to school a few months. jeez louise, if your dog won't stop the minute you tell it to, it's not exuberant, it's in charge. I have a dog, yeah, run her off leash in remote areas with no one around, and when I scream her name she SITS INSTANTLY even if she's chasing a rabbit. but it'd still be all my fault if anything ever happened. exuberance is UNACCEPTABLE. You are the master. that dog is a low level beast, the BOTTOM OF THE PACK, a SERVANT, the UNDERLING, the LAST TO BE FED, LUCKY THAT YOU LET HER LIVE, and she should feel loved but UTTERLY CONTROLLED. that's my opinion anyway. a Dog that doesn't instantly obey has GOT TO GO. screw your firendly pitbull, until it knows its place. very very very very very low on the totem pole. but everyone treats their dog like it's the equivalent of a human. sick. i hate your dog; sorry; but it's true. apit bull is apolitical statement, and if you don't mean what most people mean, you better be a pretty damn good dog owner. it's a good bet that any given pit bull is a problem, because of who raises them.

Submitted by svelte on May 30, 2010 - 7:26am.

Through a set of strange events I won't go into because it gets me angry at how others treat animals, I ended up adopting one quite awhile ago (I have a soft heart, thank you my understanding wife). As you say, that dog was the greatest.

Since I'd never owned a big-ish dog before, I was shocked at how it frightened everyone. There has never been a sweeter, more intelligent dog in our household but most people would cower in fear (especially for some reason hispanic women and black men).

This dog would never leave the yard, even the few ocassions it got loose...would never go past the property line uninvited. Ever.

The best I could do was to divide people into three categories:
(1) Those who were not afraid at all.
(2) Those who I could introduce the dog to, explain the dog's background and demeanor, and win them over.
(3) Those who were going to be afraid no matter what.

I had great success moving people from (3) to (2), but there were still a few holdouts.

I would introduce the dog to people, explain the dogs history and how I knew it since puppyhood, and demonstrated how obedient the dog was. Plus, I never ever left the property without the dog on a leash.

When neighbor's dogs would bum-rush mine, (come into my yard and tell my dog they were alpha of the neighborhood), mine would just sit there and look at me - not even a hint of agression. That made neighbors more comfortable. And whenever I saw neighbors who were uncomfortable seeing the dog outside, I would put the dog in the house. I did anything I could to let people know we were very passive.

Slowly people started to use the dog as the neighborhood "protector", a visual deterrent to strangers in the neighborhood. Not often, but sometimes. Sorry there is no real gold nugget of wisdom in there, just a common sense approach.

Submitted by ocrenter on May 30, 2010 - 9:54am.

NewtoSanDiego wrote:

The problem is whenever I take him for walks, all the neighbors give me dirty looks and walk across the street to avoid me. They seem misinformed of dogs in general perhaps. Have other people have a problem like this?

I do a pretty good job of keeping him on a leash, he has gotten lose a couple times due to his exhuberence, but ends up licking the pedestrian. He would not hurt a fly.

well, problem is most folks know these dogs came to be via breeding for aggressive traits to fight bulls and bears. So when one comes loose and aim straight toward a neighbor, what do you think they are thinking? I know you love your dog and intimately know her temperament, but you got to step into your neighbors' shoes on this one.

Submitted by afx114 on May 30, 2010 - 10:04am.

ben_vo wrote:
I believe large gods should be kept leashed.

Best typo OF ALL TIME!!

Submitted by NotCranky on May 30, 2010 - 10:40am.

afx114 wrote:
ben_vo wrote:
I believe large gods should be kept leashed.

Best typo OF ALL TIME!!


I thought it was a painful reminder of how women think of us.

Submitted by Happs on May 30, 2010 - 10:53am.

ben_vo wrote:
I love dogs. However, I believe large gods should be kept leashed. I can totally understand people who get scared seeing a big dog out of leash and out of the owner’s control. Imagine a running toddler or worse a toddler hugging the dog... or kicking the dog (for whatever reason). Who knows what the dog’s reaction would be… What if it bites? You probably would say “sorry… the dog is so sweet… it was just that the kid misbehaved”. I do not think you can expect people to be supportive. If the dog is under control and always leashed, I do not see any problem and I guess after some time the neighbors would accept it.

This is precisely why the leash laws need to be enforced at Del Mar Dog Beach and other beaches in the summer and the walkway across the lagoon should be dog free for public safety reasons because of it's narrow width.

Submitted by eavesdropper on May 30, 2010 - 10:54am.

Russell wrote:
afx114 wrote:
ben_vo wrote:
I believe large gods should be kept leashed.

Best typo OF ALL TIME!!


I thought it was a painful reminder of how women think of us.

Correct the spelling, and you'd be right.

Submitted by NotCranky on May 30, 2010 - 10:57am.

eavesdropper wrote:
Russell wrote:
afx114 wrote:
ben_vo wrote:
I believe large gods should be kept leashed.

Best typo OF ALL TIME!!


I thought it was a painful reminder of how women think of us.

Correct the spelling, and you'd be right.


Same difference :).

Submitted by ben_vo on May 30, 2010 - 11:02am.

afx114 wrote:

Best typo OF ALL TIME!!

Oh, that's too funny! I probably should keep it as is now. :) :) :)

Submitted by nla on May 30, 2010 - 11:21am.

I was bitten by a dog when I was in grade school. Also, about two years ago while walking to get our mail from the mail box, a small off-the-leash sweet-looking dog, owned by our neighbor came walking toward me. I didn't run/react because I thought the dog was harmless. Big mistake, it came and attacked my legs. The neighbor didn't even have the decency to ask me if I was OK, she's just too worried that the dog was traumatized because I tried to kicked it while attacking me. Now, I don't trust any dog, small or big, cute or ugly. Can you blame me?

Submitted by sdrealtor on May 30, 2010 - 11:42am.

When I was in college a roomate kept 2 pit bulls that were sweet and well behaved. They were the nicest and best trained dogs I had ever been around. For exercise we would take a bicycle tire and get them both to bite down on it. They would lock their jaws and have a tug of war that often went over 1 hour. We drank alot of beer watching them and it was an amazing site to see their instincts at work. On time for no reason one of them took a chunk out of my roomates calves and he got rid of them. As nice as these dogs are there is something hereditary inside them that cant be denied or trained away. You need to be very careful with them and your neighbors have good reason to be concerned.

Submitted by outtamojo on May 30, 2010 - 12:04pm.

Happs wrote:
ben_vo wrote:
I love dogs. However, I believe large gods should be kept leashed. I can totally understand people who get scared seeing a big dog out of leash and out of the owner’s control. Imagine a running toddler or worse a toddler hugging the dog... or kicking the dog (for whatever reason). Who knows what the dog’s reaction would be… What if it bites? You probably would say “sorry… the dog is so sweet… it was just that the kid misbehaved”. I do not think you can expect people to be supportive. If the dog is under control and always leashed, I do not see any problem and I guess after some time the neighbors would accept it.

This is precisely why the leash laws need to be enforced at Del Mar Dog Beach and other beaches in the summer and the walkway across the lagoon should be dog free for public safety reasons because of it's narrow width.

Don't mean to dog-pile but dogs ON leash can still be dangerous especially on narrow paths - there was an article in San Jose Merc about an unfortunate elderly lady who got entangled on a leash,fell, and died.

Submitted by ocrenter on May 30, 2010 - 1:53pm.

The subject of dog breeds is a very interesting one. Essentially we human were able to play god for the last 4-5000 years and we dramatically accelerated the evolutionary process within dogs to create multiple different breeds to tailor to our needs. The hunter bred the beagles, the pointers. The Chinese royalty bred for obedience in the shih tzus. And of course, for the blood sport of bull and bear baiting, we got the terrier pit-bulls.

After purposefully genetically enhancing the traits of aggression and strength, we humans now try to pretend these dogs will be friendly and cute and sweet enough to be household pets that the neighborhood should adore?

Submitted by EconProf on May 30, 2010 - 2:26pm.

An interesting thread is evident in many of the above posts. There seem to be two (at least) groups of posters as to dogs' behavior and whether or not to be afraid of them. Some say leash your dog, keep it away from me and my kids, (or lawn, driveway, etc), control it, etc. Many in this group had a bad experience with a supposedly "gentle" dog.
The other group, primarily dog owners, say their dogs are friendly, gentle, loving, and could never hurt anyone, and never have hurt anyone, at least recently.
Put me into the first group.

Submitted by svelte on May 30, 2010 - 3:45pm.

EconProf wrote:
Many in this group had a bad experience with a supposedly "gentle" dog.
The other group, primarily dog owners, say their dogs are friendly, gentle, loving, and could never hurt anyone, and never have hurt anyone, at least recently.
Put me into the first group.

I've never had a dog of mine bite anyone ever. I've never been bitten by anyone's dog.

None of my friends have told me that they've been bitten by a dog.

Why should I be afraid of dogs?

That being said, I don't like having dogs. The only reason we ever had one to begin with is the kids begged and begged me. And Guess Who ended up taking care of it.

We're done with dogs, no more for us. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy other people's dogs. All the fun, none of the maintenance.

Submitted by Oxford on May 30, 2010 - 3:56pm.

I hate your dog too. Dude, Pits and Shepards and Rotts and Dobies SNAP. Pits the most. They are hardwired to bite and fight. Sure you see their happy side like all the in-denial PB owners -- then one day they go "genetic" and you are in court or worse.

Your neighbors are not the problem; YOU and your damn dog are. Get rid of it.

OX
...hates sweet little time bombs.

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