The other day, my mother was out and about with a friend of hers. They were in my neighborhood for lunch and decided to stop by. Hearing the car pull up, my dogs looked out the window to see who was visiting. Seeing that it was my mom, the whole body wags started! Seeing one of my dogs, however, her friend refused to get out of the car.
Upon speaking to her, she stated that she would not come in because of my “mean looking dog”. I was about to launch into the typical Pit Bull statements that we are all trained to say: all dogs are individuals, appearance doesn’t have anything to do with personality, bla, bla, bla. But then I thought about it. Maybe I could learn something and teach her something at the same time. So, I asked her: What makes him mean looking?
We started out with his stare. She felt that the way he looked at her was scary. What was it about his stare? After looking into it more, it was decided that his yellow eyes played a part. But, he doesn’t have any more control over his eye color than I do mine.
Then we went on to his ears. His ears are cropped and it was brought up that dogs with their ears like that are mean. I guaranteed her that ear cropping is rather painful and, if he had any say in it, he probably wouldn’t have had it done. (Note: he is a rescue who came like that, I did not have his ears cropped).
The friend then brought up the “locking jaw” myth. Yep, apparently it’s still around. So, I simply said “well, if his jaw just locks, then how could he eat?” Check and Mate!
So, I’m pretty glad that I spoke to her. I learned more about her thinking and her concerns and she had the opportunity to learn more about my dog. All and all, a successful day.