Certain dogs breeds get a bad rap because people assume they’re violent. This includes pit bulls, German shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers. Another unfairly judged breed is the Rottweiler, and a young woman who owns one says she’s had some pushback from neighbors.
In a popular thread on the AmITheA**hole subreddit, user jaywearsblack said she adopted a Rottweiler last year because she lives alone and enjoys night walks and doesn’t want anyone to hurt her. She said she trained Draco as a puppy and he doesn’t bark or act aggressively toward anyone. When she takes him out, he’s also on a short leash and even has a muzzle for extra caution. That doesn’t seem to make a difference to her neighbors, who were very upset when she took her dog out for a daytime walk.
The user wrote, “Kids were out playing and the parents saw him as a ‘threat’. During our walk he did not bark at anyone, he was leashed, and for the most part I tried to avoid people because I know some are afraid of Rottweilers.
“One of the neighbors walked up to me and told me that I have to refrain taking him out on walks because he is a ‘threat’ and could harm a child. He said that his children should not be in fear when playing outside.”
She added that during this whole exchange, her dog sat quietly next to her, and she said she told the neighbor she wasn’t going to avoid taking her dog out because people had misplaced fear. The neighbor then called the police, who couldn’t do anything because there weren’t any crimes going on.
She asked the forum if she was in the wrong for taking her dog out, even if people were fearful.
Before too long, jaywearsblack was deemed not the a**hole, with replies filled with empathy from others whose dogs are one of the often stereotyped breeds.
The top reply came from user zoopest, who said, “As a pit bull owner I empathize. People can take their prejudices and shove them. Dogs are dogs, and yours sounds well-behaved. Be a good example and show people that rotties are good dogs by taking him on appropriate walks whenever you like.”
The reply featured a followup comment from user Excellent_Squirrel 86 who said, “The best-behaved dogs in my neighborhood are the pit bulls, rottweilers and boxers. It’s those little ankle-biters that are the biggest problem. No one will train them, so they’re noisy little terrors!”
Another thoughtful reply from epichuntarz noted that dogs that are stereotyped as dangerous do have the capacity to hurt other animals and people if not trained properly. They shared some stories of owners that hadn’t done the best job and whose dogs lived up the the stereotype. They did say, though, that the original poster was a responsible owner who clearly took her training seriously.
Others echoed that sentiment, noting that people who don’t take that responsibility seriously make all stereotyped breeds look dangerous.
Even if he were a handful, user whyamisoawesome9 said an important thing they learned when their rescue was in training was that “bad dogs need walks, too.”
Do you have a dog that some may be wary of and want to make sure it’s well trained? Check out these tips for training your puppy.