ThinkstockQ. People are terrified when they see my Rottweiler because he's an intimidating-looking dog. But he has a great disposition and wouldn't hurt anyone. How can I help people see him in a different light?
A. The reactions people have to your dog are likely due to widespread misconceptions about the breed. People may be more fearful of a Rottweiler than a Labrador because the Rottweiler is stereotyped as being more aggressive than the Lab.
My Pug, Willy, is a Pet Partners therapy dog; he works with people who are afraid of dogs. One time, though, when he was wearing a spike collar at an off-leash dog park, we came upon a woman who was clearly terrified of him. "It's a Pit Bull!" she shrieked. It didn't matter that Willy only weighed 15 pounds and was calmly sniffing and exploring the park; the fact that he had a spiked collar and remotely resembled a Pit Bull sent her into a panic attack - not because of his behavior, but because of her assumptions about thatRead More »from Do People Think Your Dog Looks Scary? How to Overcome Breed Stereotypes