(This is a post I'd like to share with all of you on not only how to keep cool during confrontation, but to share some unusual facts or debating techniques that may help you if you should ever have to use them.)
I don't own a pit bull- not yet. But I'm the kind of person who is drawn to controversial subjects. I'm the person you'd see holding up a sign, protesting against ignorance and discrimination. I'm the person who spends her days researching topic after topic, filling her head with knowledge to disprove lies and myths. So naturally, when I started to look for a dog after the death of one of our dogs in January, I stumbled upon Pit Bulls and fell head over heels in love.
I can't stand seeing people mistreated or discrimination against. I'm a firm believer in every person is equal, and thus, deserves equal rights. I'm also an animal lover, so my ideals extend beyond people and into the animal kingdom. Every animal deserves a happy, healthy life, much like people.
So when I see pit bulls being targeted by hate, fear, and bigotry, I can't help but feel upset. Intolerance in our country is one of the biggest issues we all face. And it affects every single person: whether it's about your life style choices, your pets, your car, how you choose to dress, whatever. You name it and there is some kind of resistance or otherwise negative feedback.
I have seen a few posts on here with people dealing with the ignorance and fear associated with owning a pit bull. The hardest part of dealing with these issues is staying cool, calm and collected. When somebody mistreats you, disrespects you or otherwise invades your personal space or property, our emotions often over take our logical or rational responses (and I'm not saint: I've been subjected to it as well). This can be bad for the imagine of pit bulls, so I'm trying to find ways to spread the truth about pit bulls without losing our tempers.
Firstly, know the facts. Knowing the facts, down to statistically numbers can really improve your chances during a debate or argument. This is something we all must learn before we're ever confronted about our dogs.
When confronted, take deep breaths, and keep your cool. Even if the other person is screaming in your face about your dog, just smile politely at them. The one thing that drives a person nuts is knowing that they can't get to you. What satisfies a person who intentionally upsets or confronts a person in a negative fashion is seeing the victim become upset. It's the same logic as the bully on the playground when we were younger. He beats us up, we cry, he goes home laughing. If we don't cry, he can't go home laughing, and we've won.
Talk in full, calm, coherent sentences. If you're able too, throw some big words in there. It not only will most likely confuse them, but it makes us look smart (which we are, remember, we love pit bulls).
A clever way to combat annoying neighbors is to hang up or hand out fliers. When you're in a situation where you may not be able to talk for you or your dogs safety, going back and hanging out fliers around your neighborhood may get some people thinking. When designing fliers, make sure to give resources for the information given. Make sure to point out things like propaganda- some people will believe anything they read, whether or not there are any facts to back it up.
The biggest point to ever make to anybody during a debate: all animals are dangerous. Some people are blissfully unaware that other animals are far more dangerous than pit bulls but yet readily accept working with or being near them. I studied Horse Management at Michigan State University. An interesting fact that we were taught is that horse related activities, which include but not limited too: riding, grooming, leading, feeding, basically any activity where a horse is involved, is more dangerous than riding a motorcycle. That simply means more people suffer server injuries or death because of horses then they do riding 70MPH down a highway on a bike. If you do a simple internet search, you can find dozens of stories of adults, teenagers, and even young children (10 years and under) being severally hurt or killed by a horse. But there is no uproar to ban horses or horse related activities. There are so many injuries associated with horses, in fact, that most states have an "Equine Liability Act" in place which state that barn owners are not responsible for any death or injuries that may occur to a person or a horse while on their property.
One of my favourite techniques to use is the race card. To some, this may be offensive, but unfortunately, the world we live in is not all butterflies and pretty pink flowers.
I live in Michigan, about 35 minutes from Detroit. Sadly, our evening news portraits mostly the violent crimes that occur in Detroit on a daily basis. And sadly, most of these crimes involve African Americans or other "minority" groups. It's a fact that you can't escape, especially living in Michigan, so close to Detroit. I'd love to see the news portrait something else, but as most of us know, violence sells.
So that brings me to the debating point. I've seen quite a few people, if not a majority of them, who are against pit bulls because of one isolated incident. Whether it's because they heard of somebody being bitten, experience a bite personally, or just had a "pit bull terrorizing their neighborhood". I always ask people, "if you were attacked, robbed or otherwise, by a white person, would you suddenly thereafter assume all white people are going to attack you?" The scenario works with any race- and since I live so close to Detroit, it works very well using African Americans.
The fact is that even though I hear about all of these violent crimes in Detroit, I don't fear any persons of any race. I'm not even afraid to visit Detroit on a weekly basis for some of my favourite sports activities. The truth is that most people understand that one or two bad apples who happen to have a certain skin color do not represent the entire race. But somehow that logic gets lost when being applied to animals. They have an incident with one type of animal, and now suddenly they're afraid of all animals of that kind.
When I was younger, I was bitten by a ChowChow. She nearly took off my entire right arm. This happened when I was much younger, and I'm 21 now and still bare the scars. I wouldn't dream of seeking some kind of ban on ChowChows, even though I was attacked by one.
I hope that some of the information I've posted here can help us fellow pit bull lovers over come the hate, fear and bigotry targeted not only toward our beloved pit bulls, but targeted at ourselves because we choose to love such a wonderful breed.