Is this a Fighting Dog? - The daily Challenges of Dog Owners

William Walker Continental Bulldog

There are many prejudices about dogs and individual dog breeds. These do not always correspond to the truth and make life unnecessarily difficult for many dog owners. Bad looks, parents who pull up their children and problems with the neighbors can be the unpleasant consequences of prejudice and ignorance. Often affected are big dogs, flat nosed dogs like boxers and bulldogs, unusual mixed breeds, or the actual list or "fighting" dogs. The attitude of some people towards dogs usually results from the fact that they simply do not like dogs, have had bad experiences or their parents have projected their own fear onto them from childhood - because fear of furry noses is quite often an educational problem. For dog owners and unconditional dog lovers absolutely unbelievable and almost a little strange. Unfortunately the one or other conflict, especially in the middle of the city, is pre-programmed.

Ignorance and Prejudice

I am the owner of a Continental Bulldog - El Carlos. A wild but incredibly friendly, muscular dog with a weakness for balls and a strong love for absolutely everyone. Bulldogs are known to be polarizing - some love them and think they are incredibly cute, e.g. Reese Witherspoon, others think they look ugly or even dangerous. Over the past 2 ½ years, I've gotten endless compliments on my wonderful dog, but almost as often I've been attacked, mobbed, or given looks of disapproval. I had to grow a really thick skin and today I am no longer afraid to be confrontational and defend my faithful companion by any means necessary. I am often asked whether my four-legged friend is actually a list dog or I hear sentences behind my back where the word "fighting dog" clearly stands out. Once I was asked brazenly by a blond woman: "This is a fighting dog! Are you even allowed to walk here? Dogs like that do bite." I just answered casually: "Yes, he bites - for breakfast he likes to eat blondes. Oh, that reminds me, he hasn't had breakfast yet!".

What is the best Way to deal with Harassment?

So the motto is stay cool and don't put up with everything, but only if people react aggressively or unkindly to you and your furry friend. You should always keep in mind that some people just don't know any better and may just have a lack of education. So when a walker asks "Is that a fighting dog?" it's not always meant as an attack, but often just interest or curiosity. Educate these people about what fighting dogs even are, why you shouldn't address a dog owner that way, and why your dog is not a list dog. Maybe this will lead to a nice conversation and your opponent can learn from your dog experience.

The Difference between fighting Dog and list Dog

Of course bulldogs, like my Carlos, are not list dogs. And even though some dog breeds fall into the breed specific legislation, it doesn't mean that these dogs bite or are dangerous at all. According to the law the list includes dog breeds that are suspected of being dangerous. However, individual states have quite different "lists" or deliberately oppose the idea of a list of potentially dangerous dog breeds. Because as dog trainers and dog experienced know everything stands and falls with the training of your dog. The term "fighting dog", which today is even used as a kind of swear word, says little in the original sense about dog breeds, but rather their field of operation. Fighting dogs are dogs that have been bred for animal fights and have been educated and trained for this purpose. Abusing animals for fighting is the worst cruelty to animals and illegal in Germany. However, list dogs do not always belong to dog breeds that have been bred for fighting, but go beyond that. So fighting dog and list dog is not always the same. And since the word "fighting dog" has a negative connotation, one should confine oneself to talking about list dogs.

The Phenotyping / the Purebred-Proof

My friend Charlotte also has an adorable male Continental Bulldog named Otto. Even though her landlord had agreed to her keeping a dog, she earned nothing but disapproval from the elderly couple living across the street. The neighbor dispute began when Charlotte regularly found dog excrement on her doormat. She wrote to the landlord, who pointed out that he had already received a complaint from the couple across the street that Otto always did his business right outside their front entrance. The couple explained to "only" have put Otto's leftovers on the doormat. What was strange about this was not only that the droppings on the doormat looked like they came from a dog the size of a Chihuahua, but also the fact that Otto is a very clean dog. He belongs to the kind of dog that first looks for the perfect spot for 10 minutes and turns around 20 times until they manage to do their business. Luckily the landlord believed Charlotte and warned the couple. But that was not the end of bullying in the hallway.

One evening Charlotte's doorbell rang and she opened it to two uniformed police officers. They had received a report that she was keeping an unregistered fighting dog. Despite flawless papers with Otto's pedigree, as well as pet passport, the male dog had to undergo phenotyping. This test used to be called purebred proof. In the case of a mixed breed, it is checked from which breeds it originated, i.e. which breed the father and mother belong to, but above all what they have genetically passed on to their offspring. Since fraud and abuse can often occur when buying puppies and not only reputable breeders are on the puppy market, phenotyping can sometimes expose "fake" dog breeds. For example, very expensive dog breeds, such as Continental Bulldogs or Broholmer, are bred by crossing different breeds that are often list or fighting dogs. Instead of a purebred Broholmer, you then suddenly have a crossbreed that contains a dog breed that is subject to registration. In the end, Otto's breed and harmlessness could be confirmed by phenotyping.

But the shock for Charlotte was deep. The advantage of the whole story was that the neighbors finally calmed down and from then on Charlotte gave each person who criticized her one of her 100 copies of the phenotyping certificate.

Patience and Clarification bring us to the Destination

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to dispel deep-rooted prejudices from people's minds, but with a little patience and a super trained dog, you can become a walking symbol against these prejudices. The key, as with many things in life, lies in education and this is what we dog-experienced people can do best.

Have you ever been attacked and had to deal with prejudice and ignorance? What do you think about this topic and how do you deal with it? Feel free to leave us a comment!


From Louisa Knoll

1 comment

Hallo, habe seit zehn Jahren eine englische Bulldogge. Er tut keiner Maus was zuleide, und keinem Kind egal wie alt, er freut sich über jeden Menschen die sich trauen ihn etwas zu streicheln. Mir ist aufgefallen ältere Frauen so über siebzig haben am wenigsten Angst. Und ja man muß sich als Besitzer ein ganz dickes Fell wagsen lassen, und manchmal fühlt man sich als hätte man die Seuche. Meine Bulldogge ist in seinem Leben dreimal schwer gebissen worden bew angegriffen. Aber nicht von Hunden seiner Rasse, er konnte die Welt nicht verstehen man sach ihm an das er dachte WARUM MACHT EIN ARTGENOSSEN DAS MIT MIR! Er hat sich noch nichtmals gewehrt!!! !! MAN SOLLTE EINFACH MAL MEHR ACHT AUF ANDERE RASSEN MACHEN, DIE SIND MEISTENS GEFÄHRLICHER! ZUM BEISPIEL, HÜTE HUNDE JAGT HUNDE, DIE DEN GANZEN TAG AM ARBEITEN SIND. DIE WERDEN IN DER WOHNUNG GEHALTEN BEKOMMEN ZU WENIIG AUFGABEN WERDEN EINFACH UNTERFORDERT, ZUM GUTEN SCHLUSS WERDEN SIE AGGRESSIV!

Meine Meinung ist, egal ob ich ein Haus mit garten habe, oder nur eine drei Zimmer wohnung. Man sollte mit jedem Tier artgerecht umgehen und ihm das bieten können was es braucht!!!


Petra Cadard April 18, 2021

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