Cover Stories

Bad Dogs

by Alexandra Griffin

Photo of Kemo, by Alexandra Griffin

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Prejudice is used in our everyday life when we are saying specific things based on general observations. Several of the newspaper staffers took a perhaps more traditional look at types of prejudice. I decided to talk about bias towards certain dog breeds based on generalizations, including Pit Bulls, Jack Russells, and Chihuahua Dachshund.Prejudice is used in our everyday life when we are saying specific things based on general observations. Several of the newspaper staffers took a perhaps more traditional look at types of prejudice. I decided to talk about bias towards certain dog breeds based on generalizations, including Pit Bulls, Jack Russells, and Chihuahua Dachshund.

Many dog breeds are prejudged, but perhaps none more so than the Pit Bull, often known for being used in dog fights. They have big and strong bodies which could run you over. I had that happen to me, but they aren’t all mean and aggressive. Some are actually really kind dogs, but there are just some things that you don’t leave them alone with. Like my parents old employee, who has a Pit Bull, Rory, who tends to be extremely exuberant. The old employee had another small dog a while back with Rory, and Rory would go after this little dog a lot. Pit Bulls are just not good with small things, which is fine if you don’t have any other smaller animals where you live or especially any small kids.

Another story about Pit Bulls that happened this year: We got a new neighbor that moved onto our road. My dad and I were in the house and my mom was down with her horse when we heard my mom shouting obscenities outside. Meanwhile our dog Ruthie ran under one of our cars in the garage. The Pit Bull was heading down towards my mom, the horse, and the whip. Not a good idea. Afterwards I find Ruthie who is shaking and probably confused. She was fine but just scared, and who wouldn’t be? These big giants come onto your property, racing towards you. It can be scary for anyone involved because you don’t know if they are friendly or mean dogs. But by the expressions on the dogs’ faces, we knew they were just out exploring and having a wonderful time being off the leash. However, once they saw my mom with the whip, they scampered right back to their own house.

Another breed that sometimes suffers from a bad reputation is the Jack Russell Terrier. These little dogs are meant for hunting. They are hard as nails and can be very obsessive at times, for sure. What most people say about them is that they are not to be left alone together as they like to fight. People also say they are not family dogs. This can be true, and our dogs have a similar nature, so we trained them well to avoid these concerns. 

Some of the biases towards dogs hold true at times. But the Jack Russell still can be super fun to have around. My mom’s dog, Lucy, was really special. She had puppies about the same time I was born. Whenever someone other than my parents or my sister, Katie, would visit me, she would stop them. She would growl and guard me like one of her own puppies. But we all have that protective instinct. Lucy was so funny for her peeing handstands. Picture a dog walking on just two of their front legs while the other two back legs are way up in the air, while peeing. Oh, how I remember those! 

Lucy was not like the Jack Russell we have today. Gabby Goose is our old girl now, and she likes the cats, even though people say a Jack Russell will kill everything in its path. Nope, not Gabby. She loves the cat. She wants to be friends with it so much, but all she gets is a tail switch. She still tries though. 

A long time ago, my mom had a Jack Russell named Sprite. The dog had gotten into a lot of chocolate one day and was running circles around the farm house. It was a terrier on a sugar turbo rush-away!

Mutts are often looked down upon. Even the name sounds like an insult. The concern with a mutt, or a mixed breed, is certain combinations could be nasty. But mostly, health problems are a mutt’s bigger concerns. They could get hip dysplasia, eye diseases, epilepsy, kidney disease and so much more. But, to be honest, all dogs can get something. It’s not just mutts. My dog is a mutt, a Chihuahua Dachshund, to be exact, and she does have some health issues—a heart problem, to be exact. She also likes to eat dust bunnies, which really doesn’t make any sense but I still love her! 

When we first got Missi, she was from a rescue and at one point she tried to bite my dad but after a little discipline, she soon learned to never do it again. She also tried to bite me, but when she realized who it was she was like “uh oh.”After that, she turned into a nice little dog. She is part Dachshund, so she has some hunter instincts. Those helped when she chased a fox out of our backyard! She might be little, but she is mighty.

Corgis are herding breeds, mostly used for cattle and small animals, like sheep. Corgis have a bad reputation because herding dogs are usually nippy. They nip an animal’s back legs to get it to move while herding the livestock. So, they sometimes transfer that behavior to humans; it is just their nature. We got a Corgi because we had a lot more cows at the time, and we thought a herding dog would do the trick. Kemo, however, is apparently afraid of the livestock, and he only herds moths or cats. Kemo was named after Okemo mountain, known for its skiing. He is just a fun loving dog that can be nippy. 

When I come home from work, I give Kemo a big hug because he loves them, and it is fun to hear him to do little playful growls and moans. But this time, I guess he was grumpy. He chased after me, though not biting. He was just not being very nice, so I just stayed away from him that day. He was being a very naughty boy. 

Another thing about Corgis is that people use them as show dogs, so they look for the dgs with tails. If a Corgi doesn’t have a tail, then it’s not good for the dog shows. Having one blue eye doesn’t help either. As soon as my mom saw Kemo’s picture, she fell in love with him. He has become quite the character now. He likes to have butt scratches and will even back up his butt under my foot so I can rub it. I’m like his own personal foot-scratcher.

It’s true that dogs can be mean. But dogs can also be kind, courageous, and definitely loyal. It doesn’t matter as much what a dog’s breed is. It’s how we treat it. Sometimes, dogs can’t be trained because they have a certain nature, but often, if we give them the attention and the right training, we are able to help turn them into a really nice companion. 

Don’t listen to all those rumors about reputations. Dogs can surprise you: not all Corgis are nasty and not all German Shepherds are aggressive. Some may be better suited to be police dogs, but I have met a lot of nice German Shepherds out there. Even poodles! People often think big poodles are mean, but usually they are very kind and intelligent. Small poodles can often have a nasty temperament, but they usually show it while protecting their master. All dogs are different, and while some dogs are more likely to be a certain way, that doesn’t mean anything about the next dog you meet.

Categories: Cover Stories

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