I hear about breed discrimination all the time from our clients and on social media.
If you have a pit bull, German shepherd, mastiff, cane corso, Rottweiler, Doberman, etc., I’m sure you know all about breed discrimination.
I love Dobermans. They’re loyal, affectionate, obedient, and a solid family dog.
Louis Dobermann, a tax collector in Germany, created the breed to keep himself, and the taxes he collected, safe from thieves. His Dobermans were meant to be a watchdog, a protector.
I have owned these wonderful dogs for over 10 years, and I suppose I have been fortunate in that I never experienced breed discrimination firsthand; that was until this past week.
The other day I was at my son's baseball game. It was the last game of the season. I brought JD, my Doberman, with me.
He was leashed, lying down at my feet, surrounded by people petting him – children and adults, when a man approached me and asked me to step away from the ballfield with my dog.
Someone had called the dog warden about a threatening Doberman at the ballpark.
I couldn’t believe it. JD is the most social dog – he’ll lick you in your face and try to sit in your lap. A chihuahua is more threatening than him.
Nonetheless, I was told he couldn’t be there and had to leave. The nice man who was just doing his job walked me to my car to make sure I left the premises with him.
I think to myself, what if JD was a Golden Retriever, a Lab, a Standard Poodle, Maltese, or basically any other breed that is not considered a menacing breed?
Would a phone call have been placed to make one of those breeds leave the park?
I am a firm believer that dogs are not threatening solely on their breed.
Every dog is different, just like every person is. Not one is alike and none should be judged on their breed alone.
JD is part of my family – he is like one of my children. I would never tolerate one of my children being bullied, and I don’t feel anyone should have to tolerate their dog being bullied, either.
Breed discrimination creates unnecessary and unfair prejudice against people who chose to have a certain breed.
Let’s put an end to breed discrimination, create awareness and hold people responsible for their dog's actions - and not the dog's breed or appearance.
Kristin Palazzo is a Patient Coordinator at Newburgh Veterinary Hospital.