[QUOTE=Kathy74]Okay, I'm used to being known as "the lady with the big black dogs" and I've had to explain to MANY people that they are not mean just b/c they are big and black!
I sympathize. My latest dog is a (beautiful) mix of colors, but unless she's standing in brilliant sunlight that brings out her silver guard hairs, she looks dark and people respond much more cautiously to her than they did to her predecessors, who were white/cream in color. I'm actually relieved - after years spent trying to dissuade people from petting one white, cuddly terrier mix who DID NOT like being approached, a little caution from strangers is welcome. When people are hesitant, be patient - after all, they don't know your dog and it's just sensible to be cautious around large dogs. When they're rude, just shake your head. And remember, dogs who look harmless or cute also have a tough time - total strangers frequently just pounce on them without any manners at all.