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Old 11-19-2007, 09:00 PM
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Lilavati Lilavati is offline
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Having lived in India, I'm aware that South Asians and Middle Easterners do not like dogs. Some are afraid of them (and if you've run into a pack of Indian pariah dogs you'd understand why) some just find them disguisting.

Though there was this Middle Eastern lady we bumped into at the shopping center. Her kids saw Sarama and went nuts, pointing, cringing, hiding behind her. She grabbed the boy firmly by the arm and said "No. That's a nice dog" and off they went. I wonder if she was trying to acclimate them to the culture here?

So I understand people who have cultural/religious prejustices against dogs, and I once had a friend (white) who had a full blown phobia (he was scared to touch a beagle puppy that bearly had its eyes open). But I'm just kinda of mystified by these people who were raised in the US and are stark terrified of Sarama; they can't all be clinical phobics. I'm even more mystified they all seem (around here) to be black. And I'm slightly alarmed that two of them were hostile (one very hostile).

It can't be the breed (though she does look a little like a wild animal, maybe that's it) and it can't be me, I'm about as nonthreatening as human beings come. Maybe its just the lifestyle? Alexandria isn't the inner city, but its not the suburbs precisely either . . . and most of the people here, of any color, are working class . . . but there are a heck of a lot of dogs around, so its not like they are unusual. And many of them are MUCH bigger and more imposing than Sarama is.

I wonder, if I put a shirt or something on her if their reaction would change? I don't think I'm likely to run into any of these folks again (and in one case I really, really hope I don't) but do you think that might prevent more incidents? Something to make her look more . . . tame?
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Lilavati View Post
I've had three encounters with people who were profoundly afraid of dogs since I've gotten Sarama. By this I mean people who cringe away from her, or swear at me for walking within 10 feet, or nervously say. . . "He doesn't bite does he?" . . .

Everyone one of these people has been a black man. I can't figure it out . . . is there some reason why more black men would be terrified of dogs than anyone else? Sarama doesn't look like a scary or vicous breed, and she's manifestly friendly (not that people who are afraid of dogs would notice, but she's not slavering at the mouth)

I don't mean to be racist at all, I'm just puzzled.
I am honestly not trying to stereotype but around here black people just dont like dogs. The only dogs that african americans in my area usually own are rotties and pitbull types if they arent afraid of dogs. Most black people here dont own dogs and many are afraid of dogs. I, honestly,RARELY see a black person w/ a dog ann everytime my little sister has an african american friend over to the house my parents have to put Dixie out b/c the girls are usually TERRIFIED and have NEVER been close to an animal before.

I hope this isnt offensive. I know this is not the case for every peson everywhere but it is most deffinantly generally true in my area. It's like a well-known stereotype around here that black people are scared of dogs. The white people will say it and the black people are just as quick to admit it. I thought it was a common thing. Lots of black comedians talk about it.

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Old 11-22-2007, 06:21 AM
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I have noticed black people in general have the most fear of animals. My moms friend from work is deathly afraid of cats. I had brought in my foster kittens to show to my mom's other friends, and she was like..In shock, and ran to the bathroom and was crying.

A lot of black people who come into my job (PetSmart) are very afraid of any rodent that has a tail. (But I think a lot of people probably are).

And I agree with Samantha's Pet, thats how my area is as well. I only see black people with pitties (And sadly..usually they are not in good shape). On occasions I see black woman with lap dogs.
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:56 AM
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I've had this expereince with alot of people that I run into when I have one of my dogs with me, that are of color. It has always either been a black male or hispanic male, and they will even go so far as to take the next elevator if we are at a show and we're going downstairs for a potty break. My girls like everyone though, so its never been a problem and of course I dont care if your orange, and my dogs have been exposed to just about everyone. And then I will get the guys of any race who are the " wow you could make alot of money off Rottie pups" in which I tell them if she ever had pups, money would be the last of my concers, and they look at me funny and walk off lol.

But in general, because I do have Rottweilers, I find most people of color stay as far away as they can. I dont know the answer of why, maybe they just find them really intimidating, or maybe they beleive all the BSL hype. But just like BSL sterotypes our dogs, I try not to sterotype people. One of my good friend's hubby is black, and just the coolest guy, and is even a professional handler. So ya never know the reason, its different for every person.

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Old 11-23-2007, 01:14 AM
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I really believe it has to do with the area in which you live and how you were brought up..and that goes with any race. I live in Phoenix , certainly a multi-cultured city. I am half black, and obviously not afraid of dogs nor is anyone in my family. I have several black friends and neighbors as well, all of whom love my dogs. But like I said above I really think it has to do with where and how you were brought up. And I think an excellent example of this would be a good friend of mine (who is white). She grew up believing that "all dogs were mean". She didn't live in the best part of town..stray dogs were the norm and dogs were kept chained in the front yard where they would lunge and bark at anyone who walked by. She was taught to stay clear of any and all dogs and she has carried that with her throughout her life.
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:29 AM
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I also believe it's all in how you were raised. Some people are never exposed to dogs or any animals for that matter when they are children. Lack of experience and interaction leads to lack of clarity and many times, fear.

My husband was brought up in a very anti-animal/pet family and I will never forget the time his sister came over to see my new 10 wk. old 5 lb. pug puppy. She literally was terrified and tried to get away when the pup greeted her. When I was a child we had dogs and many other animals. My main "sport" growing up was riding horses and competing in horse shows. My experience forced me to be around many animals and let me to understand and not fear them.

Now my husband's other brother brought his kids by to see my litter of puppies. They too have been raised with no pets. What did they do when they saw the litter? Got scared. I am can kids shy away from puppies?!?! I have to remind myself, they have had NO exposure.

This is exactly why I believe all children need a pet...or at least experience around them. How unfortunate for some to never know the human/canine bond.
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:30 AM
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Our Latinos here who are from South America or Mexico tend to give Kharma a wide, respectful berth, but they are from places that know the Fila. Other than that, it's hard to tell because her sheer size intimidates most people regardless of race, although I do get the odd good ol' boy who will charge right up to her, insisting she's a hound and that he knows hounds . . . until he notices she's squared off in front of him and her shoulders are slightly dropped, and she's got The Look in her eye, lol.
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:13 PM
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It may just be a coincidence, or a social/cultural/class thing. innercity vs. rural areas... more dogs tend to be in rural areas. more dogowners probably tend to be middleclass to upperclass vs. lower/working class who perhaps cannot afford a dog
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:19 PM
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I have actually had that reaction from Asian people- mainly women. My husband's ex wife is Chinese and she is terrified of dogs. I don't really know why, though. I think some cultures just don't embrace dogs as pets. Some see them as working animals I think. Just surmising, I don't claim to know this for sure.
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:14 PM
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Most black children are taught to not pet strange dogs and the parents are aprehensive about it, the kids pick that up and eventually the parents fear of uncomfort is past on to the kids.

Remember most black communities are used to huge agressive pit bulls and other big dogs that are made agressive, and more and likely they've had a negative experience from those kinds of dogs. They rarely get to see a well trained, well adjusted dog, and assume all dogs are raging monsters.
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