“Dangerous dog breeds” – myth and prejudice

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Thank god my dog doesn’t speak human – so she doesn’t understand all the unfair insults

I don’t know about the situation in the entire U.S., because I’ve only been here for a few years and only in one state. But back in Germany over the years the media had managed to scare people off so effectively, that not only taking an English Bull Terrier to public places could become a real problem regarding the reaction of people. We eventually decided to avoid confronting our English Bull Terrier Fancy with the negative vibes from haters by hardly ever taking her to crowded areas and choosing the places we took her extremely careful.

Owners in trouble – “No we don’t want to transport a tiger, Bull Terrier or whatever you got there”

When we eventually decided to move to the U.S. the entire “dangerous dog hysteria” almost peaked in a very essential problem for us:
Of course we wanted to take Fancy with us. There was no way we’d go without her.
The problem at that time: No airline we found was willing to transport a “dangerous dog”, not even in the luggage space.
Not because of health issues or summer heat – no! Just because the breed was on a list.


One airline offered transport under the provision that we agreed to keep her in a custom built cage, strong and big enough to transport a tiger with all the accompanying costs, of course!
No kidding, we’re talking about several thousand Dollars here.
Luckily we eventually managed to find ONE airline that still agreed to transport a Bull Terrier in a regular pet travel box at a reasonable price.
When we checked in at the airport we had to leave Fancy in her travel box at the registration of special luggage. One of the workers looked at that locked box like there was the devil sitting inside. The box was offering no way for Fancy to even stick a toe through the metal bars.
He categorically refused to touch the handles that were not even close to the metal bars and refused to help putting it on the luggage cart. His words: He will not come anywhere near that dangerous dog.

A nice welcome to the U.S. …

When American customs welcomed us to the U.S. and the staff took a curios look into that travel box, they were amazed to find an English Bull Terrier in it.
They talked to us about the fact that English Bull Terriers are considered a “dangerous breed” in the U.S. either, or at least in FL (I don’t know if that’s actually nationwide).
But they did not talk hostile in any way. They were clearly amazed to see an English Bull Terrier – an experience that has repeated itself numerously over the years here – and were interested in Fancy in a very friendly and open way, who answered the fuss about her with a happy wag. Her welcome to the U.S. was much friendlier than her Goodbye had been in Germany.
One incident still makes us laugh, when we think back about our beloved Fancy: One day at the dog beach here in Florida a woman all of a sudden got really excited and started screaming “Schnitzel! Schnitzel!” (the german word for roasted veal). Obviously she was very fond of Fancy. But I kept asking myself why she called our dog “Schnitzel”. The lady waved goodbye and left us shaking our heads puzzled. After a few minutes she returned in the same agitated fashion and shouted: “Schatzi! I meant to say Schatzi! Now I remember!”. Schatzi is a German term of endearment.

Read more about myth or prejudice of dangerous dog breeds on the next page.

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