For our Thoughtful Thursday question this week, we asked, “What qualities do you think a pit bull “ambassador” should have? Is your dog an ambassador? Why or why not? Feel free to comment also if you don’t agree with labeling any dog an ‘ambassador.’”
We received many thoughtful replies, and were impressed with the amount of people who hit the nail on the head, in our opinion! Here are some of our favorites:
Mary N. says, “His past has made him skittish around strangers (only if they try to touch him), but with people he knows, and little kids, he is a complete love bug. He is, however, still an ambassador in his own way. From the day he became mine, I have walked him and my other dog daily for miles around my neighborhood. When I had a baby, I strapped girlfriend on my chest or back, and continued to walk my boys. They are very well behaved on their double leash, and there is no denying that we were a bit of spectacle (you just don’t see to many baby-wearers walking a pit bull and a ridgeback simultaneously!). I know that we have made a positive impression on more than a few of the neighbors over the years, and in my little corner of the world, Sammy has become a very well-known and beloved pit bull. We have made a difference, no matter how small, and we have changed at least a few hearts and minds.”
Erika M. says, “A dog that is in control, calm and non-reactive in public presents a wonderful picture. Dogs are individuals some tolerate just about anything because that is their temperament while others are more reserved and need time to become comfortable. (Just like people) Taking the CGC classes/tests is a way to help the dog to react appropriately in social settings.”
Laura L. says, “I think any dog can be an ambassador for their breed. All dogs have a story. While we have yet to find a serious problem with our dog I feel as an owner of a large dog I should still be cautious. I never know what will make Bones snap (if anything) that’s how your dog can be an ambassador. Know their weakness and protect them from bad situations that could get them in trouble. Ex: if you dog is dog aggressive or some-what human aggressive then you don’t take the dog to a pet expo or to a park where dogs may be off their leashes. Just be cautious of your surrounding and keep your dog, yourself and others safe.”
Katherine M. says, “In my humble opinion, a pit bull “ambassador” could be many things. I live in a neighborhood practically crawling with children so I’m extra proud that my Claire wins so many hearts and dispels prejudice with her outgoing but extra calm demeanor combined with a generous dose of tail wagging. With that said, a larger, more energetic dog could be an equally impressive representation of the breed as a faithful running partner, providing loyalty, protection and companionship for, say, an on-the-go gal in the city.”
And Rosie S. sums it up nicely, “Just as HUMAN Ambassadors have different personalities and attributes so do Dog Ambassadors. In any given situation the Human Ambassador needs to respond appropriately – the same with our Dog Ambassadors. Like their human counterparts our dogs need to be cooperative, socially well behaved, assertive, compassionate, understanding of the rules, and educated. The stories above illustrate how each individual dog can be an ambassador in their own community.”
And of course, we can’t leave out the celebrity participant, Cherry Garcia of the Vicktory dogs! “Ambassador is defined as a representative of the majority. I am an ambassador because I am the majority. I am a family member, a companion, a sibling, and many other things that represent the majority of pit bull type dogs and dogs in general. I am nothing special or extraordinary, I am just like everyone else. That is why I am an ambassador.”
When it comes down to it, ambassadors are made, not born. That’s right – every dog can be an ambassadog!
“But wait,” you say, “my dog doesn’t like other dogs! How can he be an ambassador?” Well, because being a responsible owner means not only training your dog to be his personal best, but also protecting him and advocating for him, and not putting him in situations that he can’t handle. Your dog-selective dog can be an ambassador by meeting the neighborhood kids at the bus stop and giving kisses. Your stranger-fearful dog can be an ambassador by showing off obedience behaviors in the park (with a “sorry, we’re training” to anyone who asks to pet her). Your dog who is too overwhelmed in public, can be taught to greet visitors like a gentleman, and be an ambassador in your home. You can even teach a few cute tricks to break the ice!
We believe that every dog can be taught to be an ambassa-dog in their own way, if we work to their strengths and support their weaknesses. Is your dog an ambassa-dog? If not … get to it! :)