Learn How Language Affects How People Perceive All DogsWhether it’s how you identify them or the words you use to describe the dogs in your care, everything we say as animal welfare workers impacts their lives. This book is also great for people who want to learn more about the language of effective advocacy.
“In order to better serve animals and society, we must take the lead and free ourselves from stereotypes that imply simple solutions to complex issues.” Bernice Clifford, APDT-KA
It’s easy to fall into the back on stereotypes to describe the dogs in your care. Even myths that we think are helping, can actually hurt our efforts. This FAQ explains why some language is more productive than others.
Cynthia Bathurst, PhD. says that, “language reflects habit, not thought.” We must evaluate whether or not our words feed into stereotypes instead of communicating science-based information.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Advocating for Stereotypes
Quotes from Animal Welfare Workers and Dog Advocates
- “They are different from all other dogs.”
- “They have superior physical and mental characteristics.”
- “They require a special degree of treatment.”
- “Some people will not be able to supply control.”
Quotes from Discriminatory Ordinances, Court Cases, & BSL Supporters
- They “represent a unique hazard and are different in degree and kind.”
- “Even their most ardent admirers agree that these dogs are not for everyone and require special attention and discipline.”
Perpetuating the Myth of “Pit Bull” Dog High Pain Tolerance Doesn’t Help Dogs, It Hurts Them
"Pit bull" dog advocates can be just as guilty of believing stereotypes and myths as pro-BSL individuals. Your efforts should always be focused on science, not myth.
The First Story You Tell About a Shelter Dog Has the Power to Change Their Life
A dog's adoption bio means everything to potential adopters - and the dogs in your care.
The Language We Use to Talk About Dog Fighting May Do More Harm than Good
Are we helping dogs or reinforcing stereotypes?
No, “Pit Bull” Dogs Don’t Lock Their Jaws, and Other Myth-Busting Facts
The not so surprising answer to all of these myths is that science says "pit bull" dogs are just like other dogs.