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How to Stop Rude Comments About Your Dog

How to stop rude comments about dog

Your dog seems to run your life, Carol.

Um, yep: And I am grateful for it. In talking with a fellow writer/dog mom friend recently, we mused over the fact that a large portion of society seem to speak without a filter. And a great deal of those unfiltered comments could really use a dose of reality: A fi-dose of reality, that is. There are ways to stop rude comments about your dog.

The rude comments that get thwarted towards those who define ourselves as dedicated dog moms and dads seem are becoming more and more rampant.

The thing that irks me most of us is when the comments come from complete strangers. If I wanted to be insulted, I’d call my blood relatives, I remind myself when walking away from a “what the hell just happened” moment.

Stepping Back to Move Forward

At the age of 46, I’ve learned that getting mad and allowing negative comments to tie me up in knots serves no purpose in my life. Speaking against naysayers and trying to educate the ignorant has become more the norm in my life. Of course, there are some folks who just aren’t worth educating.

I’ve written about rude people before and my reaction to their negativity commentary. I am not sure what soapbox some folks carry around and why they decide to use it on me from time to time, but I try. I try so very hard to educate and rehabilitate: So that the person stops their negativity before it gets any further along. I prefer to be part of the solution, not someone who perpetrates the cycle.

Want to read about how I stop naysayers who insult my dog? Click here.

Keep reading for this year’s installment of “It’s My Life, My Name’s on the Birth Certificate, Step Off, Buddy” – in other words: What I say to people who insult my dog. Feel free to use these comebacks, come up with a few of your own, or just plain ignore them.

rude people

Porky Pooch

“He eats well, doesn’t he?”

I mean seriously, would you walk up to a complete stranger and say that to another human being? Sadly, some people would (and do).

My dog is of a larger than normal Cocker Spaniel litter and I love every fiber of his being. His weight is just right, and his vet agrees.  When his fur grows in and he is due for a trimming, he looks larger than he actually is. These are the times that complete strangers seem to get diarrhea of the mouth.

My response has been “that’s rude” or “my dog heard that and he doesn’t find it funny.” And one time when someone asked me how much he weighed, I asked them the same question.

If you walk around asking people or pets how much they weigh, mind your own business, please, unless you are my dog’s veterinarian.

No Life for You

“Your dog seems to run your life, Carol.”

Actual words said to me by a friend of a friend. I thanked her and agreed.

It pretty much shut her down. I’ve learned that the more my blog grows, the more my articles are published, and the more I share information about my love of dogs and passion of one pooch in paw-ticular, the more likely it is I will get flack.

Some people feel the need to hurl comments to hurt: I prefer to use words in the name of positivity. And if I have nothing nice to say….well, you know the rest.\

cocker spaniel

Biting Bowser

“Oh is that a Cocker Spaniel? They are snappy and will bite.”

I am so proud of myself for having the emotional fortitude to simply look at this person and say, “Like people, my dog is an individual and he cannot speak for himself. As his mom, please don’t stereotype.”

In his name, do your best to educate people. Or at least try. It’s been my experience that some folks can’t (or won’t) open their minds to change. But it’s worth trying.

Birthday Boy

“What? You had a birthday party for your dog?! That’s crazy.”

My comeback was in writing, but I managed to get this out: “Indeed. I even dressed up like a cat so Rover and all his furry friends can chase me around as a form of entertainment.”

And yes, I did have a dog birthday party. Click here for ideas on how you can plan a fun dog birthday party, too.

dog birthday cake
Dexter “blows” out his birthday cake candle

Maybe They Mean Well

“Sorry to hear your dog passed away last week. Think you’ll get another one?”

Actually, what you say depends on who is saying it. Some people have good intentions when they say this. When I experienced this after my dog Brandy Noel died, I was floored, often nodding a silent “no” and wondering what a good response is to such a statement. We don’t ask if someone will get another mother, father, or sibling, because we know they are not instantly replaceable. For some people, a dog is just that. Those of us in the know, well, we know better.

If you feel inclined to reply with dignity, something like, “Max isn’t replaceable, but my heart will let me know if and when it wants to open itself again” tends to work, and is respectful.

I’m not angry, I’m a dog parent, and I know I’m not alone.  What negative questions, remarks, or actions do you encounter? Do you have any comebacks worth sharing?

As you think about it, my dog blogger buddy, Melissa Clinton, penned her take on rude comments made about dogs on her paw-pular blog, Barking from the Bayou. Head on over and please check it out!

Comments

  1. Katherine says

    Great article as always. 🙂

    While walking my bundled up Boston terriers in the winter in Northern Virginia: “You dress your dogs?!?” Response: “Well how about you run around in nothing but a t-shirt and shorts and see if you might prefer a coat.” One of my boys actually demands that I carry him under my coat; he says he’s cold when the temps did below 90.

    I told a guy not to approach because one of my boys would not be receptive and would bark at him –and he did start barking when the guy took a step forward. (Even the one who loves everyone did not get good vibes from this man.) The guy huffed off but turned around and came back and said, “There’s a solution to that barking — a water hose.” I was shocked. Yes. A water hose filled with napalm aimed at you, jerk. Didn’t say that but should have.

    One boy is built like a tank — all muscle, deep chested, broad, thick. He’s built like a Frenchie (which he is part) with long Boston legs. Next to his ultra lean and sleek brother, he looks like a chunky monkey. He gains weight very easily and has hypothyroidism. People comment all the time how fat he is. He’s not fat. He has a nipped waist, and his vet isn’t concerned about his weight. I tell commenters that he’s built like a wrestler and is perfect as is.

    A man on a bike came up behind me on a sidewalk in the dark this past weekend. I didn’t hear him. My little man did, though, and flipped his wig — barking and snarling at the incursion on our personal space. The man gave me a look to call off my dog. Honey, you should know better than to appear suddenly right beside a woman in the dark. There’s a lot worse I could have done.

    • Carol Bryant says

      WOW Katherine, what is wrong with people – I am continually amazed at the sheer rudeness. What a terrible person to say what he did on the water hose! I appreciate your comments and just wow at what you have had to endure. Paw power and give your boys a tummy rub from us.

  2. Emma says

    Thankfully we haven’t had much trouble with rude people, but Mom does like to tell those who find her a bit dog excessive that her life has gone to the dogs and she likes it that way.

    • Carol Bryant says

      That is a good line. I sometimes wonder what the heck happened in society that some folks have become so rude. I wonder if maybe they just need a dog in their lives 😉

  3. Cathy Armato says

    Honestly, the only rude comments I get are from my idiot sister – she’s a tiny woman w/ a huge mouth! She thinks it’s stupid that my dogs are such a big part of my life. I can handle her, though. The only thing that irks me is when people make stupid remarks about the fact that I live in Phoenix (most of the year) and have a Husky. Like I’m some evildoer punishing my dog by making her live in a hot climate – so stupid! Dogs are one of the most adaptable species, and a Husky’s double undercoat insulates from cold as well as heat. You should see how my Husky loves basking in the Phoenix sun! Summers in Phoenix are tough for her, but they’re tough for every dog (and human) living in Phoenix! I tell them “I’m pretty sure every breed of dog can live happily in any of our 50 beautiful states!”
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  4. Susan says

    One day when I was walking Dusty & Rocky (both chocolate & white parti cockers), a man greeted us & said he’s never seen such small Springers before. I informed him politely that they weren’t Springers, they were cocker spaniels. His immediate response was, “Oh no, your mistaken. Cockers don’t come in that color.” I smiled & stayed polite in responding that yes, they do come in “that” color and my boys are cocker spaniels and I have their pedigrees to prove it. I also mentioned that Springers coats are different too. He then pushed it further & started to argue that I had been lied to and he felt sorry for me because I had been “sold a bill of goods.” I was so dumbfounded at his rudeness I didn’t know what to say. I finally told him we had to leave & wished him a good day. You just can’t fix stupid!! 🙂

  5. Slimdoggy says

    We don’t get to many rude comments, mostly just around how much time we devote to them…but I shut them down pretty quick – especially when I explain that SlimDoggy is a business!

    • Carol Bryant says

      Oh boy – we get told similar things. “There is no way that is a Cocker. I have never seen one in that color”

      Oye.

      Hugs and tummy rubs, Edward and Lily.

  6. Louri Erickson says

    Just recently one of my cookers bit another dog. Total accident but now my neighbors who have known both my dogs for years all of a sudden feel they can throw rude comments or snipes about her. She’s aggressive. She bites. She’s mean. How rude. She didn’t bite anyone and it was an accident with the other dog. They didn’t witness it but feel they have the right to voice their opinions with rude comments. Dogs have feelings too. I now don’t really talk to them anymore and avoid conversations with them. You’re rude to my dogs so I have no need for you. Enough said. Thanks.

  7. DZ Dogs says

    Yup…. we can totally relate with this one!
    Yes I do dress my dogs up, they wear hand knit sweaters by their auntie, doggy hoodies, they each have rain jackets, Ziva has a fluffy down jacket (she gets way colder than Dante for some reason), they have boots, boy ties, scarves….we dress them up for Halloween in costumes, and Ziva has a tutu for special occasions.
    My dogs get cold, I run into people who ask or roll their eyes and remark about how they would never dress their dog up. And I explain it – “How would you like to run around naked in the dead of winter? They have practically no hair! Ziva will start immediately shaking and tucking her tail if she goes out and it’s cold, the boots are for their feet if it’s icy or snowy to prevent their pads from being damaged or cracking, oh, and they are built like body builders and have almost no fat to insulate them so yes they wear clothes. In regards to silly costumes, I hate getting remarks about how my dogs are dangerous and can’t ever be trusted 100%, the silly stuff helps to break the ice and show a different side of my pitties, they are silly, they are loveable and they will not bite. They also love children and it makes parents more comfortable having their child visit with a pitbull in a tutu than one with a spiked collar.

    People drive me nuts.

    I also get comments like my dogs are practice for me having kids in the future. OH BOY.. I HATE THAT.
    #1 my sex life is not your business, what if I want to have kids and we just can’t?
    #2 I don’t want kids, my husband doesn’t want kids (human children)
    #3 my dogs are my kids, we will never get rid of or rehome them, they have birthdays, their own Christmas stockings and get presents for holidays. Get over it people! Insult my dog in my home and i’m kicking you out.

    • Carol Bryant says

      Amen dogs are our kids and I love that you know exactly what to say. It is just so frustrating – who are these people, the dog police? Grrrrr!

  8. Kristen–well minded says

    “If I wanted to be insulted, I’d call my blood relatives…” BOL! So true! This is a great article. I get all sorts of comments from people because I walk so many dogs. It is truly amazing what people will say!

    • Carol Bryant says

      I will be honest – I had to think about that one but when I did I wrote it down to use it, Kristen. It sure is sad how people can be.

  9. Ryan says

    “I even dressed up like a cat so Rover and all his furry friends can chase me around” ROFL! You’re awesome.

    It makes me soooo mad when people insist that Quincy is fat. It’s just fluffy fur! Pet him and you’ll see! He’s shaved short now, so it’s been a while, but I hate that comment so much.

  10. MattieDog says

    Only had one incident…three comments from da same lady within a span of about 14 days. I had 2 take care of my business, each time da lady was within a 1/2 block and when she walked by us she would say, “Disgusting!” Real loudly. It didn’t stop me though, cuz when you gotta go, you gotta go. Da last time she made a real huff and stepped in front of my momma, making faces while exposing her dislike of dog poo. My momma said, “If you can teach him how to use the toilet I’m all in!” We hasn’t seen da lady since. I still take care of my business in da grass…..

  11. Maggie says

    The things people say… It never ceases to amaze me, really. Lately, for us, it’s been, “Are you sure that was the right thing to do?” or “Does he have a good quality of life like that?” when it comes to Lukey’s amputation. Sigh. Yes and yes. Then, I pull out my phone and show videos of him one-legged-digging up the garden, running laps, hiking, and pummeling Cooper! So there! 🙂

  12. Rachel Sheppard says

    Carol I am so sorry that people have said these things to you. I have been experiencing a lot of these comments lately, and it does make me sad sometimes. However, I always immediately feel better when Rooney looks at me, and shows me how happy he is!

  13. Forest Poodles says

    Here’s one that I’ve had a few times that I hate… “How long do they live?” I need a better shut-down comeback for this! I would never ask an adult or child when they are going to die! Why do people think it is appropriate for dogs?

    • Carol Bryant says

      Oh gosh, you nailed it. I had a guy in a pet supply store ask me Dexter’s age…when I told him *at the time* 7, he said “Well, he’s halfway to his grave.” WTH

  14. Sherri Telenko says

    Maybe I don’t notice or look like I’d snap back, but I don’t get a lot of these comments. As far as weight goes, I’m don’t really care if someone says something about my dog or me. (For the record, I’m 160 pounds. Muscle weighs more than fat. Please visualize me flexing my bicep now).
    But the comments that did bother me are the unfortunately well-meaning ones: “Are you getting another cat?” days after I lost mine. Or, ‘They’re part of the family, aren’t they?’ No, she was my family. They meant well. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say.

  15. Tennille says

    The rudest thing I’ve encountered is when someone questioned Aubrey’s pedigree because she didn’t look like a typical Cocker Spaniel. I informed the individual that Cockers come in all colors, sizes, and varieties!

    • Carol Bryant says

      “That’s funny, my dog just told me the same thing about you.” or you can say “that’s quite rude”

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