The breeder we bought Liezel from is very proud of her pack’s champion bloodlines. While we never intended to show Liezel, it was important to us to get a puppy from dogs with proven working ability, temperament, and hip / elbow / eye / heart certifications.
She (the breeder) stresses to all of her clients the importance of “Being an ambassador of the breed.” The public’s on-going misconception of certain breeds like German Shepherd Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Pit Bulls, and Rottweilers puts the burden on the breed owners to show that these breeds are not what Hollywood makes them out to be.
In my quest to show the world that Rottweilers are good dogs, and to fight breed-specific legislation, I was determined to raise perfectly behaved Rottweilers. Buying a puppy from champion bloodlines who show good temperament and my commitment to lifelong training was a guarantee that I was going to get the perfect Rottweiler. Right? Right?
When Liezel first started showing signs of fear aggression most of my concern was that I was not going to be an “ambassador of the breed.” I worried that I was going to contribute to the already misconceived perception that all Rottweilers are aggressive. The worrying about this became all consuming.
The thought that Liezel and I were not going to make a difference in changing people’s perception of the breed was very disappointing, disheartening, and caused me to have a lot of anxiety and misplaced anger.
Many times my husband pointed out that it wasn’t my job to change the world’s perception on Rottweilers. It wasn’t my job to “fix” what other people think. It wasn’t my job. It took me a very long time to understand and believe those words.
Some time ago I gave up the idea that I, with my fearful dog, could be an ambassador of the breed. My job now is to be the guardian and protector of Liezel. To help her have the happiest, healthiest life she can. For now, someone else will need to march with their BSL-banned dog to right unjustified misconceptions.
Side note: Liezel is actually a very, very good dog. She is just afraid of strangers and her way of attempting to get them away from her is to bark and lunge. …it works.