Monday, January 18, 2010

Dirty Bunny


Wow! The comments made on my post "Breed Profiling" is the perfect example of why I love to blog! I am grateful to have such reasonable, intelligent and sincere people to reflect ideas off of and with whom to debate the endless questions, concerns and controversies of the crazy world of horses!

It seems the overwhelming sentiment of our collective comments was that a horse must be judged and treated as an individual.

While I agree, absolutely, that one should never count or discount a horse because of his breed, I believe that those stereotypes exist for a reason and can be used to our advantage.

Is it our resistance to racism and (human) prejudice, stereotyping and profiling that makes us feel defensive about applying negative qualities to a breed? I too have actually taken (mild) offense to a strangers comment that they "hate" a particular breed. I too feel the need to defend such statements with examples of those horses who have proved the exception. Even if it is my own biases! Why, just recently I considered leasing an Appaloosa! and even once made an offer to purchase one despite my (generally) ill-favored opinion of the breed. I am always willing to consider and find merit in the individual but that certainly doesn't mean that I'd go seeking an Appaloosa if were in the market to purchase!

For example, I own a lazy Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler). I've known other lazy Blue Heelers. But when my Mom, a mildly active and over worked mother and wife, went looking for a dog I didnt recommend she look for a Blue Heeler, despite my experience with those dogs that defied the the reputation of their breed.


Breeds- by definition- are collective stereotypes...our human effort to selectively reproduce animals that are homozygous (alike) in qualities.

Have you ever had an experience with a horse, dog or any kind of animal that turned you off of a breed or species- even though it was the faults of the individual, not a common fault of their breed?

For me it is Poodles. I know they are smart, athletic and amazing dogs but when I was a child my Grandmother's friend had a poodle that used to harrass and bite me (until one I day I bit it back!) and my Aunt had one that would pee while standing on it's front legs (I found this disturbing for some reason). To this day I cant seem to get past my poodle prejudice ... then there was that thing I saw that time with the (aptly named) "Dirty" bunny and the cat... cant shake that one either... but I'll leave that story for another day!

Any animal prejudices of your own?

Be sure to vote on my bizarre (but not creep, promise!) poll question!

Today's pictures are inspired by Pioneer Woman's "sunset" photo contest! Which is your favorite (1,2, 3 or 4)?


  1. I think I like #2 the best. I would not mind having all four, really!! (I am waiting on her cookbook to arrive, I sneaked a peek at the bookstore the other day. Just gorgeous! Worth waiting for, I know.

  2. I like #4.

    I am a dog lover. And dogs are drawn to me. We have 3 and 2 are suppose to belong to my kids, but they love me instead. So its not unusal for me to have to step over a springer spaniel, a white shepherd and a st. bernard just to get up and answer the phone.

    I feel bad saying this knowing you have one, but the only dog who has ever NOT liked me was a blue heeler! I was looking at a horse trailer on the seller's farm & felt pain in my thigh. I looked down and this dog that I hadn't even seen approach me, had its teeth buried in my thigh & is knid of hanging there. Then, typical of a bad dog owner, "oh, he gets like that sometime". Well, freakin' warn me, would you? So blue heelers are on my bad list. I am actually a bit paranoid when I am around one now...

  3. I like #1. But they're all beautiful.

    As far as prejudices.... not really, I guess. If I were to come across any individual, I'd judge it individually. But as far as breeds I'd seek out....I'm very picky!

  4. #4 is my fav.

    I have a friend who has the laziest Aussie you would ever know. She is so not the typical Aussie dog. If someone saw her and thought "oh I want an aussie" they would be in for a very rude experience.

    I am bad about breed profiling, I don't care for a paint. It's really just a cropped out QH but I still don't want to own one. The only thing I could come up with is that all my life my grandfather talked bad about them. crazy hu? haha

    Great post.

  5. Great pics! I can't decide between 2 and 4.

    As far as prejudices go, I have a few. I don't like any type of big birds. I was attacked by a rooster, chased by a goose and bitten by a parrot when I was little so pretty much any type of big bird scares the crap out of me.

    I also don't like labs, mostly chocolate labs. I have been plowed over by a rather large chocolate lab and also humped by a different chocolate lab. Me and chocolate labs just don't seem to get along.

    I'm not a big fan of Appy's, TB's or POA's (I call them POS's). I have met a few that were exceptions, of course.

    I'm not sure if any of my issues are faults of those individual animals or breed/species generalities, but I have no problem applying my bad experiences and prejudices to the entire breed/species.

  6. I was about to say that I didn't have a prejudice caused by an individual animal when I remembered my neighbor's Blue-and-Yellow-Macaw. Its name was Bebe, and it followed me around her house, wouldn't leave me alone, and when it climbed up my arm (I tried to shake it off) it bit me on the arm once, and bit my index finger twice. I very seriously contemplated killing it with a lamp.

    Another time I was mid-wifing sheep for a 4-H leader. I had no idea the woman owned Emus. I decided to hop a fence and short-cut into the yonder pasture. Bad move! Half way across the pasture I heard a drumming sound. I thought I was hearing a neighbor watching a special on indigenous drum-playing tribes on their tv. When I finally turned around there was a massive beady-eyed bird with feet like a prehistoric raptor. It chased me out of the pasture.

    In conclusion.... I'm prejudice against a species. I love birds when they're outside where they belong! lol! I'd rather baby sit a snake than a bird, honestly.

  7. I like number 4.

    On the breed side…there are definitely a few I am predisposed to disliking.

    With dogs, I'm not a fan of chocolate labs, because all of the ones I've encountered have been bred for colour alone and were therefore lacking in the brains department.

    Also, any dog that weighs less than 5 pounds full grown…I find they tend to be over bred and under trained, specifically because I prefer large, well mannered pouches. Nothing smaller than my cat for me. :)

    I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any at the moment.

  8. Lucky you and your lazy cattle dog. Our little guy is the most ADD heeler I have ever come across!!! Anyway, your sunset pics are beautiful, I like #1 the best I think. But, I'm really not sure, cuz I like them all. I did not comment on your breeds post because I couldn't find the right words, but I too, project discrimination onto certain breeds. However, I think my prejudice is mostly based on the type of riding I do. I am not a big fan of Arabs, but I'm not a jumper or an endurance rider. I like casual trail riding and barrel racing, so quarter horses are more my speed. However, I do own a half Friesian, so I suppose I shouldn't talk.

  9. Girl I breed profile and don't like certain breeds. Mostly based on looks. I do not like the look of Arabians. But I mentioned that in my last post.

    I don't like tiny dogs, they, to me are pointless. But that is just me. I will pet them, and talk to them, but I will never own one.

    I am with some others and I do not like birds. Their feet freak me out. Even chickens. I am really kinda scared of them.

    So, I guess I am animal prejudice. There are some animals that I think are pretty and some that I think are funky looking. Like my husband LOVES our bulldog, I think she is funny looking and stinks!! ha ha!!

    To each his own, that's what makes the world go round!!

    Oh, and paints aren't QH crop outs they are just QH's with color!! ha ha!! :)

  10. Oh, and I forgot, I like pictures 3 and 4. I like the colors in 4. The mountain shining out is pretty darn cool.

  11. I don't breed profile but I do animal profile. I don't do cats, I don't do rodents, and I will not deal with birds, but for no reasons to fault the animals, just for my own lack of patience and lack of enjoyment. I'm not ashamed to admit that its for fully selfish reasons. I don't like cats because I can't control them, and training a cat goes no further then what the cat feels like doing that day, rodents are just too twitchy for me, it creeps me out, and birds are just too noisy! I would never place those opinions however on someone else if they asked me what I felt they should own. It's your own boat to navigate and choose your body of water.

    Each animal breed I've come across to me has had a special place, a special owner, and I couldn't say I dislike a breed because of it's tendencies.

    Number 1 because it feels so much like home - I remember that view growing up

    and number 2 because it strikes a place in me and makes me feel awe

  12. I really like photo #1. Something so beautiful about the mountains.
    Regarding profiling, well, I think that certain breeds of animals have stereotypes based on their repurations and people's opinions. I will say that I do feel a bit of profiling towards Pitt Bulls. I just do, they make me nervous. Rottweilers too a little, although I know one and he's cool so that has helped.
    When it comes to horse breeds, there aren't really I don't like, but I would probably not consider buying certain breeds, like a Paso or Andalusian. I don't know why, they just don't seem to fit what I want to do with a horse. Buying my next horse will be kind of exciting, because I really hope to pick it out. My Boy kind of fell into my lap, I didn't really pick him, per se. So I am excited to try different breeds for my next one, and then base it on the individual horse, not just the breed.
    Fun topics, you always keep us thinkin' over here! ;)

  13. I kept meaning to comment on your last post. Yeesh!

    You'll find this amusing...I really do not like Red Heelers! It's a childhood prejudice due to a neighbor that always had a nasty Red Heeler or two around. Sneaky buggers and prone to bitting.

    Well what do I own? A Red Heeler! It was not my intention to keep him when I took him. I only took him and his litter mate to save them from being shot by their owner. But he had so many problems, I knew placing him would be a pain, so he just stayed and stayed until I finally realized I wouldn't be getting rid of him.

    Red Dog has a lot of a heeler's natural neurosis...he would work himself to death, he loves to go, go, go and he cannot help but snap at the air around the horse's noses and heels sometimes. But I have never ever owned a dog as loyal and as dedicated to ME as this dog is. He's a hard headed bugger. I've had to roll him a few times to get him to back off. But he is so earnest in his attempt to work that he amuses me more than irritates me when that happens.

    Would I EVER willingly own another Red Heeler? Not likely! I still prefer my Blues and BH/Border Collie crosses. As far as I'm concerned RD is abnormal for Red Heelers. I firmly believe he has a bit of Corgi in him and that very well may be why he is different.

  14. Hmmm well when it comes to dogs I have a lot I guess - I have never really thought of them this way - am I a bad person because I am accepting to most all horses and not dogs??

    Well here is the thing - I hate little yappy dogs. I know there is a use for them and yeah maybe if i was living in a small apartment I would find a small dog that didn't bother me so much. But right now - I don't like them, will not pet them - and I will in fact kick them if they come running up barking and snapping at my feet/ankles. EVEN if they belong to family or friends. Yes this has cause problems...I don't care, I don't allow any dog to do that to me.

    I can't recall meeting a well behaved one. It's as if people don't discipline them because they are so small and kute. Sigh.... And most of them I have known are not house broke and pee inside - a behavior I find most revolting. My lab dog's bladder would burst before he peed inside.

    And then there is this other thing - NOW DON"T GET UPSET I AM JUST BEING HONEST - there are prejudices within breeds. I do not like most Chocolate Labs, and wouldn't set out to buy one. 100% of all the Chocolates I have met have an off the chart energy level matched with a lower than average intelligence. To test this I exercised the crap our of my uncles and cousin's Chocolate labs while I was watching them on separate occasions thinking maybe if I burned some of that energy off I would work with them on manners......HA! Nope. I did eventually burn the energy off - not an easy task - but the intelligence that I am used to with Yellows and Black just wasn't there. It took 3 times as long to learn a command and once learned it certainly wasn't retained in any fashion - working with them was like beating my head against the wall. And I have found many chocolates to be the same (yes I know there are probably good ones out there and yeah there are probably folks who feel the same about Yellows or Blacks or most lab dogs in general) but that has been my experience and I relate it to the color of the dog seeings that the blacks and yellows from the SAME litter as some of these dogs were smart and mellow.

    Sorry that's just how I feel. They are pretty but I wouldn't buy one. May rescue or adopt one - and do my best with them. But I would not spend money on one. There I said it.