We all love dogs don't we? Mans best friend, the little furry guys that are always there to lend a helping hand whenever we need it. Dogs, or animals in general, have been apart of my life since my parents took me home from the hospital after my birth. I always like to think that I raised by my family, and every four-legged friend we've ever had. From my house, to my grandmothers, and both my aunts, every lesson they instilled in my head was always accompanied by that of a companion ready to cuddle or howling to be fed. Now as we all love our animals, ask yourself this: Am I perpetuating breed discrimination?

Now all animal lovers may say that they love every breed of dog or cat, but if you're one of those people that believe Pitbulls, Rottweilers, German Shepards, and Dobermans are vicious breeds, then I also believe you clench your belongings every time you walk into an elevator with a person of color. As stated before, I was practically raised by household pets, and it was those four breeds listed that raised me from the time that I could walk, to the time that I am writing this now. As I know these breeds have been most famed for fighting, war, and police training, it's important to understand that they are no different than any other breed of dog when it comes to mentality and care. Yes, they possess physical prowess and beauty unlike no other, but that is not a reason to fear them.

Would you believe me if I told you I've actually been threatened for walking my dog down my own block? Like no kidding. I've been looked at, told I should hold my dog closer, and actually threatened that someone would shoot my dog for simply walking down my own block. The stigma that people portray behind these animals is honestly more deadly than the animals themselves, and if you let that drive your fear of them, you're part of the problem.

As people have fears for different reasons (dog bites, attacks) it's understandable that you may be fearful if you've had a bad experience. We all have fears and even some traumatic experiences, but keep in mind that fear does not define all animals of that kind, or dogs of that particular breed. Dogs respond to certain situations by how they were raised. I can't preach to you enough how it's about the owner, not the breed. My dog runs every time I drop a fork, and even though he wouldn't hesitate to defend me out in the street, he in no way means harm to any one or thing unless he's defending himself like literally any other animal, or human being, would.

Fact: Pitbulls have the least powerful bite force among the four breeds previously listed. Clocking in at 235 PSI, this is significantly lower than both the Rottweiler and Doberman, and 3 PSI less than the German Shepard. Before you judge based on breed, I urge you to check your facts. A day doesn't go by without somebody moving feet away, or crossing the street whenever I walk my dog down the block. Even though he may not notice, I definitely do. Breed discrimination may not seem like a problem, but when it pushes stereotypes that breeds are deadly, and action is taken based on these stereotypes to kill, or ban certain breeds, it becomes much more than just that.

Every breed deserves a chance, so before you cross the street or hesitate near that dog, walk your regular path and just smile. Our faithful companions come in all shapes and sizes, and deserved to be loved no matter how they were born.