Can dogs be racist?

30 Apr

There’s this Pomeranian that lives in my building. His name is Jay, but for the longest time I called him Teddy Pom-Pom, after a dog in an It’s Me or the Dog episode.

Jay is adorable, but I think Jay might be a racist.

Like many little dogs, he thinks he’s bigger and less fluffy than he is, and often shows signs of aggression towards various people and animals. I got on the elevator today with Jay. He looked up at me but didn’t make a noise. Then another guy got on. Nothing from Jay. But then two Hispanic maintenance men came on and Jay completely lost it. He started barking up a storm. “Ooo you’re a big scary dog!” one of them said to Jay with a laugh. Jay did not think this was funny at all and continued to bark until the men got off. Then it was just me, the other dude, and Jay’s owner. Jay calmed himself.

I’ve heard of dogs being partial to men or women, but can dogs be partial to race? What was it about the maintenance men that rubbed Jay the wrong way? Was it because they were Hispanic, or was it something else–perhaps their smell or the tools they were carrying?

I will update as my field work continues.

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2 Responses to “Can dogs be racist?”

  1. j3ntan April 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    YES!!! I had a chihuahua who hated black ppl- it was sooo weird! I have a yorkie now who sometimes do not like hispanics and blacks… even on TV she could tell and it really angers her! 🙂

    • reneedezvous April 30, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

      That is so funny! I wonder why that is…

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