Bullying is a repeated aggressive behavior where one person (or group of people) in a position of power deliberately intimidates, abuses, or coerces an individual with the intention to hurt that person physically or emotionally. Acts of bullying can be physical or verbal. Unfortunately, many well respected show and hunt Labrador breeders have been unkind to one another as the dilute Labrador has risen in popularity. While these interactions are unpleasant, there is a clear line between reasonable discourse in conflict and that of bullying.
Incidents of Labrador Color bullying must include all 3 of these characteristics:
1) Intentional- the behavior was an aggressive and deliberate attempt to hurt another person.
2) Repeated- these aggressive actions occur repeatedly over time to the same person or group of people.
3) Power imbalance- the person bullying perceives they have more social power than the other group or persons in question which are being bullied.
There are three types of Labrador Breed Color bullying, which can occur separately or simultaneously:
- Verbal bullying such as name-calling or yelling.
- This has primarily taken place in Labrador Groups on Facebook and also in person at dog shows or hunt competitions.
- Relational bullying such as excluding or rumor-spreading.
- This has primarily taken place through false rumors and accusations spread by people desperate to maintain 3 primary colors within the Labrador breed. Their walls have crumbled in around them and they have taken to bad mouthing and/or broad brushing an entire group of people based upon a few examples of either poor breed quality or the few breeders who are in it for the money. Needless to say, there are just as many standard color breeders or more who are “in it for the money” or whose dogs have health issues. The dilute Labrador is on par with or is less affected by many of the Labrador maladies. Therefore, taking a few incidences and blowing them out of proportion only to spread rumors is another example of relational, rumor spreading bullying.
- Cyberbullying involves sending hurtful or malicious messages over digital devices, such as computers and cell phones, on Facebook or other social media for the expressed purpose of ‘shaming.’
- This form of bullying is becoming increasingly more prevalent and is directed towards not only establish breeders, but also to people who innocently begin to fall in love with the Labrador breed from exposure to the various dilute colorations and perhaps begin a breeding program of their own. These dilute-friendly individuals are called derogatory and slanderous names online by the cyberbullies in an attempt to publicly shame them. What’s unfortunate is the things that people do and say on social media, no one would have the courage to do if the individual’s Labrador was sitting in front of them in their living room. However, somehow these Labrador breed color bullies are determined and empowered to tear down people online all in a vain attempt to make sure the purity of their ‘colors’ of the Labrador breed remain intact. What’s crazy is that there is no fear of the primary colors ever going extinct. Their obsession with purity and continued hurtful behavior only mimics the bullying that often takes place in Junior High School.
They say things like….
- “ ‘Weimador’! How could you dilute the Labrador gene pool!”
- “ You are only in it for the money!“
They make statements that are so blatantly false it’s sad. But to the person ignorant of the dilute gene, it may be taken as fact.
Things such as, “All Dilute Labradors have health issues!”
This is blatantly false! Many breeders have been breeding for over 10 to 20 years now with dilute Labs void of wide spread health issues. There also have been countless dilute puppies born that have had very few health issues further displaying that they are no different than the rest of the population of standard base coat colors of the breed.
Who is at risk?
All people who are considering purchasing a Dilute Labrador in their future, anyone who would consider beginning a breeding program including a dilute Labrador.
What can we do to fight back ?
To mitigate and minimize the bullying while simultaneously spreading awareness of the existence of Silver Labs, we can do the following:
- Those who own a dilute Labrador can continue to post pictures of their beautiful healthy Labrador and continue to answer the bully’s remarks with a demonstration to the public of many thousands of ‘Healthy Dilute Labradors’.
- Continue to write, show pictures, and advocate for the truth about Silver Labradors!
- Realize that this kind of shaming and bullying wasn’t good in Junior High and it doesn’t work now either!
- Please share this article and let people know to stand up to bullying on the playground, but also on line!
- Add this Logo to your website and link it to this article!