Can a dog be racist?

If your dog doesn’t like darkies, and you want to sell  it, you’d think you’d want to save some people the trip by warning them.

TradeMe has removed an auction for a prized bulldog because the owner said he would only consider selling to a white person.

Richard Tunnicliffe, from Huntly, listed the 2-year-old bulldog, which he said would only be sold to an “approved home”.

The listing added: “Also not being racist but will only go to a white person as that’s what she’s used to.”…

“Listings on TradeMe are subject to the Human Rights Act and you cannot discriminate against someone on a number of grounds including sex, race or age when listings goods or services,” a spokesman said.

“Discriminatory listings are not cool and we’ll take action when they get on our radar; they appear onsite from time-to-time.”…

Tunnicliffe was unrepentant about the wording, saying he was very protective of where his dogs went because they were like “family”.

“Different cultures have different ways of raising [dogs],” he said.

“I would prefer it to go to a European person to be honest. I know it sounds a bit racist, but that’s me.”

He said he did not want to waste the time of people who may be interested in the dog but were not white.

On Friday, Tunnicliffe said he had not received any complaints about the advert’s wording.

He had previously sold puppies to Indians and Asians, but said the dog – which had an asking price of $2000 – was skittish so he was being careful about rehoming.

Animal behaviour expert Dr James McEwan said a dog would generally only have an issue with a person if they had a history of being beaten by them or someone who looked similar.

“I don’t think a dog would look at the colour of a person’s skin and have any expectations of what might happen next,” he said.

I knew this family that had a dog they’d had as a puppy, and it was never mistreated.   Yet it was decidedly racist.  It would let white people up the drive and into the house without raising its head, but if anyone with non-white skin turned up, the hackles would go up and she’d make a stand.

Other dogs are misogynists.  Ask some dog owners, and you’ll find some where the dog loves or hates one gender.

The guy selling the dog seems to be more concerned about accurately describing what he’s selling rather than having a problem with darkies.

What’s the point of the Human Rights Act when it forces an honest and harmless person to be less than honest about something?

This dog is better homed with a white family.  It’s a fact.  So harden up.


– Regan Schoultz, A newspaper

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