Dog Trainer Issues A Warning To Dave Portnoy After He Invites Strangers To Come Up And Say Hi To Miss Peaches

Even if dogs are usually friendly, their behavior is unpredictable.

pit bull, miss peaches Alessandra Sawick / Shutterstock

If you are familiar with Barstool Sports, you are likely familiar with the company’s founder, Dave Portnoy. And even if you don’t know Dave, you have probably seen his adorable rescue dog, Miss Peaches

Portnoy adopted the American pit bull in Atlanta after she was rescued by the LifeLine Animal Project. She has since captured the hearts of millions since her debut online and even has her own Instagram and TikTok accounts! 




Although Miss Peaches appears to be a laid-back and friendly pup, one dog trainer online advised Portnoy to be careful after he invited strangers to approach the dog. 

The dog trainer, who specializes in rescue rehabilitation, warned Portnoy that even if Miss Peaches is friendly, it is best to keep her away from strangers in public. 

A TikTok video shared by Portnoy depicted a group of strangers gushing over Miss Peaches while Portnoy took her for a walk. The group approached the dog and extended their hands out so that she could sniff them before they petted her. Miss Peaches’ tail wagged enthusiastically as she greeted each one of her new friends, and she crouched low to the ground. 


“Hello, I’m Miss Peaches. P.S. If you see me in the street, please say hello to me. I like saying hello to everybody,” Portnoy wrote from Miss Peaches' POV. 



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Although the dog did not act aggressively toward the group, the dog trainer, Elias Charon, warned that all that could change in an instant. 


Charon, who also specializes in canine psychology and education, behavior modification, and canine communication, said that he loves seeing Miss Peaches having a positive interaction with strangers. However, even though she is sweet toward the strangers in the video, she is still a pit bull who could become anxious, scared, or threatened and turn at any given moment.  

“I’m not saying this because I think Miss Peaches is aggressive in any way; I don’t believe that whatsoever,” Charon claimed in a TikTok in response to Portnoy's. “However, I’m saying it because we need to acknowledge that pit bulls communicate with snapping and biting when they feel uncomfortable. It is their main communication tool.” 

Even if they are not aggressive, pit bulls can easily and unintentionally hurt people who approach them or pet them. 

Many rescue pit bulls like Miss Peaches came from abusive situations, where they quickly had to learn to defend themselves against their attackers. 

“It’s not coming from a place of aggression, they’re just buzzing off and guarding their own personal space,” Charon explained. 




Charon also noted that Miss Peaches appeared to have “stranger danger,” or an initial sense of anxiety when meeting new people, indicated by her crouching low to the ground as the strangers approached her.

RELATED: Trainer Reveals The 6 Signs Your Dog Does Not Want You To Pet Him Right Now

Charon offered Portnoy some helpful tips for introducing Miss Peaches to strangers in public. 

He warned Portnoy to advise strangers approaching Miss Peaches in public not to look her directly in the eyes, as many dogs take it as a sign of being challenged, prompting them to fight back. He also recommended telling strangers not to put their hands near the dog’s mouth but also not to pet her on the top of her head. 


“From the dog’s perspective, a stranger coming in from above can be threatening,” Charon said. “Ideally, she needs to meet strangers that have no problem touching her underneath her chin.” 



Additionally, he warned Portnoy not to let children around Miss Peaches in public. Like dogs, children have unpredictable personalities and can snap as quickly as they can become excited. Children often handle dogs roughly, pulling on their ears or tails instead of gently petting them. This behavior can provoke the dog to snap back at the child because they feel threatened and perceive it as an invasion of their personal space. 

While Miss Peaches appears to have been nothing but loving and affectionate since Portnoy adopted her, it is no secret that some pit bulls originate from violent and abusive situations. Pit bulls are the most common fighting dog breed used, and one in four abused dogs are pit bulls. 


Even if they are eventually rescued into a loving home, like Miss Peaches, their past still lingers with them. They can be extra apprehensive and anxious around strangers, sometimes assuming the worst even if the strangers mean no harm. 



Warning strangers not to pet or approach your dog unexpectedly is not only for the human's safety and comfort but for the dog’s as well. Even if dogs are normally well-tempered, there is no telling what will set off rescue dogs or what will make them feel uneasy or threatened. 


The best way to approach a rescue dog is with caution. Let them see you before giving them a rub under the chin. Like humans, dogs experience a wide range of emotions, including anxiety and fear, when around strangers. 

RELATED: 4 Subtle Signs Your Dog Is Trying To Tell You Something Important

Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.