Breed Bans

In some cities, they have banned certain breeds of dogs. The breed targeted recently is the pitbull. If a city decides to ban a breed of dog, how are they going to enforce this ban. It would require too much manpower in a huge city to even get enforcement going. Not only that, how are they going to know who has what kind of dog.

Breed bans are often politicians reactions after a highly publicized dog attack. It doesn’t fix the problem, but makes the “public” and politicians feel better. It doesn’t really solve the problem off irresponsible dog owners. Breed bans punish the dogs, not their owners.

There was a story in the Los Angeles Times a few years ago about a 10 lb Pomeranian who killed a baby. “The baby’s uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards. (“Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog,” Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)” Should we ban Pomeranians too?

In reality, it’s not the breed that is the problem, it’s the owners. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “a dog’s tendency to bite depends on at least six interacting factors: heredity, early experience, socialization and training, physical and behavioral health, victim behavior, and environment.” Breed bans ignore five of the six and are not likely to result in effective injury control. The only thing a breed ban looks at is the dog’s breed.

A breed ban affects the owners of 90% of the dogs that are well behaved and properly trained. They have to give up their beloved pet because of someone who is irresponsible and failed to properly train their dog. Why harm the 90% of well behaved dogs?

What should we do if we don’t ban a breed then?

  1. Teach responsible pet ownership including: selecting a pet, pet training, pet care, responsibility and bite prevention.
  2. Teach children the importance of approaching a dog properly.
    1. DO NOT to approach strange dogs at all
    2. NEVER approach and touch a dog that doesn’t approach and touch you FIRST
    3. You get the picture right??
  3. Encourage spaying and neutering — neutering tends to reduce aggressive tendencies
  4. Enforce leash laws — this needs to be done in the town where I live!
  5. Have generic non-breed specific dangerous dog laws — and enforce them!! Make fines stiffer for chronic offenders!
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