First things first. Having chosen the name Friday Five for this series, I was tying myself into knots trying to come up with five links, initially, and then five headings for every topic I decided to explore. But it’s tough enough figuring out what I think without worrying about a quintuplet presentation. So it’s buh-bye Friday Five, hello Friday Focus. Same in-depth exploration of a topic, same alliteration in the title. The only thing I’m giving up is the numerical straight jacket.

This week, then, the question is: Does breed specific legislation (BSL) serve a useful purpose? In case you’re not familiar with the term, Wikipedia defines BSL as follows:

…a law or ordinance passed by a legislative body pertaining to a specific breed or breeds of domesticated animals. In practice, it generally refers to laws or ordinances pertaining to a specific dog breed or breeds.

Most people I know oppose BSL. Is there any one out there who wants to defend it?

Thanks to my Twitter pal @Kenzo_HW for suggesting this topic (and several other good ones).

6 thoughts on “Friday Focus: Breed Specific Legislation”

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  2. I am definitely opposed to breed specific legislation, seriously, it’s not the dogs, it’s the breeders and the owners. With a bit of effort any large enough breed could be turned into a killing machine through breeding and upbringing. But that is all up to the people involved which way they take it.

    There is a fascinating research going on with Siberian foxes, which clearly proves that breeding has a lot to do with things.

    This is one of the videos documenting the research

    So technically, with all the ‘dangerous breeds’ banned, it would be just a question of time before new ‘dangerous breeds’ could be created to take their place. So this solution doesn’t solve anything. The focus needs to be on responsible breeding and upbringing.

    We have had Rottweilers (one of the dangerous breeds) for the longest time, and we KNOW their reputation as a breed IS false. Could they be bred and turned into killers? Certainly, they do have the physical strength to become very efficient at that.

    We are so careful not to show racism against different ethnic groups, breed specific legislation is just a form of the same thing.

    Every individual should be judged according to their own qualities and personality, not according to color or breed.

  3. I have a Rottweiler and these dogs are constantly being targeted. She is, along with every other Rotti, the most friendly, gentle, playful dog I’ve ever met. The people target these dogs should come over and watch he groom her toys. She doesn’t even tear apart her toys.

    Dogs by nature are affectionate and loving. …they have to be trained to attack.

    I have to agree with Jana. To legislate against different breeds is the same as racism.


  4. I too am against breed specific legislation. As everyone has pointed out it is primarily how the dog is raised and socialized (or not socialized) that are part of how a dog behaves. I’ve seen pit bulls and rotties who are as sweet as can be…contrary to the widely held mis-perception (made up my own word there) that they are all blood thirsty killers.

    I was watching a program, probably on Animal Planet, where they were saying that historically each decade has their “bad” breed. First it was the German Shepard, then the Doberman Pinscher, then the Rottweiler, and currently Pit Bulls are getting all of the bad press.

    If you start legislating against particular breeds because of dog bites / attacks, then the next thing you know there will be legislation against little chihuahas…imho generally one of the fiercest and biting-est (nother made up word there) animals on God’s green earth.

    In all serious… I think that legislation needs to be passed to increase fines and punishment for owners who are responsible for training these dogs to be so violent or are so irresponsible to let them run untethered, not to ban or restrict the propagation of certain breeds.

  5. Yes, BSL does serve a useful purpose.

    It gets politicians re-elected by perpetuating the illusion of doing something to address a serious problem. It’s the animal control equivalent of making you take off your shoes at the airport.

  6. This is a tough issue. Many pits are bred from aggressive stock. This is perpetuated by the gangsta’s that want to own some bad ass dog. Many Pits are great loving gentle dogs but again much of the aggression can be relative to the stock that is bred.

    Michael Vick was the type of person I am talking about. He tried to breed aggressive dogs. If the dog was not aggressive enough he was tortured and then killed. That type of person is really responsible for much of what is happening to aggressive dogs. Of course there are other factors (not only breeding) but educating the public that aggressive dogs are not the way to be cool is needed.

    If you look at a site that sells Guard dogs chances are that dog was born with an aggressive streak. Meaning he/she would have a propensity to bite and bite and bite until called off. That is aggressive breeding.

    Look at the number of pit or pit mixed dogs up for adoption. Why are there so many of one type of dog. I think the truth is many people want a tough aggressive dog and until we really hold people responsible for their aggressive dogs then we only have one way to go: blame the dog. Sad but true.

    If anyone is interested about the fate of the Michael Vick pit bulls has updates and stories on them.

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