If you’re like most adults, you’ve probably heard about breed bans or breed-specific legislation (BSL), which affects everyone according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). If a dog has almond-shaped eyes, a muscular neck, a medium length tail that tapers to a point, a broad chest, and a smooth chest, the dog is a “pit bull,” according to the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Animal Care and Control.
The AKC, on the other hand, does not recognize “pit bulls” to be a specific breed, but across the United States, many dogs who have the above pit bull characteristics are being banned, even if they have most, but not all of the above characteristics. This is BSL at its finest and it’s affecting dog owners in cities across the country.
BSL Can Affect Any Dog Breed
The AKC is NOT a fan of breed-specific legislation or BSL because it’s too vague and can affect virtually any dog breed. But that’s not the only reason. The AKC is a strong believer in dog aggression, not necessarily being a breed-related issue. Instead, the AKC contends that aggression in dogs is often tied to irresponsible dog ownership.
“BSL is a slippery slope that can affect any breed of dog. Introduction of BSL is most common after a tragic attack or bite incident. While proponents have good intentions in trying to protect their communities from dangerous dogs, breed-specific bans ultimately punish responsible dog owners, while doing very little to actually punish irresponsible owners,” says the AKC.
The AKC mentions a study entitled, “Factors Linked to Dominance Aggression in Dogs,” published by the Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, which found that the behavior of a dog owner has a direct impact on a dog’s aggression and personality.
“The study of approximately 50 purebred breeds concluded that the time an owner spends caring for and training a dog is inversely correlated to the level of aggressive behavior the dog exhibits,” reported the AKC. But that’s not all.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) found that any dog could be trained to be aggressive, and when a specific breed is regulated, people will simply start exploiting a different breed.
While the effectiveness of BSL has been studied many times, the AKC says there isn’t any evidence to support that some dog breeds are inherently more dangerous or that banning specific dog breeds will be effective in reducing dog bites and attacks. Instead of supporting BSL, the AKC suggests “punishing the deed, not the breed.”
Do you need to speak to an attorney about filing a dog bite claim? If so, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to get started.