Breed Specific Legislation: Could Your Dog Be Targeted?

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Does this face look aggressive to you?

Do you remember those days in grade school when you were allowed to have a snack in the classroom?  Then one day Billy threw his pudding across the room and ruined snack break for everyone.

That is similar to what is going on now and why we have to deal with Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).

Photo Courtesy of Sgoerin

Of course we all know there are careless dog owners out there.  Owners that refuse to take the time to properly train their pets to make them safe for society.   City, State, and Federal laws are being set in motion to prevent people from owning specific dog breeds.  There are even dogs that will be put down if they are found.  Many of you may have dog breeds that are considered aggressive and you may not even know it!

This is why I am writing this post.  If you follow our blog, you know that recently I adopted Sadie, a German Shepherd mix.  While searching for a new place and looking into apartments, I found that German Shepherds (or even shepherd mixes) are considered aggressive dogs, and so far I have not found any complexes that will allow us to live there.

The reason that some of these dogs are on the BSL list is simply due to a few accidents with owners that did not train their dogs well enough. Or humans that act inappropriately around these dogs. And the media tends to inflate negative dog stories because it attracts attention. Unfortunately, it also feeds stereotypes of whatever dog happens to be the popular target for profiling in the moment.

The first part that I must point out is that dogs are very intelligent.  With proper training and socialization, all dogs can be great dogs!  German Shepherds, for example, are some of the smartest dogs out there.  They are used for combat in the military and police forces.  Yes, that means that they have an aggressive side and can be taught to attack, but they are also calm and obedient dogs when you train them to be.

Of course you must take into consideration how humans interact with dogs.  I have seen many instances when a person that does not like dogs, due to fear or a bad experience, will have a knee jerk reaction whenever that person encounters a dog.  These abrupt reactions can scare dogs and make them do things they would not do otherwise.

Photo Courtesy of Gr8dnes

Now we must understand, they are still animals and they still have animal instincts.  If a man stands behind a horse, scares the horse, and then the horse kicks the man, is it the horse's fault?  The same concept applies when you are talking about dogs.  If you corner a dog or scare a dog in a way that you shouldnt, the dog may bite.  The only difference is that the horse does not get put onto a list that then bans people from owning it, or worse.

What am I attempting to accomplish by telling you all of this?

Well it is simply really, I am hoping that you do all you can to train your dog to be the best dog ever!  There are many classes out there that offer training for disobedient dogs, and I highly recommend doing some research on your dogs breed to make sure you know some dos and donts for that breed.  There are many breeds out there that simply do not get along with other dogs or socialize well with children or lots of humans; these types of dogs would not do well at a park with lots of children or a dog park with lots of other dogs.  With this knowledge comes power; the power to change the minds of many in attempts to be rid of the BSL.  Banning a dog will do no good. There will always be careless owners that refuse to properly train their dogs and other humans out there who won't take the time to learn how to properly act around animals.

Courtesy of Jeffrey Beall

Tax-payer dollars are used to maintain and enforce this list; money that I would suggest would be better spent on offering free classes to dog owners.  So get involved.  Let your voice be heard and do your part to train your dog properly!

For more information please visit: Loveofmydogs.com

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Linda Wenger on June 14 at 12:22 PM said:

I agree 1000%.
Marie on June 14 at 8:25 PM said:

Wonderful. I wish everyone could read this.
rita sweeton on June 19 at 12:32 PM said:

i have had many different breeds over my lifetime. i can honestly say that i've never had a dog that was mean. i have had dogs that were protective of myself and my children. iv'e had bulldogs, pitts,dobermans, and small dogs too. they should crack down on the owners that do not take responsibility for their pets. pets are like people you cannot judge an entire breed just because of one iresponsible owner!!!!!
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