An Introduction to Breed-Specific Legislation, aka (2023)

An Introduction to Breed-Specific Legislation, aka (1)

“The pit bull ban”/ Breed-Specific Legislation came into existence within Ontario over 15 years ago when a highly publicized dog attack occurred in 2005. Since that time the ban has been countered by many, but no progress has been made until 2021 (recently.) The bill is making headlines again after several dogs were held from their families for being labelled as “pit-bull type,” and the provincial legislature is considering whether BSL is an effective practice. Recently, Toronto Major Doug Ford announced that owners will no longer have their dogs confiscated for being identified as a Pit Bull-type dog – they instead get to have their dog in their possession when proving their breed lineage. This also granted safety to American Bullies; a dog breed heavily linked the APBT in the media that does not share the same physical appearance, working drive or lineage as the APBT.

Blaming a breed and banning their existence is not the answer to the issue of responsible dog ownership and dogs biting people. Here are a few reasons why Ontario’s Breed-Specific Legislation doesn’t make sense.

(Video) This Is Why This Dog Is Illegal In Most Countries

  1. BSL is Subjectivein Nature

BSL uses vague descriptive language - a dog having a strong square jaw, short ears, broad shoulders, and short hair with a moderate height and weight. That means that many pet owners with breeds ranging from Terriers to Mastiffs were immediately surprised to find out that their dog could be considered a Pit Bull in the eyes of the law. This also means that any cross-bred dog that fits the criteria could be subjected to confiscation due to their physical appearance.

It’s crucial to investigate whether removing dog breeds based on their description is appropriate. It doesn’t matter whether they’re aggressive or not; any dog fitting the ideal description would be subject to the same fate. It is then up to the owners to prove that their dog isn’t a banned breed, and that proof is judged (and deemed worthy or unworthy) by the same parties making the accusation. The entire nature of the bill is unjust and puts an immense amount of power in the hands of Animal Services without governing the results.

  1. The Ban is Not Supported by any reputable Veterinary Association

Dog bites are not specific to a particular breed, which is why no reputable veterinary association – including the Canadian Veterinary Association - is on board with BSL. Such legislation has never been based on the fact that a particular dog breed is more prone to biting than the other. No matter the size or shape of the dog, a dog bite can do extensive damage and putting blame on the breed of dog instead of responsible ownership leaves the likelihood of documented dog bites involving other breeds to rise.

  1. No Historical Data to Prove Breed-Specific Bans as a Cure for Dog Bites

While it may seem like an easy solution to implement, there’s no historical data that proves thatBSL can help to lower the overall percentage of dog bites. In fact, many states across the US have overturned their bills when realizing that BSL did not help with their overall dog bite statistics.

(Video) breed specific legislation

Other working breeds including Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Dobermans have been subjected to similar scenarios where they’re portrayed as creatures to be feared by the public. It’s easier to blame the dog itself than it is to address the underlying issues of why dog bites occur.

  1. Canine behavior isnot solelybased on breed.

Responsible pet ownership is more than just selecting the right breed for your lifestyle. It’s about knowing the breed you’ve selected and fulfilling the dog’s life while caring and nurturing a positive bond between you and your dog. All too often we see leash laws being broken by dogs with no recall, children and teens mishandling dogs for a laugh, and owners allowing their dogs to get away with anything they please. The reality is that certain breeds get a pass when it comes to this behavior, and others do not. We may not see people cowering in fear when a Toy Poodle barks and lunges at the end of a leash, but we certainly see people crossing the road if a Bullmastiff does. That’s why owning any type of dog involves a level of liability, and why owning a dog from with a working breed lineage of any respect requires a great deal of knowledge and care.

Being a responsible owner also means acknowledging that your dog may have breed-based needs. If all our dogs did what they were bred to do, we would have a world widely overran by dogs! Bulldogs would be attacking the ankles of everyone they met, Shepard’s would try and heard people into a group by biting them, and Dobermans would never let a single soul near their owners. The dogs of today may possess traits from their working past, but many are far removed from that lifestyle at this point in time. Training with breed characteristics in mind is vital to the success of any dog, and despite the controversial history of the APBT, they were never bred with the intention to have human aggression. Although APBT’s are not “nanny dogs,” no dogs are. They require a strong, assertive owner with breed knowledge – just like many large dog breeds that are legal to own.

  1. BSL Doesn’t Promise Safer Communities

BSL’s main aim is to treat the symptom – the dog bite – rather than the root of the issue. There are multiple locations that have installed a ban on ABPT’s, including the Miami-Dade County in Florida, but they are highly ineffective. About 800 pit bulls were confiscated and euthanized in 2008 alone within the region despite the lack of change in overall reported dog bites. Thankfully, in 2018 Ontario ceased their order to euthanize dogs labelled as Pit Bulls; they are now ordered to be placed and rehomed out of the province.

(Video) German Shepherd And Pitbull In Same Room! Watch What Happens!!

This comes to show that there’s no cure for dog bites other than proper training itself. Imposing bans doesn’t promise that you get to create a safer community, and it doesn’t stop bad people from owning powerful dogs.

  1. BSL Takes Away Attention from the Real Problem: Irresponsible Owners

The fact is that dog bites are almost entirely predictable and preventable, and we don’t talk about it. We don’t discuss respectful interactions with animals in school, we don’t provide a prerequisite for owners prior to obtaining a dog. Most owners don’t even know how to properly stop or avoid a dog attack if it were to happen to or from their dog. Being able to understand the body language of all dogs should be knowledge that’s more common. These are really important issues that deserve attention, and they deserve to be part of what’s built in place of BSL.

Dangerous dog laws and BSL are not the same thing, and laws to punish irresponsible owners and remove dogs with shown aggression (regardless of breed) and vital to ensuring a safer community as a whole.

Reports and Statistics Against the Pit Bull Breed is Largely Flawed

(Video) I Adopted EVERY Dog In A Dog Shelter

In most scenarios, it’s almost impossible for the victim to accurately remember the breed or type of the dog that was involved in an attack. We often hear reports of an “80lb Pit Bull” attack, or an “100lb Pit Bull” who chased a small dog. These are almost always not APBT’s who generally do not pass 50lbs in weight and are considered medium sized dogs. Many breeds have now taken on this term to the general public, which heavily sways the reporting of dog bites. Dogo Argentinos, Boxers, many Mastiff breeds, Presa Canarios, Cane Corsos, American Bulldogs, Bull Terriers – all are breeds that could be classified as a Pit Bull in the eyes of someone who does not know the difference.

  1. Proving a Dog Doesn’t Belong to a Particular Breed is Expensive and Subjective

The onus lies on the owner to defend their dogs and ensure that they’re able to prove that their dog is not a Pit Bull. And with this comes papers stating the breed of dog from your veterinarian, breed (if applicable) and any UKC/CKC/ACK papering they may have, along with DNA testing. The problem with this is that on many documented occasions, proof of a dog’s lineage was deemed inadmissible by the judging parties. The legislation itself has many loopholes, allowing the decision to lie within the accusing parties.

Do you want more information on the current Breed Specific Legislation? You can find it here:

(Video) This Is Why Wolfdogs Are Illegal

Do you want to find out more information on the efforts being made to repeal the ban? You can find it here:


What is breed-specific legislation in the US? ›

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is the blanket term for laws that either regulate or ban certain dog breeds in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals.

What does breed specific mean? ›

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) targets specific breeds of dogs that are wrongly thought to all be dangerous – most frequently "pit bull types" – and places stricter regulations on these dogs or even makes ownership of them illegal.

What is an example of breed-specific legislation? ›

Breed-specific legislation falls into several categories. The most publicized is a "breed ban," which prohibits the future ownership and reproduction (breeding) of a specific dog breed, chiefly pit bulls. All well-written pit bull bans allow existing pit bulls to remain with their owners.

What states have breed-specific legislation? ›

The following 17 states prohibit their municipalities from passing breed-specific laws: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Massachusetts, Nevada, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Utah and South Dakota. California prohibits most breed-specific laws, ...

Why did breed-specific legislation start? ›

BSL erupted in popularity in the 1980's in response to dog attacks on community members. These attacks were sensationalized by the media and used to spread fear. As such, pit bulls were labeled aggressive, powerful and often attacking unprovoked.

Is breed-specific legislation unconstitutional? ›

Both state appellate courts and federal courts consistently uphold the constitutionally of breed-specific legislation.

Is breed-specific legislation good? ›

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) happens when dog breed restrictions become law. These laws are ineffective at keeping communities safe because they target the wrong thing and ignore the real issue — the behavior of the individual dog and owner.

What are the benefits of breed-specific legislation? ›

BSL makes communities safer. BSL is a humane way to discourage pit bull breeding and fighting. Pit bulls and some other dogs are genetically dangerous.

What is breed-specific legislation best friends? ›

Best Friends refer to BSL as restrictions because certain dogs are targeted by laws based solely on a dog's alleged breed, not behavior. Breed bans or restrictions fail to enhance public safety and violate the property rights of responsible pet owners. A dog's appearance does not predict behavior.

What is the purpose of a breed standard? ›

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function.

Does PETA support breed-specific legislation? ›

PETA supports a ban on breeding pit bulls and pit bull mixes as well as strict regulations on their care, including a ban on chaining them.

How many dogs can you breed without a Licence? ›

A breeding licence is required for anyone breeding three or more litters in a 12-month period and/or anyone that breeds dogs and advertises a business of selling dogs.

How do you get around pitbull restrictions? ›

7 Ways to Get Around Breed Restrictions
  1. Get a Complete DNA Test. ...
  2. Get Professional Training for Your Dog. ...
  3. Rent from Private Owners Instead of a Company. ...
  4. Get Pet Insurance. ...
  5. Offer a Pet Deposit. ...
  6. Create a “Resume” for Your Dog. ...
  7. Register Your Pet as an Emotional Support Dog.

Why are breed restrictions legal? ›

Breed restrictions came about to protect people from what some consider “dangerous" or aggressive dog breeds — especially pit bulls. In other words, if aggressive dogs aren't allowed in, there's likely less chance of attacks or dog bites within the apartment community.

When was breed-specific legislation introduced? ›

Breed Specific Legislation was introduced 30 years ago as part of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to restrict the ownership of certain types of dogs deemed to be dangerous to people.

What is the purpose of the Dog Control Act? ›

The Dog Control Act 1996 sets out the law about legal obligations of dog ownership, including their care, control and owner responsibilities for damage caused by their dog. Local councils also have bylaws about the control of dogs, the areas where dogs are allowed (and when) and rules for keeping dogs.

Who sets the breed standard? ›

The breed standards are owned by The Kennel Club, and all changes are subject to approval by The Kennel Club Board.

How do you stop breed-specific legislation? ›

Strategies to STOP Breed Specific Legislation
  1. Understand the objections. Most are fear-based, and many are fueled by the media. ...
  2. Overcome objections. ...
  3. Meet people where they are. ...
  4. Research and plan UNDER the radar. ...
  5. Learn Your Allies. ...
  6. Less is always more. ...
  7. Learn to harness your emotions. ...

Are dogs forced to breed? ›

According to the ASPCA, female dogs are expected to be ready to mate when they are about 6 months old and are forced to mate for the profit of the owners. Too many loving puppies will be the result of forced and abusive mating. Think about it; this very closely resembles child prostitution in a nonhuman sense.

Is dog breeding regulated in the US? ›

The commercial breeding of dogs is regulated on the federal level, and some states have their own additional requirements. Federal law requires certain businesses that use animals—like zoos, research institutions and commercial pet breeders—to meet minimal animal care standards found in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Does breed matter for pet insurance? ›

The breed of your pet is a significant factor for pet insurance companies. This is because some breeds are more prone to certain illnesses, indicating an increased likelihood of veterinary care in the future.

Why you shouldn't buy pets from breeders? ›

Because puppy mills and backyard breeders choose profit over animal welfare, their animals typically do not receive proper veterinary care. Animals may seem healthy at first but later show issues like congenital eye and hip defects, parasites or even the deadly Parvovirus.

Why should we not buy dogs from breeders? ›

Coming to lack of health care facilities, PETA says that breeding can have life-threatening consequences. Inbreeding, as well as breeding of designer dogs, may result in diseases like epilepsy, breathing and heart issues, deafness, blindness, disc diseases and many others.

Why is legislation important for animals? ›

Animal Welfare Legislation

Lack of legislation or proper guidance can lead to poor captive animal management, resulting in a real concern for the welfare and husbandry of the animals within these facilities.

What are the purposes of breed associations? ›

Breed associations in the United States formed in the early 1900s as a way to keep track of pedigrees for purebred animals. Since that time, breed associations have evolved to store and process huge amounts of data used for large-scale genetic evaluation on every animal in the database.

What are the objectives of breeding program? ›

A breeding objective describes characteristics that affect profit the most, as well as how important each trait is to profit. A breeding objective should be specific, measureable and attainable.

How much does breed-specific legislation cost? ›

BSL is expensive to enact. Nationwide, BSL would cost an estimated $476 million per year, including enforcement of the law, related vet and shelter care, euthanization and disposal, and legal fees.

What places in the world have breed-specific legislation? ›

International breed safety laws

Many foreign countries have enacted breed-specific legislation as well, including: Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, Ireland, Australia, and more.

What is breed neutral legislation? ›

Breed Neutral Legislation (BNL)

Comprehensive: Addresses all dangerous dogs regardless of appearance or breed. Behavior-based: Uses an individual dog's history of problematic behavior and irresponsible ownership as the primary factors for regulation.

What is a breed standard also known as? ›

In essence a breed standard is a blueprint for an animal fit for the function it was bred - i.e. herding, tracking etc. Breed standards are not scientific documents, and may vary from association to association, and from country to country, even for the same species and breed.

What does breed restrictions mean? ›

Breed restrictions are rules that prohibit certain aggressive dogs from many properties. There's a high number of dog breeds found on the restricted lists because landlords want to avoid liability as well as any possible damage to the property.

Who decides dog breeds? ›

The American Kennel Club, founded in 1884, maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, and currently registers 200 breeds, representing a wide variety of sizes, colors, coats, temperaments and heritages.

Does PETA believe spaying? ›

The single most important thing that we can do to save cats and dogs from all the suffering and death that their overpopulation causes is to spay and neuter them.

Is PETA against animal abuse? ›

PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way. PETA informs policymakers and the public about animal abuse and promotes kind treatment of animals.

Can dog breeders be ethical? ›

Ethical Dog Breeders make it their life's passion to learn about the history of their breed, canine health, genetics and structure. They are interested in forming relationships with their puppy buyers and want to have continued contact throughout the dogs' lives to ensure they are valued members of the family.

What are the 4 types of breeding? ›

There are three sorts of breeding:
  • Cross-breeding: individuals of different breeds or lines are used to mate.
  • Pure breeding: the same breed or lines are used to mate.
  • Inbreeding: two close relatives mate. The closer the relation, the higher the inbreeding.

What are the 3 types of selective breeding? ›

In animal breeding, techniques such as inbreeding, linebreeding, and outcrossing are utilized. In plant breeding, similar methods are used. Charles Darwin discussed how selective breeding had been successful in producing change over time in his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species.

What are the two types of breeding method? ›

System of breeding. Basically, there are two methods of breeding which are as follows: Inbreeding : Breeding of the related animals as sire (male) and dam (female) are known as inbreeding. Out breeding : Out breeding of unrelated animals as male and female is known as out breeding.

Do hobby breeders pay taxes? ›

The Hobby Trap: Whether your endeavor is a business or a hobby, any income from sales of your production is reportable and taxable.

Do I need a license to sell one litter of puppies? ›

A licence is required by anyone selling animals as pets, either directly or with a view to them later being sold as pets, in the course of a business.

Do I need a license to have a litter of puppies? ›

A licence is required for either or both of the following: Breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period.

What breed can I say my pitbull is? ›

“Pitbulls or pit bulls” are not recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The United Kennel Club does recognize a breed known as the American pit bull terrier, however, the term “pit bull” is commonly used to refer to mixed breed dogs with certain physical traits, such as a muscular body and broad head.

Are there states that don't allow pitbulls? ›

Currently, no state outlaws Pit Bulls entirely, although some of America's biggest cities still enforce bans and restrictions.

How do apartments verify dog breed? ›

Pet medical records are an excellent way for the apartment owner to verify your dog's breed. Medical records usually state the breed or combination of breeds prominently. They also contain further details that indicate whether you are a responsible pet owner, and therefore likely to be a responsible renter.

What is the law on breeding dogs? ›

A licence is required for either or both of the following: Breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period. Breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs.

Can I breed my dog without a licence? ›

A breeding licence is required for anyone breeding three or more litters in a 12-month period and/or anyone that breeds dogs and advertises a business of selling dogs.

Do you need to be registered to breed dogs? ›

If you breed dogs at any premises and sell them, you must have a licence. The London Borough of Newham is the licensing authority in Newham. The first time you apply for a licence you will need an inspection by an approved veterinary surgeon arranged by the council and a council licensing inspector.

What legislation has PETA passed? ›

Last Updated November 30, 2022. BREAKING: The Circus Cruelty Prevention Act, a bill cosponsored by PETA intended to end circus cruelty in California, has passed! The law bans the use of most animals in circuses. The measure was officially signed into law today by Gov.

Who makes breed standards? ›

Who Creates Breed Standards? The official standard for each breed, and any revision thereof, originates with an AKC parent club, the national organization devoted to a particular breed. Parent-club members vote on the standard or revision, then the club submits it to the AKC Board of Directors for approval.

How do you get around breed restrictions? ›

7 Ways to Get Around Breed Restrictions
  1. Get a Complete DNA Test. ...
  2. Get Professional Training for Your Dog. ...
  3. Rent from Private Owners Instead of a Company. ...
  4. Get Pet Insurance. ...
  5. Offer a Pet Deposit. ...
  6. Create a “Resume” for Your Dog. ...
  7. Register Your Pet as an Emotional Support Dog.

What is discrimination against dog breeds? ›

Breed-specific legislation (also known as BSL) refers to laws that ban or restrict certain types of dogs based simply on their appearance, usually because they are perceived as dangerous. These antiquated ordinances limit responsible people's right to love and care for any breed of dog they choose.


1. Mobb Deep - Survival of the Fittest (Official Video) [Explicit]
(UPROXX Video)
2. FLASH MOB: Pit bulls, Pitbull Flash Mob, Denver, CO, Breed Specific Legislation
(David Edelstein)
3. Eric B. & Rakim - I Ain't No Joke
(Eric B. & Rakim)
4. Introducing Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams
(Microsoft Education)
5. Poor Mans Poison - Give And Take (Official Video) A.K.A. Feed The Machine II the sequel
6. Beef Breeds Background Information
(Mrs. Morton)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Last Updated: 04/04/2023

Views: 5659

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Birthday: 1998-02-19

Address: 64841 Delmar Isle, North Wiley, OR 74073

Phone: +17844167847676

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: LARPing, Kitesurfing, Sewing, Digital arts, Sand art, Gardening, Dance

Introduction: My name is Amb. Frankie Simonis, I am a hilarious, enchanting, energetic, cooperative, innocent, cute, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.