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Ban the Breed or Ban the Deed?
5 reasons why some breeds should be banned;
5 reasons why they shouldn't

illustration of a dog with no circle through him

I've come round to supporting laws banning certain breeds, much to the chagrin of many of my friends.

To help you think about it, here are the most frequent reasons given for and against such dog breed legislation.

Here are the 5 most common reasons for breed bans.

1. “Anatomy” is destiny.

Golden retrievers retrieve. Border collies herd. Yorkshire Terriers bark. This is what mother nature intended, and it’s next to impossible to counter genetics. Pit bulls, unfortunately, are predisposed to grab things, hang on and not let go.

2. There’s a reason gangs use pit bulls, not Chihuahuas, to guard their drugs.

Criminals also mistreat the dogs to turn them into fighters, both to make them better sentries and to make money from betting on dog fights.

3. Dangerous-dog laws are ineffective and expensive to enforce.

For example, New York City’s law requires authorities to prove that a dog wasn't "provoked" before it can label the animal dangerous and require it to be muzzled or impounded. Should dogs that have bitten or attacked someone have the same legal recourse (and time consuming judicial appeals) as a human criminal? Is this good use of tax dollars?

4. Dangerous, unsupervised dogs are taking over public places such as parks and causing older citizens and parents with children to avoid them.

5. Owners of dangerous dogs are incorrigible.

They won’t obey leash or muzzle laws. It’s expensive to try to “ticket” them, and they’re just going to ignore the misdemeanor charges anyway. Even otherwise responsible dog owners don’t always maintain control of their dogs and in New York City, it’s estimated only 10% of dog owners have licensed their dogs.

Here are 5 reasons to oppose breed ban laws.

1. Where does it end?

The list of regulated breeds or types could grow every year without ever addressing responsible dog ownership.

2. Breed-specific laws are hard to enforce.

It’s tough enough for experts to identify individual dog breeds. What about cross-breeds? How much of dog has to be pit bull before he’s banned?

3. Breed bans are unfair to responsible owners and there are plenty of us out there.

Why not just enforce leash laws?

4. Communities often have increased shelter costs.

People abandon dogs they otherwise wouldn’t, and people won’t adopt banned breeds which causes more dogs to be euthanized.

5. The American Kennel Club does not permit neutered/spayed dogs to compete in conformance dog shows.

Breed bans have the ripple impact of forcing responsible dog owners of these breeds to give up a sport that they and their dogs enjoy.

Make up your own mind and then be sure to let your city and state representatives know how you feel about such laws.

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