The Failure of Banning Dog Breeds

Karen Peak
by Karen Peak
View Biography

All over the world, communities and even countries are calling for the banning of multiple breeds of dog. Is this the best way to reduce dog bites? Will this really solve the problems many communities are facing? Or, are legislators trying to take a fast way out and not address the real problem?

If a breed is banned, ultimately only those who are responsible owners of the breed will be affected. Are these the people causing the problems? No. Those who are using dogs for fighting, protecting drugs or as weapons and status symbols will continue to own the dogs and ignore the laws. This type of owner tends not to register dogs, often keep the dogs in horrid conditions, train them to be dangerous and feel that laws do not apply to them. These are the people who are causing problems and will continue to do so.

If you ban a dog, it will become even more of a status symbol to own. Breaking the law and thumbing noses at society drive many people's actions. Banning a breed will make it more desirable to the wrong people! Suppose a community is able to round up and exterminate all dogs of a particular breed, well, new ones will be smuggled in or another breed will become a status symbol.

We need to open our eyes and realize that breed bans will not stop these punks and gangs from doing what they want. Look at all the shootings going on? Obviously gun restrictions are working... Not! And new restrictions fail as well.

What about dog bites? Anywhere from 75-80% of all dog bites occur from the family pet regardless of breed or cross. This means 20-25% of all bites are from other dogs - like ones roaming loose. So, you round up all the dogs running loose, it will not have much of an impact in reducing dog bites overall - just those bites caused by loose animals.

Honestly, the 75-80% is conservative. How many family pets nip a person and the bite never gets reported and medical treatment never sought? Yes, loose dogs are a risk, but a person is far more likely to be bitten by his own pet or the pet of someone he knows.

Banning a breed will not reduce this number at all. Take away the dog, they will get another breed and may just as well get bitten from that one. Most dogs that bite are often poorly trained, poorly socialized and are often left in positions where they may feel the need to bite.

Dogs left outside all day and night with no one to watch them are more likely to develop bad behaviors as well as become targets themselves. In a different home, the dog would probably be a great companion. But in the one the dog is in, the dog is now a risk. Would banning the breed work? No. Another dog will be brought in and the scenario play out again - regardless of the breed or cross.

(Continued on next page)