The shocking truth about the dogs you can’t own: How some breeds are banned or restricted in 52 countries around the world
You might love dogs and want to adopt one, but did you know that some breeds are banned or restricted in many countries around the world? These laws could affect you if you own or want to own a dog that has a reputation as “violent” or “dangerous”. Here’s what you need to know about these controversial laws and why they are bad for dogs and owners alike.
What are breed-specific laws?
Breed-specific laws are laws that prohibit or restrict certain breeds or types of dogs in an effort to prevent dog attacks on humans and other animals. They can range from banning the possession of these dogs completely, to imposing conditions on ownership such as age limit, leash requirement, muzzle requirement, registration, insurance, sterilization, microchip implants, or even tattoo.
These laws were born out of a number of fatalities or maulings by dogs, and so they presume specific breeds to be dangerous or vicious. However, there is no scientific evidence that supports this assumption. In fact, studies have shown that any dog can be trained to be aggressive, and that owner behavior has a direct impact on dog aggression and personality.
Which breeds are banned or restricted?
The most commonly banned or restricted breeds around the world are:
- American Pit Bull Terrier: This breed is one of the most restricted breeds around the world. It is banned in many European countries, such as Germany, Poland, Denmark, France, Ireland and Norway. It is also banned in some states and cities in the US and Canada. The breed is known for its strength, intelligence and loyalty, but also for its aggression and fighting instincts.
- Japanese Tosa: This breed is the only breed used in Japanese dogfighting. It is banned in many countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. It is also restricted in some countries, such as Germany and France. The breed is large and muscular, and can weigh up to 200 pounds. It is said to be fearless and loyal to its owner.
- Dogo Argentino: This breed was developed in Argentina for hunting big game animals such as wild boars and pumas. It is banned in many countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. It is also restricted in some countries, such as Germany and France. The breed is powerful and athletic, and can weigh up to 120 pounds. It is said to be protective and courageous.
- Fila Brasileiro: This breed was developed in Brazil for hunting and guarding. It is banned in many countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. It is also restricted in some countries, such as Germany and France. The breed is massive and muscular, and can weigh up to 180 pounds. It is said to be loyal and obedient to its owner, but aggressive and distrustful of strangers.
- English Bull Terrier: This breed was developed in England for dogfighting and ratting. It is banned in Ireland and restricted in some countries, such as Germany and France. The breed is medium-sized and muscular, and can weigh up to 80 pounds. It is said to be energetic and playful, but also stubborn and independent.
There are many other breeds that face similar laws or regulations, such as American Bulldog, Alabai, Tosa Inu, Kangal, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Tornjak, South-Russian Shepherd, Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog, Rottweiler, Mastiff, Dalmatian, Chow Chow, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher and any mix or hybrid of these breeds.
Why are these laws bad for dogs and owners?
Breed-specific laws have many negative and unintended consequences for both dogs and owners. Some of them are:
- Dogs suffer: Many owners of banned or restricted breeds try to avoid detection by depriving their dogs of outdoor exercise, socialization, licensing, microchipping, proper veterinary care, spaying/neutering and vaccinations. This can harm their mental and physical health. Moreover, many shelters and humane societies have to euthanize otherwise adoptable dogs because of these laws.
- Owners suffer: Responsible owners of friendly, supervised and well-socialized dogs who happen to fall within the regulated breed are forced to comply with these laws. This can cause housing issues, legal fees or even relinquishment of their pets.
- Public safety suffers: Breed-specific laws do not make communities safer. They divert animal control resources away from enforcing effective laws that target all dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners regardless of breed. They also create a false sense of security among the public who may think that only certain breeds are dangerous.
What can we do instead?
Instead of banning or restricting certain breeds, we should focus on enforcing existing laws that hold all dog owners accountable for their pets’ behavior regardless of breed. We should also educate and raise awareness among the public about responsible dog ownership and how to prevent dog bites.
So what do you think? Are you for or against breed-specific legislation? Do you own or want to own one of these banned or restricted breeds? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!