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Why Breed-specific Legislation Is not the Answer

    Effective approaches to managing dogs in society involves many stakeholders (dog breeders, dog owners, puppy buyers and governmental agencies as well as private businesses and cynological organizations). Education is a key component of managing breeds and individual dogs to optimize society's involvement with them.

    DWN is pleased to partner and collaborate with Kennel clubs and their affiliated  breed clubs, veterinarians, researchers and canine experts  who work tirelessly to provide insights and perspectives. We thank our collaborators for creating public education resources to support responsible dog ownership and to define sound, ethical breeding practices that improve human interactions and involvements with dogs.

    AVMA position statement


    " The issue of dangerous dogs, dog bites and public safety is a complex one. Any dog can bite, regardless of its breed. It is the dog's individual history, behavior, general size, number of dogs involved, and the vulnerability of the person bitten that determines the likelihood of biting and whether a dog will cause a serious bite injury. Breed-specific bans are a simplistic answer to a far more complex social problem, and they have the potential to divert attention and resources from more effective approaches. "


    DfhMJJOWkAAC3sc.jpg large.jpgHearings in the UK on June 13, 2018 shed light on the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation.

    Witnesses: Dr Rachel Casey, Director of Canine Behaviour and Research, Dogs Trust, Robin Hargreaves, former President, British Veterinary Association, Bill Lambert, Health and Breeder Services Manager, Kennel Club, and David Ryan, former Chair, Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. Witnesses: Trevor Cooper, Doglaw Consultant for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dr Samantha Gaines, Head of Companion Animals Department, RSPCA, and Steve Goody, Deputy Chief Executive, Blue Cross



    Further from the AVMA... " Breed bans do not address the social issue of irresponsible pet ownership.
    Dogs are more likely to become aggressive when they are unsupervised, unneutered, and not socially conditioned to live closely with people or other dogs. Banning a specific breed can give a community a false sense of security, and deemphasize to owners of other breeds the importance of appropriate socialization and training, which is a critical part of responsible pet ownership. In enacting breed-specific legislation, cities and states will spend money trying to enforce ineffective bans and restrictions rather than implementing proven solutions, such as licensing and leash laws, and responding proactively to owners of any dog that poses a risk to the community."



    Also see:

    The 3rd Dog Health Workshop reading list Theme Behaviour and Welfare for puppy socialization information

    Puppy Socialization in 5 Points - Poster

    Behaviour & Welfare Resources

    Behaviour and Training


    Videos on canine behaviour, puppy socialization and training... Resources include Testing programs, Apps, and the human elements and attitudes that impact dog health and welfare.

Edited by Ann Milligan

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