Tag Archives: BSL laws

Pitbull Dog Breed General Information

Note: Starting in 1936, the American Kennel Club accepted for registration in the AKC Stud Book, the breed known as Staffordshire Terrier. However, to avoid confusion with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the name was changed effective 1 January 1972 to the American Staffordshire Terrier. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier gained official acceptance by the AKC in 1974. The Canadian Kennel Club does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier, however both the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are officially recognized in the Terrier group. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is acknowledged as a breed of British origin and was officially recognized by the CKC in 1953. In North America, the American Pit Bull Terrier has been recognized under this name by the United Kennel Club (UKC) since 1898.

* — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.
Origin:

United States
Height:

Males: 18 to 19 inches at the shoulder; – Females: 17 to 18 inches
Weight:

Ranges from 50 to 75 lbs
Height and Weight should be in proportion.

Breed Profile:

The American Staffordshire Terrier originated sometime in the 1800s, when dog fighting was a popular sport in the U.S. The Am Staff was also used for farm work, hunting large game such as wild pigs and bears, as a guard dog, and for general companionship. The breed, known over the years as the Half-and-Half, Yankee Terrier, Pitbull Terrier and American Bull Terrier, was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936 as the Staffordshire Terrier. The name was changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972 to avoid confusion with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Although the American Staffordshire Terrier resembles the American Pit Bull Terrier, it is a separate, distinct breed.

Today’s Am Staff is mostly seen as a companion and show dog. He is courageous, muscular, and agile. His working abilities, intelligence and high activity level make him well suited for many dog sports and activities. He is very loyal to his family and makes a good guardian. The Am Staff is very people oriented and requires interaction and plenty of attention from his family. The breed is not naturally aggressive towards humans. However, because they are extremely loyal, if trained by an owner to be aggressive toward humans, there is a possibility that the dog may become aggressive toward humans.

The American Staffordshire Terrier comes in all colours — brindles, parti, patched, or any combination. His short coat is easy to maintain and requires little grooming.

The term “Pit Bull” is often used to refer to a breed type as well as different breeds of dogs, including the AmStaff. Other breeds commonly referred to as “Pit Bulls” include: the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Some believe that all of these breeds of dogs originally came from the same pit fighting stock over 100 years ago but have been bred to differing standards and are now known as distinct and separate breeds. Others believe that these dogs are simply different strains of the same breed. History aside and whether or not they are distinct breeds, if well bred, they all share a natural love for people and the Bulldog as a common ancestor.

Breed Specific Legislation – How it effects American Pit Bull Terrier owners

Breed specific legislation or BSL for short, is on the rise around the world. BSL targets specific breeds of canine and either (A) restricts them severely or (B) completely bans them from areas.

Countries like Germany, Australia, England, and France have bans on the American Pit Bull Terrier and the ones that were already living in the country are restricted.

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Usually the law states the dogs must be muzzled and on a very short 12 inch leash when out in public.

BSL is very much alive in the United States and the APBT is the number one target for such laws.

Expensive insurance is also required in many of the cities were BSL has been accepted. Sometimes it can be as high as $200,000 per dog. Hundreds of cities, towns, and states are implementing BSL.

As time goes by supporter’s for this ridiculous band-aid approach are getting the laws passed with ease.

The number one restricted breed in the world is the American Pit Bull Terrier or any cross thereof. Meaning, even if your dog is suspected of having APBT in it’s blood it can fall under the power of these laws.

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BSL is nothing more than breed profiling and as of yet it has not worked to curb the amount of serious dog attacks it was put in place to stop.

Matter of fact, the only thing it has done is make life hell for ordinary law abiding dog lover’s.

Why breed specific legislation will never work:

BSL was a flawed concept from the moment it was conceived. In most cases the dogs are targeted leaving the owner, which is the responsible, rational thinking party, out of it.

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Some impose fines along with their laws but are often not enforced to the maximum so the owner gets away with a slap on the wrist.

Dogs are not the problem and BSL does not recognize this. People are the problem and until we find a way to punish people for their neglectful actions which allow dogs to bite and terrorize the public we will never stop the problem.

First problem is, take one breed away, these people will find another breed to replace it.

Since the APBT bans the Rottweiler is now on the rise as the most popular breed.

Now these dogs are taking heat from the general public and the BSL supporters. Again they are restricting the dogs and not the people.

BSL can be compared to gender profiling or racial profiling. Simply because a dog appears to be a dog on the restricted list, it is therefor treated as one.

What if you were driving down the road and the police took you to jail, sentenced you, and placed you on death row just for looking like a certain ethnic group? BSL does exactly that to dogs.

So why is it then that more BSL laws are implemented daily? God forbid a person have to take responsibility for their irresponsible actions and BSL supports these people by not placing very harsh punishments on them.

We have to fight!

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Fighting BSL is the only way to keep all breeds safe. Soon BSL will encompass any dog that can bite (which is all of them) so where does that leave the dog lover?

Supporter’s of BSL will argue that it works, but there is very little evidence of this as many laws are drawn up to encompass several breeds and their crosses.

Even experts of the American Pit Bull Terrier have a hard time identifying a mix from a purebred. Sometimes it is obvious, but in most cases it’s not that easy.

Experts are needed to enforce the BSL law and testify in court that an offending dog is the breed restricted. Results can be manipulated to fit the agenda.

For example, you can poke a dog in the face until it growls or snaps at you. Now the dog is deemed vicious. Fair? Not at all.

In short BSL has nothing to offer the public but confusion and loss. BSL will not and will never be a practicable means of regulating vicious dogs and severe attacks. Until the law makers see this fact of life we will be faced with more BSL laws.

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Well said.

According to https://plus.google.com/114864920981335422615

10 Ways to Be a Powerful Pitbull Ambassador

Every pit bull on the street who’s greeted with a smile instead of a flinch marks progress. When pits are adopted into new homes, or legislation is passed in their favor, lives are saved. Here are tips on helping your community say no to stereotypes and yes to action.

1. Say It Ain’t So

You know all the myths – pit bulls are vicious, trained to fight, dangerous around children… Need help setting the record straight? Bad Rap, an organization devoted to improving the breed’s reputation, provides excellent in-depth responses to these major myths and more on their website: http://www.badrap.org/monster-myths.

2. Tell, and Show

Since pits are often misunderstood as unsafe to have in the home, use visuals to promote pits as the wonderful family companions they are. Start by sharing Bad Rap’s slideshow of vintage photos — one powerful image after another displaying a history of families with their beloved pit bull pets.

 

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3. On Their Best Behavior

Well-trained, well-socialized dogs make the best pit bull ambassadors, as they show even the most skeptical adopters how well-behaved the breed can be! Learn valuable training skills from this Canine Communications webinar series presented by ASPCA behavior experts Trish McMillan Loehr and Heather Mohan-Gibbons.

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4. Network, Network, Network! Want to give your pits an extra push? Take a page from one agency’s book — they created a Facebook page just for their bully breeds: Pit Bull Ambassadors of Hillsborough County Animal Services. The photo and caption below are an example of successful storytelling that educates. The image is oh so sweet, the story is engaging, and HCAS emphasizes the positive relationship that pits can have with other dogs.

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“This pair is something else… they didn’t come in together, and are in no way related, but to watch the two of them together is like watching Forrest and Jenny, Peas and Carrots, Lucy and Desi, and all those other famous couples or things that go together like one.” -HCAS.

5. Seize the Day— National Pit Bull Awareness Day that is, coming up on October 27. A few ideas on building a bully buzz:

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Whatever you plan, don’t forget to alert the media!

6. Put On Your Creative Marketing Hat Nothing is too out-of-the-box when trying to capture the public’s attention. For inspiration, take a look at the pit bull promotions we gathered here on Shelters’ Edge. Pick-a-PITunia campaign from Seattle Humane Society — Never underestimate the power of a pun.”

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7. Get Them in Therapy What better way to promote the breed’s lovebug potential than certifying them as therapy dogs? Staff or volunteers can show off your pits’ TLC skills in places like schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

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8. Enlist Your Lobbyists Have you rallied supporters who want to end breed-specific legislation in all forms? Awesome – next step is to give them specific action to take. CheckStopBSL.org to find out  if legislation is pending in your state.  The good news – a number of states have already prohibited BSL!

9. Hold an Event in Their Honor Invite your community to say “we love bullies” loud and proud by putting on an awareness event. It can be an adoption event, a fundraiser – anything goes, as long as your pits are the stars of the show!

 

10. Grab Your Virtual Megaphone 2-4-6-8, get online and educate! Here are some great resources devoted to improving the pit’s rep and spreading the word:

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P.S. #11 – Want to get the ball rolling on promoting your pits? Share this blog post! Do you have pit bull ambassadors at your agency? Let us know what they’re up to in the comment box.

The ASPCA’s Stance On BSL

ASPCA on Breed-Specific Legislation

Dog attacks can be a real and serious problem in communities across the country, but addressing dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs can be a confusing and touchy issue. 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. However, the problem of dangerous dogs will not be remedied by the “quick fix” of breed-specific laws—or, as they should truly be called, breed-discriminatory laws.

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Who Is Impacted by Breed-Specific Laws?

Regulated breeds typically comprise the “pit bull” class of dogs, including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and English Bull Terriers. In some areas, regulated breeds also include a variety of other dogs like American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers or any mix of these breeds—and dogs who simply resemble these breeds.

Many states, including New York, Texas and Illinois, favor laws that identify, track and regulate dangerous dogs individually—regardless of breed—and prohibit BSL. However, more than 700 U.S. cities have enacted breed-specific laws.

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Are Breed-Specific Laws Effective?

There is no evidence that breed-specific laws make communities safer for people or companion animals. Following a thorough study of human fatalities resulting from dog bites, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to strongly oppose BSL. The CDC cited, among other problems, the inaccuracy of dog bite data and the difficulty in identifying dog breeds (especially true of mixed-breed dogs). Breed-specific laws are also costly and difficult to enforce.

What Are the Consequences of Breed-Specific Laws?

BSL carries a host of negative and wholly unintended consequences:

Dogs Suffer. Rather than give up beloved pets, owners of highly regulated or banned breeds often attempt to avoid detection by restricting their dogs’ outdoor exercise and socialization—forgoing licensing, microchipping and proper veterinary care, and avoiding spay/neuter surgery and essential vaccinations. Such actions can have a negative impact on both the mental and physical health of these dogs.

In addition, breed-specific laws can create a climate where it is nearly impossible for residents to adopt and live with such a breed—virtually ensuring destruction of otherwise adoptable dogs by shelters and humane societies.

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Owners Suffer. Responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised and well-socialized dogs who happen to fall within the regulated breed are required to comply with local breed bans and regulations. This can lead to housing issues, legal fees or even relinquishment of the animal.
Public Safety Suffers. Breed-specific laws have a tendency to compromise rather than enhance public safety. When animal control resources are used to regulate or ban a certain breed, the focus is shifted away from effective enforcement of laws that have the best chances of making communities safer: dog license laws, leash laws, anti-animal fighting laws, anti-tethering laws, laws facilitating spaying and neutering and laws that require all owners to control their dogs, regardless of breed. Additionally, guardians of banned breeds may be deterred from seeking routine veterinary care, which can lead to outbreaks of rabies and other diseases that endanger communities.

Breed-specific laws may also have the unintended consequence of encouraging irresponsible dog ownership. As certain breeds are regulated, individuals who exploit aggression in dogs are likely to turn to other, unregulated breeds. Conversely “outlaws” may be attracted to the “outlaw” status of certain breeds. The rise of pit bull ownership among gang members in the late 1980s coincided with the first round of breed-specific legislation.

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What Are the Alternatives to Breed-Specific Laws?

There is no convincing data to indicate that breed-specific legislation has succeeded anywhere to date.

The CDC has noted that many other factors beyond breed may affect a dog’s tendency toward aggression—things such as heredity, sex, early experience, reproductive status, socialization and training. Conversely, studies can be referenced that point to clear, positive effects of carefully crafted breed-neutral laws. A breed-neutral approach may include the following:

1. Enhanced enforcement of dog license laws
2. Increased availability to low-cost sterilization (spay/neuter) services
3. Dangerous dog laws that are breed-neutral and focus on the behavior of the individual guardian and dog
4. Graduated penalties and options for dogs deemed dangerous
5. Laws that hold dog guardians financially accountable for failure to adhere to animal control laws
6. Laws that hold dog guardians civilly and criminally liable for unjustified injuries or damage caused by their dogs
7. Laws that prohibit chaining, tethering and unreasonable confinement, coupled with enhanced enforcement of animal cruelty and animal fighting laws
8. Community-based approaches to resolving reckless guardian/dangerous dog questions that encompass all stakeholders, available dog bite data and recommended realistic and enforceable policies

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6 Reasons Why Pit Bulls Make Great Pets

You are considering adopting or buying a dog, and one breed you are considering is a Pit Bull Terrier, or one of several breeds that are closely related to this breed. It is important that before you take any steps towards becoming an owner that you thoroughly research the breed so that you understand the challenges of owning this loyal, yet controversial breed.

99% of issues that arise with pit bulls have to do with owners who are idiots. The truth is that this breed has many good traits. A super-dog, if you will. And although the media focuses on the negative aspects, in reality they can be awesome pets for the smart owner. Here are six reasons why:

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1. Pit Bulls are Affectionate Companions

Pitbulls are wiggly, cuddly, affectionate dogs. If you don’t like dog kisses then consider another breed, because most pitbulls love licking. The same goes if you have children and you don’t want them to be a regular target for face washes.

Pitbulls are not aloof – they like to remind you regularly of how they feel about you, and in general this means a lot of tail wagging and kissing.

2. Generally Healthy and Easy to Care For

Yes, pit bulls require a reasonable amount of attention. They do not, however, need a lot of care. They have short coats and are normal shedders, and only need to be brushed semi-regularly.

They don’t tend toward genetic disorders like some other breeds, although they should be inspected at puppyhood for signs of hip dysplasia, but this is a good idea for most medium to large breeds anyway. Most pit bulls do not get larger than 50 to 60 pounds, although there are some larger sub-breeds.

And as long as you exercise the dog regularly, a pitbull can be very comfortable in a small dwelling.

3. People-Orientated, When Socialized Properly

Pitbulls love people. Although this breed frequently gets a bad rap in the media, if you have ever met a pitbull that was raised by a loving, conscientious family then you will understand how much they like to be with people.

The downside of this personality trait is that they can get overexcited when they meet new people, which is something that needs to be addressed through training and positive reinforcement.

4. Pit Bulls are Loyal to their Owners

Your pit bull will be you and your family’s best friend from the day you take them home to the day they pass away. While they will be naturally protective of their family and their property, because pitbulls are so people-orientated they do not make good guard dogs.

Unless you just want them to smother intruders with hugs and kisses.

5. Eager to Please

A pitbull will always do it’s best to make you happy, as long as you are clear about what you expect from them. Many people will mention the fact that this breed is notoriously stubborn, but once they realize that you are the boss, they will work hard to ensure that you were happy with them.

This breed can be challenging, and is not recommended for first time dog owners as you need to be comfortable and confident that you can handle the breed, otherwise they will pick upon the fact that you are less than sure of yourself.

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6. High Tolerance for Pain

Sometimes presented as a negative trait, the fact that pitbulls have a high pain tolerance makes them exceptional family dogs. They easily (and happily) put up with the rough play of children without reacting. At the same time, pitbull owners may have to invest in prong collars, as the shoulder and neck strength of the pitbull means that sometimes an average collar will not do.

It is important that when considering a pitbull as a pet that you carefully screen all puppies and adult dogs to ensure that they respond positively. Dogs of any breed that show fearfulness or aggression towards people or other dogs should be avoided, particularly as a family pet, unless you are willing to put in a lot of extra time and money into behavioural training.

To be a successful and responsible pitbull owner you need to at all times have your pet under control. Dogs should never be left unsupervised with other dogs or children, and should never be allowed to roam off leash except in controlled dog-friendly spaces. Remember that as a pitbull owner you are charged with showing the positive side of this breed, so make sure that you always have a friendly and well behaved pet.

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