Animal Humane Society position on breed specific bans

Animal Humane Society opposes regulations based solely on dog breed and/or legislation banning a specific breed.  While breed is one factor that contributes to a dog's temperament, it alone cannot be used to predict whether a dog may pose a danger to his or her community. AHS believes that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs.

Restrictions placed on a specific breed fail to address the larger problems of abuse, aggression training, and irresponsible dog ownership. Again, breed alone is not an adequate indicator of a dog's propensity to bite. Rather, a dog's tendency to bite is a product of several factors, including but not limited to: lack of socialization of the dog to people; sound obedience training; training for fighting or increased aggression; genetic makeup, including breed and strains within a breed; and quality of care and supervision by the owner.

Breed-specific legislation doesn't work for several reasons: there are inherent problems in trying to determine a dog's breed, making enforcement of breed-specific legislation difficult; fatal attacks represent a very small portion of bite-related injuries and should not be the major factor driving public policy; and existing non-breed-specific legislation already exists and offers promise for the prevention of dog bites.  

Animal Humane Society is committed to helping dog owners and their pets and is a resource for the community through its training and behavior programs, online library, behavior helpline, advocacy efforts and educational programs in the schools.