Personal Opinion: Dog Breed Discrimination


Jilene Jensen, Staff Writer

One book that I have read this year is “A Dog’s Way Home.” It is about a Pitbull-Rottweiler mix who has an inseparable human-animal bond with her owner. Due to the pitbull ban in Denver, they are forced to be separated. Bella is put into foster care, than escapes to find Lucas, her owner. Dog breed discrimination is happening right now in different states due to fear of certain dog breeds.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “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.”

The dog breeds affected by this law are American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire/Staffordshire Bull Terriers, English Bull Terriers, American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and dogs mixed with any of these breeds. In a news report from Fox 8 “A 6-year-old boy was airlifted to the hospital after a dog attack involving two Rottweilers in Catawba County, according to WSOC.”

However I do not agree with the BSL’s claim on the fact that these dog breeds are dangerous, any dog breed has the capability to be threatening. Aggression is based off of how they were trained or treated by their owners and can also be inherited. Aggression that is inherited is a result of breeding two dogs without any angoloment over their personality traits, passing it down to their offspring.

Dogs can also show aggression for being in pain and other medical reasons. This includes a rare but dangerous medical condition that’s genetic called rage syndrome. This type of aggression is caused by seizures in the brain causing them to become hostile towards other animals. Rage syndrome is most common in springer and cocker spaniels but in some cases it is found in other dog breeds including some breeds that are feared and discriminated against.   

In my research chihuahuas are likely to bite more frequently than large dog breeds. Understandably smaller dog breeds naturally think they are bigger than they actually are because they can feel threatened by people or large dog breeds.

In an article written by the ASPCA “Research on pet dogs confirms that dog aggressive dogs are no more likely to direct aggression toward people than dogs that aren’t aggressive to other dogs.” An example of this would be that, the Blue Nosed Pit Bull are not friendly with other dogs but are friendly towards people.

I have personally been struggling with this topic because it is so complicated. This law should focus more on welfare of the animals and education about the breeds. I also have been around a few of these dog breeds. The individual personalities of these dogs are very loving.  

Here are some documentaries and and other resources about the different dog breeds and the discrimination of these breeds:

  • Animal Planet-Pitbulls & Parolees
  • Beyond the Myth: The truth about Pit Bull