Vocabulary

Breed-specific: Targets one or more dog breeds specifically. For instance, Denver, CO completely bans pit bulls. Breeds most commonly targeted are pit bulls, Rottweilers, American Staffordshire Terriers, German Shepherd Dogs,Doberman Pinschers, and other so-called “bully” breeds. (Note: the pit bull is not a breed.)

Legislation: Now used loosely to include both draft and enacted laws; once meant drafts of laws before enactment. Can also refer to regulations rather than laws.

 

Background and Analysis

Doberman Pinschers are among the breeds commonly targeted in breed specific measures. These  measures arise from a mish-mash of sensational individual dog/human attacks, Hollywood-driven perceptions of breeds, and lawmakers’ panic to prevent attacks and the lawsuits that go with them.  No breed-specific measure is based on reliable data about canine behavior, breed temperament, bite statistics, or any other rational basis because no such data exist. For instance, bite data are limited to incidents reported, are generally at least a decade old, and usually indict breeds other than those targeted by breed-specific laws! Also, reputable national organizations such as the AAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the AKC, and the American Veterinary Medical Association oppose breed-specific laws because they cannot be supported by science and they are proved to be counter-productive (i.e., they don’t work and they backfire); they penalize well behaved dogs and their owners; they force problem dogs into hiding and out of vaccination and alteration programs; ; they reduce licensing revenues; and they delay measures that DO work.

What’s the Alternative to Breed-Specific Laws?

ASPCA notes:

“. . .  the CDC 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. These last two concerns are well-founded, given that:

  •  More than 70 percent of all dog bite cases involve unneutered male dogs.
  • An unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than is a neutered dog.
  • A chained or tethered dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite than a dog who is not chained or tethered.
  • 97 percent of dogs involved in fatal dog attacks in 2006 were not spayed/neutered:
  • 78 percent were maintained not as pets, but rather for guarding, image enhancement, fighting or breeding.
  • 84 percent were maintained by reckless owners—these dogs were abused or neglected, not humanely controlled or contained, or allowed to interact with children unsupervised.

“Recognizing that the problem of dangerous dogs requires serious attention, the ASPCA seeks effective enforcement of breed-neutral laws that hold dog owners accountable for the actions of their animals.”

We agree.  See also a Community-based Alternative from AMVA.

We strongly oppose breed-specific legislation and regulation in any form, including bans on specific breeds by landlords, home owner assosciations,  and military bases, and insurance companies’ refusal to write policies on homes where targeted breeds reside. 
We  strongly encourage our adopters to keep up with Arizona and federal developments related to “dangersou dog control measures, and to educate your friends, neighbors, council members, and state legislators before a nasty measure comes to you.

To help you educate your fellow citizens, we have developed a beautiful, fact-packed brochure called “Not your grandfather’s Doberman.”  We offer it for your use in public education about our breed. Contact us for more information.