Dangerous Dog Laws Do NOT Work

In many countries there are laws called “Dangerous/Vicious Dog Laws” and/or “Breed Specific Legislation Laws.” Both of these laws have caused the deaths of thousands of innocent dogs, heart break for their humans, and simply do not work.

The “Dangerous” and “Vicious” dog laws concern a dog who bites/attacks someone. “Dangerous” dogs are ones who bite or attack another domesticated animal, such as a dog, cat, or “livestock.” Then, the “Vicious” dog laws concern a dog biting a human.

These laws will condemn a dog as being vicious or dangerous, often leading to the dog being taken away and killed. Their human has to defend them in court, but not everyone can afford a lawyer.

These laws simply do not protect anyone for two major reasons: Dogs are not humans, and the reason for the bites/attacks is ignored.

Why do dogs bite or attack someone?

The biggest myth that these corrupt laws spread is that dogs bite because they are “aggressive.” This is the furthest from the truth. Dogs bite most of the time out of fear. There are several types of “aggression” in dogs, the most common is the fear aggression which is usually caused by a dog being uncertain about new situations and people, or from being harassed so much they have no other choice but to bite.

Children are the number one victim of dog bites, with about 80% of all dog bites done to children. This is because children don’t understand the signs a dog is giving them to leave them alone, and uneducated parents/guardians not explaining to the children how to behave around a dog. Even adults don’t understand dog body language to end up being bitten out of fear from the dog. There are hundreds of sources on this topic with many more studies, and yet still it is not taught in school nor parent education groups.

Instead, the dogs will be punished for the ignorance and irresponsibility of humans.

Another primary cause of dog bites is unaltered dogs. 87% of dogs who have bitten humans out of actual aggression (not fear induced) are male dogs who are not castrated, with a few being females with puppies. Simply fixing your dog stops most aggression. This isn’t a uniquely dog trait. Testosterone does make males more aggressive due to the need to defend territory and fight other males who get close to their females. While many humans want to ignore the aggression that testosterone causes because they don’t want to sound sexist, this is simply the science. Now, obviously being an unaltered male of any species doesn’t mean you’re blind with aggression and rage, it simply means, as the science shows, males tend to have a harder time keeping it under control when frustrating or challenging situations occur. And a challenging situation for many species is someone invading their territory/space, and taking away their mate.

And females have their maternal instincts that can cause more aggression if they feel their babies are under attack. Especially new mothers who are anxious over anything are more likely to bite. And with so many people breeding their dogs out of greed, new mothers are common, often times stressed due to the breeding process and breeders not taking care of them, so are quicker to bite.

Dogs also will bite if they feel their human, friend, or home is under attack. While a dog biting a child to defend themselves “vilifies” the dog, them biting someone to defend their home isn’t. These are concepts a dog doesn’t understand, so using this to determine if a dog is “dangerous” does nothing to help anyone.

The other cause of dog bites is, simply put, THEY ARE DOGS.

Dogs are domesticated from wolves. All canine species are omnivores. Wolves, coyotes, jackals, foxes, etc. They are omnivores and have a prey drive, something us humans lack due to us being frugivores, and this prey drive makes them see other animals, primarily small ones, as prey. When a dog chases a squirrel or rabbit, we all know it’s because the dog is using their prey drive and sees the animal as prey. But, when a dog chases and bites a cat, or another small dog, or a chicken, suddenly the dog is “dangerous” and must be killed, or muzzled at all times.

The dangerous and vicious dog laws do not help at all because they treat dogs as humans, not as dogs. Dogs hunt, they want prey, and they will get their prey. There’s a reason why your dog (and cat) chases balls, like squeaker toys, and is obsessed over your tissue soaked in your blood from your nosebleed. They are predators. That ball you throw activates their prey drive to chase the prey. The squeaks of the toy sound like small animals screaming in fear and pain as the dog tears them apart. And your blood? Well, because they eat blood from their prey!

When humans originally domesticated wolves they did so because they wanted an animal who would hunt and bite. They could use wolves to help chase and kill animals because humans, quite frankly are not predators so need an actual predator to do this for them. And they wanted an animal who would bite to help defend their homes and communities from invaders. A goat isn’t going to go after an enemy warrior like a wolf will.

And now here we are thousands of years punishing dogs for doing the very thing they were originally domesticated for, and even trained for. Dogs are constantly being trained to maul animals to death for hunting around the globe, as well as dog fighting and other sick “sports.” But when those dogs do exactly what they were told to do by humans they are taken away and killed. Greyhounds who are trained to chase and catch hares for greyhound racing, if they manage to make it to a rescue and are adopted, they do what they were told and bite a small dog. They are then killed.

Dogs are pack animals. And while not socializing a dog is a big cause of dog fights, it isn’t the only reason. A dog bites because they need to defend their pack, which is you or the other animals they live with. This is their instinct, and now you want to punish them for biting another dog they believed threatened their pack?

We do not punish a lion for killing a gazelle, because they are predators and that’s what they do. We don’t even punish cats for catching and killing a rabbit or rat. But if a dog does it, we have to go to trial, we have to muzzle the dog, we need insurance, or the dog might even be murdered.

But we are treating dogs just as humans treat any other predators that does what a predator does. If a bear, shark, or lion kills or bites a human or dog, they are hunted down and killed because humans want to impose this rule on true predators that they can only hunt the species humans have deemed them to hunt. Humans have become so brainwashed with specieism created by carnism that they don’t even understand what a predator is anymore. Humans, depending where they were raised, will believe certain animal species are “food.” Such as bovines, pigs, and chickens. And that true predators must adhere to this same logic of only hunting certain species. Such that wolves can only hunt bison, deer, and rabbits. But if a human or wolf eats an animal that doesn’t fit into this brainwash belief of what is “food” they must be punished. If you grow up in the US you are told bovines, pigs, and chickens are “food,” and humans who eat dogs and cats are evil. While people in other countries may be taught to see dogs and cats as food, but bovines are necessary to be working animals. So this mindset is then applied to ACTUAL predators such as wolves, lions, etc. They are only supposed to hunt the animals humans demand them to hunt, otherwise they will be killed.

A true predator will hunt and eat any prey they are able to safely catch and kill. They aren’t going to take chances going after prey that could kill them or cause serious injury. So if a wolf has to decide between hunting a large deer with antlers, or your tiny Maltese, of course they will go for the Maltese!

But, humans will ignore the science, the facts, and what true predators do to survive and punish them for being predators. Kill the lion for biting a human, kill the dog for biting another dog. It’s not about protection, it’s about specieism and brainwashing.

And for dogs who are truly terrified of humans (most often because they were abused) and can’t live with humans normally, they are killed, despite us literally giving sanctuaries to lions, tigers, bears, etc, who also can’t live with humans like a domesticated animal. If a dog can’t live with humans due to being aggressive, why aren’t they living at a sanctuary?

There are sanctuaries that exist to take in dogs with these issues. Just like wolves who are kept in packs, in a fenced in area, these sanctuaries provide the same care to feral dogs and dogs so abused and broken by humans they simply can’t trust them. But, for so many they aren’t even given the chance to go to these sanctuaries. Instead they are cruelly hauled away and killed.

Many dogs are able to live normal lives, but due to ONE incident they will be murdered. And the law doesn’t allow them to even have a fighting chance. A human who murders 20 humans may get life in prison, maybe even 40 years. But a dog who nips a child or hunts and bites a dog they mistook as prey is immediately taken away and killed. That’s not justice, that’s murder.

The Dangerous Dog Laws Fuck Over Humans

Not only are dogs harmed by these disgusting laws, but so are their humans. For those who don’t have their beloved family members murdered in a shelter, the trauma, financial costs, and lack of empathy causes a lot of pain.

In many countries, including the US, the dogs labelled as “dangerous” have to be muzzled at all times, even if the dog is an old dog or isn’t anywhere near another dog. A sign must be placed on the fence warning a “Dangerous” dog lives there, and the human must have a very expensive insurance.

Many people cannot afford this insurance, and since the dogs can’t be rehomed without that ruling following them, often times the humans have to have their dog killed. Think about your dog. If your dog nipped another dog all because they were spooked, and you were told you now had to pay a lot of money every month that you didn’t have, and the only choice you had left was to have your baby killed, would you say that’s “fair” or solved any problems? No!

Not a single dog bite law in ANY country even addresses the core issue. They are ignore the fact dogs are predators, and also don’t even require that the dog’s humans get proper education concerning dog behaviors, nor are the dogs even required to go to any dog training classes with a dog behaviorist who specializes in dog aggression! Dogs aren’t even required to be evaluated before going to trial!

The laws simply exist to punish humans, kill dogs, and ignore the core issue.

If your live where dog bite laws exist, educate yourself about them, learn about dog culture and trust no one.

The dog bite laws also have been used to harm humans by people making false reports to get back at someone they don’t like. Not all of these laws require evidence to file a report, and most require the most unreliable “evidence,” such as a single picture that’s not even dated, a vet report that could be of a dog that’s not your own, or you aren’t even required to prove you had a dog in the first place.

NEVER give your information to anyone should your dog bite them or their pet. While many people do understand that dogs get into fights or bite out of fear, unless you know how that person feels on this issue, DO NOT TRUST THEM. Don’t give them your info. If you are cornered, give them a fake name and phone number. Get out of there with your dog. Especially if you have a dog who is considered a “dangerous” breed such as pitbulls, German Shepherds, mastiffs, doberman, rottweiler, bull terrier, or looks anything like those dogs.

While paying for the medical costs of the animal your dog bit is something that should be done (should the person be able to afford it), you can’t always take a chance on the victim being honorable. Especially in this day and age where people will try and sue anyone for anything. And if your dog’s life is on the line, don’t even take a chance on it.

RUN.

For training tips and finding an actual good dog trainer, I go over that here and here. Find a dog trainer who uses ONLY positive reinforcement training. If they hit a dog, use a shock collar, prong collar, etc. avoid them. A legit dog trainer will have gone to a university for dog training/behaviorist education. The trainers you find at PetSmart, Petco, Pet Supplies Plus, etc. are positive reinforcement and well educated as the stores require this. Ask for a consultation with them before you pay for anything. Seeing how they handle your dog and talk about them will help you establish if they are legit. NEVER leave your dog alone with a trainer nor send to a camp you don’t know anything about. You can also contact service dog trainers who can help you find a legit trainer.

I recommend Victoria Stilwell as she is a world renown dog behaviorist and is working hard to ban all negative reinforcement training (shock collars, prong collars, etc.). She is an amazing dog trainer, and using her website and YouTube channel not only can help you learn how to teach your dog, but also to find a legit, local trainer.

What Should be Implemented Instead?

Dangerous dog laws as they are are not helping anyone and only hurt pet parents and kill innocent dogs. Instead, the root of the problem should be dealt with, and better understanding of how canine think needs to be spread. We know how to lessen dog bite cases, so that should be the first step.

πŸ”΄πŸ•Teach Children in Schools and New Parents About Dog Body Language, How to Introduce a Dog to a Baby, and Understanding the Risks. As said above, the number one victims of dog bites are children who don’t understand how to interact with dogs, don’t know when a dog is telling them to back off, or treat a new dog like their own dog who is use to them. By simply having children learn how to treat and behave around a dog will help ensure they don’t become victims of a scared or frustrated dog biting them. And teaching new parents the risks of dog bites, how their children should behave around a dog, and understand a dog may be stressed by a toddler and need their own space is vital to ensure the safety and mental well being of all.

πŸ”΄πŸ•NEVER Euthanize a Dog Because They Bit Someone: A dog should never be killed because they bit another dog or human. They bite for any reason, not because they are hell bent on causing harm. Killing a dog won’t solve the problem. It just hurts their human, and leaves an innocent dead. Making people live in fear for the life of their dog is no way someone should live. And dogs don’t even understand the concept of laws, death penalty, or the standards humans hold them to. They shouldn’t be treated like hardened criminals. If a dog truly cannot be rehomed safely with someone, than a sanctuary that specializes with dogs with behavior issues should be sought so that they can live out their lives safely. If we can keep lions, tigers, and wolves at sanctuaries despite how dangerous they are to us, why can’t we do the same with a dog?

πŸ”΄πŸ•Ban Shock Collars, Prong Collars, and Ecollars. There are hundreds of studies showing how shock collars, prong collars, and negative reinforcement causes dogs to become more aggressive, scared, and frustrated resulting in more bites. Countries that have banned shock collars have seen a decrease in dog bites, while countries that have them legal have only seen a rise in dog bite cases. Ensuring dogs are not abused or learn to associated people and other dogs with pain is a huge step in ending dog aggression and fear.

πŸ”΄πŸ•Ban Puppymills and Selling Pets in Stores. Breeders, especially puppymill and backyard breeders, give a dog to just anyone as they solely want money. Many people will buy a dog not understanding what dogs are truly like. Puppies bite and are rough when playing, and when introduced to small children can cause serious injury not realizing that their rough play is hurting their human friend. And when the dog hurts the baby they will be dumped at the shelter, or labelled as “dangerous.” Simply banning puppymills and selling dogs in stores will help prevent those who are ignorant from making a bad decision, as well as help with pet overpopulation. When people adopt from a rescue, the rescue ensures they understand the risks and never give a family a puppy when they have small children. Puppies and small children is always a recipe for disaster.

πŸ”΄πŸ•Ban all Breeders: To truly ensure the end of ignorant people getting dogs they can’t handle, or don’t understand, banning breeders who sell to anyone is the ultimate solution. So many people buy a dog based on the myth that “breed” determines how a dog thinks, not realizing that breed is just a marketing scam created by breeders to sell a product. A German Shepherd is not going to be loyal and easy to train as dog breeders and the AKC claim. They are dogs and some will be silly, some easily scared, and some more quick to nip. Not every Golden Retriever will be quiet and good with kids, and not every small dog will be well behaved. Dogs are individuals and must be respected as such.

πŸ”΄πŸ•Require Dogs go to Lessons with Certified Dog Behaviorists: There are dogs who truly need help as they are so scared or uncertain of other dogs or humans. If a dog has shown signs of being a “problem,” require their human take classes to help their dog. People love their dogs and will do what they must to help them. Give them that chance and let them be responsible with their dogs.

πŸ”΄πŸ•Do Not Force Pet Parents to Get Expensive Insurance: Every single dog alive has the ability to bite, and 99% of every dog will bite at some point in some capacity. If you make everyone get expensive insurance because their dog has bitten someone, whether a dog or human, that’s almost every dog parent. Most people can’t afford this insurance, so all you do is punish them for having a dog, or force them to kill their beloved animal. And this can push many into depression, even suicide! Making someone get insurance because their dog is a predator with sharp teeth and strong jaws is simply abuse.

πŸ”΄πŸ•Punish Humans Not Dogs: Most of the time a dog bites is due to not being neutered, abused, neglected, or belonging with a very irresponsible person. If a person isn’t doing what they must to ensure the safety of their dog and those around them then the dog should be given to a rescue to be rehomed and the human fined. Animal abuse laws must also become harsher to punish those who harm dogs and not allow them to have anymore dogs. If someone abuses their dog, the dog bites and is euthanized, the irresponsible human will simply get another dog and repeat the cycle of abuse. Punish bad humans, not confused and abused dogs.

πŸ”΄πŸ•Enforce Leash Laws in Urban Areas: Many cases of dog bites are caused when an off leash dog runs over to another dog they do not know and either bites or startles the leashed dog who does. Many people do not leash their dogs, believing that their dog will always be “nice” with every dog they meet, and that every other dog is accepting of them. Simply keeping a dog on a leash will prevent many dog bites. In neighborhoods, where there’s many dogs, traffic, etc. leash laws are paramount to ensure everyone’s safety.

πŸ”΄πŸ•Punish Parents Who Let Children Walk Large Dogs: A lot of cases of dog bites come from parents allowing their child to walk a dog who is far too strong for them. When the dog pulls, lunges, or runs, the child is unable to hold on and the dog is able to approach another dog where an incident occurs. Dogs should never be punished because of the irresponsibility of parents who made a child walk a dog they simply could not handle.

πŸ”΄πŸ•Use Better Gear: If a dog does have behavior issues, not only should they be working with a dog trainer but the pet parents should use better gear. Many dogs slip their collars or break their leashes. Large dogs, dogs who lunge, and dogs who are aggressive should be required to use gear that is harder to break and escape. While break and escape proof isn’t ensured, there are better gear options than a cheap collar with a plastic buckle, or a thin leash. Harnesses with a belly strap are much harder to escape from, with a nyon leash that’s harder to break will help ensure an escape is much less likely to happen.

Breed Specific Legislation

While I have already talked some about breedism, part of the “Dangerous” dog law is breedism. While many countries may label ANY dog as “dangerous” simply for biting, dogs who look a certain way are at a higher risk of being labelled as “dangerous,” or maybe be killed for how they look simply because the law claims they are dangerous from the day they are born. This law is called “Breed Specific Legislation” (BSL), which is a fancy way of saying “Jim Crow Laws for Dogs!”

BSL often keeps dogs of a certain “breed” from legally being allowed to live in a country or city that has them. The United Kingdom, for example, doesn’t allow pitbulls at all. If you were to bring your pitbull with you your dog would be taken away, labelled as “dangerous,” and killed. Actor Sir Patrick Stewart fosters pitbulls, but only can do so in his home in the United States. He has spoken often of how he is unable to foster dogs in the UK because they would be killed.

BSL literally exists due to racism. It is the belief that the way someone looks determines how they will behave. This is yet another example of how human rights and animal rights are interconnected. BSL has been shown to be ineffective over decades of studies, and breedism has also been shown to simply be racism for dogs. Breed doesn’t even exist, it’s a fabricated concept created by dog breeders to sell their dogs. Countries that have banned shock collars dramatically have lowered their dog bite cases, while countries that have banned dog “breeds” actually have had their dog bite cases RISE.

The fact is, good pet parents are being punished and forced to live elsewhere, while those who do abuse dogs and are not responsible pet parents are being allowed to put everyone else at risk and get away with it.

When will countries ban dog breeders and prevent dogs being given to just anyone? When will every country ban shock collars that cause aggression in dogs? When will countries require people become educated on dog behavior and proper training? When will dog trainers finally become regulated to ensure no one is being taught misinformation that puts them and their dogs at risk?

Dangerous dog laws and BSL is not the answer and has shown to be incapable of protecting us and solving the real problem. They must be banned and better laws implemented, otherwise we will simply see good dogs murdered, dog bites increasing, and irresponsible humans putting everyone at risk.

What To Do If Your Dog is in Danger of Being Declared Vicious, Or If Your Dog Has Bitten Someone Who is Now Suing You: https://aldf.org/article/what-to-do-if-your-dog-is-in-danger-of-being-declared-vicious-or-if-your-dog-has-bitten-someone-who-is-now-suing-you/

Breed-Specific Legislation: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/breed-specific-legislation

State Dangerous Dog Laws: https://www.animallaw.info/topic/state-dangerous-dog-laws

Dangerous Dog Laws: https://www.justia.com/injury/premises-liability/animal-dog-bites/dangerous-dog-laws/

Brief Overview of Dangerous Dog Laws: https://www.animallaw.info/article/brief-overview-dangerous-dog-laws

Canadian Dog Lawyer: https://www.brederlaw.com/rebeka-breder

Sydney Dog Lawyer: https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/dangerous-dog-cases/dangerous-dog-lawyers/


Why Are Dogs Aggressive: https://positively.com/victorias-blog/why-are-dogs-aggressive/

Fear Aggression: https://positively.com/dog-behavior/aggression/fear-aggression/

Respect the Fear, Change the Perception: https://positively.com/contributors/respect-the-fear-change-the-perception/

Help for the Fearful Dog: https://positively.com/contributors/help-for-the-fearful-dog-by-linda-michaels/

Socialization and Fear: https://positively.com/contributors/socialization-and-fear/

Understanding Fear Aggression in Dogs: https://www.greatpetcare.com/dog-behavior/understanding-fear-aggression-in-dogs/

Dog Bite Statistics: https://www.caninejournal.com/dog-bite-statistics/

Learn How to Prevent Fear Aggression in Dogs: https://www.thesprucepets.com/puppy-fear-aggression-2804570

How to Stop Dog Bites: https://www.thesprucepets.com/if-your-dog-bites-someone-1118285

Training Your Puppy Not to Be Afraid: https://www.thesprucepets.com/dealing-with-a-scared-puppy-2804585

Fear Aggression In Dogs And How To Help: https://iheartdogs.com/fear-aggression-in-dogs-and-how-to-help/

Pet Anxiety Often the Cause of Dog Bites: https://www.rchsd.org/health-safety/growing-up-columns/pet-anxiety-often-the-cause-of-dog-bites/

Help, My Dog Bites! How to Deal with Dogs Who Bite: https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/help-my-dog-bites-how-to-deal-with-dogs-who-bite/

Fear vs. Aggression: https://aztecanimalclinic.com/resources/pet-care-library/canine/fear-vs-aggression/

Help for Fear Biting Dogs: https://www.schnauzers-rule.com/fear-biting.html

Behavior, not breed, focus of new dangerous dog law in Florida: https://www.wfla.com/news/politics/behavior-not-breed-focus-of-new-dangerous-dog-law-in-florida/

Why Breed-specific Legislation Is not the Answer: https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/why-breed-specific-legislation-not-answer

Dangerous Dog Laws: Keeping People and Pets Safe: https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/dangerous-dog-laws-keeping-people-and-pets-safe

Support Hershey’s Bill: https://supporthersheysbill.com/

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