It is the Association’s view that Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is an oversimplification of the many factors that contribute to dog bite incidents and will in no way reduce the risk of future dog bites.The Association of Pet Dog Trainers New Zealand Inc supports the Associate Minister for Local Government, Louise Upston’s, call for a comprehensive solution as part of the national dog control plan but cannot support reliance on targeting specific breeds or breed types as a means of identifying and managing dangerous dogs.
Dangerous dogs are a product of our society and environment. Dangerous dogs may injure or kill people and animals we care about and a dangerous dog can be any breed of dog.
Several countries and USA States that previously implemented BSL legislation have found it to be ineffective. As a result BSL legislation has been repealed and instead they are opting to enact and more rigorously enforce laws that focus on the people part of the issue. It is the human end of the leash that we believe needs to be at the centre of the debate, not breed.
It is acknowledged that all dogs have the potential to bite but that most don’t. While some may be trained to be violent this does not mean that they are inherently violent by nature but may be victims of circumstance and/or neglect. We need to focus on the right issues to address.
Of the breeds currently identified as “high risk” Pit Bulls are the most often seen. We have countless personal experiences of Pit Bulls making great family pets and wonderful therapy dogs. We see them attend puppy and obedience classes, participating just like any other dog in the class learning about life with humans. It’s not the breed that is the problem…it’s the dog behaviour that is problematic, it’s not the dog that is to blame…it’s more likely the people that have failed it.