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23 May Where dog bite laws are enforced
I’ve always been a dog person. I love all kinds of dogs, but I’ve always had a big soft spot for English Bulldogs. Maybe it’s their round faces and giant tongues that get me, or maybe it’s their short, stocky little bodies covered in skin rolls. Whatever it may be about these dogs, I love them, especially my own little guy. And when I think of my English Bulldog, Duncan, the last adjective that comes to mind is dangerous.
At first, I was rather offended at the thought of my dog being labeled as “dangerous.” Duncan is great with children, always friendly to everyone he meets, and he is very gentle. I’ve trained and socialized him well, and I couldn’t ask for a more obedient dog; however, I have to remember (and so do you) that he’s still a dog.
He still has animal instincts and natural impulses that at times can be labeled as dangerous, and for good reason. After all, bulldogs were used to bait and kill actual bulls for sport centuries ago in Europe. While they’ve come along way since then, they, like all dogs and animals in general, have a tendency to become aggressive when they feel threatened.
For these reasons, some cities and states have started to crack down on certain dog breeds using what’s called Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL). BSL “seeks to limit public exposure to dangerous dogs by regulating ownership of these breeds. The objective of BSL is to prevent future attacks before an occurrence,” since many of the dogs labeled as dangerous can inflict potentially fatal injuries on their first attack.
Some feel that BSL unfairly stereotypes and discriminates against these dog breeds and the many responsible people that own them; yet, it’s ultimately meant to ensure public safety.
This remains to be a heated topic and dog owners, prominent canine organizations like the AKC, and public officials have all brought various and valid arguments to the table. As a dog owner, especially one who may have a breed labeled as dangerous, it is absolutely crucial to know the rules and regulations within your neighborhood, city, and state.
It is also equally crucial to recognize that even if your dog doesn’t make the vicious list, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take necessary actions to protect you, your dog, and your community. Although, Duncan didn’t make the list, I still know it’s best to insure him. This way he and I can rest easy, and so can you.