Can Dogs Have No Breed? Exploring the Complexities of Breed-Specific Legislation

Although the term mixed breed dog is sometimes preferred, many

mixed-race people have no known purebred

ancestors. The issue of dangerous dogs, dog bites and public safety is a complex one. Any dog can bite, regardless of breed. The dog's individual history, behavior, overall size, number of


involved, and the vulnerability of the person bitten determine the likelihood of biting and whether the dog will cause a serious bite injury.

Race-specific prohibitions are a simplistic answer to a much more complex social problem and have the potential to divert attention and resources away from more effective approaches.

What is Breed-Specific Legislation?

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) targets

specific breeds of dogs

that are erroneously considered dangerous (most often pitbull types) and imposes stricter rules on these dogs or even makes their possession illegal. BSL can lead to the euthanasia of innocent dogs who look certain and responsible pet owners are forced to move or abandon dogs that have never bitten or threatened to bite.

The History of Dog Breeds

These dogs, found in Central Asia, have been genetically traced as direct descendants of the first domesticated dogs.

During the domestication of dogs, their behavior, morphology and physique have changed, and the differences between dog breeds are truly astonishing. However, these differences between

dog breeds

, and between dogs and wolves, are not sufficient to justify recognition as a different species.

The Problem with Breed-Specific Legislation

Since identifying a dog's breed with certainty is prohibitively difficult, breed-specific laws are inherently vague and very difficult to enforce. A study conducted by Maddie's Fund, a national shelter initiative, showed that even people very familiar with dog breeds cannot reliably determine the primary breed of a stray dog, and dogs are often incorrectly classified as pit bulls.

In addition, dogs considered to be a dangerous breed may already be serving the community in positions such as police work, military operations, rescue and as service animals.

The Solution: Responsible Pet Ownership

In many places, dog overpopulation is a problem that entails risks to human health, in addition to poor conditions for dogs. Legislative and animal control approaches to protecting a community from dangerous dogs should not be based on breed, but rather on promoting responsible pet ownership and developing methods to quickly identify owners whose dogs pose a real risk and respond quickly to them. Visitors to Thailand, Vietnam, and other Southeast Asian countries often observe how freely roaming dogs live in harmony with human populations.

So, if races are so similar to each other in their genomes, how do the enormous differences maintain themselves? The obvious answer is the mating pattern we impose on our dogs: we keep breeds separate by avoiding interbreeding between them.

Leave Message

All fileds with * are required