“Dangerous dog breeds” – myth and prejudice

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There’s no such thing as a “dangerous dog breed”, only dangerous individuals

Stigmatizing some breeds even more by putting them on a list with no scientific foundation whatsoever is arbitrary nonsense. And in fact it did a lot of damage to the ones that are least responsible – the dogs! While it did not make the first link in the chain of causality any better or more responsible people.


In the mid 1990’s the first German provinces established laws intended to regulate the possession and import of certain breeds, among them the English Bull Terrier. Over the next 10 years other provinces followed with regulations on different levels, some involved ridiculously high fees for owning those breeds, prohibition of possession and breeding of dangerous dogs.
Wherever a regulation about “dangerous dog breeds” became effective, the situation changed merely over night for the listed breeds. As a result hundreds of Bull Terriers and dogs of other breeds from that “dangerous dog breed list”could be found tied to a street pole and abandoned – by “the other end of the lead” that had caused the issue in the first place. Many owners just did not want to deal with that.

Thank you, media, for being “fair-minded” – or were you not???

The media back in Germany had done a pretty good job to contribute in ruining the reputation of the “dangerous dog breeds” to the point where many people feel blank fear when they spot one of those listed dogs. No matter if they encounter it just sniffing a daisy or being aggressive. Many people sadly only read headlines. And even if some really read the entire news, long enough English Bull Terriers, Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers and other breeds were just biassed as flesh eating monsters by the tabloid journalism.

What do we expect people to think after all those horrific news?

The fact that there’s a lot of confusion between the breeds, even among dog lovers, did not help the situation. No wonder for me, I know I can’t distinguish many breeds myself.
So at some point English Bull Terriers were called Pit Bulls and vice versa. People did not even want to know the difference, they just wanted them to vanish from the streets.

I once also did not know the difference between a Pit Bull and a Bull Terrier. And I thought of English Bull Terriers as being ugly, while I love their looks today as well as their loyal character.
Back then their faces looked very motionless to me, the small eyes difficult to read – somewhat unpredictable. And I know many people feel that way until today.
Today it is becoming increasingly hard for me to look at the facial expression of a Bull Terrier as stiff, unpredictable and mean. This is so not them. Today I know the breed. But I also remember how I once felt. That helps me a little understand why some people may have reservations.

Read more about myth or prejudice of dangerous dog breeds on the next page.

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