“Dangerous dog breeds” – myth and prejudice

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Do your homework

Sure, people could sit down, do some research and find out that several studies have already proven that there is barely any difference in the natural character and aggressiveness among dogs of any breed.

They could find out that some studies even proved that several other NOT listed breeds and not subject to the harsh regulations for dangerous dogs are even more likely to bite than a “dangerous dog”. But who does that other than people who really WANT to look behind the “monster mask”? Usually people willing to discuss the matter are lovers of the specific breeds and no “outsiders” which – aside from the very emotional standpoints and sometimes irrational arguments – alone is enough to automatically prevent a fruitful discussion between the contradicting parties.


Some numbers for your convenience – across listed and unlisted breeds

Not very surprising what my research brought to light, but I want to share some numbers in this essay too:
Here I found the “bite statistic” of Berlin, Germany, in 2012 stating that there had been two incidents with Bull Terriers biting people versus 75 incidents with German Shepherds and 19 incidents involving Golden Retrievers or Labradors, only to name a few for comparison.
Check out the list yourself. Even the Pit Bull, who is often considered even more aggressive and dangerous does only appear with a few incidents.
Source: www.gruene-fraktion-berlin.de

There are different statistics with some other numbers, but the trend in general is always the same and in fact in most bite statistics dogs like the German Shepherd always lead the list.
Sure, one could argue now: “Well, meanwhile due to the law there are less of the dangerous dogs present in households and therefore the numbers have shifted in favor of the dangerous dogs.”

Well, then take a look at this statistic from 1998/1999:
Source: www.deutsche-doggen.de

While the overall number of bite incidents luckily seems to have decreased over a decade, the German Shepherd back then already lead the list, while the number of incidents with English Bull Terriers for example was comparably small.

In this FAQ of the bavarian police from 2015, they explain how a breed makes it on the “dangerous dog breed list” in Bavaria:
Source: www.polizei.bayern.de

According to that information the number of dogs in relation to bite incidents makes them a dangerous dog breed.
So, here’s their explanation why German Shepherds are still not listed: In relation to their whole population the number of bite incidents is comparably low.
In other words: “They are so widespread and not stigmatized, even police uses them, they can’t be dangerous dogs! The hundreds of bite incidents every year are just unhappy accidents.”

Well, that seems to be looked at differently in the U.S. Here also the German Shepherds actually are considered a dangerous dog breed, which at least seems more fair to me as long as people think dogs need to be categorized by the risks they pose on some kind of list.

I can understand that the legislative authorities need to make regulations and laws applicable for a whole mass of individuals. I also understand that for the benefit of the many the individual sometimes needs to subordinate their own interests within a society.
But in this case living creatures are paying a high price for being put on lists, while the core problem remains unsolved.
Many regulations are just irrational, randomized and unfair.

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

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