Banning Man’s Best Friend: How to Handle Dog Breed Problems

Dogs! People love dogs, and it cannot be denied. Someone coined the phrase ‘man’s best friend,’ and it has been exclusively attributed to the fuzzy canine companion ever since. Funny cat compilations may be a dedicated slice of the YouTube community, but buddy cop comedies with talking dogs are a staple of culture. With the proud puppy parents applying every which way to live in available spaces, it begs the question. Is every dog okay?

In Offense of Breeds

In 2000, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a study showing the number of fatal dog attacks separated by breed. Pit bulls were in the lead with 66 total of bite related deaths, followed by rottweilers with 39 (quite the jump). However, the CDC stressed that these numbers were likely skewed, as “owners of certain dog breeds may be less likely … to register or license their dogs.”

In the same report, the CDC denounced attempts at breed-specific legislation. Just two pages below, they reported:

Breed-specific legislation does not address the fact that a dog of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive. From a scientific point of view, we are unaware of any formal evaluation of the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing fatal or nonfatal dog bites. An alternative to breed-specific legislation is to regulate individual dogs and owners on the basis of their behavior

Center for Disease Control

In Defense of Breeds

According to the ASPCA, pit bulls are “noted for their gentleness, affection and loyalty.” They may have been initially bred for hunting, fighting, and other violent behavior. Now, however, a vast majority of dogs tend to have been produced in a mish-mash of random encounters that don’t encourage that behavior. The ASPCA also notes that they don’t tend to be people aggressive. When dogs are used for violence, they still need to be people-friendly in order to listen to their owners and do what they say. 

For the most part, dogs tend to be more of a reflection of their owners than they are reflections of their breeds as a whole. With a responsible and caring pet parent, most pups can be happy and friendly. Plus, responsible pet parent renters are typically more willing to pay a pet rent or additional pet deposit if they know they can have a safe space for their furry friends.

Steps to Take

As a property manager, you should conduct your own research on what is right for the properties you manage and make appropriate suggestions. Many places in the United States have taken to banning specific breeds, and it could hold true for your area. Consult a lawyer about the right steps to take in your city when it comes to residents with controversial dog breeds. 

If you and the property owner determine that restricting breeds is the right step for your rental community, you can move forward in that direction. You may want to suggest grandfathering in any current residents with those breeds and consult your lawyer on how to handle that situation. If dog breed restrictions aren’t the right step for your property, that’s okay, too. Continue forward with your regular pet guidance.

Where do you stand on

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Cole Seidner is a copywriter here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in creative nonfiction. Her free time is spent taking pictures of her dogs or reading deep dive analysis on movies that she hasn’t seen.

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