Humane Canada™ opposes laws banning individual breeds. Furthermore, Humane Canada believes that the most effective way to address public safety concerns is for humane organizations, other animal stakeholder organizations, provincial governments and municipalities to work together on multi-faceted strategies that identify and address dangerous dogs of all breeds. Humane Canada recognizes that aggression by dogs against people and other animals may be a threat to public safety, and that this issue must be addressed if we are to create humane and responsible societies where people and dogs co-exist and enrich each other’s lives.
Owners of all breeds of dog must understand that any dog can bite, depending on the circumstances. In particular, close supervision is essential when children are in the presence of a dog.
There are many contributing factors to most dog bite incidents, including a genetic propensity to aggression, inadequate or inappropriate socialization and training, health or behavioural issues, inadequate supervision and/or control of the dog, and inadequate recognition of behavioural stress in dogs.
Apart from the issues noted above, consistent and fair enforcement of laws banning specific breeds is difficult due to the challenge of reliably identifying the breed or breed mix. Breed specific legislation cannot take into account the issue of developing or newly introduced breeds or breed mixes. In any event, determination of a dog’s breed or breed mix is not necessarily indicative or determinative of an
individual dog’s temperament or propensity to aggression. Owners who choose breeds or mixes of breeds that have been historically used for guarding, fighting or chasing prey must understand and
appropriately manage the potential risks associated with these dogs.
Humane Canada™ supports legislation and programs that encourage informed, responsible dog ownership including spay/neuter, licensing, visible and permanent identification, animal control laws, socialization and humane training, and evaluation by certified specialists for dogs reported as dangerous. Humane Canada™ believes dog owners should know the requirements of the municipal bylaws to which they are subject and should be held accountable for any harm or damage their pets do to people, property or other animals.