Dog Breed Restrictions: Why Do We Continue This? (by Maranda Nicolet)

images-5Background :

To give you a brief background on myself, in regards to animals, I have never really worked in a field with animals. I have always had an animal though. I grew up with them. We always had a dog or a cat in our home. I have loved dogs, cats, bunnies, and ponies (what little girl didn’t?). I cannot remember ever being told that as a child that any animal was bad or dangerous, of course I knew lions, tigers and bears were (but what child who saw “Wizard of Oz” didn’t know that?) When I was around five maybe six we had a Scottish Terrier, her name was Tabby, she was super sweet – she bit me. I don’t remember exactly how it happened but she jumped up and ripped my lip open. Getting stitches as child is no fun. Even after that incident I was no afraid of her, of dogs at all for that matter. There was nothing from anyone that this dog was to be labeled as dangerous or to be taken away from us. I do remember it to be an accident, I know that she did not mean to hurt me. My love for animals despite what happened to me has had me wondering : Why all these breed restrictions? Why now?

Research Collection :


This article talks of how outdated and unfair the breed restrictions in the US are. She states in her article that these “laws are extremely difficult and costly to enforce.” In her article it also states organizations such as the ASPCA is against these laws, stating that there “is no evidence that communities are safer because of these laws”. In this article she points out 12 specific dogs and why they made this list. Pitbulls and Fila Brasillero are at the top this list due to negative reputations, even stating from a study that pitbulls are responsible for 42-45% of attacks and children are listed as 70% of the time being the victim. A few dogs on this list surprised me and others I wasn’t too shocked that they made the list.


This article was both fascinating and disappointing to me. I have never had this issue with an insurance company. In this article the author talks alot of how insurance companies will deny policies for renters and for home owners due to the breed of their dog. They look at the risk factor of the dog. One insurance agent from ALLSTATE states that” dog bites are a major financial risk.” Insurance companies base their risk factor for their “bad dog lists” on research studies from U.S. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Only Michigan and Pennsylvania have restricted this practice by Insurance companies. This article also states that no scientific data is used, that one bad new report can have a dog added to this list.

Source 3 :

This article I found to be extremely useful. Throughout this article advice is given on how to rent with a dog that might be on a breed restriction list. Good tips for searching for a home for both you and your dog. Such as giving yourself enough time to find a place, a letter of recommendation from a previous landlord, ensuring that your renters insurance will cover your dog and carrying a larger policy to cover any damage.

The Public Writing

I have always wondered what could possibly classify any dog to be dangerous. Any animal when truly think about it can be dangerous. Dogs are descendants of wolves they are by nature wild, we have domesticated them yes, however they still have that instinct. Cats have a hunting instinct, it’s actually encouraged to move their food around everytime you feed them so that you continue that instinct in them. Why do we have continue to pick out certain breeds though? What is it about Pitbulls and German Shepherds that can make them so much more dangerous than a Pomeranian? My own opinion and conclusion is that these dogs look a little meaner. Pitbulls are built for fighting, these dogs are ridiculously strong. I owned one briefly, he was the biggest teddy bear you’d ever meet but people were still terrified due to his breed. Most wouldn’t even give him a chance because of it.

Due to the look of these dogs, the so called owner seems t think that they should encourage them to be mean, to fight and attack. This of course has caused many problems for these ones that want to have these dogs in thier llives because they are actually sweet dogs to have. My dog I have now is a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix. When we were looking for a womewhere new to live,

we found this to be much more difficult than we thought. His mix breed was on the breed restriction list of every place we looked. We refused to give hm up though, he is a member of our family, he is like my child. You don’t turn you back on fmaily. We did not give up our search though. Lukily we did find a place, a decent place that was willing to give him a chance. They agreed to an interview with him before allowing him in, but he passed. They realized he was too much of a sweetie and kind of a coward (he is a huge chicken).

I did get curious why though there are breed restrictions in place recently and begain to look this up. I found a few different web sites that gave a little more insite as to why certain breeds are restricted. The biggest reasoning I could find is that it’s due to the insurance. Many insurance
c o m p a n i e s w i l l n o t i n s u r e i f y o u o w n o r a l l o w c e r t a i n a n i m a l s i n . A​ s o n e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f Allstate Insurance told me, “We are in the business of evaluating risk, and based on what we know the dogs on our’​uninsurable list’ p​ose a higher risk.” ( This still has me wondering, why are these dogs in particular on this “uninsurable list”? Why is it these breeds in particular? In 2011 A Washington State Superior Court jury awarded a $2.2 million verdict to a woman who was attacked by two neighborhood pitbulls near her home in Tacoma, Washington. The woman sued the dogs’ owners whose homeowners policies were unfortunately limited to $100,000 each.” ( This is more of a financial burden, obviously, to the insurance companies.

When you look at the primary reasons for the breed restrictions I can only partially understand, it is not fair to single out specific breeds however. Insurance companies should review this information. Allowing for pet interviews should a way around this. Not all dogs are bad. O​rganizations such as the ASPCA and the Humane Society are completely against them, stating that there is no evidence that communities are safer because of these laws. Plus, the United States Centers for Disease Control attests that inaccurate dog­bite data makes it near impossible to identify specific breeds. (h​ttp://­top­12­banned­dog­breeds/)​Maybe we need to start looking at the owners for more responsibility. I take fully responsibilty for my animals as a pet owner, which all pet owners should do.


One comment

  1. phines2015

    I have to admit that I have reservations about certain breeds of dogs because of personal experience. As you said, dogs descended from wolves and do have instincts. Insurance companies assess their risk based on actual data – some breeds really are more prone to aggressive behavior than others.
    Dog owner’s carry both the responsibility and liability for their pet’s behavior. I wish that all dog owners were as conscientious as you are. I have never heard of pet interviews but it seems like a good solution to the problem of dog breed discrimination and helps responsible owners such as yourself find a way to work around the issue.

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