Pitbulls and BSL

Pitbulls and BSL

If you own a pitbull (or are just a lover of them) you likely know that pitbulls are wonderful dogs but are unfortunately are subject to some intense discrimination. Pitbulls can often be kind and affectionate animals (you better be prepared for some kisses) but there is a lot of research to suggest they are dangerous dogs. Because of this, places like Ontario, Canada do not allow pitbulls. We believe STRONGLY at Pitbull Tough that this is an unfair law, and that a well trained pitbull is a great family dog. Although we support raw feeding for dogs and balanced training, I think this article is a great breakdown of what a pitbull is like. 

Its super important to remember that every dog needs training, including pitbulls. They often are high energy dogs, who are very stubborn, and can try to be dominate in situations. Because of this, they need a handler who is confident in laying down boundaries and giving them strong leadership. But the hard work entirely pays off because so often they are snuggly love bugs who just want your attention. Pitbulls now might be for everyone, as they might require more training and exercise than other more laid back breeds.

BSL (breed specific legislation) exists in Ontario, which is supposed to prevent people from having pitbulls. However there are a lot of ways Ontarian's are getting around these laws. You can actually foster a pitbull in Ontario with certain restrictions in place (like having them wear muzzles out in public). Pitbull and bully breed rescues like Bullies In Need or Tyson and Friends are a great option for both fostering and adopting if you are interested. A lot of vets or animal rescues will classify unmicrochipped dogs as something other than pitbulls (some kind of mix) and I usually find no one bothers you as long as there is not an issue. That being said, I would avoid dog parks as they are very misunderstood dogs, and people are quick to point fingers. BSL has not stopped people from owning pitbulls, it merely made organization find ways to circumvent the rules.

In Ontario, a bill was proposed to change the BSL regulations, but unfortunately covid derailed the plans. Since BSL was enacted in Ontario, it actually hasn't helped reduce the number of dog bites. In fact, evidence is suggesting a trend upwards in dog bites. Part of the problem with the ban is that it's very difficult to enforce (the police don't have time to run around catching any dog that looks like a pitbull), it's hard to determine if a dog falls under the ban (since pitbulls by nature are a mix), and most rescues/shelters/vets do not support BSL. So unfortunately the ban has done nothing to fix dogs attacks and bites, and has created unfair biased towards a dog while also putting them in harms way. Many pitbull dogs have been put down because of BSL, if they felt the dog was not capable of rehabilitation or rehoming (generally after being pulled by a dog fighting situation). Pitbulls are already at an unfair advantage since they are so regularly seen as dangerous dogs, so it makes them prime targets of dog fighting rings or for poorly trained "guard dogs". BSL furthers that belief by banning these dogs and not giving them the chance they deserve to be kind and wonderful companions. 

So what does this all mean, and what is the solution? The BEST solution in my opinion is to have ALL dog owners put through dog training. Dog training is incredible important for both humans and dogs, as it teaches you how to manage your dog appropriately. If people are required to go through proper training for their dogs, it would be the best chance for ALL DOGS to get the help that they need and live their best life possible. Put onus on the dog handler, and not the dog themselves. 

 If you are interested in reading more and taking action, here are a few links below. Please feel free to share this information with others, so we can finally dispel the dangerous dog belief and end BSL in Ontario.

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