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American Staffordshire Terriers

Aliases: American Staffordshire Terrier, AmStaff

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Legislation Regarding the American Staffordshire Terrier

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Tags: American Staffordshire Terriers, Aggressive, Behavior, Training

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Communities are justifiably concerned with the amount of dog attacks that are registered each year, also because they know that just as many go unregistered. In order to protect people, local and national governments have taken to instituting breed-specific legislation, which can include policies or laws that only affect one or more specific breeds. Often, the legislation deals with restrictions concerning both owning and breeding targeted breeds. The dogs that have most been under attack with this breed specific legislation are the pit bull type dogs, which at times include the American Staffordshire Terrier.

Indeed, in many American and British municipalities, legislation completely prohibits both the ownership and the breeding of pit bulls. Homeowner's insurance policies can actually be revoked in many municipalities if there is a pit bull type breed in the house. Many claim that this legislation is necessary for the protection of the public; it has been argued that these breeds are inherently aggressive towards humans and other dogs and so should not be allowed into society. Other unfounded claims, such as superior jaw strength, ferocity and muscular strength, are used to justify the legislation as a response to the danger these breeds pose.

While proponents of the legislation state that studies exist to support their claims, scientists (sometimes grudgingly) agree that no actual data have been found to claim that one specific breed, let alone the pit bull dogs, is inherently more dangerous than other breeds. Actually, data coming in demonstrates that locations in which breed specific legislation was enacted are experiencing no differences in dog attacks than locations that don't have this legislation. Opponents of breed specific legislation have also claimed that pit bull type dogs have been erroneously targeted for these policies, when statistics show that many other breeds have participated in dog attacks as well; there have even been cases of Pomeranians (that don't weigh more than 7 pounds) killing small infants. This demonstrates the inadequacy of the legislation.

Even opponents of breed specific legislation agree that something must be done to prohibit dog attacks. There is the suggestion to more heavily enforce existing laws regarding dogs; many believe that attacks should be examined individually, on a case by case basis, to decide on the most appropriate action. It is becoming increasingly evident that aggressive pit bulls are the result of poor training or illegal activities; many drug dealers train pit bulls to be aggressive towards humans in order to guard their merchandise and have an efficient attack dog. Cutting down on these illegal activities would be an indirect, but efficient, way to cut down on the number of aggressive pit bulls around. Also, making sure owners understand the danger of an untrained dog, whatever its breed, should also be a priority in the fight against dog aggression.

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