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« Tails on the Trails - August 16 | Main | Independence, MO adjusts pet limit law »

August 04, 2008



Our law in Ontario, as an example, has nothing to do with the perceived 'breed' of a dog labeled as a generic 'pit bull'.

It's about whether the dog physically looks like one of the 3 named (very different if you know anything about dogs) purebreds.

So, even if a dog is a purebred of a non-named type, he doesn't necessarily skate - if he looks like a 'pit bull' and somebody's on a mission.

Put me down as not having much confidence in these DNA dog tests. I await some verifiable information, not just press releases with lots of disclaimers.

I've said for quite awhile that a lot of 'pit bulls' are nothing more than multigenerational randomly bred dogs who are reverting to the ancestral type - which does, indeed, look a lot like what is labeled as a 'pit bull' in a lot of shelters.

It's all pit bulls**t as far as I'm concerned, but you knew that.


“prove it’s a Pit Bull” Oh... I can’t wait for this to come up. Here in Ohio… we can’t challenge the ‘vicious’ label placed across all Pit Bulls according to the Tellings ruling… But what has never been challenged is, “prove my dog is a Pit Bull.” Lots of liability in calling every dog with short hair and muscles a Pit Bull. I believe I've heard the numbers 9 out of 10 dogs are mis-identified as Pit Bulls... (I'm not positive those numbers are out of the HELP FIDO study or not). I hope Anna will jump in here!

KC KS Kills Dogs

It's getting so bad in Kansas City, Kansas that "every dog owner" of a short haired dog is going to have to carry around their copy of their dog's DNA test and have prepaid legal.

I kid you not a citizen named Lori, recently did the law abiding thing went to Animal Control with her dog's paperwork, proof of rabies, proof of s/n (don't get me started that is mandatory too). Animal control refused to issue her a license without seeing her dog first. (I am sure they wanted to see her dog first because the vet paperwork listed the breed as American Bulldog/Boxer mix.)

Lori being the law abiding citizen she is, returned the next day as instructed by AC, with her dog "Roo" in tow and her brother for back up. AC Officer Schwartz proceeded to examine Roo (by the way Roo is deaf and to get his attention the ACO hit the dog). The ACO looked inside the dog's mouth and examined it's coat and declared the dog a "pit bull" based on that.

This is how dog breed ID is determinied by the ACOs in the "dog killing" capital of the USA.

Lori the owner has now been ticketed for possession of a pit bull and will have to go to court to prove otherwise, since her professional, highly educated vet's breed ID is not going to be honored.

More than likely the dogowner in this case is going to have to rely on the DNA test to prove her innocense and be allowed to legally license her dog and keep Roo in the city.


DNA tests do not come back as "pit bull" on purebred, papered, responsibly bred APBTs, so they are not helpful in this kind of thing anyway.


In response to all the above. Although I am no scientist, I suspect Brent is correct-- the DNA tests show some history that can go way back, possibly hundreds of years. I know there are human DNA tests that do.

So even tho, as Katie says, they are not helpful for responsibly bred, papered APBT's, I think this is extremely helpful. Even if governments decide the tests are bunk, well.... they ARE, in fact, DNA tests. Cities are already struggling w/ breed ID. What are they going to do, publicly state that they won't accept professional DNA results?? That will only prove they are the idiots we have stated that they are.

WEll, if they try, then all of this (BSL, breed ID, etc) is going to come out far more ridiculous than it already is. What are they going to do -- say, 'well the DNA test shows no APBT, but we will still call it a pit bull'.

btw, in a trial, if the city is proven wrong and the charge is defeated, then the city is responsible for the lab tests.

WE have yet to see all the ramifications, but so far, it sure sounds good for pits to me. WE already know that their DNA, as well as all other dogs' can go way back, genetically. Heck, we'll probably see some Dingos!


What HELP FIDO is hoping that our study will show is that, given the questionable reliability and scattered results of something as "scientific" as DNA testing (hello CSI fans!), how can anyone prove a dog is a certain breed or "type" of breed. So it is not so much that we are trying to prove " called this dog a pit bull but it's DNA test says it's a pointer" but rather this: " called this dog a pit bull and would therefore impose a ban on it based on it's supposed breed and not it's behavior. Well it's DNA test says it is a pointer. So back to the drawing board for you. Oh and guess what? Maybe you should just focus on behavior since that is actually something you can measure."
See the difference? I am not (and neither is HELP FIDO) vouching for the validity of the DNA tests out there. I have read their research and it is okay but they sorta quit halfway to the goals once they saw the $$$. However, there are numerous academic institutions who ARE studying the very same DNA testing strategems and so someday that research will be published in peer reviewed journals.

My hope is that the very concept of doing DNA tests and getting mixed, surprising results will show legislators that predicting and legislating behavior based on something as watery as a "breed" is ridiculous!!
PS- Brent - Thanks for the call out to our study and folks please consider participating!!


The bigger the pain in the ass BSL is (problems/$$/bad press) the better it is for all breeds (APBT + rotties and the next villified "bad dog de jour").


"There's a basic dog type that emerges" -- this is what Caveat has been saying since I've met her! You're so cutting edge! :-)


I wouldn't mind participating in the study, but I'm in Canada and I'm not sure if they're running the tests from here yet.

Just for a laugh, that is. I doubt they'd get two of my three.


If I ever get my finances together, I plan to get a DNA test for one of my dogs. I would like to get it before a need for it comes up so I can know the results in advance, as I live in a city w/ a ban. I would just like to have it as a precaution for her, as I'm thinking that I will one day in the near future approach a repeal on the ban. I'm thinking of approaching my city for reasons of achieving No Kill status, as they contract w/ a shelter that is working towards this goal. I'm counting on the test coming out whacky, but want to have it first, myself, just in case I'm wrong.

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