Is BSL Coming to Your Neighborhood?

Have you ever heard in the news that a certain city is trying to pass BSL and wondered what that is? BSL stands for “Breed Specific Legislation”. It is a law or laws that ban or severely restrict the ownership of a particular breed of dog. These laws declare an entire breed “dangerous or vicious” based on a single incident or on the actions of a few members of the breed.   Did you know that many states and communities already have BSL in place? Some of the communities have outright bans of breeds, others have Breed Specific Restriction Laws, which can require dog owners to muzzle their dog in public, purchase liability insurance, or keep their dog confined in a kennel with specific requirements.

Breed-specific legislation applies only to dogs of a certain appearance.

Can you find the "pit bull"?

The breed most often targeted for BSL is the pit bull, but “pit bull” is not a breed. It is a catch-all phrase used to describe Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers or any mix of these breeds. There are at least 11 breeds that have the looks of a “pit bull”. If BSL is passed in your community, you might very well be targeted for having a boxer, a bulldog, a bull terrier, a cane corso, a mastiff or a rottweiler.

According to the American Temperment Testing Society, “Pit Bulls” rate in the 82 percentile. Meaning that of the bully breeds tested, 80% of them passed the temperament test. You might be surprised to know that all breeds tested fell within the 71-92 percentile, from Chihuahuas to Shih Tzus!

The dangerousness of a dog is directly related to ownership practices. Studies have shown that dog owner mismanagement; dogs not properly socialized, trained or contained, is frequently the cause of dog bites. A better alternative to BSL would be Stronger dog laws with an emphasis on abuse prevention, and irresponsible owner regulation. To see if your community has BSL or is considering it, visit:

BSL locations.

How did you do on the photo quiz?

A. Tosu Inu,  B. Dogo Argentino,  C. Cane Corso,   D. Bullmastiff,   E. American Bulldog,      F. American Pit Bull Terrier,  G. Bull Terrier,   H. Boxer

About yelodoggie

Ariel C. Wulff is an author, artist and animal advocate. They have been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-five years. They have written two books about their true-life adventures living with an ever-changing house full of pets: Born Without a Tail, and Circling the Waggins, and a guide to animal advocacy using the Internet as a tool: How to Change the World in 30 Seconds". Wulff also wrote a pet column and book review column for the Examiner, and was a contributing editor for They attribute their love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.
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3 Responses to Is BSL Coming to Your Neighborhood?

  1. Pingback: I Can Still See What a Dirtbag You Are. | Up on the Woof

  2. Pingback: Hey, YOU! | Up on the Woof

  3. When my two youngest children were 4-6, they used to climb on and play with a friend’s
    Bull Terrier…there was never a problem…the children learned to love and not fear dogs based on their experiences with this gentle dog… this was in New York City…I sometimes walked this dog, Miss Julie, in Riverside Park…there was never an incident, problem or growl..


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