Breed Specific Legislation

In recent years, rottweilers have received a lot of bad press. Unscrupulous breeders have produced dogs with highly aggressive tendencies and some owners have used the dogs to boost their macho images. Other owners may acquire a Rottweiler for a family pet, but neglect to properly socialize and train the animal, resulting in a dangerous, unpredictable dog. 

Despite the media's fascination with Rottweilers who run afoul of canine behavioural standards, people who have experience with well-socialized examples of the breed can attest to the Rottweiler's friendliness and often clownish nature. In fact, the FCI standard calls for a dog that is fond of children. Nevertheless, this breed is not for the inexperienced or uninvolved dog owner.

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is any law, ordinance or policy which pertains to a specifically named breed or breeds, but does not affect any others. Proponents of BSL usually cite the need to protect the public from dog breeds believed to have inherent tendencies to aggressive behaviour. Others believe that BSL will help eliminate irresponsible dog breeding, and thereby reduce the number of unwanted dogs, particularly mongrels. 

Opponents of such legislation believe that instances of bad dog behaviour are an issue of irresponsible human ownership rather than inherent dog nature. They point out that some of these policies have been randomly or illogically thought out, and are often implemented and enforced capriciously or inconsistently. In their view, an alternative to Breed Specific Legislation might be the consistent enforcement of existing dog laws, or the creation of new breed-wide regulations or requirements where needed.

Here at, we believe that it is the owner's responsibilty to properly train and socialize their Rottweiler. Unpredictable, dangerous behavior is a direct result of the owner and/or breeder, and not the breed itself. Legislation should be created to control unruly people, not unruly dogs.


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AKC Legislation Alerts