Information about Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)

What is Breed Specific Legislation or BSL?

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is, essentially, efforts used to restrict, ban and/or eliminate certain breeds of dogs, purebred or mixed. It can include anything from requiring special licensing of a breed (breed restriction) to the total ban of certain breeds.

Several jurisdictions in Canada have either enacted Breed Specific Legislation or are proposing enacting legislation that specifically names certain breeds as restricted or prohibited.

This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website is provided as a resource for those looking to learn more about this very important issue. The links provided under the Information & Resources category are to some of the most indepth web sites covering all facets of BSL.

Because of the very recent proposed province-wide Pit Bull breed ban by Attorney General Michael Bryant in the province of Ontario, a section specific to Ontario has been added which includes information about what you can do to help fight this legislation.

And now... the New Brunswick Bill 55 - Restricted Dogs Act.


Education is Key:

To learn more about the specific breeds generally known as "Pit Bull types" see:

Breed banning is not a solution to preventing dog bites or attacks. Education of child, parent, dog owner, and the public in general is key to reducing the number of attacks. The following are links to web sites which deal specifically with these issues:

  • The Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project — "Too many children are getting injured by dogs. Too many breeds are being banned based on ignorance. Too many dog owners are ending up with problem dogs because the human end is undereducated. The Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project is dedicated to ending this - all of this." (Link added 26 Jan 2005)
Ontario's Bill 132, a province-wide ban on "pit bull type" dogs was enacted on August 29th, 2005.

To learn more about how you can help continue the fight, visit:

Also see The Dog Owners' Liability Act of Ontario (2005) Information Sheet (PDF) — The Dog Legislation Council of Canada has created a easy to read brochure available on the basics of Bill 132 and the new DOLA.

BOB WAS A PIT BULL
By Ryan S Browning

Bob was a Pit Bull. He was my best friend.
Dad brought him home when he was twelve weeks old.
He came from a list of Grand Champions.
His daddy used to win a lot of shows.

As Bob grew older some neighbors got scared.
They said Bob would bite someone.
My friends all play with Bob.
When he grabs their pants leg, they don't care.
They know he is just hav'in fun.
I like to take him for walks and train him with treats
and at night he sleeps under the covers, right by my feet.

Bob stays at home while I am at school.
That is mom and dad's rule.
Dad said to never let Bob run loose
and mom never forgot about Bob eating her shoes.
The man on TV said all the Pit Bulls have to leave.
He wanted to take them all, and have them put to sleep.

He said a little boy was killed by a Pit Bull tied up
in his neighbour's backyard and all Pit Bulls are mean.
If that Pit Bull was tied up, maybe his life was hard
and he didn't have anyone to love him like Bob has me.

Every day after school we like to play and we have a lot of fun.
People said he would turn on me, but Bob didn't want to hurt anyone.
He could climb a tree and hang there all day.
He likes to chase me around the yard,
I even taught him to sit and stay.
Please God, why did you let them take Bob away.

They passed some kind of law, it's called BSL,
because they believe a Pit Bull is bred to attack.
Bob never hurt anyone;
but, Dad said, Bob may have to leave and never come back.
We can't afford to move, because of his job and the money.
Mommy gave me a hug and cried and said I'm sorry honey.

I ran to my room with Bob at my heels.
I made him a promise as a pup I would love him for years.
As I lay crying on my bed, Bob kissed away the tears.
Then the day came and they took him away.
I vowed then and there, he would never be replaced.

Dad and Mom said they would get me a new dog.
One not deemed vicious, by some stupid law.
I told them, no dog could make up for Bob!
Why did they listen to that man on TV?
Bob was a gentle friend, who would never hurt a flea!
That man was wrong! Bob would never turn on me!

They said because of mean and cruel people, all Pit Bulls like Bob,
must go to jail where they are given a shot to put them to sleep.
Then an Angel would come and take them to heaven for God to keep.
I cried all night for the loss of my best friend.
How could the man on TV be so heartless to small kids like me?
I know in my heart Bob is now gone.
I feel him watching and waiting to be by my side.
He can't see the real problem, can someone tell me why?

It's not kids or people like me,
who miss their dog while at school,
or the ones who use dogs like Bob, for search and rescues.
It's people who torture them, starve them,
beat them, that's what must end!
They are the reason my dog is dead Mr. Bryant;
But, instead, you killed my best friend!

Just because some people don't look after their animals,
I had to lose my one and only companion.
The one I loved with all my heart.
Why don't you go after the ones who are mean?
If you want to help, that's where to start!
Stop killing innocent puppies, sending them to heaven's gate.
Stop bullying the innocent.
Quit throwing around your weight!
Instead do what most government people have forgotten how to do,
do the right thing, look at the truth!
Pit Bulls like Bob, are not the threat,
for the threat lies in ignorant people like you!

by Ryan S Browning
Dedicated to Diezel / Hali also to all the dogs stuck in research facilities and who have lost their lives due to Breed Specific Legislation.

Pit Bull Breed Ban in Ontario:

The Dog Legislation Council of Canada has created a easy to read brochure available on the basics of Bill 132 and the new DOLA. (Revised link 23 February 2007)

THE DOGS OF ONTARIO NEED YOUR HELP (Added 9 March 2005)

The proposed legislation by Attorney General Michael Bryant would ban pit bulls, i.e., ban ownership, breeding, transferring, abandoning, importing, and training pit bulls to fight. Under this proposed legislation, a pit bull is defined as:

  • A Pit Bull Terrier;
  • A Staffordshire Bull Terrier;
  • An American Staffordshire Terrier;
  • An American Pit Bull Terrier; or
  • A member of a class of dogs that have an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to the four types of dogs that have been identified.

Which Dog is the Villain?(Article added 28 July 2006)

Bill 132 Frequently Asked Questions

Ramifications of Bill 132 — This is a MUST READ article reproduced from the NCCPD.

Advocates for the Underdog — A group that believes Breed Specific Legislation is a quick fix that does not protect the public.

4 Legged Love - Against Ontario's Proposed Pit Bull Ban — 4 Legged Love is a dog placement and dog adoption agency based in Toronto (Etobicoke), operating throughout Southern Ontario. Because the Pit Bull ban was put in place in Windsor, Ontario a short time ago, any Pit Bull "type" dog/puppy in shelters, found as strays or dropped off are being euthanized without being given the chance to go up for adoption. 4 Legged Love is working with an independent rescuer located in Windsor to try to save these dogs/pups' lives by tranporting and placing them into caring, forever homes outside of the Windsor area.


New Brunswick

Bill 55 - Restricted Dogs Act

18 November 2004:

After two days of public hearings (Nov. 16 - 17, 2004) held in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick MLA Kelly Lamrock, who introduced the proposed legislation, announces willingness to modify Bill 55. The changes which will move Bill 55 from being breed specific to one which will deal with all dangerous dogs.


Information / Resources / Articles:

Forums and Chat Groups:
  • RCC BSL Group — Serves as a central contact and discussion area for The Rottweiler Club of Canada (RCC) in regards to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). Support is for the entire Anti-BSL movement for ALL breeds.