Attendees will learn the history of canine discrimination, how it led to the demonization of dogs called “pit bulls,” and how it has resulted in commercial discrimination, barriers to adoption, and breed specific legislation. We will also discuss the origin and limitations of modern dog bite studies, along with selected reports concerning the human-canine bond that have appeared in the academic literature.
Regulating dogs by breed or appearance, whether in shelters or in our communities, destroys the human-canine bond. Trainers have the opportunity to teach their clients a better understanding of dogs, and, in doing so, to protect future generations of dogs from being targeted. Dog trainers can help break the cycle of discrimination by urging their clients to put aside stereotypes and hold all dog owners to the same high standards of accountability and care.