DaDane of DaWeek

Endangered Species?

This week's DaDane features a portrait of a Bulldog. I took his picture at Germany's VDH Europasieger-Zuchtschau 2000, a European championship all-breed dog show which is held each May. I promise that next week we'll get back to the business of Great Danes, but this week I want to bring up the issue of the "breed bans" currently taking place throughout most of Germany.

In July of this year many of Germany's provinces introduced legislation banning various breeds of so-called "attack" dogs – Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers – as well as restricting up to thirty additional breeds, including the American Bulldog, Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Bullmastiffs and Bullterriers. This may sound trivial to some of you, but the impact on the various breeds and their owners is serious business.

We first heard about this breed legislation in early July. Almost all of the news was coming via the internet, and emotions were running high among those reporting. The reliability of the information was unclear and I was reluctant to mention the breed bans on DaDane of DaWeek, even though I was running a series of German Great Dane portraits. I decided to wait for more "mainstream" news reports.

The Washington Post has since published a few articles on the subject. The first article began:

Dogs as Scapegoats for Social Problems
By Judy Mann Friday
July 7, 2000

The killing of a 6-year-old boy by two attack dogs has created a firestorm of hysteria in Germany that is symptomatic of growing stresses between Germans, imported Turkish laborers and the German underworld. Within days of the June 26 attack on the Turkish child by a pit bull and a Staffordshire terrier, the German government passed laws banning three breeds: pit bulls, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers. Many of Germany's 16 provinces then passed their own laws banning various breeds of attack dogs and restricted ownership of up to 30 other breeds. Owners of the restricted breeds are required to have permits and to leash and muzzle their dogs. They also face heavy licensing fees, and dog law violators are subject to steep fines and jail terms. As a result, owners have been dumping dogs at shelters across Germany, a country that loves its dogs. In Hamburg, where the attack took place, shelter facilities filled up with more than 300 dogs, and 90 have been euthanized...

If you would like to read the rest of the article, please go to the Washington Post's website: Dogs as Scapegoats for Social Problems.

A follow-up appeared on July 28. It began:

German Frenzy Over Mean Dogs Misses Point
By Judy Mann Friday
July 28, 2000

Dog breed bans recently ordered by German authorities have heightened animosity toward dog owners, and there have been numerous reports of attacks on dogs and their owners when they are out in public. If nothing else, the situation in Germany has proved to be a good example of how not resolve tensions between those who own dogs and those who do not. Moreover, dog clubs and associations from Europe and the United States have contacted German authorities with pleas for less draconian measures in dealing with dogs. Many dog advocates appear to be strongly opposed to banning certain breeds but supportive of generic legislation that protects people against dangerous dogs. Many dog advocates in Europe are concerned that the German approach will be adopted by the European Union and that breeds of banned dogs will become extinct...

The remaining text of the article can be found at: German Frenzy Over Mean Dogs Misses Point, Washington Post.

As we move into August, it's unclear how this situation will shake out. I know of one German Great Dane breeder who is so worried about the future of his Great Danes that the entire family is attempting to relocate to Italy. Meanwhile there are stories circulating about large numbers of "scheduled" dogs being secretly transported across German borders to safer venues. Fortunately, there are indications that German legislators are taking a closer look at their impending breed legislation and, hopefully, reevaluating their positions.

For those of you who would like to voice your concern, electronic petitions are available. I have listed a few of them here: Petition against the German Breed Ban at, Scandinavian Petition at and German Petition, with English translation, at

DaDane of DaWeek t-shirts & sweatshirts
are available at

These drop-down menus should work with all browsers.
If you experience a problem, please visit the hypertext-based Archives & Directory.

- Recommended Links -

Great Dane T-shirts DaDane's "Great Dane Links" now offers over 1000 links, sorted by category for easy browsing. Categories include health & welfare, breeding & genetics, clubs & organizations, rescue resources, breeder directory, and personal pet sites. New links are added every Monday.

Free DaDane Postcards
There are 95 electronic postcards now, including the most recent DaDane pictures. Send someone a DaDane postcard. It's virtually free! Also available: E-male postcards and FeMail postcards.

DaDane T-shirts
Your favorite DaDane postcard pictures are now available on t-shirts, turtlenecks, and sweatshirts. Please visit our DogWare website to see the latest designs. These shirts make great gifts!


Dane Owner's Checklist || DaDane Archives || Great Dane Links || Virtual Canine Postcards || DogWare Boutique || Dog versus Man

It's time to PUT ON THE DOG!
DaDane T-shirts are now available
at logo
©2000 by Ginnie Saunders  
PO Box 50314, Columbia, SC 29250  
(803) 783-3169  

©2000 by Ginnie Saunders. All rights are reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means -- electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system -- without written permission from Ginnie Saunders except for the brief inclusion of quotations in a review. To learn more about copyright issues on the web, visit the Web Law FAQ.