Let’s start off with one that most of you were probably expecting.
Pit bulls, and similar breeds and crossbreeds like American bull terriers, are banned in many states of the US, and many countries throughout the world. Typically, these laws are put in place after a spate of attacks, leading to public outcry against pit bulls – or dogs that look like them. This is part of the problem – there isn’t a concrete definition of what a pitbull actually is, and it can often just be loosely defined as a dog with a large head and mouth.
However, in some places, those laws may be changing; for example, Montreal passed breed-specific legislation in September 2016 but then overturned the law by December 2017.
Although the dogs do have a gruesome reputation now, they were not considered a public safety concern until the late ’80s. Prior to that, they had been considered good pets, family dogs, and guard dogs.
However, dog fighting came back in the ’80s, and with dog fighting came dogs that were bred and taught to be aggressive. Very quickly, many states and communities began passing breed-specific legislation; unfortunately, the fact that it is the owner who teaches pit bulls to be aggressive and that the animals themselves are not born that way doesn’t seem to compute for most people.
It is widely agreed that dogs, no matter what their breed, are a product of their environment and upbringing, rather than their genetics. After all, look at all the adorable Pitbulls in this video!
Do they seem like a menace to you?
Still, the bans on owning or breeding Pitbulls are pretty widespread across western countries.
2. Wolf dogs
Wolf dogs, as their name would suggest, are dogs who have been crossbred with wolves and maintain a large amount of the wolf DNA. They are illegal to own in several countries that have problems with wild wolves, including Finland.
Laws vary throughout the United States on wolf dog ownership; however, they are completely outlawed in Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. Some states do treat wolf/dog mixes as domestic pets just like any other dog, though.
Wolf dogs are not to be confused with huskies, which are similar in appearance but not considered a dangerous breed.
Yup, you read that right – hedgehogs, as adorable as they may be, are illegal to own in a number of US states, including Georgia, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maine, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and New York.
The legal reasoning behind hedgehog bans are similar to bans on other small rodents. As well as being well-known for carrying parasites, hedgehogs can harm their environment if they become established in the wild, and they can potentially transmit illnesses like foot-and-mouth disease to humans.