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Approximately 4.5 million people in the US are bitten by dogs annually.
About 30-50 American of them die from fatal dog attacks each year.
That’s too big a number to ignore. To make matters worse, the number of attacks seems to go up with each passing day.
Dog attacks have, for a long time now, become a real concern across the country.
To combat the problem, some US states have come up with legislation surrounding dog ownership.
Some of them include banning specific breeds from being kept as pets. These are called Breed-specific legislation (BSL).
Granted, BSL doesn’t sit well with some pet owners who claim that the behavior of a dog isn’t a factor of the breed it belongs to. That it is unfair to term some breeds as ‘dangerous’.
Nonetheless, some states are adamant about this.
Let’s take a look at Texas. What are the dog breeds banned by Lone Star State?
Texas BSL Overview
The State of Texas is big on prohibiting breed-specific legislation (BSL).
No city or county in the state is allowed to create bans surrounding the ownership of specific breeds.
The state only allows municipalities the liberty of making legislation that restricts dangerous dogs if need be.
However, the laws shouldn’t be specific to certain breeds or a group of breeds.
Also, the legislation can be stricter than those provided by the state provided they apply to every party equally.
So far, two Texan cities, Magnolia and Forest Hill, have declared Pitbulls as “dangerous”.
Childress, on the other hand, restricts the adoption of Pitbulls, Chow chows, wolf hybrids, and other doggies considered aggressive or dangerous.
Lastly, the city of Garland restricts American bulldogs and Pitbulls or more specifically, offers guidelines on the necessary enclosures for owning these breeds and their hybrids.
Realize that none of the laws forbid people from owning certain breeds. Other facts about breed-specific legislation in Texas include the following:
- A dog may be declared “dangerous” even if it doesn’t harm or touch a person or animal.
- When Texas state laws declare a dog as “dangerous”, it is almost always put down because the requirements of keeping it are costly and challenging for most people.
- Letting local governments have breed specific laws would negatively impact tourism not to mention limit economic freedom.
- If a dog attacks someone and causes injury, the owner will be prosecuted under the penal code and the 2007 Attack by Dog Statue in Texas Health and Safety Code.
Dogs Banned In Texas
Before the introduction of breed-specific laws, Texas had initially banned the ownership of Pitbulls, Doberman Pinschers, and Rottweilers.
All the breeds were considered dangerous to have as pets.
Now, you can own any dog you desire. However, if you reside in Magnolia and Forest Hill cities, realize that the state considers Pitbulls as “dangerous”.
That means that if your dog shows any signs of harming people or animals, you will be slapped with plenty of rules for keeping him. If you can’t handle them, your pet is likely to be euthanized.
For Childress residents, the dream of adopting Pitbulls, Chow chows and other breeds considered dangerous or aggressive is out of the question.
Finally, if you hope to settle in Garland, expect to have strict rules regarding the ownership of Pitbulls and American bulldogs.
You will be required to put up specific types of enclosures needed to maintain the above breeds.
You may also want to check: States with Pitbull Bans
Breed Restrictions in Texas Apartments
Essentially, there are no specific tenant dog laws in Texas.
As long as you abide by the general laws regarding the ownership of “dangerous” dogs, the state has no problem with you.
For instance, Garland residents are required to keep their Pitbulls and American bulldogs under certain enclosures. If you live in an apartment, it may be pretty difficult to do that.
With that said, landlords are allowed to create their own rules on pet ownership and include them in your lease.
The owner may ban pets completely, allow certain types of pets or breeds, allow the ownership of pets after registration with management making a pet deposit, or have no pet restrictions whatsoever.
Different tenants have different laws on this issue. It is up to you to find out what your lease says with regard to pet ownership.
What to Do When You Own Banned Breeds in Texas
As mentioned previously, breed-specific bans are prohibited in Texas.
You only have to worry about dealing with laws regarding dogs termed by the state or the city as “dangerous.
If your dog has attacked someone or an animal before or shows signs of aggression and danger, the state may euthanize him.
That is if the restrictions of owning him are too much for you.
If you live in Garland, plan on putting up the required enclosures before owning a Pitbull or American bulldog.
If the rules are too challenging for you, consider living in another state altogether.
Else, you risk endangering your dog or being slapped with lawsuits should your dog causes an issue.
Nicole Ratliff is positive reinforcement dog training expert based in Oswego, New York. A CATCH Canine Trainer’s Academy alumni, Nicole has extensive practical dog reinforcement training experience and has worked with hundreds of private clients and dog shelter organizations. She is also an outstanding dog behavior author, having written for several online publications. Her goal is to educate pet lovers about the significance of living in harmony with their canine companions in a positive way.