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Dog Discrimination is alive

Updated: May 1

Recently, a member of our Facebook page advertised a "Dog Show" otherwise termed as a 'doggie fun fair' happening at their school in Elsternwick here in Melbourne. Great - sounds like a fun, family day - in the Bayside area so not far to travel - all good. Until you read the fine print of the excluded breeds of dogs.

The list is:

Pitbull, Mastiff, English Springer Spaniel, German Short Haired Pointer, Gordon Setter, Hungarian Viszla, Lagotto Romagnolo, Pointer, Weimeraner, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Dobermann, Dogue de Bordeaux, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Samoyed, Siberian Husky and Tibetan Mastiff. When I read this exclusion list, firstly I was personally affronted - my dog is a Samoyed x Golden Retriever. I have never heard of Samoyed being on an exclusionary list before. My thoughts of why? Too fluffy? (Guilty!) Too big? (Not really) Too smiley? (Guilty!) Too chatty? (Guilty!) Too bitey? (Not Guilty!) etc etc Then I realised that, oh, he is only half a Samoyed - but which half? The bitey half or the poopy half? ha ha. Would we be turned away at the gate because he was part Samoyed? What about a person who turned up with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier - would the gate people be experts on dog breeds? Could they possibly turn it away because they thought it was a Pitbull? This, in itself, opens the whole process to dispute.

Finn Samoyed Golden Retriever Uncle Bruno

This is my Samoyed x Golden Retriever - he used to be a Delta Therapy Dog. They are temperament tested. To me, this means that he should not be on an exclusionary list - unless organisations such as Delta Therapy Dogs are incorrect in their assessments?

Then I looked at the rest of the list - many of the dogs are large or giant dogs - no small or tiny dogs at all. Bernese Mountain Dogs - ginormous but so placid, soft and perfect with all kinds of people. New Foundlands - the same as Berners. Siberian Husky - the Huskies we know go to the Melbourne Dog Lovers Show as a perfect example of a Husky - couldn't do that if they were dangerous. A Lagotto? People mistake them for poodly dogs. Boxers? Known as loveable clowns. I could go on. The only dog on that list (as a generality) that MAY belong there is the Pitbull. Only because it is classed as a Restricted Breed here in Victoria. Here is the complete list of breeds that are restricted in our State: American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull Terrier) Fila Brasileiro Japanese Tosa Dogo Argentino Perro de Presa Canario (or Presa Canario) Yes, that's it! No Samoyeds, no Bernese, no Pointers or Setters or Boxers or Newfies - you get where this is going I am sure....

Neil Mitchell from 3AW (who apparently owns a Boxer) talked about it on his radio show this morning - click the link to listen.

Another point I would like to make - the people on the gate are tasked with allowing or not allowing dogs in to the fun fair. In some cases, experts in the dog world can't tell what breed some dogs are without DNA evidence - how is the mum/dad from down the road going to know more? Are they also not opening themselves up to the likelihood of arguments at the door? It was an exclusion list provided by the insurer. Someone in our group commented that they have never heard of an excluded dog list for any dog shows be they fun or formal. This is true. It would be wonderful to know why these breeds are on the exclusion list? Is it legal to do this?

The slideshow below shows dogs that would be excluded based on their breed only - not based on whether their breed (or part thereof) is on the dangerous dog breed list. How is that fair?

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