Razas de perros considerados peligrosas

Dangerous dog breeds: scientific evidence or prejudice?

Originally, the new animal welfare law was going to change the consideration of potentially dangerous dogs (PPP) to "special handling dogs". However, due to amendments, this designation, which dates back to 1999, will continue to be maintained.

Therefore, in Spain there are still eight breeds of dangerous dogs, considered as such according to certain of their physical characteristics.

Characteristics of potentially dangerous dogs

According to the legislation, dog breeds that have most or all of the following physical traits are considered dangerous:

  • Strong musculature, athletic build, agility and endurance.
  • Thoracic perimeter between 60 and 80 centimeters, and height at withers between 50 and 70 centimeters.
  • Weight over 20 kilos.
  • Voluminous head, cuboid, robust, with wide and large skull.
  • Wide, voluminous and short neck.
  • Short hair.
  • Chest solid and broad, with arched ribs and muscular loin.
  • Forelegs parallel, straight and robust, and very muscular hindquarters.
  • Large and strong jaws, robust, wide and deep mouth, with a bite capable of causing serious injury or death.

However, even if they do not meet these physical criteria, dogs that show an aggressive nature or have attacked other animals or people are also considered dangerous.

The eight breeds of dangerous dogs in Spain

Taking into account the above characteristics, there are a total of eight breeds of dogs in Spain that are considered potentially dangerous, most of them quite common dog breeds.

Pit Bull Terrier

This American dog breed is possibly the one with the most dangerous reputation. It comes from a cross between a bulldog and a terrier, and is a very athletic and strong breed. The cause of its reputation as a dangerous dog is its training for fighting with other dogs, a practice that still takes place legally or clandestinely in certain countries.

El pitbull es una de las razas de perros consideradas peligrosas

2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

It is a breed closely related to the previous one, with an active character, short hair and muscular and robust body. As with its close relative, it is a breed intentionally crossed to participate in fights against other dogs, hence its bad reputation as a potentially dangerous breed.

3. Argentine Dogo

It is one of the few Argentine breeds that still exist. It is a molosser of large size, imposing appearance and strong temperament, characteristics for which it is considered potentially dangerous. In fact, like other PPP breeds, it was formerly used as a fighting dog.

4. Rottweiler

It has been proven that the bite of the Rottweiler breed is stronger than that of a pit bull. This, coupled with its imposing appearance and serious temperament, makes it part of this PPP list. However, the Rottweiler is used as a guard dog and even as a sheepdog, apart from as a companion animal.

5. American Staffordshire Terrier

Its origin is English, but it is a breed that landed in the United States in the 19th century to, once again, participate in fights against other dogs. It is a robust and muscular breed, although, in spite of its consideration as a PPP, they are usually very familiar and protective animals.

American staffordshire, una de las razas de perros más peligrosas

6. Fila Brasileiro

The fila brasileiro is one of the best known dog breeds in the world. Although it does not look as "threatening" as some of the above breeds, it is a large dog, which is why it is included in the Spanish list of potentially dangerous breeds.

7. Tosa Inu

Like other furry dogs with which it shares this list, the origin of the Tosa Inu was fights with other dogs. It arose in Japan in the 19th century, from crosses between native breeds and other breeds imported to Japan. It is considered a potentially dangerous dog because of its large size and weight, as well as its wide skull and jaws.

8. Akita Inu

This is another breed originating in Japan, very similar in appearance to wolves. It is believed to be about 5000 years old, and was used by Japanese tribes to hunt large wild animals, such as bears. Precisely, its hunting instinct, added to its musculature, makes it a potentially dangerous dog in Spain.

These are the potentially dangerous breeds included in the state law, but it should be known that some autonomous communities have extended it to other PPP breeds, such as the Doberman, the Presa Canario, the Dogue de Bordeaux and the Neapolitan Mastiff.

Dangerous dogs and prohibited dogs

It is important to differentiate between dog breeds that are considered dangerous and dog breeds that are banned. PPPs are not prohibited breeds, but their owners must comply with a series of legal requirements in order to own them.

On the other hand, banned dog breeds are those whose ownership is not allowed by law, something that does not occur in Spain, but does occur in other countries. For example, the American Staffordshire terrier and the American Pittbull terrier are two breeds banned in several European countries, such as England, Denmark, Norway and Germany.

Pitbull sonriendo

Careful with your dog?

The reform of the animal welfare law was intended to eliminate the consideration of dogs as dangerous on the basis of their breed. Instead, this consideration would be established on an individual basis according to the animal's behavior.

In fact, there is considerable agreement among veterinarians and ethologists that genetics plays a minimal role in the "dangerousness of a breed". What determines the aggressive nature of the animal are, rather, the conditions of its breeding and the environment where the first stages of its development take place.

Therefore, the way to prevent a dog from being aggressive as an adult is to control the conditions in which it is raised, and to correct from its puppy stage those behaviors that, in time, could pose a danger to people or other animals.

In Balukaas lovers of all dog breeds, we can not agree more with what is often said:

"The dangerous one is not the dog, it is the owner".