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Old 05.05.2019, 20:48
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Is my dog a pitbull?

I know, seemingly stupid question however we found her as a pup (about 3 weeks old) in the woods, and have had her since then. Most DNA tests are not conclusive as they end up stating something like "65% Lab, 20% boxer, the rest mixed breed". I am basically asking here as a pre-text to going to the cantonal vet authority for Zurich for a judgement as to whether or not she would be allowed.

Thank you in advance.


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Old 05.05.2019, 20:50
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

Your picture is annoyingly big, 3 topics is overkill and take the DNA test along to the vet and just see what happens (if any)
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Old 05.05.2019, 21:00
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

Quote:
Your picture is annoyingly big, 3 topics is overkill and take the DNA test along to the vet and just see what happens (if any)
Yea, I didnt post 3 of these, but immediately realized the pics were massive so kept removing and resaving and some how I now have 3 separate threads.
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Old 05.05.2019, 21:01
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

In my unexpert opinion she looks like an utterly gorgeous staffie, and I'd move cantons sooner than give her up on the whim of a vet.
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Old 05.05.2019, 21:38
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

I‘m not an expert either, although I see a good bit of boxer. I don‘t know how much credence they give to DNA tests, and they‘re known to be fallible. How big is she?
Are those the actual results of the DNA test?
She‘s absolutely gorgeous though. Good luck!
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Old 05.05.2019, 22:12
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

You don't say how old she is now? So, you haven't had any kind of test yet and you're concerned (and rightly so). Without knowing her age, it's difficult to say, but I was playing with a 100% Pit Bull on Friday (in transit back to her home kanton) and she was a lot broader than your dog.

At a guess, I'd say there's Boxer or Lab in her due to the width of her chest and the way her front legs are set, how gangly they are, and the long toes. It appears that her rear legs are also a bit gangly.

My last dog was 50/50 Lab x Pit Bull (born before the DDA in the UK) and her front legs were similar. She also had the hip problems common with Labs, but she had the deep, broad chest and rose ears of her Pit Bull mum whom I had met, so there was no getting away from that knowledge when the law changed. Luckily, my dog's vet had a 100% Pit Bull at the time, so was more than sympathetic when the law changed. My dog had the face of a Steiff teddy bear and looked like a Staffie on stilts

Hopefully meloncollie will come along with some advice soon, or perhaps you could send her a pm. She's a lovely lady and an absolute wealth of knowledge on the Swiss system. I don't know how the Swiss system works with deciding the breed, but back in the early 1990s, Pit Bull was not strictly speaking considered to be a breed in it's own right.

Just for comparison, this is a photo of my Lizzie when she was 6yrs old.

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Old 05.05.2019, 22:18
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Jaime, the ZH law uses not only DNA results (10% of a banned breed means the dog is considered the same as a banned breed) but also phenotyping. If the dog has physical characteristics that could be construed as similar to a banned breed, and if you do not have a pedigree saying otherwise, the dog may at the judgement of the Veterinäramt be banned on the basis of appearance.

See the last paragraph here:
https://veta.zh.ch/internet/gesundhe...ene_hunde.html

Not knowing the back story: Be aware that the grace period for legally resident List II dogs expired many years ago, so no List II dogs may be brought into the canton any more.

Might your dog fall into List II? I couldn't possibly say. But were it me and my dog:

If you are not in ZH, were it me I would not move there, and if you are already in ZH but somehow your dog was not grandfathered and now is being questioned I would move out of the canton ASAP. I would not put my dog at risk, there is too much at stake.

I am by no means an expert, I only know what I have read in the HuG and HuV and the ZH Veterinaramt site. I do not know how the regs are put into practice. As with so much in Switzerland, interpretation and practice do not always play out the way one might expect when one reads the text of a regulation.

(I don't know if he is still around, but EFer 'RoosterMike' went through the grandfather process, Wesenstest and all, with his already legally resident Staffy back when the ZH BSL was put into force. You might contact him, he might know more.)

If you can give us some background as to what is behind the question without disclosing anything that could endanger your dog, please do so as it might help us help you to find better answers.

I'll say it again - if your dog is at risk of being judged List II, move. That is IMO the only choice.

Hoping for a good outcome for your lovely dog.


ETA:

This thread might be of interest:
https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corn...home-lara.html

(Bearing in mind that each case is individual, and one cannot necessarily draw conclusions from one instance to another.)

Last edited by meloncollie; 06.05.2019 at 00:36.
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Old 05.05.2019, 23:56
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

From a recent post I understood the OP was looking to move to the Baden area so I am confused about the Zurich discussion.

Plenty of people commute to Zurich from Kanton Aargau and not from just the Baden region.

Here is a link for the information from Kanton Aargau.
https://www.ag.ch/de/dgs/verbraucher...istenhunde.jsp
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Old 06.05.2019, 06:00
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

Thanks all for the kind replies, I have researched this extensively and am aware of most all of the restrictions around the breeds but was more so starting to question what the Swiss really view as a "pitbull", ie: do the majority in a forum like this see my dog as pitbull by definition?

She is about 3 years old, we live in canton Schaffhausen (because of this restriction) and have all the proper paperwork already. My reason for posting earlier about housing in Baden is the same underlining reason for my post here about my dog, which is that we need to move closer to canton ZH for our jobs and are spending way too much time commuting, the options for Baden/AG are few and far between, and Thurgau is too far. We are limited vastly in our search for housing by this restriction so are going to take the steps for the Veterinaramt to make a judgement instead of just assuming (like we have been doing for a year), that our dog would be considered banned.

My brother has two pitbull rescues in the states, and I can say that my dog shows basically zero similarities to his in characteristics both physical and not:
1. She has fairly big floppy lab ears
2. She is not very muscular or broad, her body looks very similar to that of my first dog which was a boxer
3. Webbed feet
4. Stands on hind legs quiet often (mainly if we ask if shes hungry), which is typical characteristic of a boxer

Also to clarify, no DNA test has actually been done. As from what I have read it more than likely comes back as "25-35% mixed breed" and doesnt conclusively define what constitutes as "mixed breed". Have read about Alaskan Malamutes coming back as "chihuahua" and "Corgy" etc.. If anyone knows of a reputable one thats recognized by the Swiss authorities please let me know!
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Old 06.05.2019, 08:14
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Curiouser and curiouser:

https://veta.zh.ch/internet/gesundhe..._Hunde_def.pdf

In this FAQ from the ZH Veterinaramt, April 2017, page 4,:

Kann die Rassezugehörigkeit auch mittels Gentest bestimmt werden?

Das Veterinäramt Zürich anerkennt solche Gentests nicht, da sie unzuverlässig sind. Jedes Labor hat eine andere Stammdatenbank, mit welcher die DNA verglichen wird, weshalb unterschiedliche Ergebnisse resultieren können. Das Veterinäramt akzeptiert lediglich eine Phänotypisierung oder Exterieurbeurteilung, bei welcher eine amtliche Tierärztin oder ein amtlicher Tierarzt anhand äusserer Merkmale die Rassezugehörigkeit bestimmt.


Which essentially says that DNA tests are unreliable as each laboratory uses it's own databank, hence the disparate results we read about. Thus judgement will largely depend on phenotypiing done by an official cantonal vet.

Which seems to me a whole lotta Whisky Tango Foxtrot, given the 10% specifically laid out in the ZH law. This is a memo, not necessarily a policy document, but here we go with the law vs practice thingy again.

So my recommendation is to contact the ZH Veterinaramt, in writing, asking how to go about getting a determination. The Veterinaramt is the first and last word. They say in the FAQ that photos cannot be used, so I would guess an in-person meeting would be needed, but that's only my guess. Take this step now - once you have a determination you will then know which options are open to you.

And just to be pedantic - it's not only pitbulls that are banned. Staffies are as well - and my (again, uninformed layman's) impression when looking at your photos is that if your dog resembled any of the banned breeds it might be a staffy cross.

But again, were it me, I would avoid ZH if there were even a smattering of a chance that anyone could think my dog were a banned breed. There have been plenty of stories, on EF and in the papers, of people whose lives were made miserable by nasty neighbours accusing their perfectly legal dogs of being banned, instigating neighborhood mobbing campaigns. The ZH law came about by an emotionally charged referendum, which gives you an insight into how the majority of ZH voters think about dogs. How thick is your skin? Is a shorter commute worth living under the 24/7 stress of toxic neighbours who have taken against your dog? QOL has many components.

And a reminder - if you do move to ZH with the blessing of the Veterinäramt, your dog is still List 1, meaning you need to do the full set of courses. EF member CherryTree is a well respected trainer who offers these courses in English and German - you might want to contact her for more info.

(Have you considered SZ or ZG? Both short commutes, no BSL. Lots of people actually have shorter commutes via direct trains from surrounding cantons than folks who have to traipse hither and thither via tram through the city.)

Again, I hope it all works out for you and your gorgeous dog.
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Old 06.05.2019, 09:24
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

Wow. Just.

So DNA/genotyping is less reliable than phenotyping which is totally unreliable and prone to massive bias.
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Old 06.05.2019, 09:35
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

'Totally unreliable and prone to massive bias' pretty much sums up BSL.

Bad science, bad law.

But for now, until saner policies prevail as they have in countries that have in recent years ditched their BSL as unworkable and ineffective, it is the law we have to deal with.

I just wish there were more transparent guidelines - if only to to allay fears, both among owners and the general population.

Last edited by meloncollie; 06.05.2019 at 10:19. Reason: injured finger plus autocorrect does not for sensible text make.
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Old 06.05.2019, 17:42
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

Your dog definitely looks like a pitbull mix to me . The giveaway is that brindle coat and the meaty head Don't get me wrong, I love pitties and the mixed breeds, but you asked - so figured I'd tell you .
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Old 06.05.2019, 18:08
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

This isn't meant as an insult in any way to the poster above, but to the OP, that is what you'd be up against in ZH. The law was a knee jerk reaction to a horrific case in 2005, and I fully understand that people locally, may react to your beautiful dog in a way that you're not prepared for. This is why... https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/pitbull...r-court/971838

The UK DDA was first introduced in a similar knee jerk reaction to another horrific case. At the time, I experienced some backlash in the form of kids throwing stones at my dog, and the final straw was when a young lad threw a brick at her. It's not a good position to be in, so as others have said, I would avoid it at all costs. Good luck.

p.s. My dog was also a foundling, one of a litter of 5 that were born on an industrial estate by my home. You get mightily attached to these little pups when you've had to nurse them from too young.
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Old 06.05.2019, 18:15
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

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I experienced some backlash in the form of kids throwing stones at my dog, and the final straw was when a young lad threw a brick at her.
That's horrible !!! I'm sorry you and your dog had to go through that.
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Old 06.05.2019, 18:19
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

And oldie but goodie, just to show y'all how difficult it is to identify a pitbull based on appearance:
https://www.shawpitbullrescue.com/ca...-the-pit-bull/

How many of you know your pitty from your boxer from your lab from your hound mix?

And another, to underscore the difficulty:
https://naplesnews.survey.fm/can-you...ify-a-pit-bull


Which is why BSL makes me and the various tests make me .
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Old 06.05.2019, 18:32
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

I took the quiz and got a 70%.

Honestly, though, I always thought pitbulls, mastiff, and staffordshire were all names for pitbulls. Turns out they're part of the 'bully breed' . So, is it just pitbulls theyhave a ban on or all bull family breeds ?
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Old 06.05.2019, 19:17
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

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I took the quiz and got a 70%.

Honestly, though, I always thought pitbulls, mastiff, and staffordshire were all names for pitbulls. Turns out they're part of the 'bully breed' .
A mastiff is actually considered one of the Molosser breeds. There is cross over between the Molosser and bull breed categories, again underscoring the confusion among the general public.



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So, is it just pitbulls theyhave a ban on or all bull family breeds ?
Dog control is the competency of the cantons, so there are 26 sets of dog laws. About half the cantons have some form of BSL on the books, either banning or restricting various breeds. Some of banned or restricted breeds might surprise you.

Here's an overview chart of which breeds are banned, which are restricted, in the various cantons. (Green = no restrictions, yellow = restricted, required permit, red = banned.)

http://www.paperlapap.ch/pdf/Listenh...ze-Schweiz.pdf
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Old 06.05.2019, 19:20
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

Thanks all. To be honest I cant really be mad about the rules, this is not my home country. Sure its discriminatory in nature but with Switzerland being such a small place and the incidents that occurred here regarding these breeds I can see how something like this could be in effect. Even in SH, the looks you get when walking a dog in general, its laughable.. but as they say, kill em with kindness.

Anyhow, seems that the end all is really to just write the Cantonal Vet authority and ask for a judgement. We'll make sure she is wearing her red, Swiss-flag checkered bandana for the appointment and cross our fingers!
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Old 06.05.2019, 19:34
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Re: Is my dog a pitbull?

As an owner of bull breeds over the years - Staffies, English Bulldogs and Frenchies, looking at the photos (although difficult to be 100% especially as your doggie is not standing), I would think that your pooch is a Staffie cross.

He looks quite leggie and also has quite a long space to his nostrils. Pitbulls tend to be bulkier and wider and as he is over 3 his physical size does not resemble that of a usual pitball.

Just my opinion - he is gorgeous - I know nothing about the cantonal requirements regarding pitbulls but would certainly move wherever I could to take him with me. Makes me so cross with the way that Staffies are labelled - had several over the years and they are the most kind, loyal and gentle companions that you could have.
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