Why THIS Animal Is Banned From A Certain NYC Building

Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Today, a new phrase was coined: "Dog racism." The term comes courtesy of an Upper West Side co-op that wants to ban certain dogs based on their breeds, DNAinfo reports.

The new policy, which requires pet-owners to prove the breed of their pups, would ban dogs that "based upon documented information regarding their tendency towards aggressiveness." The list of 27 banned breeds includes Maltese, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Saint Bernards, German shepherds, Pit bulls and Basset hounds.

While the co-op has banned these dog breeds since 2011, only now are they requiring vet certification and DNA tests. The problem? DNA reports aren't exactly fool-proof. "I would need to see the data supporting how foolproof the DNA reports are for mixes," canine researcher Dr. Caroline Coile wrote to Refinery29. "In their early days, at least, they were not very reliable."

Can you really judge a dog's aggressiveness by its breed (and not its overall upbringing)? Maybe. "Yes, dogs of different breeds do have a tendency to act according to their genetic heritage. After all, that's the whole idea behind breeding for a function," Coile said. But, "I can't imagine that they have come up with 27 breeds that are so onerous that they must be banned. Maltese? Really? Maybe they are including barking, in which case they are not banning nearly enough."

The problem with breed bans, Coile says, is that there are plenty of obscure breeds, so even having a 27-long list will only cover the more common types of dogs. "If you ban a Mastiff, what about a Boerboel?" Coile says. "So yeah, I think they've got a pit bull by the tail here."
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