By definition, breed-specific legislation requires dogs’ breeds or mixes to be identified. Breed-specific laws are usually written to affect a dog based on that dog’s appearance.
But DNA testing that identifies a dog’s breed or breeds (a science still in its infancy) has shown that visual assessment of a dog’s breed or mix is often incorrect.
The result, of course, is that many dogs that do not possess any of the regulated breeds’ DNA may nevertheless be swept up in BSL simply because they are unlucky enough to have inherited a basic appearance that is considered typical of a regulated breed.
Here are some recent articles about this dilemma, plus an interesting interactive quiz.
The greatest dog breeds you only think you know
Canine Quiz: Can you match the dog to its ancestry? (interactive quiz)
Beagle or Bichon: Can dog drool provide insight?
Think you know a dog’s DNA? Think again