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IAABC Position Statement

Breed-Specific Legislation

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) is an organization dedicated to raising the standards of evidence-based animal training and behavior consulting through education and certification.
The IAABC strongly opposes any legislation specifically designed to target or discriminate against dogs based solely on their breed or appearance. Research clearly shows that humans are poor at determining a dog’s breed based on appearance.* Further, there is a lot of within-breed genetic variation that suggests breed or the appearance of a breed are both bad targets for legislative action.
Dogs can become dangerous as a result of inadequate socialization, inappropriate training, poor living conditions, poor breeding, and other factors having nothing to do with their specific breed. With the right environment, training, and care, dogs of all breeds can become equally well-adjusted family members and working partners.
The IAABC believes that the objectives behind breed specific legislation can be met more effectively through proper training and care, rigorous enforcement and, where necessary, the strengthening of existing laws.
Where such laws are enacted, provisions must be put in place to exempt existing individual dogs from euthanasia. These provisions, when necessary, should include obedience training provided by an appropriately certified, positive reinforcement-based professional trainer.
We fully understand and support the need for laws to protect humans and animals from the tragic consequences of dog attacks. In order to effectively do so, however, legislation should be based on specific behaviors or actions, and should not discriminate based on breed or appearance.
IAABC Board of Directors 2-13-19
*See if you’d like to test your skills, an IAABC Citizen Science project done in conjunction with University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Member Testimonials

Here I get support, information and training on current, evidence-based knowledge. A great community of international consultants offers great exchange on each relevant topic to support each other helping animals, their owners or even organizations that take care of animals of different species.

Sylvia Czarnecki, Certified Horse Behavior Consultant

I am proud and honored to be certified by, a member of, and educator for the IAABC. I consider the organization to be the industry standard for well-rounded, quality, ethical animal behavior information that is disseminated in a supportive, effective, collaborative environment. The IAABC works very hard to produce not only quantity of educational resources, but also quality.

Katenna Jones, Certified Dog & Cat Behavior Consultant

As a member, I get to network with experts in my field all over the world. This allows me to expand my knowledge in cat behavior as well as shelter behavior. As the feline behavior manager in an open intake shelter, this opportunity to learn from the best has allowed me to ensure the mental health and behavior needs are met for the cats in our care. The IAABC is the "go to" place for people all over the world to find experts in animal behavior. As a certified member my profile is available for the public to view. Since I earned my certification, I've seen my private business almost triple.

Lisa Stemcosky, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant

a woman with brown hair and a grey dog touch noses

IAABC has been an invaluable learning tool for both myself and staff. As a shelter professional, the webinars provide relevant and up to date information to be used in multiple formats. The online convenience allows for continuing education, minus the travel.The mentorship programs are nothing short of amazing, including the pricing . This organization is always looking forward and growing.

Amy Schindler, Shelter Behavior Affiliate