Denmark’s Breed Ban Frenzy

July 21, 2011  

By Leo Scheltinga

Another tragic story of failing Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is unfolding. Just recently the Danish media picked up on the story of a vet, who collapsed in tears after euthanizing 19 puppies. The puppies belonged to one of the 13 banned breeds in Denmark. It was the first video documentation of the suffering which BSL is causing in Denmark.

BSL was implemented in Denmark almost one year ago as a response to a number of dog bite incidents that made the news. Dog owners must have their dog muzzled at all times when outdoors. Re-homing or adopting is not allowed and calls for the dog to be euthanized. Puppies born after the BSL was put in place must be euthanized as well. Breeders are still allowed to breed though, as business interests always seem to prevail. For dogs of mixed-breed origin the same rules apply, should one of the banned breeds be in that mix. And it is for the owner to prove, without a doubt, the dog has none of the banned breeds in his ancestry.

For one year now we have witnessed the predictable effects: euthanizing of healthy puppies, dogs abandoned by their owners and killed in shelters. People keeping their dogs confined because they are too ashamed to go in public with a muzzle, or worse, choose to euthanize their pup. And did all of this suffering contributed to the goal BSL was set out to do? Did it decrease the number of dog bites? A recent study showed that dog bites have actually increased with 26% after BSL was implemented.

If you think the story with the vet and the new information on the increase in the number of dog bites triggered a healthy response and BSL would be questioned publically, think again. Media hysteria surrounding the video with the vet prompted politicians to act, not think, once more. Instead of re-evaluating, they are planning to sharpen the BSL laws even further.

Another 12 breeds are now lined up to be included in the ban. This will bring the total up to 25 breeds, and Denmark will have the dubious honor to become the country in the world with the strictest BSL. One might wonder where this will end. How many more breeds need to be banned before Danish politicians understand banning breeds doesn’t solve the problem of dog bites. In 1600 AD, William Shakespeare wrote in his play Hamlet: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. With what we know today, this even seems an understatement.

There is an ongoing protest in Denmark against BSL, led by the Danish association “Fair Dog”– their website will soon be available in English – and we can help them by raising an international voice. By voting, sharing and blogging for the petition Tell Denmark to stop banning breeds on For every vote, an e-mail is send to the two politicians responsible for keeping BSL alive, demanding re-evaluation of BSL in Denmark.


Leo Scheltinga, Dog blogger from Denmark. Living in Copenhagen with his family and two Hovawarts. Blogs about daily life with his dogs, the Hovawart breed, tracking and K9 nosework, and anything else about dogs.

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16 Responses to “Denmark’s Breed Ban Frenzy”
  1. AnnVanderlaan says:

    This is the primary reason to argue that the best thing to come out of Denmark is ham.

  2. StubbyDog says:

    @AnnVanderlaan Haha, thanks Ann!

  3. mellonz says:

    Denmark is clearly run by absolute idiots!!!

  4. mellonz says:

    I see that two of the most friendliest breeds I have ever been around are banned, Pitties & Staffies!!! Absolutely insane!!!

  5. AnnVanderlaan says:

    They have good ham 🙂 @mellonz

  6. StubbyDog says:

    @mellonz Agreed, sign the petition and maybe we can help change that. Thanks

  7. LorraineBogaards says:

    Animal rape is legal in Denmark. Denmark is the country with the strictest BSL. Enough said. Please stop the insanity.

  8. StubbyDog says:

    @LorraineBogaards Perhaps if we all try to sign the petition, change will come to Denmark. Thanks.

  9. LorraineBogaards says:


    Done and shared – I’ll spread the word. I’m glad I found your website – thank you for all you do.

  10. StubbyDog says:

    @LorraineBogaards Thanks Lorraine, and welcome to StubbyDog. Check out our Facebook page too:!/stubbydogs

  11. LorraineBogaards says:


    You are most welcome! And I will see you on Facebook! =)

  12. Nonie says:

    Yes there s absolutly something rotten in the state of Denmark. I know corse i come from and live in that land with such a shamefull goverment. It has been very sad since the bsl started over a year ago, So many dogs has died for nothing. Such a shame

  13. bellboy85 says:

    do they have the same laws for people no they are sent to jail and have to go into rehab Denmark is no better then Hitler. they ban kill innocence

    BSL needs to be stopped

  14. StubbyDog says:

    @Nonie It is a shame, but we can all do something to stop it, and make sure it doesn’t happen in other places as well.

  15. viskii says:

    living in Denmark is hard for me, after I lost my best friend. I’ve got him as a puppy at my 14 years birthday, and he was killed 2 months later. I HATE DENMARK !!!!