DNA test confirms that dog identified as a “pit bull” by various media outlets is in fact a Rottweiler, Mastiff and Golden Retriever mix

PepperMontreal, August 5 2016 – Several weeks ago many media outlets, such as CBC, TVA, Journal de Montréal, La Presse and Canoe, reported on a story of  a dog who allegedly bit a woman at the command of his owner.  Despite his owners stating otherwise, the media outlets all reported that this dog was a ‘pit bull’. In order to shed light on the situation, the Montreal SPCA performed a DNA test on the dog in order to determine what the dog’s mix of breeds actually is.  Today, the Montreal SPCA can confirm that according to the DNA results, this dog, who was labelled as a “pit bull”, is in fact a Rottweiler, Golden Retriever and Mastiff mix.

This information further highlights the fact that focusing on a specific breed or type of dog in order to address dog aggression is not only ineffective, but also unscientific, and makes dangerous dog legislation very difficult to enforce.

As demonstrated in numerous studies and as highlighted by the Ordre des Médecins Vétérinaires du Québec (OMVQ), as well as the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), visual breed identification of dogs is not reliable. Even highly qualified experts are not able to determine a dog’s breed or mix of breeds based on their appearance or behaviour. In fact, less than 1% of a dog’s genes determines their physical appearance. It is therefore nearly impossible to identify the ‘breed’ of any dog based on how they look. Though DNA testing is not considered to be 100 % reliable, it remains the only tool available to help determine a dog’s breed composition.

“Breed specific legislation is being proposed in Montreal and could eventually come into force province-wide, despite the fact that this approach has been proven ineffective to reduce dog bites and control potentially dangerous dogs in communities where it has been used”, explains Me Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA.

Legislation aimed at reducing the incidence of dog bites must be based on expert opinion and scientific evidence in order to create #‎saferkindercommunities that protect both people and animals. For more information and to sign our petition please visit www.saferkindercommunities.com.


Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514 656-2760, or anitak@spca.com.

About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first humane society in Canada and our mission is to:

  • protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation;
  • represent their interests and ensure their well-being;
  • raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings.

For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.

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