The Calgary Model

bill bruce“WE DON’T HAVE A PET PROBLEM, WE HAVE A PEOPLE PROBLEM. We don’t punish breeds, we punish behavior. The bottom line is, we believe all dogs are capable of biting.  It’s not controlling pets, it’s about holding people responsible for their pets.”
Bill Bruce, Director of Animal Services Calgary.

Calgary’s bylaw officers have taken a stand against breed banning, and responded to dog bite concerns with a tougher licensing program and stronger enforcement. The City of Calgary also spends considerable funds on dog safety public awareness and education campaigns. Research shows that just 1 hour of dog safety training in grades 2 and 3 can reduce these attacks by 80%. “We don’t punish breeds, we punish behavior,” said chief bylaw officer Bill Bruce. “The bottom line is, we believe all dogs are capable of biting.” In Calgary, 90 per cent of dogs are licensed, allowing bylaw officers to keep track of pets and owners. The city also has a strict fine structure that includes penalties for chase incidents and fines for bites. The bylaw also allows the officers to declare specific dogs as “dangerous” and this label brings with it higher license fees, muzzling rules and age restrictions on the dog’s handlers.

Read more about Calgary’s Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw here.

The Calgary Model explained – Bill Bruce

Download the Responsible Dog Ownership brochure.

Watch PSA – Comparison of Calgary’s philosophy to Ontario’s Breed Ban.