Are Rottweilers Illegal in Some States?

By Stephanie Dube Dwilson
Rottweilers are banned by cities and communities, but not states.

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Some countries have banned Rottweilers altogether because of fears that the breed can be dangerous, but they are still legal in the United States. Although no states in the U.S. have a total ban on Rottweilers, some city laws are specific to Rottweilers, and not all housing communities allow residents to own the dogs.

City Bans

Some cities in the United States have banned Rottweilers under breed specific laws. For example, Collins, Mississippi, has a citywide ban on Rottweilers and pit bulls. The DogsBite website offers a complete listing of cities that ban Rottweilers and other breeds. These bans have been ruled constitutional by both federal and state courts. The bans are because of fears that some people have about Rottweilers. Although the facts are debatable, some people are concerned that all Rottweilers are bred to attack and that their owners can't control them adequately.

Restrictions

Some communities choose not to ban Rottweilers but rather place restrictions on owners of the dogs or charge them fees. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, owners of dogs whose breeding is half or more Rottweiler must keep the dog within a yard with a fence tall enough to contain it or keep the dog in a kennel that meets specific requirements. Anyone who walks a Rottweiler must be 16 or older and big enough to handle the dog. In Corinth, Mississippi, Rottweilers are defined by city statute as vicious animals. As of 2012, anyone who owns a vicious animal in Corinth must have a $25,000 insurance policy covering liability if the dog attacks someone. Owners must get special permits before keeping a vicious animal in Corinth.

Housing Laws

In cities where Rottweilers aren't banned, some housing communities and apartment complexes have site-specific regulations in place that don't allow residents to own Rottweilers. In Queens, New York, people who live in city-run housing can't keep Rottweilers, pit bulls or Doberman pinschers on the property. The ban was put in place after other residents complained the dogs were too vicious. In Laurel, Maryland, an apartment complex made the news in November 2012 after it told a disabled resident who used a Rottweiler as service dog that she had to leave or give up the dog because the breed was banned from the apartment.

Military

Rottweilers and other breeds of dogs deemed dangerous are also banned from military housing in the United States. The U.S. Army bans all Rottweilers, wolf hybrids, chows, Dobermans, pit bulls and bull terriers. The U.S. Marines bans pit bulls, Rottweilers and wolf hybrids from military housing. In the Air Force and Navy, individual bases decide if they will ban certain breeds of dogs or not. For example, Lackland Air Force Base bans Rottweilers and other dangerous dogs while Hills Air Force Base only bans pit bulls.

About the Author

With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.

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