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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I guess the question I really want to ask is what breed does my rescue look like?

I'm relocating from the US to France (with some travel to the UK) and I am planning to take my baby dog with me, only I am aware that these locations have strict breed restrictions on all pit-bull "type" dogs and I am paranoid she won't stand up to the customs check. Charlie is a 1 1/2-year-old, 56-lb, (so the shelter said) English Pointer mix of some kind, and I don't see any pittie in her but occasionally dog-owners and members of the general public we run into have commented that she might be part pit or AmStaff. I've considered doing a DNA test but from what I can gather their actual heritage is irrelevant anyway, it's purely based on what they look like.

So, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what breed(s) she might be, and if you see a lot of pit-like features in her. It would also be great to hear from anyone who's imported their dog from the US to France or the UK before! Do I have anything to worry about?

I'm desperate to take her with me, but if there's even the slightest chance of having her impounded or put down I just don't think I could risk it.

PS I should add that my partner/doggy-daddy will keep her in the US if Charlie can't come with me - the move is only semi-permanent and I will not be abandoning my dog!
 

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I'll be honest - since you have another option? I wouldn't risk it. Your girl doesn't look super 'bully' to me, but she's the right size and there's enough about her face and ears that I could see someone easily labeling her a pitty or amstaff mix. When the consequences of that is her being confiscated and potentially euthanized... that's not a risk I, personally, would be comfortable taking.

DNA tests are getting better, but as far as I'm aware they're still not considered solid evidence legally in these kinds of disputes. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm mistaken on that count!
 

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DNA tests are not based on what the dog looks like at all - they don't even see the dog! My puppy screams Aussie and I did the test and there isn't any trace of herding dog in her. But unfortunately no, the results will not prove anything, and I probably wouldn't risk it either.
 

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I think they meant the customs people don't care about a DNA thing, just what they look like.

To ME, she doesn't look even remotely pit. Especially with that fuzzier face. I was going to say pointer and maybe some sort of retriever. BUT...I have NO idea how idiots who know nothing about dogs would judge her. Because they're usually straight up morons who know nothing about dogs (if they did, there wouldn't be BSL anywhere). So IMO I wouldn't risk it. It's too bad there's not a way to show pictures to such a place FIRST so they can determine if they'd let her in and then you'd be able to make your decision.
 

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I think they meant the customs people don't care about a DNA thing, just what they look like.

To ME, she doesn't look even remotely pit. Especially with that fuzzier face. I was going to say pointer and maybe some sort of retriever. BUT...I have NO idea how idiots who know nothing about dogs would judge her. Because they're usually straight up morons who know nothing about dogs (if they did, there wouldn't be BSL anywhere). So IMO I wouldn't risk it. It's too bad there's not a way to show pictures to such a place FIRST so they can determine if they'd let her in and then you'd be able to make your decision.
Yup, that's exactly how I felt. I wouldn't look at that dog and think 'pit', but I could see how someone unfamiliar with pit/amstaffs and/or who was erring on the extreme side of caution would say "yup, banned breed."
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think they meant the customs people don't care about a DNA thing, just what they look like.

To ME, she doesn't look even remotely pit. Especially with that fuzzier face. I was going to say pointer and maybe some sort of retriever. BUT...I have NO idea how idiots who know nothing about dogs would judge her. Because they're usually straight up morons who know nothing about dogs (if they did, there wouldn't be BSL anywhere). So IMO I wouldn't risk it. It's too bad there's not a way to show pictures to such a place FIRST so they can determine if they'd let her in and then you'd be able to make your decision.
I know! I wish there was some way of testing this out in advance, since the only thing making me hesitate is the comments of a handful of strangers guessing at her breed (just as many people say "dalmatian," which I also don't think is right) -- I could very easily just have taken her and gotten into trouble. Thanks for your input - I've never heard retriever before!
 

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I'll be honest - since you have another option? I wouldn't risk it. Your girl doesn't look super 'bully' to me, but she's the right size and there's enough about her face and ears that I could see someone easily labeling her a pitty or amstaff mix. When the consequences of that is her being confiscated and potentially euthanized... that's not a risk I, personally, would be comfortable taking.

DNA tests are getting better, but as far as I'm aware they're still not considered solid evidence legally in these kinds of disputes. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm mistaken on that count!

Sadly, I think you're right. I am actually from the UK so was thinking I would like to return there permanently with her at some point, so unfortunately it's not just a question of this year, but I couldn't do anything to put her at risk - even if the chances of her being impounded/euthanised seem slim, these are legally possibilities if they decide she's a bully breed.

Also, no - I don't think DNA tests are admissible as evidence, this was more for my own curiosity/reassurance, but for customs purposes it's irrelevant.

Thank you!
 

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DNA tests are not based on what the dog looks like at all - they don't even see the dog! My puppy screams Aussie and I did the test and there isn't any trace of herding dog in her. But unfortunately no, the results will not prove anything, and I probably wouldn't risk it either.
Yeah, I meant that the customs check is made on looks, so even if a DNA test confirmed she was 100% non-bully it wouldn't help her pass the inspection.

I'm still tempted to do one though, for my own curiosity - what did your Aussi-impersonator come back as?
 

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I know this feeling well. When we got our boy, we had a strict "can't possibly be mistaken for any banned breed" requirement, because my wife (well, then fiancee) is Norwegian and we knew we may move here some time in the distant future. Turned out to be a good thing - she lost her job suddenly five months later and we we were hit with making the choice years earlier than we expected to. Breed bans well and truly suck, especially because a huge variety of mixes with absolutely 0 bull breed of any kind in them can be considered 'of type'.

If I understand correctly, it doesn't end at customs, either. People can get reported for having a dog that's 'of type' by neighbors or the like, too. idk if the dogs go on a 'safe' list if they're allowed through custom, but it might be worth checking out. I pop into a UK-based dog forum to lurk from time to time, and this law firm is often brought up because the specialize entirely in dog law: http://www.doglaw.co.uk/ Maybe you could contact them to get a clearer idea of what the risks are in your specific situation with your specific dog? You'd probably have to pay a consultation fee, though.
 
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