Owning a Pit Bull

The Province of Ontario defines “pit bull” as a pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier or a dog that looks like one of these but is much smaller. If you own a pit bull you need to know about the Dog Owners’ Liability Act that does not allow anyone to own, breed, sell, import, abandon or train pit bulls to fight. 

Read more about the Dog Owners’ Liability Act

Restricted pit bulls

You can keep your pit bull as a “restricted pit bull” if you can show proof that:

  • it was owned by a resident of Ontario on or before August 29, 2005 or
  • it was born in Ontario within 90 days after August 29, 2005.

Restricted pit bulls owners’ responsibilities

If you prove that your pit bull is a “restricted pit bull” then you must:

  • Spay or neuter your dog, except where a veterinarian supplies a medical waiver.
  • Muzzle your dog in public with a muzzle that is strong and fits so that it cannot bite and it can still breathe, see, pant and drink.
  • Keep your dog on a leash that is shorter than 1.8 metres when you are not at home.
  • Keep your dog in a protected area when you are at home or at someone else’s home that lets you bring your dog.