Saginaw, MI Seeks to Restrict Five Dog Breeds, Impose Limit Law

Saginaw, MI Seeks to Restrict Five Dog Breeds, Impose Limit Law


The Saginaw City Council is seeking to declare five dog breeds as “dangerous” and limit all dog ownership to three dogs per household.

The AKC strongly believes that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs and promote public education programs designed to teach responsible dog ownership.  We oppose, however, legislation that seeks to single out specific dog breeds as dangerous and seeks to arbitrarily limit dog ownership.

Local clubs and dog owners are strongly encouraged to contact the mayor and city council and ask them to oppose these proposals.  It is expected that the proposals will be formally introduced on April 18 and scheduled for a final vote on May 9. 

Read the proposals here.



The city has created a list of the “Top Five Dangerous Dogs”, which will be updated each year.  Currently the list includes the following breeds:

  • “Pit Bull”

  • Rottweiler

  • German Shepherd

  • Bullmastiff (Presa Canario) - **Note: This is how the breeds are listed on the official city document.  It is unclear if both breeds have been declared dangerous, or if the city believes these breeds to be the same.

  • Alaskan Malamute


A dog must only have the physical appearance of any of these breeds to be declared dangerous.  Owners of these breeds would be subject to the following requirements:

  • Pay a $20 registration fee and post a sign on their property

  • Keep the dog in a pen or kennel with sides that are at least four feet high

  • Notify the City Clerk within one business day if the dog escaped, attacked someone, has been sold, has died, or has been permanently moved from the city.  The Clerk must also be notified within one business day if “there has been a birth of an offspring of the dog”.


In a separate proposal, all dog owners (regardless of breed) would be limited to owning three dogs over four months of age, regardless of breed.  Those who currently own more than three dogs would be permitted to keep them, but could not own more than three in the future.

All dog owners must abide by numerous requirements, including:

  • Never allowing a dog outside a kennel or fenced yard unless it is securely leashed with a lead of adequate strength.  The dog must never be tethered to an inanimate object.

  • Never keeping a dog on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that “would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition”.

  • A person may not be a “commercial dog breeder” or “broker” without registering with the City Clerk and obtaining a business license.  These terms are not defined.


Talking points:

Click here for a printable handout with talking points on breed-specific legislation.

Click here to read the AKC’s Issue Analysis “Why Breed-Specific Legislation Doesn’t Work”

Click here for a printable handout with talking points on dog limit laws.

Click here to view AKC’s handout “Animal Limit Laws: Better Alternatives”


How You Can Help:

The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) will continue to closely monitor these proposals.  Contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or for the latest information.