Dangerous Dogs: Legality of Attack and Guard
We imposed initial restrictions in 1999, ordering dangerous dogs to be muzzled and always kept on a leash. Following a series of serious dog attacks, notably the killing of a 10-year-old girl by her parents’ two German mastiffs, legislation was presented to the Conseil des Ministres tightening existing rules about dog ownership and control on October 11, 2007.
Two categories of dog are affected by existing law:
• Category one (attack dogs) includes Pitbulls, Tosa-Inus, Mastiff-type dogs and the like, which are not from a breed recognised in France. They may not be imported, bought, sold or given away in France. They are forbidden in public places and their sterilisation is compulsory. They must be muzzled and kept on a lead when outside in public. They cannot be kept in the communal areas of blocks of flats. They must be declared at the Mairie, vaccinated against rabies and their owners must be insured against damage to other people.
• Category two includes pedigree guard dogs such as American Staffordshire Terriers and Rottweilers. They cannot be kept in the communal areas of blocks of flats either; they too must be declared at the Mairie and vaccinated and insured. Neither category can be owned by a minor, a person under tutelle – guardianship, any person convicted of a violent crime or any person who has already had a dog confiscated because it is dangerous. No animal of any sort should be allowed to wander uncontrolled in a public place.
For more information
The new rules will include:
* Prohibition from public transport, public parks and gardens and buildings open to the public
* Prohibitions: acquisition; transfer (free or expensive); importation;
* Sterilisation of male and female dogs is compulsory (must have a veterinary certificate to prove this)
* Compulsory training for owners or handlers;
* Presentation of a vet's certificate when declaring ownership at the Mairie;
* Vaccination against the rage;
* Civil Responsibility Insurance
* Cross breeding to create dogs that are similar to the banned breeds will be forbidden.
* Préfets will have increased powers to put down any dogs considered dangerous.
* The dog must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public places
• Declaration in town hall and production of the certificates of vaccination and an insurance civil responsibility;
• The dog must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public places;
Owning a dangerous dog
A person may only own a dog on the list of "dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs" (chien susceptible d'être dangereux) under the following conditions:
• Must be aged 18 or older
• Must not have been convicted of a crime or imprisoned
• Must not previously have had the right to own a dangerous dog withdrawn
Registration is obligatory at the Mairie. A form must be completed and submitted along with the following documents:
• Proof of identification of the dog,
• Proof of valid anti-rabies inoculation
• Proof of third party public liability insurance for the owner or handler of the dog
The registration forms (In French only) can be downloaded from the links below:
Form for a category 1 dog (CERFA 11459*02): Available here
Form for a category 2 dog (CERFA 11461*02): Available here