Pet Cover: Which Countries Ban Certain Dog Breeds?

Now this is actually very useful information for any broker active in the pet insurance sector, which is growing fast right now. You can only insure a four-legged best friend for travel abroad if that breed is allowed entry to an overseas country.

The insurance experts at International Citizens Insurance have created a rundown of some of the countries which have restrictions in place if people want to enter with their four-legged companion. Dogs being bred for dangerous activities and dog attacks pose significant concern worldwide – meaning some pets must be left behind, which can be heart-breaking.

Although many of the dogs included in the list of banned breeds are completely calm and tender pups, if bred under the wrong circumstances or brought up with the intention to fight and be aggressive they can cause major safety concerns. In an attempt to minimise attacks and safeguard members of the public and other animals, many countries practise a ban or restrictions on the entry of aggressive dog breeds.

Joe Cronin, President of International Citizens Insurance said: “Pets are amazing companions, whether people are travelling alone or in a group. For some people, bringing their dog with them offers them all of the comfort and security of home. For others, they want to bring their pet with them to embark on a new life abroad. Many people may be shocked to find out that if they own a dog which comes from a traditionally aggressive breed or a breed known for fighting, no matter how trained or calm they are, they may not be able to travel with them to certain countries.”

Here is some guidance in selected countries:


Photo by Rijan Hamidovic from Pexels

Australia has a ban on breeds that were specifically bred for fighting, in an effort to safeguard members of the public and other dogs. Prohibited breeds are:

Pitbull Terrier breeds

Dogo Argentino

Fila Brasileiro

Japanese Toso

Presa Canario

Australian law also prohibits the entry of domestic or non-domestic hybrid breeds (such as wolf crosses). Travellers, expats or émigrés travelling with a dog must sign a declaration stating that the dog is not an ineligible breed.


Unlike many other countries, Canada does not have a blanket ban on dog breeds. Instead, certain provinces prohibit certain dangerous dog breeds. Expats planning to relocate to Canada should first ensure they are up to date with the most recent legislation for their destination. Travellers should ensure their route through the country does not include certain provinces if they are accompanied by a banned breed.

In the province of Manitoba, Winnipeg bans the following dog breeds as well as dogs that have physical attributes of the below:

American Pitbull Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

In Ontario Province, the following breeds are banned along with any mixes where these breeds are prominent:

American Pitbull Terrier

Pitbull Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier


Much like the UK, France also has breed-based legislation in place to prohibit types of dangerous dogs from entering the country. France categorizes breeds into either banned or restricted. Category 1: banned breeds are defined as attack dogs and cannot be imported into France:

Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier (Pitbull Terrier)

Japanese Tosa Inu

Boerbull Mastiff.

Category 2 covers restricted breeds in France. From these breeds, only dogs registered with a pedigree recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in France are permitted to enter the country. They can be transported on flights in the cargo hold only.

Pedigree Tosa Inu

Pedigree Staffordshire Terrier

Pedigree American Staffordshire Terrier

Rottweiler (Pedigree and Non-pedigree).


Mexico does not have a blanket ban on breeds across the country, however there are a list of regulations that any dog owning travellers, expats and émigrés must oblige by before travelling into the country including microchipping, rabies vaccinations and a parasite treatment. Dog owners must also obtain a health certificate unless travelling to Mexico from the United States.


Switzerland bans the import of dogs with cropped ears and docked tails. Dogs with these features can travel into the country temporarily for holidays or other short stays, but if you are relocating as an expat or émigré you will not be able to bring your dog with you.

Legislation in Switzerland restricts travel for breeds perceived as being predisposed to attack. Travellers hoping to bring any of the below dogs into the country must first ensure the dog passes a behavioural test, neuter the pet and gain pet insurance. These breeds are:

American Staffordshire Terrier
Cane Corso
Dogue Argentin
Dogue de Bordeaux
Fila Brasileiro
English Mastiff
Matin Espagnol
Matin de Naples
Presa Canario
Thai Ridgeback Dog
Tosa Inu

United Kingdom

Expats and travellers coming in or out of the UK will not be able to bring with them any of the dog breeds that have been banned in the country. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 outlaws types of dogs perceived to be too dangerous for ownership. The below breeds are banned from entering the country:

Pitbull Terrier
Japanese Tosa
Dogo Argentino
Fila Brasileiro

According to UK legislation, If a dog has visual characteristics of any of the above it may be banned even if it does not match the breed. Whether or not the dog is to be banned could be decided in court.

About alastair walker 12555 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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