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Dangerous Dog Owners Need a Permit now

Dangerous Dog Owners Need a Permit now

Owners of 'dangerous dogs' must own a permit to own such dogs from January 1st, 2010, as per the French public administration. This comes in the wake of punishment to the owner of the dog, whose attack resulted in the death of a baby in the Parisian suburb of Bobigny in 2007. The owner was sentenced to one year of imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 €.


The permit allowing one to keep the 'dangerous dog' will be delivered by the municipal council (Mairie) subject fo fulfilment of certain conditions and documents such as a certificate by a veterinary doctor evaluating the behaviour of the dog and an attestation of the aptitude of the dog-owner obtained from a certified professional. The details on these formalities can be obtained by consulting the respective municipal offices or the websites of the prefecture of department where the person lives. 


Non-compliance to obtain the permit may lead to an imprisonment of 3 months and a fine of 3,750 €. Previous cases of dog accidents causing a temporary loss of ability to work or involuntary homicide have resulted in an imprisonment of 2-10 years and a fine from 30,000 €- 150,000 € for the dog owners, according to specific cases. The dog that bit the 19 month old baby resulting in his death belonged to the category of 'dangerous dogs'.


As per the French public administration, these dangerous dogs fall under two categories.

  • Category 1 (attack dogs)- Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier (these two types are normally called "pit-bulls"); Mastiff (called "boer-bulls") and Tosa
  • Category 2 (for defence and protection)- dogs of the race Staffordshire terrier and American terrier (excluding a smaller Staffordshire Bull Terrier), race Rottweiler and Tosa


The dog owner of these dangerous dogs must also fulfil certain conditions such as being 18 years or above, must not have been condemned or imprisoned for any crime, must not have been excluded from the right to own or keep a dog owing to its dangerous behaviour etc. With such rigour being put in to practice, the debate has come back to whether or not have a dog in the capital or elsewhere in France and on the responsibilities for a dog-owner.