"Declaring" a dangerous dog breed in France

When I was at the vet's this morning booking Hugo in for chop-chop (there are enough unwanted puppies in the refuges and those are the 'lucky' ones) I asked her whether she thought Hugo, a mixed breed, would be classified as a dangerous breed. Now that he's 6 months old his face has squared off considerably and he's definitely part Staffie.

She thought he would simply because of his appearance and that in due course I would need to:

1. Declare him at the Mairie

2. Take out "dangerous dog" insurance

He will be kept on leash and muzzled when we got out walking anyway but does anyone have experience of 1 and 2? I'd be interested to know the procedure, what papers are to be produced, costs etc so I can be prepared.

Speaking of papers, his registration, prepared by the refuge vet, has him down as a Cane Corso (beautiful dogs, another dangerous breed, but totally incorrect). Could this cause a problem long term and do you think/know it should be changed somehow?

Any advice, words of wisdom, do's and don'ts from you fabulous experts would be greatly appreciated.

Huge thanks Alan - you are such a nice man! I'll be popping down in the next few days armed with his ID, proof of vaccinations, aptitude certificate thing etc etc and see what they say. It's a shame I can't take the soppy old pooch with me to show her. Mind you, with the muzzle on (which he detests) he bears an uncanny resemblance to Hannibal Lecter...

If you have a problem with insurance let us know. We should have insurance details on record for some of our clients who have cat 1's.

The aptitude certificate woman just left. She had a PDF on the laptop with pictures of the 'dangerous breeds' (basically Staffordshire, Rottweiler and Boerbull) and a statement that if the Staffordshire, Rottweiler etc is a pedigree and you have the papers to prove it, it's a category 2. Any dog that has the appearance of a dangerous breed that has no papers is automatically a category 1 and Hugo resembles that oh so maligned and overused name 'pit bull'. She said that I actually may have difficulty getting insurance for a category 1 but that's next on my list of 'to dos' so we shall see.

Hi al,

You wrote,

"If the vet did not classify your dog in the first category, you do not have to take the training and your dog does not have to undergo behavioral assessment, you do not have to put a muzzle or sterilize .... You only need to educate in order to be a good dog with humans and other animals. Good luck"

This is in line with my post of the 18th October. I can not see anyone wanting to classify him till he is a year old. Have you thought of seeing another vet?

Confused much?

As per the vet's list of legal requirements for Hugo typed on the bottom of his prescription sheet and very kindly supplying me with a list of trainers in the department, I have a lady arriving tomorrow to tutor me in how to take care of a dog. After that, I need to take out insurance and declare him at the town hall.

However, and this is where the arrrrrghhhhh comes in, there's still nothing definitive or in writing that he's either category 1 or 2.

I emailed two trainers - the lady who's coming tomorrow who's 15 minutes away (which is why I went with her) and another 45 mins away who happens to be a comportementalise animalier who is an expert for the Court of Limoges. He actually emailed me tonight saying:

"If the vet did not classify your dog in the first category, you do not have to take the training and your dog does not have to undergo behavioral assessment, you do not have to put a muzzle or sterilize .... You only need to educate in order to be a good dog with humans and other animals. Good luck"

Er, hello? Who do I listen to?

Aha, but is he an American Staffie cross (category 1 / 2, needs declaring) or an English Staffie Bull cross (no category)? Various photos I've looked at on line have left me completely confused. All I know is he does NOT look much like a Cane Corso which is what he was registered as.

I'm off to armour plate the freezer...

Oh he is GORGEOUS. One of my fave types of dogs - staffie crosses. Yes, they do (unfortunately) eat the shite out of things when young but often have amazing temperaments and love kids.

A long time ago, my daft brother toddled off to Battersea and came home with one - will try and post a pic tomorrow. In the meantime, I am going to start a "Free Hugo fund" for the next time he eats something and you want to throttle him.

(Ours ate the banisters and the side of a chest freezer...)

I've been trying to compare American Staffs, English Staff Bull Terriers and all sorts of similar on Dog Breed Info but he doesn't really look like any of them!! The vet said today he looks "like a Staffie" but didn't specify which one. Should I maybe leave it 6 months until he's 'filled out'? He'll be on leash etc in the meantime anyway so hopefully might stay out of trouble.

Hi Val

Marilyn and I have looked at the pics. The papers say you have a Carna Corsa, which is NOT a Cat 1 or 2 dog. If there was an incident then Hugo's breeding might be questioned. At this point the vet would assess him based on his morphology, head size, body weight ect. At present, as the pics show, he is still developing

Hi Valerie

I've just had a look at the "service public.fr" site about "chiens dangereux". Apparently they do make a distinction between staffordshire terriers (pit bulls) and staffordshire bull terriers.

They say Staffordshire bull terriers "ne fait pas partie des susceptibles d'etre dangereux" so aren't included in category 1 or 2

Alan/Marilyn - Let's see if these will load up that I managed to get off the Blackberry. I would have taken one of his face straight on to make his 'breed' more obvious but of course he ate the phone... ho hum.

Here he is next to Pomme, our SPA foster Spaniel, so you can gauge his size.

And this one just because i like it

Pamela, that's brilliant. Thank you so much. I will have a good look and download/complete as necessary.

Vic, you are completely right and Pamela's story shows that in 'high definition'. Rotties can be absolutely big softies if they're treated with respect and are trained. It's the same with all dogs I think. One of our last fosters was a dinky little papillon, all small and cuddly - wrong. Demon on legs. Nobody was allowed to pick him up or touch his collar so I couldn't even take him out for a walk as I literally could not get a lead on him!! We tried for six weeks but I had to take him back to the SPA as the other three dogs were petrified of him and we did not have a happy household. Some of the 'dangerous' breeds though can be as soppy as old socks which Hugo still is at the moment although he did growl at one of my neighbours who was cycling towards us while we were walking the other day. Maybe he thought he was coming to attack us.

Hugo is a stubborn little oik at the moment and won't even 'come' unless he physically sees a treat in hand, otherwise he has completely selective hearing but I'm working on it. Also, out on walks he knows who the 'alpha bitch' is (yours truly) and is not allowed to pull away from the pack. But he's 6 months, he's still a baby so I hope it will come in (a short period of) time.

I have previously posted on this forum on Cat 1 and 2 dogs. Yes the rules are strictly enforced in France, and rightly so because of the risk of rabies if nothing else.

You will also have to do a one day course if Hugo is cat 1 or 2

However, if Hugo is classed as a Carna Coursa, he is not Cat 1 or 2. Lot depends on morphology

Sorry for any poor typing but this forum is not coming up on my browser in full screen mode.

Might be worth phoning us as Marilyn has done the Cert of Capacity and is more familiar with the french documentation tel: 09 60 52 86 32

Hi Valerie, I found this link which has downloadable forms at the bottom of the page:

Quick story - our undesirable neighbours have a 'dangerous dog' - a rottweiler, with no training, is definitely entire, and they often have the gate open to the street. Lots of neighbours have complained about this dog (which is now, sadly, locked away in the garage day and night, apart from brief plays outside with their young children....). These people had a rotty previously and were in the village centre - the dog killed at least one dog, terrorised people as they walked past with pets, attacked people in the village, and one day the Maire walked past a group trying to protect an owner and his lapdog from being attacked by the same rotty. Dog was destroyed and a couple of months later they had this dog as a puppy... sigh. The Maire told us that dangerous dogs must be declared at the Mairie, they must be sterilised, they and the owner must have training and the dog must be secure at all times. You can see the conditions on the link above. Sadly, I think this new dog will turn out to be aggressive, as the owners don't appear to do any kind of obedience with it (the owner is also very aggressive) and I see how the dog behaves when the children are playing - it's a matter of time and I just hope noone is badly hurt when it happens. It's a pity to get a dog for the wrong environment and reasons, but unfortunately some breeds do appeal to certain kinds of people.

In your case I'm sure your dog will be well-balanced and well-trained, but it would be wise to check out the forms and take them in, and then there's no question that you haven't done it. I don't think there is a fee for the declaration. If you have your papers to hand, they can take the copies they need and it proves you've done all the necessary things.

Are different breeds inherently dangerous? I've known some vicious toy poodles & some gentle staffies. I find that it's usually the way they are "brought up" Vicious stupid owner normally equals vicious dog. My little ex. SPA bichon/caniche/fox/? pal doesn't like other dogs & will growl at them to warn them off but is more than (too) gentle with people both adult & babies.

Hi Valerie,

I hope you are well. I wonder if you had any advice for someone moving to France with a potentially Cat 1 or 2 dog. We’re very nervous about making sure we do everything correctly. Apparently our dog is a Whippet mix but has some pitt looks to her too. She’s the love of our lives and want to make sure we do everything we can to obviously follow the rules and minimize any risk at the same time. Thank you in advance! Nick

Sorry I cannot help, but would love to see a photo of a whippitti.
Good luck on your move :+1:

This is Ginger. She’s the love of our lives. Is 11 years old and a rescue. She had her throat slit and was chained and abandoned emaciated in a warehouse as a puppy. She was then put on kill list and we rescued her. She’s the most loving dog you can imagine but as stated in post because of her looks we want to make sure we can move to France and do everything legally. If she is determined to be a Cat 1 for example I’m not sure what options if any we would have.


She is adorable Nick, I hope somebody can help with your query :pray: