Law on carrying pets in cars

Didn’t quite know what category to put this question, Legal, Motoring, so here goes. A friend on a recent visit mentioned he was stopped by Gendarme who noticed he had his dog on the back seat, on inspection he noticed the dog had a lead fastened to the safety belt fitting. Cop remarked that had he not had said dog restrained my friend could have been fined €400. I have 3 small dogs normally kept in the boot (hatchback) so anybody know if its now obligatory to have dogs restrained when travelling? Have just ordered one of those net things so dogs can’t jump from the boot to back seat, not that they can or do? Unfortunately I dare not take dogs out now until this arrives.

From what I understand they have to be restrained now, so that in case of an accident they stay put and do not escape and end up wondering around the road causing even more havoc. I have a feeling that it may now be the same in the uk as well.

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Thanks, I asked here because I can’t find anything online about this apparent new law.

Lee, we have a net which came with our estate car and our border collie will squeeze her way between the sides.

Hope not, my cocker sits on the passenger seat watching the world go by and the labrador spreads itself out on the back seat with the wife.
Looks like a lead and attaching it to something, not sure the wife will like that LOL.
Does anyone know if anybody as been prosecuted yet for not doing so?

Que dit la loi sur les chiens en voiture ?

Le code de la route oblige le conducteur ainsi que les passager d’un véhicule à porter une ceinture de sécurité (article R412-1).

Il précise également que les possibilités de mouvement et le champ de vision d’un conducteur ne doivent pas être réduit par des passagers ou objets transportés (article R412-6).

Donc si en cas de contrôle votre chien est en liberté dans votre voiture, le principe de précaution prévaut, et vous risquez une amende de 2ème classe car votre chien est un risque potentiel d’entrave à la liberté de vos mouvements ou de votre champ de vision.

Même le meilleur éducateur canin peut dresser son chien à prendre la voiture mais il ne peut pas garantir à 100% les réactions de son chien.

Les forces de l’ordre peuvent également considérer votre chien comme un passager non attaché, auquel cas vous écoperez en plus d’une amende de 4ème classe.

Mais peu importe ce que dit la loi, transporter un chien en voiture n’est pas un acte anodin et il faut prendre un maximum de précautions pour vous, vos passagers et votre chien.


The rule is there for common sense reasons:

To prevent an animal interfering with the driver, either directly or by blocking vision through mirrors or windows.

To ensure an animal doesn’t exit the vehicle unrestrained & causing chaos on the highway.

In the event of an accident an unrestrained animal becomes a missile which could head the way of the front seat occupants, with obvious consequences.

I think that that is a border collie thing ! When we had ours he was forever getting stuck trying to squeeze his way out past one of those metal adjustable things. Also tried fastening him in and he managed to get out of that as well. Collies are too clever for their own good sometimes.

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Well done Stella, we can always rely on you to come up with the answer


This is what our local refuge says:
A dog may be transported on the back seat if it has a special harness fixed to the seat belt attachments.
Dogs may also be carried behind the back seat if there’s a grill (grille de separation) in place to keep them there, even in the event of an accident.

Thanks for the info Stella, so basically a dog is classed as a passenger when occupying seats for the reasons stated, however doesn’t mention dogs in the rear cargo section of a hatchback vehicle in my case a Ford Focus CMAX which has high back seat rests so dogs can’t jump over anyway.
I have ordered grille de separation for both our cars anyway.

What car is that, mine didn’t come with a net unfortunately

The Code de la Route is quite clear about the possible dangers of untethered passengers (human or canine)…or objects transported…(canine or whatever). The Gendarmes can (and will) make their own minds up about which area of the Code is being breached … as and when a situation arises. :wink:

Hi there, depending on the kind of person the gendarme is, they’ll say that a net or solid grill seperating the dogs from the boot area to car area isn’t sufficient because if you’re unfortunate enough to be in an accident where the rear window is broken your dog may escape through the broken window in panic (a very valid point).

Having said that, we live on the south west coast and we see all kinds of vehicles on a daily basis carrying loose pets in their cars and work vans, over 90% seem to think it’s fine to have their dogs on their knee whilst driving, from tiny toy dogs to medium sized springer/labs. Don’t even get me started on the white van men with dogs on their knees chatting on their phones whilst driving on my side of the road or causing mayhem on a roundabout!

We have a German Shepherd who, during winter months comes everywhere with me so he has the boot of our Espace to stretch out in, he can’t get over the seats and can just see out of the window at the back but I tend to tether him just in case as I’m slightly paranoid that some idiot will hit us on the windy lanes and we’ll lose him.

We have a heavy gendarme presence in the summer as they make a killing at junctions where people fail to stop for the obligatory time before pulling out, sadly I haven’t seen anyone stopped with their knee traveling pooches.

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Hi Dizzy,

“We have a heavy gendarme presence in the summer as they make a killing at junctions where people fail to stop for the obligatory time before pulling out”

What is the “obligatory” time??

She is a border collie crossed with something bigger and she still managed it.

Mercedes C220 estate, second hand

Got pulled over last year Mark, cop told me 2 seconds but he never charged me, my lucky day.

Question was quite simple, is there a law making it obligatory to secure pets, most posters have answered have, I think answered the question. Rules are not necessarily enforced as law.

Hi Mark,

Before I reply, we live on the South EAST coast, not as I said,
West - must have been having a dizzy moment!

Anyway, my other half got stopped last year by a male/female duo hiding behind trees at a junction and they told him a “full” 3 seconds. The guy wanted to give him an on the spot fine but the female argued and said no, he could go but to remember in future. His good looks get him away with all sorts :smiley:

The day after, the woman who owns the local lavery was stopped in the same place and fined, she was not a happy bunny.