Irish banned dogs

A support question that comes up every now and again is about ‘banned breeds’ and what are they? Technically there aren’t any banned breeds of dogs, rather there is a list of restricted dog breeds.  As with most things, the terminology you use is important. There are certain extra rules that owners of dogs that are on the restricted list need to adhere to. Here are some of the basic rules that all dog owners need to take care of.

Control of Dogs Regulation

This law is the The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998 (S.I. No. 442 of 1998). The rules state (but we encourage all dog owners to read the statue themselves):

  • All these dogs need to be muzzled in public.
  • These dogs must be on a short, less than 2 metres, lead. The leash must be ‘sufficiently strong’ or it needs to be a chain.
  • Dogs must wear a collar at all times with the owners information on it. This information should include owners name & address.
  • These dogs can only be lead by people over the age of 16
  • See the exception list below


Restricted dog breeds in Ireland

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • English Bull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Dobermann Pinscher
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd (Alsatian)
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Japanese Akita
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Ban dog – a so called ban dog is a cross of any of the above breeds mentioned or any strain of the above dogs listed

Exceptions to these rules include:

  • Dogs kept by Garda Síochana / the Defence Forces,
  • Dogs kept by the Dublin Port / Docks Board Harbour Police / any Airport
  • Police / Fire Service at a State Airport.
  • Dogs kept by the Central Fisheries Board or a Regional Fisheries Board,
  • Dogs kept by the Customs and Excise service of the Revenue Commissioners,
  • Dogs properly used in the search and rescue of a missing person.
Updated on May 23, 2021

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles


  1. Is a mastiff canaria and a x between beagle and mastiff required to wear muzzles in public including a fenced in dog park?

  2. Any cross with a Bull Mastiff is a BAN dognubder the rules and the rules apply including a muzzle in public.

  3. Can you be more clear about Mastiff breeds always understood and mastiff x needs to be muzzled.

  4. I have a Belgian Malinois breed dog. This kind of breed is also a banned dog in Ireland. Belgian Malinois is not listed in the banned list. Belgian Malinois is separate from GSD

  5. Does it specify how old the dog can be before wearing a muzzle. I have a german shepherd puppy and she’s 5 months does she have to wear a muzzle?

  6. That means that the old family red nose “AN IRISH DOG!!!!!” Is banned?

  7. So a staffordshire bull terrier should be muzzled when outside yes?

  8. What if a have a very mixed dog of multiple breads that kind of looks like buly breed

  9. I believe if it has any of the banned breeds then it needs to be classified as a ban dog and needs to be treated accordingly.

  10. The law says that it has to be muzzled when outdoors. It’s also a good idea to get your puppy used to muzzles from a young age.

  11. I am moving to Ireland and I own an American bully, can I bring her???

  12. If I have a small domberman puppy that is 5 months dose it still need a muzzle , if it does then it’s just stupid . What harm can it do ?

  13. This law is absurd. Any dog will bite and statistically Labrador retrievers nite the most often. Absolute hysteria. My GSD is the most gentle and stable pet I’ve ever had in my life. My pit bull mix was the most lovable and lazy beast to ever live. I’m going blind from rolling my eyes

  14. Hi

    Can I travel through Ireland with a Rottweiler to Northern Ireland?

  15. Hello
    I have 5yo American Staffordshire Terrier (adopted I do not have a pedigree Certificate). I got a great job offer in Dublin, however Ive heard this breed (amstaff or banbreed?) is not allowed in some parts of Dublin and a lot of dogs were taken from then owners by police and killed.. . Can somebody please explain me?

  16. Does Cane Corso fall into this category and I don’t see Malinois or Dutch shepherd.

  17. Are Anatolian Shepherd dogs on the banned or restricted list in Ireland ?

  18. Staffys are aloud in Ireland, they just need to be muzzled and are not aloud off lead in public. I have personally never heard of a dog being seized just for its breed, as long as the owner is abiding by the law and they definitely would not be killed just because of their breed. Hope this helps

  19. Can I come and live in Ireland if I have a Dogo Argentino?

  20. Hi Andy, Alapaha Bull Dogs would be a type of bull dog and would be on the restricted list. They are not banned, they would need to be muzzled and to follow the other regulations.

  21. I’m going to get American Staffordshire. Is this dog allowed in Dublin ?

  22. Hi all,
    I am relocating to Ireland with 3 dogs…I have a hound which is ok – but than I have a boxer and a dogo argentino. Can’t find any info about these two breeds…im not sure if they are restricted. I was reading though that there aren’t banned breeds as such, just restrictions such as muzzle use jn public etc…which is fine as my dogs are used to these for safety reasons.
    Thanks =)

Leave a Comment