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

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  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 =)

  23. Hi can I buy AmStaff if I live in Ireland?

  24. Are American Akita’s on the ban list? I know it states Japanese Akita, but they are a different dog.

  25. Sad to see the Staffordshire Bull on the list ☹️ A wonderful dog all round!

  26. My sister looks like a x between a staff and a doberman, is she allowed our without a muzzle? She doesn’t bite but jeseus h christ she barks a lot.

  27. I hope the people commenting with the dogs above are aware of how difficult these dogs make it to bring young children to public parks. You should also all take note that the people you are putting in the most danger with these restricted dogs are your own children

  28. @nick. I would disagree. In general I see more unrestricted breeds being aggressive than restricted ones tbh. The issue is really not the breed but rather the owners and the lack of training/socialisation, and that has nothing to do with the breed. A well trained dog (restricted or not) poses no danger to anyone on its own. And a responsible owner of any dog (restricted
    or not) should not let their dog off lead when there are unknown children, unknown people, or unknown other dogs around. Why not, rather than judging a pup by its breed (and forcing it into a muzzle), make it a rule that all dog owners undertake training with their dogs? I think that will make more of a difference than allowing a smaller untrained aggressive dog off lead whilst a bigger one is demonised for being big.

  29. Nick,

    When people choose to own a Dog, they do not need to or have to consider other people and their children’s opinions/safety on their choice of Dog. Just like people do not need to or have to consider other people and their Dogs when choosing to have children. You are just another individual who is uneducated, ignorant and judgemental of Restricted Breeds they have never owned themselves and so can not fairly comment on them through lack of experience.

    I am a proud Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He goes to Doggy Daycare and has top character references from all he’s been with. I am so tired of people and their ignorance when it comes to this Breed.

  30. Hey I have mix of American Bulldog and Boxer dog, where I’ll find regulation that this breeds are not on the restricted list. Who is on top of this regulations? Anyone know?

  31. What do I do about a staffy that is allowed to run around on the road by itself, no muzzle or owner present? Kids are terrified of it.

  32. teaching your children to be respectful of animals
    (traffic too for that matter)and to not interfere with other people or their property would go a lot farther in promoting safety than complaining about someone walking a dog in a park, whatever the breed might be.

  33. The issue here is not big dog v small dog. Yes there are aggressive small dogs out there but they do not have the ability to kill a child the way a big dog does. If a big dog wants to attack a child or grown man for that matter, they can and will do serious damage. It is the fear that people feel when they see a large unmuzzled dog off a lead near their children. It can be terrifying when you have no idea if they have been trained or have responsible owners. The worst thing you can say as a dog owner to someone is that your dog is very placid! This infuriates me and is completely inconsiderate to assume that you should now be ok knowing that their dog is ‘placid’. I am sick of dog owners not adhering to the rules. People are more important than animals and is it such a big deal to keep your dog on a lead, big or small, when in a public area. With regards to restricted breeds, it is more so the ability that these dogs have as opposed to their actual breed, some of these dogs have serious muscle power! So please don’t take it personal dog owners, we are just trying to protect ourselves and our children. Look at it this way, if someone had tamed a lion and had it as a pet, would you have issue with it being let off its lead for a run around the park next to your pet pooch?

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