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Staffies in France

Posted: Wed 03 Aug 2016 21:48
by Damo
Hello all,

I am (sadly) not a resident of the P-O, however myself and the missus visit the country several times a year and holiday down in the P-O every year. We were looking at possibly bringing our dog with us on our next visit, and have all the information regarding pet passports and associated regulations but have a question regarding breeds. Our dog is an RSPCA rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrior and it has come to our attention that these are/were classified under France's category one "attack dogs" list.

We have seen some contradictory information on this though. Some sources state that Staffordshire Bull Terriors are in this category, but the website of the Consulate General of France in London states:
"Dangerous dogs in France are classified in 2 categories :

- Category 1 : attack dogs - They are dogs whose appearance is of American Staffordshire terrier (pit-bulls), Mastiff (boerbulls) and Tosa types (i.e. without pedigree). It is prohibited to introduce these dogs into France.

- Category 2 : defence and guard dogs – They are dogs of American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiler, and Tosa breeds (i.e. with pedigree), and dogs of a Rottweiler type (without pedigree).

Since 1st January 2010, by virtue of legislation dated 20 June 2008 and published in the Journal Officiel of 21 June 2008 (Loi du 20 juin 2008 renforçant les mesures de prévention et de protection des personnes contre les chiens dangereux), all owners of dangerous dogs (category 1 and 2) in France must hold a certificate of aptitude for keeping a dangerous animal, delivered by an approved trainer, and a licence (permis de détention) for the animal, delivered by the town hall (mairie) of residence. Until modification of the law to allow for a temporary derogation for category 2 dogs being imported into France, it is advised not to introduce such animals into France, whether on a temporary (holidays) or permanent basis. Sanctions may be incurred for absence of licence.

- Staffordshire bull terriers are not on the list of dangerous dogs in France. An answer to a Parliamentary question put to the Ministère de l’Intérieur (Home Office), published in the Official Journal dated 5 February 2001 (page 774), confirms the amendment to the list published in the decree of 27 April 1999, and excludes Staffordshire bull terriers from the said list.

- Dogues de Bordeaux without pedigree are classified in France as category 1 under the dangerous dogs regulations, and cannot therefore be introduced into France."
As can be seen here highlighted in bold, this does include American Staffies but not Staffordshire Bull Terriors. Other sites include Staffordshire Bull Terriors along with American Staffies in that list. I am going to write to the authorities to try and get a definitive answer in black and white but in the meantime I was wondering if anyone had any experience of Staffordshire Bull Terriers in France and whether they do or don't fall into category one. In our case we do not have a certificate of pedigree. As far as the Kennel Club though he would not be a purebreed.

Many thanks in advance for any advice anyone can give,

Kind regards,

Posted: Wed 03 Aug 2016 22:13
by interiors66
We are now owners of our second staffy rescue dog here in France.
It is true they were downgraded from the dangerous dog list in 2010. Before that our very soft staffy tax had to be muzzled and on a lead at all times along with 3 party insurance.
If your dog has a passport them i would presume the breed is on that?
All this aside they are becoming more popular here but you do still get some who will pick their children up and cross the road when they see you coming.
Once I had a lady pick up a rock and threaten to kill my dog just because he tried to play with her precious poodle.

Posted: Wed 03 Aug 2016 22:38
by Damo
Many thanks for that "interiors66",

Did you have to have proof of pedigree? Some sites list Staffordshire Bull Terriors and plain Staffordshire Terriors seperately, and I've never actually heard of a plain "Staffordshire Terrior". The Pet Passport does state Staffordshire Bull Terrior but we just want to make sure as of course the last thing we want to do is misinterpret the rules and end up getting our beloved dog taken away. Particularly as he is a bit of a big boy. Reading the French Consulate site it implies we should be fine as Staffordshire Bull Terriors are clearly stated as not applicable to Category One, but other sites suggest they are complete with letters to prove it (although I guess these could've been written before the 2010 downgrade of the breed).

If we are reading the French Consulate site there are no restrictions on Staffordshire Bull Terriors regarding muzzles etc anymore? As you will know, despite what the media like to portray, the only thing dangerous about a Staffie is they might lick you to death (and sometimes the smell they emit from their behinds!)

Posted: Thu 04 Aug 2016 08:06
by interiors66
Our first ,taz,came from the uk and had his paperwork in full and I remember when the gendarme insisted I attend their office and provide all the papers,he was also a big dog and we were always being asked if he was a pit. Daisy , our current staff came from the spa with just a passport and we have never been questioned any further.
On a slightly different note , a few years ago now my other half was with our other dog , a Catalan sheep dog , and was attacked by 3 mountain dogs belonging to a local Shepherd ,quite badly, she later reported it to the gendarmes who just said it will be noted but nothing can be done as it is a civil mater as they were not a class1 .

Posted: Thu 04 Aug 2016 19:10
by kathyw
Hi. I have 2 staffies aged 12 and 9. They came over to France with us 8 years ago. Staffordahire bull terriers are not classed as a dangerous dog here as they are smaller and are not aggressive as it says on the website. I have never once been stopped or asked for papers by anyone. Even my Vet says they are wonderful dogs. Which of course they are.

Posted: Thu 04 Aug 2016 19:12
by kathyw
Totally agree that the most dangerous thing is being licked to death !!!! Or cuddled when in this heat could be fatal !!