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Category 1 dog: what is it?

Category 1 dogs are subject to strict regulations. What are the conditions for owning a 1st category dog? How do I get a detention permit? What are the rules and obligations to respect? Explanations.

The detention of 1st category dogs is strictly supervised by the State. The regulations governing these dogs aim to protect individuals against dogs that are likely to be dangerous. It also implies, for teachers, obligations to know.

What is a 1st category dog?

The 1st category dogsdescribed by law as likely to be “dangerous”, are divided into 2 categories:

  • Category 1: attack dogs
  • Category 2: guard and defense dogs

This classification includes a number of measures aimed at protecting individuals and preventing risks.

For category 1 dogs, a decree refers to dogs recognizable by their morphological characteristics and distinguishes them into 3 types:

  • American Staffordshire terrier (formerly Staffordshire terrier) type dogs, also called “pit bulls”
  • Mastiff type dogs, also called “boerbulls”
  • Tosa type dogs

1st category dogs are dogs not recognized by the Book of French Origins (LOF) because they are the result of crossbreeding.

What are the conditions for owning a category 1 dog?

Since January 6, 1999, it is no longer possible to acquire, sell or give away a dog of 1D category without meet certain conditions.

Anyone who plans to own a 1st category dog ​​must meet all the conditions below, as well as obtain a license:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Not be under guardianship (unless authorized by the guardianship judge).
  • Not having been convicted of a crime or misdemeanor listed in bulletin n°2 of the criminal record (for foreigners, on an equivalent document).
  • Not having been the subject of a decision to withdraw the right of ownership or custody of a dog, because of the danger it represented for people or domestic animals (unless an exemption is granted under conditions by the mayor if this decision to withdraw dates back more than 10 years).

How to obtain the detention permit?

Since January 1, 2010, anyone considering adopting a 1st category dog ​​must have a detention permit. The detention permit is a free document issued to the holder of a dog categorized by the town hall of the municipality of residence. This detention permit is subject to 6 conditions:

  • Identification by microchip (tattoo allowed for dogs staying in France)
  • Dog sterilization certificate (male and female)
  • Liability insurance covering the risks caused by the animal
  • Vaccination against rabies recorded in the animal’s European passport
  • Behavioral assessment of the dog carried out by a veterinarian registered on a departmental list, between 8 months and 1 year of age
  • Certificate of aptitude obtained from an authorized trainer

Failure to comply with these regulations as well as the possession of a 1st category dog ​​by an unauthorized person is punishable by 6 months’ imprisonment, a fine of 7,500 euros as well as a temporary or permanent ban on keeping an animal.

Namely, the detention permit must be presented to the controls of the police or gendarmerie forces, as well as to the town hall of the new residence in the event of a move.

What are the rules and obligations related to keeping a 1st category dog?

Own a dog of 1D category involves compliance with certain regulations :

Public places

The law authorizes 1st category dogs to travel on public roads if they are equipped with a muzzle and a leash. However, in premises open to the public (shops, restaurants, establishments, etc.), they are prohibited.

Public transport

1st category dogs are prohibited on public transport (buses, trains, trams, metros, planes, etc.).


If you own a home (apartment or house), you can own a 1st category dog.

On the other hand, if you are the tenant of your accommodation, you may be subject to a co-ownership regulation.

Adopting an animal commits you, it is a decision that you will have to think carefully about. Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian or the shelter closest to you before starting. They will be able to give you their advice on the breed of dog that will suit you best.


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