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We've got the house up for sale and are at the point of starting to look for a home in France.  Dog is snipped, chipped and very shortly to go for rabies vaccination.  Reading up further on taking pets across we found non-pedigree "staffordshires" are banned, but can't find much more info than this.  Does anyone know the situation with cross breeds?  We know Maxi is staffy x...we don't know what he's mixed with as he is a rescue dog.  He is the baby of the family and has never shown any agression towards humans/animals or even the fish! He's so soft he gets bullied by the local cats and watches as the magpies steal his food.  We can see our plans crumbling as there's no way we'd move without him.  Has anyone here moved with a Staffy cross - did you have any problems getting them in?


Any help/advice appreciated.



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Yes, it's a big mess.  If you have a Staffie with a pedigree you are fine as you can prove it's a Staffie.  For one without a pedigree or a cross, it seems you have to be able to prove somehow what it is.  This is what the Société Centrale Canine replied concerning a Staffie cross :

Pour le second cas, c’est à mon avis très différent, croisé staffie (on ne sait pas avec quelle autre race), cela peut donner un chien différent morphologiquement du véritable Staffie et le rapprocher, toujours morphologiquement, des descriptions des types de chiens apparentés reprises dans la loi. Il sera alors très difficile de prouver aux autorités compétentes qu’il n’appartient pas à la première catégorie.

The problem is being able to prove what he is.  A Staffie cross (with we don't know what other breed) can give a dog looking unlike the real Staffie and more like those under the law.  I have heard there are veterinary experts in France who are able to decide whether a dog is a première catégorie or not.  What does your dog look like and can you get an official paper from an expert in England saying what he is ?

Where have you seen that non-pedigree Staffies are banned ?


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According to the News last week, you can now DNA your dog to find outs it's breeds. The vet interviewed was American, so I don't know if it's available in the UK yet. Might be worth looking in to??

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Good idea Nicos, if ever the result can be used as an official document.  I also recently heard about that :



Edit.  Though this is what someone says about the test :

"As a scientist and someone who has been involved in dog DNA research, I find this astonishing. We do not have 'breed' markers yet, as far as I know. I would be fascinated to know what markers are being used. Overall, I think this is a scam. It is hard enough to determine paternity in dogs, let alone what breed they come from. Dogs are dogs, at least at this point. We are looking for breed markers, but this is incredibly hard to determine given that breeds are not species. All dogs are the same species. Even using maternal mitochondrial DNA, we have a hard time determining the relationships between breeds. Please do not waste your money on this. Ann"


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Hi again.

Thanks for all the advice and useful links.

On a prospective happy note.  As it's now during opening hours I rang Max's vet to see if they know anything.  Explained that we'd read non-pedigree Staffys (and therefore possibly Staffy X's) are banned breeds.  She said...... "rubbish!"   (also advising, as we already know, about vaccinations, chips etc).  She's suggested we contact the local DEFRA to double check as the laws are constantly changing, but on the whole thinks we won't have any problem.  I'm contacting them and will keep you posted on their conclusions.

We're also saving for DNA tests just in case lol.  Won't be happy until he's actually in France.  I think the only way we'll know for sure is to finish getting his passport and try taking him across when we go househunting.

As for what he looks like... Not sure if this will work


I can't specify a particular link to where I read the info....there were one or two :(   

Hope you all have a good weekend.

Take care



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Fig - couldnt you suggest to your vet that breed type might be Collie x because apart from the shape of the brow - there is not much about him that seems to be staffi - the carriage of the ears might be a give away but they were not in a normal position, by the looks of the photo.

You will need to see a French vet before you come back from you house-hunting for worming and frontline and he would be your best bet because you may find holiday makers have less attention drawn to the 'staffi' issue than if you are a resident - you might get a different reaction then, but the French vet should know.

Hope all goes well.

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Just come back from S.C.C. course where we covered this point. Where it gets a bit muddled is that in France they recognise Pit Bulls,Staffordshires and American Staffordshire terriers.

If these are not pedigree dogs and not  inscrit with the L.O.F then they are classed as category one dogs

You cannot import ,sell or give away a cat 1.dog

You cannot be in charge of one if you are under 18

It must be registered at the mairie

It has to have rabies jabs

It must be on lead and muzzled in public

There is compulsory insurance required and you must carry the dogs i.d. papers at all times

They cannot be kept in public housing schemes and are not allowed on public transport

Sterilisation is compulsory

Sanctions include 1600€ fines and six month prison terms.

The problem is that the French do not seem to recognise Staffordshire bull terriers as a seperate breed and as far as crosses go the law states that it applies to any dog that has the appearance and/or the morphology of a category 1 animal whatever parents they have. I  have never seen a staffie in France but it might be worth googling staffies in France or something to find an owner who has one here.otherwise you just take a chance and bring it.

Once you are here then I would just avoid walking withit in towns as you might come across an overzealous gendarme!!

Best of luck



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We have got friends that own 2 pure breed Staffies and their only stipulation by the local police when they were first spotted in town walking them was that they both needed to be muzzled and on a lead - because of this they bought a very cheap plot of land in the middle of no-where which couldn't get planning permission and walk their dogs on that!


Good luck with your move


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I did not realise that a dog's breed might be an issue, apart from pitbulls.

We have a labrador x bull mastiff.  Ed is a big gingery/chocolate sort of fat Lab with a head the size of a bucket and stumpy legs, who is also a gentle and daft old wally who adores our grand-daughter.  Unfortunately other dogs like to pick fights with him so wherever he goes he has to be muzzled, much for his own protection as anything else, so does this mean we would have issues with the authorities when we move next year?   He is already chipped and jabbed to which our vet never mentioned a word about unacceptable breeds.  Help!

Likewise, we also have a young Dogue de Bordeaux, another rescue case.   She is completely potty because she is only 14 months old, but am I right in assuming that because she is a French breed that this would not be a problem?   She has been "chipped and pinned" already.    I am now concerned that when we take the pair of them out for Christmas we might have trouble with the authorities.

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All this is getting out of hand, I think I'm going to have to write to Sarkozy !   [:P]

This ridiculous law is causing a lot of problems and nice friendly dogs are being put down in fourrières simply because the vet says they have the morphology of a Pit Bull, whatever mixture they may be !

Of course we don't want dangerous dogs on the streets, but instead of putting them down just because of what they happen to look like, it would seem far more intelligent to have them checked by a behaviourist and when judged to have a stable, friendly nature, to be let out under certain conditions.  These could be that the animal is neutered, insured, declared at the Mairie and to really make sure, wear a muzzle in public and be periodically controlled by a behaviourist.

It's too easy and unfair to condemn them to death simply on their physical aspect when they are often far better natured than some other dogs who do not "qualify" physically.  The number of poor Rottweilers who are put down in fourrières is unbelievable, just because the fashion moved on to them.

There are many French people who are against this law and there is a petition



Framboise, I don't know what your Labrador x Bull Mastiff looks like, but it seems it is going to be up to the owner of a cross to be able to prove what it is.

The Dogue de Bordeaux is not concerned by the law, neither is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a pedigree.


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  • 1 month later...


This dog was called Kenzo.  He was tattooed and identified as a Boxer cross.  He was loved by all, family and neighbours for five years and was a great friend of the children, especially the little girl of the family.  While out walking with a member of the family, he was stopped by the police and taken to the fourrière of Le Havre where two vets confirmed he had the morphology of a Pit Bull and sentenced him to death.  He suffered greatly in the fourrière for a month as can be seen on this photo.  His family went to see their beloved companion every day, taking him food and trying to comfort him, hoping he would be released, unable to believe that this could be possible.

Many of us signed a petition to try to save Kenzo, but he was put down in the presence of his family on Tuesday morning.  Will his family ever get over their loss and what they went through ?  Why should a loving companion who was only sweet and gentle to everyone be taken from his family and put down ?  This is what is happening with this stupid law.

I do not want to frighten anyone, but maybe you should be aware of what is going on.



Here is Lily (that is what I called her).  She was found and taken to the Niort fourrière.  She was so incredibly sweet too, I wanted to take her out.  She could have been a Staffie/Bull Terrier cross.  But no, they said, although agreeing how good natured she was, she had the morphology of a Pit Bull.  I did all I could to save her, even the SPA in Paris were in contact with the Mairie of Niort to try to find a solution for this lovely little dog.  But Lily was put down on 21st June.


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Think this is much the same as my query on another posting regarding my two dogs.  Ed is a Labrador/Bull Mastiff cross - basically a fat choco lab.  Harley is a dogue de bordeaux pure bred, but she came with no papers as such because she was a rescue which as I understand is the norm so that potential owners will not be able to profit from taking her in.   This was also the case with a pure bred Great Dane we took in some years ago. Harley will also be spayed in September.

It is highly unlikely they will ever be taken for walkies around town anway, but Ed is always muzzled when I take him out now as other (small) dogs seem to fancy their chances with him for some unknown reason and he did not take any prisoners when they started on him!  Being muzzled is for his benefit as much as the other party.

I shall monitor this with interest because we have no intention of leaving our dogs here with our son when we depart in the Spring.

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  • 3 months later...

Here is Patricia "Rackaila4Pattes"

and here is her site



Patricia loves all dogs and is especially concerned for the "molosses" (a word I dislike).  She is a very controlled, placid, kind person.  She knows they are suffering from discrimination and bad publicity due to the medias and a few very bad owners.  She knows you should never leave a young child alone with dogs, whatever breed, that these dogs are not nastier than others with love and the right education.  'CE N'EST PAS LES RACES A PUNIR , MAIS LES MAUVAIS MAITRES !!

Patricia did all she could to help me and guide me in trying to save Lily in my post above.  We failed, but I shall never forget her kindness and support.

She was interviewed on the news, Fr3 Toulouse.  She said it wasn't easy, but she tried to talk from her heart.  I admire her for doing it.  It's just after the sport at the beginning.



Merci Patricia pour tout ce que tu fais.


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She did really well, and came across as very likeable and matter of fact - I liked the fact that she made about dogs not being used as baby-sitters, and how often they will warn a child as they would a puppy, but the child doesn't stop so they attack.....................therefore it is down to the owners to educate their children, and not the fault of the dog - hear, hear !!


PS Took me a moment or two to tune into her accent - they don't talk like that round my way!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am in tears and so you will be seeing this photo of Jonathan saying goodbye to his beloved Kenzo (mentioned above) before he was put down.  This dog was innocent, he had done nothing to anyone, but show his love and affection to all.  Everyone must know what they are doing to our dogs.  Kenzo was tattooed as a Boxer cross.  I am proud to be a member of the Association Kenzo in his memory.



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This brought on tears, of sorrow and anger in equal measure. The law in question is stupid and IMHO Kenzo was not a Pit Bull; he looks more a Boxer x French Bulldog and his reported temperament would support that conclusion.  I'm with you, Christine.  Well, I would be, as I greatly admire you and your work and thanks to you we have our wonderful Poppy, a Rottweiler x Labrador and our gorgeous little Nushi the Shih Tzu.  We can express our horror and dismay at what befell Kenzo but a strategy for any future cases is needed.  I am no expert in French law, but I assume that, as in the UK, it is a weapon with two edges and that anyone who asserts a fact before a court or enquiring body may be required to prove it. The first move for any owner whose dog is seized should be to involve an avocat, the most aggressive you can lay hands on, who should be instructed to get full details of those who have impounded the dog and of the vets who say he is a Pit Bull type. It should be made clear to those involved that they will be sued personally if they are wrong, with maximum publicity.  Imagine the scene in court, with an accusing vet being shown photos of various breeds and being required to identify them. What fun it would be! Especially with the mastiffs! Christine will recall that our Poppy was even described as a Beauceron by one vet (Poppy was mortified when I told her). Then, moving on to Pit Bulls, not a breed but a type.  Even a newly qualified avocat should be able to tie the accusing vet(s) up in knots.  And you can always find an expert witness, a more highly qualified vet, preferably from one of the training schools.  One expert can always be found to contradict another. The prospect of financial loss and a severely damaged reputation should serve to make any vet very cautious indeed about pointing the finger.  As to the police, the prospect of a happy chat with les boeufs carottes tends to concentrate minds wonderfully.

Rest in peace, little Kenzo.  You were sinned against, not sinning, and I am certain that you are now just by Rainbow Bridge.  One of the most dreadful warnings in the Bible comes to mind; Romans 12:19.  How do we join the Association Kenzo, please?






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Thank you for your message Pete.  You Pushkins are such good people.  Yes, this family should have had a good avocat, but it was unfortunately too late before the sad story came out.  As I said we signed a petitition just before and it was also too late.  They had told Jonathan to keep calm saying that the procureur might call at the last minute and let Kenzo go, but he didn't.  Christine Delfosse, Présidente of Association Kenzo and who knew the family and Kenzo took his body to bury him in her garden.  She says she kept going to see him hoping that the vet had not been able to do it and had just given him an anaesthetic and he would wake up.  Noone could believe or accept that such a thing could be true.

Even if Lily and Kenzo were labelled as Catgory 1, they might not have been put down now as they are changing the law and saying that Category 1 dogs born after the law of 1999 should no longer be put down, but the owners have to follow a course, have them neutered, insured, declared at the Mairie, etc.

The dogs are still in danger as they are being abandoned by those who don't want to keep a dog under such conditions.  There are nine of them now at Niort while their owners are getting everything in order with the law.  But the psychose is the great danger for the dogs, I just saw this tonight on Total France


Three Rottweilers shot for killing chickens and another shot by the Gendarmes while he was in his garden !  There are so many stories like this.  There was a Rottweiler waiting in a car while his master was in a night club. The police had a struggle with someone in the street and ended up against the car with the Rottweiler in it.  The dog of course was barking at what was going on and they killed him !

There are two sites for Kenzo Pete, the forum "La Voix de Kenzo" and the Association Kenzo.  There is going to be a trial.  You can read all about it.



You will also see horrible photos of the Beauceron shot in the head.  We have been sending donations for his treatment.


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I did look at the photos on the other link when you first posted it and it made me feel, not only sick but furious as well.  To see the pictures of Rocco now just makes my heart sing.  I wouldn't have believed that he could make such a recovery.  Thank you for posting the pictures.

Mrs Pushkin

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Another tale along the same lines but I'm happy to say not as awful as those above.  Friends of mine in Germany (where they also have strict dog laws) wanted to take their motorhome and 4 dogs to Spain for a holiday. One of the dogs is a Rottwieller cross with something, very nice dog, the only danger you are in is getting a good licking.  So, they heard about these dog restrictions in France and contacted the appropriate authority (sorry, not sure who, I can ask) and were told in no uncertain terms that if the dog was discovered in France, in transit or not, it would be put down.  Wisely deciding not to take the risk, they holidayed elsewhere but could easily have fallen foul of the law.

In case it affects any of you, after some tragic incidents of children being killed, THE NETHERLANDS HAS EVEN STRICTER DOG LAWS

and they apply to visitors and residents alike.  As I understand it, your dog could be put down simply on basis of size not even breed so please be warned

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I can't understand that Pierre.  We came to France with a Rottweiler who was more likely to lick you to death than anything else!  As long as we registered her at the mairie and she was muzzled in public places we complied with the law in France.  We now have a Rottweiler cross Labrador who is just as soft and the same rules apply to her.  I would have presumed that as long as your friends dog was muzzled they would be OK.  Having said that I read that a Rottweiler was shot by the gendarmes when he was safely confined in his owners car so nowhere is really safe when all is said and done.  Some sort of 'anti big dog' hysteria seems to have gripped France which means of course that dogs like Rottweilers will be abandoned and put down wholesale.  Nobody makes a fuss when a dog like a Jack Russell attacks a child.  I wish the powers that be could understand that, for the most part,  it is bad owners not bad dogs which do the damage.


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Message de Rocco, pour tous ceux qui l’ont aidé

Regardez moi, ce n’est pas ma souffrance que vous voyez
C’est la lacheté des hommes, leurs cruautés cent fois répétées
Je ne suis plus très beau, mais mon ame n’as pas changé
Sur la lumière du jour, mes yeux se sont fermés, à jamais
On ne m’a pas appris la haine, je continue a vous aimer
Un humain m’a meurtri, un autre m’a soigné, caressé

On m’a murmuré a l’oreille que vous m’avez aidé
Il y a donc des hommes qui savent encore donner
Je vais bien, vous voyez, juste un peu amoché
Je ne sais pas parler, mais vous me comprenez
Je vous envoie mes plus douces pensées d’amitié

Merci à vous, amis de mes frères oppressés
Parce que même si je sais que moi je suis sauvé
D’autres encore vont gémir sous les coups et tomber
Vous serez toujours là pour nous aider, nous sauver
Restez unis, soudés, cette chaine immense de solidarité
M’a redonné la foi en votre humanité

Merci de vos dons, de vos messages, de vos pensées
Je m'appelle Rocco, j'ai survécu, vous m'avez sauvé


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