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What Dog Breeds Are Banned in Australia? 5 Outlawed Canines

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano


The “land down under” is known for its beautiful scenery, breathtaking beaches, natural wonders, and abundant wildlife. The country attracts millions of visitors each year and is extremely pet-friendly. With all the animal lovers in this country, you may wonder if there are any dog breeds banned in the country, and unfortunately, there are. Under Australian law, certain dog breeds are banned from importation or restricted for various reasons.

In this post, we’ll list five dog breeds that are banned in this country and why. Read on to learn about the banned dog breeds of Australia.

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The 5 Dog Breeds That Are Banned in Australia

1. American Pit Bull Terrier/Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier at sand beach with bluffs
Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

Pit Bulls have a bad reputation, and in the US, much controversy surrounds this breed as to whether they are safe to own—Australia is no different. However, these dogs are intelligent, muscular, and have sweet temperaments when properly raised. Unfortunately, the Pit Bull Terrier is banned in Australia due to the breed topping the list for the most dog attacks, accounting for 10.3% of mauling cases.

Pit Bulls were banned from importation in 2011 due to their strong hunting instincts and unfair history of being used as fighting dogs—however, it is not illegal to own a Pit Bull if one had the dog prior to the ban, but strict laws apply for approval.

2. Japanese Tosa

japanese bandog tosa inu standing outdoors
Image Credit: acceptphoto, Shutterstock

The Japanese Tosa was initially bred in the Tosa region of Japan and was used as a fighting dog. In fact, they are still used legally as fighting dogs today in that region, but in Australia, they are banned due to their unfair history, just like the Pitt Bull.

These giant-sized dogs are considered dangerous in Australia due to their size and strength. They are also known to be aggressive and difficult to train.

3. Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino lying on the floor
Image Credit: Grisha Bruev, Shutterstock

The Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentine Mastiff, is a large and muscular breed bred for hunting big game, especially wild boar. The concern under Australian law is their temperament and being known as fierce hunters, as well as their use as fighting dogs.

This breed is capable of being well-mannered with a proper owner, but they do have aggressive tendencies and need strict obedience training. A concern with this breed is they are wary of strangers and may lash out, which can cause serious bodily harm due to their size.

4. Fila Brasileiro

young female of Fila Brasileiro Brazilian Mastiff_Artush_shutterstock
Image Credit: Artush, Shutterstock

The Fila Brasileiro, also known as the Brazilian Mastiff, Brazilian Bloodhound, and Fila, are high-energy dogs bred to herd farm animals and for hunting purposes. As a result, these dogs will consider any smaller-sized animal as prey. They have the capability to charge very quickly without warning, even if in a dead sleep, in seconds.

5. Perro de Presa Canario

perro de presa canario
Image Credit: volofin, Shutterstock

The Perro de Presa Canario, or Presa Canario, hails from the Canary Islands and is an exceptional herding dog. They are also known as fierce fighting dogs that can be extremely aggressive and territorial if not properly trained, which is why they are banned in Australia. They have broad square heads and deep chests, which gives them an intimidating appearance.

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Why Some Dogs Are Declared Restricted Dog Breeds in Australia

It’s a shame that any dog breed is banned in any country, but laws are laws, and the public must adhere to them to avoid hefty fines and even jail time. Some dog breeds that have been bred for fighting receive an unfair reputation due to landing in the wrong owner’s hands. Dogs are not born aggressive, but some may have more of a protective nature than others and need extensive training to be a well-behaved dog.

Countries with dog bans, such as Australia, believe that implementing these bans on certain dog breeds protects the public from physical and emotional injury, as well as death. Australia is known for its abundant wildlife, and restricting these breeds may prevent serious injury or death to some of the smaller animals that reside there.

We should note that it’s possible to own a restricted or banned dog breed in Australia; however, you must register the dog with the local council, and you must follow the strict rules and laws that apply. Owners must seriously weigh the pros and cons of owning a restricted breed, as the penalties are harsh if the dog injures or kills someone.

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Dogs are not born aggressive but may rather have inherited tendencies that need strict training to avoid aggression. Any dog breed can be aggressive without proper training, and sadly, the dogs mentioned in this article received an unfair reputation due to poor dog ownership and being used in dog fighting. You can own a restricted dog breed in Australia, but the strict laws may not be worth the hassle, and if your dog injures or kills someone, you could face jail time and hefty fines.

Featured Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock

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