8 Dog Breeds Banned in Singapore

banned dogs in singapore

Singapore is known for having strict laws, including restrictions on certain dog breeds. While most dogs are allowed in Singapore, 8 dog breeds are banned nationwide. These banned breeds are considered aggressive and dangerous, making them a potential public threat.
In this blog post, we will look at the 8 dogs banned in Singapore. We’ll explore why these dog breeds are banned and the history behind the restrictions. Though sad for dog lovers, Singapore aims to protect its citizens from the harm of these banned dogs.
As Singapore is a highly populated city with most people living in residential towers in close proximity, the Government has been cautious about safety and hence made these rules. Read on to learn more about the 8 dog breeds banned in Singapore.

8 Dogs banned in Singapore

Singapore has identified eight breeds considered unsuitable or potentially risky within its borders. These 8 dog breeds are banned in Singapore to ensure a safe and secure environment for its residents. The banned dog breeds are:

1. Pitbull (including American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and crosses between these breeds)

american pitbull terrier banned

Pit bulls were once popular in Singapore but were banned in 1991 after a series of attacks. The Pit Bull Terrier and Pit Bull are sturdy dogs with a strong bite force historically used for bull baiting and dog fighting. Pit bulls are still used in illegal fighting rings in some parts of the world today. Their aggression and fighting nature led to Singapore banning them outright.

2. Akita

akita banned in singapore

The Akita is among the more surprising bans of all the dog breeds banned in Singapore. Akitas originate from Japan and are beautiful, strong dogs renowned for their loyalty. Perhaps the most famous Akita was the Hachi, who became a national symbol of loyalty in Japan. However, Akitas also have solid territorial instincts. Due to their large size and strength, the government has also banned owning these dogs.

3. Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff banned in singapore

Neapolitan Mastiffs are massive in size. They can weigh up to 150 pounds. They were guard dogs and gladiator dogs in ancient Rome. Today, they are potentially intimidating dogs who are protective of their families. They are banned in Singapore due to their size, protectiveness, and potential for harm.

4. Tosa

Japanese tosa banned in Australia

The Tosa originates from Japan, where it was historically used in dog fighting. Tosas are enormous, often weighing 80 to 135 pounds as adults. They are muscular, courageous dogs who are very loyal to their handler. Unfortunately, they are also powerful and capable of destruction, leading to an outright ban in Singapore.

5. Dogo Argentino

dogo argentino restricted in Australia

The Dogo Argentino was bred for big game hunting and dog fighting in Argentina. They have a white coat and muscular build, weighing 80-100 pounds. Dogos pursue prey relentlessly and have powerful jaws. Their potentially aggressive traits and lethal hunting abilities led to a ban in Singapore.

6. Fila Brasileiro

Fila Brasileiro

Also called the Brazilian Mastiff, this large breed has roots in tracking and guarding livestock. They weigh 90-100 pounds and are distrustful of strangers. The Fila will pursue threats intensely and have a strong bite force. Singapore bans the breed due to tendencies toward unwarranted aggression.

7. Boerboel

boerboel banned in singapore

The Boerboel is a huge working farm dog from South Africa. They are obedient but dominant dogs who are very protective. Boerboels were once used to guard farmhouses from lions and hyenas. Their strength and guarding instincts make them capable of harming others, leading to a ban.

8. Perro de Presa Canario


perro de presa canario banned in Singapore

The Perro de Presa Canario is a large mastiff-type dog originating in the Canary Islands. They served as catch dogs for cattle herding and dog fighting. These dogs have a powerful and muscular build. Their history of potential aggression led to a ban in Singapore.

Why Are These Dogs Banned in Singapore?

Singapore’s ban on certain dog breeds originated from concerns about public welfare and safety. These breeds are often considered more prone to showing aggressive behaviour that could cause risks to the community.
Firstly, size and strength play a role. Very large, muscular dogs like Mastiffs, Akitas, and Tosas can inflict more significant damage if they bite or attack someone compared to smaller dogs. Secondly, breeds like Pit Bulls, Dogo Argentinos, and Tosas have genetic lines purposefully created for aggression, fighting, and hunting. These are the reasons they are more prone to attack or to cause more harm if they bite anyone or another pet. Lastly, dogs like Boerboels, Filas, and Presa Canarios have the instinct to be highly territorial and distrustful of strangers. This protective nature is risky with the crowded public spaces that urban Singaporean residents share daily.

Dogs That Need to Be Muzzled in Singapore

Dogs That Need to Be Muzzled in Singapore

In addition to banning certain breeds entirely, Singapore also has regulations about muzzling specific types of dogs when in public areas. While less restrictive than an outright ban, muzzling prevents these dogs from biting and aims to reduce risk. Dogs with a history of aggression and potential danger must be muzzled, even if just a one-time incident. Dogs that belong to breeds with higher bite risk and guarding instincts must wear a muzzle in public. These breeds include:

  • Rottweiler
  • Bull Terrier
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd and Its Related Breeds
  • Mastiffs including Bull Mastiff, Dogue De Bordeaux, and Cane Corso


Hence, the banned dog breeds in Singapore are Pitbull, Akita, Neapolitan Mastiff, Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Boerboel, and Perro de Presa Canario. The 8 banned dog breeds in Singapore have size, strength, and territorial instincts bred into them that the country finds incompatible with its urban environment. While these breeds have traits linked to aggression, proper socialization, and training could reduce risks. While Singapore’s restrictions seem extreme compared to other nations, the country feels its policies protect citizens from harm. 

As a trusted partner for international pet relocation, we work sensitively with families whose breeds fall under Singapore’s prohibitions. Determining the ideal destination country, securing travel clearances, and handling logistics – we manage all details.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why has Singapore banned these 8 dog breeds?

Singapore banned these breeds due to concerns about aggression, fighting nature, guarding tendencies, size, and strength. Singapore prioritizes public safety and welfare in its policies.

Are mixed-breed dogs with any of the banned breeds allowed in Singapore?

No, any mix containing one of the prohibited breeds is also banned in Singapore. For example, a Labrador/Pit Bull mix would not be allowed.

Can I get an exception for my pit bull because he is well-trained and non-aggressive?

Unfortunately, no exceptions are made for dogs of banned breeds, regardless of temperament or training. All pit bulls are prohibited.

Do I have to muzzle my German Shepherd in public in Singapore?

Yes, German Shepherds are one of the breeds required to wear a muzzle in public places in Singapore.

What should I do if I move/travel to Singapore with my banned dog?

You must relocate your dog outside of Singapore or surrender him/her to the authorities. Heavy fines and jail time can result from keeping a banned dog secretly.

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Veterinary Surgeon, Director

Dr Matthew is a UK-trained practicing Veterinarian and a globally recognized expert in pet travel who is committed to providing safe and smooth journeys for your beloved pets. His compassion and care for animals are second to none.