Most of these dogs are great family pets but aggressive behavior can be triggered easily in case of improper handling Image Credit: WikiCommons

The Federal National Council (FNC) proposed a draft law on stricter regulation on pets that can be raised in the UAE. It includes regulations on all kinds of mammals and birds. As per the draft law, offenders could get up to a year of imprisonment and/or up to Dh1 million in fines and penalties.

Here we list the 12 dog breeds that could be banned for import or dealing in the UAE as per the draft law debated in May. Please note that all hybrids or cross-bred dogs with one or more of these breeds may also be banned.

This guide is only meant to be informative. Any queries regarding your pets should be directed towards Dubai/Abu Dhabi Municipality or the Ministry of Climate Control and Environment.

1. Pit Bulls

Pit bulls were created through cross breeding of bulldogs and terriers and were used in dog-fighting sports. However, as dog-fights became illegal they were used to manage cattle and other livestock, and as family companions, guide dogs, police dogs and therapy dogs. They have a reputation for being aggressive and many countries exercise complete or partial bans on their import and sale.

2. Mastiff

Mastiff dogs descend from one of the most ancient dog breeds in the world and their ancestral breeds are believed to have been used as war dogs. The mastiff is the largest dog in terms of mass and is known for a gentle and loving nature as a companion. Due to their size and protective nature, mastiffs or mastiff crossbreeds are generally considered dangerous and have been completely or partially banned in various countries.  

3. Tosa

Originally of Japanese origin, Tosa dogs are still called ‘fighting dogs’ and are used as such illegally. They were cross bred to be used in dog fights by cross-breeding old English bulldog, mastiff, St. Bernard, German pointer, great Danes and  bull terrier breeds.


United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Israel and Singapore are just few of the countries where ownership or import of Tosa dogs are restricted or banned completely.

4. Rottweiler

Having been used as herding dogs for a long time, Rottweilers are known for their intelligence and protective instincts. However, they also are considered one of the most dangerous dogs as they can become aggressive due to improper training, abuse or lack of adequate socialisation. They are extremely unwelcoming to strangers. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study in the U.S. about fatal dog attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998, Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs were responsible for more than half (67 per cent) of all deaths.

5. German Shepherd

Used a working dog, this breed originated in Germany and is also known as Alsatian. Their obedience, trainability and strength make them great candidates for disability assistance, search-and-rescue missions, police and military roles. While well-trained German Shepherds are least likely to attack people or other animals, lack of socialisation can make them aggressive towards strangers and over-protective of their family.

6. Huskies

Huskies are used as sled dogs in ice-covered northern parts of the world and are known for their speed. They usually have a thick double coat and are energetic athletic dogs. This in itself is a reason for the dog to be banned in countries like the UAE or India, where the climate can make the animals suffer and become sad or aggressive. Keeping them cooped up in air-conditioning is not a permanent solution.

7. Alaskan Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes are similar to huskies but are used for pulling heavier sleds as they are stronger. They also have a double coat of fur and can be aggressive if not trained properly or if living conditions are not suitable.

8. Doberman Pinscher

Originating around the 1890s, Doberman Pinscher is a crossbreed of majorly the Beauceron, German Pinscher, and Rottweiler. Intended for guard duty, they are known for their obedience, fearlessness and trainability. They are considered as likely breeds to show aggression towards strangers or other dogs.

9. Chow Chow

This Chinese breed is considered one of the most ancient recognizable dog-breeds of the world. They were used as temple guards in China in ancient times. With a thick coat of fur all over, the Chow has a section of extra thick fur around their neck, giving it an appearance of having a mane. They require intense training and socialisation from when they are puppies to avoid aggressive behavior. Some insurance companies consider Chow Chows to be dangerous dogs and charge higher for cover. Aggression towards strangers and other animals is very likely.

10. Presa Canario

Originally bred for livestock work, these dogs were extensively used for dog-fights in Spain. Aggression is common for these large-sized dogs. Australia and New Zealand are among the countries which have banned import and sale of this breed.

11. Boxer

In the ‘working group’ of dogs, the Boxer is a medium-sized dog and has a thin coat. While very energetic, these dogs are known to be great with children if properly trained and socialized. Though not commonly known for aggressive behavior, lack of appropriate and early training can increase risk of attacks.

12. Dalmatian

Dalmatians make for great family pets but they are large, energetic and like running. Without proper training and socialisation they can turn aggressive. They have been used as warrior dogs and hunting dogs in earlier days.