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As a dog owner, you might sometimes consider owning dogs that you see on television or western media. Did you know that in Singapore, there are bans in place to prevent entry to certain breeds of dogs? Not only that, there are different categorizations of threat levels for different breeds.

These bans are in place to prevent harm to dog owners or the public-at-large from dangerous dogs. The list continues to be reviewed as more cases of dog attacks happen, but here’s a list of eight dog breeds that are banned in Singapore.

pitbull dog banned in singapore

1.Pit bull or American Bulldog

You might know of this dog breed from its human music celebrity counterpart: Pitbull. The dog is originally bred to ‘bait’ bulls but later evolved into a farm dog companion for families.

Due to many years of indoctrination via American media as well as bad breeding from backyard breeders, the rise of dog attacks by Pit bulls including one hugely publicized one where a pit bull guarding a marijuana crop killed a two-year old boy in 1987 instigated authorities to legislate a ban on the breed in many states. Naturally due to the perception of Pit bulls as a ‘killing machine on legs’, many other countries like New Mexico and even Singapore took heed.

Today, you’re not allowed to own a Pit bull or any crossbreed of a Pit bull in Singapore. Some dog enthusiasts blame humans for the negative perception of these dogs as some households abroad live in complete harmony with the breed. Nevertheless, you won’t see this breed running around our streets mauling kids or dog sitters.

2. Akita

The Akita, as the name suggests was originally bred in Japan to guard royals and hunt bears. Due to its inherent nature, it can be considered to be an aggressive breed with an ‘unpredictable’ temperament that surprisingly loves to go on brisk dog walks. The Akita breed is best known from the popular Japanese film: Hachikō portraying an extremely loyal Akita back in World War I.

Generally, Akitas are known to be affectionate and compassionate if trained well. However, without the right training, Akitas can be aggressive towards other people and dogs and territorial towards its property. As a large and powerful dog, this breed can potentially be difficult for newer owners to handle and instill discipline. As a result, breed bans are sanctioned to protect the public from any possible mishap with Akitas.

neopolitan mastiff dog banned in singapore

3. Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neopolitan Mastiff was once used as gladiator dogs back in the Roman Coliseum. These are huge dogs with males growing up to 200lbs in size. This dog is more famously used as Hagrid’s dog: Fang in the hit movie series Harry Potter.

A psychological evaluation has to be undergone and passed in order to own a Neopolitan Mastiff in Romania. These dogs are also commonly used as guard dogs due to its intimidating size and aggressive nature. There have been past reports of the breed mauling humans. As a result, bans on the dog have ensued and Singapore is one of the countries that adopt the ban.

tosa inu dog banned in singapore

4. Tosa Inu

A Tosa Inu is a mix of indigenous Japanese and Western dog breeds, such as the Bull Terrier and Mastiff. The Tosa is also known to be bred as a fighting dog with tournaments held to watch Tosa Inus battle it out in an arena-type setting. Due to its massive size (between 130lbs to 200lbs), Tosa’s are a formidable breed that if provoked can wreak havoc on its victims. These dogs are known to be stoic and display predatory behavior with other animals like cats or dogs of the same sex.

Naturally, because they have the potential to be very dangerous and difficult to control (they can pull up to 3000lbs), Tosa Inus are banned in numerous countries including Singapore.

boerboel dog banned in singapore

5. Boerboel

Boerboels are originally from South Africa and bred from various African dogs and guard dogs. Boerboels have latent fighting instincts which make the conversion to a fighting dog that much easier and likely. In the late 1920s, the diamond company, De Beers used this breed of dogs to guard their mines. Unfortunately, there have been cases where Boerboels attack humans, including their owners. This is not a dog you’d want to have at your dog daycare.

A North Carolina woman was attacked and killed by her Boerboel and cases like these means conservative governments tend to instill bans on these breeds to protect the safety of the public.

dogo argentino dog banned in singapore

6. Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino breed was developed as a big-game hunter in the late 1920s by the Argentinean surgeon Antonio Nores Martínez, for taking on dangerous prey such as a wild boars or puma. Dogos have well-built muscular structures and powerful jaws designed to deliver strong bites and hold onto their prey.

Dogos have also been used for fighting very similar to Pit Bull Terriers. Dogos however are generally known to be highly devoted to their owners and fiercely protective

brasillian mastiff banned in singapore

7. Fila Brasileiro

The Fila Brasileiro, also known as the Brasilian Mastiff, is an intimidatingly huge dog bred for hunting boar and jaguar. In the past, the Fila was also used for tracking down runaway slaves. The Fila Brasileiro is bred from a few notable dog breeds – Bloodhounds, Bulldogs and Mastiff and are highly-prized for their aggressive nature. Filas are known to be very aggressive and distrustful towards strangers hence owners would do well to avoid having them interact with any.

There have been cases of Filas mauling human beings as well. Due to such circumstances, many countries such as the United Kingdom and Singapore have bans on the breed.

presa canario dog banned in singapore

8. Presa Canario

Hailing from the Canary Islands in Spain, the Presa Canario is a huge fighting dog that generally weighs over 100lbs. Back in 2001, a notable case of a pair of Presa Canarios named Bane and Hera mauled and killed a 33-year-old lacrosse coach in a hallway apartment building. Naturally, since these dogs were bred for working with livestock, they tend to have an aggressive disposition. They are known to be fierce towards strangers and very protective of property and their owners. Dog boarding is something that would never work for this dog for sure.

With cases of these breed of dogs killing humans, it’s no wonder they are banned here in Singapore.


There you have it, eight dog breeds that are considered to be dangerous to raise here in Singapore, hence their ban by the AVA. You might vehemently disagree against these bans, but know they are in place to prevent any mishap with these breeds.

There are sometimes exceptions where owners can keep a banned dog with the right license from the authorities, but these dogs have to undergo obedience training and require constant monitoring.