Dogs deemed at risk and potentially dangerous

Last updated May 19, 2024
Reading time: 2 min

In Montréal, dogs deemed at risk and potentially dangerous are subject to specific regulations. Find out everything you need to know.

To ensure public safety and help humans and their pets live better together, the city has set out special provisions for dogs deemed at risk and potentially dangerous.

Dogs deemed at risk

If your dog attacks, bites, or attempts to bite a person or a pet, he or she will be considered a dog at risk and may be subject to a veterinary examination to determine how dangerous the dog is. 

You have 72 hours to notify the city of your dog’s aggressive behaviour by contacting  311. While awaiting a notice from the city, you must:

  • Muzzle your dog using a basket-muzzle when outside your home or the home of anyone acting as your dog’s guardian.
  • When outdoors, you must keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced area with fencing that is too narrow to allow a person to stick their hand or food through the mesh.
  • Keep your dog in the same location.

You can choose to surrender your dog, to a shelter or a veterinary clinic only, as long as you notify the city two days in advance and provide proof three days after surrendering your dog.

After the examination, the dog may be categorized as potentially dangerous.

Potentially dangerous dogs

If your dog is declared potentially dangerous, you are required to comply with specific guardianship conditions:

  • Have the dog vaccinated against rabies, spayed/neutered and microchipped.
  • Get a special permit.
  • Have your dog wear a tag issued by the city.
  • Make sure your dog is supervised by someone 18 years of age or older.
  • In the presence of a child under 10 years of age, ensure that the dog is supervised at all times by a person 18 years of age or older.
  • When your dog is outside the guardian’s home, make sure it is muzzled at all times with a basket muzzle.
  • Keep your dog on a 1.25 m leash (maximum) except in dog parks and fenced-in spaces.
  • Clearly indicate to passersby that there is a potentially dangerous dog in your home by posting a sign.
  • Keep your dog at least 2 m away from any child under 16 years of age.
  • Notify us no less than 48 hours before you move or separate from your dog.

If you fail to comply with any of these conditions, you may be subject to a fine and may lose your special license and the guardianship of your dog.

Registry of potentially dangerous dogs

Adoption of a potentially dangerous dog

When you adopt a potentially dangerous dog, you must comply with the specific guardianship conditions listed above. Once you take possession of the dog, you must also write to the team responsible for monitoring potentially dangerous dogs in Montréal.

Bringing a potentially dangerous dog to Montréal

It is prohibited to bring to Montréal:

  • Dogs that are subject to a euthanasia order.
  • Hybrids (e.g., a dog that is a cross between a wolf and a domestic dog).

If your dog has been declared potentially dangerous, has already bitten or attacked or tried to bite or attack a person or pet in another city, you must write to us prior to your arrival for verification.

Quick search