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Banned dog breeds in New Zealand

New Zealand is known for being one of the most pet-friendly countries in the world, with a large number of pet parents and pets. While New Zealand welcomes dogs and cats of different breeds in the country, provided all import regulations are met, it has breed restrictions on certain dangerous breeds.

New Zealand’s breed restrictions make it impossible for pet parents to import certain breeds that are known to be dangerous and aggressive. Though it is not illegal to own these breeds in the country, it is against the law to import them.

These breed restrictions are in place to protect the public and other animals from harm. Some dog breeds were traditionally bred for fighting, which makes them dangerous and unpredictable. If you are planning to move to New Zealand with your dog or cat, make sure your pet is not on the prohibited breeds list.

Prohibited dog breeds in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Dog Control Act prohibits the import of dangerous and aggressive dog breeds into the country. Dog breeds and types that are banned in New Zealand are:

  • Brazilian Fila
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • American Pit Bull Terrier

The ban extends to these dog breeds and any dog that predominantly or entirely belongs to one or more of the breeds mentioned above.


New Zealand also prohibits the import of hybrids into the country, except for Bengal Cats. Hybrids are offspring of dogs or cats that are crossed with another species. If you are bringing a Bengal Cat into New Zealand, you must furnish documentation that shows at least five generations of domestic ancestry, to be allowed into the country.

Other pets

New Zealand has strict pet import regulations to protect the local flora and fauna from exotic diseases. Other pets that face import prohibition in New Zealand are birds, ferrets, reptiles, snakes, mice, and rats.

Moving to New Zealand?

Relocating to New Zealand with your pet dog or cat is a complex process. New Zealand has strict biosecurity laws and complex import regulations, and only pets that meet the country’s health and veterinary requirements will be allowed to enter. If you are planning to relocate or travel to New Zealand with your pet cat or dog, it is recommended to use an accredited pet transport service to help with the move. If New Zealand is your next destination, reach out to us at Petraveller for a comprehensive pet relocation plan.