Let’s face it: you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed right now as a new dog owner. There is a lot to learn, whether you are new to France or just new to dog ownership. Without a doubt, France is a dog-friendly country.

France is one of the most popular vacation spots for dog owners and their canine companions. There are numerous places in France to take your four-legged friend, from Paris to the French Riviera.

When living with a dog in France, it’s critical to understand French pet culture and dog ownership. Dog owners must follow a few basic rules, such as the fact that dogs are not permitted in most public places in France.

The rules and cultural norms surrounding dogs in France may differ from what you are used to, but that does not mean you can not enjoy everything the country can offer you with your furry friend by your side. So, this article will walk you through everything you have to know about dogs in France, from the fundamentals of dog ownership to the rules for taking your dog out in public.

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Is France Dog Friendly?

In France, dogs are extremely popular. There are approximately 17 dogs per 100 people, one of the world’s highest ratios. There is a lot to know if you wish to become a new dog owner in France, including dog ownership rules and places that allow dogs.

The French are well-known dog lovers; France is the world’s most dog-loving country. According to research, there are approximately 17 dogs for every 100 people, which is one of the highest ratios in the world. Whether you’re travelling with your dog, immigrating, or a local, France has many dog-friendly options.

The weather is also pleasant for your dog. 40% of French people consider their dogs to be their most valuable possessions. Every year, they spend nearly €3 billion on dogs.

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Dog-Friendly Activities

  • Each town in France has one ‘poodle parlour.’ In Paris, there is also a canine pâtisserie where dogs are pampered and given cuisine cakes.
  • Every Thursday, the city of Montpellier organised group walks for dogs and their owners.
  • Several weekends in Toulouse are dedicated to dog-friendly activities, group walks, and educational courses.
  • Nice has 46 dog-friendly parks and green spaces. It has beaches where dogs can swim, surf, and play. La Lanterne and Carras are two examples.
  • Toulon has a number of dog-friendly infrastructures and areas. It established the Animal Condition Delegation, which provides dog protection services.

Dog-Friendly Accommodation

The majority of accommodations in France welcome dogs. If you are taking a road trip, then rest assured most chain hotels on the outskirts of cities welcome dogs. Most pet-friendly accommodations in France provide you with contact information for local veterinarians so that you can complete all necessary health requirements before returning home.

Some accommodations will provide enough water, food, and sleeping cushions for your dog, while others will allow your dog to sleep in the guest bedroom.

Dog-Friendly Camping Sites

If your dog has a microchip, a pet passport, and the necessary vaccinations, you can take them camping in some of the country’s dog-friendly campgrounds. They are as follows:

  • Camping La Sténiole 
  • Camping Les Jardins de Kergal
  • Camping Les Genêts
  • Camping Altéa


The French public transportation system welcomes dogs. Except for the Eurostar, all dogs are permitted to travel on all types of trains. The fare for dogs over 6 kg travelling in TER, TGV, and Intercity is 50% at the 2nd class train rate, regardless of seat location.

Dogs weighing less than 6kg are required to travel in a small container. The standard fare for the dogs is €7. Dogs do not require tickets in Bordeaux.

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Dog-Friendly Holiday Destinations In France

France has many holiday destinations for you and your dog to explore. There is open countryside to explore and sandy beaches to surf on. Some of the best dog-friendly vacation spots include:

  • Champs de Mars
  • La Bergerie
  • Jardin du Luxembourg
  • Double-decker sightseeing buses
  • Oyster Farmers Bay
  • Park of the Palace of Versailles
  • Loire Valley
  • Moreau – Le Pressoir

Dog-Friendly Parks

Some parks welcome dogs and allow them to roam and play inside. Large parks, such as Tuileries Gardens and Luxembourg Gardens, have designated small areas for dogs. These are some of France’s dog-friendly parks:

  • Square du Vert-Galant
  • Jardin Nelson-Mandela
  • Square de la Place-Dauphine
  • Square Marie-Trintignant
  • Parc Monceau
  • Square René-Viviani

Most Popular Dogs In France

French dogs are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, abilities, and colours. They are used by their owners for hunting, herding, therapy, companionship, competitions, and search and rescue. In terms of abilities and personalities, the following breeds stand out from the rest:

English Setter

This breed is well-known for hunting in France and makes an excellent family pet. These dogs are devoted to their owners and other pets. They are active, making them ideal for homes with plenty of room to run around.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs that are affectionate and make excellent guard dogs. The French adore this breed because it provides them with love, laughter, and companionship.

French Bulldog

The French bulldog, the most popular of all breeds, has a long history of accompanying travellers from England to France. It’s an expensive and rare breed. Due to their tiny size, they are ideal for travel and snuggling.

American Staffordshire Terrier

These are muscular, strong dogs who make excellent guard dogs. Because they are intelligent, they are ideal for training.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever dogs have a long history of helping fishermen by retrieving fish and hauling nets. They are gentle, intelligent, playful, and wonderful companions. Apart from being pets, these dogs are now used for assistance, search and rescue, and competitive shows.

Australian Shepherd

This breed is well-known for its athletic abilities. They are happiest when they participate in dog sports and other activities.

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Cavalier King Charles

The Cavalier King Charles breed is a loving and playful companion. They enjoy activities such as running, hiking, flyball, and dog rally. Some are trained to hunt, while others serve as therapy dogs.

Belgian Malinois Shepherd

The Belgian Malinois Shepherd is a protective and loving breed. It is intelligent and quick to learn. They serve as police and military sniffer dogs. Due to their physical activity and high energy, they are not suitable for small spaces or apartments.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever, France’s second most popular breed, is friendly and tolerant. They are excellent hunters and sniffers, making them ideal for sports, service, and therapy.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is an intelligent and sporty breed that is popular in law enforcement and firefighting. They are brave and excel when taught to guide the physically challenged, search and rescue, and herding.


Briard was invented around the eighth century. These dogs assisted in dairy farming in ancient Brie, France, by herding and protecting cattle from wild animals. They are gentle and full of love, making them ideal companions. They are active and require regular exercise.


Beauceron dogs are loyal, brave, and intelligent, despite their lack of fame outside of France. Police use them in search and rescue missions. They are affectionate and calm as pets.

Where To Buy A Dog In France

Avoid buying from websites and social media when looking for places to buy a dog in France. Otherwise, you may fall victim to scammers. The following are some options for purchasing a dog in France:

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Registered Breeders 

Look for breeders who have SIRET numbers from the Chambre d’agriculture. Before purchasing a dog from a breeder, make sure you get the following:

  • The microchip in the dog is for identification purposes. Although a puppy may use the mother’s label in advertising, the seller must provide the puppy’s identification at the time of purchase.
  • Contract/sales certificate containing the seller’s and buyer’s names and addresses, the cost, the date of purchase, and the name of the consulting veterinarian.

For purebred dogs, you’ll need the following:

  1. Vaccination book
  2. Birth certificate
  3. A booklet containing information about the dog’s features, training tips, and needs.

The most expensive option is to purchase a dog from a breeder. Prices range between €500 and €5,000 depending on the breed. Purebred dogs are more expensive than mixed-bred dogs.


You can adopt an amazing dog from a shelter because over 100,000 pets are abandoned in France each year. They are around €300.

Pet Stores

The French government has proposed a new law prohibiting the sale of puppies in all pet stores by 2024. All existing stores, including online stores, have been ordered to close.

Are Dogs Allowed In Bars And Restaurants In France?

In France, having dogs in restaurants and bars is not prohibited by law. These establishments, however, have their own policies regarding dogs on their premises. Fortunately, signs prohibiting dogs are posted on the doors of restaurants and bars.

Dogs are welcome to dine inside and on the terrace at many restaurants and cafes. Before eating inside with your dog, however, you must first check with management.

When dining with your dog in some of these restaurants that allow them, there are some rules to follow. These rules are as follows:

  1. Most sit-down restaurants allow dogs as long as they don’t sit on the furniture and don’t bother other customers. You will be seated in a restaurant corner, away from other patrons.
  2. Your dog should be kept on a short leash. The dog should either be kept out of the way or in your lap.
  3. Only well-mannered dogs are permitted. If your dog is likely to bother other people, you should leave him at home.
  4. Poop bags must be carried.

In France, some well-known dog-friendly restaurants include:

  • Le Vieille Maison
  • Geppetto
  • Anna et Paul
  • Restaurant el Borini
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Dog Laws And Rules In France

A number of laws govern pet ownership in France. Expats may find them difficult to adapt to, but it is critical that the rules be followed. Some of the most important regulations and laws that dog owners should be aware of are:

  1. No household should have more than nine dogs aged four months or older. The dogs must have access to water, food, and shelter on a daily basis.
  2. If you have more than nine dogs older than four months, you must obtain permission by signing a declaration.
  3. Dogs should not be allowed to roam in the first place. Guard dogs must be identified and kept behind a two-metre-high fence.
  4. When walking in public, dogs must be on a leash and under control. If a dog is off-leash in an acceptable area, it must be within 100 metres of the owner.
  5. You will be fined if you do not pick up your poop.
  6. Your gate should have an ‘ATTENTION CHIENS’ sign visible. Your insurance will cover you if someone enters your gate without permission and your dog attacks them. You will be held liable if there is no warning sign on the gate.
  7. Dogs over the age of four months must have a microchip or tattoo identification. Owners are required to register them with I-CAD.
  8. If you bring a dog into the country, you must register it with a veterinarian within one month of arrival.
  9. Every dog owner is accountable for their dog’s physical health. Your dog requires feeding, exercise, and medical attention.
  10. All dogs have to be vaccinated for rabies and receive a booster shot once a year. Parvovirus, kennel cough, and distemper vaccinations are also recommended. A veterinarian must document all of these vaccinations in the dog’s passport.
  11. Service dogs are allowed to travel for free on all modes of public transportation in France. Small dogs should be transported for free in bags or carriers. When traveling with large dogs on public transportation, they must be muzzled.

Category 1 and Category 2 dog breeds are subject to additional regulations. Boerbulls, Pitbulls, and Mastiffs are examples of Category 1 dogs. Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, and Tosa are examples of Category 2 breeds. The following are the breed rules:

  • When in public, they should be kept on a leash and muzzled.
  • You must pay for civil registration insurance that covers dog attacks.
  • Dogs must be registered at a local police station.
  • Children under the age of 18 and convicted felons are not permitted to own Category 1 or Category 2 dog breeds.

The purchase, sale, and importation of Category 1 dogs are prohibited in France. Owners of those in the country should sterilise them.

Registering A Dog In France

I-CAD is France’s most comprehensive database for carnivorous pet registration, including dogs. It stores all data related to these animals’ identification, including microchips and pet parent information.

In order to register a dog in France, you must first visit your local veterinarian and fill out the necessary paperwork. The vet will complete, sign, and stamp it.

You’ll have up to a month after receiving it from the vet to mail it to I-CAD along with a copy of the Health Certificate, proof of rabies vaccination, and a €9.23 fee.

I-CAD will send you a formal letter confirming your registration in three weeks. This letter contains the ID information as well as an online password to access your dog’s account on I-CAD. It also includes a detachable identity card for the dog, which you can use to identify it.

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Dog Vocabulary In France 

What is the French word for dog? What does the French word for puppy mean? What about howling and barking? Breed names and amusing idioms? Hello, and welcome to my comprehensive French dog guide!

In French, there is a lot to be said about dogs. To begin with, the French adore their dogs, and having a dog is quite common in France.

Let’s start with how to say dog in French.

What’s The French Word For Dog?

There are 2 French words for dog:

  1. The French word for a male dog is le Chien.
  2. The French word for a female dog is la Chienne.

Synonyms For Dog In French

In French, a dog is commonly referred to as “un toutou.”

In French, we also call a dog “un clébard,” “un clebs,” “un roquet,” and “un cabot,” but all of these terms are derogatory.

How Do You Say Puppy In French?

“Un chiot” is the French word for a puppy. Even for a female puppy, it is always used in the masculine – le, un chiot.

“Les chiottes” is a feminine plural for toilet in French!

French Dog Vocabulary

Let’s look at some French dog vocabulary.

  1. la chienne – female dog
  2. le chien – male dog
  3. le chiot – puppy (masculine)
  4. Un éleveur = a breeder
  5. Une race de chien = a dog breed (Although saying race in English does not sound correct, it is the word we use in French for breed.)
  6. La truffe = the dog’s nose
  7. Le museau = the nose
  8. L’encolure (f) = the dog’s neck
  9. Le dos = the back
  10. La queue = the tail
  11. Les pattes = the paws
  12. Le garrot = the withers
  13. Des croquettes (f) = dog dry food
  14. De la nourriture pour chien = dog food
  15. Une promenade = a walk
  16. Un chien guide = a guide dog
  17. Un chien d’assistance = service dog

French Dog Tools & Toys

  1. Une balle = a ball
  2. Une laisse = a leash
  3. Un collier de chien = a dog collar
  4. Un harnais = a harness
  5. Une cage de transport / une caisse = a dog crate
  6. Un panier = a dog bed
  7. Une carpette = a dog rug
  8. Un tapis = a carpet
  9. Un jouet = a toy
  10. Un jouet à mâcher = chew toy

French Dog Verbs

  1. Aboyer – to bark
  2. Hurler – to howl
  3. Grogner – to growl
  4. Gémir – to whine – cry
  5. Mordre – to bite
  6. Lécher – to lick

French Dog Actions

  1. Un aboiement – a bark
  2. Un hurlement – howling
  3. Un grognement – growl
  4. Un gémissement – whining, crying
  5. Une morsure – a bite
  6. Une griffure – a scratch

What Does A French Dog Say?

The French dogs say, “ouaf-ouaf.”

You now understand how your dog communicates in French, but do you know how to communicate with him or her? Here’s how to communicate with your dog in French.

How To Speak To A Dog In French?

Here are some common dog training commands in French.

  1. Couché ! = Down!
  2. Assis ! = Sit!
  3. Reste ! = Stay!
  1. Au pied ! = Heel!
  2. Pas bouger ! = Stand still!
  3. Viens ici ! = Come here!
  4. Rapporte ! = Fetch!
  5. Debout ! = Stand!
  6. Saute ! = Jump!
  7. Aboie ! = Speak/Bark!
  8. Donne ! = Let go!
  9. Dehors ! = Go outside!
  10. Pas toucher ! = Leave it!
  11. Rentre ! = Go inside!
  12. Va ! = Go Ahead!
  13. Cherche ! = search!
  14. Arrête ! = Stop!
  15. Attaque ! = Attack!
  16. Attends ! = Wait!
  17. Donne la patte ! = Shake a paw!

Dog Breed Names In French

Unfortunately, I cannot list and translate all dog breeds.

However, most of the time, the breed names in French and English are very similar.

So, when in doubt, put on a French accent and give it a shot!!

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I’ll list the names of French dog breeds that differ from English dog breeds here.

  1. Le caniche – poodle
  2. Le berger allemand – German shepperd
  3. Le teckel – dachshund
  4. Le labrador – labrador retriever (In French, they are never simply referred to as “retriever.”)
  5. Le bichon – maltesse
  6. Le Golden – Golden retreiver
  7. Le carlin – pug
  8. Le cocker – cocker spaniel
  9. Le yorkshire – yorkshire terrier
  10. le basset – basset hound
  11. le bulldog français – French bulldog!

For all the French dog breeds, I’ll direct you to Wikipedia!

French Dog Names

Rex, Médor, Sultan, Rintintin, Fido, Mirza (f), Lassie (f), and many more are examples of classic French dog names.

French Pet Naming Tradition

Did you know that naming your pet is a French tradition? Each year connects with a letter, so you should name your dog or cat something that begins with that letter. Pets born in 2017, for example, should have a name that begins with an N.

This pet naming tradition originated with naming purebred pets but has since spread to naming any pet.

Expressions With Dog In French

Here are nine very common dog-related French idiomatic expressions.

To Arrive Like A Dog In The Bowling Game

Means: To appear at an inconvenient time (= bad timing)

French expression: Arriver comme chien dans un jeu de quille

To Have Some “Dog”

Means: Being attractive, and having a lot of charm. Women mostly use it.

French expression: Avoir du chien

To Have A Dog’s Personality

Means: Having a bad attitude, to be irritable

French expression: Avoir un caractère de chien

To Have A Dog’s Pain

Means: Being in a lot of pain OR finding something difficult to do

French expression: Avoir un mal de chien (à faire quelque chose)

To Sleep Like A Gun’s Hammer ​

Means: To sleep curled up in a ball-like fetal position​

French expression: Dormir en chien de fusil

To Be In A Dog’s Mood

Means: To be in a very bad mood

French Expression: Être d’une humeur de chien

In The Name Of A Dog

Meaning: OMG

French expression: Nom d’un chien!

To Treat Someone Like A Dog

Means: To treat them badly, physically or emotionally

French expression: Traiter quelqu’un comme un chien

To Look At Others Like China Dog Statues

Means: To look at each other in a coiled, aggressive way

French expression: Se regarder en chien de faïence

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Dogs Allowed Everywhere In France?

Dogs are permitted on all public transportation in Paris, including the metro, subway, commuter trains, and buses. Service dogs are free to travel on all modes of transportation, while large dogs require a ticket. Small dogs can travel without a ticket in a bag or dog carriers.

Are Dogs Popular In France?

They’re known for their fashion, food, and the Eiffel Tower, but the French are also dog lovers. It’s estimated that there are around 7.5 million dogs in France, and we’ve collected a list of the 15 most popular breeds.

What Are The Rules For Taking Dogs To France?

An electronic transponder must be used to identify your animal. You must have your pet microchipped prior to or concurrently with their rabies vaccination. The anti-rabies vaccination must be current at the time of travel, in accordance with Annex III of Regulation (EU) 576/2013.

Are Dogs Allowed In The Eiffel Tower?

Except for animals accompanying disabled people, animals are not permitted on the Eiffel Tower. All other animals will be turned down.

Do Dogs Go To Restaurants In France?

Regarding eating out, France is generally very accepting of dogs. There are plenty of French restaurants that allow dogs.