top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Is it legal for neighbour to keep 16 dogs in French garden?

One reader's question, answered. Find more practical Q&As in the Connexion monthly print issues.


Our neighbour keeps 16 hunting dogs in his garden as pets and they howl and bark at any time of night or day, plus the smell is unpleasant. They are kept in an area that is two metres from our boundary and 50m from the local church. Surely there is some law that restricts the keeping of so many dogs in such a confined space (approximately 50m²) and in filthy conditions? S.C.

Read more: this animal protection project aims to protect birds put at risk by skiers in Alps


There are laws against mistreatment of animals. More precisely, there is a general law against members of the public keeping more than nine dogs, unless the animals are kept under the strict conditions required for a professional dog-breeding business.

This involves conforming to certain rules on protection of the environment for “classified installations”. Among these conditions are that the installation should be at least 100m away from people’s homes. The rules on this can be found in the Code rural et de la pêche maritime ( in a 2015 decree related to protection of pets ( and in environmental protection regulations (

If you believe your neighbour is breaking the law, you could report this to the police or gendarmerie (eg. by calling 17 or 112). Or you could tell one of the main animal protection charities which investigate cases of animal mistreatment, such as 30 Millions d’amis (telephone 01 56 59 04 44).

Another option is the Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA), which has a form for reporting – – or you could notify your nearest SPA refuge.

Animal news: another horse has been found killed with an ear removed in eastern France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France