I actually don't like to do this posting but I must warn every owner of a Rottweiler who intents to visit France for vacation !!!
The law / regulation in France is getting quite far when it is coming to certain breeds of dogs: It is not possible to go anywhere in the public with your Rottweiler if they do not wear a muzzle. There is no precise definition about where "public" begins: just in towns, villages and roads or even including unpaved field paths in forests and in the country side. This is clearly dangerous for you dog if attacked by another, let's say a Boxer, a Labrador (according French statistics Labradors are responsible for most dog bites treated in hospitals, - Rottweiler do not even occur in these statistics). Even a little Puddle can course trouble... So we can clearly use the legal term "discrimination"!
However, have no illusion about this law: The fine is up to 15.000 Euro! This would apply if your dog is bitting someone else's dog or a person.
The police-officer must advise you that you put a muzzle. And here it comes: My personal experience is very positive with police and gendarmerie. Especially in the region I'm living some of them know my two are holding a German VPG & FH certification which is based on FCI standard. This does not change the fact that they have to wear a muzzle. For this reason I can only urge you, if you are told to put a muzzle, just do it! Don’t start one of this silly arguments like: you did not know and you were unaware of this law because you are a tourist. They do law enforcement not "law designing"...
The danger lures somewhere else and it is not the police which is obsessed enforcing a law. They usually first observe. All are going through trainings and workshops where they learn deescalation has priority. No, your and your Rotties problem starts with the “petite bourgeois”. This species which you can find everywhere on this planet. This is the “I know it all” fraction who see themselves as the moral pillars of a society which tend to insular thinking. In Germany this fraction is huge, but you'll find them also in France which is traditionally per se much more tolerant. Most dangerous places where this species surfaces is, if you live during you vacation in a hotel, or in a gite and you go out for walks in the country side during your vacation. There you will find this species of the moral pillar in form of an elegantly dressed city dweller; 200 euro expensive hiking boots and an umbrella at the Belt. Some of them wear rimless glasses and know how to operate a I-fon. They are so convinced of themselves that you think you watch a film of the Marx Brothers. You can "discus with such individual "a good glass of wine", in which they are experts and then kill a whole bottle in 30 minutes, - but about animals do not understand more then a fish about a bicycle. This lack of knowledge unfortunately does not apply to their skill to used a I-phone and the moment you start explaining they are already reporting this grave violation to the police. Best is you just ignore them and go away. If he want to take a photo of you, you take a photo of him as well. I'm not joking. Just go away, but put the muzzle if you haven't done so before and avoid any conversation, it will not get you anywhere.
Now here comes the real disadvantage: you know this little ones, these soooo sweeeeet doggies like e.g. Jack Russel. Yes they are sweet, they are lively, hyperactive but they can cause by biting your Rottie and if they don't get a response, so the little one continues attacking. Once in the past I have had even a German shepherd going for my Rottie. That shepherd bit him really very, very badly. And you know, nobody with common sense interferes with bitting dogs. So, my Rottie could only compensate the handicap with his muzzle by using his sheer weight and jumped up only to crash down with his 60+ kg onto this shepherd. Not only that I needed to pay a huge sum for stitching and treatment out of my own pocket, no, just imagine how long it was taking me of training each day for weeks to control that this experience my Rottie have had did not lead into a suppressed aggression. This is where Rottweiler can become then dangerous. By nature they are just like a little bear, but such suppressed aggression, when not worked out can then break out at any time on similar situation.
Of course, I not saying forget France (Swiss law is not any better). Sure, you can enjoy your holidays in France also under this discriminating law when you love it that your Rotti is wearing a muzzle and can be risk-free bitten by any other dog. But what do you do when your Rottie then is becoming aggressive towards other dogs, - just because this discrimination and of having the experience being totally defenceless?
I spoke about this to dog trainers and vets here in France and they confirmed that it is basically legal discrimination and deliberate ignorance. One of the vets we visit once a year is a renown Rottweiler specialist since 1984, her husband is working as a generalist in a hospital. Both are saying: “the fact that the statistics are telling a totally different story because most biting wounds treated in hospitals are caused by smaller dogs.”... This means someone who is holding a non-listed dog is released from all responsibilities? As a journalist myself I can only say some colleagues have hugely contributed to this false image of dogs because they are sole write for their own survival to feed themselves and not for their audience.
It is clear that the biting force and jaw size are important, so a small dogs bite does not have the same effect. I also agree 100% to enforce a law that is demanding full responsibility, - but FOR ALL DOG OWNERS (including Boxer, Mallinious, Labradors and also Jack Russel Terrier. Why? Because of the fact that a person which got bitten by any dog will be afraid all his life (I'm giving training for these people together with my Rotties and the post woman loves them to bits) If this phobia is not properly handled of course when such person sees a big he simply will be afraid even more.
This is leaving me to the conclusion that this regulation is by no means based on empirically derived, means by knowledge acquired by means of observation, can not look plausible to anyone who is used to use common sense. This regulation was initially drafted by exactly these media pundits who are making their living from writing about, what they consider a sensation. These are the same dull journalists writing what the "petite bourgeois" want to hear, but it is the same kind of "journalism" who wants to tell us everyday that e.g. a European Grass Snake is saving a fish from drowning when she is swallowing the fish….
Screenshot of a Translation from the Gov website...
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