Dog ownership in Singapore comes with a lot of rules. From importing a dog into the country to keeping one with you, grooming it and making sure it stays healthy to taking it out in public; there are a lot of rules regarding dogs in Singapore.
While dog ownership in Singapore may be a bit of a hassle, it is not impossible. You can have and keep a dog with you, whether in private housing or in HDB, as long as you follow the rules regarding dog ownership in these places.
HDB Ruling Of Dog Breeds And Penalty
HDB (Housing and Development Board) is the agency in charge of public housing, and they have some pet restrictions if you are going to live in public housing. HDB expressly forbids the ownership of cats in public housing, and large dog breeds are also not allowed.
You are allowed, however, to keep small dog breeds in HDB, but only one dog per housing unit is allowed. As long as you meet these guidelines, you can keep one small breed dog in your HDB unit.
If you want to keep a pet in your HDB unit, you need to have your pet licensed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA); once you have done that, and your dog is of an approved breed, you can stay in an HDB unit with your pet. Violation of these rules and regulations will attract a fine of, at most, $4000.
Why HDB Doesn’t Allow All Dogs
According to a statement made by the Ministry of National Development, HDB doesn’t allow all dog breeds because the agency is striving to create and maintain a pleasant living environment, as well as good neighbourly relations. This means striking a balance between people who love pets and those who may have some problems with having pets in HDB flats, problems such as allergies, noise, etc.
You have to be conscious and be considerate of those living around you when you are considering getting and keeping a pet. Ensure that you take proper care of your pet and do your best not to cause any inconveniences to your neighbours, such as keeping your dog in your own flat at all times. If it is outside it should be with you and on a leash. Your dog should remain as quiet as possible to prevent disturbing the neighbours with barking. Do remember to pick up your dog’s poop if it does defecate in the public. All these will make your neighbours appreciative of your consideration for their needs, and make it easier for them to accept pets in public flats.
Why These Dog Breeds Are Not Allowed In HDB
According to AVA, following dog breeds are not allowed in Singapore:
Originated in Japan, the Akitas have a reputation for being aggressive. Bred to hunt bears and guard royalty, the Akitas are generally very devoted to and protective of their family members. Common behaviour issues are agression towards other dogs and overprotectiveness.
Known as the South African Mastiff, the Boerboel is a tough working dog and has strong guard dog instinct. Although the Boerboels are generally affectionate with their family members, they can be dangerously aggressive when feeling uneasy. They are independent but require a lot of attention from their owners – they can be depressed and destrutive if left alone for long periods of time.
Originated in Argentina, the Dogo Argentino is a muscular, large-size white dog that was bred for the purpose of big-game hunting. This breed has been used for dog fighting game due to his high pain tolerance, great stamina and fearless nature. Although the Dogo Argentino is well-known for his loyalty, he sometimes can turn dangerous and stubborn – so a proper training is highly required.
Known as the Brazilian Mastiff, the Fila Brasileiro is a large-sized working dog that developed in Brazil. This breed is automatically classified as a dangerous dog in several countries because he can turn aggressive when provoked and taunted.
The Japanese Tosas are banned in many countries due to their dog fighting history. They are not recommended for first-time owners, multiple dog households, seniors and apartment dwellers.
Is Corgi HDB Approved?
No, unfortunately, Corgis are not legally allowed in HDBs.
Why is Corgi not allowed in HDB?
While there hasn't been a proper explanation, the Ministry of National Development explained that these rules are set "to preserve a pleasant living environment and good neighbourly relations." One possible reason could be due to research which shows that Corgis are not easy to manage with excessive shedding.
List Of HDB-Approved Dog Breeds
There is a list of 62 approved dog breeds, a list that has been drawn up by HDB and AVA collaboratively. You are allowed to keep one dog from this list of HDB-approved dog breeds.
3.Coton de Tulear
9.Australian Silky Terrier
10.Boston Terrier – Lightweight and Middleweight
19.Dachshund –Light and Miniature
20.Jack Russell Terrier
23.Small Continental Spaniel
24.West Highland Terrier
26.Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
27.Dandie Dinmont Terrier
28.Japanese Spaniel (Chin)
30.Poodle – Miniature
31.Small English Terrier
32.Wire-Haired Fox Terrier
35.English Toy Spaniel
42.Chinese Crested Dog
47.Smooth Fox Terrier
49.Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxaellios)
50.Chinese Imperial Chin
51.German Hunting Terrier
52.Little Lion Dog
55.Toy Fox Terrier
57.Chinese Temple Dog – Classic and Miniature
61.Shetland Sheep dog
Special Exemption For Project ADORE
Since living in an HDB flat restricts pet ownership to one small breed dog per flat, it is very difficult to adopt larger breeds, including the breed known as the ‘Singapore Special’ – the local mongrel. These dogs may not be as large as the large dog breeds, but they are larger than the small dog breeds due to their mixed breed status, and, as such, do not fit the HDB and AVA criteria for approved dog breeds in public housing.
A special initiative was created to help large dog lovers who live in HDB flats called Project ADORE – ADOption and REhoming of dogs). This initiative makes it possible for you to adopt the ‘Singapore Special’ and keep it with you, even if you live in an HDB flat. Since some of the shelters are also a part of Project ADORE, you can adopt a larger dog breed from the initiatives, as long as the dog meets the following criteria:
1.It is a local, medium-sized breed, a mixed breed, or a ‘Singapore Special’
2.It is at least 6 months old
3.It is sterilized
4.No weight limit, and a shoulder height of up to 55cm
5.Must undergo basic obedience training by trainers accredited by the AVA
With the revision of the Project ADORE guidelines, bigger local mixed-breed dogs can now be rehomed in HDB flats!
Once the dog meets these criteria, you as the owner will have to do the following:
1.Sign a declaration, agreeing to observe the Code of Responsible Behavior (CORB)
2.Understand that only 1 registered dog is allowed per HDB flat
3.Make sure that your immediate neighbours do not mind you owning a dog
4.Ensure that your pet is vaccinated, sterilized, and microchipped
5.Apply for an AVA dog license
6.Make sure your dog is HDB-approved
Living in an HDB household means that pet ownership is restricted, but you can keep a pet as long as you follow the HDB rules for pet ownership. Cats are not allowed, but you are allowed to have one dog per flat, and this dog has to be on the approved list of dog breeds, a list compiled by the HDB and AVA.
Having a dog in your life brings a lot of happiness and endless joy, however, a dog’s lifespan is up to 15 years. So it is up to you as a pet parent to advocate good pet ownership, pick up after your dog and avoid disturbing the neighbourhood peace as much as possible.