Are German Shepherds Allowed in Japan? (2024)

German Shepherd lying down on lawn with an attentive expression.

As you dream of world travels, are you wondering whether you can bring your German Shepherd with you? Here is everything that you need to know about traveling the world with your German Shepherd or another large breed dog.

Are German Shepherds allowed in Japan?  You will be happy to learn that you can bring your German Shepherd to Japan, however, there are many hurdles to jump through both to get there and find lodging once you are there, which may make you reconsider whether it’s worth bringing your dog with you.

Bringing a German Shepherd to Japan

  • Announce your journey – You must let the Animal Quarantine Services of Japan know that you intend to bring a dog with you at least 40 days prior to your arrival.  
  • Rabies titers – Rabies titers will need to be performed even earlier, at least 180 days before your dog arrives in Japan. 
  • Microchip and vaccinations – Dogs must be microchipped on the day of or before their first vaccination for rabies. 
  • Health certificate – A USDA accredited veterinarian must confirm that your German Shepherd is free of clinical signs of infectious disease prior to departure, and this health certificate must be given to the Japanese government. 
  • Arrival Inspection – Japan’s Animal Quarantine Services will inspect your dog upon arrival in Japan and will either issue a clearance certificate or order a quarantine for up to 180 days. You will be responsible for all incurred expenses.

Traveling With a Large Breed Dog 

Unless your German Shepherd is a service dog, he will not be allowed to ride in the passenger portion of the plane with you. Rather, he will need to travel in the cargo area which can be a frightening, even dangerous, experience for your dog. 

Special note: Every year dogs die as a result of overheating, trauma, or other issues in the holds of planes. 

If you are going to take your German Shepherd on the plane with you to Japan, be certain to choose a continuous flight and make sure to remind the pilot and all of the flight crew that your precious dog is on board.

If you would rather avoid this frightening journey, you can choose to ship your dog or go on a ship with your dog. Taking a ship to Japan takes a very long time, so unless you are confident that you can find a crew and caregiver who you trust with your dog, you might want to make the journey with them. 

In What countries Are German Shepherds Banned?

Internationally, German Shepherds are banned from entire countries, portions of countries, or have restrictions. Make sure that you know where German Shepherds are banned before you start your travels.

  • The United States – You may be surprised to learn that German Shepherds are often considered dangerous dogs in the United States and are restricted in some states, including Florida.
  • Ireland – German Shepherds are in the dangerous dog breed category in Ireland and therefore must be kept on a short, strong leash and muzzled whenever in public.
  • Ukraine – German Shepherds are forbidden in Ukraine, possibly because they’re often used for illegal dog fighting there.
  • Belarus – German Shepherds are among 40 dog breeds banned in Belarus.
  • The Maldives – All Mastiffs and large Shepherd dogs, including the German Shepherd, are forbidden in the Maldives.
  • United Arab Emirates – Shepherds are considered potentially dangerous here and are restricted. Owning one can result in tremendous fines and imprisonment.
  • Romania – You must be at least 18 years old and have a psychiatrist certificate to own a German Shepherd in Romania, and the dog must be muzzled in public.
  • Malaysia –  Many Shepherds, Mastiffs, and Terriers are banned in Malaysia, including German Shepherds.
  • Singapore – German Shepherds must have an insurance policy of $100,000 and be muzzled and leashed in public when in Singapore.
  • Iceland – A temperament evaluation is required for all large breed dogs who may have aggressive tendencies in Iceland, and travelers are not allowed to bring German Shepherds.
  • Bermuda – German Shepherds are allowed in Bermuda, but ownership is restricted.

Related Question

Why are German Shepherds banned in some countries?

German Shepherds are known to be highly trainable, courageous, and devoted to their people. Unfortunately, those characteristics have also led to a bad reputation for Shepherds across the world. Because a German Shepherd can and will defend their people and territory, they are sometimes considered dangerous.