Under the microscope: Dog Control Act

On March 3, 2020, in order to provide itself with uniform rules, the Quebec government adopted the Regulation respecting the application of the Act to promote the protection of persons by establishing a framework for dogs.

Although it has now been in place for more than a year, this law includes several new features or changes that deserve to be highlighted…

Sous la loupe : Loi sur l’encadrement des chiens - SPA Estrie

WHY this new regulation?

Over the past few years, several municipalities have put in place bylaws to regulate the presence of dogs on their territory. However, the Government of Quebec has deemed it important to create a regulation to standardize everything.

According to the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation, this regulation would allow ;

  • “A better picture of the dog population through mandatory registration of all dogs ”

  • “the establishment of minimum standards for the control and ownership of dogs”

  • “Increased custody standards for potentially dangerous dogs”.

  • “inspection and enforcement powers for municipalities”.

WHERE and WHEN does it apply?

As of March 2020, this regulation is in effect throughout Quebec at all times. All dogs and their guardians are subject to this regulation.

WHO is responsible for its implementation?

The government has delegated authority to Quebec municipalities to enforce this regulation. Several municipalities in the Eastern Townships have chosen to delegate some of the responsibilities to the Société protectrice des animaux de l’Estrie.

WHAT DOES THIS IMPLY for me and my dog?

The regulation states;

    1. “The owner or guardian of a dog must register it with the local municipality of his or her principal residence within 30 days of acquiring the dog, establishing his or her principal residence in a municipality, or the day on which the dog reaches the age of 3 months.”

If you live in a municipality served by the SPA de l’Estrie, you can register your dog directly with us. Visit our online registration form, or contact our licensing department by phone at 819 821-4727 option 4, to register your pet.

  1. « In a public place, a dog must at all times be under the control of a person capable of handling it. »
    You or the person walking your dog in a public place must have good control of the animal’s movements. For example, if you come across someone on a trail who says they do not want to make contact with your dog, you must be able to control your dog to avoid contact.
  1. « (…) a dog must also be kept on a leash of a maximum length of 1.85 m. A dog weighing 20 kg or more must also wear a halter or harness attached to its leash at all times.»
    Make sure your leash is no longer than 1.85 m (6 feet). Also, in some cities, such as Sherbrooke, retractable leashes are prohibited. If your dog weighs more than 20 kg (66 lbs), take the time to choose between a halter or a harness for the comfort of you and your dog when going outside.
  1. « A dog may not be on a property belonging to a person other than its owner or keeper, unless the presence of the dog has been expressly authorised. »
    At home, you must ensure that your dog is not allowed to leave the boundaries of your property. He should be restrained or in a fenced area. When your dog is free on your property, you should be outside with him to monitor his movements.

WHO CAN REPORT an aggressive incident?

Doctors and veterinarians
Doctors are obliged to report a biting incident on a human. Veterinarians must report the incident when they have reason to believe that the dog may pose a risk to the safety of others.

All citizens
If you have witnessed or been a victim of an aggressive incident involving a dog and you live in a municipality served by the SPA de l’Estrie, we invite you to report it here.

*If you do not live in a municipality served by the SPA de l’Estrie, contact your municipality directly.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS after a biting incident has been reported?

Once the report has been made, a series of actions will be initiated by your municipality with the involvement of the SPA de l’Estrie in order to evaluate the aggression incident.

WHAT ARE THE FINES under this regulation?

250 $ à 750 $

A dog not registered with the SPA or whose licence has not been renewed

500 $ à 1500 $

A guardian who does not control his dog, who does not keep it on a leash, who does not make it wear its harness or halter (20 kg and +) in a public place

1000 $ à 2500 $

A guardian of a dog declared potentially dangerous who does not respect the specific custody standards required by the municipality.

1000 $ à 10 000 $

The guardian of a dog who fails to undergo a behavioural assessment or who fails to comply with the orders of the municipality (euthanasia or other measure)

For all criminal provisions related to the application of the Regulation, see Section 6 of the Implementing Regulation.


We suggest that you first consult a veterinarian to make sure that a health problem is not the cause of the behaviour. If the health problem is not the cause of the behaviour problem, your veterinarian will then be able to recommend a colleague specialised in canine behaviour or a canine behaviourist who is a member of the RQIEC and APCP associations.

If your dog is over 20kg, you are required to use a harness or halter when you go out in public with your dog. We invite you to read the following blog post to make the right choice for you and your dog.

À première vue la muselière panier peut vous sembler intimidante. Toutefois, une fois bien installée sur votre chien, elle peut servir grandement. Si votre chien doit porter une muselière par obligation, ou parce que vous souhaitez l’utiliser par prévention, il est important de savoir comment bien désensibiliser votre chien à sa présence. Prenez le temps de visionner cette vidéo afin de connaitre une méthode pour habituer votre chien à porter sa muselière.

Sous la loupe : Loi sur l’encadrement des chiens - SPA Estrie

Sous la loupe, vous et votre chien

Vérifiez si vous et votre compagnon canin êtes en règle et bien informés.

    Réponse : si vous habitez dans une municipalité desservie, vous devez enregistrer votre chien auprès de la SPA de l’Estrie.
    Réponse : Chaque année, au mois de janvier, vous recevez par la poste l’avis de renouvellement. Vous avez jusqu’au 15 février suivant pour effectuer votre renouvellement.
    Réponse : Il est important de vérifier la longueur de votre laisse afin de vous assurer de respecter le règlement en place.
    Réponse : Vous devez obligatoirement vous procurer un licou ou un harnais afin d’être conforme au règlement. Prenez le temps de faire le bon choix et consulter notre article blogue à ce sujet.
    Réponse : La SPA de l’Estrie vous remet un médaillon à la suite de l’enregistrement de votre chien. Il est important de l’ajouter au collier de votre animal afin qu’il demeure visible en tout temps. Si vous avez perdu, ou que les numéros sont abimés sur votre médaillon actuel, contactez-nous et nous pourrons vous en envoyer un nouveau gratuitement.
    Réponse : Votre chien doit rester sur votre terrain lorsqu’il sort à l’extérieur. Vous devez prendre les mesures nécessaires afin qu’il ne prenne pas la fuite.
    Réponse : Sur votre propre terrain ou dans un endroit public, les excréments de votre chien doivent être ramassés et disposés de façon hygiénique.
    Réponse : Il est toujours possible d’entrainer votre chien à la marche en laisse afin d’être plus en confiance lors de sorties dans des endroits publiques. Informez-vous auprès d’un spécialiste afin d’apprendre la bonne façon d’entrainer votre chien. De plus, assurez-vous d’avoir une laisse règlementaire (1,85m) et un licou/harnais si votre chien fait plus de 20kg.