What Dog Breeds Are Not Allowed in Hawaii?

Hawaii has specific regulations regarding what dog breeds can enter the state. While no breeds are completely banned, there are certain restrictions and requirements for bringing dogs to Hawaii. This article will provide an in-depth look at dog breed regulations in Hawaii, including prohibited breeds, restrictions, quarantine rules, and tips for traveling to Hawaii with your dog.

1: Banned and Restricted Breeds

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) maintains a list of dog breeds that are prohibited from entering the state without special permit and quarantine requirements. The restricted breeds include:

  • Pit Bulls: This includes American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and any mix of these breeds. They are subject to permit, quarantine, and import conditions.
  • Wolf Hybrids: Any dog mixed with wolf is prohibited from entering Hawaii.
  • Attack Dogs: Dogs specifically trained for attack, such as Tosa Inus, are banned.
  • Guard Dogs: Breeds like Neapolitan Mastiffs, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentinos, and Presa Canarios are prohibited.
  • Rottweilers: Purebred Rottweilers cannot enter Hawaii without permit and quarantine.
  • Doberman Pinschers: Purebred Dobermans also require permit and quarantine to enter the state.

In addition, any dog that appears aggressive, hostile, or territorial may be denied entry if it poses a threat to public health and safety.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pit Bulls, Wolf Hybrids, Attack Dogs, and certain Guard Dog breeds are completely banned from entering Hawaii.
  • Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers require permit and quarantine to enter Hawaii.
  • Any dog exhibiting aggressive behavior may be denied entry.

2: Quarantine Rules

Hawaii has a 120-day quarantine requirement for restricted dog breeds entering the state. This is to prevent the potential spread of rabies to Hawaii, which is one of the few rabies-free areas left in the world.

Restricted breeds like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans must complete the 120-day quarantine at an approved facility after arriving in Hawaii. During this time, the dogs will be observed for any signs of rabies.

Quarantine Process:

  • Owners must obtain an import permit for restricted breeds prior to arrival.
  • Dogs must be microchipped and current on all vaccinations.
  • Upon arrival, dogs go directly to an approved quarantine facility.
  • Quarantine lasts 120 days from the date of arrival.
  • Daily fees for quarantine range from $14.30 to $18.70 per day.
  • Total estimated cost for 120-day quarantine is $1,716 to $2,244.


There are a few exemptions from quarantine for restricted breeds:

  • Guide dogs accompanying a blind/visually impaired or deaf/hearing impaired person. Proper documentation required.
  • Dogs entering for veterinary treatment at an accredited veterinary hospital.
  • Dogs owned by military personnel relocating to Hawaii under official military orders. Requires health certificate.

Key Takeaways:

  • Restricted breeds must complete 120-day quarantine in Hawaii at owner’s expense.
  • Quarantine ensures rabies-free status and costs $1,716-$2,244.
  • Limited exemptions exist for guide, military, and medical needs.

3: Permit Requirements

In addition to quarantine, restricted dog breeds require an import permit issued by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Animal Quarantine Branch.

Permit Application Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Payment of permit fee
  • Copy of dog’s rabies vaccination certificate
  • Documentation of microchip
  • Flight information
  • Quarantine facility reservation
  • Health certificate from accredited veterinarian

Permit Fees:

  • $185 for mainland U.S. origin
  • $224 for international origin

Permit Timeline:

  • Permits are issued no more than 20 days prior to arrival.
  • Application processing takes 5-7 business days.
  • Applications must be submitted at least 14 days before arrival to allow for processing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Restricted breeds need import permit from HDOA Animal Quarantine.
  • Permit fee is $185-$224 depending on origin.
  • Permit application must be submitted at least 14 days pre-arrival.

4: Tips for Flying with Dogs to Hawaii

Taking a dog to Hawaii involves careful planning and preparation. Here are some tips for smoothly flying with your dog to Hawaii:

Choosing an Airline:

  • Check airline pet policies carefully for breed restrictions.
  • Compare fees – expect to pay $100-$200 each way.
  • Ensure airline flies to Honolulu airport for direct route.

Booking Flights:

  • Avoid busy holiday travel times.
  • Book direct nonstop flights when possible.
  • For connections, allow enough time between flights.
  • Reserve pet spots early as limited availability.

Preparing Your Pet:

  • Get health certificate from vet within 10 days of departure.
  • Make sure microchip is registered and working.
  • Ensure rabies vaccine is current.
  • Train dog for crate travel.
  • Get dog used to leash for airport walks.

What to Pack:

  • Sturdy airline-approved crate
  • Water and food bowls
  • Food, treats
  • Medication
  • Potty pads
  • Toys, blankets
  • Leash, collar, ID tag

Key Takeaways:

  • Research airline pet policies and fees in advance.
  • Book direct flights at less busy travel times.
  • Make sure dog’s health paperwork and microchip are in order.
  • Use an airline-approved crate and pack supplies to keep dog comfortable.

5: Alternatives for Banned Breeds

For dog owners with prohibited breeds like Pit Bulls, there are a few options to still enjoy a Hawaii vacation. Alternatives include:

Temporary Foster Care:

  • Make arrangements with dog foster family or sitter.
  • Be sure sitter is equipped to handle breed (space, experience).
  • Factor in costs for care, pick up/drop off.

Pet-Friendly Lodging:

  • Leave dog at pet boarding facility with daycare.
  • Search sites like BringFido.com for options.
  • Budget $25-$50 daily for boarding.

Mainland Pet Resort:

  • Book at pet resort near departure airport.
  • Take advantage of resort-style amenities.
  • Average daily rate is $50-$100.

Travel to Hawaii Alone:

  • As last resort, travel without dog.
  • Allow dog to stay in familiar environment.
  • Hire pet sitter or board closer to home.

Key Takeaways:

  • Temporary foster care or pet-sitting are most affordable options.
  • Leaving dog at boarding facility ensures comfortable stay.
  • Pet resorts offer luxury amenities at higher prices.
  • Traveling without dog may be best for some owners.

6: Hawaii’s Dog Friendly Destinations

Once in Hawaii, there are many dog-friendly activities and sites to experience with your canine companion:

Dog Friendly Beaches

  • Fort DeRussy Beach (Oahu)
  • Buffalo Beach (Kauai)
  • Kamaole Beach Parks (Maui)
  • Hapuna Beach State Park (Big Island)

Hiking Trails

  • Diamond Head Crater (Oahu)
  • Makapuu Lighthouse Trail (Oahu)
  • Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens (Oahu)
  • Sleeping Giant Trail (Kauai)

Pet-Friendly Accommodations

  • Aston Hotels & Resorts
  • Castle Resorts
  • Outrigger Hotels and Resorts
  • Beach Bungalows

Dog Parks

  • Hawaii Kai Dog Park (Oahu)
  • Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Park (Oahu)
  • Kealakehe Dog Park (Big Island)
  • Kauai Humane Society Dog Park (Kauai)

Key Takeaways:

  • Hawaii has designated off-leash beaches, hiking trails, hotels, and dog parks.
  • Do research to find most dog-friendly sites and activities on each island.
  • Oahu offers the most dog-friendly options and amenities.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

While Hawaii has restrictions on certain dog breeds, there are still ample opportunities to visit with your canine companion. With proper preparation and planning, dog owners can have a great Hawaii vacation that accommodates both people and pets.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pit Bulls, Wolf Hybrids, Attack Dogs, and some Guard Dog breeds are prohibited from entering Hawaii.
  • Breeds like Rottweilers and Dobermans require permit and quarantine.
  • Quarantine period is 120 days at owner’s expense.
  • Research airline pet policies and book direct flights when possible.
  • Consider pet-sitting alternatives for banned breeds.
  • Each island offers beaches, trails, hotels, and parks that welcome dogs.

With a little flexibility and creativity, you can experience the beauty and adventure of Hawaii with your furry best friend by your side. Just be sure to plan ahead and familiarize yourself with the state’s pet importation policies.

Citations: [1] https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/files/2013/01/aqs-66.pdf [2] https://pettravel.com/immigration/Hawaii.cfm [3] https://www.akc.org/legislative-alerts/breed-specific-bill-introduced-in-hawaii/ [4] https://hawaiisbesttravel.com/bring-your-dog-to-hawaii/ [5] https://installations.militaryonesource.mil/military-installation/schofield-barracks-fort-shafter/moving/shipping-pets [6] https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/38461679/united-airlines-bans-dozens-of-dog-and-cat-breeds-from-flying/