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Regulations in force in Hamburg from 3 July, 2000

Dogs are listed under three categories as
  1. breeds assumed dangerous: Pit-Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull-terrier
  2. breeds assumed dangerous until proven otherwise: Bull-mastiff, Bull-terrier, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux, Fila Brasileiro, Mastiff, Mastin Espagnol, Mastino Napoletano, Kangal, Caucasian Owtscharka
  3. dogs deemed dangerous by their previous behaviour

Categories 1 and 3 and those of category 2 who have failed an assessment, and are therefore deemed dangerous, are subject to the same legislation.

In principle keeping such a dog is not allowed. Permission will be granted if the owner can prove a legitimate interest and there is no doubt about the owner's suitability.

The conditions for keeping such a dog are:

  • owner's proven expertise in keeping such a dog
  • owner's suitability (refers to physical capability and criminal record)
  • liability insurance
  • microchip
  • sterilisation or castration
  • notification of death of dog or change of ownership
  • warning signs on owner's residence
  • dog to be leashed and muzzled
  • breeding forbidden
  • training which would make dog more aggressive or dangerous prohibited
  • appropriate authority can order dog's destruction if it presents a danger to life or limb of humans or animals
  • above conditions must be met and permission to keep such an animal must be applied for, within 5 months of the regulations coming into force

Dogs from category 2 will not be subject to these conditions if the owner has a certificate from a veterinary surgeon whose expert opinion proves the dog is not dangerous.

These regulations are subject to change.

Regulations in force in North Rhine Westphalia from 7 July, 2000

Dogs are isted in four categories

  1. American Staffordshire Terrier, Pit-Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull-terrier, Bull-terrier, Mastino Napoletano, Mastin Espagnol, Dogue de Bordeaux, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Roman Fighting Dog, Chinese Fighting Dog, Bandog, Tosa Inu
  2. Akbas, Berger de Brie (Briard), Berger de Beauce (Beauceron), Bull-mastiff, Carpatin, Dobermann, Estrela mountain dog, Kangal, Caucasian Owtscharka, Central Asian Owtscharka, South Russian Owtscharka, Karakatschan, Karshund, Komondor, Kraski Ovcar, Kuvasz, Liptak (Goralendog), Maremma Sheepdog, Mastiff, Mastin de los Pirineos, Mioritic, Polski, Owczarek Podhalanski, Pyrenean mountain dog, Raffeiro do Alentejo, Rottweiler, Slovensky Cuvac, Sarplaninac, Tibetan Mastiff, Tornjak
  3. dogs deemed dangerous by their previous behaviour
  4. dogs over 40 cm in height or 20 kg in weight

Category 1, 2 and 3 dogs are subject to these immediate conditions

  • permission to keep and to train must be obtained from the local authorities
  • permission to keep dangerous dogs category 3 and dogs from category 1 is only given if 'special interest' can be demonstrated
  • suitability of the owner must be proven
  • dog handling expertise of the owner must be proven
  • liability insurance
  • microchip
  • breeding with dangerous dogs category 3 and dogs from category 1 is prohibited
  • dogs must be on a leash and wear a muzzle in public
  • dogs from categories 1 and 2 are not subject to the leash and muzzle regulation if it can be proven that they are not dangerous
  • for dogs already in existence when the regulations come into force, no 'special interest' has to be proven when the dog is being kept by a 'designated person'. (The term 'designated person' is not more closely defined).

No existing dog can be put down unless it is proved dangerous.

Category 4 dogs are subject to these conditions:

  • the keeping of such dogs must be reported and registered with the appropriate authority within one year of the new regulations coming into force. Then proof of the following must be supplied by 1st January 2002:
    • owner's suitablity
    • owner's dog handling expertise
    • liability insurance
    • microchip
    • dogs must be kept on a leash

Further information is not available at this stage (regarding procedure for microchips, insurance for dogs, expertise on dogs etc.). For more details please contact the appropriate local authority.

You should also contact the appropriate local authority to find out whether regulations about leashes and muzzles for specific breeds already exist in that area.

July 5, 2000

'Fighting Dog' Chaos - Hessen Press Release

Decree in Hessen successful intervention by the VDH (German Canine Association)

The following agreement has been reached regardin g the new decree for the state of Hesse:

It is no longer permissible for dogs of the so-called "fighting dog" breeds, which are already being kept by owners, to be confiscated and put down even when no conspicuous behaviour has been observed.

In agreement with the Minister of the Interior, the term 'justified interest in keeping' (such dogs) is interpreted as meaning that the owner can keep the dog following a successful 'behavioural assessment' (subject to certain conditions).

The 'behavioural assessment' (details not yet finalised) will be carried out by VDH experts (tendency at the moment: only by VDH experts).

The content of this arrangement with the Minister of the Interior is already available on request from the press office, written confirmation is expected in the next few days.

Bernhard Meyer
(Chief Executive)