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Old 17.06.2015, 14:45
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Dog keeping course

Hi people

Can anyone help me find an English speaking trainer for the 'dog keeping course' I keep getting reminded by the geminde that I have to do it to keep my dogs here, ones a pug nearly 6 yr old from uk and ones a little French bulldog at 9nonths old
I'm in wetzikon so close to there would be helpful if not a English speaking we could do French speaking but would prefer English

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 17.06.2015, 15:26
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Re: Dog keeping course

I'm not a dog expert, but the course you're looking for is the SKN. I'm pretty sure one of these threads has recommendations for an approved trainer.

Someone with more knowledge will be along shortly, but from what I recall not all those that teach the course in English are certified. Make sure you get one that's approved so that the course counts and you're not throwing away your money.

http://www.englishforum.ch/search2.php?q=skn+english
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Old 17.06.2015, 16:00
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Re: Dog keeping course

There is one approved online SLN theory course in English which you can find the link for here:

Online BLV approved SKN theory courses

They also do the practical training and may be based near enough to you for you to attend.

The BLV list of approved trainers is given here. Look for those near you and see if they offer to do the courses in English.

http://blv.bytix.com/plus/trainer/TrainerList.aspx

Remember that you have to do the practical part twice, once with each of your dogs.
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Old 17.06.2015, 16:20
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Re: Dog keeping course

Thanks guys for the links, so I have to do it with my 6 year old pug too :-/ it's confusing
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Old 17.06.2015, 16:26
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Re: Dog keeping course

Yes, with both dogs. It doesn't matter how old they are, the requirement is that you do the practical part with each dog you own, no matter what their age.
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Old 17.06.2015, 19:33
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Re: Dog keeping course

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Yes, with both dogs. It doesn't matter how old they are, the requirement is that you do the practical part with each dog you own, no matter what their age.
Pedant alert...

The magic date is 1 Sept 2008. The SKN practical course must be done with each and every dog aquired after that date.

(For example, the Belltie was nine years old when I adopted him - in March of 2009. Since he came into my life after 1 Sept 2008, we were required to do the SKN Practical even though he was born well before the magic date.)

---

Haleyjay, you might ask the trainer if you could do the course with both dogs together. Some might allow this, some not. If you think you could handle the course with two dogs in tow, wouldn't hurt to ask.

The course really is painless. It covers basic skills - the course is designed as an overview, really the minimum a dog owner should know. Hopefully the course will engage you, get you interested in further training - either formally, or on your own. To me the invaluable part is the discussion of local expectations, locals etiquette, local regulations.

---

I've taken the SKN Practical course three times now - and each time has been different because each of the dogs has had a different character, different training level, different needs. Yes, I know the material - but how I should apply it varies with each dog. I am very fortunate to have an outstanding trainer who tailors the material to the individual and to the group dynamics of the participants. Despite taking it three times I have learned something new in each class. Time well spent.

---

Good luck with the class!
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Old 26.06.2015, 11:15
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Re: Dog keeping course

Can someone clarify for me as to whether you need to do the course with all dogs new to the country or just when one is new to your family?
Looking at this thread I am thinking so, but our relocation agent said we only need the pet passports for our dogs.
They are 4,6 and 10 years old .
Thanks!
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Old 26.06.2015, 11:51
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Re: Dog keeping course

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Can someone clarify for me as to whether you need to do the course with all dogs new to the country or just when one is new to your family?
Looking at this thread I am thinking so, but our relocation agent said we only need the pet passports for our dogs.
They are 4,6 and 10 years old .
Thanks!
Be aware that there are two federal courses required, the SKN Theory course, and the SKN Practical course. There may also be cantonal requirements.

Which canton are you moving to? What breeds and sizes are your dogs?

You will need to contact the cantonal Veterinäramt for a ruling on whether you are required to take the federal SKN Theory course, or not.

This course is required of all first time dog owners, to be done before one acquires a dog, usually defined as not having had a dog registered in your name in the ANIS database. Simple as applied to Swiss residents, but a bit unclear for foreigners who move to Switzerland with dogs. Clearly ypu are not new to dog ownership, but you are new to Switzerland. Many people who already have dogs when they move to Switzerland are excused from the Theory course, but some are nonetheless required to do it. You will need to present your proof of prior ownership to the cantonal Veterinäramt for a decision.

(Two friends, both from the US, moved to the same canton with dogs in tow. One was excused, the other told she must take the Theory course. One came from a state requiring licensing, the other from a state that did not - perhaps the paper trail influenced the decision. Or perhaps it was simply a case of each bureaucrat deciding for himself. As often happens in Switzerland.)

I do recommend taking the Theory course if you are new to Switzerland, even if you are an experienced owner and officially excused from the course. It's only two sessions - but there is a lot of information that you'll need, as dog ownership and social expectations of dog owners might be quite different than what you are used to. The course is a good introduction to life here.

---

Now there is the SKN practical course. You are required to do this course with each dog you acquired after 1 Sept 2008. Note that it is acquired, not born. So you will definitely need to do the course with the 4 year old, likely the 6 year old, but the 10 year old depends on the date you acquired the dog.

You could probably do the Pracrical course with all dogs at the same time - many trainers are amenable to that.


---

Note that these are federal rules. There may be cantonal training requirements as well. Some cantons impose training regs beyond the federal, some only for dogs of certain breeds or sizes. For most cantons imposing additional requirements, these courses take the place of the federal SKN practical course.

So - a bit more info, and we can give you better answers.

---
As with the theory course, even if not required I also recommend newcomers take the SKN practical (or canton required) course as a way to learn more about Swiss rules, regs, expectations. Again it's a very easy course, only 4-5 lesson, the content is very basic. But in the hands of a good trainer, the course is very interesting, certainly worthwhile even for experienced owners. (I've taken it three times, with each new addition. Time well spent.)

---

The courses are inexpensive, ca. 150-200 each. There is no test for either course, all that is required is attendance.

---

ETA, and beyond the scope of your question, but important nonetheless:

Anyone offering dog care in exchange for payment must also have done the SKN courses. It makes sense that a paid dog carer is held to the same standard as an owner. When you look for dog care, you need to ask for the carer's SKN certificates. Unfortunately there are many dog carers who are not compliant - including some folks posting ads here on EF. The onus is one the dog owner to determine that the carer is compliant, and the liability rests with the owner. Just a heads-up.

---

One thing you will quickly learn about Switzerland is that the rules are not always applied in the same way, or applied equally to all. Everything is local, even the interpretation of federal and cantonal law.

But you should know the law, and follow it. Compliance with the SKN requirement is left to the honor system in the federal law. Some Gemeinden, having found that there was little honor left in that particular corner of Switzerland, have since imposed controls.

.

Last edited by meloncollie; 26.06.2015 at 13:08.
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Old 26.06.2015, 12:06
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Re: Dog keeping course

These are two different things. The pet passport allows your pet to travel outside of Belgium without having to be quantined either before or after the journey, providing they meet the requirements, i.e. microchipped, rabies vaccination, etc. The SKN course is a mandatory course for dog owners here in Switzerland which is done after you've moved here.

Use the online tool you'll find here

http://www.blv.admin.ch/themen/04670...x.html?lang=en

to make sure what you need to do for the pet passport. Note that you need to go to a Swiss vet and get your dogs checked over and added to the ANIS register within 10 days of your arrival here so make time to do that.

Then as Meloncollie says check with your cantonal vet office to see if you need to do the theory part of the SKN course, once you've settled in.
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Old 26.06.2015, 12:08
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Re: Dog keeping course

Thank you for the information folks!
Will be sending a stroppy note to the relocation lady!
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Old 26.06.2015, 13:00
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Re: Dog keeping course

FYI, here is a summary of each canton's dog control law, from the Tier Im Recht website. Click on the canton. The actual text of the law is linked at the top of each canton's page.

(German only)

http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...echt/index.php
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Old 26.06.2015, 13:17
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Re: Dog keeping course

ThA is! When I look up Bern , no course is mentioned nor the must register in 10 days- or is that a national law?
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Old 26.06.2015, 13:37
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Re: Dog keeping course

Federal/National law.

"As a dog owner, you are required to register your animal(s) in your Swiss place of residence. Your veterinarian must additionally register the dog(s) in the Swiss dog database (ANIS) within 10 days."

So register with your gemeinde (town hall admin office) and with a vet. You'll have to pay an annual licence fee to the gemeinde for each dog.
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Old 26.06.2015, 20:50
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Re: Dog keeping course

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ThA is! When I look up Bern , no course is mentioned nor the must register in 10 days- or is that a national law?
The way to (sort of) make sense of the layers of federal, cantonal and communal law is:

Importation into Switzerland is a federal issue. The regs on chipping and registration are part of that process and thus apply to all.

Animal welfare is the competency of the federal government. The SKN classes are part of the Animal welfare law, hence apply to all. The ban on docked/cropped dogs is a welfare issue, hence applies to all.

At the federal level the BLV (Bundesamt für Lebensmittelsicherheit und Veterinärwesen) is (mostly) the regulatory authority to turn to with questions.

Animal control is (largely) the competency of the cantons and communities. Here is where you will see quite a variation in regulations across the cantons and Gemeinden - from breeds/mixes banned under BSL to leash laws to the annual dog tax to enhanced education to seasonal forest/agricultural regs, including fines and other measures taken for putting a paw wrong. Be aware that you need to follow regs not only for the canton you reside in, but also you need to follow local regs for any canton/community you visit with your dog.

At the cantonal level, the cantonal Veterinäramt is the authority to turn to with questions.

But the line is not always so neatly drawn, there is some cross over between bailiwicks

It's complicated - hence my suggestion of taking the Theory course even if you are officially excused.

Wilkommen in der Schweiz!

----

If you are not getting this information from the relocation specialist paid to assist you, please do point this out to both their manager and to your firm if they are footing the bill for the service. Wrong or incomplete information can lead would-be dog owning immigrants to make possibly disastrous choices.


Best of luck with your relocation, and I hope you and the dogs enjoy your time in Switzerland.
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Old 27.06.2015, 09:50
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Re: Dog keeping course

Britmum,

A useful site as you prepare for your move is Mein Heimtier, a more 'lay user friendly' portal set up by the BLV. It's a tad easier to find info on the basic rules and regs than it is wading through the administrative site. Mein Heimtier highlights issues in the news as well. Info is given for all pet species, not just dogs.

http://www.meinheimtier.ch/de
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Old 27.06.2015, 10:33
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Re: Dog keeping course

Thank you all again for the advice.

We will just have to see what is needed when we get here I think and I will report back .

If we have bad advice from relocation people I will play merry hell!

I have to say this seems similar to the German system which had many requirements too.in my mind having a dog tax and registration leads to responsible ownership and the countries who don't could learn from this 😁
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Old 27.06.2015, 11:05
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Re: Dog keeping course

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I have to say this seems similar to the German system which had many requirements too.
Much of the newer Swiss legislation is modeled on the laws in Germany (our whole approach to dog control changed after a tragic incident, much as German regs did somewhat earlier) so if you are familiar with the German system you should have no trouble navigating your way around Switzerland's various dog laws.

One other thing I should point out, as a fellow owner of a canine crew.

Renting with more than one dog can be difficult. Not impossible, many of us have done it, but it might mean putting permission to keep multiple dogs as a priority and compromising on location, type of dwelling, etc. Here is where your relocation agent really needs to earn his/her keep. A good 'dog friendly' agent can be the key to success.
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