Now that we know which canton and breed/size we can point you to the appropriate information.
The reason this information is necessary is that not only are there the 26 different cantonal laws, but also in some cantons requirements for some breeds/sizes supersede the federal. But this is not the case in Luzern. So...
First you will have to follow federal law, and then cantonal.
Importation is a federal issue; what you need to do to import your dog is covered in Carl's post - but an even more user friendly site is the BLV's interactive tool, conveniently available in English: http://blv.bytix.com/plus/dbr/default.aspx?lang=en
One issue is that docked and cropped dogs are banned in Switzerland. Since Danes are among the breeds frequently docked or cropped, is yours? If so, there are two exceptions to the ban on importing docked or cropped dogs:
If a long-term docked/cropped family pet moves with the family
to Switzerland. The underlined bit is critical. Once you are registered in Switzerland you cannot then later import a docked/cropped pet. So if your dog is docked/cropped in your case, assuming you are registered but your wife is not yet, the dog must move with her, on her first entrance to Switzerland with the intention to settle.
The second exception is for a medically necessary amputation; in order to import a docked or cropped dog in this case medical proof needs to be furnished.
There is paperwork to be filled out to import under these exceptions. If your Dane is docked/cropped, the appropriate forms can be found on the BLV website.
Now you have crossed the border you need to:
Register with ANIS, the federal database of all dogs and owners within Switzerland, within 10 days of arrival. You will need a vet to do the registration, so make an appointment ASAP.
Register with your Gemeinde. The form of registration varies from place to place, so contact Einwohnerkontrolle in the first instance. You might need to pay the annual dog tax at this time, or a bill might be sent later.
As you will not have had a dog registered in your name in ANIS, the next question is whether or not you fall under the 'First time owner' requirements to take the federal SKN Theory
course. For foreigners who move to Switzerland with a dog in tow, this is decided on an individual basis. You need to contact the Luzern Veterinäramt for a ruling. They can be contacted here: https://veterinaerdienst.lu.ch
If you are not excused from the federal SKN Theory course you will need to take it as soon as possible. I always recommend newcomers to Switzerland take the Theory course even when excused, as there is so much one needs to know here - and much of that might be quite different from what you have experienced as a dog owner back home.
In any case you must take the federal SKN Practical
course within 12 months of arrival. The database of certified SKN trainers can be found here, simply contact one in your area and get registered for the course. http://blv.bytix.com/plus/trainer/
Do you speak German well enough to take the course? If not, post a thread here asking for English speaking trainers in your region.
Now - those are the federal issues in a nutshell.
The next set of regulations is at the cantonal level. For Luzern, see the summary from Tier Im Recht, here: http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...cht/luzern.php
A rough translation of the essentials:
- A dog owner must ensure that your dog does not pose a danger to the public. A dog owner must ensure that your dog does not sully streets, paths, sidewalks, park areas, other people's gardens, or agricultural fields. (In other words - you are required to pick up after your dog, and you should not allow him to urinate or mark in these areas.)
- Dog owners or those who take charge of a dog for more than 3 months must register with ANIS within 10 days.
- Annual tax is due on dogs over 6 months of age. If a dog reaches 6 months after the 30. of June, the tax for that year will be half. Working farm dogs will pay a reduced rate. Working guard dogs protecting buildings in isolated areas also pay half rates.
- Dogs are generally banned in cemeteries, bathing areas, hospital grounds, children's play areas, and in 'rest areas' by school grounds, playgrounds, and sports fields.
- In publicly accessible areas, such as businesses and shops, in conservation areas, in parks, on public transportation, and on heavily trafficked streets dogs must be kept on lead.
- Dogs in estrus, dogs who have bitten, dogs who are ill with transmitable diseases must be kept on lead in open spaces and when in areas whereone might come into contact with another person.
- Between 1. April to 31. Juli dogs are required to be kept on lead in forests and along forested areas.
- Dogs may not be left unattended in forests and along forest areas, on lake front areas, along wooded banks and hedeges, as well as during the night time.
- Dogs left unsupervised can be seized by the police.
- Dogs who go after wild animals or who pose a danger to wild animals, who cannot be captured, may be shot by persons authorized to do so.
- Luzern does not impost a breed ban or restriction.
- In individual cases the cantonal Veterinäramt can order measures taken, such as requiring a muzzling, requiring additional education, placing the dog/owner under further observation, requiring liability insurance to be taken out, or taking the dog away from the owner to be rehomed.
- Dogs who pose a danger to people or other animals may be ordered killed if other less drastic measures such as veterinary or behavioral treatment is unsuccessful, or if the owner does not follow measures ordered.
The actual text of the law is linked at the top of the page. If you need the German translated, just let us know.
Also be aware that you must follow cantonal regs in any canton you visit. It's a good idea to peruse the Tier Im Recht website when you plan to take your dog on an outing in another canton, just to be sure that you don't put a paw wrong.
For instance Danes are on the restricted list in TI. As you don't live there you shouldn't have problems, but you should be aware of TI rules when visiting.
Most of this boils down to common sense. But it is important that you understand dog law and follow it at all times.
All the best as you and your four footed friend settle into Switzerland.
By the way, unless your HR person is him/herself a dog owner in Luzern, don't necessarily count on getting reliable information. We have seen all too often that relocation folks who are not dog owners themselves are unaware of even federal regs, let alone cantonal and local. Sadly, in one case a dog owner was only pointed to the federal law and told there would be no problem - and then moved into a BSL canton with a banned breed. The dog was seized.
I cannot stress how important it is to get full and correct information. When in doubt, the ultimate source is always the BLV for federal questions (http://www.blv.admin.ch/kontakt/index.html?lang=de
) and the cantonal Veterinaramt for cantonal regulations. Your Gemeinde Animalkontrolle (or Einwohnerkontrolle if your Gemeinde does not have an animal control officer) is the place to go for questions about local regs.
The SKN course requirement applies to the owner of record, that is, the person in whose name the dog is registered in ANIS. So think about that before you register. Most families register the dog in the name of the primary carer, and that person does the SKN courses. If you register the dog in both your names then both of you will be required to do the SKN course(s).