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Old 07.11.2015, 12:55
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Looking for a puppy

Hi guys,
my boyfriend and I would like to adopt a puppy. We live in Zurich and we are soon moving into a larger place with a garden.
We would like to avoid pure breads. Is there a website where we can find ads? We do not speak German and researching on Google was not helpful at all.
Thank you!
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Old 07.11.2015, 13:11
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Re: Looking for a puppy

Who needs Google.
Advanced search in this section of EF for relevant words in posts by Meloncollie.
This information you need will be there for certain.
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Old 07.11.2015, 13:14
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Re: Looking for a puppy

I suggest that you search this forum for the many posts by meloncollie that will not only answer you question but fully explain the legal requirements which you will need to fulfill prior to taking on a puppy.

Have you checked with your landlord whether you are allowed to have a dog?

Have you thought about what you will do if you have to move on to another
country, if you and your boyfriend split up?

MC will be along shortly, I am sure, to add to this but I would suggest you read the many previous post on this subject first.
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Old 07.11.2015, 13:14
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Re: Looking for a puppy

Two minds!
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Old 07.11.2015, 16:30
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Re: Looking for a puppy

Here is an excellent thread where posters have detailed their experiences adopting dogs in Switzerland, and from abroad:

Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

The database of homeless animals, which covers many of the shelters in Switzerland, can be found here:

https://www.tierdatenbank.ch/de/tiere.html

Before I natter on interminably (as I am wont to do... ), why not read through that thread then ask some specific questions?



But of course I can't miss the chance to give (one of ) my favorite sermons... But to spare readers who have heard it all before, I'll give you the shortened version:

Attitudes towards dogs and expectations of dog owners may be quite different from what you have experienced at home. And almost certainly the level of regulation is different. There is mandatory registration in a national database, local registration and payment of an annual dog tax, regulations galore. In Switzerland dog ownership is regulated at the federal, cantonal, and community levels. There is much you need to learn about 'the Swiss way' BEFORE you adopt a dog.


Chief among the differences is that here in Switzerland all dog owners must attend courses. At the federal level, dog owners must take two courses, the SKN Theory course for first time dog owners, and the SKN Practical course for all owners, with each and every dog.

The theory course must be done BEFORE acquiring a dog. So get that done right now - then start your search. The Practical course must be done within 12 months of acquiring your dog.

Some cantons require more training beyond the SKN courses. Zürich is one such canton; for all dogs whose adult height es expected to exceed 45cm and whose adult weight is greater than 15kg a whole different set of courses are required, called the List 1 courses. The federal SKN Practical course is rolled into the ZH List 1 courses. See here for more information:

http://www.veta.zh.ch/internet/gesun...usbildung.html


There are many, many SKN threads - do a bit of browsing through the Pets Corner, then come back with specific questions.

(I've been toying with writing up the be-all end-all SKN thread, but since no one reads stickies anyway it's not a priority at the moment..)



A few more links to get you started:

Mein Heimtier, the 'user friendly' portal to the BLV, the federal agency regulating animal welfare. Much of what you need to know about federal dog law, much you need to know about Swiss attitudes and expectations in order to prepare yourself can be found here.

http://www.meinheimtier.ch/de


For cantonal dog law, summaries for each canton can be found on the Tier Im Recht website, click on the canton. The actual text of the law is linked at the top:
http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...echt/index.php

These sites are in German (F,I), which I know you said that you don't speak yet... but you really do need to learn a little German to cope with all the bureaucracy and neighborhood fol-de-rol that comes with being a dog owner here. So play with the links, use a translation package - and what you don't understand come back and ask specific questions here. We'll be happy to help.


The database for SKN trainers:
http://blv.bytix.com/plus/trainer/

---

But the most important document you need to read is the Code of Conduct For Dog Owners in canton Zürich, conveniently published in English as well as the official languages:

http://www.veta.zh.ch/internet/gesun...12englisch.pdf

This will give you a good idea of what to expect in canton ZH - and the same attitudes and expectations apply pretty much throughout Switzerland. (Although laws vary.)

---


Wishing you and your future furry friend all the best.

Last edited by meloncollie; 07.11.2015 at 16:48.
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Old 07.11.2015, 16:51
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Re: Looking for a puppy

Quoting myself from this thread, post slightly altered.
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Some people have very strong views on pet care - in this forum and elsewhere. I myself think it's important to thoroughly think things through before getting a pet and to seriously evaluate one's personal situation and ability to commit to a pet for its lifetime. This personal situation doesn't have to be perfect, but some things should be known to a prospective pet owner and some preparations made.

1. If you adopt and do not have an unlimited lease contract which explicitly permits dogs, you might run into big problems if the dog is discovered by the landlord. You can be forced to either give them up or the landlord can terminate the lease if you don't comply. Unlimited leases are better than fixed-time ones and/or frequent moves, because with every move you will have to have your new landlord agree to your keeping dogs, and sometimes it isn't easy to find a flat due to this.

2. Does your liability insurance (which I hope you have!) cover damage by pets? It is required for dogs.
If you don't have liability insurance, I strongly recommend that you do not get any type of pets or you might run into serious financial issues in case of damage which could get too hard to bear extremely quickly.

3. Do you have a holiday/longterm leave solution for the dog? Will someone look after him then or do you have the money for a sitter?
To get a dog you should be able to commit to it for its lifetime. This does not mean that you have to stay in the same location or profession for the next 15-20 years (no one can plan their next decade of life nowadays), but you should be fairly sure that you can wing it financially to take care of a dog for the next several years, that you will commit yourself to the dog for that timespan, that you will look for accommodation for yourself which will accept the pet if you have to move, and that - should something truly unavoidable happen in which case dog simply cannot be with you, dog can be placed somewhere safe until the situation is over, and that you will take him back when your circumstances have returned to their previous (dog-allowing) state.
This means:
  • You should have a place to put the dog in case of emergency. Take all precautions you can to avoid emergencies.
  • You should have a friend/neighbor who could come over to your place and feed/cater to the dog/take him out for walks if you HAVE to travel and can't find a sitter
  • You should be willing to put the dog's wellbeing before your personal wishes if you WANT (but don't have to) travel somewhere and can't find a sitter. In this case, I believe you should be ready to stay home with your pet.
  • For travels you want/have to take as well as other emergencies which may arise, contact a sitter before such an event even comes up and plan ahead: Ask them about their availability and fees as well as contact info, and ask them how shortly they can be contacted for a dog-sitting job. This way you have a backup if you need to travel.

4. Do you have the money to pay for a vet? Note that vet costs aren't cheap, especially for neutering/spaying large dogs. Add to that deworming, vaccinations, possible illnesses and accidents... thus it is very important to have a decent financial cushion to pay for the dog's healthcare. Vets do not have to treat pets if you don't have the money, such a case was in the newspaper just a couple weeks ago (search the forum for "importance of emergency pet funds").

5. Note that shelters etc. will probably ask you what we are asking you here - how will you take care of the dog if your situation changes drastically (loss of finances, necessity to move etc.) and you will need a very good plan to convince them. Even if you are a very good dog-carer, they probably will have seen many who couldn't commit to pet care in the long term when in your situation and thus they are careful.

This is not to annoy you, but for the dog's wellbeing.

/sermon
To find a flat which permits dogs, proceed like this.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 07.11.2015 at 23:59. Reason: typo
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Old 08.11.2015, 20:41
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Re: Looking for a puppy

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Some cantons require more training beyond the SKN courses. Zürich is one such canton; for all dogs whose adult height es expected to exceed 45cm and whose adult weight is greater than 15kg a whole different set of courses are required, called the List 1 courses. The federal SKN Practical course is rolled into the ZH List 1 courses. See here for more information:

http://www.veta.zh.ch/internet/gesun...usbildung.html
Hey Meloncollie could you please elaborate more the requirements for List 1 dog owners? Are the dogs in the list 1 the dangerous ones? Or only the one which are above those limits you mentioned?

I would like to go for a medium size dog so i want to understand which additional training i have to take!

Thanks!
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Old 08.11.2015, 22:22
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Re: Looking for a puppy

Once you've done your SKN theory course, found a dog friendly apartment/house and you are absolutely sure you want to adopt a dog that you can take care of financially and physically for the rest of its lifespan, please consider Citydogs 4 Street dogs. They rescue dogs from Romania and help find them loving forever homes in Switzerland.
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Old 08.11.2015, 23:08
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Re: Looking for a puppy

There is a great rescue group doing their best to help dogs in Romania and transporting the rescues to other countries. One of them is
http://romanianrescueappeal.com/site/index.php
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Old 08.11.2015, 23:39
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Re: Looking for a puppy

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Have you thought about what you will do if you have to move on to another country, if you and your boyfriend split up?
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Old 08.11.2015, 23:50
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Re: Looking for a puppy

Forums are full of posters wanting to re-home dogs, cats and other pets- and shelters/refuges are full to the brim too, for those very reasons- so why the facepalm? 345 A DAY are abandonned currently in the UK - many have to be put down.

Last edited by Odile; 09.11.2015 at 00:11.
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Old 09.11.2015, 00:31
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Re: Looking for a puppy

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Forums are full of posters wanting to re-home dogs, cats and other pets- and shelters/refuges are full to the brim too, for those very reasons- so why the facepalm? 345 A DAY are abandonned currently in the UK - many have to be put down.


I. Don't agree. These dog threads always give me the feeling that getting a dog is the biggest responsibility in life. But it isn't.


And. I assume that we are all mature and don't dump a pet.
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Old 09.11.2015, 08:46
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Re: Looking for a puppy

SteffieM and notanexpat, while I applaud your efforts to help the dogs in Romania, there are 22 pages of dogs looking for homes here in Switzerland so I think that should be the first place to start looking.

https://www.tierdatenbank.ch/fr/animaux.html

If nothing fits the bill then yes look elsewhere, but start on "home" territory first.
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Old 09.11.2015, 11:24
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Re: Looking for a puppy

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And I assume that we are all mature and don't dump a pet.
345 a day just for the UK... so tragically, you assume wrong. Our 2 cats wer found by the MWay, in a taped box, with 10 kittens- all near death. Our dogs had truly traumatic beginning to their lives too..
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Old 09.11.2015, 11:46
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Re: Looking for a puppy

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SteffieM and notanexpat, while I applaud your efforts to help the dogs in Romania, there are 22 pages of dogs looking for homes here in Switzerland so I think that should be the first place to start looking.

https://www.tierdatenbank.ch/fr/animaux.html

If nothing fits the bill then yes look elsewhere, but start on "home" territory first.


Most of the dogs in this list are coming from Romania, Spain or Italy
From what I have seen (but maybe I am wrong) CH doesn't seem to be a place with an high number of street dogs.
In Italy, you will never see a dog coming from Romani advertised for adoption because there are so many coming from the south that there is enough to satisfy the demand
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Old 09.11.2015, 12:15
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Re: Looking for a puppy

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Hey Meloncollie could you please elaborate more the requirements for List 1 dog owners? Are the dogs in the list 1 the dangerous ones? Or only the one which are above those limits you mentioned?

I would like to go for a medium size dog so i want to understand which additional training i have to take!

Thanks!
Zürich’s BSL was introduced in 2010. The law was introduced following a popular vote - so it is important that a dog owner understand how the general population views them, and how public sentiment can influence their lives. The vote was sparked by the tragedy in Oberglatt - but that some ZH dog owners refused to follow even the milder laws existing at the time played a large part in the shift in public attitudes. As always the few bad apples made it difficult for the majority.

I abhor BSL - it is bad science making for even worse law, heck even ‘bad science’ is the wrong terms as that would imply even a bit of science. No, BSL is built on fear and prejudice, completely unfounded.

However, it is the law of the canton and as a responsible dog owner you must follow the law.

---

The ZH law divides dogs into three categories: List 1, List 2, and the ‘kleinwuchsige’ (small) breeds.

List 2 are the banned dogs. These are American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bullterier, Staffordshire Bullterrier, American Bull Terrier, Pitbull Terrier, Bandog and Basicdog (both Pitbull variations). Also, any dog who is mixed with one of these breeds, defined as any dog whose DNA shows 10% from one of these breeds is also banned.

At the time the law was introduced owners of the now-banned breeds were given a time period in which they could register their dogs, have the dogs Wesenstested. Those that passed were granted a special permit and allowed to live out their natural lives in canton ZH, albeit most with sterilization, leash and/or muzzling restrictions. That grandfathering period has long since passed, no new dogs of the banned breed (or mixes thereof) may move into canton ZH.



List 1 are large dogs, those whose adult weight is expected to be over 15kg, height over 45cm. These are considered ‘potentially dangerous’ due to their size. (Again, prejudice.) The majority of dogs in ZH fall into this category, by the way.

The List 1 education requirements mean that a dog whose adult size/weight falls into this category must take Welpenförderung, Junghund, and Erwaschene classes. (Puppy, teenager, adult).

The List 1 education requirements apply to dogs of this size born after 31 Dec. 2010. Dogs of this size older than 8 years at the time acquired are not required to do the List 1 courses, by the way.

These are specific courses, the content is mandated by the canton and the trainers are certified. You must take the official courses, from an official trainer. If you acquire your dog at a later age, the course requirement shifts - you will be required to do more hours of the appropriate age course.

For List 1 dogs, the federal SKN Practical course is rolled into the more intensive course set required by the canton. You would still have to do the federal SKN Theory course if a first time owner, however.

A good explanation of the ZH List 1 course requirements can be found here:
http://www.veta.zh.ch/internet/gesun...usbildung.html

The list of breeds, alphabetical, showing which category each breed belongs to. Be aware that in the case of a mixed puppy usually one goes by the larger of the breeds involved, if known. When in doubt, contact the cantonal Veterinäramt for a ruling.

http://www.veta.zh.ch/internet/gesun...sch-091130.pdf

The list of accredited List 1 trainers is here:

http://www.veta.zh.ch/internet/gesun...04_nachOrt.pdf

Note that not all trainers do all three levels of the courses.



The last category, the 'kleinwuchsige' breeds are small breeds or mixes whose adult size and weight is expected to fall under the 45cm/15kg limit. For these dogs you do not have to do any additional courses, the federal SKN Theory and Practical are sufficient.

It should be noted that the dog’s actual size could trigger the List 1 courses. For instance, I have a Sheltie, one of the breeds on the small list. Yet my Sheltie is quite an anomaly; she grew to 52cm (or 54, depending on who measures ) and 17 kg. So despite her breed being on the small list and thus excused from additional courses, she and I would still have to take the List 1 courses if we lived in canton ZH. (We don’t.)

There is a lot of information out there on the ZH Hundegesetz - but when in doubt, always go directly to the source, the Zürich Veterinäramt, with your questions. And get their answers in writing. Contact details are here:

http://www.veta.zh.ch/internet/gesun...e/kontakt.html


Now - that is the law. How it is put into practice I cannot say as I do not live in canton ZH. And we all know that what the law says and how it is implemented can be quite different. I'll leave comments on 'everyday Hundehaltung' to others who live in canton ZH with a List 1 dog.

---

All in all, the education requirements are not at all onerous. Puppy, young dog, and adult courses, i.e., the things the List 1 courses cover, are pretty much what many owners do anyway.

As you might know from my millions of posts, I am a big fan of continual training. Not only for your dog's benefit, but also for yours. The Muttley Crew do Familienhund training all their lives long. It's so much more than sit, down, stay - it's learning how one's dogs tick, building and reinforcing the bond we share, through sports, through games, through excursions, as well as through traditional exercises. The Hundeschule is perhaps the best place to give my dogs the socialization they so need. I see training as a fun activity for me and for and my dogs, and highly recommend on-going formal(ish) dog activities for all dog owners, regardless of size - or cantonal law.

A last note: The current law requires List 1 courses to be taken with each and every large dog one acquires while resident in canton ZH. However, recently one of the parliament members talked about introducing a change that would require these courses be taken only once per owner. This has not been acted upon, and I haven't followed through to see if it is seriously under consideration or not. But be aware that dog law can and does change with some regularity, and one should try to keep abreast.

Last edited by meloncollie; 09.11.2015 at 14:05.
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Old 09.11.2015, 12:57
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Re: Looking for a puppy

thanks a lot!


Very helpful!


One of my Swiss friend mentioned the reason why they introduced this strict law. He also made a point that all the homeless people who have a dog for sure have not followed any training or paid any taxes and yet they are always in the streets with their dogs and with higher potential risk of accidents.
Well, he, as a swiss citizen, is also a bad example as he imported a dog from Taiwan (he was living there for a period) and he has never had any training (nor have his parents which are currently taking care of the dog) or paid any tax


But we as foreigners living in Switzerland are request to follow the rules, and yet we are the one doing all wrong!
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Old 09.11.2015, 16:06
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Re: Looking for a puppy

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One of my Swiss friend mentioned the reason why they introduced this strict law. He also made a point that all the homeless people who have a dog for sure have not followed any training or paid any taxes and yet they are always in the streets with their dogs and with higher potential risk of accidents.
Well, he, as a swiss citizen, is also a bad example as he imported a dog from Taiwan (he was living there for a period) and he has never had any training (nor have his parents which are currently taking care of the dog) or paid any tax

But we as foreigners living in Switzerland are request to follow the rules, and yet we are the one doing all wrong!
Wilkommen in der Schweiz.

It is often said that Switzerland is a land of rule makers, not rule followers. A good number of Swiss I know truly believe that many rules here are largely symbolic, and only those with which they are in agreement apply to them.

You also see this at official levels. How the authorities charged with implementing a law interpret it, how (or even if) they choose to enforce it may vary widely. What is strictly enforced in village A might be ignored in village B.

This applies to most rules and regs, not just dog law.

The federal SKN requirement is one such example. There are no penalties for non-compliance written into the law, compliance is left to the honor system.
Hence many ignore it, without consequence.

Some Gemeinden have started to check up on dog owners, though, as it became apparent that there is less honor left in the system than one might wish to believe.

Talking to my neighbors, and certainly from reading EF, I often feel that I am the only fool here paying my taxes and following the rules. And maybe I am a fool - certainly I'm much poorer for my rule-following. But after the witch hunt we experienced post Oberglatt, after all the mobbing, I've made it my mission to learn about the various rules and regs that affect my dogs' lives in order to best keep them safe, and to spread the word. What others choose to do with that information is up to them. What I post is, my imperfect German notwithstanding, what the law says. How (or if) it is applied is likely another matter, one I'll leave it to y'all to figure out in your own areas.

When it comes to 'dog stuff', though, it is the dog who often suffers most ffrom the owner's irresponsibility. I don't gamble with my dogs' lives and so I follow the rules.

/sermon
/rant


Last edited by meloncollie; 10.11.2015 at 19:24.
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