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Old 12.06.2012, 01:06
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What are all the laws/rules for adding a puppy to your family?

We are planning on getting a sweet puppy from a breeder in Germany. We have waited till the perfect moment to have her and we are so excited!!

We have heard varied information about what to do in regards to Swiss law when we get her, for instance:

1. We must go to a dog ownership course, 2. The puppy must go to obedience classes, (All of the above is great, but where do I find these places, a vet perhaps?) 3. This rule especially concerns me...One member of the household must not be employed. (I don't plan on working for the first six months, and when I do find work I will either have a sitter or come home for an hour at lunchtime.)

How does the government keep track of all of this, what else is there to know?

Thank-you!!!

P.S. What does the dog circle sign on the street mean? Does it mean no dogs allowed, or does it mean the dog must be on a leash?
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Old 12.06.2012, 02:08
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Re: What are all the laws/rules for adding a puppy to your family?

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I don't plan on working for the first six months, and when I do find work I will either have a sitter or come home for an hour at lunchtime.
I don't think it is a question of a sitter OR an hour at lunch. I think you will need to do both.

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How does the government keep track of all of this, what else is there to know?
If you are a first time dog owner, when you register your dog they will ask about the courses.

All the rest you can be rest assured your neighbours will take of. If your young dog is miserable home alone and barks or cries, you will have the authorities to answer to.

Our youngest dog would be miserable if left home alone. She hates it when we go out. The only reason she doesn't bark and cry is because she has canine companions.
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Old 12.06.2012, 03:06
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Re: What are all the laws/rules for adding a puppy to your family?

First, I assume you have researched the requirements to import your dog? If not, see here:
http://bvet.bytix.com/plus/dbr/default.aspx?lang=de


And just to clarify a few points:

There are two types of mandatory courses: the SKN Theory course, required for all first time dog owners, and the SKN Practical course, required of everyone, with each dog added to the family.

By first time, that means that this is the first time you are the legal owner of the dog. Just having lived with a 'family dog' does not count - the dog must have been registered in your name. Foreigners who had dogs before moving to Switzerland must present proof of ownership to the cantonal veterinary office to get a ruling on wether you are considere a first timer for the SKN Theory course requirement, or not.

If you are required to do the SKN Theory, this must be done BEFORE you acquire the dog. So if this applies to you - best sort that out ASAP.

All dog owners must take the SKN Practical, with each and every dog. This needs to be done within the first 12 months of ownership.

You can read more about the requirements on the BVet website:
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02222/index.html?lang=de

And here is the database of SKN qualified trainers:
http://bvet.bytix.com/plus/trainer/

You have 10 days to register your dog's microchip on the ANIS database - and as only a vet can do so, you'll need to make an appointment soon. Be aware that most breeders will have chipped the dog in his/her name - you'll need the transfer of ownership form. Coming from Germany the pup will likely be registered with TASSO - ask your breeder to make the transfer with them as well.

In addition to the ANIS registration, you need to register with the Gemeinde, and pay the dog tax.

---

I'm glad to hear that you will be home with the puppy - this is so very important. The first months - almost a year - of a dog's life is a critical learning phase, a puppy needs you 24/7 in those early days if you are to set him up for success.

While this is indeed good practice, and pretty much the norm in Switzerland, there is no 'government' requirement, however.

But there may well be a clause to that effect from your landlord - often permission to keep a dog is contintent on not leaving him alone in the flat. So check your contract. Or there may be a requirement from your breeder - some stipulate such things in the sales contract. Again, check your contract.

How long a dog can be left varies with the individual - some cannot be left at all, some are happy for a few hours. You will need to assess your dog carefully before considering going back to work. Much also depends on the tolerance of your neighbors.

Dogs are social animals, and most prefer company throughout the day. Over 20-plus years of dog ownership I've worked full time, part time, and stayed at home. Certainly my dogs prefer me to stay at home with them - but solutions can be found IF the dog owner is creative, committed, has the necessary resources, and puts the welfare of the dog first and foremost - and if the dog is old enough/emotionally stable enough to handle being left on his own.

If you are working full time, you need a dogsitter. And you should plan on your free time being devoted to your dog - that's only fair.

As you search for a dog sitter, be aware that dog care is also regulated - depending on the business model your sitter may be required to hold certain education qualifications or registration. Be careful: the law is new and many sitters are not compliant - leaving their clients at risk.

Start looking for a dog sitter NOW - even if you aren't going back to work for a year. It is very difficult to find a qualified, reliable sitter.

The circle sign means dogs not allowed.

Speaking of which - you need to learn all the cantonal and Gemeinde dog control laws. And you'll need to be aware of the local laws for any place you visit.

A summary of the laws for each canton are here, click as appropriate:
http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...asel-stadt.php

(Do be aware that both Basels have enacted BSL legislation - what breed is your pup?)

Many cantons require dog owners to carry liability insurance - even if yours doesn't, it is strongly recommended that you do so. Usually this is covered in your household liability policy, and is fairly inexpensive.

---

As you have more questions, just ask - there are lots of experienced dog owners here, happy to help.

Wishing you all the very best with your new best friend.
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Old 12.06.2012, 07:35
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Re: What are all the laws/rules for adding a puppy to your family?

Melloncollie's response is comprehensive. A couple of things to add as we just got our puppy recently from Italy. She needed an EU passport, which you can ask the breeder for, because it documents the vaccines the puppy has received to date and also was needed to bring her over the border into suisse. This will also show transfer of ownership.

We had to show her passport and receipt for purchase at the border and pay the tax right there. I think it was around 8%.

She was 3 months old when we got her and I am a stay at home wife. I can tell you it is hard work and I needed to be with her most of the time. Not only to assimilate her into the family, but to monitor her so she doesn't chew the furniture, housebreaking, staying off the furniture, don't bark at neighbors, etc....I found out it is truly like having a baby in the house. They need to go out and socialize, which means daily walking, meeting other dogs and people. This is really important en suisse if you wish to take your dog out in public. They are very active when young and constantly need attention and training. The good thing is my time is beginning to pay off as now she is a bit older she listens to us and is behaving very well. God luck.
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