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  #21  
Old 26.06.2012, 22:43
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

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this is true? interesting...
To clarify, from the BVet website, 'Häufige Fragen zu den Kursen für Hundehalter und zur Hundetrainerausbildung':

http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02222/index.html?lang=de
(click on the pdf)

Ich habe meinen Hund vor dem 1. September 08 gekauft. Muss ich nun die Ausbildung nachholen?

Nein. Die Bestimmung ist am 1. September 2008 ohne rückwirkende Auflage in Kraft getreten. Konkret heisst dies: Für den Hund, den Sie bereits vorher hatten, brauchen Sie keinen Ausbildungsnachweis. Schaffen Sie sich aber nach dem 1. September 2008 einen 2. Hund an, müssen Sie mit diesem im 1. Jahr nach Kauf den praktischen Sachkundenachweis (SKN) absolvieren. Diesen Sachkunde- nachweis müssen Sie mit jedem neuen Hund machen, den Sie übernehmen.


(My rough translation)

I bought my dog before 1 Sept 2008. Must I do the (SKN) training?

No. The law came into effect on 1 Sept 2008. Specifically this means that for the dog you owned prior to that date, you do not need the training class. However, if you purchase another dog after 1 Sept 2008 you need complete the practical SKN within the first year of ownership. The SKN must be done with every new dog you take on (after 1 Sept 2008).

---

Muss ein Hundehalter, der früher im Ausland bereits einen Hund gehalten hat und sich nun in der Schweiz erstmals einen Hund anschafft, den theoretischen SKN absolvieren?

Wer nachweisen kann, dass er schon einmal vor dem 1.09.2008 Hundehalter war, muss nur den praktischen Kurs absolvieren. In welcher Form aus dem Ausland zuziehende Personen diesen Nachweis führen können, ist nicht geregelt. Die betreffende Person muss sich an das kantonale Veterinäramt wenden, um zu erfahren, was dort als Nachweis akzeptiert wird (z.B. Bestätigung der früheren Wohn- gemeinde).


(My rough translation)

Is a dog owner who previously owned a dog abroad and now for the first time has a dog in Switzerland required to take the SKN theory course?

If that person can prove that he owned a dog before 1 Sept 2008, he only needs to take the SKN practical course (not the SKN theory). However, what constitutes proof is not defined. The person must apply to the cantonal Veterinaramt to determine what will be accepted as proof of prior ownership abroad.

(My note - in CH, proof of prior ownership is registration with the Gemeinde/ANIS.)

---

The key date is 1 Sept 2008.

Last edited by meloncollie; 26.06.2012 at 23:31.
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  #22  
Old 06.07.2012, 02:26
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

We moved here a month ago with our 5 yr. old Aussie/Lab mix. We had also moved to London from the US with her several years ago so I'll second all advice I've read so far and offer the following:
- I'd recommend using a vet in the US that has experience with preparing a dog and the many forms involved in importing a dog to the country where you are moving.
For example, the UK requires 6 months of blood work to show the dog is free of rabies to avoid mandatory 6 month quarantine. As spoken of earlier, there is a strict sequence for administering shots, the chip, etc. all of which must be documented properly.
- I found the Swiss bvet website helpful and they answered my questions promptly (and in English, danke!)
- You must also carefully read the airline requirements for the USDA stamp date. On the day of her London flight, Continental told us they required the USDA stamp be sooner than the UK requirement. Because the UK requires deworming the day prior to export, we were able to suffice the airline with a written statement of good health from the vet who had seen her the day prior faxed to the Cargo office. On top of that, they were not satisfied with our crate and made us go buy a larger crate for the flight. I'd recommend going to the Cargo office, they are not conveniently located so good to know where you'll need to bring your dog, and have them pre-approve your crate. We had a better experience this time with United.
- Both times we delivered our dog to the Cargo office in the US and had a service meet her, check her through customs and deliver her to our new residence. We used Ace Pet Movers for the import pick up at Zurich airport. Because there are a limited number of spaces for dogs on flights, she flew a day before us. Ace processed her at the airport, sent a lovely picture of her in a wildflower field upon arrival, boarded her for one night and delivered her to our new residence on the day of our arrival. Brilliant. Both trips her transport was twice what ours was but if you have a large breed dog, the crate will not fit in a taxi.
- Both flights I attached a plastic folder on top of her crate with a printed label outside clearly showing her name, flight #, our contact info and destination address. This was a recommendation of our vet when we moved to London. There was a set of paperwork for each check point on her journey so authorities could easily process her and hold any records they required.
- Even though we had a UK/EU compliant chip and she was imported to Switzerland with no problems, we had to get a Swiss chip to get her registered here. This was 165 additional CHF. She's on Royal Canin food and each medium size bag is 65 CHF.
- We did not have to attend any classes
-We are here for a contract through my husband's company. Our moving company required our permit papers in order to process our container at the Swiss port and Ace Pet Movers required them as well. Even though a reputable firm was handling the processing, our permits were delayed and we had to delay our move 6 wks. My husband's work start date did not delay so he had to fly back frequently to do fingerprints, etc. required as our permits were processed. All food for thought if you do secure work over here.

Having experienced nationalized health care through the NHS, I like the US system of being able to choose your own provider. We had very good experiences with the NHS, including the natural delivery of our son with mainly midwifery care. It can be argued that it is care that ppl need, not insurance, but we came to fully understand that because we lived in a good borough and paid high taxes, good services followed. I'm not sure how it goes in the countryside. That's how it is in the city. We chose to keep our US insurance going while we're here this time, they offer international coverage. Even with proof of this coverage, we did have to purchase insurance through our city gemeinde here as well.

They call America "The Land of the Free" for a reason. Keep researching and you'll find we have it pretty good. You don't have to purchase the Obama Health Insurance. You'll pay a penalty tax for choosing to remain uninsured and pay out of pocket when you require medical care.
Best of luck!
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  #23  
Old 06.07.2012, 13:12
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

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We moved here a month ago with our 5 yr. old Aussie/Lab mix. We had also moved to London from the US with her several years ago so I'll second all advice I've read so far and offer the following:

For example, the UK requires 6 months of blood work to show the dog is free of rabies to avoid mandatory 6 month quarantine. As spoken of earlier, there is a strict sequence for administering shots, the chip, etc. all of which must be documented properly.

(snip)

- We did not have to attend any classes

WSSM, for the benefit of anyone reading this considering a move to the UK, just want to point out that the rules changed as of 1 Jan 2012. The six month waiting period no longer applies - the UK has finally recognized that this was unnecessary and is aligned with EU norms.

So - Coming from the EU and listed non-EU countries (of which the US is one) the blood test/rabies titer is no longer required, and the waiting period after vaccination has been reduced to 21 days.

http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pet.../pet-owners/#a

(Note different rules apply to non-listed non-EU countries, for these the blood test/successful titer is still required, but the waiting period has been reduced to 3 months.)



And, (pedant mode on - because there seems to be so much confusion around this topic) the reason you are excused from the SKN classes is that your dog was born before 1 Sept 2008. Had he been born after that date, you would have been required to take the class.

(OF course it is recommended that all newcomers to Switzerland take the SKN even if not required, as the rules and regulations here are very different from other countries, as are society's expectations. )



Welcome to Switzerland - hope you and your dog enjoy your time here!

Last edited by meloncollie; 06.07.2012 at 13:49.
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  #24  
Old 13.08.2019, 20:13
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

I know this post is from 8 years ago, but I am desperate to speak with someone who has brought dogs into Switzerland. Is it totally unreasonable to think I can bring 4,4kg dogs to live in Switzerland and be able to find housing where we would love not be evicted for barking and the dogs going potty outside. We (my husband and I) would pick up their waste of course. But, reading some of these comments gives me great pause. Any insight you can provide is greatly appreciated.
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Old 13.08.2019, 23:04
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Welcome to the forum, Dottie.
Our resident expert on dogs is meloncollie (post just above yours in this thread).
I recommend you work your way through her posts.

Also, the search function is better from outside of the forum, (in google). Try:
"englishforum" "dogs" "moving" "meloncollie"
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  #26  
Old 13.08.2019, 23:18
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Could help if you indicate which area of Switzerland you plan to be moving, i.e. for a job and if need to be in commuting distance of somewhere. Easier to have space, privacy, and find housing in more rural areas, but if you need to be in a particular city or canton it gets more difficult and certain canton rules apply. Also the breed and height of dogs would also be important.
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Old 13.08.2019, 23:44
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Of course you must bring your dog(s), Dottie. A dog is for life, including international moves.

A little'un of 4.4kg will likely not run into the problems you have read about on other threads. And a single dog is less of an issue that multiple dogs in the family. But you mentioned dogs, plural - how many do you have? And what breeds?

Yes, life with dogs is a tad more complicated here than, say, in Texas. But then everything is more complicated here than in Texas.

You simply have to make your dogs' welfare a priority when making decisions about where to live, how to structure your lives here.

I cannot imagine living in a flat with my whackadoodle dogs, and so my one 'must have' was a house with a garden. Had to compromised on other things to do that, but hey, the dogs were my priority. Many people do live happily in flats with their dogs, however. Much depends on what you want, need, and your individual circumstances.

Dogs live happily, and well, in all sorts of accommodations. Key is the owner's willingness and ability to make choices with their needs prioritized - and the owner's committment to make it work.

If you have a robust budget, you will have a much easier time finding appropriate housing.

---

The one thing you will likely encounter here is noise aversion. Generally speaking, Swiss society expects one to be quiet - at least quieter than what is often the norm back home. This is not just dogs, it's every aspect of life.

There is an expectation that dogs will not bother others by making too much noise. So if barking is an issue choose housing with that in mind. And of course start working on that behavior before the move.

---

If this is corporate move, is the company providing a relocation agent to help you?
---

Before I natter on endlessly, on issues that might not pertain to you, perhaps you could list some specific questions, specific worries we can then address.

And let us know where you will move to, as in Switzerland everything - dog law, practices, and attitudes - is local.


All the best with your move.


---

By the way, be aware that the SKN classes referenced in earlier posts on this thread have been abolished. Some cantons have specific traning requirements, another reason to let us know where you will live. We can then point you to the canton-specific stuff.
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  #28  
Old 14.08.2019, 00:23
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Wow!!!! I cannot thank you enough for the prompt reply. Okay, all 4 of my 4kg dogs are mutts! They are all rescued from bad situations here in the Dallas area. We do not know their exact breeds; however, they are chihuahua or dachsund or pomeranian mixes. Yes, there are 4 of them, and they bark when someone rings the doorbell, and they would more than likely bark if they heard noise in a building that had a lot of comings and goings. So, the hope is that we would move to Bern, or the outskirts thereof. My husband's family lives in and around Bern. The hope is that my husband could get a job in IT over there - that's what he works in now. I might and I stress might be able to get a job in dermatology, but I really don't know how realistic that is just yet. I've been emailing with a dermatologist in Bern. The idea would be to stay and be on the path to citizenship. My husband is half Swiss; however, his parents - father is Swiss did not apply for citizenship for him before the age of 22, so he is treated like everyone else. He has his birth registered in Schwyz, but that is it. The idea would be that if we are there making a contribution, then hopefully we could get on the road to citizenship. We would like to be closer to family. Here in Dallas we have very little family. Thank you in again for your time and know how!!!
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Old 14.08.2019, 01:48
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Dottie,

Before you go too much further, do make sure you understand what sort of permit options you have at the moment.

Is your husband eligible for facilitated naturalization from abroad? Do a search of the forum for threads on this topic. If he is eligible, your move would be so much easier after a successful application.

If your husband is treated as a non-EU citizen his only option is company sponsorship - which is increasingly difficult, even in IT, for non-EU citizens. If your husband has connections, get networking!

But permits/naturalization are not topics I know much about, so if you have questions hop on over to the Permits section where EFers who know far more than I do will see them.

---

As to your job - be aware that most health care professions will require official recognition of credentials, a rather stringent process. So do start looking into that if you have not already.

---

Now back to dogs.

I'll be honest - my difficulties have largely been because I have multiple dogs. (I moved here with two, at one point had five, now have three.) My dogs are larger than yours, so that's in your favor - but my experience has been that it's the number more than anything else that causes people to look askance.

With a pack of dogs you do need to be mindful of noise. Start training them not to bark at the doorbell now - your life will be so much easier if you do.

(I empathize, I have a highly reactive newcomer to our pack, doorbells are a trigger for barking and worse. So at the moment, the doorbell is papered over with a sign that visitors need to text me instead of ringing. It's a long road to correcting the behavior, so we manage the environment while working on it. And this in a house, not a flat. Neighbors have delicate ears.)

As per my previous post - you can make most housing situations work, both for your dogs and for your neighbors, with creativity and commitment.

If your husband has family here, get them to start networking looking for suitable housing for you. With multiple dogs I would strongly advise looking for a free standing house with garden. That will be more costly, but it will be worth it.

---

Have you looked into the logistics of moving the dogs? At 4.4kg they can fly in-cabin (restriction is usually 8kg including travel crate) - but likely not all four at once. IIRC it's one dog per passenger in cabin, sometimes a total cabin limit. Call your airline to verify current rules and restrictions.

Here's the Swiss policy, as an example. Limit two animals per cabin:
https://www.swiss.com/ch/EN/prepare/...g-with-animals

Do not fly cargo if you can help it, especially not in the summer Texas heat.
Research your airline carefully, look at their animal transport safety record. (Are any of your dogs brachycephalic?)

And, fly only a direct route. Drive as far as it takes overland to get to an airport with a direct flight.

And in case you have not yet found this, here is an interactive tool to help you understand the legalities of importing your dogs:
https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/en/home...frettchen.html


Again, good luck!


ETA:

Here is a summary of the Bern cantonal dog law, courtesy of the Tier Im Recht foundation.The laws themselves are linked at the top of the page, in blue:
https://www.tierimrecht.org/de/recht/hunderecht/bern/

Most important to you is the restriction on walking more than three dogs at one time.

Last edited by meloncollie; 14.08.2019 at 02:06.
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  #30  
Old 14.08.2019, 03:59
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Thank you so much for all of this wonderful information. My husband could
possibly be eligible for facilitated naturalization from abroad. He needs to go back to the drawing board on that, and see where he is in the process.

You said that your difficulties were largely due to multiple dogs. What difficulties have you encountered? How did you go about finding the house you are in that once allowed all 5 dogs?

Thank you,
Sheryl
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  #31  
Old 14.08.2019, 14:58
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

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My husband is half Swiss; however, his parents - father is Swiss did not apply for citizenship for him before the age of 22, so he is treated like everyone else. He has his birth registered in Schwyz, but that is it. The idea would be that if we are there making a contribution, then hopefully we could get on the road to citizenship. We would like to be closer to family. Here in Dallas we have very little family. Thank you in again for your time and know how!!!
Going off topic, but second meloncollie's suggestion to put this on the permit board. If his birth has been registered here in Schwyz, heimatort presumably, it would seem he already is recognised as Swiss by the commune. So are you sure he doesn't already have Swiss nationality and just has to go through the paperwork to get a passport? Just showing up here as non-EU without a permit or employer will not allow you to stay beyond tourist time restrictions, so really plan this before coming over with the dogs, as temporary accomodation for 4 dogs will be close to impossible I think.
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Old 14.08.2019, 16:08
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Thank you runningdeer for you post! I believe he has to now take a Swiss citizenship test and be voted on by canton representatives. He needs to apparently also show spoken and written German language proficiency. He may have a job lead. We'll see. My main issue was that I know for sure I do not want to give up any of my dogs, and if living with 4 dogs in Switzerland is totally outer limits then we would not even go further.
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  #33  
Old 14.08.2019, 16:37
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

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Going off topic, but second meloncollie's suggestion to put this on the permit board. If his birth has been registered here in Schwyz, heimatort presumably, it would seem he already is recognised as Swiss by the commune. So are you sure he doesn't already have Swiss nationality and just has to go through the paperwork to get a passport? Just showing up here as non-EU without a permit or employer will not allow you to stay beyond tourist time restrictions, so really plan this before coming over with the dogs, as temporary accomodation for 4 dogs will be close to impossible I think.
Third this. You don't need apply for a passport in order to be a citizen. This page says the person must be registered before the age of 25, and DottieMcGee says the birth was registered.

https://www.eda.admin.ch/aboutswitze...er-werden.html

I checked the rules for facilitated naturalization, but none seem to apply to him as the child of a Swiss man, unless perhaps his parents weren't married at the time of birth:
https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...nce%201.1.2018

If for some reason some authority insists he needs to go the facilitated route, the canton doesn't get to "vote on him" and I'm not sure they can make him take a test. The rules for facilitated naturalization are at the federal level.

Has he contacted the consulate nearest you to ask about registering as Swiss, and/or contacted the Heimatort?

Back on topic -
With 4 dogs, you're almost certainly looking at renting a house. I wouldn't waste time looking for a flat, especially if your dogs bark when the doorbell rings.

In the States, we consider it normal for a dog to bark at a lot of different things. Here, I get the impression that a "ruff ruff" now and then is fine, but full on barking for a minute to announce the mailman is a no-no and would generate complaints in a hurry.
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Old 14.08.2019, 17:02
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Thank you 3Wishes!!!!!
His birth was registered a few years ago. He is 42 now. So, unfortunately it is all much harder since not done when he was in his early twenties. And, yup - they weren't married at the time of his birth! They were never married! Another mark against him.

Thank you so much for the information on the barking. I thought as much. I really hope that we can afford that. We'll see.

I cannot thank you enough for your input.

Stupid question, or not... What happens if we were to have complaints?
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Old 14.08.2019, 17:33
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

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Thank you 3Wishes!!!!!
His birth was registered a few years ago. He is 42 now. So, unfortunately it is all much harder since not done when he was in his early twenties. And, yup - they weren't married at the time of his birth! They were never married! Another mark against him.

Thank you so much for the information on the barking. I thought as much. I really hope that we can afford that. We'll see.

I cannot thank you enough for your input.

Stupid question, or not... What happens if we were to have complaints?
Okay, then facilitated naturalization it is, or getting a job and a permit under the non-EU criteria. Still, the facilitated rules are at the federal level. Check out my 2nd link above. He can contact the local consulate to ask how to get started on the process.

I don't know what happens if you have complaints about the dogs, I'll have to leave that to expert meloncollie.
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Old 14.08.2019, 18:42
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Before you even get as far as complaints about the dogs: many landlords will not accept tenants with dogs. Keeping a dog is expressly forbidden in many rental contracts of flats/apartments.

It is a different thing for a free-standing house, where one has much more freedom.

For a range of views, and info about why anyone would complain, at all, (it's a difference of culture), and a lot of practical advice from the expert meloncollie, you might like to wade your way through this particular thread. It was started by someone who was planning her move to Switzerland from South Africa.
https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-...s-gardens.html
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Old 14.08.2019, 22:31
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

We have a very energetic working breed 30kg dog in an apartment, thinking of getting a second soon. For us we’ve found that there’s no trouble in the apartment, but we’re lucky in that we have quick and easy access to lots of walking, not to mention a car that makes keeping our dog active relatively easy.

However, and this is a big one, there must be absolutely no noise in the apartment. This was made very clear to us. One lady was evicted because her dogs took to crying and barking while she was at work. Another had to give her little dog to her parents when she started working because the dog wouldn’t stay quietly.

From that perspective I think you’re better off as someone else mentioned looking for a house to rent. You’ll likely have less stress about noise complaints, though two families in my neighborhood have been complained against several times for their dogs’ barking.
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Old 18.08.2019, 23:26
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

Sorry for the late reply Dottie - I got distracted. As you probably know, that happens a lot with a canine herd bumbling around your feet.

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You said that your difficulties were largely due to multiple dogs. What difficulties have you encountered? How did you go about finding the house you are in that once allowed all 5 dogs?
First, let me re-itereate: Your dogs are tiny. As such, you likely may not experience the problems many of us with multiple larger dogs have. Rightly or wrongly, tiny dogs do tend to get a pass in public opinion. Heck, even some cantons’ laws reflect this - For instance in ZH the more stringent measures are size based.

If you decide to make this move, you MUST bring your dogs. You mentioned they are rescue dogs, so you know the whole ethos of rescue is that when we adopt our dogs we promise to love and care for them for their natural lives, come what may in our own. It’s a moral imperative - and in most cases if you went with a reputable rescue organization, a legal one as well.

Switzerland has a large number of dog haters and a large number of dog lovers, but the majority fall somewhere along the middle of the spectrum. EF seems to be a pretty good mirror in that way. Do not listen to folks who try to persuade you to abandon your dogs. If you can’t find a way to bring them along, then postpone your move. That is the only ethical option.

But I believe you will not have such a difficult time provided you are willing to compromise to meet your dogs’ needs.

---

Again let me state the caveat that everything in Switzerland is local - including housing markets and attitudes towards dogs. And by local, I mean not only your village but also your neighborhood. Our experiences cannot predict what you will find when you get here. You should read all responses to your threads, positive and negative, as background information rather than forecast of your experiences once here.

That said:

I moved here with two dogs, on a corporate relocation. We had a relocation consultant mandated to find housing as part of the package. I made it clear that the dogs were the first priority. Turned out I only needed one day of my three day househunting trip, as the agent gave me a list of three properties, the only houses in all of canton ZH that would allow more than one dog - from which I chose one. Done and dusted.

It helped that I could not have cared less about where I lived or in what type of accommodation, as long as I had a nice garden for the dogs. The more specific you are with your housing needs, the more difficult it might be to find something. Just order your priorities and be ready to compromise. I will say this, though: You might need to stretch your budget. Contrary to what one might think, one often finds more flexibility wrt pets in the luxury end of the housing market simply because there is less demand for those properties.

By the time I had progressed to five dogs (rescue is my thing, hence there has been a parade of collies and shelties through the years) I owned my own home here. So no worries about landlords.

Be aware, though, that some communities restrict the number of dogs per household. So before you sign on the dotted line, check local regulations. Most communities have a website, usually (community name).ch, and most have their dog regulations posted.

The one thing you must do when applying for a rental home: Make sure it is abundantly clear that you have teeny tiny little dogs! It makes a difference.

And I’ll repeat my earlier suggestion: Call on your husband’s family for help. In Switzerland having a local ‘in’ can open doors that would otherwise remain firmly locked. Hopefully one of those doors will be to your new, dog-friendly house.



As to life with multiple dogs:

Again with the ‘everything is local’ caveat: Where I live those who live in a way that deviates from accepted norms, in any number of ways, are often looked at askance. And yes, ‘round these parts having a herd of collies is ‘living differently’.

I have had very good experiences, and have unfortunately also had some pretty horrific experiences. It all boils down to who your neighbors are. My advice would be to take time to get the measure of the neighborhood before you sign a lease. Here is where your local family can help. Alternatively, look for that mythical isolated farm house with acres of private land. I say mythical because such properties are very few and far between. Switzerland is tiny and overcrowded, which is reflected in the standard of housing.

Some of the horrific stuff came out of a rather dark time, the aftermath of the 2005 Oberglatt tragedy. I won’t make this long post longer still by recounting those difficult days, but search for ‘Oberglatt’, you will find a few posts summarizing they anti-dog hysteria of that time. The worst of that time is largely behind us, but IME the public outrage in light of that tragedy ushered in a change in general attitudes towards dogs as well as changes to the legal landscape.

Again, choose your neighborhood with your dogs in mind. If, like many EF dog owners, you are fortunate in your neighbors you likely will never encounter the horrible stuff. I hope that turns out to be the case.

I harp on the ‘know your neighborhood’ thing because there is an aspect of Swiss life that you might not know about: Nachbarrecht, neighbor’s rights. We Americans - especially Texans - grow up with the certainty that ‘a man’s home is his castle’. In Switzerland this is not the case. Your neighbors have more say in what you may do, or not do, how you may live, than is imaginable to an American. This isn’t just a dog issue, it potentially touches much of how you structure your life here. But again, if you have lovely neighbors you might never be affected. If you have the neighbor from hell, though...

So try to suss out the neighborhood first.


Things you can do to make the transition easier:

Join a Hundeschule ASAP. Seriously, make that a priority as soon as you settle in. Taking training classes is the easiest way to find your feet (and paws) here. You will get an insight into Swiss expectations of dog owners, you will hopefully find kindred spirits who might become friends. Training is so much more than ’sit, down, stay’ - it’s a life long fun activity. If you are worried about ‘unSwiss’ barking, get thee to a Hundeschule!

And if you do run into a kerfuffle with your neighbors, being able to say that you are already taking classes to work on the problem goes a long way to mollify complaints.

Dog care:

If you plan to work, be aware that in general it is frowned upon to leave dogs alone for more than a few hours. You might need to look for a dog sitter or doggie day care option. If you plan to travel, be aware that finding a good sitter can be difficult - and expensive. Moreso with multiple dogs, I pay an absolute fortune. If you can call on family for help, do so! Be aware that the reputable Tierheime tend to be booked well in advance over holidays and school vacations. If you expect to need dog care help, make finding it a priority.



Lastly, I will again stress the importance of finding out whether or not your husband is already Swiss, or if not is eligible for facilitated naturalization from abroad. If possible postpone your move until this is cleared up. Every single aspect of the move will be easier if he is Swiss - including dog issues.

By the way, do you both speak German? If not, get thee to a Sprachschule right after the Hundeschule! Seriously, some problems magically go away when you address them in at least functional German.


Wishing you and your dogs all the very best - and safe travels.


ETA:

Do you need help with import info, with understanding mandatory registration, other bureaucratic hoops? If so, please ask.
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

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As you probably know (or will soon find out, if you have just started researching) Switzerland is a land of rules and regulations. Private life is regulated here to a degree that is unimaginable to most Americans - dog ownership is no exception.

There have been many threads covering your questions, do a bit of browsing through the Pets section for some interesting reading. But just to get you started:

The BVet explains import regulations:
http://bvet.bytix.com/plus/dbr/default.aspx?lang=de

Be aware that docking and cropping is forbidden in Switzerland, and docked and cropped dogs may not be imported. An exception exists for long time family pets who move at the same time as the family. De-barking is banned too, btw.

Be aware that about half the cantons have enforced BSL, either banning or restricting anywhere from 4 to 13 breeds. An overview of the various cantonal rules - in German - can be found here:
http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...iz/hunde-recht

You must have your dog vaccinated against rabies according to the manufacturer's schedule (3 years is most common) to import the dog, and valid vacs are required to cross borders. Once in Switzerland there is no requirement to vaccinate as long as you stay in only Switzerland - but it is strongly recommended. KC is a continual problem here; there was an outbreak of Lepto earlier in the year, and parvo crops up from time to time. Most kennels, dog schools, activity clubs, and competitions will require current vaccination. If you plan on doing any travel across borders you must have vacs up to date in order to do so. Given how small Switzerland is, it's hard not to cross borders.

Yes, dog classes are mandatory - this is called the SKN or Sachkundenachweis. There are two classes - the theory class is required of all first time owners, and the practical course of all dog owners, with each and every dog, so you will be required to take the practical course. As you already have a dog you are probably excused from the theory course, but it is strongly recommended that you take it, as dog ownership in Switzerland is nothing at all like in the US. The theory course will help you understand the law and your responsibilities, and most importantly what Swiss society expects of you. The SKN practical is only a very basic course - it is strongly recommended that you continue taking classes beyond that.

Microchipping is mandatory, as is registration in the national database. This needs to be done within 10 days of arrival or acquisition of the dog. Only a vet can register your dog, so one needs to find a vet soon upon arrival.

One must also register one's dogs with the local Gemeinde - you do this when you register the family. There is an annual dog tax; the amount varies by canton/Gemeinde, but is usually in the CHF 150 per dog range. Some cantons impost a progressive tax for each additional dog in the family.

Most cantons require dog owners to carry liability insurance, usually in the 1-3 million range. Even if not required it is recommended, as damages can be very expensive.

Along the lines of rules and regulations and expectations... be aware that there is a growing anti-dog feeling in Switzerland. The onus is on the dog owner to be in control of one's dog at all times, to be respectful of others.

To understand what Swiss society expects of dog owners, read the BVet's "Hunde Richtig Halten':
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02222/index.html?lang=de

Dog owners may have trouble finding housing, especially in this over-heated market. There are so many people chasing the few available properties that a dog owner has to be willing to compromise in order to find appropriate housing -perhaps living in less convenient areas, living in less desirable housing, paying over the odds.

We live in tiny spaces here in overcrowded Switzerland - which can make relations with neighbors difficult for dog owners. The most important thing to understand is that noise is not tolerated, and barking is considered the worst of all noises. Many landlords add a clause that a dog may not be left alone in the flat because of this.

---

Even with all the regulation, Switzerland by and large remains fairly dog friendly, provided your dog is well trained, well socialized - and that you the owner obey the rules and respect others at all times.


Good luck with your move.

(What brings you to Switzerland, by the way?)
Bit of an exaggeration that with the private life
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

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Bit of an exaggeration that with the private life
Not to a Texan. Or many other Americans, or people from a whole number of different countries.

Seriously - this is something folks from radically different social structures need to understand about Switzerland. If you grow up here, or in similarly ordered countries, the rules, regulations, the expectations of the Geraniumpolizei are just... normal.

But if you grow up in a society with a very different, individual-über-Alles mindset the rules, regulations, the expectations of the Geraniumpolizei can come as quite a shock. The idea that you need to ask permission to plant a tree, that there are quiet regulations in your own home, that all dogs must be registered in a national database really is unimaginable.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of immigrating to another culture is that 'you don't know what you don't know.' Many mistakes are made because it never occurrs to us that X, or Y, or Z could be different in our new countries. And most local folks won't give you a head-up, because it never occurs to them that you, the immigrant, wouldn't know their 'normal' X, or Y, or Z.

Many Americans wouldn't even think to ask about how Nachbarrecht affects dog ownership because the concept would not even be on the radar. So best forewarned so that the OP can look into this aspect of life here, so that she can start preparing to live 'The Swiss Way'.

As the owner of four dogs, she needs to follow every regulation to the letter, to be extra-sensitive to local norms and attitudes. Those of us who visibly (and audibly) 'live differently' do not get the latitude that others might.

Of course local regulations, and local adherence to those regs, as well as the level of Geraniumpolizei-ness varies with the neighbours and character of the area. I've lived one extreme in a small Ausserschwyz village, those in free-wheeling Tessin another. As always in Switzerland YMMV. But best to go in eyes wide open.

---


ETA, for emphasis on the changes that have taken place since the old 2012 post quoted in post 39, as it might confuse a new reader:


The federal Switzerland wide SKN training classes were abolished in 2017, there is no longer a training requirement at the federal level. The many discussions of the SKN you will find scattered among Pet Corner threads are no longer applicable.

Dog control is now a matter for the individual cantons. Some have their own mandatory training requirements, other do not. There is significant variation among the cantonal dog laws, one needs to look up the law for the canton one is considering.

Also the BVet referenced in the quoted post has been reorganised and re-named the Bundesamt für Lebensmittelsicherheit und Veterinärwesen, the BLV. Old Bvet links are likely no longer good. The BLV website is here:

https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/de/home.html

If you have trouble finding the counterpart to an old BVet link on the reorganised BLV website, please ask. The site is chock full of useful (and necessary!) information, but it can be a tad difficult to navigate.

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