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Old 18.12.2013, 17:23
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How Dog friendly is Zurich?

Hi,

I am contemplating a move to Zurich with my wife and two black labradors. We currently live in London and there are lots of parks, which is great. Also, as we both work we have a dog walker come and take them out during the day for a nice walk and company. I know we spoil them, but we love them loads.

I have been to Zurich a few times for work so havnt had much of a chance to explore it. We are planning to spend a week or two next Spring to explore it more and get a feel for it before we move over.

However, right now the deal breakers for us are:
1) Can we get a place to live with a garden?
I don't mind a commute, but we will definitely need a place with a garden. Are there any areas people would recommend (we dont have kids, we are not rich, so nothing crazy expensive)?
Is it possible to rent with dogs? In London is pretty difficult to find somewhere to rent with dogs.

2) Are there parks to walk the dog in?
Possibly I missed it, but I have never really seen much in the way of local parks to walk the dogs? Are there any places you would reccomend?

3) Are there dog walkers in Zurich?
We will definitely need someone to come in walk the dogs when we are at work. London is full of dog walkers - is it the same in Zurich?

4) Are the any rules, regulations etc.. around having a dog?
Someone mentioned to me that you have to attend compulsory dog training?

5) What do you do in winter?
Again, pardon my ignorance on this. I have never been to Zurich when its covered in snow or anything extreme. How do peoples dogs cope with the weather - do you put coats, socks etc.. on them?

Also, if there is anything else you think relevant please let me know. I am very keen to move over as its a great city, but we couldnt do it at the expense of our dogs - we love them too much!

Thanks
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Old 18.12.2013, 17:58
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

Zurich is very dog friendly, providing you follow rules and dogs are well behaved. I think any city that allows my dog to go everywhere except in supermarkets is pretty friendly.

That said, there's still a lot to consider, there's still a lot of people who hate dogs and there's people with expectations of dog ownership and behaviour do not match your own.

First problem will be accommodation for not just one but two dogs. This could be a challenge but not impossible.

Yes houses with gardens exist but they tend to be further out from the city meaning longer commutes. Though they will be cheaper than some small apartments. Check out homegate.ch.

There's not much green in the city but there's a few parks and areas as well as around the lake. Some areas are leash only zone's though. Woodland is easily accessible on the outskirts of Zurich.

You need to pay dog taxes yearly, approx 180chf, not sure if that is per dog. Register dog ownership with commune. You will likely have to attend SKN course about dog ownership. You may avoid the theory test like I did for prior ownership of a dog.

Lots of people offer dog daycare and walking services, it can be expensive though. Cost me 700 CHF a month, which is cheap for an every day Mon - Friday service. Most quotes were over 1k.

You may be required to sign dog contracts on your chosen house/apartment with rules stipulating the dog's not being left alone in the apartment, hence forced into using a dog daycare provider.

In the winter my boy has a coat but that's it. He loves the snow.

P.s. I am on phone so haven't gone into huge detail. Will pop back later but suspect our resident member and expert on such matters will be along shortly. Also search the forum pet corner on the many discussions and helpful information.
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:20
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

In addition to JBZ's summary:

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4) Are the any rules, regulations etc.. around having a dog?
Someone mentioned to me that you have to attend compulsory dog training?
Rules and regulations abound. Rather than repeat here what has been written a hundred times already (do browse the Pet Corner - all your questions have been asked and answered many times, in many threads), here's a quick summary...

Yes - you need to comply with both the federal and Zürich cantonal regulations. Under federal law all dogs of any breed or mix must at a minimum take the SKN courses - As a newcomer to CH you will need both theory and practical.

However ZH goes beyond the federal requirements, and your labradors, due to their breed/size, fall into the 'potentially dangerous dogs' category. List I, 'Large /Massive' category, considered greater risk because of size and thus required to pursue additional training. (Crazy, I know...) The ZH courses are based on the age of the dog - but as I do not live in ZH, I have not kept abreast of how the additional ZH training course requirements for large breeds are enforced with newcomers to the canton, so you need to ascertain what exactly you are required to do. Call the ZH Veterinäramt for clarification.

FYI, a good summary of the ZH laws can be found on the Tier Im Recht site:
www.tierimrecht.org

And here's a further explanation:
http://www.kgwinterthur.ch/uploads/m...esetz_2010.pdf

---

In short - given the difficulties I have had as the owner of multiple dogs, would I move to Switzerland with more than one dog again, knowing now what I didn't know then? For my dogs' safety and wellbeing - I doubt it. I would advise serious reflection to owners of more than one dog contemplating a move Switzerland - unless you can live on top of a mountain, isolated from neighbors.

But then... other folks have had good experiences. Hopefully you will too.

Whether you get dog haters as neighbors who will make your life a living hell, or whether you get nice folks who allow you to live in peace is simply a roll of the dice.

But be prepared - and understand that dog ownership is considered a luxury, and a great responsibility.

All the best with your decision.


ET: Note correction.

Last edited by meloncollie; 19.12.2013 at 12:42.
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:20
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

Having lived in London and now Zurich I would say that Zurich is miles better for enjoying an outdoors lifestyle and having dogs.

Getting somewhere with a garden will be difficult. Don't think in terms of houses as most properties here are apartments. You may be able to get something on the ground floor with either a private garden or access to the communal garden. We live on the 3 rd floor and have a shared garden area which we can access quite quickly. It took some getting used to but is ok as at least we have a garden right on our doorstep. Accommodation is expensive and in short supply. Having dogs narrows it down further. Wanting a garden narrows it down even further. You might need to compromise.

Anything you rent will require you to sign an additional contract relating to the dogs. Check the clauses carefully as if there are rules you have to adhere and you don't you will have issues. Ours is fairly standard and we have never had any problems as dog is friendly, socialised and not left alone for long periods.

There are a few parks on Zurich but if you get somewhere on the outskirts of the city you will have access to countryside, forest and loads of walks probably right from your doorstep. This is better than a park. For example we live in baar, which is near zug so not even considered Zurich, but my husband commutes into Zurich in 22 mins on the fast train. I have at least 5 different walks I can do from the flat.

There are dog walkers but generally they are much more expensive than in the UK. This is because they have to be qualified.

Because you are coming to ch with the 2 dogs that you already own I am not sure if you have to do the skn theory or practical courses. However I would suggest you do them anyway. They are easy if you have already had a dog, can be done in English and educate to owning a dog here in ch.

Winter isn't too bad. Most dogs love the snow and being out on a walk with is makes it fun. As you have labs I am assuming they are short coated and so the snow shouldn't stick to them and create snow balls. Whether you get a coat or not is up to you and whether you think they feel the cold. I haven't seen any labs here with coats on. Salt and snow clearing chemicals on pavements and roads are more tricky as this can cause sore paws. However I also haven't seen any dogs with boots yet. If you can get out into proper snow, even if it involves a short drive this seems to be what everyone does. I use mushers secret wax on my dogs paws when necessary which acts as a barrier.

If you do move over and find yourself living in the zug area I will happily walk your dogs at lunchtime. I can also make lots of recommendations of trainers, dog sitters, vets etc therefore if you want more information just ask. In the meantime happy decision making. I am off for a walk!


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Hi,

I am contemplating a move to Zurich with my wife and two black labradors. We currently live in London and there are lots of parks, which is great. Also, as we both work we have a dog walker come and take them out during the day for a nice walk and company. I know we spoil them, but we love them loads.

I have been to Zurich a few times for work so havnt had much of a chance to explore it. We are planning to spend a week or two next Spring to explore it more and get a feel for it before we move over.

However, right now the deal breakers for us are:
1) Can we get a place to live with a garden?
I don't mind a commute, but we will definitely need a place with a garden. Are there any areas people would recommend (we dont have kids, we are not rich, so nothing crazy expensive)?
Is it possible to rent with dogs? In London is pretty difficult to find somewhere to rent with dogs.

2) Are there parks to walk the dog in?
Possibly I missed it, but I have never really seen much in the way of local parks to walk the dogs? Are there any places you would reccomend?

3) Are there dog walkers in Zurich?
We will definitely need someone to come in walk the dogs when we are at work. London is full of dog walkers - is it the same in Zurich?

4) Are the any rules, regulations etc.. around having a dog?
Someone mentioned to me that you have to attend compulsory dog training?

5) What do you do in winter?
Again, pardon my ignorance on this. I have never been to Zurich when its covered in snow or anything extreme. How do peoples dogs cope with the weather - do you put coats, socks etc.. on them?

Also, if there is anything else you think relevant please let me know. I am very keen to move over as its a great city, but we couldnt do it at the expense of our dogs - we love them too much!

Thanks
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:21
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

JBZ86 - thanks for the information. That helps a lot.

I think we would have to live with a commute - I don't think two lab's in an apartment would work out Is there an area on the outskirts of Zurich you would recommend looking at (we are still figuring out where everything is)?

With the dogwalking costs - to be honest, thats not much worse than we pay in London! Maybe I should change careers
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:25
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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In addition to JBZ's summary:



Rules and regulations abound. Rather than repeat here what has been written a hundred times already (do browse the Pet Corner - all your questions have been asked and answered many times, in many threads), here's a quick summary...

Yes - you need to comply with both the federal and Zürich cantonal regulations. Under federal law all dogs of any breed or mix must at a minimum take the SKN courses - As a newcomer to CH you will need both theory and practical.

However ZH goes beyond the federal requirements, and your labradors, due to their breed/size, fall into the 'potentially dangerous dogs' category. (Crazy, I know...) As I do not live in ZH, I have not kept abreast of how the additional ZH training course requirements for large breeds are enforced with newcomers to the canton, so you need to ascertain what exactly you are required to do. Call the ZH Veterinäramt for clarification.

FYI, a good summary of the ZH laws can be found on the Tier Im Recht site:
www.tierimrecht.org

And here's a further explanation:
http://www.kgwinterthur.ch/uploads/m...esetz_2010.pdf

---

In short - given the difficulties I have had as the owner of multiple dogs, would I move to Switzerland with more than one dog again, knowing now what I didn't know then? For my dog's safety and wellbeing - I doubt it. I would advise serious reflection to owners of more than one dog contemplating a move Switzerland - unless you can live on top of a mountain, isolated from neighbors.

But then... other folks have had good experiences. Hopefully you will too.

Whether you get dog haters as neighbors who will make your life a living hell, or whether you get nice folks who allow you to live in peace is simply a roll of the dice.

But be prepared - and understand that dog ownership is considered a luxury, and a great responsibility.

All the best with your decision.
Thanks for the advice - we will have to do a lot more research!
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:28
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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Having lived in London and now Zurich I would say that Zurich is miles better for enjoying an outdoors lifestyle and having dogs.

Getting somewhere with a garden will be difficult. Don't think in terms of houses as most properties here are apartments. You may be able to get something on the ground floor with either a private garden or access to the communal garden. We live on the 3 rd floor and have a shared garden area which we can access quite quickly. It took some getting used to but is ok as at least we have a garden right on our doorstep. Accommodation is expensive and in short supply. Having dogs narrows it down further. Wanting a garden narrows it down even further. You might need to compromise.

Anything you rent will require you to sign an additional contract relating to the dogs. Check the clauses carefully as if there are rules you have to adhere and you don't you will have issues. Ours is fairly standard and we have never had any problems as dog is friendly, socialised and not left alone for long periods.

There are a few parks on Zurich but if you get somewhere on the outskirts of the city you will have access to countryside, forest and loads of walks probably right from your doorstep. This is better than a park. For example we live in baar, which is near zug so not even considered Zurich, but my husband commutes into Zurich in 22 mins on the fast train. I have at least 5 different walks I can do from the flat.

There are dog walkers but generally they are much more expensive than in the UK. This is because they have to be qualified.

Because you are coming to ch with the 2 dogs that you already own I am not sure if you have to do the skn theory or practical courses. However I would suggest you do them anyway. They are easy if you have already had a dog, can be done in English and educate to owning a dog here in ch.

Winter isn't too bad. Most dogs love the snow and being out on a walk with is makes it fun. As you have labs I am assuming they are short coated and so the snow shouldn't stick to them and create snow balls. Whether you get a coat or not is up to you and whether you think they feel the cold. I haven't seen any labs here with coats on. Salt and snow clearing chemicals on pavements and roads are more tricky as this can cause sore paws. However I also haven't seen any dogs with boots yet. If you can get out into proper snow, even if it involves a short drive this seems to be what everyone does. I use mushers secret wax on my dogs paws when necessary which acts as a barrier.

If you do move over and find yourself living in the zug area I will happily walk your dogs at lunchtime. I can also make lots of recommendations of trainers, dog sitters, vets etc therefore if you want more information just ask. In the meantime happy decision making. I am off for a walk!
Enjoy your walk and thanks for the information and offer of dog walking! I will certainly contact you when/if we decide to move over. I will also have a look at baar -I dont mind a commute, and to be honest I am not overly keen on living right in a city (I have had enough of that in London).
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:32
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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With the dogwalking costs - to be honest, thats not much worse than we pay in London! Maybe I should change careers
Just to give you another datapoint... CHF 200 per day is the going rate for the service I need - that is, individual care rather than Rudelhaltung... but if your dogs can handle a pack day care situation you will have more options at less expense.
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:34
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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Just to give you another datapoint... CHF 200 per day is the going rate for the service I need - that is, individual care rather than Rudelhaltung... but if your dogs can handle a pack day care situation you will have more options at less expense.
Crikey - thats expensive! What is Rudelhaltung?
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:35
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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- I don't think two lab's in an apartment would work out Is there an area on the outskirts of Zurich you would recommend looking at (we are still figuring out where everything is)?
By Outskirts....... you mean WAY out of Zurich.

This however is still not so bad.

My advice would be to use Google maps and follow the train lines.
eg. If you even lived in Luzern, the train is something like 45mins to Zurich.
(which is almost as fast as the outer 'tram' lines within Zurich).

If you know where your work will be, find the train station closest, and check which trains run through there, and then follow them back.

Outskirts of Zurich, I'd look at:
District 9 - Triemli, Albisrieden
District 10 - Höngg
District 7 - Witikon

These places back onto forested area's so where you lose with the garden, you'll win with excellent areas to walk your dogs.
They are a bit cheaper, so set your expectations low.
To be fair, within Zurich, ground floor apartments with a garden is about all you'll probably be able to afford.

There is a forum member "Mrs Doolittle" who does relocation, and is also a dog lover.... contacting her would be worthwhile.

JBZ86 has had his fair share of dog issues so his advice is sound when it comes to dealing with the locals and dogs.

Anything that Meloncollie writes about dogs should be worshiped as gospel. End of.
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:36
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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Crikey - thats expensive!
......... get used to that.
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:40
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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By Outskirts....... you mean WAY out of Zurich.

This however is still not so bad.

My advice would be to use Google maps and follow the train lines.
eg. If you even lived in Luzern, the train is something like 45mins to Zurich.
(which is almost as fast as the outer 'tram' lines within Zurich).

If you know where your work will be, find the train station closest, and check which trains run through there, and then follow them back.

Outskirts of Zurich, I'd look at:
District 9 - Triemli, Albisrieden
District 10 - Höngg
District 7 - Witikon

These places back onto forested area's so where you lose with the garden, you'll win with excellent areas to walk your dogs.
They are a bit cheaper, so set your expectations low.
To be fair, within Zurich, ground floor apartments with a garden is about all you'll probably be able to afford.

There is a forum member "Mrs Doolittle" who does relocation, and is also a dog lover.... contacting her would be worthwhile.

JBZ86 has had his fair share of dog issues so his advice is sound when it comes to dealing with the locals and dogs.

Anything that Meloncollie writes about dogs should be worshiped as gospel. End of.
Thats an interesting point - I am currently spendning 1+hour commuting in London, so a 45 min commute is an improvement

I will have a look at those areas you mention - thanks for the advice!
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Old 18.12.2013, 19:32
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

Commuting here is a dream in comparison to London!
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Old 18.12.2013, 21:42
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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There is a forum member "Mrs Doolittle" who does relocation, and is also a dog lover.... contacting her would be worthwhile.
My ears were burning.

I have never provided house search services in Zurich, only in Kanton Aargau. I have never had a problem finding housing for clients with pets, including multiple pet owners like myself. I have helped clients who were convinced they could not find pet friendly housing and were not going to move here.

It takes about an hour to commute to Zurich by public transportation from where we live. We used to live closer to Zurich and the commute was about half of what it is now. My other half isn't complaining because we live in a dog friendly area which is fantastic for dog walking. I have discovered that almost everyone living on my street owns (or has owned) a dog.

This is a photo I took yesterday, walking along the Rhine. We don't get much snow given the proximity to the river but our dogs love the snow.
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Old 18.12.2013, 23:35
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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Anything that Meloncollie writes about dogs should be worshiped as gospel. End of.
Ah, but the gospels are the work of human hands... and to err is human.

My error - In the ZH law, the correct title of List 1 dogs is 'Gross und Massiv', not 'potentially dangerous'.

MC, with feet of clay, shambles off into the sunset...
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Old 19.12.2013, 06:30
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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Ah, but the gospels are the work of human hands... and to err is human.

My error - In the ZH law, the correct title of List 1 dogs is 'Gross und Massiv', not 'potentially dangerous'.

MC, with feet of clay, shambles off into the sunset...
I was thinking that not even a Zürcher could consider a labrador dangerous! What's he going to do, kiss you to death? Drown you in drool?

Speaking of which, it seems that Rusty has (mostly) outgrown his drooling...
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Old 19.12.2013, 11:55
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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Speaking of which, it seems that Rusty has (mostly) outgrown his drooling...
Mr Corbets, I'm thinking it's high time for a 'See how Rusty has grown' thread.

I mean, Labradors and Christmas cheer just naturally go together...
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Old 19.12.2013, 12:13
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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5) What do you do in winter?
Again, pardon my ignorance on this. I have never been to Zurich when its covered in snow or anything extreme. How do peoples dogs cope with the weather - do you put coats, socks etc.. on them?


Thanks
If you walk a lot in town, it's important to rinse your dog's paws when coming back home. They salt the streets and sidewalks here, and the salt can damage the paws and/or make the dog sick if he licks it afterward.

In winter I also massage the paws with a moisturising cream, to prevent irritations and crevices.

My dog loves snow: running and jumping in it like a mad rabbit. As she's very small, I make sure to not let her go cold when she stops playing. A warm towel in the car does the trick!
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Old 19.12.2013, 12:40
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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I was thinking that not even a Zürcher could consider a labrador dangerous! What's he going to do, kiss you to death? Drown you in drool?

Speaking of which, it seems that Rusty has (mostly) outgrown his drooling...
My dog has been attacked four times. Three of those were labs. I was shocked too.
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Old 19.12.2013, 12:43
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Re: How Dog friendly is Zurich?

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My dog has been attacked four times. Three of those were labs. I was shocked too.
I read a study somewhere that the labs where associated to the most biting accidents, compared to other races.

The study emphasised that it was not because labs are more aggressive than other dogs, but simply because they are the most populare breed. So the sheer number of them explains why there's more bites reported.
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