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  #261  
Old 13.11.2009, 21:04
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Glad to see some sensible thinking at last!

Although I strongly disagree with listing any dog as dangerous based on breed alone...

FYI, (and I'm not being pedantic here, it's just that there is so much confusion already - shame on the Tagi for not checking) the article gives the four breeds slightly inaccurately. They are:

American Pitbull,
American Staffordshire Terrier, (Amstaff)
Bullterrier, (EBT)
Staffordshire Bullterrier (Staffy)

... sowie Kreuzungen mit diesen Rassen (and mixes thereof)
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  #262  
Old 16.11.2009, 17:36
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

I've been living in Basle for the past 4 months and it looks like i will be offered a permanent job in the next 2 weeks.

Reading this thread through. I was wondering if it really is going to be worth bringing my 6 dogs to Switzerland. I have 4 Dalmations and 2 Weimeraners. What with possible training classes and maybe insurance for them plus the license fee and the thought of having to walk 6 dogs on a leash whenever i take them out means their standard of living will drop considerably.

Okay the law in England....well there is really no law, just commensense measures prevail. I reside near a forest, few walkers or children so they have been used to being off the lead. If i spot a potential hazard i.e. someone coming towards me i immediately take evasive action. It seems that here in Switzerland i would be in quite a lot of trouble if there was a minor infraction! I chose where i lived in England i.e near a forest and an abundance of open land as i know the breeds i have overdose on exercise being able to run freely. If this inherent part of their very character is relinquished i'm not sure how i would be able to cope with them on the lead all the time.

Of course i could go and live in a remote area which i think is the only way i wil be able to repatriated with them in Switzerland.

Regards

Selina
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  #263  
Old 16.11.2009, 18:42
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Selina,

It's really not as bleak as it sounds...

Under the federal law (as it stands today), your dogs you are not subject to the mandatory training classes, as they will already have been registered to you when you import them. So that's one less worry.

You would have to take the practical course with any dog you acquire after moving to Switzerland though.

It's recommended to get involved in a training club or take a few classes, however, as it's a good way to learn what Swiss society expects of dog owners. It's also a great way to make new friends.

Dalmations and Weimeraners are not on the Basel BSL list, so that's one more thing you don't have to worry about.

You won't have general on-lead restrictions in Basel, except those that apply to all dogs: wherever so signed, during night time quiet hours, in woods during hunting season and in the spring, in nature conservancy areas, cemeteries, schools, etc. You can bring the dogs down to the pub with your or into restaurants as long as they are on lead.

The laws in Basel Land are here:

http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...basel-land.php

And Basel Stadt:

http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...asel-stadt.php

In Basel Stadt, you will need a permit to keep more than 2 dogs. That could be a problem for you.

----

You will need to pay the dog tax every year - I believe it is around CHF 150-ish per dog. Check with your Gemeinde for up to date info.

You will also need to have private liability insurance, usually a cover of ca 3 million, which costs somewhere around CHF 50-100, usually regardless of how many dogs you have.

Your dogs may indeed run off lead in public places in Basel (only SZ has general on-lead restrictions) where there are no signs indicating otherwise.

Your dogs must be under control and in sight at all times. 'Under control' can also mean under voice command if your dogs are trained to a reliable and immediate recall.

You must pick up after the dogs.

It sounds like you are a very responsible dog owner, and already do these things.


---

Yes, having multiple dogs is indeed expensive. Housing should be your first concern - a single family home with garden really is a necessity with 6 dogs - and you may need to be prepared to pay a bit more to find something suitable.

But, as I keep reminding my husband, having a herd of dogs is really no more expensive than stocking his wine cellar, or building model trains, or dining out, or skiing... or any other hobby we might undertake.

There are several Basel area dog owners active on this forum - hopefully some will pop by soon to give a better idea of the day-to-day reality of having dogs in Basel.

---

My take - bring the dogs. They will enrich your life here in so many ways. I've lived in some places which at first glance would appear to be dog-unfriendly (for instance, Beijing in the 90s), and have always managed to give my dogs an excellent quality of life. With a little common sense and a little creativity, there is always a way.



ETA:

Check with BVet - I think there is a restriction about importing more than 5 dogs at a time as a private person... If so, do you have a partner? If so, each of you should import 3. Otherwise, bring them over in two separate trips.

ETA 2:

As you are weighing your options, if you decided you could not bring your dogs, what alternatives are there for them? This should be the primary concern. One thing I know from moving my dogs around the world a few times - while space and amenities are a big plus, more than anything else the dogs want to be with us. The bond they share with us is the thing that contributes most to their quality of life, not the size of our gardens. (Hmm - that sounds horribly egoistic, but fellow dog lovers will understand what I mean. ) You will find places for the dogs to run, it just may take some organizing. But that's Switzerland - organized.

Wishing you and your dogs all the very best.

Last edited by meloncollie; 16.11.2009 at 19:50.
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  #264  
Old 17.11.2009, 10:30
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Thank you for this information you have been very helpful.

I would probably look to rent something in the Bernese Oberland or something up to 100Km south of Basle where you get more for your money i think.

I mentioned all these handicaps in the previous post as i had only after looking around for the past 4 months just getting my head around the fact that i'm having an extremely difficult time finding any detached properties with a garden for my budget. Finding a property is one thing but convincing an owner that i can have 6 dogs in their house is another thing.

Wanting to keep my house in the UK as i would want to eventually move back there, it is my last property so it is a retirement/pension fund property, i have only a minimum budget between 2000-2500CHF as i still have a quite a big mortgage in the UK. This and the fact that i would still need to find someone to look in on my dogs during the day is an extra cost. I recall the law is dogs can't be left alone for more than 5 hrs at a time without being looked in on. Currently i have them in kennels until the weekend in the UK which cost nearly 900 pounds a month or about 1500CHF.

Big decision for me and i think it would be wiser to be sensible and not bring them and turn down the offer from Novartis because of the costs.
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  #265  
Old 29.11.2009, 02:10
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

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Many of the provisions in the proposed law are common sense - and things most responsible dog owners already follow. The provision to promote dog safety/handling education among the public is very positive.

But I am concerned that the notion that dogs are inherently good or bad, and that a 'good' dog must be able to tolerate any stressful situation is widepread here; I have seen a tendency here in Switzerland to expect more of dogs than we do of humans. I fear many dogs will be unnessarily condemned under this law.

I would welcome a test of my abilities as a dog owner - whether I am able to correctly assess my dog, to train him, to provide an happy life for him that does not infringe on the rights or safely of others. But I worry that the practical test mentioned in the draft would be a test of the dog along the lines of the Wesenstest (character test) used widely in Germany as was suggested in the press last spring.

A few Swiss trainers - who seem to have the politicians' ear, if the newspapers can be believed - advocate a test which puts a dog in a variety of stressful situations and judges his/her reaction. A dog showing aggression when put under stress - even fear aggression - fails the test.

I have some experience rehabilitating dogs who been badly abused. Many come out of their shells, and could sail through such a test. Some could not - this does not mean that these dogs are dangerous. It simply means that an owner must understand the dog's special needs, and structure his environment accordingly.

(And yes, there are many numpty owners out there who can't or won't recognize this, and should not be in charge of such a dog. But most dogs deserve a chance to live peacefully in the right environment.)

My first collie is a perfect example. Thanks to horrific abuse in his early years he was very fear aggressive. I worked with him for nine years to overcome his past, and when handled correctly, he became a wonderful pet. Even so, to the day he died there were many stresses he simply could not handle - my job was to make sure that he was never put in those situations.

My sweet old boy would not have been able to pass a Wesenstest, and might have been order euthanized under this law. As would several of the foster dogs I've taken on since then. (All of whom have found good, responsible homes...) I can only hope that we'll see some common sense in the application of this law. Test the owner, test the handling, not just the dog's 'character'.

During the heat of the anti dog hysteria last winter and spring many dog were dumped; pressure from neighbors and landlords was a reason often given. Shelters are full to bursting; the homeless situation here is critical. I fear it's only going to get worse.

---edited for spelling
Meloncollie,

Thank you for an extremely rational and intelligent addition to the discussion. I have a "rescue" dog as well. He's a complete softy, but when put in certain situations, he acts like an idiot (lots of maniac growling and barking, but has never bitten anyone/anything). As you so well said, it is my job to know the triggers and keep him out of those situations... which I do - for everyone involved.

After reading this, I can't help but wonder, if this does pass, how will the authorities ensure citizens are following through with the requirements? They won't be conducting random searches of pet owners for certificates... would it just be one more document necessary for entering the country? If that's all, I'm not too worried. BSL customs check is so relaxed (thankfully!). They didn't even look at my paperwork when I arrived summer 2008. There was a long line and they waved me through, irritated that I would even offer the folder of my dog's documents.
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  #266  
Old 29.11.2009, 12:03
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

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Thank you for this information you have been very helpful.

I would probably look to rent something in the Bernese Oberland or something up to 100Km south of Basle where you get more for your money i think.

I mentioned all these handicaps in the previous post as i had only after looking around for the past 4 months just getting my head around the fact that i'm having an extremely difficult time finding any detached properties with a garden for my budget. Finding a property is one thing but convincing an owner that i can have 6 dogs in their house is another thing.

Wanting to keep my house in the UK as i would want to eventually move back there, it is my last property so it is a retirement/pension fund property, i have only a minimum budget between 2000-2500CHF as i still have a quite a big mortgage in the UK. This and the fact that i would still need to find someone to look in on my dogs during the day is an extra cost. I recall the law is dogs can't be left alone for more than 5 hrs at a time without being looked in on. Currently i have them in kennels until the weekend in the UK which cost nearly 900 pounds a month or about 1500CHF.

Big decision for me and i think it would be wiser to be sensible and not bring them and turn down the offer from Novartis because of the costs.
If you want a house with a garden that is close to Basel then look in France. 10Km from Basel you can find great properties at much less than Swiss prices. I know many English & American people who live in France & work in Basel. Including one guy who has 2 big hunting dogs & many who have horses (hmm last bit is off topic!!).

Last edited by marton; 29.11.2009 at 12:03. Reason: spelling
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  #267  
Old 14.02.2010, 15:43
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Hi all, after reading all these posts when I moved to CH with my staffie x I was very worried about being able to keep him here. However I am happy to say that all is not as bad as the laws make us feel. I moved to Valais las year (which has the 'toughest' regulations about 'dangerous' dogs). My dog was on ANIS as a staffie x and the cantonal vet contacted me after about 6 months to say I had to go through tests, etc with my dog - panic time! If you have owned your dog before you move here it is fine - we are not allowed to buy a new dog that is on the list.
However he has now had a vet check - which basically involved the vet prodding him all over to make sure he did not attack. There was supposed to be a test to see how he reacted to other dogs but maybe this occurred when we sat in the waiting room for about 15 minutes beforehand with all the other animals? Then we spent 30 mins answering questions about where we live, garden, walking, how he is with other dogs. Then she told me he was fine and we left! This costs 260CHF and now we have another test later with an official dog trainer to see if he is behaving and whether we need to take up training classes.
The vet advised us that Swiss law dictates he needs to wear a muzzle or mouthguard (simple plastic thing that covers the teeth so if he was to bite there is no damage - which actually means if he is not wearing a muzzle then no-one knows if he is wearing the mouthguard unless they look!). However we have been in CH for almost 2 years and he has never worn a muzzle - even the police just come over and say what a cute dog he is! He is normally on the lead as he is part beagle and liable to run off after a rabbit at a moment's notice but in some areas he is offlead and no-one has ever asked us to put him on-leash. Maybe I just have good neighbours?
Anyway hope this helps others who may be thinking about moving here with their 'dangerous dog'. Our dog loves it here as he is allowed everywhere with us - shops, restaurants, national parks (unlike Oz!).
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  #268  
Old 14.09.2010, 17:23
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Article (in German) today about the latest from the Nationalrat
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/11266514

Seems to me they are just going around in circles; maybe someone with better German skills has a more positive view?
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  #269  
Old 21.09.2010, 18:04
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

A follow-up article from today's Tagi:

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/19137007

"(Zürich dogs don't bite any differently than Geneva dogs")

Basically, the Nationalrat and Standerat are at odds as to the way forward with federal legislation. The Nationalrat wants to leave the cantons more discretion (which is the case today), whereas the Standerat wants one unified law throughout Switzerland.

Bundespresident Leuthard is in favor of a Swiss-wide law.

Worryingly, in this 'one law' solution, the Standerat is pushing for muzzling restrictions and a ownership permit requirements on 'potentially dangerous' dogs - whether this refers to specific breeds, or the more general size limit (usually batted about as 15kg/40cm), the article does not say.

It looks like déjà vu all over again...
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Old 02.12.2010, 17:34
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

It's baaaa-aaack... maybe.

From today's NZZ:

http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/politi...1.8541842.html

The parliamentary conference to iron out the differences between the Ständerat and Nationalrat approaches has approved the Ständerat version, clearing the way for a vote on a Swiss-wide dog control law (as opposed to leaving dog control in the competence of the individual cantons, resulting in the current 26 different laws).

The good news is that should this version be enacted cantons would not be able to introduce stricter measures than the federal law. (ZH, GE, VS, etc.) The bad news for those in more tolerant cantons is that this would allow BSL to be introduced in all cantons - all cantons would require permits for breeds or types deemed 'potentially dangerous'.

The article does not say which breeds or types would be included (remember that the cantons have differing lists), nor what wouldl be required in order to obtain this permit. But all dog owners should be concerned when we start down the slippery slope of BSL.

It's not a done deal yet - the Nationalrat must vote on this version, and if I have understood the article correctly it's an all-or-nothing proposition. If the Nationalrat votes this version down, federal legislation is out (for the time being ), they cannot go back to their version.

So eyes wide, fellow dog owners...
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  #271  
Old 07.12.2010, 02:18
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Soooo

The Nationalrat has rejected the Ständerat/unity conference version of the law. So, that means that a Swiss-wide law is no longer under discussion. The cantons remain responsible for dog control legislation.

http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/politi...1.8580268.html

However, there is still the issue of the Verfassungsartikel - both the Ständerat and Nationalrat had earlier approved an article to the constitution giving the federal government the power to enact dog control legislation. Can someone who has a better understanding of the Swiss legislative process than I do explain how this works?

From the NZZ article:

Das Schicksal des bereits von beiden Kammern verabschiedeten Verfassungsartikels ist offen. Er räumt dem Bund die Kompetenz ein, Gesetze gegen potenziell gefährliche Hunde zu erlassen. Passiert der Artikel in der Schlussabstimmung, müsste er ohne darauf basierendes Gesetz dem Volk vorgelegt werden.
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  #272  
Old 07.12.2010, 11:01
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

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Soooo

The Nationalrat has rejected the Ständerat/unity conference version of the law. So, that means that a Swiss-wide law is no longer under discussion. The cantons remain responsible for dog control legislation.

http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/politi...1.8580268.html

However, there is still the issue of the Verfassungsartikel - both the Ständerat and Nationalrat had earlier approved an article to the constitution giving the federal government the power to enact dog control legislation. Can someone who has a better understanding of the Swiss legislative process than I do explain how this works?

From the NZZ article:

Das Schicksal des bereits von beiden Kammern verabschiedeten Verfassungsartikels ist offen. Er räumt dem Bund die Kompetenz ein, Gesetze gegen potenziell gefährliche Hunde zu erlassen. Passiert der Artikel in der Schlussabstimmung, müsste er ohne darauf basierendes Gesetz dem Volk vorgelegt werden.
Disappointing

I am also no expert but I assume they adopted a proposal "the power to enact dog control legislation".
Now this vote means they have the power available but they chose not to use this power. I suppose it means that if they have another vote in the future then it be implemented using this power.
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  #273  
Old 17.12.2010, 15:17
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Parliament has decided not to introduce federal legislation on dangerous dogs. The Senate on Friday was the second and final chamber to reject the proposed law.


Following the parliamentary vote, legislation on dogs will remain the responsibility of each of the country's 26 cantons.

Swissinfo
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Old 01.05.2011, 18:17
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Hi, I just saw your post about impending restrictions on certain kinds of dogs in the Zurich Canton, you wrote;

'(Do be aware that, following a popular referendum last fall, new control legislation is being worked on which would completely ban those 4 breeds, and place restrictions on all dogs in canton ZH over 40cm and or 15 kg. What those restrictions will be is at this point not known. This law is expected to come into force in 2010.)'.

I was just wandering if you're aware of any update on it, I was looking on the internet about current rules, I so far haven't found any information about restrictions. My dog is a labrador, not a dog that usually comes under restrictions, but was wandering if there are any now?

Many thanks

My apologies for my mistake, I'm still new to using this forum, the above message I posted was for Meloncollie.

Last edited by Longbyt; 01.05.2011 at 18:24. Reason: consecutive posts
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Old 01.05.2011, 20:28
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Hi Beam,

Yes indeed the law was approved by the majority of ZH voters, and came into effect last year. Here is a summary:

http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...ht/zuerich.php

And more detailed info here:

http://www.veta.zh.ch/internet/gesun.../de/hunde.html

8 breeds of dogs are now banned in Zürich. Dogs of these breeds, or any mix with a 10% DNA match to a banned breed, may no longer be imported into the canton.

Dogs of the banned breeds who were legally resident in the canton prior to the law coming into force may stay provided the owner obtains a special permit. That process was complicated, expensive, and the dog had to pass a Wesenstest. The results of the Wesenstest determine what restrictions are place on the dog (on-lead, muzzling, etc.) All banned breeds must be sterilized. Owners of banned breeds who did not apply for the permit by the deadline ran the risk of a CHF 5000 fine, or of having their dogs seized.

Fortunately, your labrador is not a banned breed. Big sigh of relief.

However, your lab is on list 1: the big dogs. How old is your dog?

List 1 (big) dogs born after 31 Dec. 2010 will be required to attend training classes - the type of class depends on the age of the dog. These classes are similar to the federal SKN requirement.

Do you read German? If so, you can read further about the training requirements for List 1 dogs born after 31 Dec 2010 here. Click on 'Regelment zur praktische Hundeausbildung von 1 May 2010':

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



Additionally,

All dog owners must carry liability insurance of minimum 1 mio.

There is general on-lead requirement in all public buildings, on heavily-trafficked streets, in train stations and bus/tram stops, and anywhere else so signed. A dog in estrus, a dog with an infectious illness, or any dog ordered to do so by an official must be kept on lead at all times.

Dogs are forbidden from cemeteries, from swimming beaches, from playgrounds.

Where dogs are allowed to run free, the owner is still required to pay attention to the dog at all times.

After dark, the dog must be in sight of the owner, kept at a short distance.

A dog who is known to bite must be kept muzzled.

Failure to keep a dog on lead or muzzled if required can lead to a fine of up to CHF 3000.
Failure to comply with the training classes requirements can lead to a fine of up to CHF 2000.
Failure to comply with the liability insurance requirement can lead to a fine of up to CHF 1000.

---

Now, a caveat: I don't live in canton ZH, so I do not know how the law is actually being enforced on the ground. We all know that the day-to-day reality can be quite different. Hopefully someone who lives in ZH will come along with some first hand experience.

---

Good luck with your move - hope your dog settles in happily.

Last edited by meloncollie; 01.05.2011 at 20:38.
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  #276  
Old 30.05.2011, 09:59
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Hi all, really informative thread, to paraphrase salient points to me (which to be honest are very similar to Beam as have a 6 yr old Lab) as long as I have the required insurance, keep our dog leashed in public places (assume that walks in the countryside are ok unleased if away from roads and horses/cows/sheep, although our dog is custard in colour and nature ) then there are no tests (which our dog would be scared witless by - 35kg of sensitivity) to complete? if I am wrong or have left any important details out please let me know, otherwise thanks again for the information all.
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Old 30.05.2011, 20:25
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Ngoamlb,

This thread is a tad confusing as it evolved during the whole anti-dog movement 2006 and onwards. So - some of the info is out of date, some things we worried about did not come to pass, some of our worst nightmares came true.

In a nutshell:

Animal welfare is regulated at the federal level; the Animal Welfare Law (referred to here often as the TSchV and TschG , the Tierschutzverordnung and Tierschutzgesetz) was revised in 2008. Under the umbrella of 'welfare' several dog control measures were added, most notably the mandatory theory classes for first time dog owners and mandatory training classes for all dog owners, the oversight of trainers who offer those classes, the education requirements and certification of dog care personnel and breeders. As these are federal requirements, they apply Switzerland-wide. Other federal requirements are mandatory chipping and registration in the ANIS database, and mandatory reporting of dog bites or incidents of aggression.

In the last round of politicking, parliament decided to leave dog control to the competency of the individual cantons, as it had been handled in the past. That means that in addition to the federal law, there are 26 differing laws to which dog owners have to pay attention. Some cantons have introduced draconian BSL (ZH, VD) some are very laissez-faire (ZG) most are somewhere in between. So - as a dog owner you need to understand and comply with the laws of your canton of residence, and with any canton you visit.

In addition to the cantonal laws, you may find regulations at the Gemeinde level, and again you may come up against 'house rules' for the flat you live in.

Of course all this could change - there is still a push for a federal control law, but for now things are pretty quiet on that front.

---

So - to give you a sensible answer, first we need to know in which canton you will be living. For a summary of the current laws, see the Tier Im Recht website:

http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...echt/index.php

If you aren't comfortable with the German, let us know which canton and we can post a rough translation.

Last edited by meloncollie; 30.05.2011 at 22:45.
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Old 06.06.2011, 19:30
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Meloncollie

Thanks again for the information - would be looking at either Schwyz, Glarus, or Zug, to be within range of work - I understand Schwyz doesn't allow dogs off leash in public places at all, which whilst not insurmountable would be a culture shock for our lab who is used to being able to trot out the back gate (admittedly onto scrubland, not busy UK roads) and have a sniff around whilst not being particularly energetic. we don't let him roam by roads in the UK, and wouldnt start in Switzerland, but having the option to be able to let him wander unleashed in quiet countryside would be good.
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Old 30.10.2011, 23:31
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Thans god I am in France !!! My dog is old English mastiff 87 kg ....
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Old 13.03.2013, 19:32
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

A little warning...

About 14 months ago my friend was walking her dog in darkness, off the lead on a footpath, on a country road in Bern. A cyclist went past which startled the dog. The dog chased the cyclist and injured him slightly on the lower leg, he received a bruise and a scratch. He didn't fall off the bike, he didn't lose any blood.

She has just been fined CHF 1'190 or 10 days in jail, plus another CHF 900 if there is a repeat offense within 2 years. (I think the actual fine is CHF 700, plus a lot of administration costs. She has had one interview with the police, but no court appearance.)

The cyclist went to a doctor and to a lawyer and then to the police. The fine has been imposed by a cantonal authority, if she appeals there will be higher costs, and possibly higher punishment.

The cyclist didn't claim for torn clothes, but he is claiming another CHF 300,-- which she believes is for the doctor's visit, and she will be paying this.

Before the attack they both attended the official dog training classes in Bern, and she was a very good pupil, so the attack was very unexpected.

I look after the dog for 24 hours every week and she is a very well behaved dog. I always keep her on the lead, unless we are in the woods or fields and away from anyone, though I could easily leave her off the lead, she always stays with me and will come back quickly when called. She is a Barbet, poodles are descended from the Barbet race.

http://www.google.de/imgres?q=barbet...8&tx=116&ty=50

I don't want to discuss this, it happened and now we keep her on the lead. This is just a helpful hint about possible consequences.
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breed specific legislation, cantonal dog law, federal dog law




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