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Old 23.02.2018, 13:44
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Banned Dog Breed Questions

Hi there,


My husband and I may have the great fortune of moving to Switzerland for a second time. During our initial 5 year expat stint, we had two wonderful Boston Terriers. They would have only be banned if kissing and farting became too much for the Swiss to handle (I will admit, sometimes the farting was a bit much).


At any rate, we lost our little guys due to old age and we adopted two lovely lab mixes. Our one lab mix most definitely has Am Staff in her, we got her DNA tested but it does not give the percentage.


I have scoured this forum, tried to read what I can that is not in German, and tried to read the German pages to the best of my ability but I am still perplexed on a few points and was hoping some of you kind folks could assist:


1. Work will be in Zurich but we plan to reside in Zug and we will be on local contracts - from what I read, you can do this if your work permit is tied to Zurich and your residency is filed in Zug. Can anyone confirm my research is accurate?


2. How in the world do we get to Zug if our dog is banned in Zurich and Geneva? Can you fly your "banned breed" into Zurich with the right paperwork and then scurry to the "safe place"?


3. And maybe no one can really answer this, but have you found pet sitting more of a challenge if your dog has a percentage of a banned breed, even in the "safe zones"? We will from time to time go on vacation for a long weekend and want to know if we wil have issues finding a dog sitter. Most vacays will be with our furry friends.


I contacted the Swiss Am Staff group as well but while I wait to hear back, thought I would throw a line here as well.


Vielen Dank!
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Old 23.02.2018, 14:10
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

There are others on this forum who know way more about dogs than I do (melloncollie, are you there?) but my take is this.

The rules on banned breed dogs stipulate any dog that belongs to one of the banned breeds, or appears to. So the determining factor is a visual check, not a question of proof of parentage / ancestry.

If you can't fly into Zürich or Geneva, consider flying into Basel (or maybe even Altenrhein), or maybe an airport in a neighbouring country and then hiring a car.
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Old 23.02.2018, 14:29
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

Hi there,

I was researching this last week online, following on from a conversation with meloncollie, as my last dog in the UK was a Labrador x Am Pit Bull. I truly wish I'd saved the links I found now, but for the time being, this info might help you...
Quote:
Dog Breed Restrictions
  • The following breeds are unfortunately prohibited in some parts of Switzerland: American Staffordshire Terrier, English Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pitbull Terrier, Bandog, and all hybrids and mixes of these breeds that have at least 10% bloodline of these breeds.
  • Each canton has its own laws and restrictions, so check ahead of time to find out what kind of regulations you’ll be facing.
I was shocked that only 10% restricted breed bloodline is required for your dog to be subject to ban or restrictions in certain cantons, and it's difficult to find all the details you will need r.e. Zug and Zurich, etc, online, so I'd advise that you contact the Cantonal Vet for Zug to get proper clarification.


https://translate.google.co.uk/trans...st&prev=search
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Old 23.02.2018, 14:37
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

Found loads more info for you here, including a previous thread on the issue....

https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corn...us-breeds.html


http://www.advodog.ch/en/offer/legal-advice/


https://www.eda.admin.ch/missions/mi...nual-pets.html
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Old 23.02.2018, 15:03
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

Thank you everyone for the thoughtful and quick replies. When we adopted both dogs, they were classified as "Lab Mixes". Everytime I have gone to the vet in the U.S., they have been marked as "Lab Mixes". What we would do is then file all of their paperwork as "Lab Mixes" and live in Zug where there is no BSL.


If I read the threads provided correctly, we could conceivably fly into Zurich no problem and if questioned at customs after a visual inspection, show our paperwork that we reside in Zug and be on our merry way.


We are not going to try and risk it by living in a Canton that has any sort of Am Staff BSL rules so I think we are good.


Now the challenge of finding an apt that will allow two dogs...even our small, farty Boston Terriers posed a problem there since there were two
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Old 23.02.2018, 23:05
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

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Now the challenge of finding an apt that will allow two dogs...even our small, farty Boston Terriers posed a problem there since there were two
You might like to double your options by considering Aargau also
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For example, according to the legislation on dog ownership in the canton of Aargau (in effect since May 1 2012), a dog owner living there is allowed to keep his American Staffordshire Terrier without much restriction, provided he is in possession of a dog owner license.
from the Advodog link above.
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Old 24.02.2018, 08:32
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

There is not only cantonal dog laws, but also cantonal dog regulations, and don't forget about the communal rules

https://hilsbos.ch/2017/12/01/code-of-conduct/

I recommend to ask the veterinary offices of the cantons "what are my duties when moving to Switzerland with my Labrador-Mix", by contacting them via email. They will use commons sense. When you owned the dogs for a couple of years it is clear that you won't leave them behind ...

When you are going to work in the City of Zurich, these cantons might be of interest for living: Aargau, Zug, Schwyz, St. Gallen, Zürich.
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Old 24.02.2018, 13:41
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

The question of whether or not your dog could be considered a restricted breed is one we cannot definitively answer. *

The various BSL cantons follow different practices. ZH famously says 10% DNA, others go by appearance, some using unspecified ‘comparison points’. Bottom line, though, is that none of this matters. If you suspect your dog has some AmStaff in him, as a loving and responsible owner you must rule out living in any of the BSL cantons. Err on the side of caution - as it would be your dogs who pay the price.

So to make it safer for your dogs, let’s just assume that you would fall under restricted status in the BSL cantons and go from there.

Were it me, I would only consider ZG, SZ, SG or LU among the cantons surrounding Zürich. Yes, AG, SH, and TG ‘only’ restrict the listed breeds, GL ‘only’ makes multi dog households jump through some hoops. But honestly - do you really want to live that way? Would your dog lead a decent life under those restrictions? Why put him and you through that when you can live elsewhere?

You may have heard about the cost of housing in ZG and Ausserschwyz. Yes, it’s generally more expensive in those cantons. However - with two dogs who may or may not be crossed with listed breeds you are not going to want to live in a flat anyway - you will want a single family home with private garden. So you are going to need to be looking in that part of the housing market, and honestly, for a single family home commutable to Zürich city the difference isn’t gong to be all that much anyway. If your income is above average you will likely see tax benefit in ZG and Ausserschwyz, (but not much in the rest of SZ.), potentially offsetting some of the cost.

When we have dogs, we have to make their welfare primary consideration in all our plans, pure and simple.

Here is a summary of the dog laws in each canton, compiled by the Tier Im Recht Foundation, with links to the actual text of the laws at the top of each page. If you don’t read German well enough to understand please let us know and we can translate for you.

https://www.tierimrecht.org/de/recht/hunderecht/

If you decide to move into one of the cantons where some sort of Wesenstesting is required for a listed breed, you would be wise to research what the various test would require, start working on these exercises now. For instance, here is the AG test:

https://www.kvak.ch/ausbildung/kvak-hundehalterbrevet

—-

Is this a corporate relocation? If so, start negotiating with the need for more pricey housing as a bottom line. Additionally, if your company offers housing search assistance as part of the relocation absolutely insist on a relo agent who is dog friendly and knowledgeable about the challenges dog owners face. Many relo agents do not have sufficient understanding or empathy wrt this issue. Do not accept someone who is not well placed to help you find what you need. You or your company are paying a lot for expertise, don’t accept less.

—-

You should not have trouble at the airport, as there is no federal BSL, only cantonal. I highly doubt you would be questioned, but if you are simply explain that you will be living in canton X.

Were it me, I’d go a step further and use a professional shipping firm to organize your dogs’ travel. One with a good reputation is ACE Pet Moving:
http://www.acepetmoving.com/en/about-us.html

Yes, this will make the travel more expensive. But if this is a corporate move, make this too a negotiation point. And even if not, IMO and IME the extra expense of a good pet shipping pro is money well spent, especially if you have multiple dogs moving at the same time. A professional shipper will organize the paperwork, get your dogs through customs, etc. Peace of mind, IMO and IME.

—-

Do you need info on the federal paperwork needed to import your dogs into Switzerland and the federal requirements for registration in the national database and with the local community? If so, let us know and we can give you the relevant links. A word of caution though - there is a lot of bad information out there in cyberspace. If you have questions, always go to official sources. Federally that is the BLV:
https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/en/home...frettchen.html

For matters that are governed by the canton, go to the cantonal Veterinäramt. If you can’t find the right office, ask here, we’ll point you in the right direction.

—-

One thing that should be said:

Switzerland has strict animal law, both for better (animal welfare) and for worse (BSL). However there is too often rather a large gap between laws on the books and enforcement of those laws. Much depends on local attitudes, local interpretation, and local resources. Some laws in some places by some bureaucrats are enforced strictly, some selectively, some ignored. So as we explain laws to newcomers, you will always find someone claiming ‘but I haven’t done X, Y, or Z and I got away with it, no one cares’. Sure, that does happen, YMMV is pretty much the only constant in Switzerland.

Nonetheless, even if your neighbors are scofflaws do not make the mistake of thinking that it’s OK for you, too, to ignore a law, etiquette, or norm. All it takes is one complaint. I am strongly of the opinion that a responsible dog owner, an owner who loves his dog, obeys all laws - because that is not only the right thing to do, more importantly that is the way to ensure that your dog is kept safe, is able to live a very happy and healthy life in Switzerland. That goes double for anyone who has a dog classified as a restricted breed, you need to be the advocate for your dog, and a good ambassador for his breed/mix at all times. The stakes are higher for listed dogs and their people.

CherryTree (who is a dog trainer, by the way, she knows her stuff) has linked the ZH Code of Conduct. Please read this, and read it again and again. While you may end up living in another canton, the principles in that document are applicable everywhere - this details the general expectation of dog owners all over Switzerland.

—-

And a last suggestion:

Even if not required by your canton, I strongly recommend that all newcomers to Switzerland get involved in formal dog training. Expectations are different here than elsewhere - taking classes with your dog is the easiest way to learn quickly what you need to know to make your life more enjoyable here. Classes are fun for you and your dog - and a chance to meet kindred souls quickly on arrival here.

There are many course options to explore. Obviously if you move to a canton with education requirements for your dog you need to do those specific classes. If your canton does not have those requirements you have more choices.

A new set of courses have recently been introduced, the National Hundehalter Brevet, referenced in an earlier post. The Brevet is made up of two courses, a theory course that discusses general and specific knowledge every dog owner needs to have, and a practical training course covering the basics. If you browse through posts from before 2017 you might see reference to a federal mandatory course, the SKN. The SKN was abolished in Jan 2017, so that mandate no longer applies. The NHB is designed as a voluntary (and more in-depth) replacement for the SKN. I would strongly suggest looking into the NHB, you and your dogs would benefit. EFer ‘CherryTree’ is licensed to give the NHB classes, and I believe she even does some in English. Contact her for more information.

Other formal training options would include something like a Familienhund course, the various sport (just for fun or for serious competition, both are available) or join a dog club. All my dogs do Familienhund their entire lives long, and those who are so inclined do the ‘plausch’ (fun) version of various sports. The dog world is quite active here, you can find pretty much anything that you and your furry friends might want to do.


* Be aware that if your dog is determined not to have sufficient % of a listed breed in the mix, and thus you were able to live in ZH, you would still fall under the List 1 educational requirements. List 1 are all dogs, of any breed or mix, who are over 45cm or 15kg. These are currently under debate in the cantonal parliament, the next discussion is scheduled for 5 March 2018. So the current info on the ZH Veterinäramt applies, but one should keep abreast of the news.
https://veta.zh.ch/internet/gesundhe.../de/hunde.html

---

ETA, with a comment about finding a dog sitter with a listed dog:

In general it is not easy to find responsible dog care in Switzerland. There are lots of people who dabble in sitting, certainly, but not many who take it seriously, who can be counted on to keep commitments, who have the skill, knowledge, sense of responsibility needed to do the job. So make finding care a priority when you arrive, well in advance of any holiday travel.

There is a thread running on dog care in ZG; you could start by researching the suggested sitters or care options there. Finding dog care is another reason to get active in a Hundeschule or club; other local dog owners are your best bet for finding a good care option.



All the best to you and your doglets...

Last edited by meloncollie; 24.02.2018 at 23:32.
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Old 26.02.2018, 17:30
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

Thank you Melancollie for the detailed response - completely agree that all decisions we make should be with our dog's welfare in mind and having spent 5 years as a good Swiss resident, I agree that following the rules is critical to our success (dogs included).


That said, I will not accept any aggressive strangers telling me how to be a dog owner or a dog mom. It happened when I lived in CH before and I will not tolerate it. It goes beyond country rules IMO - it is all about human respect.


So the plan is to observe the rules, live in the appropriate canton, take the dog owner class (although voluntary) and respect / expect personal boundaries.
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Old 26.02.2018, 19:05
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

I really don't understand the restrictions, it breaks my heart as I would love to adopt one of the many Pitty's in shelters back home and give it a beautiful life here. They are lovely kind breeds, it depends on the owner.

My close friend has a white boxer which I walk frequently, I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped by the police or Swiss people who yell ''fighting dog" at me...it's beyond infuriating as she is not even a restricted breed and would probably lick someone to death before anything else.

I wish you and your furry family a smooth and happy journey back to CH!
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Old 27.02.2018, 08:32
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Re: Banned Dog Breed Questions

I have a friend who moved to Switzerland with a lab/staff mix. The dog wouldn't harm a fly but visibly it is clear that he has is part staff. The papers say Labrador mix, when asked about the appearance of the dog, he answered that he adopted him as a lab mix and knew no more. The dog was accepted. Unfortunately I would say that this is not a rule and cases like this will come down to the discretion of the inspector.

One extra thing to plan is where the dogs will be during the day. I had 2 colleagues who had trouble with interfering neighbours.

In the first case my colleague with 2 boxers had a ground floor apartment including the garden of the building. The neighbour on the first floor complained to the landlord that the dogs were making the garden unsightly (apparently it wasn't true, it was winter and the grass didn't look pristine, but that was all). The landlord demanded an additional deposit of 10,000 chi fr and that she replace the whole lawn. She sought legal advice and was advised to move which she did.

Case 2 was a colleague who walked her dog from 7-8 every morning, went home from 12-1 for 40 min walk and her husband was home by 4. The upstairs neighbour (elderly Swiss couple) complained that they could hear the dog barking all day long. She apologised and said that she would deal with it. Her first step was to invest in a monitor system that she could watch and hear the dog with her phone. The dog never barked. She called to the neighbours explained that she had invested in this system and she could not detect any barking. The neighbour accepted but a week later the authorities arrived saying that there had been a complaint of neglect and that the dog was alone for too long each day. He's a very happy and independent dog but she was forced to put him into a doggy creche each day which is quite expensive.

I hope everything goes well for you.
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Old 27.02.2018, 11:07
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

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I really don't understand the restrictions, it breaks my heart as I would love to adopt one of the many Pitty's in shelters back home and give it a beautiful life here. They are lovely kind breeds, it depends on the owner.
There are quite a number of Pittys and Am Staffs in Swiss shelters.

I had a Pit Bull x Lab for 15yrs (always used to tell her she was a pretty bull terrier ), but I have to sympathise with the reasoning behind the Swiss restrictions. It's based upon this horrific case... https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/pitbull...-death/5642314 Even after having raised a predominantly Pit Bull dog, particularly after going through the 'challenging for authority' stage of her development, and despite her being the softest dog I've ever known as an adult, there is no way on this Earth that I would have 3 of them in one home as this owner did. It creates a pack dynamic capable of being separate from the human / owner influence. It scares the hell out of me when I hear any dog owner say "Don't go near him when he's eating." or "Don't pick it up. If it goes on the floor, it's his". I've even read a lot of Swiss shelter profiles saying that an animal (cat or dog) is territorial about their food. That's a huge red flag for me and a trait that should have never been allowed to develop in the first place.

It also breaks my heart that there are so many Pit Bulls, Am Staffs, and English staffs in shelters, and I would be tempted to try to adopt one when we eventually leave Switzerland (if export was allowed), but on the other hand, I don't want to go down that route again. Even in the UK, there was only one local boarding kennel that would take my dog for holidays, so the restrictions on the dog quickly become restrictions on the owner too.
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Old 27.02.2018, 11:39
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Re: Banned Breed Questions

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It scares the hell out of me when I hear any dog owner say "Don't go near him when he's eating." or "Don't pick it up. If it goes on the floor, it's his". I've even read a lot of Swiss shelter profiles saying that an animal (cat or dog) is territorial about their food. That's a huge red flag for me and a trait that should have never been allowed to develop in the first place.
I sort of concur but can't agree as a blanket generalisation. The Ship's Dog was very possessive about lots of things when he came to me - food, toys (even though he's not a playful dog, the play he's learned has come from me). I suspect his background meant those were the only things in his environment he could control and be secure about - it happens often enough with humans. But that was then and we overcame it in 12-18 months. With the food thing, I made a point of never trying to take food away from him, but would often hold back something to put *into* his bowl while he was eating so he associated my hand with more nice stuff, not nice stuff being taken away. Good thing I did, because I've spent the last 7+ years shoving tablets down his throat twice a day and I'm not wasting good salami or cheese on that!
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Old 27.02.2018, 15:05
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Re: Banned Dog Breed Questions

I would not be working so they would be well tended to during the day - for all of the hoops we will potentially jump through and the potential neighbor issues we may have, we still think overall CH will provide both us and the dogs an amazing quality of life.


There are millions of pages of history showing how perceptions and "being misunderstood" has caused fear, oppression, repression and poor decisions / rules - humans and animals alike. It is a shame that this incident occurred to spark such strict rules but I can't help but wonder if it is a repeat of history and yet another example of humans making decisions despite the overarching consequence.


Question - as I have read conflicting information. Are we able to secure a work permit for my husband in Zurich while living in Zug? I have come to the conclusion it s possible but difficult because the canton you work in wants the tax benefit from the individual they just granted the work permit to.
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Old 27.02.2018, 15:40
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Re: Banned Dog Breed Questions

Working in Zurich, living in Zug is no problem at all and it's not difficult, it's common.

Good luck with your move.
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Old 27.02.2018, 18:09
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Re: Banned Dog Breed Questions

I assume, looking at your other posts, he's a non-EU national so needs to ask permission of Zug and Zurich to make the change.

"Art. 36 Place of residence

Persons with a short stay permit, a residence or a permanent residence permit are free to choose their place of residence within the canton that granted the permit.

Art. 37 Change of the place of residence to another canton

1 Persons with a short stay permit or a residence permit who would like to relocate their place of residence to another canton must apply for the appropriate permit from the new canton beforehand.

2 Persons with a residence permit are entitled to move to another canton provided they are not unemployed and there are no grounds for revocation in terms of Article 62 paragraph 1."

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...232/index.html

As Neilsan said, it's pretty common so shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 27.02.2018, 18:20
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Re: Banned Dog Breed Questions

Awesome, you guys rock!


This banned dog breed issue was never an obstacle for us before so we never had to deal with this scenario. Glad to hear it is just a step in the process
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Old 21.04.2018, 00:48
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Re: Banned Dog Breed Questions

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Hi there,


My husband and I may have the great fortune of moving to Switzerland for a second time. During our initial 5 year expat stint, we had two wonderful Boston Terriers. They would have only be banned if kissing and farting became too much for the Swiss to handle (I will admit, sometimes the farting was a bit much).


At any rate, we lost our little guys due to old age and we adopted two lovely lab mixes. Our one lab mix most definitely has Am Staff in her, we got her DNA tested but it does not give the percentage.


I have scoured this forum, tried to read what I can that is not in German, and tried to read the German pages to the best of my ability but I am still perplexed on a few points and was hoping some of you kind folks could assist:


1. Work will be in Zurich but we plan to reside in Zug and we will be on local contracts - from what I read, you can do this if your work permit is tied to Zurich and your residency is filed in Zug. Can anyone confirm my research is accurate?


2. How in the world do we get to Zug if our dog is banned in Zurich and Geneva? Can you fly your "banned breed" into Zurich with the right paperwork and then scurry to the "safe place"?


3. And maybe no one can really answer this, but have you found pet sitting more of a challenge if your dog has a percentage of a banned breed, even in the "safe zones"? We will from time to time go on vacation for a long weekend and want to know if we wil have issues finding a dog sitter. Most vacays will be with our furry friends.


I contacted the Swiss Am Staff group as well but while I wait to hear back, thought I would throw a line here as well.


Vielen Dank!

If your dog is a banned breed, that means that it is banned from the country. If you try to take the dog through customs, they will seize the dog and you will be in trouble.

If you have an animal making offensive odors that bother the neighbors in Switzerland, in any part of the building, they have the right to not pay their rent until you sort the problem out. Your landlord in return would not be happy with you.
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  #19  
Old 21.04.2018, 07:19
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Re: Banned Dog Breed Questions

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If your dog is a banned breed, that means that it is banned from the country. If you try to take the dog through customs, they will seize the dog and you will be in trouble.

If you have an animal making offensive odors that bother the neighbors in Switzerland, in any part of the building, they have the right to not pay their rent until you sort the problem out. Your landlord in return would not be happy with you.
Dear TPE,

I feel sorry for you. Something very bad must have happened to you otherwise you would not post false information loaded with anger and hatred.

Can we help you in any way?
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  #20  
Old 21.04.2018, 08:09
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Re: Banned Dog Breed Questions

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If your dog is a banned breed, that means that it is banned from the country. If you try to take the dog through customs, they will seize the dog and you will be in trouble.
TPE, this is wrong.

At the federal level there is no breed ban. None whatsoever. There is no seizure due to breed at the border.*

Dog control is the competency of the cantons, so each of the 26 cantons is free to decide what rules make sense, what rules do not, according to their own views. And in the case of a few cantons, like ZH and GE, according to the views of the general population, as current dog laws there were brought about by public referenda.

About half the cantons have some form of BSL, a few banning some breeds altogether, the others restricting some breeds. Different breeds are restricted or banned in different cantons.

But half the cantons have no BSL whatsoever.

A dog that is listed in one canton may be welcomed in another. And even in the case of ZH, with a strict ban on a handful of breeds/types, dogs of those breeds resident elsewhere may visit for up to 30 days per year if the owner acquires a special permit.

It is important that you do not bandy about incorrect information. Correct information, understanding what is and is not allowed, is key to promoting responsible dog ownership.

FYI I'll post this again for all dog owners: A summary of the 26 different cantonal dog rules can be found on the Tier Im Recht website, here. A link to the actual text of the canton's law is at the top of each cantonal page.

https://www.tierimrecht.org/de/recht/hunderecht/

It would be a good thing for all non dog owners to read and understand the dog rules in your canton as well. There is so much incorrect information floating about out there, much of the strife between those who love dogs and those who hate them is caused by people - owners and non owners - not understanding local dog law, holding incorrect beliefs about what is allowed and what is not.

ETA:

Again I will highlight another document posted upthread by CherryTree, a document that everyone, both dog owners and non dog owners alike should read, The Zürich Canton Code of Conduct for Dog Owners and Non Dog Owners. As it says in the title, this was in fact written for both groups, to help promote a better understanding of what is required of, what is asked for, from both sides.

https://veta.zh.ch/internet/gesundhe...12englisch.pdf



*The cases of seizure at the border have been due to smuggling or incorrect importation. Yes, chihuahua puppies were seized and euthanized because of a greedy (insert expletive here) smuggler.

Last edited by meloncollie; 21.04.2018 at 08:46.
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