Keeping a dog in Germany
In Germany dog owners are obliged to fulfill certain requirements, these are regulated in the respective state in the dog law, or dog tax law, following are the regulations in Hamburg explained.
The three key points are:
1- the dog must be marked with a forgery-proof microchip
2- a dog liability insurance must be taken out for the dog
3- the dog must be registered in the dog register
If not already done, a microchip can be inserted by any established veterinarian. Only in medically justified exceptional cases a dog can be exempted by a doctor’s certificate from complying with the microchip obligation.
Dog liability insurance
The owner of a dog is obliged to take out and maintain liability insurance with no co-payment or with a co-payment not exceeding 500 euros to cover damage caused by the dog, with a minimum sum insured of 1 million euros for personal injury and other damage.
Registration in the dog registry
Registration of the dog must be taken care of within 2 weeks of taking up dog ownership or, in the case of puppies, from the age of 3 months; it can be done via Hamburg Online Service or at the customer centers around the city (“Kundenzentrum Hamburg”). When registering in the dog register, the registration for the dog tax takes place at the same time.
In Hamburg a standard tax of 90€ per calendar year is levied, for dangerous dogs according to the law
the annual fee is 600€. Only in special cases an exemption of the dog tax can take place, e.g. for blind dogs or animals of foreigners, who are entitled to tax exemption according to principles of international law or international treaties. These are regulated in §7 HuStG.
If the registration takes place on the Internet, the fees are currently 10€, in customer centers a fee of 30€ is charged.
– Identity card or passport with confirmation of registration
– Microchip number or veterinary certificate of excemption
– Certificate of your liability insurer about the existence of liability insurance
– Breed, size (shoulder height), sex, date of birth and name of your dog
Good to know to avoid penalties:
Anyone who keeps a dog outside of their own enclosed property, in apartment buildings outside of their own apartment, is required to pick up the dog’s feces and dispose of it properly.
In Hamburg, there is a leash requirement outside of one’s own apartment/property and dog run zones. It is possible to be exempted from the leash requirement if the dog passes an obedience test and a corresponding application is made. The certificate of successful obedience test is valid only for the person who passed it together with the dog – if more than one person wants to apply for an exemption, each of them must pass the test.