July 12, 2024

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Sometimes it can happen quickly, like when two dogs fight or your four-legged friend has a bike accident. When you have to pay damages and the best way to deal with such situations.

Are you moving with your dog and want to be fully prepared? What do you need, what steps do you need to take, and what do you need to pay special attention to? We’ll give you some tips on what’s important.

1. Register with your city or municipality

Especially at the beginning, you feel great joy about a new family member. Your four-legged friend must first arrive and feel at ease and get used to the new environment. However, after a few days, the dog must be registered with the responsible municipality. In Germany, this registration is mandatory. It usually takes about 2-4 weeks to do this. The municipality or city finance ministry of your place of residence is responsible for this. The determining factors are the breed of the dog, its age, how long your four-legged friend has lived with you and whether it is missing. By the way, the tax on dangerous dogs is so high in Lower Saxony.

Some federal states list the Caucasian Ouchalka as a designated dog.
In some federal states, the Caucasian Ovcharka is listed as a designated dog. (Iconic image) © imagebroker/Imago

2. Do I need to chip my dog?

If you are going to travel abroad with your four-legged friend and want to spend your holidays there, you will need to identify your dog. When your veterinarian injects the microchip subcutaneously with a special hypodermic needle, your unique data will be read and you will be able to identify your animal using a 15-digit number. This is especially convenient and helpful if your dog gets lost or runs away and you want to find it as soon as possible. It is also important to register your four-legged friend in a pet registry. Tasso or Find the fix Register them – Chipping them unregistered is often not enough. Incidentally, there is no universal chipping requirement. This varies from state to state. However, in some countries, dog breeds classified as dangerous are subject to registration.

Want to find out more about the dogs on our list and dog liability insurance? Many insurers offer this, for example Allianz have created comprehensive information pages answering all your key questions, you can find these here:

3. Are there differences between dog breeds?

Some dog breeds are listed as list dogs or so-called fighting dogs. These include dog breeds that are subject to special requirements or restrictions due to their potential danger. Whether a dog is registered as a fighting dog depends on the state. For example, in Bavaria and Brandenburg, this includes the Cane Corso breed or the Hamburg Caucasian Ouchalka. They are also divided into categories l and ll. In the first category, the dog is definitely considered dangerous, while in the second category the danger posed by the dog is merely suspected. Only four federal states do not automatically classify certain dog breeds as dangerous. These include Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The following dog breeds are often classified as fighting dogs:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Governor of Bordeaux
  • Bullmastiff
  • Bull Terrier
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Spanish Mastiff
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tosa Inu

What you need to know: Mixed breeds resulting from mating with one of these dog breeds can also be classified as fighting dogs. Depending on the federal state, you may have to fulfill certain obligations to own a listed dog. These include, for example, a personality test for the dog, whether the owner is of legal age, a police certificate of good conduct, proof of expertise, etc. This may also include liability insurance.

These dogs are considered to be: Hesse They are designated as listed dogs and require dog liability insurance.

American Pit Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
Bull Terrier
American Bulldog
Dogo Argentino
Caucasian Ovcharka

The insurance requirements for listed dogs apply in the following federal states:

  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Bayern
  • Brandenburg
  • Hesse
  • NRW
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Saarland
  • Saxony

The general insurance requirements for dogs apply whether they are listed or not if they:

  • Berlin
  • Hamburg
  • Lower Saxony

4. What if my dog ​​causes damage?

This is every dog ​​owner’s nightmare: two four-legged friends collide and a dog fight begins. Our tips show how to resolve a dog fight. Or your four-legged friend is sniffing on the roadside, and a cyclist comes along, frightens the dog and drags him down. The other dog is still in the middle of training and may not have mastered the command well and run out onto the road, causing an accident. Who pays for it, who is responsible and how can you protect yourself? This is where dog liability insurance comes in.

5. When is dog liability insurance worthwhile and/or mandatory?

In some federal states, dog owners are obliged to take out dog liability insurance. In others, dogs over 40 cm in height (arch height) or weighing over 20 kg must be insured. However, in most federal states, owners of dogs classified as dangerous are required to take out liability insurance. But even if it is not mandatory, it makes sense for all owners to have such a policy. Damage caused by four-legged friends can quickly become very expensive.

6. Who is responsible if a dog bites another dog?

If your dog injures someone or causes an accident, the owner is legally responsible in Germany, even if you are not at fault. They are also liable if a small altercation turns into a serious bite.

You can find even more exciting animal topics in Landtiere.de’s free partner newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

7. What are the most common damages?

According to Allianz, the most commonly reported damages are bites, property damage, traffic accidents, and damage caused by dogs running around and jumping on you. Minor property damages also often occur. For example, if your four-legged friend bites your friend’s expensive designer pants or sweeps your friend’s new smartphone off the table, you are obligated to pay financial compensation. But the most damaging are injuries to people. For example, if your dog runs and falls between the legs of your walker, this can result in a significant financial burden, such as a partial disability pension (if you can no longer work due to a hand injury).

8. What should I look for in my liability insurance? What should it cover?

  • It is worth agreeing to a fixed amount of insurance for 10 million euros against personal injury and property damage.
  • Insurance should also be in place for violations of lead and muzzle requirements.
  • It also makes sense to insure against damages that occur when someone else looks after your four-legged friend or takes him for walks, for example.
  • If an insured animal causes damage whilst abroad, the insurance should cover you worldwide, not just within the European Union member states, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
  • If an insured animal causes damage to a property rented for private purposes, insurance up to a maximum of €500,000 should be provided.
  • Damage to decking should also be included as this can be very costly for dog owners. For example, if a male dog unintentionally fathers offspring with an expensive breeding bitch, the breeding bitch’s owner can suffer significant losses.
  • The offspring of an insured bitch should be insured for at least six months, i.e. as long as the puppies are still in your household.

9. How much does dog liability insurance cost?

The premium for dog liability insurance depends on a number of factors and the services offered. Liability insurance starts at just under 6 euros per month. Owners of dogs classified as dangerous pay slightly more. Some providers completely exclude certain dog breeds, while others treat all breeds the same. Here it makes sense to check the details before making a deal.

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