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Banned breeds in Switzerland

Switzerland is a pet-friendly country where dogs and cats are popular pets; more than 41% of households are pet owners. While dogs and cats are the most common pets in Switzerland, other popular pets include rodents, birds and fish.

Switzerland has breed-specific legislation that restricts the import and ownership of certain dog breeds specifically bred to be aggressive and trained as attack dogs. If you plan to travel to Switzerland with your pet, the first step is to check whether your pet is on the list of banned breeds in Switzerland.

Why are some dog breeds banned from import?

Breed-specific legislation protects people and other animals from dog attacks. Every year, dog attacks cause considerable injury and damage to property all over the world. Breed-specific legislation assumes that some dog breeds, usually historically bred to be aggressive, are dangerous and are more predisposed to attack.

Breed-specific legislation is followed around the world in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany and many more. These countries have a ban or restriction on the ownership of dog breeds that are aggressive and have strong jaws that are capable of inflicting harm.

Banned breeds in Switzerland

Switzerland bans the import of dogs with cropped ears and docked tails. Trimming the ears to a given shape for cosmetic reasons and cutting the tail by removing the caudal vertebrae is prohibited in Switzerland. The import of such dogs is also prohibited.

If your dog has a short tail due to medical reasons or congenital reasons, you can apply for an exemption after furnishing proof of clinical history and a veterinary certificate signed by an authorised vet.

Dogs with cropped ears or docked tails are allowed into Switzerland temporarily for holidays or other short stays. However, you cannot sell or give away these dogs, nor are they allowed to participate in dog shows or events while in Switzerland.  

Restricted breeds in Switzerland

Switzerland restricts the ownership of certain aggressive and dangerous dog breeds. Every canton in Switzerland has different pet regulations; check with the local authorities before you move. If you are travelling to Switzerland with your pet, the following dog breeds are considered restricted breeds or potentially dangerous in the country:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boerbull
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogue Argentin
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • English Mastiff
  • Matin Espagnol
  • Matin de Naples
  • Pitbull
  • Presa Canario
  • Rottweiler
  • Thai Ridgeback Dog
  • Tosa Inu

Switzerland has special rules for potentially dangerous breeds to protect the public from dog attacks. If you are a pet parent to a potentially dangerous breed in Switzerland, you will need to:

  • Pass a behavioural test– Both the pet and the pet parent must undergo a behavioural evaluation to assesses the pet’s behaviour and the ability of the pet parent to control the pet in different situations.
  • Neuter the pet– Potentially dangerous dog breeds must be neutered or spayed before they are seven months old.
  • Lead and muzzle– These dogs must be on a short lead and be muzzled at all times in public spaces.
  • Be an adult– You must be 18 years or older to own a potentially dangerous breed.
  • Have insurance– Liability insurance is mandatory for all potentially dangerous breeds.
  • Have a single pet– You can have only one pet in your household if you own a potentially dangerous dog breed unless you are allowed an exemption.

International pet travel to Switzerland

Switzerland is more than majestic mountains, picturesque lakes and delicious chocolate; the country is also extremely pet friendly, and you can enjoy all the sights of this beautiful country with your favourite pet.

Pet transport to Switzerland can be complicated, especially if you are travelling with your pet for the first time. It is imperative to fulfil all pet travel requirements for your pet dog or cat to enter the country.

If you need more information on zero-harm pet transport to Switzerland, reach out to Petraveller for a free pet travel quote.