Dog regulation in Rhineland-Palatinate

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the leash obligations and, if applicable, further requirements for general dog ownership are regulated locally – ie not at country level. Only one paragraph of the “National Law on Dangerous Dogs (LHundG)” is addressed to all owners and breeders. In Rhineland-Palatinate, it is generally forbidden to breed dogs into dangerous dogs by breeding, training or husbandry.

The remaining paragraphs of the LHundG refer to the attitude of “dangerous dogs”. These include the breeds American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier Dogs and all crosses of breeds or type.

In addition, a dog can be classified as dangerous in an individual case, regardless of its breed, for example, if it is snappy, rushes game or livestock, men threateningly starts or has a more than the intended aggressiveness or sharpness.

The keeping of dangerous dogs is subject to authorization in Rhineland-Palatinate and only possible with a legitimate interest. Therefore, a general breeding, trade and propagation prohibition for the legally dangerous dogs applies. A behavioral test or a character test are not provided in this state – instead, the danger is always suspected in these four-legged friends. Only from the muzzle compulsion, which prevails in Rhineland-Palatinate, a dog can be freed, if “in the individual case a danger for the public security is not to be feared.”

Housing conditions for list dogs (“dangerous dogs”) in Rhineland-Palatinate

* The attitude of a dangerous dog is subject to permission.

* The holder must be of legal age for the permit, have the required expertise (expertise examination) and reliability (information provided by the Federal Central Register and the opinion of the police station) and have a legitimate interest (for example, security).

* If there is any doubt as to the reliability with regard to possible mental illness or suspected drug addiction, the authority may require a specialist or expert opinion at the expense of the applicant.

* For the permission to keep a liability insurance for the dog must be completed (minimum coverage 500,000 euros for personal injury, 250,000 euros for other damage).

* Dangerous dogs should be kept in safe custody – escape-proof.

* Dangerous dogs must be marked with a microchip.

* Evidence of identification (a veterinarian’s certificate) must be provided to the Authority.

* The dog may only be supervised or guided by persons of legal age who, according to the law, possess the required reliability to keep / guide a dangerous dog.

* One person may only carry one dangerous dog at a time.

* Outside the property / dwelling, dangerous dogs must be leashed and muzzled.

Breeding, sale, delivery and training

* The breeding, crossing and trade in dangerous dogs or dogs of the breed list in Rhineland-Palatinate is prohibited.

* The owner of each dangerous dog has to make sure that the mating of the dog does not take place.

* The authority may order castration if “there is a danger of developing dangerous offspring”.

* Dogs – of whatever breed – must not be trained to become dangerous dogs (“make sharp”), unless they are service dogs, hounds or herd use dogs within the scope of their intended purpose.

* In the event of a change of residence, loss of dog or change of owner, the authority must be informed of all necessary information (new place of residence, details of the new owner).


* The law does not apply to service dogs of the federal, state or local authorities.

* Herding and hound dogs are released from certain line duties as part of their duties and may be trained for their purposes accordingly.

* Animal shelters or similar facilities that have the appropriate permit under the Animal Welfare Act do not require permission to house the accommodated dangerous dogs.

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