Spanish Law on Dangerous Dogs

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Spain has now announced new laws No 50/99 which could affect you. A list of dogs considered dangerous has been drawn up as follows:-

Pit Bull and all Bull breeds

All Mastiffs

Canary Island Prey Dog

Caucasian Shepherd


Brazilian Fila




Corsican Can

German Shepherds

Most dogs over 25 Kilos in weight – obtain information from your local Town Hall.

The new decree prohibits the training of dogs to attack, or to guard or defend their owners or to give them any sort of training that might increase their aggressiveness. Fines vary from 2,400 to 15,025 euros. Dogs are banned from areas where children play. Dangerous dogs must wear a muzzle in all public places and be kept on a leash at all times. Leads must not be longer than one metre in length. A lost dog must be reported to the Police immediately.

All dogs that have any record of human or dog aggression or any dog that shows aggressive behaviour or any dog considered by the authorities to be dangerous, must now be registered and in possession of a special Licencia Municipal.

I strongly recommend that you seek further information from your local authority and seek further information from your vet who should be aware of the local legal requirements.

Spain is a Federal country and has 17 different “Comunidades” or Federal states with their own parliament, government and also laws. A law in one “Comunidad” could be different from a similar law in another “Comunidad”. There are still a few Municipals areas, which have not yet put this into effect therefore I strongly urge you to check with your local Municipality.

In Valencia, Madrid, Barcelona and other large cities a list has been made of “Perros Potencialmente Peligrosos”, dogs who could potentially be dangerous, and of course the Rottie, Doberman, Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Akita Dogo de Burdeos, Staffordshire, Presa Canaria, Fila Brasilero, etc are on the list, and also their crossbreeds. This means any dog crossed with any of the breeds on the list. You can only walk these dogs on a short lead of 1 metre and they always have to wear a muzzle once they are outside the home or in the car. Even if your dog is not one of those listed breeds, but has bitten a person or child in the past, it will be classified as if it was on the list of the dangerous dogs.

If you want to own a dog which is on the Dangerous list, you have to go and see a psychologist and do a test on a computer (not difficult) just the same as for driving a car and costs 60 to 72 euros.

If you are a resident in Spain you will have to apply for a document from the Ministry for the Interior, confirming that you do not have a criminal record. If you are not a resident in Spain, you have to apply for such a document in your country of origin and have it translated in Spanish. Take the originals with you to the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento).

If you want to walk your potentially dangerous dog without a muzzle, you and your dog will have to pass a test with a vet. The vet will ask you a lot of questions and handle the dog himself because he has to confirm that you will have your dog under control in whatever circumstances and also that your dog will not react in an aggressive way if he is approached by a stranger. This test is only valid for 1 year and costs about 48 Euro. This certification that you can control your dog must be taken to the town hall when you register.

Pet owners are required by law to obtain a special insurance for their dangerous dogs with a liability of at least 120.000 euros. You will be required to take a copy of your Insurance Policy with you to the town hall. You will also need to present 2 pictures of yourself and your dog. Your dog must have a chip for personal identification underneath his skin. You will also be required to take the form confirming that the dog has a chip with you to the Town Hall, together with the booklet which has been given to you by your vet confirming that your vaccinations are up to date and registered.

If you have all these documents (and pictures) you will have to go to the Town Hall, show your passport or resident’s permit and fill out 2 Spanish forms. The first one is an application form confirming that you want to have a permit for your potentially dangerous dog; the second one is a form confirming that you want to register your dog in the municipal register. On this second form you will have to state that you have a guard dog, a dog for personal defence, a dog for personal protection or for other reasons and also if the dog has been trained, where it has been trained and by whom. The application for a potentially dangerous dog is valid for only 3 years.

Finally I would comment that each area has its own forms used by the various municipalities and these might be different, but they all want as much information about you and your dog as possible. Not every vet is qualified to subject you and your dog to the test of non aggression; only the vets who have taken the course about non aggression with their “Colegio” or professional body.

Some psychologists are using the same tests as the ones they use for people wanting to buy a gun. Others have changed the contents a little bit. Some have made translations of the test forms, but please be cautious because I have seen translations where huge chunks of text have disappeared and others where the meaning of the Spanish question was totally altered in the Dutch, French, German or English translation.

This is not an easy application and unless you are able to speak and read Spanish fluently I would strongly recommend that you first discuss this with your vet and seek his assistance on each stage. You should also be prepared to pay your vet for this service.