Dangerous Dogs under Spanish Law
It is important to point out that Royal Decree 287/2002 of March 22 which sets out the requirements to keep canine animals deemed to be potentially dangerous, thus complying with the norms contained in Act 50/1999. This page is intended exclusively as a brief explanatory guide on the requirements necessary to keep potentially dangerous dogs in Spain. You may consult the complete text of Royal Decree 287/2002 or the complete text of Act 50/1999 both available only in Spanish).
How do I Know if my dog is considered as potentially dangerous?
The Royal Decree considers the following dogs as potentially dangerous:
a. Those belonging to one of the following breeds and their crosses:
Pit Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
b.Those animals that display all or most of the following characteristics:
Strong musculature, powerful or athletic constitution, robustness, agility, vigour and endurance.
Strong character and marked courage.
Thoracic perimeter between 60 and 80 centimeters (24 and 32 inches), height at the shoulder between 50 and 70 centimeters (20 and 28 inches) and weight over 20 kg (44 lbs).
Voluminous, square, robust head, with a wide and large skull and muscular and pronounced cheeks. Strong and large jaws, robust, wide and deep snout.
Broad, short and muscled neck.
Broad, thick, deep chest, with arched ribs and short and muscled back.
Straight, parallel and robust forelegs and very muscular hindquarters, with relatively long hindlegs at a moderate angle.
c.Those dogs with a record of aggressive tendencies or prior attacks to humans or other animals irrespective of size or weight.
What are the requirements necessary to keep a potentially dangerous dog in Spain?
The requirements are:
Potentially dangerous dogs must be identified with a microchip. They also must be registered in the Town or City Registries created to that end. The dog keeper must have a licence, issued by the municipality, valid for five years. In order to qualify for a licence, the keeper must meet the following requirements:
Must be 18 years or older.
Must have a clean police record showing no convictions for the crimes of homicide, torture, assault, sex-related offenses, drug trafficking, association with illegal armed groups, or otherwise having been banned by court order of the right to keep potentially dangerous animals.
These requirements must be documented with the appropriate certificates issued by the police authorities with jurisdiction over the keeper’s place(s) of residence during the two years prior to the application for licence.
Must be mentally and physically able to keep and control potentially dangerous animals. This requirement will be documented with the appropriate certificates (certificate of physical aptitude and certificate of psychological aptitude) issued by authorized center,s in Spain.
Must have proof of contract of an insurance policy on the animal(s) with a liability coverage of at least 175,000 Euros.
The owner must report any changes to the information included in the license to the Town or City Registry within fifteen days of the effective date of the change.
What are the safety measures required by law?
The safety measures required by this legislation are the following:
When a potentially dangerous dog is in a public space, the owner or person responsible for the dog must carry the owner’s licence and the certificate of inscription of the dog in the Town or City Registry. In addition, the dog must wear at all times an appropriate muzzle, and must be restrained by a non-extendible leash or chain no longer than 2 meters (6.5 feet). At any given time, one person cannot lead more than one dog.
Potentially dangerous dogs located in an open, delimited space (land plot, porch, terrace, patio, etc.) must be restrained by a chain or leash, unless the space is properly enclosed normal to have fences of 2 meters height.
Finally, keepers must report missing or stolen dogs to the Town or City Registry within 48 hours after the animal is determined missing.
Your vet will assist you in presenting correct forms and attachments for a small fee. It is well worth it so that the application can be done with only one call to the office dealing with Licenses.