With the recent adoption of our new Billy Boxer puppy here – we felt it necessary to look into the regulations and insurance for dangerous dogs here… so here is a polite reminder for all of us.
All dog owners are required to register their dogs and have them microchipped. Rabies vaccinations are also mandatory. There are fines for owners who don’t have their dogs registered. Indeed when we first had Guido and were chatting to a couple of Guardia… they asked about his information and pet passport. As responsible dog owners we had everything needed – and we advise you to do the same. Irrespective of whether your dog is micro-chipped, it’s a good idea to give them a collar and tag with your phone number on it, in case your pet gets out and is lost. We never had the pet’s name on the tag… as they could be more easily re-adopted… and lost to you forever. We have also heard that it’s a good idea to have the word “Recompensa” (reward) engraved on the tag – as people may be more likely to return your fluffy pal.
All municipalities have rules ( ordenanzas) regarding the keeping of dogs, so do check with your local authority for the rules specific to your area. In public areas, a dog must be kept on a lead (and muzzled if dangerous) – despite what you may see wandering about off a leash. Dogs are prohibited from places where food is sold, manufactured or stored… from sports and cultural events and are also banned from beaches. We would be interested to know if this applies to ALL beaches in Lanzarote – so if anyone can shed light on this, we’d be grateful.
Spain has introduced legislation for dangerous dogs with strict regulations regarding the ownership of such dogs. Under the legislation there are eight breeds defined as ‘dangerous’: Akita, American Staffordshire Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, Pit Bull, Rottweiler and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. ‘Dangerous’ breeds also include dogs that have all or most of the following characteristics: a strong and powerful appearance; a strong character; short hair; shoulder height between 50 and 70 cm and a weight of over 20kg (44lb); square and robust head with large jaws; wide and short neck; broad and deep chest; robust fore legs and muscular hind legs. If in doubt – please speak to DEFRA… or your vet as soon as possible – to avoid your dog being confiscated and possibly euthanised.
You can obtain the license from your municipality offices. The registered owner must be over 18, and have no criminal record. The owner must also have some psychological and physical tests and have compulsory third party insurance for €120,000. A ‘dangerous’ dog must be muzzled and on a lead no longer than two metres in public areas. In private areas, if the dog isn’t securely enclosed, it must be muzzled.
The psychological tests are carried out in Spanish, so if you are not fluent – you will need to take a translator with you. The insurance can often be added to your House Insurance by your existing company, or you can use a company such as Mapfre, who will organise this for a cost of around €120 per year.
The license needs to be renewed every year at the vets. The tests are not carried out so often – we are led to believe that it is about every 5 years for those.
Don’t think that you can bypass this law – as you will have to sign a declaration when your pet is brought into Lanzarote – and are liable for spot checks from the police here. The declaration is then passed on to your local municipality – who then give you up to one month to fully comply.