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Pit Bulls are a very controversial dog in many countries.
Although they are pretty popular in the United States because they are affectionate, loyal, and family-friendly dogs, many other countries around the world either ban them altogether or have breed-specific laws to control owning, selling, and breeding them.
One such country is Germany.
Are Pit Bulls banned in Germany? Breeding, selling, and trading Pit Bulls are banned by law in Germany. You are only allowed to adopt a Pit Bull after getting special permission from the Animal Control Office. This permission comes with certain restrictions that you must abide by; otherwise, your dog will be taken away.
So what is the reason Germany bans Pit Bulls? And if you already own a Pit Bull, does that mean you can’t take them with you to Germany? Well, continue reading to find out!
Are Pit Bulls Banned in Germany?
In Germany, it’s prohibited by the law to breed, sell, or trade “dangerous dogs,” This law applies country-wide to American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, Pit Bull Terriers, and Staffordshire Terriers and their cross breeds.
However, adopting these dogs is allowed if you obtain special written permission from the Animal Control Office. In order to get this permission, the following regulations must apply to you:
- You must take a test to prove your ability to handle the dog
- You must not have a criminal record or a drug addiction
- You might have to pay a special tax
Why Are Pit Bulls Illegal in Germany?
In the 1990s, a lot of fatal Pit Bull attacks occurred around Germany, and since then, the law gradually moved to ban Pit Bull type dogs.
These kinds of attacks happened in many places in Europe, which led to many European countries establishing laws preventing people from breeding, selling, or trading these dogs. I have a guide on how this affected the laws on Pit Bulls and Bullies in the UK here that you can check out to learn more about this topic.
Through research, it also appeared that Pit Bulls are usually the dog choice of criminals, especially ones that smuggle drugs. So, as part of preventing these criminals from owning Pit Bulls, the German government makes it almost impossible for non-law-abiding citizens to own any type of Pit Bull.
What Other Dog Breeds Are Banned in Germany?
Each state in Germany has its own breed-specific laws and legislation.
Since the breed-specific legislations differ from one state to the other, here are some examples of breeds other than Pit Bulls that are banned in certain states across Germany:
|Baden-Württemberg||Dogue de Bordeaux|
Dogue de Bordeaux
Perro de Presa Canario
Perro de Presa Mallorquin
Dogue de Bordeaux
Dogue de Bordeaux
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Kangal Dog (Karabash)
Most of these dogs and crossbreeds are banned in their states, while some of them are considered dangerous until proven otherwise by their owner.
Keep in mind that these bans are not absolute. There are many cases in which an owner of a dog that has been classified as dangerous in a German state can get an exception to keep their canine if they meet certain standards.
Can You Move to Germany with a Pit Bull?
As mentioned before, importing dangerous dogs such as Pit Bulls into Germany is prohibited by the law, but there are certain exceptions to that ban. Your Pit Bull can be exempt from the import ban if they are:
- Visiting the country for a period of fewer than four weeks
- Already lived in Germany, have their papers, and are being brought back into the country.
- Are registered as service dogs or support dogs for the disabled
- Are registered as guard dogs or rescue dogs
If any of these apply to your Pit Bull (or any other banned breed), they can enter Germany despite the ban considering they meet the general rules for coming into Germany.
On the other hand, if you plan to move permanently to Germany and your Pit Bull does not fall under any of these categories, it will be impossible to bring them with you into the country.
What Are the Rules for Bringing a Dog to Germany?
Considering your dog is not banned in Germany or banned but meets the criteria for getting exempt from the ban, you still need to abide by the following procedures to be allowed to get your dog into the country.
- Ensure your dog is vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days before entering the country but not prior to 12 months.
- Make sure your dog is microchipped before getting its rabies vaccination.
What Countries Allow Pit Bulls?
Many countries around the world ban dogs, such as Pit Bulls, from living in the country or being imported into it. However, there are still some countries with little to no legislation against dogs, such as:
|Europe||Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, and Ukraine|
|North and South America||The United States of America, the Dominican Republic, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru|
|Africa||Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt|
|Asia||India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Russia|
What Countries Ban Pit Bulls?
Most countries around the world have breed-specific legislation put in place to prohibit dogs such as Pit Bulls from living in the country or being imported into it. Some countries might not outright ban breeds, but they will have a strong law requiring extra registration or special attention for the dogs to be allowed in.
Here are some of the countries that have bans or regulations against Pit Bulls:
- Singapore (banned since 1991)
- Netherlands (banned since 1993)
- Poland (banned since 1997)
- France (banned since 2000)
- Germany (banned since 2001)
- New Zealand (banned since 2003)
- Italy (banned since 2004)
- Australia (banned since 2009)
- Denmark (banned since 2010)
You can also check out my other article, where I talk in more detail about why Pit Bulls are banned in some countries and where they’re banned.
Which Dog Breeds are Considered Pit Bulls?
The dog breeds that are considered Pit Bulls breeds are the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. The term Pit Bull is an umbrella term used to refer to these four breeds because of the many similarities between them.
Does Germany Have Dog Breed Restrictions?
15 of the 16 German states have breed-specific legislations that outlaw the breeding, selling, or importing of dangerous dogs. This list includes the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier, and the Bull Terrier among other dog breeds.
What Pets Are Allowed in Germany?
Pets such as dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, turtles, ornamental fish, parrots, parakeets, and carrier pigeons are approved by the German Customs Office. But you need to check specific laws that apply to certain breeds of these animals such as Pit Bull dogs that are banned from being imported into Germany.
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