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I would like a dog

Your wish is clear: "I want a dog!" Of course, because dogs have been man's best friend for thousands of years. They serve as guard dogs, companion dogs, hunting dogs or guide dogs for the blind, they save human lives as avalanche search dogs or support disabled people in everyday life.

The decision to bring a dog home has a considerable impact on the privacy of the future owner and his family for the next 10 to 15 years:

You should therefore ask yourself the following questions:

Do you and your family members have enough time for the dog?

    Is your house big enough for a dog?
    Is keeping a dog allowed in principle?
    Does the family agree that the dog should be kept?
    What happens to the dog during a possible stay in hospital or a holiday trip?
    Can you really afford to buy the animal?
    Are there any reasons that speak against keeping a dog, e.g. allergies to animal hair etc.?

Should it be a pedigree dog or a mixed-breed dog?

The advantage of a pedigree dog is that the appearance, size and character of the adult dog are largely predetermined. Also in Switzerland, breeds are controlled by the breeding association and/or the Swiss Breeding Cooperative SKG according to fixed guidelines.
In the case of a mixed-breed dog, this is not so easy to predict. The assumption that mixed-breed puppies are healthier is not scientifically proven. Mongolian dogs are not subject to such controls.

Do you want a male or a female dog?

 Bitches are generally easier to train, while males tend to be more dominant in the family. However, this cannot be said globally for each breed. The best thing to do is to contact a breeder and ask them questions about the breed and especially about the difference between male and female. Females - unless they are neutered - are usually in heat twice a year, while males are sexually interested all year round.

Which breed is possible?

Pedigree dogs are bred according to certain standards. You must know what you want to use the future family member for. Dogs can have different "professions", which are also encouraged by breeding.

Where can I find my dog?

 The largest serious umbrella organisation in Switzerland is the Swiss Kennel Club (SKG), in Austria the Austrian Kennel Club (ÖKV). There you will find professional information and also addresses of breeders and breeding clubs. In the breeding clubs amateur breeders are organized, who want to guarantee a health and quality standard of the puppies they breed. You have the opportunity to get to know the puppy from the first days of its life and to choose your favourite one yourself.

Another way to find a dog is to place advertisements in the relevant professional and daily newspapers. Advertisements in supermarkets etc. In any case, you must convince yourself of the seriousness of the seller. An important piece of advice: A breeder who does not invite the future owner of the dog to his home, but wants to deliver the puppy to the address of the buyer, is usually not serious. For further information:

Under no circumstances should you buy a dog "out of the box". Dealers actually offer animals in this way time and again, claiming that they are exquisite breeds. Most of these puppies are cheap imports from neighbouring countries to the east. Infectious diseases and attacks on their character are pre-programmed in these puppies.
How much will the dog cost me? Before you buy a dog, you should make a list of the fees you will have to pay.

The purchase or acquisition price naturally depends on the breed, the age of the animal, the pedigree, the training, etc. Exact figures are very difficult to give, a young pedigree dog can easily cost between Fr. 1500,-- and Fr. 2000,--. The so called fashion breeds can also be much more expensive.

The equipment of a dog consists mainly of muzzle, collar, leash, food and water bowls and a basket for the dog. Depending on the quality and requirements, you should calculate at least Fr. 250,- for this, from this point on there are almost no limits. See under:,

Also the costs for the veterinarian are very different. The dog must be dewormed and vaccinated regularly, which represents an annual expense of about Fr. 200,--. In case of illness, accident and the like, the veterinary diagnosis, treatment and possibly necessary operations are charged on the basis of the veterinary fee schedule. Please discuss this with your veterinarian, if possible before treatment, to avoid unpleasant financial surprises. There are a few insurance companies that also offer health insurance for dogs. See under:

Some dog breeds also require regular grooming of the coat (trimming, clipping, etc.), which also involves varying costs. You can check the price of this item in a specialist shop before you buy your dog.

In most cases, household insurance policies also include liability insurance for a dog, so there should be no additional financial burden. However, please clarify the premiums and benefits with your insurance company in a binding manner - as with dog health insurance. Your insurance consultant should be able to advise you in detail.

The dog tax (dog fee) is regulated very differently as a "municipal tax" and its amount also varies. Ask your local authority about the applicable regulations, the payment methods and of course the financial burden. In some cities and municipalities there are also exceptions if the dog has attended certain training courses.

In some Swiss cantons you must attend a compulsory dog training course.

Compulsory training for dog owners and dogs

Dogs live especially close to humans. In order to learn the correct handling of animals, dog owners must complete training in accordance with animal protection regulations. This training course was called the Certificate of Competence (SKN) and had to be completed by all dog owners and for all types of dogs. The dog course consisted of a theoretical and a practical part. Since January 2017 the regulations of the respective canton of residence have been in force.  

News from Bern from 20.9.2016 : Dog owners should no longer be obliged to attend courses. This decision was made by the parliament. The National Council has - against the will of the majority of the Pre-Commission and the Federal Council - with 93 votes against 87 a motion of the Council of States referred.

What was valid for the whole of Switzerland until the end of 2016 will now be regulated by the cantons. Before buying a dog in your municipality, find out which regulations apply in your canton.

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