Animal Laws in Hamburg

Information on the legislation and restrictions relating to dog ownership in Hamburg, and the laws regarding pets in public places...

There are a number of restrictions in place for dog owners in Hamburg. After several serious incidents and one fatal attack, the Hamburg Dog Law was passed in 2006.

The law states that:

  • All dogs must have a microchip
  • All dogs must be registered with the City
  • A dog must also be walked on a leash. An exemption is made for a dog that has passed the obedience test (Gehorsamkeitsprüfung) with a registered expert, however, all dogs must be kept on a leash in shopping malls and pedestrian areas
  • Dog owners must have liability insurance
  • For the full text of the law, and information on finding a registered expert for the obedience test: Click here (in German)
  • For further information for dog owners, Tel: 040 428 280

Dangerous dogs

There are restrictions on certain dogs considered dangerous. The following dogs must be muzzled outside of private premises:

  • American Staffordshire terrier
  • Bull terrier
  • Pitbull terrier
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Cross breeds of any of the above

The following breeds do not have to be muzzled if the dog passes a behavioural test (Wesenstest) with a certified expert:

  • Bull mastiff
  • Caucasian Owtscharka
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Kangal
  • Mastiff
  • Mastin Español
  • Mastino Napoletano
  • Rottweiler
  • Cross breeds of any of the above

For a list of experts who can carry out the behavioural test (Wesenstest): Click here (in German).

Dog Registration

Registration for dogs can be carried out online (for a reduced fee), or at a Bezirksamt (district office). Registration takes place at the Verbraucherschutzamt (Consumer Protection Office), which is found within the Bezirksamt. They can also provide the exemption document for walking a dog on a leash, if the dog has passed an obedience test.

  • To carry out the dog registration online: Click here (in German)
  • To find a local office: Click here (in German)

Dogs in public places

Dogs are not allowed on playing grounds, lawns and flower beds. They have to be walked on a short leash, unless the dog has passed the obedience test.

Many parks have specific areas for dogs where they are allowed to run freely.

Some areas are restricted and there are signs which indicate where dogs are not allowed. For example, dogs are not allowed at weekly markets and events of public celebration.

There is no legal requirement to clean up after a dog in public, however, black plastic bags can be bought at the 13 recycling yards in the City and at all Budnikowsky drug store branches.

Animals on public transport in Hamburg

  • Small animals and dogs travelling in a kennel or other housing travel free of charge, but they may not occupy seats
  • Larger dogs also travel free of charge, but they must be muzzled
  • Dogs considered dangerous, must be muzzled
  • All dogs must be kept on a leash