This is a list of things you must know and do if you want to have a dog in Germany.

Bringing your dog to Germany

See Taking Dogs or Cats to Germany by The German Way.

Registration and dog tax

In Berlin, you must pay a dog tax (Hundesteuer)1. It costs 120€ per year for one dog. It costs 180€ per year for each extra dog.

To pay the dog tax, you must register your dog with the Finanzamt. After your dog is born, or after you move to Berlin, you have 1 month to register your dog1.

Related guide: How to register a dog in Berlin

Identification badge and chip

All dogs in Berlin must have an identification chip1, and be registered in the TASSO register. Some other German states also require a chip.

You can get a chip implanted at the veterinarian. It costs around 50€1.

The TASSO registration is free. You will receive a dog tag (TASSO-Plakette) with a number on it. If someone finds your dog, they can use this number to find you.

When you go out with your dog, it must wear a collar with its TASSO dog tag1.

    Dangerous breeds

    Pitbulls, American Staffordshire Terriers and Bull Terriers are considered dangerous breeds1, 2. In most states, there are many requirements to own those dogs. The complete list of requirements for Berlin is on Berlin.de.

    In Berlin, you must register dogs with dangerous breeds at the Ordnungsamt. This costs 30 euros1. If you move, you must also report the address change. If you leave Berlin, you must deregister your dog at the Ordnungsamt.

    Related guide: How to register a dog in Berlin

    Hundeführerschein

    In Berlin and Lower Saxony, you need a dog handler certificate (Hundeführerschein) to walk your dog without a leash. If you don't have a Hundeführerschein, you can only let your dog without a leash in a dog park or Hundeauslaufgebiet. The Hundeführerschein is optional.

    You can get a Hundeführerschein at certain dog schools. In Berlin, it costs 80 to 100€1. You must take a theory exam, and a practical exam. In the practical exam, you must prove that your dog follows your commands1. Your dog must be at least 15 months old1.

    Related link: List of certified dog trainers in Berlin (2016)

    When you pass the exam, you receive a certificate (Sachkundenachweis für Hundehalter). You can then apply for the Hundeführerschein at the local Bezirksamt. This costs 52€1.

    When you receive the Hundeführerschein, you also receive a green tag (grüne Plakette). Your dog must wear it on its collar.

    The Ordnungsamt often patrols parks in Berlin, and give fines to people who walk dogs without a leash, and without a Hundeführerschein.

    Dog liability insurance

    Dog liability insurance (Hundehaftpflichtversicherung) is mandatory in Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Thuringia. This insurance pays for the damages caused by your dog. It's sometimes called pet liability insurance (Tierhaftpflichtversicherung) or pet owner liability insurance (Tierhalterhaftpflichtversicherung).

    This insurance covers you if your dog...

    • ...harms a person, or another dog
    • ...gets another dog pregnant
    • ...damages another person's things
    • ...damages the apartment you rent

    This insurance does not cover you if your dog...

    • ...gets sick
    • ...bites a member of your family
    • ...damages your own property

    In Berlin, your coverage must be at least 1 million euros1. If you travel with your dog, make sure your insurance also covers you in other countries. If your dog is a dangerous breed, make sure your insurance covers dangerous breeds.

    Hundehaftpflichtversicherung is very cheap. It costs less than 5€ per month. Use Tarifcheck to compare prices. If you don't speak German, Coya and GetSafe offer dog liability insurance, and they speak English. They both cover dangerous breeds1, 2.

    Pet health insurance

    You can also get pet health insurance (Tierkrankenversicherung). If your dog gets sick, this insurance covers the veterinary bills. Usually, it does not cover routine operations like vaccines or castration1. However, it covers expensive operations. This can be important when your dog gets old.

    The price of pet insurance depends on the age, race and sex of your dog. Basic coverage costs around 20€ per month. Full coverage costs around 60€ per month. Use Check24 to compare prices. If you don't speak German, Coya offers pet health insurance, and they speak English.

      Poop bags

      When you walk your dog in Berlin, you must carry poop bags with you. If your dog poops, you must put it in the bag, and throw it in the trash. If the Ordnungsamt catches you without a bag, you can get a 35€ to 250€ fine.

      Dogs on public transport

      In Berlin, you can take your dog with you in trains, trams and buses. They can't go on the seats. They must be in a closed container. If they don't fit in a container, they must wear a muzzle and be on a leash.

      Normally, you must buy a reduced tariff ticket for your dog, but there are exceptions. You can bring your dog on the train, tram or bus for free if...1, 2

      • It's not bigger than a house cat, and you carry it in a closed container
      • or you have a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly pass
      • or your dog is a guide dog

      Dogs in restaurants and stores

      Most businesses allow dogs inside1. Grocery stores do not allow dogs inside.

      Restaurants only allow dogs if they have a closed kitchen1. Always ask the restaurant employees before you bring your dog inside.

      Dogs are not allowed on playgrounds for children1, and on public beaches.

      English-speaking vets in Berlin

      If you don't speak German, here are some veterinarians who speak English:

      This is not a complete list. To suggest another English-speaking veterinarian, contact me.

      Finding an apartment with a dog

      It can be hard to find an apartment that allows dogs1, 2. You need the landlord's permission to keep a dog in the apartment1. The landlord can refuse tenants with dogs1.

      Related guide: How to find an apartment in Berlin

      You must also be nice to your neighbours. If your dog barks all the time1, or if you leave dog poop in the community area1, you could get kicked out of your apartment.