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Dog ownership examination expertise of the owner

From 1 July 2013, dog owners must have proof of competence (dog licence).

The proficiency test can be taken at the competent authority.

Anyone who has demonstrably kept a dog (or cared for a legal entity) for at least two years continuously within the last 10 years prior to taking up dog ownership is considered competent by experience.

If the dog is registered for dog tax in the name of a person or if a liability insurance contract is in the name of this person, these are indications that this person is the owner of the dog in the legal sense.

If other persons, e.g. children living in the household, regularly handle, lead and care for the dog, they are not considered owners in the legal sense. If, for example, children leave their parents' household and take the dog with them, the new owner must prove his or her own expertise by taking a theoretical and practical examination.

In addition, certain groups of people are found to be competent: e.g. veterinarians, persons who take usability tests for hunting dogs or have successfully passed such an examination with a dog, animal shelter operators, service dog handlers and disabled companion dog handlers. However, if such a dog becomes conspicuous, e.g. complaints about it are received by the competent authority, the competent authority can also prescribe the expertise retrospectively.

Process flow

The content of the exam is theoretical and practical knowledge in the handling and keeping of dogs.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the persons or bodies that are officially recognized for the acceptance of expert examinations for dog owners. These can be recognised dog schools, clubs, animal welfare organisations or persons who have also been recognised by a specialist authority, e.g. dog trainers.

A list of officially recognized persons or bodies can be found at the district, the municipality, the joint municipality and the city, as well as at the Hanover region.

Which documents are required?

  • If applicable, documents on the identity of the dog

What are the fees?

Fees apply. The fees shall be fixed by the competent authority which shall carry out the examination.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

If you purchase a dog after 1 July 2013, you must pass the theoretical proficiency test before starting to keep a dog. The practical proficiency test must be taken during the first year of dog ownership.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Consumer Protection and Regional Development


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)