German Animal Welfare Regulation for the Protection of Dogs

The new Animal Protection Dog Ordinance (Tierschutzhundeverodnung) has been in force since 1 January 2022. Among other regulations, it provides for a ban on showing certain dogs:

§ 10 Prohibition of exhibition

It is prohibited to show dogs or to organize exhibitions with dogs,

  1. in which parts of the body, in particular ears or tail, have been completely or partially amputated in a manner contrary to the protection of the animal, or
  2. in which for hereditary reasons

    a) body parts or organs are missing or unsuitable for the proper use of the species or have been altered, resulting in pain, suffering or damage,

    b) behavioural disorders associated with suffering occur,

    c) any species-appropriate contact with conspecifics causes them or a conspecific pain or avoidable suffering or harm; or

    d) the keeping is only possible with pain or avoidable suffering or leads to harm.

The responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the ordinance lies with the organizer and exhibitor. The veterinary office will pay special attention to compliance with the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance, violations can be punished with fines.

Based on the experience of past exhibitions, we have agreed with the veterinary office on the following concept:

    Clinical or special examination for certain dog breeds.
    Random checks of all dogs


1. clinical or special examination before a dog show

Dogs of the following breeds, which are entered for the dog show, have to undergo a general veterinary examination and/or a special examination in advance and have to be certified with the VDH forms (download see below).

Dogs of breeds not mentioned above do not have to be presented to the veterinarian as a prerequisite for participation in the show.

#BreedClinical
examination (U0)
(interval)*
Special
examination (interval)
Examination
Number*
1

Affenpinscher

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
2

Basset Hound

Yearly

 

3

Griffon Belge

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
4

Bloodhound

Yearly

 

5

Dogue de Bordeaux

Yearly

 

6

Boston Terrier

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
7

Petit Brabancon

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
8

Griffon Bruxellois

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
9

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Yearly

From the age of 4, in the presence of a heart murmur: cardiac ultrasound

U6
10

Chihuahua

Yearly

From the age of 6, in the presence of a heart murmur: cardiac ultrasound

U6
11

Chinese Crested Dog (hairless)

Yearly

 

12

Cocker Spaniel

Yearly

 

13

Greate Dane

-

Heart ultrasound (from the age of 3 every 2 years)

U5
14

Dobermann

-

Heart ultrasound, 24-hour ECG (every 2 years from the age of 3)

U5
15

English Bulldog

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
16

French Bulldog

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
17

Irish Wolfhound

-

Heart ultrasound (from the age of 3 every 2 years)

U5
18

Japan Chin

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
19

King Charles Spaniel

Yearly

From the age of 6, in the presence of a heart murmur: cardiac ultrasound

U6
20

Mastiff

Yearly

 

21

Mastino Napoletano

Yearly

 

22

Pug

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
23

Pekingese

Yearly

Fitness and stress test (From the age of 1 year every two years)

U7
24

Peruvian Hairless Dog (hairless)

Yearly

 

25

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Unique

 

26

Shar Pei

Yearly

 

27

Dachshund

-

Orthopedic/neurological examination (annually from the age of 4), auscultation (annually from the age of 6), if a heart murmur is present: heart ultrasound

U4/U6
28

Thai Ridgeback

Unique

 

29

Xoloitzcuintle
(hairless)

Yearly

 

*The numbers U0-U7 are for internal assignment. Please upload the required certificates when registering your dog in the VDH exhibitor portal in the appropriate field (designated U0-U7).

Form "Clinical examination before a dog show" 

Form "Special examination"

Form "Stress test"

Further information about the VDH stress test, which is offered by the VDH member clubs, can be found here.

If you have already entered your dog in this year's show in Dortmund (VDH-Europasieger & Frühjahrssieger-Ausstellung) or Neuss and uploaded the veterinary certificate (clinical examination and possibly special examination - depending on the breed), we do not need a new certificate.

Certificates for shows that also use the VDH examination form will be accepted.

We also accept certificates that you have submitted for the shows in Lingen or Erfurt, as long as they cover the required examinations (see above).

You can submit the completed forms in the exhibitor portal until 13.09.2022.

Irrespective of the presentation of the examination form, animals with relevant diseases in the sense of § 10 No. 2 TierSchHuV, which were not detected during the examination, may be excluded from the event by the responsible veterinary office or the organiser at their own discretion.

2. Checks at the show

Some dogs will be randomly selected for checks at the show. These checks can be performed in dogs of all breeds. In order to ensure the most effective selection of random samples, known breed dispositions will be taken into account here.

Relevant anatomical changes/symptoms, which will be paid special attention to during the on-site inspection, are in particular:

    • Dyspnea, pathologic breathing sounds, signs of impaired thermoregulation    
    • Brachycephalic eye syndrome
    • Excessive/pathological ocular discharge
    • Redness/inflammation in the area of the eye
    • Ectropion/macroblepharon with symptoms
    • Entropion with symptoms
    • Exophthalmos
    • Mikrophtalmia
    • Inflammatory skin lesions
    • Alopecia
    • Deafness and other neurologic symptoms
    • Tail length (must cover the anus when rolled out)
    • Lameness/abnormal, e.g. due to relevant diseases like:
      • Hip joint dysplasia
      • Elbow joint dysplasia
      • Vertebral changes
      • discopathies
    • shortened or missing vibrissae
    • Tooth defects: If more than two teeth are missing in addition to P1/M3, it must be proven that the missing tooth is not congenital, but that the tooth had to be removed, e.g. because of a disease.

    If a dog has one of the listed characteristics or relevant diseases in the sense of § 10 No. 2 TierSchHuV, the dog can be excluded from the event by the responsible veterinary office or the organiser at their own discretion. The entry fee will not be refunded in such cases.
     

    3. dogs whose vibrissae have been shortened or removed cannot participate in the show.

    4. dogs, in which characteristics in the sense of § 10 TierSchHuV are found during the show, must leave the ring without being judged.

    5. the breed judges will implement the Breed Specific Instructions (BSI) and pay special attention to health and functionality in the breeds listed therein. The breeds listed in the BSI were selected based on the estimated risk of health-threatening exaggerations of breed characteristics and possible misleading interpretation of the standard.

    FAQs on the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance

    We currently assume that the general examination is valid for at least one year, i.e. it can also be used for the Bundessieger Show. The responsible authorities have been asked about this.

    The validity periods and frequencies of examinations are noted in the special examinations. If the dog is younger than the age required for the special examination, it can participate without the special examination. Example: A one-year-old Doberman does not need a 24-hour ECG, this is only required from the age of 3 years.

    The concept is preliminary and will be further processed and agreed with the authorities after the show.

    No, visiting dogs do not have to prove any further examinations apart from a valid anti-rabies vaccination.

    Yes, the dogs may be transported in closed boxes and may also withdraw and rest in the box during the show. It must be ensured that this is only possible for a limited period of time and that the dogs are given sufficient exercise. Staying in the box without the exhibitor's supervision is not permitted.

    If more than two teeth other than P1 are missing, the exhibitor must prove that the absence is not congenital, but that the tooth had to be removed, e.g. because of a disease (veterinary certificate). Then the dog can be exhibited.

    Merle dogs may be exhibited if they do not show any pain, damage or suffering.

    No, the examinations can also be carried out and certified by foreign veterinarians.

    It was not permissible to shear off the vibrissae (amputation ban) even before the amendment of the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance. For the May show it would be accepted if the vibrissae had at least already grown back clearly, for the autumn show only complete vibrissae would be accepted.

    If the dog is younger than the required age for the special examination, it can participate without the special examination. Example: A one-year-old Doberman does not need a 24-hour ECG, this is only required from the age of 2 years.

    The Veterinary Office Dortmund would accept for this show, if the tail of the breeds concerned covers the anal region completely. The dog has to be able to move the tail freely and the bony part of the tail has to reach close to the end of tail. However, in the opinion of the Veterinary Office Dortmund, the topic of short-tailed dogs has be further examined and, if possible, a consistent ruling for all German shows has to be found.

    VDH forms from previous exhibitions are recognized as well as the form from the exhibition in Erfurt.

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