Identification and registration of dogs

This page was last modified on 13-06-2017

To improve dog identification and control, and to ensure that dog owners comply with certain safety measures, the law imposes certain requirements on dog owners, including: 

  • electronic ID tagging of the dog, performed by an approved veterinarian;
  • registration of the dog with the commune of residence, including identification of the breed and rabies vaccination;
  • payment of an annual tax; etc.

To promote responsible dog ownership, additional requirements apply to owners of potentially dangerous dogs, including:

  • a diploma attesting to the dog owner's successful completion of a course of training ("Hondsführerschäin";
  • an authorisation from the Minister of Agriculture;
  • successful completion of dog obedience training;
  • a veterinarian's certificate mentioning the date of neutering/spaying for certain dogs;
  • being of legal age and having no criminal record, etc.

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Who is concerned

All dog owners.

How to proceed

Compulsory electronic identification tagging

Electronic ID tagging is compulsory for all dogs in Luxembourg. All dogs must be tagged within 4 months of their birth, or within 1 month of their acquisition or importation, if they have not already been tagged.

An authorised/approved veterinarian will tag the dog by inserting an electronic chip containing an identification number under the animal's skin (on the left side of the neck). ID tagging makes it easier to identify lost or stray dogs.

While tagging the dog, the veterinarian will also vaccinate it against rabies and prepare a veterinary certificate mentioning the breed or type of dog, its sex, and its colour and coat.

Registration with the communal administration

Usual case

All dog owners must register their dog, within 4 months of its birth, with their commune of residence. To do so, they will need to produce a veterinary certificate mentioning:

  • the breed of the dog;
  • whether the dog is potentially dangerous;
  • the dog's current rabies vaccination status.

This certificate is generally drawn up by the approved veterinarian when the dog is being tagged or being vaccinated against rabies.

Moreover, when registering a dog with the communal administration, the dog owner must submit a document proving that they have taken out insurance with an insurance company approved or authorized to operate in Luxembourg, covering the dog owner's civil liability for any damages the animal may cause to third parties. Dog owners are advised to refer to their commune of residence in advance for details about this document: it could be a certificate issued by the insurance company or merely a copy of the insurance contract.

Registration (using a form provided by the commune or veterinarian) entails providing details about the owner, the breed of the dog, its electronic identification number, its rabies vaccination status, and the veterinarian's signature.

The words 'Chien susceptible d’être dangereux' (Potentially dangerous dog) must be mentioned on the registration form if the dog is recognised as dangerous. In that case, an additional declaration must be filed.

The applicant will then be issued with a receipt signed by the mayor of the commune as proof of registration. The receipt bears the letter 'A' for the registration of any dog, and the letter 'B' for the second declaration for potentially dangerous dogs.

Owner's change of residence

If a dog owner changes their place of residence, they must register the dog with the new commune's administration within 1 month. To do so, they will be required to produce the receipt issued by the previous commune. The address on the receipt must be updated. To have their address updated, the owner will be required to hand in the old receipt. They will then be issued with a new one containing the new address.

If the owner moves to Luxembourg from abroad, the time limit for registering their dog with the administration of their commune of residence in Luxembourg is 1 month.

New owners

If ownership of a dog changes, the new owner is required to register the dog with their commune within 1 month (even if the new owner lives in the same commune as the previous owner). To register the dog, the new owner will be required to produce the previous owner's receipt.

Moreover, at the time of registration, the (new) owner must provide proof of a civil liability insurance policy covering any damages that the animal may cause to third parties. This proof consists of a copy of the receipt for the insurance contract. Damages caused to third parties are covered by the owner's civil liability insurance.

The loss, death or sale of a dog must be reported to the communal administration so that they can keep abreast of the status of dogs living within its borders.

Payment of an annual tax

Communal administrations collect an annual 'dog tax' (of at least EUR 10 per year, with the amount varying by commune). Dogs serving as service dogs for the blind or disabled are exempt from this annual tax, as are dogs belonging to the Luxembourg police, the army, customs agencies, and rescue dogs.

Dog owners who move to a new commune and can prove that they have paid the tax in their previous commune will not have to pay the tax until 1 January of the following year.

No tax refunds or deductions are provided for in the event of the death or loss of a dog.

Keeping dogs on leashes

Within urban areas

All dogs must be kept on a leash, in particular in urban areas, on public transport, in parking lots open to the public, and on sports fields.

However, local authorities in urban areas may determine zones in which dogs are not required to be on leash, by way of exception.

Outside urban areas

Outside urban areas, there is no obligation to keep dogs on leash. However, for very busy areas, communes may define boundaries within which dogs must be on leash.

Even where a dog is not required to be on leash, owners must keep them under their control and put them back on leash if necessary.

For potentially dangerous dogs, special provisions require that they must be kept on leash in all places, unless a diploma proving the dog's successful completion of obedience classes expressly exempts it from this requirement. In that case, such dogs are subject to the same requirements as other dogs.

Specific provisions for potentially dangerous dogs

The following breeds are considered to be potentially dangerous:

  • Staffordshire bull terrier;
  • (English) Mastiff;
  • American Staffordshire terrier;
  • Tosa;
  • pitbull- or boerboel-type dogs that are considered equivalent to the mentioned breeds by their morphological characteristics.

The acquisition, sale, or importation of potentially dangerous dogs requires special authorisation from the Minister of Agriculture.

This authorisation will only be granted if the future owner holds a diploma attesting to the successful completion of a course of training provided by a veterinarian specialised in canine ethology together with an official document attesting to the legality of owning the type of dog in question.

The course of training must be at least 12 hours long and provide the future owner with information on dog behaviour, proper handling, and hygiene.

In addition to the initial registration with the communal administration, there are specific measures for potentially dangerous dogs. For these dogs, a second declaration in order to be granted receipt B of the definitive declaration must be filed within 18 months of the birth of the dog. The declaration must contain:

  • a veterinarian's certificate mentioning the date of neutering/spaying for certain dogs;
  • a diploma attesting to the dog owner's successful completion of a theoretical course of training ("Hondsführerschäin";
  • the receipt A issued by the commune at the time of the initial registration;
  • a diploma attesting to the dog's successful completion of at least 24 hours of obedience training so that the dog is properly controlled. This training is provided by dog trainers approved by the Minister of Agriculture.

To obtain a diploma attesting that the dog has successfully completed obedience training, the dog must take a test before a 3-person panel of judges. To ensure a certain degree of impartiality, the panel of judges is composed of the course organiser, an expert in dog handling, and an approved veterinarian.

Following the test, the diploma will be awarded to the dog's owner only if 2 members of the jury, including the approved veterinarian, are in agreement.

The diploma is valid for 3 years. It must be renewed upon the dog's presentation to the organisers of the obedience training courses.

Where the veterinarian notes that a potentially dangerous dog is no longer fit (for reasons of health or age) to take part in obedience training sessions, the Minister of Agriculture may grant an exemption, following the advice of the Administration of Veterinary Service (Administration des services vétérinaires).

Apart from the owner, anyone wishing to walk a dog that may be dangerous must be of age, have a clean record and have successfully completed the training course in order to be a "Hondsführerschäin" holder.

If a potentially dangerous dog is lost, the loss must be reported to the Grand-Ducal Police within 12 hours.

Importing a dog from abroad

To import a dog into Luxembourg, the following conditions must be met:

  • own a dog identified by a microchip;
  • have a valid anti-rabies vaccination;
  • have a completed European passport or;
  • have a health certificate for dogs from a third country outside the EU. This certificate must be drawn up and signed by an official veterinarian of the country of provenance who officially certifies that the conditions for entry into the EU are fulfilled.

Dogs imported into Luxembourg must be registered with their new commune of residence within 1 month. The veterinary certificate will be required.

Private civil liability

Dog owners must compensate any third person who suffers damages caused by the domestic animal.

As a result, the owner must take out insurance covering their civil liability.

The dog owner's private civil liability insurance policy, taken out in the name of the owner and the members of their family, covers the animal's actions that cause material damages and/or bodily injury to a third party.

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