Danish Act on Dogs

Photo: Kurt Damkjær Hansen

Large dogs are welcome on island Als and in the Sønderborg-area. However, some breeds are on the prohibition list and regulated by the Danish Act on Dogs.

The Dog Act in Denmark
Since July 1st 2010, 13 different dog breeds and mixed dogs, where these breeds are included, are on the prohibition list. They can only enter Denmark if they apply by certain rules.

The prohibition list includes the following 13 dog breeds and mixed dogs, where these breeds are included:

Pitt Bull Terrier
Tosa Inu
American Staffordshire Terrier
Fila Brasileiro
Dogo Argentino
American Bulldog
Boerboel
Kangal
Central Asian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka)
Caucasian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka)
South Russian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka)
Tornjak
Sarplaninac

If you have owned your dog before 16th of March 2010 you are allowed to bring your dog with you on holiday in Denmark. There are however special rules for bringing the dog with you in public, since it must always be kept on a leash within 2 m length and must be equipped with a muzzle. The dog is allowed to run freely in the shown dog forests, but must still be wearing the muzzle at all times.

Can your dog be mistaken for a breed on the prohibited list? 
Most likely it will be the police judging if a dog is of a breed on the prohibited list and if your dog can be mistaken for one of those breeds it is a good idea to bring documentation of your dogs origin - this refers amongst others to these breeds: 

Polish Tatra Sheepdog (owczarek podhalanski) 
Cao Fila De Sao Miguel
Dogue de bordeaux
Bullmastiff
Mastiff
Mastino Napoletano
Cane Corsa Italiano
Staffordshire Bullterrier
Dogo Canario
Anatolian Shephard
Ibirian Dog

Savaging
If a dog, no matter the breed, savages a human or another dog the police are obliged to put it down. To savage means to injure or violently abuse by biting, but in the legislation there are not a clear definition of 'savaging', which therefore falls to the judgement of the police. The dog owner are entitled to have his case assessed by a dog expert.

Runaway dogs
If you loose your dog during your holiday, please contact the police (phone no. 114) with a description. Your dog is already ear marked or wearing a chip, so the police will be able to locate you. A dog tag will make it easier for the police or someone else to contact you directly.

Dogs, where the owner is not identified, will be advertised in local papers and on the website of the police. After 3 days the police are entitled to locate a new home for the dog or put it down. The same applies if the owner has not collected the dog within 3 days after they have received notice that the dog has been found.

Dear dog owner
As you might have noticed with these specific rules, a part of them especially apply to dog breeds, which have been noticed in a negative way. But as a responsible dog owner, you might be attentive to your dog while travelling in unfamiliar surroundings. If so, your stay should be problem free.

At the tourist office you can get brochures with detailed maps over the forests in the area. Here your dog has to be on a leash, but the many paths and beautiful surroundings offer you the chance to walk long distances with your dog.

Sønderborg Tourist Office wish you and your dog a pleasant stay in our scenic nature!