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Procedure descriptions

Keeping a fighting dog - apply for a licence

You need a licence to keep a fighting dog that is older than six months.

Fighting dogs are dogs that can be assumed to be highly aggressive and dangerous towards people or animals. Dogs of the breeds and groups "American Staffordshire Terrier", "Bull Terrier" and "Pit Bull Terrier" and their crossbreeds are presumed to be fighting dogs. This categorisation is based on the Fighting Dog Ordinance.

Dogs of other breeds are only deemed to be fighting dogs if the local police authority has determined that they are fighting dogs.

Note: The Fighting Dogs Ordinance is intended to protect the population from the dangers that can emanate from fighting dogs. Therefore, the keeping of fighting dogs is only permitted with an official licence. The requirements for such a licence are very strict. In very few cases will they be met.

Please note: If you are granted a licence to keep a fighting dog, you must always have this licence or a certified copy of the licence with you.

Responsible department

the local police authority

The local police authority is the municipal or city administration in whose district you live or spend most of your time.



  • Justified interest in keeping a fighting dog
    You must demonstrate a need that cannot be adequately met by dogs without fighting dog status.
  • Reliability
    Reliability may be lacking, for example, if you
    • have a criminal record for certain offences or
    • have repeatedly behaved in a disorderly manner,
    • are addicted to alcohol or drugs or
    • are unable to drive the animal due to physical circumstances.
  • Expertise
    The dog must not pose a danger to people or animals when kept and managed. You must therefore have the appropriate knowledge and skills.
  • Dangers to life, health, property or possessions must be excluded.
    No recognisable dangers may arise from keeping the dog.
  • The dog must have unalterable and legible labelling. This must enable the owner to be identified and the dog to be unmistakably identified.
  • Special liability insurance

Note: There may be other regulations and statutes of the city or municipality that may deny you a licence deny you a licence.


You can apply informally for a licence from the relevant local police authority. The application must contain the following information:

  • Your personal details
  • the identity of the dog, in particular details of the breed or crossbreed
  • Sex
  • Coat colour
  • Date of birth or age
  • Identification of the dog

Submit the application together with the required documents to the local police authority. The municipal or city administration will check the documents. It will then inform youwhether the requirements for granting the licence have been met. You will then receive a written certificate of authorisation.


Application at the earliest possible date

Required documents

  • Certificate of good conduct
  • Certificate of competence for owners of fighting dogs (after passing the competence test)
  • Proof of your legitimate interest in keeping a fighting dog
    Note: The individual municipal and city administrations decide at their discretion how the proof is to be provided and whether it has been provided.
  • Proof of special liability insurance

Note: Please enquire in advance with the responsible authority whether you need to submit further documents.


Ask your local authority about this

Processing time

varies depending on the municipality



Release note

machine generated, based on the German release by: Innenministerium Baden-Württemberg, 02.04.2024

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