Von 2011 bis 2012 habe ich an der School of Psychology der University of Southampton meine Masterarbeit angefertigt:

Dangerous Dogs Legislation in Germany – a Study of Regional Differences


In 2000 A.D. the German government passed dog specific legislation to decrease attacks by dogs by constraining the keeping of so-called “dangerous dogs”. Such regulations have been and are criticised widely. In the centre of discussions are listings of allegedly dangerous dog breeds, and temperament testing of dogs to prove or disprove their dangerousness. In Germany, the situation is confounded as each of the 16 counties has responsibility for the particulars of their own Dangerous Dog legislation.

This study compared the legal regulations across the German counties with regard to the definitions of “dangerous dogs”; the standards for evaluation procedures; evaluation schemes and qualification of assessors.

All counties have dog legislation. There are, however, various differences, e.g. in number and legal “weight” of the regulations, number and compilation of breeds considered a priori dangerous, additional descriptions of behaviours rendering a dog dangerous, and standards for evaluation procedures, evaluation schemes and qualification of assessors.

The current regulations give rise to problems. Particular breeds are still considered a priori dangerous. This disregards that multiple factors influence a dog’s behaviour which, only in combination, may make a dog “dangerous” in a given situation. Additional definitions of behaviours considered dangerous are often very imprecise, and thereby can cause misunderstandings. Evaluations of dogs are not comparable nationally and often easiliy contestable, due to lack of good quality criteria.

The current dog specific legislation may easily compromise the welfare of dogs, humans and other animals. Existent regulations therefore need revision, and the author contends that this should be handled on a nationwide basis.