Blogs and advice from Industry leading Specialists
Valuable Opinions, Comments & Gossip
Financial related News & Articles relating to Spain
Latest News, Stories
& Hot Topics
Various Tools & Widgets to help with your financial needs
Tools & Widgets to
help with finances
Polls, Surveys and Opinions featured throughout Tumbit
Featured Polls, Surveys & Stats
Discussions, Advice & Topical Chat
Discussions, Advice & Topical Chat

Dangerous Dogs in Spain

- Updated: 31/10/2012
Dangerous Dogs in Spain

If you are a dog owner considering bringing your pet into Spain, or even if you live in Spain already but are thinking of buying or adopting a larger dog, there are a number of considerations that you need to bear in mind.

The Spanish Royal Decree no.50/99, otherwise known as the Dangerous Dog Act, classifies which breed or under what circumstances a dog is deemed to be dangerous and the responsibilities of the owners of such a dog.

What Dogs are classed as 'Dangerous' ?

Firstly, it needs to be clarified that the decree uses the term 'Dangerous', when it would be better to use the term 'Potentially Dangerous'.

The Decree then goes on to identify the following breeds of dog as being potentially dangerous, however, many vets and other authorities consider the list as a 'guideline' only :

- Caucasian Shepherd

- Doberman

- Corsican Can

- Bordeaux

- Rottweiler

- German Shepherd

- Pit Bull and associated Breeds

- Canary Island Prey Dogs

- All Mastiffs

- Brazilian Fila

However, crossbreeds of any of the above AND any dog over 20kg in weight is also considered to be a dangerous dog.

Any dog that is known to the authorities as having behaved aggressively towards any other dog or human previously will also be considered dangerous, and should only be kept after being awarded a special 'Licencia Muncipal'.

Once you are sure that your dog could be a dangerous breed you should make steps to obtain the appropriate licences and you have 3 months in which to do this. Licences are valid for 5 years.

Regional Variations

If you have what you believe may be considered to be a dangerous dog, the first thing you should do is speak with a local vet to ask for both their professional opinion with regards to the exact breed of the dog, and also their knowledge of how the law is interpretated and applied by the local ayuntamiento as there are differences from area to area.

How to get a Dangerous Dog Licence

If already have, or wish to own a dog that meets with the above description, you are required to pass a psychological exam in Spanish, for which you will be charged around 60-75 Euros, regardless of whether you pass or fail.

You will then need to apply for a certificate from the Ministry of the Interior which confirms that you do not have a criminal record in Spain. If you are non-resident, you should apply for this from your home country, together with a translation into Spanish.

Once again, regional variations may mean that in addition to the above, a combination of any of the following supporting documents 'may' also be required : Padron, 2 x Passport Photographs of owner, 2 x Photos of Dog, certificate of physical capability (from your Doctor), Copy of liability Insurance, Pet Passport proving ownership and all vaccines being up to date, Proof of attendance of special dog handling classes.

How to Handle your Dog

If you want to walk your 'dangerous dog' without a muzzle, both you and your dog will have to pass a test with a especially appointed vet who is qualified to assess this. The vet will ask a number of questions and handle the dog himself to confirm that the dog is not aggressive in any way and easy to control. The test and resulting certificate is only valid for 12 months 1 year and costs around 50 Euros.

The dog should not be walked close to schools or public parks, and the disappearance of such a dog should be reported within 24 hours.

Once you have this certificate you should produce it at your town hall.


Owners of such dogs are legally required to hold Public Liability Insurance with cover of at least 120.000 euros, a copy of which needs to be shown at the town hall when applying for your licence.

Note that liability cover for your dog is not normally offered as part of any Medical Insurance cover that you may take out, and should be be taken as a requirement in it's own right.

>> Click HERE to get a free Liability Insurance Quote for your Pet today <<

Who can help me obtain a licence

The first and best place to start is with your local vet. If he advises you that your dog is not dangerous then all well and good, if on the other hand he considers him to be a potentially dangerous dog then ask how you should proceed. Many Vets will help you through the procedure - obviously for a fee - but they will at least be familiar with the language and the exact requirements in your area.

Why bother ?

Because if you do not comply with this law, and you dog is deemed to have behaved in a dangerous way your pet can be confiscated, put down, and you as owner may be fined up to 115'000 euros.

Comment on this Article

I have recently adopted an english bull terrier dog from a shelter near malaga, i asked them if i would need to get a lisence for him and they said no, which i thought was a bit strange because my work collegues said i would need one and ive looked online which also states that i need one. So im a bit confused really as what to do, also he didnt come with a collar or muzzle so i have just been walking him with a harness. Hes a big softy and never been aggressive in the past. Two people from the shelter told me that the area i live in means i dont need a lisence (riviera del sol) Could someone shed some light on the situation for me and im very comfused!! Many thanks!!!
Melissa - Mon 30th Apr 2018
What a total crock of shit this site is spouting!! I have seen more bites from small yappy hand bag dogs than big dogs, you people infuriate me !!!
Mark - Sat 10th Feb 2018
Martin : I agree with you 100% that the owner should be at fault, but it goes much further - the law is at fault ! - Example : I rescued a Dog a number of years ago, and whilst it was a total softie it had a number of 'Dangerous Dog' visual characteristics - I took it to both the Town Hall, The Local Police and The Guardia to get it registered. They simply asked if the Dog had displayed any aggression previously, and when I said no (even though I had only known the Dog a few weeks) they said no registration was necessary unless it had been aggressive previously - In other words the pen-pushers would only take action AFTER an attack and not to prevent any attack. Owners need to be persistent in pushing this through with Authorities that are reluctant to do anything !
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 9th Feb 2018
Be very aware of dangerous dogs in Spain.If you own one they must never be of lead and must wear a muzzle!!!.I and my little dog were attacked by a neighbours pit ball terrier.I managed to protect my dog but I had many bites and ended up on the ground with blood everywhere.A neighbour called the Guardia Civil.The Guardia Civil,Local Police and a ambulance turned up.They took a statement from me,took photos of my injuries,I told them where the dog/owner lived and they went to the property?.I spent 8 days in hospital being treated for trauma?.On release my son and I went to the local police station only to be told that I have to go to the Guardia Civil to make a denunciation,they cannot do anything?????.Why should I have to do a denunciation about a dangerous dog,it could have been a child,KILLED.Nothing has been done,we have just been told,3 months later that the dog is dead.I did not do a denunciation as it was not the dogs fault,but the owner.
Martin Croft - Fri 9th Feb 2018
Hi, we are fostering a Bull terrier/American Stafford for a rescue centre, can you tell me who would apply for the license.
Jane Stone - Fri 28th Aug 2015
Hi, great information but I am still a little unsure I have a German Sheperd and podenco which are both quite difficult to control when walking even on a lead, do you think I should muzzle them when out walking Thanks geoff
Geoffrey Allen - Mon 27th Apr 2015
I have two dogs ..Golden retriever, and a Labrador cross.both are over 30 kgs .we are staying in Costa Del sol for 6 months will this law apply to my dogs cheers
Malc - Fri 17th Oct 2014
What about shar pei dogs ?? Only puppies at minute
Dana - Fri 4th Apr 2014
Chris : If you can refer us to your source for what you believe "the situation" to be, together with your Region we can advise you accordingly of any changes or updates which may have taken place recently.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 19th Jul 2013
The Doberman breed appears on your list of 'Potentially Dangerous'. I have checked out the situation and it appears that the Doberman is NOT on the list - could you check this please. Thanks Chris
Chris Thorpe - Fri 19th Jul 2013
I am thinking of getting a German Sheperd, as I am getting a lot of hassle from young boys who throw fireworks in my door - which is why I need a watch dog.
Catherine Reilly - Sat 5th Nov 2011