Do not take your dog to Spain

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20 Dec 2007 00:00 by oliverson Star rating. 70 posts Send private message

speaking from 3 months experience, it's a complete disaster.

Spain is the most inhospital place to take your dog.  Dog's like grass and a temperate climate.  Spain is not the place to be.  We took our two dogs in September (hardly the hot season), but in late 20's (degrees C) they wilted.  The younger dog nearly lost his life after falling from our penthouse balcony (4 floors and nearly 50 feet).  He overcame internal bleeding and a broken leg thank heavens (we weren't insured and the vet bills are astronomical - I reckon we have paid close to £ 2,000 for the treatment).  The beach is great but that's really only available out of season.  On our complex (Arenal Golf - Phase 1, Benalmadena), there seems to be an anti-dog feeling - shame they don't have an anti-holiday-renter feeling.  After all, they abuse the complex more!  The onlyl place to walk the dog is a play ground, overgrown with thorns and weed. Then, in the 'perros permitted' zones, the Spaniards just let their dogs cr4p all over the place and don't clean it up. Who wants to walk their dogs there!

We've just returne from a 3 day and 1,600 mile drive back to England.  As the terrain became less and less hostile (more grass and not the corse,  thorn-type stuff in Spain), the dogs became more and more happy.  They were rolling on the grass and kicking the turf in the air.  I've not seen them as overjoyed since we left the UK.

p.s. don't just take our word for it.  We bumped into 3 other dog owners who have now rehomed their dogs back in the UK due to the inappropriateness of keeping a dog in Spain. 

Think carefully before you take your dogs to Spain.

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21 Dec 2007 16:15 by lifeline Star rating in Murcia. 358 posts Send private message

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If you want to take your dog to Spain may I suggest that you find dog friendly accomodation! It is our experience that people with dogs or young children discover that penthouses are not designed with them in mind and often have dangerously low parapet walls.

As a family we took our two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels from Scotland to Murcia for 7 weeks last summer. We journeyed through the Channel Tunnel, used dog friendly Etap hotels, and air-con in the car. We went to a villa on the Mar Menor and the dogs had a wonderful time. There were lots of people with dogs and we discovered plenty of areas to exercise them. While the Spainish do not always clean  up after their dogs, there are an increasing number of rules about dog fouling in Spain. We believe that taking dogs abroad requires just as much thought and planning as one would expect with young children.

What needs to be remembered is that these modern style apartments are designed for holiday use. I would doubt that anyone in the planning stages would ever have thought that the occupants of their new development would bring dogs with them! At the time when these developments were being planned the rules on pets travelling out of the UK were much stricter than they are now.  

We are intending on moving permanently out to Spain and our dogs will form part of that move. The one problem that we have noticed is that of dog packs roaming around at night, usually the result of owners giving their pet more freedom than it should have. That being said, our position in the mid twentieth century was no better!  

This message was last edited by lifeline on 12/21/2007.



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22 Dec 2007 16:08 by damok666 Star rating in Sunderland. 75 posts Send private message

Sorry to hear about your bad experience oliverson but I have exactly the opposite thoughts about bringing a dog to Spain.

When we moved here we brought out a 8 month old German Shepherd last November and are very happy with the way things have turned out.  As said by lifeline the location is important.  We live in a villa and there are couple of acres of wasteland nearby and I love taking the dog there when its cool for a run around.  Its quiet and nobody bothers us and the dog loves it.

Compared to the UK where the only place to exercise was a football field over-run with drunk and abusive teenagers who would use regular dog walkers as sprinting practice for their very aggressive whippets / greyhounds and then have a great laugh and inform us, "You're dog's soft as shite" - I know where mine is better off.

Maybe I've had bad experiences of the UK and you've had bad experiences of Spain but neither of us can judge either country because of one bad experience. You are right though - you should definitely think before you take your dogs to Spain.

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08 Jan 2008 11:08 by MEREHEAD Star rating in North Wales. 15 posts Send private message

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I have a fiend living in the Murcia area who tells me that the Spanish have just recently introduced some new laws regarding dogs where different breeds have to be registered and have to have  a licence,do any of the members have any knowledge of this ?

ELECTRICAL GOODS. Can anyone provide a list of electrical goods that is...

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08 Jan 2008 11:24 by georgia Star rating in Algorfa (As seen on .... 1842 posts Send private message

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its the new dangerous dog act.

All pitbulls,german shepherds,Japanesse akita etc...etc... and dogs over a certain weight must soon be registered and have a special licence.

There is a one off fee and then an anual subscription to pay.

This will either lead to a tightening of the rules or many more abandoned dogs on the streets with people either refusing or unable to pay.

The fines for not having a licence are very high.

I am not sure when this comes into affect but i think it is imminent.

Oliverson-it cant be that inhospitable to keep a dog here as the spanish all seem to have at least six each!!!!!!!


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08 Jan 2008 11:47 by damok666 Star rating in Sunderland. 75 posts Send private message

I would love to know more about this if anyone can point me in the right direction.

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08 Jan 2008 12:02 by georgia Star rating in Algorfa (As seen on .... 1842 posts Send private message

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  I think this is the old act with the new one updating it,you now have to register your dog at the local police staion and apply for a licence there,i think the new act includes more breeds.

Hope this helps

Dangerous Dogs

Concerning dogs, it is important to point out that Royal Decree 287/2002 of March 22 sets out the requirements to keep canine animals deemed to be potentially dangerous, thus complying with the norms contained in Act 50/1999. This page is intended exclusively as a brief explanatory guide on the requirements necessary to keep potentially dangerous dogs in Spain. You may consult the complete text of Royal Decree 287/2002 or the complete text of Act 50/1999 (both available only in Spanish).

How do I Know if my dog is considered as potentially dangerous?

The Royal Decree considers the following dogs as potentially dangerous:

  1. Those belonging to one of the following breeds and their crosses:
    • Pit Bull Terrier
    • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
    • American Staffordshire Terrier
    • Rottweiler
    • Dogo Argentino
    • Fila Brasileiro
    • Tosa Inu
    • Akita Inu


  1. Those animals that display all or most of the following characteristics:
    • Strong musculature, powerful or athletic constitution, robustness, agility, vigour and endurance.
    • Strong character and marked courage.
    • Short hair.
    • Thoracic perimeter between 60 and 80 centimeters (24 and 32 inches), height at the shoulder between 50 and 70 centimeters (20 and 28 inches) and weight over 20 kg (44 lbs).
    • Voluminous, square, robust head, with a wide and large skull and muscular and pronounced cheeks. Strong and large jaws, robust, wide and deep snout.
    • Broad, short and muscled neck.
    • Broad, thick, deep chest, with arched ribs and short and muscled back.
    • Straight, parallel and robust forelegs and very muscular hindquarters, with relatively long hindlegs at a moderate angle.


  1. Those dogs with a record of aggressive tendencies or prior attacks to humans or other animals.

What are the requirements necessary to keep a potentially dangerous dog in Spain?

The requirements are:

Potentially dangerous dogs must be identified with a microchip. They also must be registered in the Town or City Registries created to that end. The dog keeper must have a licence, issued by the municipality, valid for five years. In order to qualify for a licence, the keeper must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Must have a clean police record showing no convictions for the crimes of homicide, torture, assault, sex-related offenses, drug trafficking, association with illegal armed groups, or otherwise having been banned by court order of the right to keep potentially dangerous animals. These requirements must be documented with the appropriate certificates issued by the police authorities with jurisdiction over the keeper's place(s) of residence during the two years prior to the application for licence.
  • Must be mentally and physically able to keep and control potentially dangerous animals. This requirement will be documented with the appropriate certificates (certificate of physical aptitude and certificate of psychological aptitude) issued by authorized centres in Spain.
  • Must have proof of contract of an insurance policy on the animal(s) with a liability coverage of at least  €120,000.

The owner must report any changes to the information included in the licence to the Town or City Registry within fifteen days of the effective date of the change.

What are the safety measures required by law?

The safety measures required by this legislation are the following:

When a potentially dangerous dog is in a public space, the owner or person responsible for the dog must carry the owner's licence and the certificate of inscription of the dog in the Town or City Registry. In addition, the dog must wear at all times an appropriate muzzle, and must be restrained by a non-extendible leash or chain no longer than 2 meters (6.5 feet). At any given time, one person cannot lead more than one dog.

Potentially dangerous dogs located in an open, delimited space (land plot, porch, terrace, patio, etc.) must be restrained by a chain or leash, unless the space is properly enclosed.

Finally, keepers must report missing or stolen dogs to the Town or City Registry within 48 hours after the animal is determined missing.

In summary, the above is a checklist with some of the requirements to take a potentially dangerous dog to Spain:

Before you leave the United Kingdom:

  • Ensure that the animal meets the requirements set out in Regulation EC/998/2003;
  • Obtain certification of keeper's police record;

Once in Spain:

  • Obtain certificate of physical ability;
  • Obtain certificate of psychological aptitude;
  • Purchase liability insurance;
  • Apply for registration at the Town or City Registry of Potentially Dangerous Animals and obtain the licence.
  • Comply at all times with the safety measures.


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08 Jan 2008 12:31 by damok666 Star rating in Sunderland. 75 posts Send private message

Thanks Georgia,

It looks like I'm going to have some work to do and money to pay out.

Looks like my German Shepherd is paying for her breeds reputation.  The biggest danger will be from her licking you to death. 

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08 Jan 2008 12:55 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6943 posts Send private message

morerosado´s avatar

Our friend who lives in Spain has two dogs & one's a Staffordshire Bull terrier who they've had to register. What a performance they had trying to obey the law. Talk about one step forward & two back. Their Staffie would lick you to death & is the daftest thing. Just look at her here Xmas Day on La Marina beach.









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08 Jan 2008 13:04 by georgia Star rating in Algorfa (As seen on .... 1842 posts Send private message

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i think the fee for the licence is only about 70€.

I know what you mean about Shepherds,  i have had 2 in the past and they have been the most affectionate dogs going.

More- My friends have the same breed and again the only danger you are in is getting slobered on,unfortunately beurocracy doesn't define between nature only breed,a bit like life in general really!!


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08 Jan 2008 14:39 by Rixxy Star rating in San Pedro. 2011 posts Send private message

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Sad to hear your experiences Oliverson. When I moved to Spain 13 years ago we bought out our dog, a total mix of Rottwieler, Doberman and Alsation, who after a car accident in the uk at 9 months had 3 legs! She has always loved the heat and we never had ac - she had no problem adapting at the age of 6 years. She was driven over and we were in the habit of cleaning up after her from the UK. She loved swimming in the sea which gave us much joy to shout 'shark' when she came out of the water with people pointing at her only having 3 legs!!! I could recount numerous stories made up for kids who asked what had happened to her other leg!

She lived in a villa with us and an apartment without problems, was loved by all and finally left us at the age of 14.5 years.

We now have a golden retreiver and he is fine as well.


Quite frankly m'dear, I don't give a damn!

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12 Feb 2008 19:18 by jules1 Star rating in St Ives, Cambridgesh.... 267 posts Send private message

jules1´s avatar

What an awful experience you and your poor dog had Oliverson! Can quite understand how it must have put you off.

Like Lifeline I have 2 King Charles Spaniels and I took them over to Spain for a couple of month from late September to mid November last year for the first time. It was a trial to see how they got on and they loved the whole experience and I felt happier knowing that they were with me and not stuck in kennels. In fact I would not have felt that I could come over for so long if I was without them, I can just about manage a week!  We will be repeating the experience this year.



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08 May 2008 19:45 by expressman Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Hi All.

Well you have certainly depressed me now lol.  I have just finished paying for both my dogs to have their pet passports, nearly £500.  Now your telling me I will have to fork out even more for them when i arrive in Spain in June.

My dogs are a Shepard, and a doberman/Shepard x both a scatty as hell.  Where can i find more info on this??


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08 May 2008 21:03 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4018 posts Send private message

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Dangerous Dogs Insurance



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24 Sep 2008 11:21 by oh4hindsight Star rating in worcs. 14 posts Send private message

how does all this affect 'show dogs' as in shitzu's and the like, as they are for showing and natually wont have any outside contact.

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24 Sep 2008 11:21 by oh4hindsight Star rating in worcs. 14 posts Send private message

how does all this affect 'show dogs' as in shitzu's and the like, as they are for showing and natually wont have any outside contact.

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20 Apr 2009 12:56 by pinkthistle1 Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

I would say our dogs were never happier than when we brought them here...

One thing i will say is dont underestimate the sand fly threat!!!! Ive hed 2 dogs die now from Leishmania related illnesses after spending fortunes fighting it. The gestation is anything from 6 months to 7 years, we think our first (a doberman) must have got bitten when we first arrived as we were ignorant to the Scalibur collars and only used flea and tick ones (much cheaper) Our second to die was a rescue dog ( also a doberman ) we thought his condition was bad due to neglect but it turns out his shiney new Scalibur collar was put on just for effect by the guy wanting rid and had obviously not been on long so we inherited him and more vet bills...he lived 6 happy months with us after 5 miserable ones.

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21 Jul 2009 11:49 by jisaphil Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

We’re thinking about bringing our 2 yorkshire terriers over. Would anyone advise against this? We’re looking very seriously for some pet-friendly accommodation – they’re like our children.

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