DANGEROUS DOG INSURANCE IN SPAIN

IS YOUR DOG ON THE DANGEROUS DOG LIST IN SPAIN ?

                                  dangerous dog insurance in spain on the dangerous dogs list in spain

Dangerous dogs in Spain laws updated.

Spain has now announced new dangerous dog laws No. 50/99 of December 23rd 1999 which could affect you.

This law is regulated by Royal Decree 287/2002 of March 22nd, which dictates the precise measures in the development of the law, among others, those required to obtain administrative licenses entitling their holders who are in possession of potentially dangerous animals, in particular, the minimum criteria for obtaining certificates of physical capacity and psychological suitability, together with the minimum amount of insurance liability for any damages towards a third party.  

At www.insuranceinspain.com we can provide dangerous dog liability insurance. (Third Party Liability Insurance for Dogs in Spain) This is now the law in Spain and all dangerous dogs must be microchipped. There are quite a number of factors to consider as the rules and laws relating to the insurance and owning a dangerous dog vary depending upon the autonomous region in which you live.

A dangerous dog is recognised as being ANY breed of dog that has a weight of 20kg or more and ANY breed of dog that has had a propensity to bite people. To us, that means that essentially all dogs are considered or have the potential to be classified as dangerous.  We recommend that all dogs should be insured with at least the minimum third party liability cover. You will be pleased to note that www.insuranceinspain.com is able to provide pet healthcare plans and third partly liability insurance for ALL breeds of dogs regardless of whether they are considered dangerous or not.

The Dangerous Dog list in Spain

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The vast majority of our pets are very docile and placid or happy and bouncy in their natures and in no way appear to be dangerous but the law is very clear and straightforward. The Dangerous Dog Act, Spain. No. 50/99, a law that is governed by the law Real Decreto 287/2002, created on 27th March 2002, states that if you are the owner of any dog that is over 20kg in weight or is specified within the Dangerous Dog Act as a potentially dangerous breed or a crossbreed of a potentially dangerous breed, then you and your dog must obtain a dog license from your local town hall.

You can only walk these dogs on a short lead of 1 meter and they always have to wear a muzzle once they are outside the home or in the car. Even if your dog is not one of those listed breeds, but has been recorded as a dog that has bitten a person or child in the past, it will be classified as if it was on the list of the dangerous dogs.

Is your dog on Spain’s dangerous dog list?

The list, as laid out in the Dangerous Dog Act for potentially dangerous dogs, is as follows:

•  Pit Bull and Bull Breeds

•  Canary Island Prey Dogs

•  Caucasian Shepherd

•  Doberman

•  Corsican Can

•  All Mastiffs

•  Brazilian Fila

•  Bordeaux

•  Rottweiler

•  German Shepherds

•  All dogs over 20 kilos in weight

•  Any Crossbreed of the above list

What do you need to do now?

  1. Contact your local town hall and collect your application for a dog license. This will tell you everything that you will need in order to obtain the licence and can vary from province to province. You must be over the age of 18 years old.

  2. Get your dog microchipped at the vets.

  3. Obtain your public liability policy and proof of payment.

  4. Obtain any criminal records check certificates that you may need. Some regions will ask for these checks to be made in the country of your nationality as well as Spain. This could take some time and anything from another country will also need to be translated.

  5. Organise any psychological or medical test that may be required.

  6. You will also need to present your NIE and your passport.

Public Liability Insurance 

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The level of this insurance will vary from region to region and we have prepared a guide for you. If you live in a region where the minimum insurance cover required is quite low and you contract a policy for that low level of cover then you will not be insured correctly if you travel to other regions. With this in mind and with the rising costs of settlements we think it is more prudent to be covered for a greater amount than the legal minimum necessary and now only offer policies with an insured sum of 300,000. As with all policies in Spain, the public liability insurance is only valid when it is presented with the accompanying proof of payment.

We also provide public liability insurance for small dogs of under 20kg in weight. Although small dogs do not need to be registered there are some that like to escape and they then have the potential to cause road traffic accidents and there are those dogs that become frightened in large crowds or by loud noises or around children and react by biting. We are able to provide a dedicated public liability policy for exactly this kind of scenario.

A brief summary of what the Public Liability policies include:

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should your dog be involved in a fight with another animal.

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should you dog attack any person when not on your property.

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should your dog escape from your property and kill or injury a neighbour’s pet or livestock.

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should your dog escape from your property and damage another person’s property.

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should your dog escape from your property or direct control and cause a road traffic accident.

·      There is no excess on this policy.

The policy will not cover you as the owner of the dog in the event of being bitten by your dog but will cover your family members or anybody else that is injured by your dog. The cover is for Mainland Spain, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and Andorra only. Your dog will need to be micro-chipped and you will need an NIE number in order to set up a policy.

Also, for the first time www.insuranceinspain.com are able to offer a public liability policy for the whole of the European Union.

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should your dog be involved in a fight with another animal.

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should you dog attack any person when not on your property.

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should your dog escape from your property and kill or injury to a neighbors' pet or livestock.

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should your dog escape from your property and damage another person’s property.

·      Cover up to 300,000€ should your dog escape from your property or direct control and cause a road traffic accident.

·      Policy excess of 200€ for incidents outside of Spain. There is no excess for incidents that occur in Spain.

Once again, the policy will not cover you as the owner in the event of you being bitten by your dog but will cover your family members or anybody else that is injured by your dog. The cover is for Mainland Spain, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and the European Union. Your dog will need to be micro-chipped and you will need an NIE number in order to set up a policy.

To visit the dangerous dogs law in Spain, in Spanish - Ley 50/1999, de 23 de diciembre, sobre el Regimen Juridico de la Tenencia de Animales Potencialmente Peligrosos, please copy and paste this link into your browser.  https://noticias.juridicas.com/base_datos/Admin/l50-1999.html 

It is strongly recommended that you seek further information from your local authority and from your vet who should be aware of the legal requirements. Spain is a Federal country and has 17 different ´Comunidades´or Federal states with their own Parliament, Government and separate laws. A law in one ´Comunidad´ could be different from a similar law in another ´Comunidad´. There are still a few Municipal areas, which have not yet put this into effect, therefore you are strongly advised to check with your local Municipality.

In Valencia, Madrid, Barcelona and other large cities a list has been made of ´Perros Potencialmente Peligrosos´, dogs who could potentially be dangerous, and of course the Rottweiller, Doberman, Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Dogo de Burdeos, Staffordshire, Presa Canaria, Fila Brasilero, etc. are on the list, and also their crossbreeds. This means any dog crossed with any of the breeds on the list will be considered as a dangerous breed.

You can only walk these dogs on a short lead of 1 meter and they always have to wear a muzzle once they are outside the home or in the car. Even if your dog is not one of those listed breeds, but has been recorded as a breed that has bitten a person or child in the past, it will be classified as if it was on the list of the dangerous dogs.

If you want to own a dog that is on the Dangerous list, you have to go and see a psychologist and do a test, (of course in Spanish), just the same kind of test people have to pass if they want to buy a gun and there will be a charge made of about 60-75€ for this test.


If you are a resident in Spain you will have to apply for a document from the Ministry for the Interior, confirming that you do not have a criminal record. If you are not a resident in Spain, you have to apply for a similar document in your country of origin and have it translated in Spanish. Take the originals with you to the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento).

If you want to walk your potentially dangerous dog without a muzzle, you and your dog will have to pass a test with a vet. Not every vet is qualified to subject you and your dog to the test of non aggression. Only the vets that have taken the course about non aggression with their "Colegio" or professional body are permitted to do this. The vet will ask you a lot of questions and handle the dog himself because he has to confirm that you will have your dog under control in whatever circumstances and that your dog will not react in an aggressive way if he is approached by a stranger. This test is only valid for 1 year and costs about (48€). This Veterinary certification that you can control your dog must be taken to the town hall when you register.


Pet owners are required by law to obtain Public Liability Insurance for their dogs with a liability cover of at least 120.000€. (Some regions require a minimum of 300,000€ of cover). You will be required to take a copy of your Insurance Policy with you to the town hall. As a precaution, www.insuranceinspain.com are only offering the higher level of cover. In the event that you travel to another region with your pet, by whatever means, this ensures that you are properly protected. The difference in premiums between the 120,000€ and 300,000€ limited liability insurance is just a few Euros so it is not worth taking the risk of under insuring your dog if it is considered as dangerous. 

You will also need to present 2 pictures per dog when you go to the town hall. Your dog must have a Microchip for personal identification number/Tattoo. You will also be required to take the form confirming that the dog has a chip with you to the Town Hall, together with the booklet, which has been given to you by your vet confirming that your vaccinations are up to date and registered.

If you have all these documents (and pictures) you will have to go to the Town Hall, show your passport or resident's permit and fill out 2 Spanish forms. The first one is an application form confirming that you want to have a permit for your potentially dangerous dog; the second one is a form confirming that you want to register your dog in the municipal register. On this second form you will have to state that you have a guard dog, a dog for personal defense, a dog for personal protection or for other reasons and also if the dog has been trained, where it has been trained and by whom.

The application for a potentially dangerous dog is valid for only 3 years.

Some psychologists are using the same tests as the ones they use for people wanting to buy a gun. Others have changed the contents and some have translated these forms into English. Be aware that some translations have had huge chunks of text omitted and where the translation does not carry the same meaning as the originals.

This is not an easy application and unless you are able to speak and read Spanish fluently I would strongly recommend that you first discuss this with your vet and seek his assistance on each stage. You should also be prepared to pay for this service.

www.insuranceinspain.com is happy to assist in any way we can, so please, don´t be afraid to call us on 0034 965 27 57 27 to discuss what you need. There is no obligation to buy any insurance products from us and if we can help you, the Expat community, by providing the correct information for your situation, then we have done our job. 

Copyright www.insuranceinspain.com March 2018.