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What are the rules for dog owners in Denmark?

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
What are the rules for dog owners in Denmark?
What are the rules you ned to know as a dog owner in Denmark? Photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash

There are close to a million dogs in Denmark, but what laws and rules must owners abide by?


According to the Danish Dog Register (Dansk Hunderegister), there are somewhere between 850,000 and 900,000 dogs in the Nordic country.

Around 60,000 new dogs are registered each year according to the register, with that number jumping up to nearly 80,000 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Hundeloven or dog law, most recently updated in 2021, describes rules related to registration, use of a lead, insurance and more.

Dog owners should make sure they are aware of the relevant rules, as in the worst cases a dog can be removed from an owner if certain laws are broken. Lesser offences can lead to being fined.


Dogs should be tagged (with either an ear tattoo or a chip) and registered before the age of eight weeks. If the dog is not registered and, for example, it runs away and is found by police, then the police will order you to register the animal.

Dogs can be registered at your vet or by contacting an authorised person via the Danish Veterinary Association.

If you are buying a dog, you can ask the breeder or seller about registration, as sometimes they will do this on your behalf.

Dogs must also wear a collar by the time they are four months old. The collar must state the name and address. Many owners also choose to include a telephone number, although tis is not a requirement.



Insurance requires you to take out an insurance policy on potential damage caused by the dog. This can include bites or other types of damage, but does not have to include injuries to the dog itself.

A relatively high number of people in Denmark don’t have insurance for their dogs, according to website Dyreverdenen, but it is in fact required by law.

Use of a lead

Denmark’s Dog Law states that all dogs must be kept on a lead on streets, in parks, forests and other similarly public places – regardless of how well trained they are.

Parks also have the right to put other rules in place, which dog owners must comply with. Similarly, private forests might permit dogs to go without a leash – but you should check the rules for the location in question before setting out and if in doubt, keep the dog on a lead.

The lead itself must also meet with certain requirements: it must be able to be shortened and cannot be long and loose. In other words, you must be able to rein the dog in if you need to.


Banned breeds

Certain breeds of dog are banned in Denmark. These are listed on the website of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

The banned breeds may not be brought into Denmark, by either residents of the country or tourists, apart from when in transit. Dogs in transit can be briefly allowed out of their transportation baskets or boxes to be walked.

If there is any doubt as to the breed of the dog, police may ask you to show documentation that it isn’t a banned breed. It’s important to take this seriously since police can demand banned breeds of dog be put down. A banned breed will also invalidate your insurance.

What else does the law say on pet dogs?

Generally, owners must keep their dogs under control and prevent them from being a nuisance to others. This applies both at home (for example due to smell, barking and noise) and in public.

The dog must be tagged and registered and traceable back to the owner if it runs away, and the owner of the dog is responsible for ensuring it does not put others in danger.


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