- Anzeige -

- Anzeige -

German Animal Welfare Regulation for the Protection of Dogs

The new Animal Protection Dog Ordinance (Tierschutzhundeverodnung) has been in force since 1 January 2022. Among other regulations, it provides for a ban on showing certain dogs:

§ 10 Prohibition of the show

It is prohibited to show dogs or to organize shows with dogs,

  1. in which parts of the body, in particular ears or tail, have been completely or partially amputated in a manner contrary to the protection of the animal, or
  2. in which for hereditary reasons

    a) body parts or organs are missing or unsuitable for the proper use of the species or have been altered, resulting in pain, suffering or damage,

    b) behavioural disorders associated with suffering occur,

    c) any species-appropriate contact with conspecifics causes them or a conspecific pain or avoidable suffering or harm; or

    d) the keeping is only possible with pain or avoidable suffering or leads to harm.

The responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the ordinance lies with the organizer and exhibitor. The veterinary office will pay special attention to compliance with the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance, violations can be punished with fines.

Based on the experience of past shows, we have agreed with the veterinary office on the following concept:

    Clinical or special examination for certain dog breeds.
    Sample Examinations in dogs of all breeds

1. Clinical or special examination before a dog show

Dogs of the following breeds, which are entered for the dog show, have to undergo a general veterinary examination and/or a special examination in advance and have to be certified with the VDH forms (download see below). VDH-forms of prior events will be accepted, if they are still valid. The validity period can be found in the following list. Forms for the normal clinical examination are currently valid for one year.

Please upload the respective required forms (regardless, if the forms are from a prior event or new forms) when entering your dog in the OnlineDogShows-Portal.

examination (interval)
examination (interval)



Fitness and Exercise Test (From the age of 1 year every two years)


American Cocker Spaniel




Basset Hound




Griffon Belge


Fitness and Exercise Test (From the age of 1 year every two years)






Dogue de Bordeaux




Boston Terrier


Fitness and Exercise Test (From the age of 1 year every two years)


Petit Brabancon


Fitness and Exercise Test (From the age of 1 year every two years)


Griffon Bruxellois


Fitness and Exercise Test (From the age of 1 year every two years)


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


From the age of 4, in the presence of a heart murmur: cardiac ultrasound




From the age of 6, in the presence of a heart murmur: cardiac ultrasound


Greate Dane


Heart ultrasound (from the age of 3 every 2 years)




Heart ultrasound, 24-hour ECG (every 2 years from the age of 3)


English Cocker Spaniel




English Bulldog


Fitness and Exercise Test* (From the age of 1 year every two years)


French Bulldog


Fitness and Exercise Test* (From the age of 1 year every two years)


Irish Wolfhound


Heart ultrasound (from the age of 3 every 2 years)


Japan Chin


Fitness and Exercise Test (From the age of 1 year every two years)


King Charles Spaniel


From the age of 6, in the presence of a heart murmur: cardiac ultrasound






Mastino Napoletano






Fitness and Exercise Test* (From the age of 1 year every two years)




Fitness and Exercise Test (From the age of 1 year every two years)


Rhodesian Ridgeback




Shar Pei




Thai Ridgeback



*Results of the 'Respiratory Function Grading Scheme' developed by the University of Cambridge are recognised. Animals graded 0 or 1 are allowed to participate in the show. For dogs of the Pug, French and English Bulldog breeds, only the Cambridge test and the likewise scientifically validated, treadmill-supported fitness test of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover ("VDH Fitness Test") can be accepted at the VDH shows in Dortmund (VDH European Winner & Spring Winner and Bundessieger & Autumn Winner Show) and Gelsenkirchen (German Winner Show). Other stress test results can no longer be accepted as a basis for show participation for dogs of these breeds.

(For Pugs, French Bulldogs and Bulldogs, only results of the Cambridge Test and the Fitnesstest of the Veterinary University Hannover can be accepted.)

Further information about the VDH exercise test, which is offered by the VDH member clubs, can be found here

Further information about the VDH-Fitness- und Cambridge-Test can be found here.

You can submit the completed forms in the exhibitor portal until 25.06.2024.

Irrespective of the presentation of the examination form, animals with relevant diseases in the sense of § 10 No. 2 TierSchHuV, which were not detected during the examination, may be excluded from the event by the responsible veterinary office or the organiser at their own discretion.


2. Checks at the show

In accordance with official requirements, the VDH shall carry out random inspections of the registered dogs at the exhibition. If a dog shows one of the characteristics listed below or relevant diseases in the sense of § 10 S.1 Nr. 2 TierSchHuV during these inspections, the dog must be excluded from the event by the responsible veterinary office or the organizer at his own discretion.

Dog owners/exhibitors will be informed at the entrance when their tickets are scanned if their animals are scheduled for inspection and directed to the examination tents at the entrance. The inspection will take place before the owners/exhibitors go to the rings. The Special Managers will be informed which dogs will be inspected. Only after this and in case of proof that the control has taken place and that there are no veterinary concerns about the dog's participation, the dog is allowed to be judged in the ring.

In addition, controls may be carried out in the halls. All dogs participating in the final competitions in the ring of honor will additionally be checked by a veterinarian in the preliminary ring.

These checks can be performed in dogs of all breeds. In order to ensure the most effective selection of random samples, known breed dispositions will be taken into account here.

Dogs with the following characteristics (heredity is assumed) are not allowed to participate in VDH events with a term. This is not an exhaustive list. Other characteristics may - in consultation with the local veterinary offices - also lead to exclusion according to § 10 TierSchHuV if they fulfil the criteria of the regulation.

Disturbance of respiration including disturbance of thermoregulation, pathological respiratory sounds respiratory sounds, dyspnoea, cyanosis, hyperthermia especially in brachycephalic breeds.

Eye including eyelids:

  • Eyelid malpositions such as en- and ectropion (the characteristics are relevant for exclusion, if clinical symptoms are present), exophthalmos
  • Blindness
  • Strabismus

Neurological symptoms

Deformity of the skull, coupled with clinical symptoms, e.g. open fontanelles, disproportionate shortening of the mandible or maxilla, visibility of teeth or tongue when the mouth is closed, brachycephalic obstructive airway Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)

Dwarfism (pituitary form)

Skin and hair
Pigmentation-related traits:

  • Whiteheadedness/extreme spotting associated with deafness and/or UV-related skin damage (Note: Audiometric measurement is too invasive (anaesthesia) for show approval. The potentially problematic gene does not lead to a show ban, special attention should be paid to clinical signs during entry inspections).
  • Merle markings plus predominant white markings in the head area, especially unpigmented ears: Show only with genetic test (All genotypes which, according to the current state of knowledge, are associated with a significant risk of developing impairments of the sensory organs, lead to exclusion).
  • Colour Dilution Alopecia (Note on Colour Dilution: There is still a need for research to differentiate healthy dilute (e.g. "classic" Weimaraner) from diseased dilute (dogs with Colour Dilution Alopecia).

Other characteristics in the skin/hair area:

  • Extensive hairlessness (particularly in carriers of the mutated FOXI3 gene)
    Please refer to the explanation under the following link.

  • Albinism

  • Dermoid cysts

  • ectodermal dysplasia: hairless animals of the naked dog breeds with clinical signs such as comedones, hypodontia (see below), dental defects or malocclusions
  • Excessive formation of skin wrinkles (wrinkles affecting sensory organs and/or body orifices; wrinkles that impair movement and/or behaviour typical of the species), skin fold dermatitis
  • Missing or shortened vibrissae, even after shearing


  • Exclude in case of hereditary absence of canini (canine or fang teeth), P4/upper jaw or M1/lower jaw (fangs, together they form the crushing scissors) or if more than two other teeth are missing; except P1 (upper and lower jaw) and M3 (lower jaw). The exhibitor has the option to prove with a veterinary certificate that the missing teeth are due to accident or non-hereditary disease.
  • Misaligned teeth, which are associated with injuries/irritation of the mucous membrane of the mouth or loss of tooth substance.


Shortened/misshapen tail in association with clinical signs (dermatitis dermatitis on the underside of the tail, neurological deficits, restrictions in hygiene and bodily functions due to lack of mobility of the tail, etc.).

Tail length The tail must cover the anus when rolled out.

Amputated dewclaws: Dogs, whose dewclaws have been amputated without a medical reason, are not allowed to participate.



We would like to point out that besides the prominent vibrissae on the upper lip (pili tactiles labiales superiores), vibrissae can also be found on the lower lip as well as on the larynx, the cheeks and above the eye. These should also not be shorn off. (see illustration)

Money back guarantee: Should your dog be excluded due to a hereditary trait in the sense of § 10 No. 2 TierSchHuV, you will receive your registration fee back as a gesture of goodwill and without acknowledging any legal obligation. This does not apply in case of shortened vibrissae or non-compliance with the docking ban.

3. dogs, in which characteristics in the sense of § 10 TierSchHuV are found during the show, must leave the ring without being judged.

4. the breed judges will implement the Breed Specific Instructions (BSI) and pay special attention to health and functionality in the breeds listed therein. The breeds listed in the BSI were selected based on the estimated risk of health-threatening exaggerations of breed characteristics and possible misleading interpretation of the standard.

FAQs on the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance

No, visiting dogs do not have to prove any further examinations apart from a valid anti-rabies vaccination.

Yes, the dogs may be transported in closed boxes and may also withdraw and rest in the box during the show. It must be ensured that this is only possible for a limited period of time and that the dogs are given sufficient exercise. Staying in the box without the exhibitor's supervision is not permitted.

If more than two teeth other than P1 are missing, the exhibitor must prove that the absence is not congenital, but that the tooth had to be removed, e.g. because of a disease (veterinary certificate). Then the dog can be exhibited.

Merle dogs may be exhibited if they do not show any pain, damage or suffering.

No, the examinations can also be carried out and certified by foreign veterinarians.

It was not permissible to shear off the vibrissae (amputation ban) even before the amendment of the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance. Dogs with shortened vibrissae may not be presented at the show.

If the dog is younger than the required age for the special examination, it can participate without the special examination. Example: A one-year-old Doberman does not need a 24-hour ECG, this is only required from the age of 2 years.

The Veterinary Office has specified as a prerequisite for the exhibition that the tail of stub-tailed dogs must completely cover the anal region. The tail must be movable in this case and the bony structure must reach almost to the end of the tail. However, in the opinion of the veterinary office, this problem must be examined more comprehensively and, if possible, a uniform solution found throughout Germany.

Certificates from prior exhibitions can be accepted if they are still valid. The period of validity can be found in the chart above (regardless, if the forms are from a prior event or new forms).

Dogs whose vibrissae have been shortened or removed cannot participate in the show.

- Anzeige -

- Anzeige -