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Importing Pedigree Miniature Bull Terrier Into Germany?

  1. Dear Forum of fellow dog lovers,

    I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and recommendations on this issue. And thank you for reading my english! As I am not sure on best forum, perhaps I should also post to the bull terrier forum?

    I am US citizen who works for Henkel Germany. I have been asked to take a 2 year expat assignment in Dusseldorf beginning this summer. I own a purebred pedigree miniature bull terrier with official papers by the American Kennel Club (AKC) showing his pedigree for at least past 3 generations. My dog's details: male, neutered, 4 years old, 38 pounds, 17" tall.

    When I heard of a breed ban list for importing certain dogs into Germany, I inquired with German Customs (Zoll) who informed me that they only enforce laws and when they recognize him as a type of bull terrier they will ask the state vet where I plan to go and live whether he is a list dog that is banned from import or not. They referred me to NRW vet in Dusseldorf. That vet assured me miniature bull terriers are recognized as different breed and ok to import. However, once I sent over all his paperwork they came back and said he is NOT considered a miniature despite his pedigree as he is 17" tall and the FCI breed standard is height not greater than 14" (35.5cm). This despite his pedigree papers. I have tried to inform them that breed standards refer to ideal standards for show and breeding and not what breed he is. His breed is based on his line of purebred genes in him and his ancestors. Unfortunately, he is only "pet" quality, not "show" quality as he has grown a bit too tall and he is thinner in shape relative to his height (not built as thick and sturdy as he should be).

    So now I am in bad situation. I love my dog as my child and will not be separated from him! Even tho I'd really love to spend time and experience in wonderful Germany, I will cancel my expat assignment ifI cannot find a solution.

    Does anyone know of anyone or any rules / laws That might help me clarify Further to NRW officials on my dog's pedigree status? Also, some Henkel employees said to check if maybe situation would be better if I live in a nearby state that might be friendlier to my dog. They suggested maybe living in Rheinland Pfalz (Bad Neuenahr or Ahrweiler) and commute to work in Dusseldorf for the 2 years. Does anyone know if Rheinland Pfalz would be better situation for my dog? Where would I check further on this?

    Thanks so much for advice!

    Best Regards,

    Mike
     
    #1 mdcecil
  2. Es ist enorm wichtig auch an das richtige (!) Hundefutter zu denken.

    Also ich habe für unseren Dicken seeehr lange nach dem richtigen Futter gesucht. Durch Zufall habe ich den hier angebotenen kostenlosen Futtercheck gefunden und konnte dort tatsächlich in Erfahrung bringen, welches Futter ganz konkret von anderen Hundebesitzern mit genau der gleichen Hunderasse bevorzugt wird.

    Und unser Benny liebt sein neues Futter! Es hat sich gelohnt!!

    Hier findet ihr den Futtercheck!
    Dauert weniger als eine Minute.

    Ach ja, ihr könnt übrigens zusätzlich noch am Ende des Futterchecks gratis Futterproben von bis zu 20 verschiedenen Herstellern anfordern!

    So sah hier dann nach ein paar Tagen unser Tisch aus:



    Euer Hund wird euch lieben!

    LG Meike

    --
    Es gibt nur eins, was besser ist als ein Hund – zwei Hunde!
     
     mehr erfahren Hinweis: Dies ist eine Werbeanzeige.
  3. Hi,
    the customs officer did not give you the correct information. For one, the import regulations are federal while the regulations for licensing and keeping the dog vary from region to region. So the regional veterinarian has nothing to do with importing the dog. He is only responsible for you after you have moved into his district.
    The import regulations state only that Bull Terriers cannot be imported into Germany. Miniature Bull Terriers are a separate breed (recognized by the VHD/FCI - German and International Kennel Club) and do not fall under any of these regulations. You are allowed to import your dog without restrictions. I would however strongly encourage you to fly into Amsterdam instead of Frankfurt / Duesseldorf, if you have the chance. It is only about a 2hr train ride from Duesseldorf, and the Netherlands do not have breed specific legislation. So you will for sure have a lot less trouble at the airport in the Netherlands, and if you do run into a German customs officer who thinks he knows better, it will be a lot easier to deal with him on the ground when you already have your dog rather than at the airport while your dog is being held in cargo.

    Especially in NRW, quite a few people have had trouble with the authorities with regards to their Miniature Bull Terriers that are bigger than the breed standard. The case is clear though and has been decided in court several times already: a dog with papers from a recognized kennel club is considered a Minitaure Bull Terrier regardless of height. Do not let any government veterinarian bully you into measuring your dog or anything of the like.

    If need be, there is a good lawyer who specializes in breed specific legislation and gets recommended often here on the forum: Lars Weidemann in Muehlheim/Ruhr.
     
    #2 Max&Nova
  4. Which, I want to add, is not too far from Düsseldorf.

    Max&Nova has already given you the basic informations. Miniature Bullterriers with pedigree are Miniature Bullterriers. Irregardless of their size. And hence, one IS allowed to bring them here.

    (If she does not comment here herself, you might want to write a PN to the user "Crabat", who is quite experienced in the field, and whose English is, I suppose, better than mine.)

    Living in the Düsseldorf Area, I can only add that "Living in Rheinland-Pfalz and commuting to Düsseldorf every day for 2 years" is, from my experience, not a very good option.
    Distances may seem small for you, coming from the US, but believe me, the traffic situation, especially during the hours you might have to travel, is less than acceptable. Living in Bad Neuenahr or the area might probably mean that you'd have to spend 4 to 6 hours on the road, every day, most of the time in traffic jams. Unless you are allowed to take your dog to office (and I am not quite sure whether Henkel allows that in general), I think this is less than ideal.
     
    #3 lektoratte
  5. To my informations, there is a partnership between the FCI (european kennel club) and the AKC, which guarantee the "acceptance" of pedigrees. Maybe it is possible, that you get a formal paper from the AKC or the FCI or the VDH (german kennel club) for the german custom service about this acceptance.
    Or you call the german custom service directly at the airport in Frankfurt and ask them, if they know how to handle a miniature bullterrier with AKC pedigree. If it sounds, that they are missinformed or not willing to accept the pedigree you can travel via the netherlands and your dog is safe.
     
    #4 Coony
  6. Maybe it would be helpful to contact the German breeder´s Association, to register your dog in a german Kennelclub.
    German Kennelclubs for Miniature Bull Terrier:



    The German Customs often don´t know how to deal with non- FCI- Papers, unfortunatly.
     
    #5 Crabat
  7. Provided that the local regulatory agency in NRW is not missinformed, too...which is often the case.
    Tall MBt have problems in Germany, even with FCI- Papers, despite that they are legally normal dogs in Germany. Non- FCI- Papers will make it even harder.
     
    #6 Crabat
  8. I mean "safe" the way, Max&Nova said it - the dog is in your posession and not in the hand of the custom/in cargo. For the local problems - there will be lawyers like Weidemann.

    Another question
    @mdcecil
    Does Henkel offer you a "location service"? I know it from other companies - they offer you an agent, who helps you with the local registrations etc. Maybe you can contact them with your problem and ask for help?
     
    #7 Coony
  9. How good are these people usually, from your experience, Coony?

    I mean, in the sense of: "Being able to do more than calling the local state vet" (and hence, getting false information), which Mike already did?
     
    #8 lektoratte
  10. Well it depends on the agent - or if the agent is well payed. The service itself was/is fantastic, but you do have to make clear where your special needs are. We didn't have children, so our agent didn't have to care for school, kindergarden or else, but we had a dog, so it was impotant for us, that we have an insurance for dogs and the adress of an english speaking veterinary. Maybe the fact, that someone has a dog - or a dog that maybe is a "banned" dog (which is not the fact here) is new for the agent, but that should not be the problem of the employee/customer. The companies spend a lot of money for this service/agents, so make them sweat.

    So in the case, that Henkel has an location service, I would make clear, that I have a dog, of an special race, that I informed myself (the race is NOT banned - the import is NOT illegal) but the local services are bullying me btw. the local services are not well informed about their own laws. So the agent has to bring up the correct informations (that the Miniature Bullterrier is not banned, that there is an acceptance of pedigrees between AKC/FCI/VDH, so the custom service must accept the AKC pedigree) and make an dossier for mdcecil(Mike) with all the papers he need. From knowing the german laws about dogs, Mike will need help with the Ordnungsamt, the dog will be a 40/20 dog and Mike needs the Sachkunde. Then he needs help for the taxes, the insurance, maybe a special form from the "owner" of the appartment (yes I know, the Mini is no "Kampfhund" but just to be sure, because of the look). If the agent or the agency is saying "that's not our business" then Mike should send them to the lawyer Weidemann - maybe he has to pay Weidemann for himself, but the agent, can do all the paperwork and telephone calls. The job of an location agent is to make your moving as smooth as possible, because the company wants his employee happy and productive.

    That's my expirience with the location agents - inform yourself, make sure the agent understand your needs and keep constantly contact with the agent. It is their job to care for your problems and Mike don't really has a problem, if the agent will make a good job. The dog is not illegal - point.
     
    #9 Coony
  11. Ah, thanks, Coony.

    My own experiences (from civil service) for these sorts of problems with respect to foreign co-workers were less promising, but then... The respective ppl. were, however, not exclusively paid for these sorts of problems.
     
    #10 lektoratte
  12. Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful advice. Henkel does offer full relo assistance. I work with a local firm C+S in Dusseldorf to assist with all local matters: house renting, drivers license, work permits, etc. Normally, pet issues are just related to documents and importing and handled by another pet transport company but in this case the relo team there has been trying to help.

    At first, when I was told no because he exceeds 35.5, the local relo was able to talk to the lady in Dusseldorf regulatory and she said the issue was my dog's papers were issued when he was born in 2010 and he was just a baby. But now that he is 43cm tall, he has outgrown his papers as a mini. The clerk in Dusseldorf regulatory suggested that maybe if I got new papers reissued from AKC showing he is still a mini bull today, they would rethink. But then she changed her mind and wrote back to me:

    _____________________________________
    Dear Cecil,

    after consultation with the responsible ministry or state office (LANUV) I regret to inform you that your dog is not classified as a mini bull terrier.

    "If a dog to begutachtender where it is suspected that he was a miniature bull terrier, as part of the Phänotypbestimmungen to no. 3.2.2 VV LHundG NRW has a greater than 35.5 cm at the withers, this is not classified as a miniature bull terrier but as a standard bull terrier. "

    A standard Bull Terrier is one of the so-called. List dogs, which may not be imported into Germany.

    Should you have any further questions on phenotyping, please call to the city of Dusseldorf, Mrs. Zeidler.

    Sincerely yours

    Hildegard Quack
    District Government Dusseldorf
    Department 21
    Nationality matters, regulatory law,

    Civil status, passport and registration
    ______________________________
    I looked up the 3.2.2 regulation she mentions but it says nothing on size, only that without papers it can often be difficult to determine true breed and then experts and NRW must decide. But since my dog has papers, this is really just the same argument they keep making without facts! Since my mini bull is the sweetest mini bull I've ever owned or seen, I offered to submit him to any behavior test they liked as he loved ALL people and ALL other dogs. He might be found guilty of licking someone to death though. :)

    I did reach out to Lars Weidemann. Thank you! He already wrote back that he thinks he may be able to help but first needs to check with several people such as a president of a breeder's organization. Hopefully, he can help me break through all the legal challenges and solve in next few months before I am expected to arrive. Not sure in Germany if regulatory agencies will relent with local legal help or if I must spend a long time to go to court.

    Best Regards,

    Mike
     
    #11 mdcecil
  13. Well that sounds not so bad - ask C+S for the name of the pet transport company and call them for yourself. These people are known to the custom services and the handling of AKC pedigrees (it's their business, they should know!), I think they can answer the question, if your Miniature Bullterrier with AKC pedigree could be imported or not.

    For Düsseldorf you got Weidemann, who will tell the office, that a Mini is a Mini, no matter, what height he has.
     
    #12 Coony
  14. Mrs Quack ist what we call in Germany a "Quacksalber". :p She is totally wrong!
    I hope Lars Weidemann will be successfull for you and your dog. :)
     
    #13 Crabat
  15. not sooo important, but must be mentioned

    it is Muelheim/Ruhr and not Muehlheim - otherwise you will never find that town on maps
     
    #14 felis
  16. Don't tell me... :nervoes::verlegen:

    (read: Trust me, she's right... :asshat:)
     
    #15 lektoratte
  17. Nah... It isn't that important, because Muelheim lies in a region of Germany there are always black clouds and you won't find it anyway ;)
     
    #16 RiSchäBoCo
  18. Ms Quack is wrong. This has been tried by other civil servants before her, and there are several court rulings stating that a Miniature Bull Terrier is still a Miniature Bull Terrier even if s/he exceeds the size in the breed standard. Whatever you do, DON'T let the civil authorities make you present the dog to an expert for determination of the breed. That is usually their next step, but they are not entitled to do that. Insist that she is a Miniature Bull Terrier - which she is, and get a lawyer if need be.
    It is true what Coony says, even though the AKC is not part of the FCI, it is recognized by the FCI as the main breed club in the US. As far as I know, the FCI does not operate any breed clubs in North America at all, but there is an agreement between them and the AKC instead. So getting your papers recognized should not be an issue at all.
     
    #17 Max&Nova
  19. Addendum: What Mrs. Quack said is a rather crude compilation of what is (or was) done in Nordrhein-Westfalen when a so-called Minature Bullterrier does NOT have any pedigree, and hence, it hast to be ruled out that the owner tries to claim that his illegally kept standard bullterrier is, in fact, a mini. In that case, size is definitely an issue and physical phenotype might be another.

    I find this understandable: Apparently, there have to be rules about how to deal with dogs w/o pedigree which could belong to both a legal or an illegal breed.

    However: If the dog does have a pedigree, this question should NOT arise at all anymore, as by now, the mini bullterrier is considered an independent breed.

    A dog cannot "outgrow" its pedigree. This is ridiculous.

    It might possibly outgrow a preliminary assessment that it might be a mini, from a vet if the dog does not have any pedigree.

    Ach, anyway, I am quite sure that Lars Weidemann will be able to help.
     
    #18 lektoratte
  20. I am waiting eagerly for the lawyer, Lars Weidemann to respond back. He felt he could help me so I'm hopeful he will be able to assist. As my company, Henkel, has a very significant presence in Dusseldorf, they are looking into having their legal team also assisting with Mr. Weidemann to get to the right authorities to make the correct decision on my miniature. I'm willing to get FCI or other pedigree papers in addition to his AKC papers if necessary.

    I was so excited for my expat assignment until this happened. But suppose better to deal with it now then get to Germany and have problems. If this does not work out, last resort to keep my expat is my company is looking at potential for me to live in Roermond, Netherlands and take the 1 hr commute each way every day; possibly work from home on Fridays. A big mess so hopefully legal help will make the Dusseldorf situation work out ok.
     
    #19 mdcecil
  21. Commuting from Roermond is decidedly the better option compared with Bad Neuenahr, traffic-wise.

    But most likely, I suppose, Düsseldorf (or the smaller towns and cities in the area) will be perfectly fine for you. :)
     
    #20 lektoratte
  22. Folgende Themen könnten diesem hier thematisch ähnlich sein:
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