As a foreigner in Spain it is not always clear what the exact rules are. Bear in mind that each municipality can have modified these rules slightly.

The Ayuntamiento de Marbella, delegación de salud, has stipulated the following rules for dogs.


Art 16. Registro Municipal de Animales de Compañía.

The owner of a companion animal is obliged to inscribe the animal at the town hall within 3 months after birth or within 1 month of buying or adopting the animal. The animals must be identified by means of a microchip.

Art 17. Licencia de Tenedor de Animales potencialmente peligrosos.

In summary: to own a dangerous dog breed the owner should be over 18 years of age, have a clean criminal record (certificate), be physiologically and physically able (certificate), have a liability insurance no less than 175.000€ and be registered in the Town hall.

Art 18. Cesión o Venta de animal.

The owner is obliged to change the ownership via the microchip registration (at the veterinarian’s office) to the new owner and to notify the disappearance or death of the animal within one month.

Art 19. Identificación de animales.

All dogs, cats, ferrets and horses must be identified with a microchip.

Art 20. Circulación de animales.

  1. The animals that go round public areas must be identified with a microchip.
  2. They have to be accompanied by their owner or caretaker and lead with a collar/ harness and lead.
  3. Dogs over 20 kg and dogs with an aggressive character must wear a muzzle in public places.
  4. Dogs are only allowed of the lead in the dog parks or beach. Dogs are not allowed in children play areas.
  5. Dangerous dog breeds must wear a muzzle at all times and the lead is not allowed to be longer than 2 meters.
  6. The owner of a dangerous dog breed must have the license and the registration certificate at the Town Hall with them at all times.

To be continued next issue.