As of January 2017, the compulsory subject for the Swiss-wide SKN certificate (theory & practical training) is not mandatory anymore. However, the compulsory course of the Canton of Zurich (Welpenkurse, Junghundekurse & Erziehungskurse) for large breeds still exists.


As of 01.01.2017 the Swiss-wide „Sachkundenachweis“ (SKN theory & practice) certificate is no longer mandatory. Thus in the canton of Zurich from 01.01.2017 only owners of „large dogs“ are obliged to visit a basic education (Welpenkurse, Junghundekurs oder Erziehungskurs) with their dog. The compulsory SKN theory course, which mainly informed new dog owners prior to the purchase of the dog, is unfortunately altogether omitted.

Amicanis regrets this decision very much. Finally, the SKN courses not only gave important rules for a peaceful coexistence between man, dog and society. With topics such as dog needs, health, learning behavior, prevention of problem behavior, body language etc., they also had an important task in animal protection and promoted harmonious human-dog relationships. And this should be to every dog – whether for a Great Dane or a Chihuahua.

Therefore amicanis will continue to offer these learning contents – out of conviction:

      • The SKN theory course continues under the name „Dog Update!„.
      • The SKN practical lessons are covered with the Basic module and can be expanded with the Advanced and further modules (recommended) – or you just visit a Junghunde-/Erziehungskurs

Compulsory dog courses in the canton of Zurich

The canton of Zurich already had additional compulsory dog courses at „SKN times“, but only for „large dogs“ (breeds „type 1“): Puppy classes (Welpenkurse), young dog classes (Junghundekurse) and educational courses (Erziehungskurse). These courses are not affected by the abolition of SKN courses and are still mandatory.

Due to the abolition of the SKN, there is no longer any obligation to train owners of „small dogs“. But of course it is officially very recommended.

Therefore it is important to know how to categorize or determine dogs as “Small” or “large”:


Is my dog a „small dog“, “Breed Type I” or “Breed Type II”?

In this „Rassetypeliste of Kantons Zürich“ you can check how your dog is categorized. Translation Help: Kleinwüchsig = Small dog, Typ 1 = Large Dog.
Important: dogs deemed Pedigree Type II are forbidden in the Canton of Zurich.

The following rule of thumb is valid and can also be used for crossbreeds:

      • Small Dog: max. 45 cm withers height, max. 16kg weight
      • Pedigree Type I: taller than 45 cm or heavier than 16kg

In case of doubt, the local administration (Hundekontrolle) will help and give clarity.


Summary of mandatory courses in Canton of Zurich

Mandatory for small dogs

        • There is no mandatory lessons for small dogs since 01.01.2017
        • But of course it is highly recommended to visit dogschool (inkl. puppy lessons for socialisation)

Mandatory for large dogs ( Pedigree Type I)

If the dog is between 8 & 16 weeks old upon taking over

                • Puppy Group: min. 4 Lessons between the age of 8 to 16 weeks of age
                • Junghundekurs: min. 10 Lessons, between 16 weeks and 18 months of age. If learning targets are not reached, more training will be necessary.

Attention:

                    • If the puppy group course was not attended, even though the puppy was in the canton of Zurich during that period, an Erziehungs-Course of a min. of 20 Lessons must be visited during the period set by the local administration and potential fine can be set by the authority.
                    • If the Junghunde-Course was not attended, even though the young dog was in the canton of Zurich during the period, an Erziehungs-Course of a min. of 20 lessons must be visited during the period set by the local administration and potential fine can be set by the authority

If the dog is between 16 weeks and 18 months old upon taking over

          • Junghunde Course (incl. SKN-Practical Course): min. 10 Lessons, between 16 weeks to 18 months of age. If learning targets are not reached, more training will be necessary (provided the dog visited Puppy Group in time when he was a puppy – or he did not live in Canton of Zurich during his puppy period)

Attention:

                    • If the puppy group course was not attended, even though the puppy was in the canton of Zurich during that period, an Erziehungs-Course of a min. of 20 Lessons must be visited during the period set by the local administration and potential fine can be set by the authority.
                    • If the Junghunde-Course was not attended, even though the young dog was in the canton of Zurich during the period, an Erziehungs-Course of a min. of 20 lessons must be visited during the period set by the local administration and potential fine can be set by the authority

If the dog is older than 18 months, but younger than 8 years when acquiring or moving to the Canton of Zurich

                        • Erziehungskurs (incl. SKN-Practical): min. 10 Lessons – if learning targets are not reached, more lessons are deemed to be visited during that first year
                          Attention: if the education course is not attended, the communal administration will determine a time period with deadline, in which the course must be attended and a potential fine can be set by the authority.

Further information