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Pulling dogs decision

In the Netherlands you are not allowed to use dogs as pulling power. That's in the  Act animals . This law prohibits any activity in which a dog is used to pull a cart, sled, boat or other object, animal or human on land or in the water. In the waiver of August 12, 1996/No. J.967325 by the Minister of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries,  JJ van Aartsen  there was an exemption.  

Because at that time many members of the Sledehonden Sport Club Nederland had dogs that were specially bred for the sled dog sport but did not have a pedigree with the collective name Alaskan Husky. After this change in law, it is not possible for them to train with Alaskan Huskies in the Netherlands or to participate in the competitions in the Netherlands. So after 1996 the Sledehonden Sport Club Nederland stood with laying hands. Quotation waiver of August 12, 1996/No. J.967325

The present regulation has been submitted for advice to the Council for Animal Affairs,  the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animalsthe Board of Directors on Kynological Area in the Netherlandsthe Foundation for Companion Animals  and the Sledhonden Sport Club Nederland. The Association for the Protection of Dogs has issued an unsolicited advice. The Sledehonden Sport Club Nederland has indicated that it agrees with the proposed arrangement.


The other organizations have all argued that the exemption should be limited to those dog breeds that have traditionally been bred to practice the sled dog sport. The Minister of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries, JJ van Aartsen, has complied with this wish and has  complied with in the second paragraph of Article 1. The regulation only applies to the dog breeds nominated by the aforementioned organizations, namely the Alaskan malamute, Eskimo dog, Greenland dog, Samoyed, Siberian husky.

In early 2012, two members of the Sledehonden Sport Club Nederland came into contact with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). Various discussions were held here with the Central Government Agency to adjust this exemption, but this turned out to be impossible. Finally, an addition was made to the exemption of August 12, 1996/No. J.967325 that means after 2012 an addition was made to the law so that an exemption can also be requested from the dog that does not fall under the five breeds mentioned.  Netherlands Enterprise Agency  (RVO).


This exemption applies to dogs that have been specially bred for the sled dog sport but do not have a pedigree. These dogs are collectively called Alaskan Husky. Prior to this amendment of the law, it was not possible for Dutch teams to train with Alaskan Huskies in the Netherlands. Due to the new exemption, this will be possible from 2012 onwards.

No exemption needed

Do you practice the sled dog sport with one or more of the pedigree dog breeds listed below? Then an exemption applies and you can practice your sport without an exemption:

Alaskan malamute

Eskimo dog

greenland dog


Siberian husky

Do you own one of these dog breeds, but your dog doesn't have a pedigree? Then there is no exemption for your dogs. You will then need an exemption. You do not need to apply for an exemption for running with dogs (canicross).​​

Exemption needed

Do you want to use a dog as a pulling force for an activity for which there is no exemption? Then you need an exemption. This applies, for example, to bikejoring (mountain biking with a dog on a leash) and waterworks (towing boats, objects and people in the water). Or for sled dog sport with a different breed of dog than the one for which an exemption applies. There are also activities for which we do not issue an exemption, for example for old crafts and weight pulling.


You will only receive an exemption for the use of a dog as a pulling force if you meet the following conditions, among others:

  • The dog benefits from it and his health and well-being are not affected by it.

  • The dog must be microchipped.

To request

You apply for an exemption at Fill in the form and send it to us with the attachment(s). You can log in with DigiD or with eHerkenning. Are you logging in with eHerkenning? You need at least confidence level 2+. You can also print the form and send it to us with the attachments. The address can be found on the form.

Multiple dogs

You can use the application form for multiple dogs. Describe how often and for what purpose you want to use the dog(s) as pulling force. Also describe which object the dog has to pull and under what circumstances this is done (for example, a description of the event, the terrain and the weather condition).

Attachment(s) to your application

Please enclose a veterinary certificate for each dog. You can find this statement on Take this statement and your dog(s) to the vet and also a photo of the vehicle that the dog is going to pull or possibly the vehicle itself. The vet assesses whether your dog is suitable for work as a draft dog and completes the declaration.


There is no cost to apply for an exemption. The costs for the examination by the vet are for your account.

Arrange your request immediately

After your request

You will receive a decision from us within 8 weeks of your application. If you qualify for an exemption, you will receive the exemption at home. You must always have this exemption with you when you use the dog as a pulling force. The exemption is valid for a maximum of 1 year. We issue the exemption based on the vet's examination. Does your dog develop physical complaints after this examination? Then the vet has to re-examine the dog and issue a new vet certificate. We assess the new statement and can then decide to adjust or withdraw the exemption.

Other vehicle or other dog

You must apply for a new exemption and submit a new veterinary certificate in the following cases:


Your dog is going to pull a different vehicle than the one for which you received an exemption.

You are going to use another dog as a draft dog.

The exemption has expired and you want to use the same dog for the same activity.

Sport Club Nederland

Doelstelling van de SSC-NL is de sledehondensport te bevorderen, in de ruimste zin des woord. 

IFSS logo ssc-nl sledehonden oranje.png
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