Dog ownership

Hannu Huttu

Acquiring a dog places demands on the owner that he or she should be aware of. Among other things, the owner must look after the dog's vaccinations and identification markings. You should also consider taking out a pet insurance policy for your dog.

Get a bill of sale

An official bill of sale should always be drafted when buying a dog. The trade price covers a registration certificate if the dog is registered with the Finnish Kennel Club. You should not be confident in the origin of the pup or its parents if a registration certificate is not presented. An unregistered pup may not be sold under a breed designation.

Log ownership declaration conveniently through Omakoira

A pup is registered under the buyer's name when an ownership declaration is logged. This can be done once the pup's owner receives its registration certificate.

Finnish Kennel Club members can use the convenient electronic Omakoira service to log an ownership declaration. An authorisation key is needed to complete one on Omakoira. The authorisation key is marked on the registration certificate's ownership declaration section and it can also be found on the certificate of ownership. The authorisation key can be used only once. If you do not have an authorisation key, submit the declaration by post.

You can also submit an ownership declaration by mailing the ownership declaration section of the registration certificate to the postal address mentioned in it or by sending a free-form written declaration. 

A dog's first ownership declaration is logged free of charge.

Change of ownership

It is of essential importance that the new owner of a dog registers his or her ownership with the Finnish Kennel Club. Should the dog go missing, anyone who finds it would be unable to discover who the owner is if the owner's information is not entered in the Kennel Club's register. 

If a prior owner has not been registered for the dog, an ownership declaration should be made. A maximum of three owners can be included in the Kennen Club's ownership register for a dog registered in Finland.

An owner is entered for the dog on the basis of a written declaration or an electronic one logged via Omakoira, and the first entry is logged free of charge. Information on the dog's owner is recorded on the Club's ownership register and the owner is supplied with a separate ownership certificate, with an appended change-of-ownership card. 

A change of ownership can only be registered electronically using the authorisation key of the previous owner or on the basis of a change-of-ownership card or an ownership declaration signed by the transferor(s), a bill of sale or some other document that unambiguously demonstrates right of ownership. All of a dog's owners must sign the change-of-ownership declaration. A fee is charged for registering a change of ownership. 

Ownership details on the breeding information system?

With permission from the dog's owner, ownership details can also be included in the Kennen Club's breeding data system. This can prove useful if, for example, the dog goes missing. Displaying ownership details on the system enables the person who finds a dog to contact the owner and return it.

Vaccination protects dogs against disease

The purpose of vaccinations is to protect dogs against contagious diseases. Rabies and canine distemper virus vaccinations are mandatory for any dog that attends a dog show or a field trial. 

It is also recommended to have your dog vaccinated for contagious liver inflammation and parvovirus-caused diarrhoea as well as kennel cough.

Identification marking protects your dog

All pups registered with the Finnish Kennel Club since 2009 have had to be identification marked. Identification marking is useful if a dog runs away or is stolen. The marking helps the authorities find the dog's owner quite rapidly when necessary. Furthermore, proper identification marking ensures that health examination reports are issued to and recorded for the correct dog.  

Breeders are required to identification mark their pups before handing them over to buyers. Thus, the new owner only needs to notify his or her details to the FKC ownership register.   

A microchip or tattoo is used as an identifier. Your own local veterinarian can perform the identification marking. Identification markers are mandatory for all dogs participating in official dog shows and field trials.   

Dog insurance

Most Finnish insurance companies offer pet insurance policies for dogs. Typically, these policies are categorised as follows:

  • Basic insurance: usually compensates for the loss of a dog when it dies, goes missing, is injured or falls ill so badly that it must be put down. 
  • Working dog insurance: meant for hunting, service and stud dogs.
  • Veterinarian insurance: covers treatment and examination expenses in the event of illnesses or accidents.
  • Life insurance: covers the loss of a dog to illness or accidental death.
  • Liability insurance: provides cover for third-party personal injury and property damages caused by your dog.
  • Breeder's litter insurance: covers the loss of a litter and veterinarian expenses if the pups have latent or hereditary defects.

Reporting a dog’s death

The information regarding a dog’s death can be entered into the database of the Finnish Kennel Club on the owner’s request.

The report is made in writing. The report should contain the name and registration number of the dog, cause and date of death and the owner’s signature. The report can be scanned or photographed and sent by e-mail to or by post to the address Suomen Kennelliitto – Showlink Oy, P.O. BOX 20, 79101 Leppävirta.