New German Law Would Require Daily Walks For Dogs

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis

We know that exercise is important for dogs, and they love their sniff this, pee-on-that time that comes with daily walks. A new law in Germany would require twice-daily walks for dogs, as well as limit the number of dogs a pet owner could have.

Julia Klöckner is the Agriculture Minister in Germany. She’s proposed a new law for German dog owners, one that require dog owners to take their dogs for walks twice a day, for at least an hour total.

Related: Iran Bans Public Dog Walking To Discourage Dog Ownership

Saying that pets are not cuddly toys, Klöckner is also proposing rules to crack down on ‘puppy farms’ and keep dogs from being chained for extended periods of times.

The ‘puppy mill’ legislation would ban breeders from taking care of more than three litters of puppies at any one time, to ensure proper care for all dogs involved with the three litters. With this, any breeders caring for three or fewer litters will have to spend a minimum of four hours a day with any puppies in the litter to ensure they are properly socialized with humans and the world around them.

Additionally, the legislation would ban pet owners from leaving their dogs home by themselves all day, as Klöckner says their needs have to be taken into account as well as their human’s.

Calling all proposed legislation necessary to ensure animal protection and welfare, Klöckner said the new suggested changes were based on expert advice. The new regulations have already been drafted and if passed, could become law early next year.

How to enforce the new rules would be up to the German states. A spokesperson for the German Agriculture Ministry said that they didn’t expect it was likely that private citizens who owned dogs would have police coming to check and make sure their dogs were being walked twice daily and counting the minutes. The intent behind the legislation is to give a clear message that animals had needs to be considered. The emphasis for the legislation would be for dogs kept in kennels to be treated well.

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Additionally, the legislation that affects show dogs and dogs in whom their behavior isn’t ‘species-appropriate.’ The proposed legislation would ban showing dogs who had ears or tails docked (as is often the case with the popular German Shepherd and Doberman) as current German legislation bans both tail docking and ear cropping except for gundogs. For those who show German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers particularly, this would take them out of showing dogs altogether, as many breeders believe the docking to be critical to their showing.

The proposed legislation has mixed reviews. Many proponents of animal welfare believe the rules to be a critical way to back the need for better care for pets and to consider their needs in all things. Others worry that a one-size-fits-all dogs prescription for how to care for them may not work as some dogs need far more exercise than an hour a day, and others may have to do less due to age and health. Pet owners are mixed as well, with some believing the position will show that pets’ needs must be taken into account and others believing you shouldn’t have to regulate caring for and loving your dog.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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