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New law will make it illegal to walk your dog less than twice a day in Germany

brown puppy in yellow circle, political woman speaking in front of light blue background dog-happy
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The German government has announced a new set of laws to ensure all its four-legged citizens get enough exercise, companionship, and the best possible start in life.

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 20/08/2020, 18:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:25

Germany's agriculture minister, Julia Klöckner, announced the news earlier this week.

The Dog's Act

Under the new laws, owners are obligated to walk their dogs twice a day for a total of one hour. They also prohibit people from leaving dogs alone all day. Instead, owners will have to check-in several times or hire a dog sitter. 

Other measures include minimising the time dogs spend on a leash and legislation to regulate breeders and protect puppies. Julia Klockner said the laws are based on the latest scientific findings.

"[Dogs] need a sufficient measure of activity and contact with environmental stimuli," said Klockner.

How much exercise does a dog need every day

But not everybody is impressed by the new Dog's Act. Some have questioned how the measures would be enforced, while others think it's unfair to apply a one-size-fits-all policy to every dog. 

Barbel Kleid lives in Berlin with a Yorkshire Terrier called Sam. She said: 
"Will the neighbour call the police if they suspect me of not taking Sam for long enough walks?"

Not 'paw-fect,' but a great start!

German MP Saskia Ludwig tweeted the following: 

"I will not be taking my Rhodesian Ridgeback for two rounds of walks in 32 degrees heat!"

It looks like ministers have got some work to do before the laws come into effect next year. But in the meantime, let's be thankful some governments are starting to take doggy welfare so seriously!


Frequently asked questions

How many walks a day does a dog need?

When should you start walking your puppy?

Is it safe to hike with a dog?