A German dog-walking law might be going too far.
A proposed German dog-walking law might be going a little too far, much as we love dogs around here at Dog O’Day.
According to an NPR report, the animal welfare ordinance, which was proposed by Germany’s Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klockner, it would be required that dogs be”permitted to exercise outside of a kennel at least twice a day for a total of at least one hour.” The reasoning? “This is to ensure that dogs are given sufficient exercise and contact with environmental stimuli.”
But two hours per day seems on the excessive side. Yes, as dog owners we love our dogs, but we have to do human, non-dog-related things in our lives, too, and this law would make that very complicated. And not all dogs enjoy being outside. Plus, what if you live in a city apartment, or near a busy road or highway? These are not ideal dog-walking conditions in the least.
One hour seems like it would be more doable, but even so, how will this dog-walking law even be enforced? NPR says that still hasn’t been established, much less even if it’s supposed to apply to commercial breeders or the average pet owner.
Other features of this law include prohibitions of keeping dogs tethered up for extended periods of time (working dogs doing their jobs would get an exemption), and a ban on showing dogs with “tortured breeding characteristics,” which might be a good idea, given that show dogs can have genetic health problems based on being bred for their looks.
NPR speculated that this part of the law could be referring to smash-faced breeds’ (the French Bulldog, Pug or Boxer for example) breathing trouble, since their nasal passages are so small, they can be prone to overheating (especially if they have to spend two hours outside every day in the summer).
This German dog-walking law means well, and taking good care of our animals is highly important, but it just doesn’t seem like this was thought out well enough.