GACO Corner: Enjoying nature with your dog

Photo by Jaromir Chalabala/

Germany is a great place to enjoy life with dogs. Germans love their pets, but there are rules for dog owners that Americans may not be aware of before moving to the Kaiserslautern Military Community. The German American Community Office has put together some important information.

When walking your dog near fields or in wooded areas, there are several things to keep in mind. Just recently, five deer were hunted to death by unleashed dogs in the KMC, which under German law is a criminal offense and will lead to legal consequences for the owners.

Avoid any areas where wild animals might seek protection and cover, such as bushes, scrubs or overgrown grassy areas. With spring coming around the bend and many forest animals raising their offspring, it is especially important to ensure that young forest and field dwellers are protected. Some animals, such as wild boar or foxes, can also become extremely protective and dangerous.

Farmers’ and forest paths may generally be used for recreational strolls and to walk your dog. Your dog should be leashed at all times to be on the safe side and to avoid your dog not reacting to your commands or running out of sight. Beware of any Naturschutzgebiet signs (see photo on the left) that point out nature protection zones.

Be courteous and make sure that your dog does not frighten or jump at joggers, pedestrians or others walking their dogs. Retractable leashes will allow your animal to run and play, but can be drawn short, if required.

Also, do not let your dog eat or chew any objects found along the way. Unfortunately, there have been cases of dogs being poisoned or injured by pieces of meat, sausage or treats spiked with sharp obstacles.

Enjoy Germany’s fresh green fields and beautiful forests with your dog and make it fun for everyone!