Having a dog in Germany

Germany is a great place to enjoy life with dogs. Germans love their pets, but there are many different 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

Leashing dogs

The Office of Public Order (Ordnungsamt) reminds dog owners that they need to keep their dogs on a leash inside developed areas in community limits at all times.  Outside developed areas, dogs must be automatically put on a leash in case of other persons approaching.  Violations against these rules may be punished by fines up to € 5,000. 

The pollution of public places, in particular parks and playgrounds, with dog feces is on the rise, creating a health hazard particularly to children and a nuisance to the inhabitants as well as the community workers required to clean the litter.

Quiet hours

Dog barking has to be kept at a minimum. During quiet hours, between 10 p.m.-6 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., dog owners must ensure that neighbors are not disturbed by barking, whining or howling. Outside these hours, dog owners must ensure that dog noises do not last longer than 10 minutes consecutively, respectively exceed 30 minutes cumulatively per day. If necessary, the dogs have to be kept inside the house in accordance with animal protection laws.

Keeping dogs in kennels or on chains

Chaining on a light chain (not more than 3,2 mm wire thickness) with two swivel joints on a rope of at least 6 m in length with room to move at both sides of at least 2,5 m. A broad, not strangling collar or harness is prescribed by law.

When the dog is kept in a kennel, the kennel has to be at least 6 square meters in size not taking into consideration the shelter and board to rest. When more than one dog is kept in the kennel, at least three additional square meters have to be available for each dog.

One side of the kennel has to provide free sight to the outside. Chaining of a dog inside the kennel is prohibited. The dog has to be walked for several times a day when kept in a kennel, a chained dog has to be walked for at least one hour per day. This is also applicable for dogs kept in stables, barns, storage rooms etc.

An insulated shelter (hut) suitable for the size of the dog has to be provided. This hut is to be kept clean and dry. The bottom of the kennel is to be prepared in a way that water can drain off or ooze away. The interior of the kennel is also to be kept clean, dry and free of parasites.

A resting board has to be available outside the hut. To protect the dog against excessive heat or sun, a place in the shade outside the hut has to be available. Daily feeding and always a sufficient amount of fresh water have to be ensured. The owner is to check whether the dog is okay at least once a day.

The German Animal Protection Law, requires that “People keeping, caring for or having to care for an animal are not allowed to limit the animals opportunity for species-specific movement in a way that the animal suffers from pain, diseases or injuries.”

If this law is violated a prison sentence of up to three years or fines of up to € 25,000 will be imposed.

For more information, you can reach out to the GACO via email at info@gaco-kl.de or call 0631 363 3010.