New law forces Germans to take their dogs for a walk at least twice a day

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“Compulsory Walkies for Dog Owners? Rubbish!” wrote the top-selling Bild newspaper in an opinion piece on the new decree.

A spokesman for the VDH German Dog Association said most owners were laughing at the new rule because they already spent enough time walking their four-legged friend.

“One rule for all dogs is probably well meant but unrealistic,” said VDH spokesman Udo Kopernik.

Dog trainer Anja Striegel said the amount of exercise a dog needs depended on the health, age and breed of dog.

“For a young, fit Labrador, two hours of walkies are healthier than for an arthritic pug with heart problems,” she told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Germany’s most popular breeds are the German Shepherd and short-legged, long-bodied Dachshund, known as “sausage dogs” followed by Labradors, retrievers and Jack Russell Terriers and pugs.

Then there is the question of enforcement. The ministry has said the 16 federal states will be responsible for enforcing the rule but it is unclear how.

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