We do live in Lower Saxony, Germany. I know, we are the no nonsense people, the grumpy ones, just look at our leader, Mrs. Grumpy Face Merkel. We are also the country that has a regulation and/or law for just everything. Most of them are useless, some downright ridiculous, but one single time the government in the State of Lower Saxony (just our state as far as I know) came up with a really good law. For ones a law makes sense and is helpful. What is it, you might ask. Well, grab a coffee and get comfy, I gonna tell you and it might take a while.
Here in Lower Saxony you must have a license in order to get a dog. That goes for all first time owners (no exception) and for those who didn’t have a dog for a period of 3 years. You can imagine it a bit like a drivers license. Before you even can get the dog you have to pass a theoretical test. It’s a bit of everything, like general knowledge, nutrition, first aid, how to care for a dog, the races, do’s and don’t. And yes, you can fail that test. The fees for that test start at 50 Euros, if you fail you pay again for every time you fail. This makes sure that you really have to think about what all comes with it when you own a dog. All the responsibilities, what it costs and so on. So people have to put in effort and money before they can even buy a dog. If you passed the test you can go and get your new family member, but note, you have to get your dog insured (mandatory, no exceptions) and you have to register it at a online database (just you would do with a car). By the way, the yearly shots at the vet are mandatory too, your dog gets something like a passport where the vet notes down all vaccinations your dog ever got.
Now you got your new puppy home and you made it through all that mandatory paperwork. All done now, right? Nope! On to part two. You have 1 year to get the practical exam done. So you look for a puppy school, you do classes together with your puppy and you practice a lot. When you and your puppy are ready, you can sign up for the practical exam. The fee starts at 100 Euro and yes, you can fail that too. The trainer wants to see if you can handle your dog and if your dog will follow the basic commands, like sit, down, heel, stop, up, no. They also want to see if you will take good care of your dog.
For people in the US, Canada or the UK, this all might sound ridiculous and annoying, but it is for the good of the dogs. People have to prove that they are aware of how much responsibilities come with a dog and that they are really able and willing to care for their dog. The number of homeless dogs/dogs in shelters dropped massively. Yes sure, there are still some bad apples who drop through the net but their numbers are shrinking. It would be really nice if more states would follow this example.
Thank you for reading and have a pawesome day.