We are located in Germany (born and raised, both of us) and you might be, regarding the country statistics WP provides to me, most likely from the US. Both countries love dogs but there are quite a lot of things we do differently here in Germany. A lot of things you do to your dogs are considered illegal here (for a good reason). For example, we do not clip ears and tails. There is no benefit from it, and often it’s even harmful (you know, there is a good reason that those ears are floppy and cover the ear entrance). We consider it cruel. Electric collars are flat illegal here and so are these choking spike collars. You are supposed to train your dog (you and not some other person) so it doesn’t pull on the leash. If you are not up for that, don’t get a dog, maybe stick with a stone or so.
See, dogs have, compared to us, a very short life span. When we adopt a dog (either a puppy from a breeder or an adult from the shelter) we become their whole universe. It is our job to make this dogs life as fun, healthy, safe and joyful as possible. That may sound like a lot but it is really not. You just need to make sure before you adopt the dog that you are really willing and able to provide all that for your dog. In the US lot of people don’t do that. They buy a dog like they would buy a new pair of shoes and when they figure that it’s not as convenient as they thought it would be, they drop the dog. The Results are a lot of homeless dogs, crowded shelters and a lot of broken souls.
Here we do it differently. Even before you can get a dog (unless you had a dog not longer than 5 years ago) you need to put in effort and money. You have to (mandatory by law) get a license. You have to pass a theory exam before you get the dog and then 1 year after you got it you have to pass a practical test. No license, no dog, that simple. Only licensed dog trainers can test you and you are forced to learn how to train your dog. Also the dog has to have a chip with all it’s data on it so people can trace exactly from where the dog was coming and where it was going. If you abandon your dog they will get your sorry ass and nail it to the next wall. Period. You also have to have an insurance for your dogs, your dog will be registered (just like a person) and it will have official papers.
Yes, there are still some assholes who managed to wiggle around the system and there are still some dogs in shelters, but it is by far not that much like in other countries. The awareness of people changed a lot and the number of diehard ignorant idiots is getting less and less with each year. People here even started to rescue dogs from other European countries (mostly east and far south). Guess that is easier than to make the people change, right? I have to admit, if I could afford the transport I would adopt dogs from US shelters too, but that’s is far out of reach for me.