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'Dogs Are Not Cuddly Toys': New Law Requires Germans To Walk Their Dogs Twice A Day

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

News now from Germany, where dogs are saying...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Bow-vow (ph).

FADEL: That's German for woof, woof.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Hounds from Hamburg to Munich are delighted, all because of a new rule that could go into effect next year. It's called...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Hundeverordnung (ph).

CHANG: Meaning Dogs Act.

FADEL: Germany's Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has proposed that as early as next year, owners must walk their dogs twice a day.

CHANG: And not just a quick one around the block. Each walk must last at least one hour.

FADEL: The minister in charge is Julia Kloeckner, whose office declined to put her directly in touch with NPR today. But she was quoted in The Guardian, saying, "dogs are not cuddly toys. They also have their own needs which need to be taken into account."

CHANG: It's a strict rule that also says dogs can not be left alone at home all day.

FADEL: As for law enforcement, well, that's an open question. But "Monty Python" fans note, so far, Germany has failed to establish a Ministry of Silly Dog Walking Laws.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ATOMIC DOG")

GEORGE CLINTON: (Singing) Bow-wow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah (ph). Bow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah (ph). Untied dog in a telematic society ain't your average huckleberry hound. Why must I feel like that? Why must I chase the cat? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.