May 20, 2024

Unlike most urban and residential areas in the region, dogs have traditionally been allowed to run free in the forests of the Black Forest with impunity. If they listen to their master. Roland Brauner, Deputy Director of the Villingen-Schwenningen Forest Department, says such dogs now also need to be leashed. This is because it is the breeding and mating season for wild animals.

For safety, dogs must be leashed in the forest

Small and clumsy fawns, baby rabbits and baby birds are roaming in the forest or sitting in nests. A curious, free-roaming dog can quickly scare animals away. “Right now, it’s wise to keep your dog on a tight leash,” Browner says.

``It is not appropriate for dogs to run freely in the forest,'' said Roland Brauner, deputy director of the VS State Forest Service.

VS Forest Service Deputy Director Roland Brauner said: “It is not appropriate for dogs to jump freely in the forest.”Image: Goebel, Natalie

Deer, especially smaller ones, are easy victims for dogs. Forest managers don’t know how many young animals die in the forest each year because of dogs. “Dog owners don’t report things like this when they happen,” Browner said. And the fox will soon come and grab some easy prey.

Free-ranging dogs can be shot to death

According to the law, forest rangers have the right to shoot and kill dogs that run loose and pose a threat to wildlife. “I’ve been here 19 years and I’ve never had a case like this,” Browner said. “You wouldn’t do that either.”

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However, forest managers may have to remind dog owners to keep their dogs on leashes when in the woods. “The majority of dog owners are sensible, but there are a minority of dog owners who are unreasonable,” the official said. “It’s not appropriate for dogs to run free in the woods,” Browner says, more clearly.

Wild boars can be dangerous

However, it is also dangerous for dogs to be left alone. If our four-legged friend encounters a wild sow guarding her young, it can be very uncomfortable, Browner said. “Boars are defensive and may bite or punch.”

“If the recall is incorrect, you need to put your dog on a leash,” says Johnny Reinhardt, a dog walker and canine therapist from Villingen. Especially during the breeding season, dogs develop hunting instincts and may even kill wild animals. Therefore, “If your dog doesn’t listen 100% of the time and comes over quickly, it’s better to keep him on a leash.

In Warenberg, Villingen, it has been compulsory to keep dogs on leads since the 1960s, and from 2022 this will be indicated on signs. Also...

In Warenberg, Villingen, it has been compulsory to keep dogs on leads since the 1960s, and from 2022 this will be indicated on signs. Dogs should be kept on a leash in the forest, especially during the breeding season. | Image: Patricia Beyen

But for a dog that listens to its owner, the owner is more interesting than a rabbit or a deer. According to dog experts, such dogs can also be allowed to roam free in the forest during the breeding season. This is because it is very important for dogs to be able to run around freely. Steam must be released to avoid pent-up energy. And they should be challenged psychologically as well. “For example, by training them to obey,” Reinhardt says.

Complaints to the City of Triberg

Meanwhile, residents complained to the city of Triberg about owners who let their dogs run loose and do not clean up their excrement.

“Unfortunately, the small number of dog owners who don’t follow the rules brings disrepute to the vast majority of dog owners who care for their four-legged friends in an exemplary manner,” the city said in a press release. It is written in “We once again appeal to the common sense and foresight of some dog owners to properly care for their four-legged friends into the future and, through greater consideration, enable wise coexistence.”

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