Leash obligation in the forest – What regulations apply to dogs?


Four-legged friends should lead a happy and species-appropriate life as far as possible. This also includes sufficient exercise in the great outdoors. Which place would be better suited for this than the forest? Unfortunately, it is not that easy, because there is a lot to consider when it comes to compulsory linen in the forest.

However, there are no uniform federal regulations. The federal states, therefore, decide alone whether there should be a leash requirement in the forest or not. australian shepherd rat terrier mix as a rule, the regulations are laid down in the state forest laws, which on the one hand regulate behavior in forests and on the other hand contain the concrete ordinances on fines.

The requirements are therefore a matter of the federal states and thus possible sanctions vary greatly from one federal state to the next.

Why is a leash obligation in the forest so important?

A leash requirement in the forest for dogs is important to protect wild animals living there. Dogs that hunt abruptly not only disturb many animal species but can even cause injuries or even the death of forest animals. However, the leash also serves to protect the four-legged friend, because hunters often have permission to shoot poaching animals in the forest. Therefore, it is very important that dog owners always keep a close eye on where the four-legged friend is currently located and always respect a leash obligation.

Forest leash obligation – Which regulations apply in the individual federal states?

As already mentioned, the obligation to wear a leash in the forest is not uniformly stipulated. In Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Saarland, Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate, there is no general leash requirement in the forest. In other federal states such as Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia, or Lower Saxony, four-legged friends are only allowed to walk without a leash on the designated forest paths outside the closed season. In all other German federal states, there is a leash requirement.

Why is a leash obligation important for four-legged friends?

Many dog owners are annoyed by the leash requirement because especially in the spring months, four-legged friends would like to run around freely and explore the surroundings. After the long winter months, the dogs are also enthusiastic about all the new smells, the many sounds, and various small wild animals.

But it is precisely these wild animals that are the reason for the leash requirement in many federal states. The leash obligation is intended to protect the local wildlife, especially during the breeding and settling season.

Breeding and settling season – What is it?

This is the period in which wild animals breed and have their offspring or raise them. In birds, the breeding and settling season is the time of nest building, breeding, and rearing of young birds. Other wild animals such as hares, wild boars, or deer give birth to their offspring during this time.

Good reasons for the leash obligation in the breeding and settling season

Even if your four-legged friend reacts very well to commands, it makes sense to comply with the leash obligation. After all, your dog should not become a danger to other animals!

  • Wild animals such as deer head chihuahua, ducks, hares, and many other animals have their offspring in spring. During this time, the leash obligation serves above all to protect pregnant animals and their unborn offspring. The natural habitat of these wild animals is often more restricted and for this reason, deer, hares, and ground breeders such as lapwings or pheasants depend on being able to raise their young undisturbed. Only in this way can biodiversity and the ecological balance be preserved.
  • Young and parent animals are particularly endangered in the breeding and settling season by free-roaming four-legged friends.
  • Some native birds build their bird nests on the ground: Here we are talking about so-called ground breeders. When these bird species are in danger, they flee their nest. As a result, the laid eggs cool down and the offspring dies even before it hatches.

There does not have to be direct contact between the wild animals and the four-legged friend. Wild animals are usually very shy. It is often enough for dogs to come close to the nest, which leads to the wild animals leaving their offspring.


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