Buying a Dog in Germany: Tasteless Tips and Awkward Observations

funny dog shame
“Please tell me that lipstick was applied by hand…” — (Image Credit: Beverly [https://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/] — Subject to CC 2.0 License.)
My German wife has never owned a dog before. Come to think of it, I’ve never really owned a dog before. Well, when I was a kid, we had a family dog named Beau; a surly old bastard who made a point of sucking his own wiener right beside the dinner table, especially when we had guests over. It was always a loud and surprisingly violent affair, which caused my parent’s adult friends to chuckle uncomfortably until he was finished: “Well, if I could, I’d probably do that too! Hyuck-hyuck! *Huge sip of wine* — and my elementary school friends to inquire with wide-eyed, abruptly vanishing innocence: “Whaaaat’s he doooooing?”

Vizsla dog
“Oh, are you all done now, you little sex offender?” — (Image Credit: Tjerk Zweers [https://www.flickr.com/photos/1000zen/] Subject to CC 2.0 License.)
Beau was a Vizsla, and in his prime, he was an award-winning pointer-retriever used for hunting birds. My dad trained him all by himself, just as he’d trained at least 3 other hunting dogs before I was even born. I learned a lot about training dogs from my dad. Still learning from him, as a matter of fact. So I’ve always felt prepared to own a dog — I just never had the motivation… until 2014.

In the summer of 2014, my wife and I began discussing the possibility of getting a dog; you know, to expand this strange little family of ours. Initially, I wanted a French bulldog — one look at those hammer-smashed faces and crazy bat ears had me laughing out loud — but then I read somewhere the little freaks are so inbred they can’t even breed naturally: the male’s hips are too narrow to mount the female, so she has to be artificially inseminated. (But I like to imagine them trying anyway; I bet it looks like Frodo humping the bejesus out of Lady Galadriel’s leg.) Also, my wife thinks they’re perfectly hideous, so that pretty much killed my whole Frenchy idea.

French bulldog
“Bwah haw haw! Funny every time.” — (Image Credit: Matt Wunderle [https://www.flickr.com/photos/wunderle/] Subject to CC 2.0 License.)
Six months later, we finally agreed upon a beagle. They’re small, smart, incredibly adorable and, well, Snoopy from the comic strip Peanuts was a beagle. (I seriously did not know that until now.)

Yes, I know beagles are hounds, and therefore prone to howling — or baying, if you want to sound like you’ve actually read a dog book or two — but that can be controlled with proper training… or so I keep telling myself and everyone else who will listen. Whatever. We’re getting a beagle, and it’s a great idea, goddammit.

beagle-in-germany
Please don’t howl all night long. Oh god please no, I beg you…

Since we are incredibly slow decision-makers, my wife and I spent most of 2015 just trying to decide on a name. We couldn’t agree on one until recently, but I’m not going to share it with you until we actually have a beagle in our home. (I don’t want to jinx it.) But since we found a name, we felt ready to ask the next big question: Where, or how, exactly, does one go about finding a dog in Germany?

Obviously you could shame all your friends and feel like a good person by going to the local rescue shelter: just google “Tierheim” and add the name of your city at the end. But don’t expect to find the perfect little companion of your dreams; expect something closer to a neglected ex-con with ringworm.

If you want a puppy, you could search for the term “Wurfankündigung,” which means “litter announcement,” or just head on over to eBay.de for really cheap dogs of questionable breeding, like these perfect examples of genetic irresponsibility. (Click one of the thumbnails to get a closer look.)

Or, you could do what my wife and I did: search for a certified breeder, lube up your cinnamon ring and prepare to take it like a porn star, because these guys will charge you anywhere from €800 to €1500 — and that’s just for the puppy itself. Maybe that’ll include the tracking chip, family tree documents and initial round of shots, but you’ll be paying all sorts of annual taxes and fees on top of that just to own a dog in Germany. Plus subsequent vaccinations, food, crates and trips to the vet. (Wait, why are we doing this again, Honey?)

beagle
“Because I’m gorgeous and you KNOW it.”

Anyway, dog breeders are called “Züchter,” and you can find certified ones here:

If you can’t read German very well, just do what I did for 3 years and click around randomly until you stumble upon what you’re looking for like a blind man trapped inside an M. C. Escher lithograph. (And by the way, German web designers: Why in God’s holy name would you put ‘Contact Information’ under the ‘About Us’ tab? It’s not 1998 anymore, you backward sons of bitches. That shit ain’t cool.) Or you could use Google Chrome and click “yes” when it asks if you want to translate the page. Or you could simply familiarize yourself with a few German keywords and be done with it:

  • Hund (Male dog)
  • Hündin (Female dog)
  • Welpe (Puppy)
  • Welpen (Puppies)
  • Tierheim (Animal shelter)
  • Wurfankündigung (Litter announcement)
  • Züchter (Breeder)
  • Zertifizierte Züchter (Certified breeder)
  • Die deutsche Sprache kann mich am Arsch lecken. (The German language can lick my ass.)

Now, when it comes to dog ownership, there are two interesting — but rather important — cultural differences between Germans and Americans:

  1. Not all Germans are into spaying and neutering their dogs. As a matter of fact, when I first arrived in Germany back in 2012, I was dumbstruck by all the pendulous nutsacks on display. See, we Americans tend to “fix” our dogs without giving it a second thought, especially in dog-heavy cities like my hometown, Portland, Oregon. Man, I hadn’t seen a full set of eggs in years — I’d almost forgotten what they looked like. Anyway, spaying and neutering is significantly less popular here, so you might not want to mention to your breeder what you’ve got in mind for your dog’s gentle bits.
  2. Euthanasia — “putting your dog down” or “putting him to sleep” — is also less common in Germany. In America, we’ll give our dogs a lethal injection just for walking funny. But in Germany? They let their dogs get old. Like, crazy, right-at-death’s-door, depressingly old. Seriously, I have seen some messed up dogs limping around this country, and as an American, I’m still not sure how I feel about that. Personally speaking, if I were in pain and slowly withering away, each day worse than the last, I’d want a mainline ticket to doggie heaven. “Forget that pussy little vein in my foreleg, Doc; give it to me straight in the jugular.”

Aaaaanyway. Just a week or two ago, my wife and I drove out to see our beagle breeder and choose one of the 3-week-old puppies from the new litter. (Yes, that’s way too early — you can’t take them home until they’re 9 weeks old — but this litter is in very high demand, so we had to choose now.) But we found one! …And now we’re just praying he’s not retarded. (Please click one of the images to start the slideshow):

Now, at this young age, puppies want to do exactly two things: sleep and suck on some titties. The problem is, the mother isn’t available 24/7; she’s gotta have some alone time too. So what happens when her litter wakes up from a milk coma? Hungry, sleepy, and with squinted eyes still adjusting to this bright new world? They start feeling around for anything remotely nipple shaped to suck on. And that’s exactly what happened…

One puppy started sucking his brother’s dick. Another one started sucking his sisters clit. Then they all joined in: boy-on-boy, girl-on-girl, and all 100% incestuous. It was fucking crazy.

“Could you… could you please stop sucking on your brother’s penis…” said my wife to one particularly enthusiastic little guy.

Even the breeder was embarrassed. “There’s no milk in there for you…” she said in German, detaching yet another puppy from his brother’s dong.

At one point, I spotted a puppy going apeshit on his sister’s clitoris, but her head was kind of wedged beneath the lip of the box. It looked very rapey. I pulled the male gently away — thinking I’d saved his poor sister from a lifetime of psychotherapy — only to discover her mouth was clamped down on his schmack. They were 69ing. That’s when I threw up my hands: “Screw it. They’ll figure it out on their own.”

Luckily, we won’t be picking up our beagle until he’s 9 weeks old and has — I pray to god — outgrown his taste for family orgies.

"Dude, could you please just let me sleep?"
“I’ll NEVER stop. Now please, make with some titty or let me go back to sleep.”

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!

— OGM

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30 thoughts

  1. Beagles are the best! They live a long time since they have lower health issues, the oldest beagle was 29 years, my dad’s is about 12 now. Keep all the food put away, they are so food driven.We had one that could get onto the counter and climb the log pile to jump a 6′ fence. She sounded just like little pot bellied pig when she ate. That exactly what she sounded like when she was eating a whole pot roast out of a crock pot and a couple of steaks from a skillet still cooking on the stove.

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  2. oh why a beagle!!?? when there are beautiful small munsterländer in that country. We had two, one passed away. They are the perfect companion. P.S. we also have a Vizsla we inherited from my son. a real cuddle bug..lol

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  3. I truly enjoy your posts. In fact look forward to Mondays.

    In fact my sister lives in Hannover, so I try to look for stories or landmarks that I can relate to as well. She moved from USA to Germany so we can appreciate the humor or the quintessential of Germany. :)

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  4. Very good choice, but beagles do like to chase cars, cats, and etc. I had one named snoopy! Best dog, but a turd about chasing cars. Somehow he would wiggle out of the yard beneath the fence. Then be in the front yard just waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting drivers.

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    1. Nachweis der Sachkunde

      Ab dem 1. Juli 2013 müssen Hundehalter ihre Sachkunde nachweisen können.

      Hundehalter/innen, die sich nach dem 1. Juli 2011 erstmals einen Hund angeschafft haben und laut Gesetz nicht anderweitig als sachkundig gelten, müssen den Nachweis der Sachkunde über eine theoretische und praktische Prüfung erbringen.

      Die theoretische Prüfung ist vor Aufnahme der Hundehaltung, die praktische Prüfung innerhalb des ersten Jahres der Hundehaltung abzulegen. Beide Prüfungen kosten jeweils ab 40 Euro; über die genauen Beträge entscheiden die jeweiligen Prüfer/innen.

      Auf der Homepage des ML sind u.a. Beispielfragen zur theoretischen Sachkundeprüfung veröffentlicht, die dem Hundehalter/der Hundehalterin einen Einblick in die Prüfung geben sollen.

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  5. Barring me suddenly getting a job really close to home, we probably won’t be getting a dog until we’ve moved to Germany. I hope getting a rescue dog isn’t as bad as you say. :( Is it because there are fewer dogs that need rescuing, or are shelter animals not treated as well?

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  6. Did you have to have a background check? Our daughter-in-law got a hamster for our grandkids. First, the breeder demanded to see the cage they planned to use. It’s the size of a kid’s sandbox! It’s huge and takes up at least 1/4th of my granddaughter’s bedroom. Second, he demanded that my DIL haul all 3 grandkids across Berlin because he had to “approve” them as hamster owners!! If they do all this just to release a hamster, I’m wondering what they do if you want a real pet, like a dog!

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    1. Our breeder didn’t do any crazy background check stuff. Just made sure we were genuinely interested in becoming beagle owners – rather than reselling the dog to a lab or something. My wife did discover a lot of other breeders though, and some of them were batshit insane. They wanted to come visit the new owner’s home every year to check on the dog, they wanted to name the dog, or even choose one for you. None of these things are super rare. We just happened to find an awesome, non-psycho breeder. :)

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  7. I had a flashback to watching the Price is Right game show with Bob Barker on weekdays home from school, where he ended with “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”

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  8. Haha, like this post. I must admit, I am one of those psycho breeders who give the names to their litter and choose it for the future owner. This “orgy behavior” as you called it, is common and makes me laugh. But if you are already embarassed by that, get ready for other stuff as your dog gets older. However, at least it never gets boring with a dog..

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      1. I don’t know what will happen to you – here are just a few examples of my dogs: Smoky looked at a man with a bicycle having a rest and eating a snack. Since he didn’t offer any to him, he peed on the bicycle. Peggy stole a complete set of eggs from our neighbors in the house, brought it in the garden and ate every one of it (10) – clearly in the evening she wasn’t hungry any more. Domino peed at the artificial flower pot in the inside of the ferry. Alpha woke up the guy in the apartment above us by moaning loudly all night because the one of my females was on heat.

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