By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Blogger,
When you think of Vienna, culture, elegance, and waltzes first come to mind. Being in the dog business when I think of this beautiful city I wondered about the dogs and how the rules for owning them differ from the United States.
Not surprisingly, I found a few interesting contrasts.
All Viennese dogs must be identified with a microchip
Since June 30, 2008, all dogs kept in Austria must be identified with a microchip. All dog owners have to pay a tax and in some municipalities, only after payment of the relevant tax does the dog owner receives a dog tag from the responsible authority.
Similar to other European countries, Viennese dogs are allowed on the u-bahn trains. There are legally prescribed obligations for dog owners by the Protection of Animals Act. As a minimum, a muzzle and a leash should be brought along when the dog is taken for a walk outside. I noticed some dogs wear the muzzles while others have owners who carry the muzzles.
Dogs in Vienna may not be allowed in public parks but can enjoy dinner with their owners
Not only did I notice many outdoor eating areas sharing the space with several well mannered dogs, but I experienced well socialized pups on mats under a number of tables in a Heuriger. And no clients in the restaurant were offended by their presence.
Cleaning up after your dog is a Law in Austria
That’s not to say that cleanliness rules aren’t a major concern of the Viennese. The city’s so-called “WasteWatchers” make sure that dog owners actually use the waste bags provided by 3,000 dispensers to pick up the mess left behind by their four-legged friends. Dog walkers who do not comply with this clean-up rule face a fine of EUR 36, as is clearly displayed on signs.
I think the Viennese realize that dogs, if well mannered, can share their living space. And they have taken the responsibility to set parameters for this to occur.