The woman had filed suit to force her former estranged husband to allow her to see their beloved dog, which they had bought during the marriage, on a regular basis, the regional appeals court in the western city of Hamm said.
They agreed as part of their separation that the husband would have custody of the dog but the woman wanted to see him twice a week for a few hours. The man objected and the court found that while separated spouses have a right to a fair division of property, this did not include joint custody of pets.
"Rules applying to visitation rights for a child do not apply here," the court said in a statement, summarising a ruling dated November 25.
"Under such arrangements, the primary concern is the welfare of the child and not the emotional needs of the other spouse."