Dortmund hosts Euro dog diving championship

As the "Dog and Horse" convention throws open its doors to the public in Dortmund on Friday, a small group of people have gathered for one of the most unique sporting contests in the world.

Dortmund hosts Euro dog diving championship
A German hunting terrier leaps from the diving board at the Dortmund "Dog and Horse" convention's dog-diving event on Friday. Photo: DPA

As well as presenting the winners of the nationwide pedigree dog show and a special show for mongrel dogs, the “Hund und Pferd” convention is also home to the European 'dog diving' championship.

Anyone can enter their furry friend into the event, which sees dogs judged on how far they can leap from a diving board into a swimming pool.

An Australian Shepherd jumps into the water after a ball on Friday at the “Dog and Horse” convention in Dortmund. Photo: DPA

According to website, the sport was invented in the USA and is mostly practised in the summer, when dogs are happiest to cool off in the water.

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Springt euer Vierbeiner gern ins kühle Nass? Dann auf zur Züchtermesse nach Dortmund! Vom 8. bis 10.05. kann beim PRO PLAN Dog Diving jeder Hund sein sportliches Talent unter Beweis stellen. Erste Eindrücke gibt’s hier:

Posted by PRO PLAN Deutschland on Friday, April 24, 2015

Each dog has a few minutes to make several tries at jumps from the board, which is between 15 and 20 centimetres above the surface of the water.

For the less experienced dogs, life vests are also available.

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Germany collects record amount of ‘dog tax’ as passion for pups spikes amid pandemic

Germans are adopting more dogs amid the coronavirus crisis - meaning that the country has taken in a record amount of taxes for them.

Germany collects record amount of 'dog tax' as passion for pups spikes amid pandemic
Photo: DPA

The Germans’ love of dogs is providing local authorities with high tax revenues even in the crisis. In 2020, the income from dog tax rose to a record value of 380.2 million, according to new figures from the Federal Statistical Office released in response to a question from Welt am Sonntag. 

That marks an increase of almost three percent compared to the previous year, when all owners together paid 370 million in taxes for their dogs. 

All dogs in Germany are subject to the Hundesteuer or ‘dog tax’, an annual fee which differs from state to state and is usually collected from dog owners.

READ ALSO: Prostitution, dogs and loneliness: A look at Germany’s weirdest taxes

But the German’s love of four-legged friends has not just grown amid the pandemic, when more people began working from home and looked for a source of companionship. Since reunification, the revenue from the tax has tripled; in 1991, it yielded just 123 million.

The Hundesteuer is thus one of the few types of tax that brought in more money despite the coronavirus pandemic. Although the increase of only three percent raises the question of whether every dog is actually reported to the tax office. 

According to the German Canine Association (VDH), 20 percent more dogs were bought by Bundesrepublik residents in 2020 compared to previous years, reported Spiegel in January. 

READ ALSO: Furry friends help Germans ease pandemic blues

Yet the amount collected in taxes depends on how many pups a person already owns. In many states, the amount of tax to be paid per dog increases with the number of dogs in the household. 

In Berlin, for example, the first dog costs 120 per year with each additional dog costing 180 per year. 

In Düsseldorf, the tax for one dog in the household is 96, and raises to 150 for two.

Have you also adopted a dog during the coronavirus crisis? Let us know in the comments.