Description of Dogs and Owners in Outdoor Built-Up Areas and Their More-Than-Human Issues


  • Gaunet Florence
  • Pari-Perrin Elodie
  • Bernardin Genevieve

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Tensions are generated by the inevitable presence of dogs accompanying humans in cities. Built-up outdoor areas, spaces that are ``in between'' the home and dog parks, are widely frequented by dogs and their owners. The present case study, performed in Lyon (France), is the first to provide a description of these dyads in areas that vary according to terrain, district, dog legislation and use in three areas: a busy street where dogs are allowed and a park and a square where dogs are forbidden. Dog-owner profiles were identified. They adjusted their presence differently across areas and according to anthropogenic and ecological pressures, such as day of the week, time of day, weather, frequentation, and legislation. They mutually adapted their behaviors. Interactions between dogs or owners and other social agents were few; dogs primarily sniffed and urinated. There was little barking, no aggression, minor impact on the environment, and, despite instances of dogs appropriating forbidden areas and dogs off their leashes, the dogs seemed to go virtually unnoticed. The study shows how the need for more-than-human areas is evident in outdoor built-up areas (for instance, the results on types of interaction and activity across areas, absence of a leash, and appropriation of forbidden areas) as well as how the cultural and natural aspects of dogs play out. The results suggest that dog regulations should be adjusted in outdoor built-up areas and that dog parks should be developed.

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