Walking Manners for the Pets We Love
The Pet Boom and the Manner’s Problem that has Arisen
Imagine a scene in the city where a dog is being walked. Seeing the owner and dog walking happily is a heart-warming scene. Currently, there are approximately 6.5 million dogs registered at health centres. It is said that the pet boom has become a fixation, and walking manners come along with this.
Attention towards pet manners started around 2008. Shopping malls and cafes where customers can bring their pets have increased. However, many complaints about pets in public have also been received. Complaints received by local municipalities are that 1) animals are loud, 2) dog hair is in the air, 3) dogs are walked without leashes, 4) dogs are leaving their business, the stench and dirtiness of urine, etc.
With this, a unified standard appeared to be necessary, and dog lovers got together to establish the Japan Dog Manners Association NPO.
Pets: From Guard Dogs to the Family Members. Changes in Pet Living.
“We’ve come to change the ways that pets live. Dogs were once kept outside as guard dogs, but they have now become a member of the family. As they are family, we want to take them along with us on outings and vacations. If that happens, then manners become important.” (Japan Dog Manners Association)
For everyday life, make doors and windows more sound resistant, or use tape over gaps to protect against barks, etc. from being heard outside. Make sure to brush your pets inside to protect against hair flying away. When walking your dog, ensure to use a leash, and make it short. Make sure that the dogs don’t go up to people, as the fear of something like a bicycle crash occurring is very real. Lastly, if your pet does its business outside, clean up after it.
“Your dog should not do its business at all on the road directly, but do so on a toilet sheet or newspaper. Furthermore, training it to always do its business at home is most ideal.” (Japan Dog Manners Association)
Running water or cleaning it with a pet sheet on the place where your pet has urinated, and using a spray to get rid of the smell is good manners. Before crossing the road be sure to stop once. Going onto the road without sufficient notice can be the cause of accidents, and it is proper manner for the owner to be aware of this.
To a Society Living Alongside Pets
“Think about what is behind the action, actions should be done with feelings of compassion and kindness. In this, humans and pets are the same. Not all people like animals, and there are also people who have allergies. If you are considerate and thankful for the environments where you can do things together with your pets, pet friendly places should increase in the future. (Japan Dog Manners Association)
There is an old history for humans and pets. In Japan there has been remains of dogs buried found in the Jomon Period, and cat bones have been excavated from Yayoi Period remains. Famous Asuka Period politician Prince Shotoku’s pet dog, Yukimaru was said to be able to understand human language, and even today is enshrined in Nara’s Daruma-ji temple. Now pets have become a part of the family. Tokyo is said to be comparatively speaking a city where pet manners are advancing, and is working towards being a city where manners are kept and people are kind to pets. That thoughtfulness is “TOKYO GOOD”.
|When did this start?||The pet boom started in the 2000s, and around 2008 the manner problem surfaced.|
|Where can this be seen?||In parks with pet areas and residential areas, pet-friendly shopping areas.|
|Recommended period or time:||In the morning or evening, when it is a little cooler is the preferred time for walks. If you go out into the streets, you will be able to encounter many different pets.|
|Data related to this topic:||Amount of dogs registered: 6,526,897 (as of 2015) (from Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, "Number of registered dogs and number of vaccinations yearly changes (from 1960 to 2015) “ in Japanese)|
|Please note:||Even if you don’t own a pet, it goes against good manners to take a picture of someone’s pet, or even worse, share it on SNS without their permission. It’s the same for pets as it is for humans. Please keep this in mind.|
In cooperation with:
Japan Dog Manners Association NPO
Reference Material: “Dog Manners Book” by the Japan Dog Manners Association