A Dog’s Culture

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m obsessed with my dog.

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He is literally the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. A perfect combination of insane puppy energy with extremely lazy Labrador qualities. He averages a 70% success rate for retrieving sticks and toys when thrown (30% of the time he’s distracted or just plain refuses to participate in such inane activities). He loves running through herds of geese in the park and is probably the worst watch dog in the world. But he’s such a lovable galump that it’s totally forgivable.

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Charlie is always up for an adventure, including road trips Up North and anything that gets him into a body of water. But sometimes I wonder how he would adapt to relocating to a different country.

Are dogs different in other areas of the world? Do they have culturally different attitudes, mannerisms, and decorum (as their human counterparts do)? Is dog language universal or are there dialects? Do they go through an assimilation process in order to “fit in” with the other dogs?

How would daily life change for Charlie if we decided to move across the globe?

French Social Structure

 According to The Telegraph, there are four different types of dogs in France: “handbag dogs, hunting dogs, tied-up dogs, and dogs on the loose”. Charlie is clearly too large to be a “handbag” dog, and I like to think that I would never have a “tied-up” dog. I think he could potentially fall into the “dogs on the loose” category, considering his affinity for long walks and exploration (I just hope he’d find his way home).

Panrimo S.A. Coordinator Audry says that she frequently dined with dogs while living abroad in France, since dogs are welcome in restaurants. Charlie is definitely going to need some serious training in self-restraint and drool-resistance if we ever move to Paris. But in all likelihood, we would probably have to live in a rural area where Charlie could romp through the meadow and pretend to be a hunting dog.

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Norwegian Dining

Norwegian dog owners spend upwards of $650 per year on food for each of their dogs, which means that if Charlie’s owners adapted to a new environment, he would be dining on some pretty delicious and expensive delicacies. Considering his lack of discernment for what he consumes, I’m not confident he’d truly appreciate the individual pre-packaged organic meals.

Russian Street Life

Although Russia has approximately 15 million dogs, those residing in urban areas are mostly homeless and travel in packs throughout the city. There are even dogs who live in and navigate the subway system in Moscow!

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Panrimo I.A. Advisor Emily remembers many city dwellers putting food out for their canine compatriots throughout St. Petersburg. I can definitely appreciate a community mentality to watch out for these homeless pups. If we ever relocated to Russia, I’d like to think that Charlie would be able to make friends with some neighborhood dogs, and maybe even pick up a few street skills at the same time.

Nepalese and Brazilian Social Events

If we moved to Brazil, Charlie could participate in the annual Rio Dog Carnival.

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He’d be a large dog in the small dog capital of the world (101 small dogs per 1,000 humans), but Charlie is open to friends of all sizes.

Plus, Nepal’s celebration of the second day of Tihar (or Diwali in other regions) specifically celebrates dogs! I think Charlie would love it.

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I think we’ll be staying put in the US for now, but it’s good to know that Charlie will find new adventures wherever we go! Woof!

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