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Dog Instincts and Human Affection vol 2: The World of Japanese Dogs and Reasons to Own a Dog

As I wrote in my previous blog, dogs are creatures that require a hierarchical relationship.

When you buy a dog, you must establish an appropriate hierarchical relationship.

If a dog perceives itself as being above humans in the social order, it may not listen to commands and do as it pleases.

A man who worked in the mountains with horses stated without hesitation, "Horses are horses, and humans are humans."

There was a person over 70 in Miyagi Prefecture who said he never named the horses he worked with in the mountains, where both humans and horses risk their lives.

The relationship between the man and the horses, despite the danger, was described as "Horses are horses, and humans are humans."

This does not mean he lacked affection for the horses.

For example, one of the typical Japanese dogs is the Kishu dog.

Kishu dogs do not hesitate to risk their lives.

The former mayor of Miyama Village in Hidaka County, Wakayama Prefecture, Mr. Ikemoto Isao, worked on the revival of colored Kishu dogs and described them as "calm, gentle, and bold in boar hunting."

He believed it was important to maintain and preserve these qualities in Kishu dogs.

Naoki Prize-winning author Yukio Togawa wrote about the time when Saigo Takamori (a famous Japanese samurai) took a Satsuma dog to Izu to hunt wild boars.

The dog was severely injured in the abdomen by the tusks of a wild boar, but the dog chased the boar by biting off the intestines protruding from the abdomen because they were in the way of its movement.

We should not measure animals according to our half-baked human senses.

As lovers of Kishu dogs, the Akutagawa Prize-winning author Mr. Kondo Keitaro is well-known.

He introduced Kishu dogs to another Akutagawa Prize winner, Mr. Yasuoka Shotaro, and they both had Kishu dogs at the same time.

Mr. Kondo's dog's name is Gori. Mr. Yasuoka's dog's name is Konta. Both were male dogs.

Mr. Kondo emphasized the importance of walking dogs as part of their care.

Mr. Yasuoka's dog, Konta, would not step on the scattered manuscripts of his novels when they were let into his study.

One day, when Mr. Yasuoka pretended to be attacked by a burglar, Konta jumped out of an upstairs window to save him.

Konta also caught snakes during walks along the Tama River and quickly subdued a leader of stray dogs, embodying the traits of a "calm, gentle, and boldly courageous in boar hunting" Kishu dog.

Many people believe that keeping a dog in a kennel is akin to locking a child in a small hut and consider it cruel.

However, dogs find peace in their kennels as they don't need to be on guard against outsiders.

People often cling to easy-to-accept notions, leading to entrenched misconceptions.

Those intending to keep dogs accept information that fits their perception of their pets. They may gather information that reinforces unsuitable notions about dog training, further entrenching these misconceptions.

The correct approach is simple: keep the dog in a kennel the size of a tatami mat with a door and take it for walks twice a day.

The walks can be thirty minutes each or even an hour or fifteen minutes long.

Just keeping the dog in a kennel with a door and taking it for walks is all that's needed.

In essence, having a dog brings joy, and walking with the dog is a pleasure.

This is the essence of living with a dog.

While I do not intend to strongly dispute the idea of dogs as family members, it is essential for peaceful coexistence between dogs and humans to establish a hierarchy.

The techniques for making a dog aware of its place are not complicated and involve the same methods a mother dog uses with her puppies.

This involves thoroughly playing with the puppy, then flipping it over to gently stroke near its groin area, embracing it from behind as if straddling, and holding the dog's muzzle with your hand.

These actions, preferably done after playing thoroughly, but can also be done after some play, are ways to clarify the hierarchy.

Some dogs naturally submit and become affectionate without such actions.

A good dog is one that is obedient and brings joy to its owner.

Observing various dogs, it seems that training involves nurturing the inherent good qualities of the dog through the way it is raised, resulting in the distinction between good and bad dogs.

A good dog is obedient and a joy to own, and walking together is enjoyable.

The presence of the dog brings happiness, and walking together is fun; these two aspects are all that matter.

I view dog ownership as follows:

1) having the dog brings joy, and 2) walking together brings happiness.

The first point could be considered affection for the dog, and the second, the pleasure of living and walking with the dog.

Lovers of Japanese dogs seek dogs with good temperaments and beautiful appearances characteristic of Japanese dogs.

In breeding puppies, they aim to eliminate aggressive traits.

Dogs can bite regardless of breed because they have teeth.

The goal is to breed dogs that can live well with humans, even though not everything goes as planned.

Dogs can bark, but people should not make grand statements about them.


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