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22/07/07 Information
The relationship between people and pets(A’ALDA CEO Masamichi Okuda)

※This article is also available as a podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Amazon Music and Anchor.(Japanese ONLY).

We, A’ALDA have the purpose of “Pet to Partner”. We’d like to create a world where pets are accepted by the whole society as our partners.

When talking with Western pet experts, I often hear harsh opinions that “Japanese people’s understanding and way of thinking about pets is wrong”.

I believe Westerners respect pets as animals, while Japanese people tend to anthropomorphize and love their pets.

For example, it is said that there are 700-800 different breeds of dogs, ranging from tiny dogs to giant dogs. In fact, according to the JKC website, dogs are divided into 10 different groups, as shown below :

Dog breeds are classified into 10 groups (same as the 10-group system by the International Livestock Dog Federation) according to their survival purpose, form, and use.

※ Source: Japan Kennel Club (Japanese Site)

As we can see from the history of humans and dogs, there are many theories, but it is clear that people lived together with their pets as true partners.

・They lived together as hunting dogs for food and watchdogs to protect the house.
・With technological progress and lifestyle changes, the roles demanded of pets changed, and new breeds were born due to crossbreeding between sheepdogs, military dogs, and pet dogs according to their respective roles.

If we look at the ranking of popular dog breeds in Europe, the U.S. and Japan here, we can see a big difference.

Japan

  • 1st Poodle
  • 2nd Chihuahua
  • 3rd Dachshund
  • 4th Pomeranian
  • 5th French Bulldog
  • 6th Miniature Schnauzer
  • 7th Shiba Inu
  • 8th Yorkshire Terrier
  • 9th Shih Tzu
  • 10th Maltese

United States of America

  • 1st Labrador Retriever
  • 2nd French Bulldog
  • 3rd German Shepherd
  • 4th Golden Retriever
  • 5th Bulldog
  • 6th Poodle
  • 7th Beagle
  • 8th Rottweiler
  • 9th German Shorthaired Pointer
  • 10th Dachshund

Germany

  • 1st German Shepherd
  • 2nd Dachshund
  • 3rd German Wirehaired Pointer
  • 4th Labrador Retriever
  • 5th Golden Retriever
  • 6th Poodle
  • 7th Rottweiler
  • 8th Boxer
  • 9th Gradeden
  • 10th Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

France

  • 1st Australian Shepherd
  • 2nd Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • 3rd Belgian Shepherd
  • 4th Golden Retriever
  • 5th German Shepherd
  • 6th American Staffordshire Terrier
  • 7th Labrador Retriever
  • 8th Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • 9th Beagle
  • 10th English Setter

United Kingdom

  • 1st Labrador Retriever
  • 2nd French Bulldog
  • 3rd English Cocker Spaniel
  • 4th Bulldog
  • 5th Miniature Dachshund
  • 6th English Springer Spaniel
  • 7th Golden Retriever
  • 8th German Shepherd
  • 9th Pug
  • 10th Staffordshire Terrier

※ Source: みんなのブリーダー (Japanese Site)

Sorting out the characteristics, we can see that there are many pet dogs in Japan, while there are many service dogs and hunting dogs in Europe and the United States.

My German friend told me that people in Europe still often take their dogs along on hunting trips. He said that they train and discipline them for this purpose. As a result, although they cannot speak the language, they can communicate with each other.

In Japan, most dogs are pet dogs, and I think the culture is mainly one of loving them like children, not training them like in the West.

Many Western pet owners can get on trains and go to restaurants with their pets, so many Japanese pet owners say that they want to do the same. But we must not forget that Western pet owners have enough knowledge of ample training and discipline.

In Japan, many people say it is pitiful to teach pets to wait or sit as part of their training. However, we must understand that it is necessary for some breeds of dogs and fun and joyful for them.

I’ll write about my experience. I have learned the importance of training and discipline through living with my pet partner, English Cocker Spaniel, named Louis. I originally lived with an American Cocker Spaniel, named Eto, as a resident dog who’s been very quiet. I had heard that English Cocker Spaniels are closer to the original breed, but I thought they had similar personalities and started living with them. However, things never work out as you expect. He was running around the house and constantly trying to drag me along when I walked the dog. I consulted with general dog trainers about my dog’s behavior, but it’d not be improving.

After consulting with many people, I met a trainer specializing in dog sports and obedience, and my relationship with my dog changed dramatically.

He advised me that my dog won’t get tired unless he uses his head as well as move his body. So I decided to join my dog’s intellectual and agility training.

I was surprised to see my dog’s happy face and healthy face sleeping like mud when I got home after this training. The trainer told me that dogs are so glad when they are given work and rewarded (treats and praise).

Of course, I don’t think this approach is extremely right for all breeds of dogs, but I believe that I have built a better relationship with my dogs than ever before by encountering intellectual training and agility. I don’t speak their language, but I think we can communicate with them to some extent.

I think it is difficult for many veterinary hospitals to make proposals that go into the lifestyle of pets and families. By redefining the veterinary hospital, we will propose services and create a customer experience that considers medical care and lifestyle.

※ I attached a movie for people who are unfamiliar with dog agility.


Purpose:

・Pet to Partner – From member of family to member of society.

Vision:

・To create the most innovative Animal Health Tech Company.

Mission:

・Think As One, Treat As One.

Our ambition is to create a world
where human and pets live with each other,
help each other, love each other, and trust each other.
We strive to bring happiness to both human and pets with our truehearted passion and through the cutting-edge veterinary technology from all around the world.

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