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Better canine citizens in Paris? Oui oui!

October 22, 2009 |  4:44 pm

Brasserie_IG-500 The French love their dogs, and take them everywhere. And with over 500,000 dogs living in Paris, it's no wonder that the parade of pampered pooches is a constant of Parisian life. They sit on subway cars, on their own chairs at brasseries. Most places humans go, dogs are also allowed. But is it our imagination, or do Paris' dogs seem to be better behaved than our stateside pets? It's almost as if someone slipped a little Xanax into their kibble.

With the dog population growing stateside, perhaps Paris is just a small glimpse of what we may see in the future as laws become more lax and people begin to expect royal treatment of their fur-person family members.

Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and author of "For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotions in You and Your Best Friend," says our perception is actually close to reality. "We have noticed that the dogs we see in Paris are well-behaved," she said. "It's more than likely because they are allowed to interact in public situations and they and their owners are more conditioned to train them to behave."

What follows is photographic documentation of pooches behaving well in the City of Lights...


Shoe shopping with a perfectly pink French bulldog.


This Jack Russell was well at ease on the subway ride.


A matching set of hounds waits patiently on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.


There was no lead on this black beauty, she just sat patiently waiting for her owner to come out of the store.


Walking your poodle in Prada heels while chatting on the phone? Perfectly normal in Paris.


This lab shows more restraint than any dog being asked to patiently wait for his master outside la boucherie.

[Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the French bulldog above as a pug.  We've corrected the error -- thanks to reader atj for pointing it out!]

-- Joni Gray

Photos by Tim Smith

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