The use of public spaces in relation to dogs in the city of Debrecen

Antal Lovas Kiss


In my study I present the urban environment as a space for walking a dog from the perspective of the dog owner. I analyze the activity of walking a dog as the most characteristic manifestation of the contact between public space and the dog owner, and using the method of mental mapping. I explore how dog owners perceive public space when walking their dogs. The initial hypothesis of my research was that dog owners use public spaces differently from others when they try to construct and satisfy the (assumed) needs of another creature from their viewpoint. During walks, owners use public spaces in a way that, according to their conception, suits their dogs the most. We could also say that they aim to use space from the dog’s perspective, as they can conceive of this. Urban dog keepers vary in terms of motivation, dog-keeping practices and lifestyle, thus we cannot speak about them in general. However, through examining different individuals and groups it is possible to identify some features of the “dog lifestyle.” This is important as there is a growing need to identify and understand this specific lifestyle model. In today’s urbanism, the role of multifunctional spaces is increasingly significant as such spaces are being created not to the detriment of the different sub-social groups, but by taking specific needs into consideration.


mental mapping; dog walking; perspective of the dog; using urban space; urban dog owners

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X