The Booming Hanoi Dog Scene

Times are changing in Hanoi and the growing middle classes are going dog crazy. This is all the more remarkable because until 1984 it was illegal to own a dog as a pet. All meat had to be utilized even if one had become very attached to the dog.

Vietnamese dogs have now become very popular as pets and are often seen as status symbols. “What breed is she and how much did she cost?” is the question most Vietnamese dog owners first ask me. They don’t quite believe that she was free and from the streets. Most expats and tourists tend to see the more prevalent Chihuahuas and Miniature Pinschers which crop up everywhere, but if one ever goes to the parks at about 5 or 9pm a very different scene emerges with an incredible array of large breeds coming out of the woodwork. Siberian Huskies are particularly popular, despite the climate not being ideal. The one indigenous Vietnamese dog that is beginning to gain global recognition is the Phu Quoc dog – more to come on that in another post. Below are photos from a Sunday afternoon meet up of a dog club at Lenin Park. It was a bit overwhelming for Tala, so I am not sure we’ll be back, other than perhaps without her just to people and dog watch!

A Phu Quoc Dog

A Dalmatian and a Rottweiler

A girl and her Pomeranian

The obligatory group photo at the end! Tala is the meek looking one at the bottom left.